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dimanche, 24 août 2014

Communism, Nihilism, Neoism, & Decadence

Stewart Home: Communism, Nihilism, Neoism, & Decadence

By Jonathan Bowden

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

Editor’s Note:

[1]The following text is a transcript by V.S. of one of Jonathan Bowden’s most entertaining lectures, which was delivered to the 25th New Right meeting in London on February 13, 2010. Although Stewart Home is the principal subject, Bowden romps through a wide field of politically correct theories, ultra-Left sects, and decadent forms of modern art.

In editing this transcription, I introduced punctuation and paragraph breaks. I also deleted a couple of false starts and added the first names of some figures.You can listen to the lecture at YouTube here [2]. Several bits were unintelligible and are marked as such. If you can understand these words, please post a comment below.

BowdenDemon.jpgI’d like to talk about Stewart Home: communism, nihilism, neoism, and decadence. I’ve given three talks on the extreme Left. One is called “Marxism and the Frankfurt School and the New Left [3].” Another was called “The Totalitarian Politics of Nineteen Eighty-Four [4].” And another one was about the concept of brain-washing and the use by the North Koreans and the Chinese of behaviorist techniques, particularly on prisoners in the Korean War—a totally forgotten struggle now—and a novel by an Italian-American called Francis Pollini [5] that was based on those events.

Stewart Home is an incredibly obscure figure who is on the margins of the cultural avant-garde, so I’m going to come to him towards the latter stages of the talk when I’ve dealt with some of the building blocks to begin with.

Most conservatives, with a small “c,” look around Western European countries like Britain today and wonder why they’re living in a mildly, but evidently Left-wing society. They wonder why they’re supposed to have won, but have actually lost. As they look around them, everything’s changed from what it was 40 to 50 years ago—every normative social value and experience—and they wonder why that has occurred.

There are many reasons for why it’s occurred, but one is the complete containment and taking over of the cultural space by what we’ll call cultural Marxism or Marxian ideas or soft Left ideas or post-communist ideas and their march through the institutions after the 1960s. But it didn’t just happen then. It had been prepared much earlier in the 20th century.

Marxism is a doctrine—before Lenin added the conspiratorial element of a vanguard party that seizes power with its paramilitary wing in a declining state—that originates from the middle of the 19th century and has a refutation of idealistic and utopian socialisms, some religious, some secular that preceded it. Marx believed that he had a science of history, that the thing was prior and determined, that history could be read like a runic pattern or the pattern of a Persian carpet, and he was the master of the dialectic that would determine humanity’s future. We now know that the nightmarish regimes that were created across the planet in the 20th century on the basis of some or all of his ideas failed, and most of them have been destroyed. But their legacy is still here.

Clare Short’s got a bit of the witness at the moment in the liberal press because of her appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry. She said something very interesting when the Soviet Union collapsed. She said, “Communism is over, but Marxism is not.” That’s a very prescient remark, because what’s happened in the Western world is that the idea that everything is economically predetermined in Marxian theory, that everything has a social dynamic which is structured and physical at the basis of economic life and it is materialistic, has been changed.

It was changed at the beginning of the 20th century by an Italian communist theorist in prison called Antonio Gramsci. He had the idea that the superstructure and the base—that which was beneath and economic and material, that which was above and philosophical and cultural—can be disjoined. They can be separated and teased apart. That’s actually a heresy in classical Marxism. But it enabled an enormous vista of struggle to be opened up right across academic, artistic, intellectual, and media-related life right across the West.

Part of the Left disengaged from the politics of vanguardism and engaged in what is now largely called cultural struggle. One of the great weaknesses of all forms of conservatism—whether Gaullism in France or Republicanism in the United States or Christian Democracy in Germany and Italy and elsewhere—is their refusal to fight cultural struggle, their refusal to believe that their enemies were in deadly earnest.

In the 1960s, persons who were regarded as “reactionary,” particularly in the academy, used to laugh at a lot of what was occurring. It was almost a joke. I’m sure most people are aware of that satire called Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe which is based upon Peterhouse College, Cambridge of all these reactionary and ultra dons, people like Maurice Cowling, people like Roger Scruton who were associated with that college. They are metaphysical or deep blue conservatives, illiberal conservatives, people who were right on the edge of the conservative range of opinion before the far Right begins, as far as you can go within the mainstream, basically.

Those individuals—and I knew Cowling once (he’s dead now)—didn’t give in. But in a way they didn’t understand that in order to fight back against the tidal wave of Leftist ideas throughout the ‘’20s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, and thereafter you had to go further out ideologically, even if you weren’t prepared to make organizational commitments, even if it turned to fellow-traveling. You had to use Far Right ideas, even if you didn’t call them that, to fight against the Left in its militancy. Basically, conservative academics from Michael Oakeshott onwards refused to do so, absolutely refused to do so, and in doing so they basically put the noose around their own neck in relation to the forces that were coming.

Because their enemies were in deadly earnest. They wanted to transform the mindset of Western societies, and the way that they configured to do that wasn’t through vanguard parties, although they supported them, wasn’t through doctrines of social revolution, although they may have residually supported that. It was by changing the grammar that people used to think with at the advanced level.

Bowden-West-Cover-medium-e1397245147546.jpgStrangely for militant egalitarians, they used an extreme form of cultural elitism. You take the universities; you take the dons and the academics in the universities; you take the people who mark the PhDs that provide the methodology of attainment through which you get a don at the university. You then replicate that through all male and female students at the first, second, and third levels of tertiary education, never mind the people coming up from the secondary level.

As egalitarian education has been spread, we’re going to have a society where 30-50% go to university; there’s the University of Slough, which used to be the Poly in the Thames valley. You can do degrees in hair-dressing. You can do degrees in golf studies. You can do degrees in anything! You know, you send this away to a P. O. box number in Edinburgh, and in a couple of weeks it’s packaged, and you get a PhD in nuclear physics, then straight back in the post! This is the way it’s going!

There are a few upper-class people now who refuse to go to university. Princess Diana refused to go, partly because she wasn’t too bright, but also because it doesn’t have any social cache anymore, because if everyone goes it’s got no kudos. This is the idea! If everything is degraded, do you want to eat the bread that’s been in every other mouth?  This is the thing about egalitarian ideas.

The plan of Leftist subversion, which is a wave of academics in all sorts of areas, not necessarily networked, not necessarily doing it in relation to each other, but doing it in relation to the logic of their studies. They do it in discourse after discourse.

They do it in economic theory, which before John Maynard Keynes was classical liberal methodology, Alfred Marshall being the last of that particular school, revived by F. A. Hayek and Milton Friedman in the middle of the 20th century as a dissident current that would then come back. Keynes comes first, and Marxist economists like Professor Joan Robinson at Cambridge come later.

Then you go to anthropology. The first great textbook of anthropology is Arthur de Gobineau’s book, The Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races. This begins anthropology as a subject. This is a “racist” text. Anthropology is the science, or semi-science, that always has to deny its first text, because its first text is now so offensive in relation to all of the discourses that have come after. From the early part of the 20th century, you get the growing up of various discourses which are called social or socialized anthropology: the idea that race has nothing to do with anthropology, when race is the periodic table of anthropology and is the taxonomy of the human within that particular academic discipline. You reach a situation where by the 1970s if a don at, say, the University of Sussex, an ultra-Left institution on the south coast, said that there were cardinal racial differences in intelligence between people, there would have been an absolute riot on that campus, an absolute riot which would have had to have been controlled by the police and the authorities.

One thing the Left realized throughout the 20th century is that people who are very mental and people who are very abstracted in terms of their intellect can be physically intimidated very easily. The mind and the body are so split in Western life that all you have to do is have a small mob wave their fists at a couple of dons, and they’re prostrated, and they can’t do anything, and they’re in fear of their lives, and they will write in a different way afterwards. Trotsky said in a pamphlet called The Necessity of Red Terror, which was published in 1917, that you shoot a thousand to intimidate a million. But all you need to do at many universities is lob a brick through on Fresher’s day, and people are frightened to discuss and to write about and to theorize about whole sets of ideas.

Everyone knows that there is a spectrum since the French Revolution of far Left, moderate Left, center, moderate Right, radical Right views. Since about 1968, the radical Right chunk—which is to the Right of Oakeshott, Scruton, and Cowling—has been broken off and cannot be talked about other than as critique. You can talk about how you detest these ideas. You can talk about how evil and wrong they are. You can talk about how mistaken they are. But they can’t be adumbrated in and of themselves.

This is complicated because there are certain academies, such as the French one, where that’s not always true, and this is because in France there was a very powerful intellectual fascist tradition—essentially, that’s what it was—which goes right through to today and even to the New Right. There’s a degree to which in the Sorbonne in the ’70s you could see a poster saying, “Drieu La Rochelle: lecture this afternoon.” He committed suicide of course after the war because he was a collaborationist intellectual with Otto Abetz and other people in the German cultural ministry in Paris in occupied France at that time.

So, it’s not uniform. These things are process led and dynamic. It doesn’t just happen in economics and anthropology. It happens in psychology. It happens in sexology. It happens in English literature. It happens in the creation of new discourses such as cultural studies, which is the dissemination of ideas about mass culture. And it happens in critical theory.

Critical theory is a viewpoint that’s grown up across the arts and across the humanities and even into areas of law like criminology, which can also be considered to be one of these “ologies,” one of these subjects, and other areas of history of art, aesthetics, in philosophy courses, philosophy itself and so on.

The Anglo-American world, of course, had an empirical view of philosophy largely since Hobbes, but certainly since Russell in the 20th century, and a hostility to European philosophy which meant that there was less Marxist influence here. But the trouble with Bertrand Russell’s type of philosophizing is that it doesn’t believe that any of the big questions can be answered, and therefore philosophy itself becomes slightly pointless, and a cul-de-sac where you discuss the language you use to arrive at a concept to which there are multiple interpretations and of which you are forever unsure. In and of itself, that’s the preparation—this radical, tepid uncertainty—which leads from conservatism to liberalism and from liberalism to something that’s a bit more certain and lies to the Left of it.

Everything in Western societies has moved to the Left throughout the 20th century. I am not a Christian, but you could argue that after Vatican II many Catholics became Protestants; many Protestants became liberals; many secularist liberals who are ex-Protestant moved further to the Left and adopted views that they would have regarded as semi-extreme in the past as long as they were not connected to physical force, militant working class politics, vanguardism, and the absolute politics of communism.

You have many Left-wing liberals now who have views which are to the Left of hardcore communists in the ’20s and ’30s, and they don’t realize that and they’re horrified by the atrocities of Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and all the others. But what they don’t realize is that they have imbibed a doctrine of totalitarian niceness and squeaky clean correctness about these concepts, which existed in the way that their minds were attuned to before they became conversant with it.

This march through the institutions has also been a march through the media, because when you have an intellectual clerisy it tends to control the conceptual ideas in the society and the way that society talks to itself in modernity is through the media, and also propaganda and ideas about how you talk to the media. Most polytechnics, or post-polytechnics now—because polytechnics were once vocational institutions, of course dominated by people who tended to support the Labour Party—have now been upgraded to new universities or universities have been downgraded to new universities which are polytechnics, because if all have a degree what does it mean?

PulpFacism-Bowden.jpgIn America, you can go to a university and, outside the Ivy League, you don’t necessarily have to have the qualifications to get in. So, you have a remedial course. There’s a considerable number of people from certain types of racial minorities in those remedial courses—taught to do English, taught to do math, and then they do sports science or sports psychology. They won’t be doing physics. They won’t be doing mathematics. They won’t be doing metaphysics. They won’t be doing Shakespeare.

There are certain colleges now that have votes about whether Shakespeare should be on the English course. But that’s a mistake, you see, because democracy is always a mistake! When hardline Marxists allow the students to vote, the students, even though they’re liberal, often come up with more conservative results than what the professors want! That’s the logic of vanguardism: you don’t allow them to decide. You say Shakespeare is a reactionary Elizabethan bigot with undue essentialist notions that you shouldn’t permit!

The notion of essentialism has come in in the last 30 to 40 years in relation to great fads in intellectual life. It has to be understood that for the last 100 years or so all mainstream, hardcore, Western intellectual developments have been atheistic. They’ve taken atheism as read, not as something to be debated. The first great ideology after the war was existentialism, which contained many elements including a dissentient far Right strand as well.

Existentialism was replaced by a new creed, fad, wave of history, whatever you want to call it, called structuralism, which relates to ideas at the beginning of the 20th century called formalism. Then people got bored with structuralism. Structuralism was around at the time of the student revolts in the late 1960s. Not totally a Left-wing idea, but in a way bent towards the Left by certain ideas. If the revolutionary Left on campus couldn’t take an idea as read they would turn it around. Hegel was not a Left-wing thinker, but Left-wing Hegelianism emerged. Marx was part of a group of Left Hegelians with Engels. They used to meet in a beer cellar prior to the German revolution in 1848 to discuss Left theory. Similarly, Left structuralism begins to emerge, particularly with Claude Lévi-Strauss in anthropology and with Ferdinand de Saussure in linguistics.[1] These ideas relate to certain currents in modernist art in particular in the late 19th and early 20th century. If we approach this subject area we get a bit closer to Home, who nominally is the hook that I’m hanging this particular talk on.

You can’t do English at a contemporary British university—certainly outside Oxbridge, where there’s just a received canon—and not come across critical theory. Critical theory is based upon a notion called deconstruction, and most people who are intellectually minded have heard the word deconstruction somewhere floating around, floating in the back pages of The Observer color supplement, that sort of thing. They’ve heard the word.

Deconstruction is another word for post-structuralism, which is the ideology or the new fad that replaced structuralism in the ’60s and ’70s. It’s most closely associated with a thinker called Jacques Derrida, who wrote a number of books basically saying that history doesn’t exist, that biology doesn’t exist, that the writer of a text does not exist. There is only the text. There is only the grammar of the text. A painting can be a text. A poster can be a text. A film can be a text. Only the text. Nothing but the text.

It’s the view that essentialism leads to the gates of Auschwitz, which is repeated again and again as a mantra within these particular courses. They believe that any prior identity—say the statement “men and women are different,” the John and Joan book, you know, a child says, “Men and women are different”—wrong on every account! Prior essentialist agenda, revolutionary, sub-genocidal reactionary ideologies in relation to the specification of male and female. Don’t you know men and women are interchangeable? Don’t you know that they are the same? If somebody says, “But don’t they have different brains?” “Lies put about by eugenicists linked to reactionary and essentialist ideas!” Again re-routed to the ovens. “Listen to your theory!”

Of course, in these areas, to think differently from the nature of this theory is impossible, because you will not finish the course. You will not even get a 2.1, which is the sort of median level for your average student, in that course if you don’t go along with this.

Some of this thinking relates to Western ideas that go very far back, because in medieval scholasticism there’s a doctrine of hermeneutics whereby you analyze the text of the text of the text. You look inside it to see the hint of the divine which is there. And some of these ideas actually do come out of that particular trajectory. So, in some ways it’s a very ancient thing that’s been repositioned and been reused for hostile purposes. Only the core theorists in this area, Deleuze, Guattari, Derrida, and others, would actually know that is the case.

When the Enlightenment and modern scientific rationalism began and they argued that the schoolmen were concerned about the number of angels that danced on the top of a pin and philosophy was about natural process and law of nature as the Greeks believed 2,000 years before, 1,500 years before their postulations of course, there was a degree to which they’d thought they had got rid of that type of thinking. But interestingly, that type of thinking, which in some ways is very “reactionary,” has come back through these New Left ideas.

The one thinker who is partly outside all of this and has a special status as a monster within the 20th century is Martin Heidegger. Now, Martin Heidegger was an extreme essentialist and was a religious thinker who was highly influenced by these ideas of extreme hermeneutics and the peeling away of the onion of the text. Heidegger has one book that is 400 pages saying, “What is thinking?” or “What is the nature of thinking?” Heidegger wrote 80 books, all 80! Most of which have never been released.[2]

Although Heidegger is one of the most radical thinkers of the 20th century, Heidegger’s political affiliation, if only for a year between 1933 and 1934, has meant that in a sense he has become an unperson. After the war, when he was allowed to write and continued to write he used to write in the Black Forest. He had a wooden cabin in the Black Forest, and he used to commune in this particular woodland fastness, this shed almost, with nature and by himself in pure theory.

A lot of these ideas are based upon pure theory. They are based upon the idea that the bourgeois—the enemy in Marxian terms—goes to life with common sense. The Marxist goes to life with his theory! Only if you see the veil of theory before reality, the pink prism through which reality is refracted, only then can you be in history; only then are you truly alive, because you’re interpreting the dialectic of future knowledge.

Now, the irony is that these communistic systems that statally imposed these ideas on people have all collapsed. People who lived in Poland during Gomułka and other regime leaders had to do Marxist-Leninism four times a week, just like the Catholic schools that these schools replaced, where we did religion four times a week. They did Marxist-Leninist theory four times a week.

There was a Far Left party in Britain called the Revolutionary Communist Party, which was a split from the Socialist Workers’ Party, a so-called Rightist deviation within Marxist-Leninism. In 1986, they set exams for their cadres. You had to do exams on Grundrisse and Groundwork and Kapital volume I, volume II, volume III to pass exams on this sort of material just like in Poland.

bowden7.jpgPeople imposed this on themselves internally within the West, and yet historically these ideas have lost. These ideas have come crashing down as statal and political and architectural structures. Yet in the minds of elite Western academics, the softer non-vanguard version of these ideas are alive and well and kicking and are in control.

It’s largely true that most artistic departments—used as a term for the humanities and the social sciences—across the board are in the hands of the West’s most ferocious ideological opponents inside the West, mentally. Not necessarily in terms of how people live their lives and so on, but in terms of what they accept.

The worst ideas in the world are some of the ideas in this room from the perspective of these sorts of people! And they know what they are against, although most of them are in a sense more coherently in favor of what they’re for. Most Left-wingers and liberals, like Tony Blair, begin with the first thing Blair ever did, which was to go on an anti-National Front march. The first moment was negative. He knew what he was against almost before what he knew what he was for. But many of these people actually know what they’re for as well, and what they’re for is a world without any prior signification.

Deconstruction is the idea that you have a text before you, and this text has a system of rhetoric which is related to the personality of an individual author, but the author doesn’t exist. It’s just a text. It’s just a signification. What you do is split the power of the rhetoric, the oratory, the nature of the language used, the control of the phrases used, the essentialist markers that delimit the promiscuity of linguistic and moral choice, and you deconstruct them. You open up the field of signification so that language can flow freely in its joy and in its meaningless splendor. This is called jouissance, the joy of deconstructing the text so that it reveals its anti-essentialist possibilities when the crypto-fascistic moments of identity in it have been removed, and this is what they do.

They will take an author like Céline, who is a French National Socialist essentially, if words have any meaning, and they will say, “This anti-Semitic statement shows the insecurity of a lower middle class background. He obviously wets his bed. He was beaten by his father.” They will deconstruct every particular notification. Actually, this is a philo-Semitic text, which loves foreigners, which loves homosexuals, and is egalitarian! The whole point of deconstruction is that you reverse the meaning of the text.

But these ideas have their dangers, because there are certain things that liberals believe are sacred, and there are certain things that they believe shouldn’t be deconstructed and are beyond deconstruction. One of the primary deconstructive figures, who wasn’t necessarily a Leftist, was a man called Paul de Man, who was head of English and Philosophy, head of the Yale school of deconstruction at this Ivy League college. Ivy League college, Yale, has a school of deconstruction![3] Yes, it does! Acting against the West in order to affirm the negation of its identity. This is the sort of thing it said.

Now, Paul de Man was head of philosophy there, but Paul de Man had a secret past far worse than beating his wife or something like that. Paul de Man was a collaborator in occupied Belgium and was a minor member of the Rexist movement with Léon Degrelle. It was all very serious. And he also wrote some articles for a magazine like Scorpion shall we say, but it was in occupied Belgium at the time, so it was a bit more serious.

When it was discovered that he had this past, the whole of the movement of deconstruction gathered at the University of Alabama in the Deep South of the United States to discuss this unfortunate recrudescence of essentialism in the life and time of their chief American guru. Derrida came up with a remarkable wheeze. He said that because there were articles on the one side of the page of these collaborationist journals that were more extreme than what de Man had written, de Man was actually protesting against the extremism of the rival and mirror-reflected text with his own understated fascism, therefore revealing that he was in internal critical protest at the nature of this foul language and this sort of thing. Foul language in another way.

Interestingly, deconstructionism and post-structuralism have never survived this particular revelation, and it’s not fallen off a cliff, but it’s much less fashionable now than it was. It’s also begun to be attacked by certain hard Leftists who are more materialistic, more pro-science and so on and don’t agree with this type of what they consider to be empty and rather vacuous theorizing. So, there’s been a certain revisionism.

Not all of these ideas have it their own way. There often outliers who are dissentient. They’re often critics within the system as well as without who are progressive. You can only criticize progress if you are yourself a progressive. This is part of the deal. So, there are progressive critiques of this sort of thing. Lévi-Strauss loathed elements of modern culture, loathed modernist art and so on. There’s a degree to which certain impermissible reactions or “fleets to the essence,” as it is sometimes called, are permitted by very radical theorists.

There’s also certain of the revisionists like Serge Thion, for example, who played with post-structuralist ideas, which makes them very dangerous. As soon as I heard about post-structuralism in the 1980s, I knew that certain revisionist types would make use of some of these methodological tricks, because it’s inevitable. You can apply deconstruction to deconstruction. You can get Céline’s text, you can get the deconstructive answer to the text, and then you can deconstruct the deconstructive answer to the text and you end with Céline again!

So, you think, “What’s the point of doing all that?” And the point of doing all that was to question the affirmations of Western society. That’s what the point of all that is. The people who flood into the humanist disciplines in sociology, in fine art and elsewhere, if you say, “Well, you know, Caravaggio is a homosexual,” people will say, “Oh, dangerous assumptions there. A bit too essentialist. Are you reading the author or the artist who wrote the text too much into his own work?” And so on. It creates a fog of uncertainty. It creates an irony of the absence of affirmation, the absence of pride, certainly the absence of the justification of hierarchy, which it’s all about.

Ken Livingstone is a populist libertarian Left-wing politician. When he was asked about political correctness and banning Black children in south London from saying nursery rhymes like “Ba-Ba-Black Sheep” and so on, he said, “That’s Evening Standard garbage.” He said, “Political correctness is an attempt to change people’s minds and language. It is concentrated on two egalitarian premises: absolute moral equality in questions of race and gender.” He’s a real Leftist.

That’s what it’s really about! It’s not about any of these epiphenomena. It’s about making elitist and inegalitarian assumptions morally and linguistically impermissible. And if they’re impermissible for a university professor, they’ll be impermissible for a struggling fourth level post-degree student, and they’ll be impermissible for a middle-class bloke who sort of half-believes what’s in the Daily Mail, and they’ll be impermissible for right the way down the society. And they will, in a garbled way, come out of every news channel you can speak of.

Many liberals now say, “We’re fighting for Western values in Iraq. But what are Western values? Do we have a right to fight for them? In any case, should we affirm ourselves? We’re attacking the essentialism of their own. We should deconstruct at home first before we go abroad imposing our signifiers upon these worthy foreigners.” And so on. You see, it begins small. It begins with a debate about language, but it becomes much more powerful. In the intellectual ideologies that operate outside the sciences now, these ideas are de rigueur. To be actually against them is to morally shock, far more than transgressive post-modern art in relation to the Turner Prize and that sort of thing.

Things like the Turner Prize bring me to Stewart Home. Now, the Turner Prize is attacked by Home, but from the Left. You can only criticize Left from Left. He’s to the Left of the Turner Prize. The sort of art that is exhibited in the Turner Prize, which is a sort of stitch-up by various dealers particularly in the 1990s in relation to a particular school of post-modern artists that came out of Goldsmith’s College of Art in the late ’80s, early ’90s. Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk were the most prominent of the three. They were picked up with a lot of big money and people wanted to make their own money as a result of it. However, it’s based on an ideology called anti-objectivist art which comes from the 1960s and was largely part of the hippie movement.

John Lennon was involved extensively in anti-objectivist art. Do you remember getting into a bag for peace? This is where a naked John Lennon, covered with hair, would get into a bag. A bag! Yoko Ono, who was a member of a group called Fluxus, would draw the zip on the bag, and Lennon would stay there for a day, because the idea was that if we were all naked and in bags and covered with hair, we wouldn’t fight, and there would be no more war! There would be a realm of peace on this earth for us all to enjoy!

Another Fluxus fad that Yoko was very keen on was the revelation of the buttocks. They would sit there naked before NBC and CBS and ABC and the BBC and all the big channels of that era revealing their naked buttocks. Because of course you won’t fight if you’ve revealed yourself in that way, and the point was to avoid struggle by not fighting.

These ideas had little currency and didn’t last too long, but anti-objectivist art begins there, and from it Stewart Home begins his particular intellectual career at this time.

Home’s is an anarchist, essentially, or a libertarian communist or an anarcho-communist. He’s written many books, but his one real claim to fame is a book called The Assault on Culture—the assault on culture!—From Lettrism to Class War. And he deals with an assembly of extreme Left avant-garde groups that come out of the major modernist tendencies as they end.

Modernism is a very complicated area that goes back to the middle of the 19th century. It’s a reaction, in part, against photography. It’s a desire to go inside the mind and fantasize. It was despised for much of the late 19th century, early part of the 20th century, then became the major aesthetic discourse of liberal humanism. There’s a complication there, because both fascism and communism flirted with modernism. Most of them then turned against it, although the Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian far Right regimes made use of moderate modernist tendencies.

Modernism has always had a devilish side from the perspective of Left humanism, because a lot of the early modernists were fascists, were anti-humanists, and were radical Rightists like Ezra Pound, like Wyndham Lewis, like Marinetti, like Gaudier-Brzeska, like Céline and so on. That’s because there was an anti-democratic element to it, because of course modernism was a bohemian attack upon the sensibility of the majority. It loathes what ordinary people think about art, so it will destroy what they want and impose what intellectuals want. It’s a sort of vanguard hostility to the boring majority. Bomb the suburbs! That’s the sort of view of modernism.

But that can tend to the Right as well as the Left in strange moments, because national cultures were still alive to the degree that there could be national modernisms. Expressionism was a largely Germanic form; futurism was an Italian form; surrealism was a French form. Surrealism was the only major modernist movement that linked formally with communism, through the radically state socialist ideas of its founder, André Breton. Basically, surrealism died with him, but as it died all sorts of shards came out of it, one of which was called situationism.

Situationism was a minor ideological current that’s achieved quite a bit of currency, particularly on the far Left, because a lot of the students in 1968 mouthed situationist slogans. The media was convulsed to find that, on one hand, there were these hippies throwing bricks at members of the CRS—the very tough central riot police in Paris and the other big cities—but they would paint these slogans on walls saying, “Seize the imagination” or “Release the factories” or “I want to play with myself” or something like that. Strong-hearted philosophical stuff like this. They would spray things on the walls. And most of these were situationist slogans taken from a book called Society of the Spectacle written by Guy Debord in the late 1960s. Debord later committed suicide in dubious circumstances. There was another intellectual associated with this tendency called Raoul Vaneigem who wrote The Book of Pleasures and The Revolution of Everyday Life.

Now, these books had a lot of impact in revolutionary artistic scenes. It’s very interesting to notice this combination of far Left art, anti-social practice, misanthropy, and extreme amounts of money, and their ability to attract each other in disassociated ways. Anti-objectivist art began as hostility to the art market. It began by producing artworks that no one would want to buy! That’s the whole point. You were rebelling against the market! They used to have marches on Sotheby’s saying, “Death to Sotheby’s! Death to Sotheby’s!” Now they’re all sold in Sotheby’s for enormous amounts of money!

The most classic example of this was an Italian conceptual artist in the 1970s called Piero Manzoni, and Manzoni used to sell blocks of his own ordure. He used to sell blocks of his own ordure in gold-tinted, beautifully framed sort of 18th-century gold-leafed tins. An Italian-American heiresses used to buy this for $7,000 a tin to say at their kinky and trendy parties that, “I bought one.”

Because artists always loathed the dealers. They always loathe the middlemen, a third of whom have always been of a certain ethnicity. Always. A third of art dealers are Jews, and a third of art dealers are homosexuals, and not always an overlapping category. But artists loathed the middlemen, and there’s a desire to revenge yourself on the middlemen by producing work that can’t be sold, that’s impossibilist, if you like.

But the market can sell anything. You can sell debt as an asset from which you can make more money. So, why not sell cars that are bolted together? There’s a famous case of one artist who was neo-conceptual and was an action artist who tried to sell his dead body after he’d committed suicide. There’s also a man called Rudolf Schwarzkogler, who’s Austrian, and he wound himself in mummification, and either did commit suicide or feigned to commit suicide. I hope not to ruin anyone’s appetite by some of this, but it’s all true. It’s all true, I assure you of this! There were several other ones who left bits of their bodies, including arms and legs, in various galleries and so on, and this was photographed in the 1970s. This was action art, wasn’t it? I mean, let’s face it! There’s something that’s going on here! Home’s book The Assault on Culture has Schwarzkogler’s pre-corpse mummified body on its front, so you know what you’re getting.

Now, the movements with which Home deals are situationism, which is a Left-wing critique, in other words a critique from the Left, within the Left; there’s lettrism, which is another idea which relates to certain formalist and linguistic ideas; and there’s the movement for the imagist Bauhaus, which is a splinter from Breton’s surrealism. They’re also slightly dangerous movements, because Home has an equivocal element, not in what he wants but in what will happen.

One of the dangers about the Cult of the New and the Cult of the Future is that there can be different futures that Left-wing people don’t like. There was a group in the 1970s called mail art, and this woman would do these traditional biographical pictures, very traditional academic art, the sort of thing [unintellible—sounds like Auckland] would have done at the turn of the 20th century and just in and around the Great War, and she would send them to people. She would send them to the Prime Minister. She would send them to the Pope. She would send them to the Chief Rabbi. And they were all pictures of Adolf Hitler. They opened them and were appalled. It was quite a scandal, and she said, “But I’m not a Nazi. I’m just being transgressive. I’m doing what is non-bourgeois. Hitler may have done evil things, but I’m not evil. I’m just painting a picture. It’s just a representation.”

So, you see, if you adopt the Cult of the New . . . And Home had this idea called neoism where he wants to create culture anew, which is largely based on Marinetti’s ideas that you can bomb everything and begin again, because we are the masters of the ruins. It’s the rhetoric of people who’ve never been to a real war, you see, and those who were just about to, because a lot of this stuff came out in 1912 and was just the quivering in the antennae of the Armageddon that was about to erupt. Although, to be frank, many of the Marinettists, the futurists, actually did fight in the war, because they believed in war. They glorified war. “We glorify men! We glorify war!” This is why they linked with Mussolini later, or some of them did.

Now, Home’s work is based upon the idea that you can go beyond the Left and push even that which is Left-wing further Left. He’s in this odd position, because the Left never thinks it has won. Even when it’s triumphant, even when many dons agreed with some of their assumptions, they think, “It’s not gone far enough. The revolution has been betrayed! You need to go further! More radicalism, more self-criticism, more anti-essentialism! It’s not enough! Turds in a box: not enough! Deconstructing classic opera: not enough!”

Turandot and other operas now, even in the West End, often have a urinal on the stage. Urinal? What’s that about? That’s Duchamp’s idea of the ready-made, you see. This plate is art! Who are you to say it’s not? I look at this work. I mediate it. I objectivize it as my view of life. The stained dregs of life in this coffee cup. Life ending in doom. Didn’t Beckett say they were born over a grave, there’s a cry, and then it’s all over? You see, art! I want 2,000 for this now, and you’ll give it to me! And that’s how that sort of thing starts.

I heard a bloke once at the English National Opera, and a critic said, slightly bemused, “Why do you put a toilet on the stage?” And he said, “We’re acting against the piece. We put the thing on, but we try to destroy it as we put it on. It’s deconstruction.”

And you know why these ideas have got a hold? Because they’re bored. Because they’re bored with Western culture. Since the Second World War, state funding of the arts has replaced bourgeois capitalist money. It’s replaced aristocratic patronage. And you can only do Shakespeare so many times. There’s a great tiredness to these state institutions, and this tiredness often breeds a kind of nihilism. “Why, let’s tear it all down, this fuddy-duddy stuff that we endlessly have to replicate with the tax-payers’ money!” These ideas course through even revived and classical theater.

Racing Shakespeare is the favorite one. At the beginning of the 20th century, Othello was always played by a white man blacked up: Olivier very famously in the ’50s and thereafter. Middle of the century, always played by a black actor, because you had to bring to the foreground the nature of race and the nature of oppression and the nature of Shakespeare’s unfortunate alienating and objectifying tendencies: odious. Now, usually, Othello is played by a white actor, because not to black up is to draw attention to the hideous racism of the piece so that guilt should be infused in the audience for the crime of Western civilization. Nine million dead. Farrakhan said in the United States, “Never mind the six, what about the nine!? The nine million who died in the Atlantic slave trade! What about us?”

There was a famous Richard Eyre version of The Merchant of Venice in the 1990s where the female lead apologizes for the Shoah on stage. She’s kneeling before the audience. Don’t remember that in the text, actually! Don’t remember that in the original play! This is ironic considering that some of these ideas have come out of this idea of extreme textual specificity. “But you can always change the text when you want! It’s only a text!” And this sort of thing.

There’s is a sort of comedic element to these ideas, but I assure you that it would be instructive for everyone here to go to the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The ICA’s in Pall Mall, near the Queen. Right in the center of all the establishment buildings, and it’s all very nice in there with mellow lighting and all this. You go in, and there’s a bookshop in there, and that is very interesting, because that bookshop is like a cathedral bookshop to this type of culture. Home’s books are all prominently displayed in that particular bookshop. All of these deconstructive, anti-identity, post-racial, non-class, non-gender specific, gender-neutral-language particularisms are all there. Volume after volume after volume.

Actually, Home did a book once that had sandpaper on the cover so it would cut up all the books next to it, you see? Revenge! Revenge on the books! And you’d also damage yourself when you touch it, you see? So, he’s attacking the reader! William S. Burroughs was once asked, “What do you want to do with the reader?” And he said, “Kill him. I want somebody to open the page and be so appalled that they virtually drop into it, you know?”

There was a famous moment with Nineteen Eighty-Four, the BBC one with Peter Cushing in the 1950s. There was a Mrs. Treddis of North Wales[4] who allegedly did drop dead during the rat scene, Room 101. She was watching this on a state subsidized channel on the BBC, and when O’Brien gets the rats out in the Chinese torture scene—“Do it to Julia!”—she just caved over, poor old Mrs. Treddis. The MP was straight on the thing. He was in the Commons saying, “It’s disgraceful that the state broadcaster is killing its own constituents with art!” You couldn’t make it up, could you really? There is a degree to which the desire to attack the audience is very much part of this art.

There’s actually a form of art called auto-destructive art by Gustav Metzger where the art actually blows up, or a tube of acid will turn over one of those sort of mechano-wheels—you know, one of those sort of amateur things—and the tin turns up and pours acid down the front. So, the art attacks you, you attack the art, the art attacks itself. And then you buy what’s left, even though it’s been completely destroyed.

These ideas actually entered into popular culture because a lot of rock bands and so on were made up of students who go to art colleges. The Who used to destroy their instruments on stage. Pete Townshend, when he wasn’t looking at dubious sites on the internet, was wrecking his guitar. And these guitars are expensive things. Keep it plugged in. And he’d smash it on the ground, and sparks would be going up. I think it’s totally counter to health and safety, personally. And he’d smash it, and it would blow up! It would blow across the room, and all the crowd would be chanting. This was based on auto-destructive art. But, of course, they were working class lads, and there were dangerous moments of essentialism in The Who because they always had the Union Flag behind them when they’d perform. Ah, the danger of those estates. More deconstruction, that’s what’s required.

Home criticized the situationists because it was always a Hegelian theory and therefore allowed certain religious notions in from the outside. There was a communist called Jean Barrot who wrote a critique of situationism. He was later a supporter of Pol Pot, but he’s not heard of too much these days. Certainly would have been heard of if he had been Cambodian.

Now, Home got into trouble a couple of years ago, and Larry O’Hara, who’s a sort of libertarian anti-Right wing critic who’s prepared to be at least reasonably factual up to a point, wrote an article called “Stewart Home: The Fascists’ Flunkey.” Because if you advocate for new areas of culture, total newness, you will attract people who don’t necessarily believe in equitable variables. And he attracted certain people, certainly Richard Lawson, who’s well known from the National Party and Scorpion and Perspectives and had his website called Fluxeuropa and was a Left European nationalist, I think it’s fair to say. He also struck up a bit of a relationship with Bill Hopkins, an old friend of mine, and there’s a film, six minutes of Stewart Home interviewing Bill Hopkins. It’s on YouTube [6].

Now, he’s been heavily vilified for this, because by an ideological detour into the concept of the new, he forgot progressive verities. He’s recovered. But it’s bad news to reach out to radicals before you know who they are. You can get into deep trouble doing that, and he has. Because people say, “Didn’t he have some friends who were . . .” That’s what’s remembered in this [unintelligible—sounds like “tap it in”] and Google your name sort of an age.

Home believes that everyone can create a culture just as there were certain classical music concerts in the 1970s where the orchestra would make it up as they went along. Xenakis was another one. You wouldn’t have a piece. You would deconstruct the music. Indeed, they would tear the music up before the performance and stamp on it! Stamp on it in a rage at the bourgeois class! Then they would sort of make some music. Home believes that everybody can do that. He calls it the universal proletarianization of culture: the universal proletarianization of culture. And he idolizes these slightly Rightist elements. He idolizes these skinhead novels in the 1970s. Does anyone remember these novels by Richard Allen called Skinhead and Suedehead and [unintelligible—sounds like truth my bitch]. and all these sorts of novels that used to be read under the table in schools, seized in reformatory schools because, you know, no reading in this [unintelligible]. They were written by this old drunk on the south coast called Richard Allen, and Home loves all this.

He’s written several books. Red London is one. He’s also written books that are just swear words, the C-word is the title, oh yes. And the S-word and the F-word. These are all in Smith’s. They’re all in Waterstones. He’s done it because he thinks, “Why not? And also I’ll push distribution to such a degree that are they going to go on Radio 4 and say ‘Well, we have books with all sorts of swear words in them, but we won’t allow them on the cover. The Royal Chamberlian lives in memory. We will not allow it on the cover.’” And Home is saying, “Why not? Why not? Are you some bourgeois slob, mate? I’m pushing this in front of you.”

He’s also a very extreme homosexual. You would have to have this. So, his works are these sort of cartographic fantasy of proletarianized homosexual blokes rampaging around London. This is on sale at any Waterstones, books called C— and S—  and F—. I’ve looked at the covers, and I’ve read the theories. But the theory’s important in a way, because at the end of The Assault on Culture he endorses Class War.

Now, Class War is a group that emerged in the early 1980s and is led by an anarchist called Ian Bone. And they do believe in Bakunin’s idea of total war on the state. When Bakunin was asked “What is anarchy?” he said, “Total revolution against God.” And that is what anarchism believes: total revolt against all ideas of transcendence, total revolt against all ideas of hierarchy. “Pull it down! Destroy it!”

There’s a famous story about Bakunin in E. H. Carr’s—a Soviet-philic writer—biography. Bakunin’s riding along, because he’s an aristocrat of course. He wanted to destroy everything, even the aristocrats first. And he sees some brigands robbing a house, and they’re smashing it to pieces with axes and so on. He says, “Stop!” in Russian, gets out, and joins the brigands, and he starts destroying and running out with the paintings and butting them and leaping up and down on them and hurling bricks through the windows and all this. When somebody said, “Mikhail Mikhalovich, why are you doing this?” He said, “Because it’s there.” Because it’s there.

And Home’s view is that destruction is a creative passion. First you destroy, then you create on the destruction. Even if you create and destroy, because you level the field for new forms: neoism! The cartography of inversion! And if you don’t like it, you can get a bit of this! It’s this sort of stuff. The interesting thing is that these ideas are not revered. They’re eccentric ideas even within the milieu of the cultural Left. But they’re there.

Scorpion’s not sold in the ICA bookshop. Alain de Benoist is not sold in the ICA bookshop. Books about Heidegger are sold in the ICA bookshop. Heidegger, Monster of Nazism: A Philosophy of Inhumanity Exposed! Heidegger and the Jewish Question. Unanswered questions, who was his mistress? We demand the facts! Heidegger! 400 pages of his Party membership between 1933 and 1934. Husserl: Did he Ban him from the Library? The Truth! Heidegger: Deconstructed. Pluto Press in three editions. That’s in the ICA library! But the authors of that which constitutes European identity are for the most part conspicuously absent from the ICA library.

Class War has, of course, died many years ago, and Bone is largely retired from active politics. He appeared on Jonathan Ross once, who I call Jonathan Dross, and he appeared wearing a wig screaming and ranting. Bone’s just treated as a freak show, you know. Just something to laugh at, really.

However, from our point of view, not altogether laughable because a group called Antifa emerged from Class War. Antifa would very much like to beat us all to death, I mean, they really would. But they’re very small and of little significance. The interesting thing is that he was drawn to Class War because they’re situational, because it’s not going to succeed, is it? But you create a happening space, you create action art in society. Do you remember the march on the rich? “Bash the rich!” Remember the marches in Henley? “Bash the rich! Bash the rich!” You know, this sort of thing. Bored policemen, drongos and hippies and white Rastafarians, people with purple mohicans and this sort of thing walking along surrounded by the special patrol group, screaming execration at the bourgeois class and that sort of thing. It was all good fun. Then they’d go back on the train up to [unintelligible] or [unintelligible] or wherever it was. Bone was there. The hard men were there.

There was a famous moment of anarchism in Chicago where all these very old bourgeois people are eating in an extremely rich restaurant, and the anarchists unfurl a banner in front of them saying, “Behold your future executioners!” And they love this sort of sport as play as action as theory. Anarchism, unlike communism—because of course anarchism is to the Left of communism—has a theory called direct action: direct action on the anger of the class, which of course is terrorism really. They don’t call it that, but that’s essentially what it is. These sorts of stunts, even that Class War stunt, “make the middle class afraid,” tossing and turning in their beds and only wondering if those mohican yobs are coming for them.

Those demos are very interesting. I once went on one of those demos and watched, and the hardcore anarchs, the hardcore activists, stand at the back and they throw forward the hippies and the drongos and the others. And they’re the ones who are beaten by the special patrol group or whatever the riot squad is called now. They’re on the ground, and they’re covered in blood, and the policemen step on them and kick them. This was the ’80s. I mean, I saw it with my own eyes. It wasn’t a travesty of British behavior. I saw it. But the hardcore activists with leather jackets are at the back, and when one goes down there’s another there, you know, because the masses are just fuel—fuel for anarchy.

The point of these doctrines is that you open a space in the society where you can create new forms, because when you open a space anything can happen. If you assassinate a politician, anything can happen. That’s why they used to assassinate them all the time in the 19th century.

These sorts of ideas of rage and deconstruction and alienation—particularly impinging on all forms of identity—have probably reached their high water mark. But the very fact that they can be canvassed, the very fact that they are in the ICA, they’re in the NO, they’re in the theoretical book branch of the National Theatre—all state-subsidized. There’s tens and tens of millions of pounds that are spent on these institutions every year through the art boards and so on. The fact that these ideas are in the Western academy is a testament to the fact that communistic doctrines of radical destruction and deconstruction have taken over the mindset in the society. People who speak against them are, well, they’re nowhere to be seen basically, because they’re terrified. They’re partly waiting for the next fad, really, in the hope that some of this stuff will wash away.

But the interesting thing is that they always know what they’re against. Home is certainly aware of the New Right. He used to edit a magazine called Smile—smile!—which was a nihilist, communist magazine. That’s what it said on the front. You can go to Smith’s, you know, “Would you like to buy a nihilist, communist magazine? Smile.” It would have an article about Lenin and an article about the Bombo Gang, and then you would have diseased genitals, because it would shock the bourgeois audience and scratch the hatred of the masses. And in that transgression you open up a moral space for more radicalism of the mind and of the spirit. It is psychologically subversive, and they know what they’re doing! They know what they’re doing. The shocked person goes, “Disgusting trash!” and throws it away. They’ve actually had an effect, the effect of rejection before the next strike.

My view has always been that that sort of militancy has to be stood up to. And you have to fight back. And you have to fight back as hard and as ruthlessly as they do. That’s why they are aware of us and fear us.

Stewart Home also has an interesting view of race, which is an original formulation. I’ve never heard it even from the Trotskyists, and he’s not a Trotskyist. He believes that race doesn’t exist, but the masses believe it does. Now, that’s an interesting formulation, because if you think about it you either have it as a foregrounded form of iterization, it’s being, Dasein, being in being as Heidegger would call it. It’s that which is there. It’s biological. It’s there. It’s foundational. It’s prior. It’s elemental. It’s essential.

Or you don’t believe that. Maoists and extreme communists believe that all humans are a white sheet of paper. Any sexuality, any ethnic specification, any culturalization, any level of intellect could be pre-programmed into you. As Mao’s people would say, you can torture a man into progressive ideas to the degree that they’re coming out of his ears.

Do you remember what O’Brien says to Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four? “First, we make you love Big Brother, then we kill you. Don’t you remember, Winston,” he says, “you’re just a cell in the body of the Party? Do you die if you cut your fingernail?” Do you remember that, and the great actors like Sir Richard Burton who played that part?

Now, Home’s idea is interesting in a way, because they believe in false consciousness. He’s basically saying race is the false consciousness of the masses, but if nothing is prior, then reality is in the consciousness of the masses. Therefore, if the masses think that race exists, it does exist, even in far Left terms, because only that which is thought moment by moment in the struggle exists! So, in a strange sort of way, he’s ended up with a Right-wing deviation within Marxist cultural logic. He’s actually got back to a position he says he refutes.

But it’s an interesting one, because if you notice, the dip in biological thinking in the middle of the 20th century as a reaction to the Second World War, is the high point for these type of new Left ideas. Now that biology has been re-emerging in the last 30 years. And it’s very interesting, for example, that the Anti-Defamation League in the United States opposed the creation of the Human Genome Project. And many gay libertarian groups opposed the Human Genome Project. They are radically opposed to the idea of the biological investigation of the building blocks of life, because it will lead to the possibility of acceptance by the masses of a prior essentialism.

There was an interesting incident last year when the Genome Project’s scientific review board wrote to the German Academy of Sciences and said that “In our opinion, life is 80% natural law and prior biological purpose.” Not 60%, not 70%, but 80%. Man is socialized by 20%, and I view the socialization as environment, and environment is ecology, and ecology is a species of biology. So, in a way, it’s all biological.

And the German Academy wrote back, “We cannot accept this thinking. We cannot accept this thinking, because we understand that your postulate is from good intentions, but it draws us perilously close to rejecting the methodology of the basic law upon which contemporary German governance, state, society, and academic learning is based.” So, the German government says that a particular scientific outcome is wrong, and as a citizen of the contemporary united German republic, founded under occupation by Adenauer in 1948, you have to repute it. We don’t care what science says! We repudiate science! This is a revolutionary development really, whereby the Left, the organ of progress, is rejecting science.

There’s a concept on the New Left of scientism. Scientism. Science is ugly, male, reactionary, authoritarian, phallocratic. All this sort of stuff. There’s a strong streak of feminism in all of these discourses. The Left has sort of given up on that. Many Leftists are now debating about how they deal with biology. Peter Singer, who wrote the book Animal Liberation, which founded that whole movement: “Liberate the animals, you filthy speciesists,” “Put down that ham sandwich,” that sort of thing. Singer, of course from a certain ethnicity, from Australia where he was in the Australian senate. He was a civil libertarian and radical green. He’s a utilitarian. He’s a very interesting thinker. Because he’s introducing a new hard liberalism.

Singer says maybe biological ordinance is true; maybe disability is inherited; maybe gender is inherited; maybe sexuality is due to brain function; maybe the Right is correct. But what you must do is pass every law and every methodology that lies behind the law, jurisprudence, to make sure that there is either equality of opportunity or equality of outcome or those who proselytize for inequality of outcome are not allowed to affect it by the nature of their discourse. So, what he’s saying is even if biology is unequal, you make the society so impervious to that logic, even though you’ve got a hierarchy, that it’s not aware of that.

That’s the most important and intelligent form of far Leftism. They can only sustain anti-science. They built their entire creed on science. They can’t repudiate it. That’s just a stunt for a couple of decades. They’re going to have to accept the Human Genome Project. They’re going to have to accept the biological and prior ordination of man.

Every time I go into an NHS clinic there’s a leaflet for transplants, and in the middle of that leaflet you’re asked about your race. It says, “Are you White Caucasian? Are you Asian? Are you Negroid or Diaspora African?” All these little boxes. And that’s because human internal tissues will not transplant or graft as well in relation to one race as another. Prior racial difference within the taxonomies of the human even at the physical level.

If a scientist at Oxford or Cambridge or the London School of Economics had said that openly in the 1960s or 1970s, there would have been rioting! There would be rioting in the canteen. There’d be rioting in the lecture hall. The special control group would have been on the campus. You would have been hounded out of that place of learning. It’s now in an NHS leaflet. Quietly, no fuss. It’s just intruded there as a fact. “Who can reject it? We’re helping people! We’re helping people!”

And talking about helping people, there are ultra-liberal groups in the United States who are campaigning against certain forms of medicine that affect individual ethnicities. There are certain diseases that Blacks and Africans suffer from, particularly sickle cell anemia, which is almost congruent to them, and certain drugs that have genetic potential and originate from some of the theory and experimentation of the Human Genome Project react primarily on their group. There are ultra-liberal groups who are campaigning to not allow the Food and Drug Agency to license these.

Why? Why? Because it undermines the idea that man is a white sheet of paper that you can do with what you want and there is no prior identity. They would rather blacks suffer than that these drugs were produced, because they admit the prior biological differentiation of the human. And when you begin there, when you begin with such a monstrous prior essentialism, the doors to you-know-what are swinging open. So, you must close down the thing before you even begin to agree with what you disagree with.

Thank you very much!


[1] Bowden misspoke here: Ferdinand de Saussure was the founder of Structuralism, not one of its later developers as he seems to imply here.—Ed.

[2] Heidegger’s Collected Edition (Gesamtausgabe) runs to nearly 100 volumes, most of which were published posthumously.—Ed.

[3] The Yale School of Deconstruction signifies an intellectual movement, not an academic department or college. De Man joined the faculty in French and Comparative Literature at Yale. At the time of his death in 1983, he was Sterling Professor of the Humanities and chairman of the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale.—Ed.

[4] Apparently, the woman was actually named Beryl Merfin of Herne Bay, Kent.—Ed.


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/08/stewart-home/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/b-stewart-home-jpg.jpg

[2] here: http://youtu.be/S8tjGJ4eUdA

[3] Marxism and the Frankfurt School and the New Left: http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/05/marxism-and-the-frankfurt-school/

[4] The Totalitarian Politics of Nineteen Eighty-Four: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/08/george-orwells-nineteen-eighty-four-2/

[5] Francis Pollini: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/08/francis-pollinis-night/

[6] YouTube: http://youtu.be/eNFVLU0pIWM

vendredi, 08 août 2014



July 27th is the birthday of Hilaire Belloc, one of the great radical traditionalists.

From the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century until the era of the Great Depression immediately preceding the commencement of the Second World War, the most enduring internal conflict within the nations of the West was rooted in what was then called the “social question.” The growth of industrialization and the dispossession of the agrarian peasant classes during the time of the enclosure movement had created within the industrializing nations a massive proletarian class of permanently pauperized laborers and the deplorable social conditions which accompanied the growth of this class.

Throughout the nineteenth century, numerous potential remedies to the condition of the working classes were proposed and the labor, socialist, communist, and anarchist movements developed into powerful political forces during this time. It was into this political and socioeconomic environment that Hilaire Belloc was born in 1870. Belloc was born in France to an English mother and French father and was raised in England. Throughout his eighty-two years of life, Belloc would exhibit many talents. He was an immensely prolific writer (it was once said that he “wrote a library” during his time), poet, and debater. He was an accomplished historian. Belloc was fond of racing yachts and wrote extensively on travel. He was also a politician at one point in his life and for a time held a seat in the English parliament. From his experience as a parliamentarian, Belloc came to regard the pretenses of the liberal democratic state as one rooted in the popular representation of the people as a sham. Parliamentary democracy, in Belloc’s view, was simply a mask for the rule of the plutocratic class. Perhaps above all, Belloc was a staunch defender of Catholic orthodoxy and produced many apologetic works on behalf of his own faith tradition and challenged the secularism of his intellectual contemporaries such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells. [1]

Though Belloc opposed the secular outlook of the Fabian intellectuals and the more radical Marxists, he shared their concern with solving the problems of labor and the social ills brought about by the industrial age. It was out of this concern that Belloc and his friend, fellow literary figure, and fellow Catholic apologist Gilbert Keith Chesterton formed a unique and always small but intellectually original movement known as “distributism.” The philosophical basis of distributism was outlined in two books, one by Chesterton and one by Belloc. Chesterton’s What’s Wrong with the World was published in 1910. Its thesis was that the paternalistic welfare state proposed by the progressive liberal and social democratic reformers of the era was not inconsistent with the continued rule of the plutocrats. Rather, a welfare state of the kind the Fabians suggested could be utilized by the ruling classes to pacify and further subordinate the working classes. Belloc continued with this theme in his 1912 book The Servile State. Belloc generally accepted the criticisms of capitalism offered by the socialists and Marxists, but argued that socialism would not have the effect of liberating the working classes. Instead, the welfare state would reduce the workers and the masses generally to the level of state dependents with the state continuing to be controlled by the capitalist plutocracy.

Medieval charity
As devout Catholic traditionalists, both Belloc and Chesterton naturally had the tendency to romanticize the social system of the medieval era, centered as it was in the Catholic Church. The guilds and agrarian peasant traditions of the Middle Ages became the model for Belloc’s and Chesterton’s and by extension the distributist movement’s theoretical foundations for social reform. The ambition of the distributists was not to nationalize the means of productions in the manner favored by the Marxists or to radically expand the level of state intervention into the economy and into society in the name of social welfare. Rather, the distributists preferred the opposite approach of redistributing the means of production into as many hands as possible, essentially making everyone into a capitalist. Distributist ideas continued to be outlined in Chesterton’s paper G. K.’s Weekly and the Distributist League was founded in 1926. Most of the core members of the league were either former socialists who had converted to Catholicism or devout Catholics who were simply concerned with the social question. The league was never a particularly large organization and never held more than two thousand actual members at any one time. Distributism was an intellectual movement rather than a political or activist one.

Distributism is a concept that is more interesting for its ideas than its influence. It was a tendency that offered an uncompromising critique of capitalism yet firmly rejected virtually all efforts or proposals to remedy the ills of capitalism through bureaucracy and statism. Not only the socialist parties but also the labor unions were criticized by the distributists on these grounds. Belloc, Chesterton, and the distributists shared the concern of classical liberals for the preservation of private property and the liberty of the individual against the state while simultaneously expressing concern for the conditions of labor and related social injustices. Capitalism in their view had the effect of a net reduction in liberty not only because the laboring masses were dependent on the capitalists for their subsistence, but also because capitalism was inherently unstable and therefore necessitated state intervention in order to address its social dislocations. Further, the capitalists and plutocrats themselves preferred state regulation of the kind granting monopoly privileges. Contrary to the supposed laissez faire ideal of capitalism, the actual practice of capitalism went hand in hand with the growth of statism.
The distributists’ criticisms of capitalism were not merely economic in nature. In their view, both capitalism and the proposed socialist alternatives were equally deficient in their neglect of the spiritual welfare of mankind and their limitation of social concerns to matters of material interests only. For the capitalists, greed and material acquisition had become the highest values. For the socialists, satisfying the material needs of the working classes was their only concern. Neither perspective satisfactorily addressed the dehumanizing nature of either proletarianism as it existed under capitalism or the proposed statist alternatives offered by the socialists. The distributists were concerned about the effect of capitalism on family, cultural, and communal life. By forcing the workmen to spend long hours laboring in factories, capitalism was essentially taking fathers and husbands away from their families and the distributists noted that the plutocratic classes would at times endorse women’s emancipation movements in order to make female labor more readily exploitable. The concerns of many traditionalists of the era regarding the impact of industrialization and commercial society on high culture were also shared by the distributists and the distributists likewise lamented the decline of small shops and independent craftsmen brought on by the rise of department stores and chain stores.

Emancipated women
Though they were critical of the dehumanizing effects of the machine age, the distributists were not advocates of a return to a pre-industrial state in the manner advocated by the Luddites. Rather, they thought that with a widespread distribution of ownership of productive property, the laboring classes would be able to achieve autonomy and independence through such arrangements as industrial guilds operated as cooperatives of small producers and the reestablishment and growth of small businesses and small farms. Indeed, the economic ideals of the distributists were very similar to those of the classical anarchists and both movements favored many similar economic arrangements such as worker cooperatives, mutual banks, and independent peasant communities. The American social reformer and devout Catholic Dorothy Day even attempted a synthesis of distributist and anarchist ideas with her Catholic Worker movement. Yet the Catholic traditionalists and romantic medievalists who comprised the distributist movement generally found themselves at odds with the anarchists and their anti-clericalism and Enlightenment rationalism. However, the differences were primarily philosophical, cultural, and religious rather than economic.[2]

Belloc advanced an interesting theory concerning the development of capitalism in England and by extension throughout the world during the Industrial Revolution. He argued that capitalism took the particular form that it assumed during its developmental era largely as a consequence of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII during the sixteenth century. The monasteries had previously been the basis of cultural, educational, and charitable life in England and their suppression had created a gap in the social fabric whose consequences were made manifest during the early industrial age. First, the disappearance of the monasteries had the effect of removing the social safety net and creating the conditions for state assumption of charitable responsibilities in the way first demonstrated by the Poor Laws and which later found their full fruition in the welfare state. Likewise, the decline in the power and influence of the Church that was the natural result of the closure of the monasteries undermined the ability of the Church to serve as a constraining force on the growing power of industrial capitalists. Lastly, the destruction of monastic life had the effect of creating a spiritual vacuum that would later be filled by the materialistic values of the growing commercial society. [3]

No longer challenging plutocracy.
George Orwell noted in 1946 that Belloc’s The Servile State had been quite prescient in its analysis of the likely consequences of state socialism when it was published thirty-four year earlier.[4] The legacy of state socialism has been the creation of the hard totalitarian regimes associated with Communism, Fascism, and Nazism, and the soft totalitarianism of the Western welfare states. Belloc has since been demonstrated to have been correct when he suggested that socialism would only have the effect of maintaining plutocratic rule while pacifying the population at large by making them into wards of the provider state. Though living standards have certainly risen in the West since Belloc’s time, all of the modern nations now face severe fiscal crises generated in large part by the prevalence of the provider state. The rise of the global economy has brought with it the advance of proletarianism in previously pre-industrial societies on the periphery and generated a process of re-proletarianization in the nations where industrialization is long established, particularly in the United States. The massive transnational capitalist enterprises and financial institutions are now eclipsing the power of even nation-states themselves. In some ways, it would seem that the problems that Belloc and his distributist colleagues sought to address are now as prevalent as ever.


[1] Jahn, Karl (2000). Distributism. Archived at http://karljahn.tripod.com/tan/distributism.htm. Acccessed on October 8, 2012
[2] Dorothy Day. Articles on Distributism-2. The Catholic Worker, July–August 1948, 1, 2, 6.

[3] Bradshaw, Brendan (1974). The Dissolution of the Religious Orders in Ireland under Henry VIII. London: Cambridge University Press.

[4] George Orwell. Second Thoughts on James Burnham in Polemic No 3 May 1946.

Originally published in Belloc: Thoughts & Perspectives, Volume Twelve (edited by Troy Southgate) published by Black Front Press.

Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston on Chesterton & Belloc

Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston on Chesterton & Belloc 1

Listen to the interview here.



Robert Stark interviews Keith Preston of Attack the System

Topics include:

Keith’s interest in alternative economics that opposes both capitalism and socialism such as distributism

Why third way economics theories have limited influence but a large potential audience



A Traditionalist critique of Capitalism

Chesterton and Belloc’s views on Nationalism, Eugenics, and Imperialism

How Marxist viewed Distributism as a Petit Bourgeois movement

The Distributist critique of the welfare state versus the modern conservative view towards poverty

Taxation policies such as a Negative Income Tax and Asset Tax

vendredi, 13 juin 2014

The Anti-Modernism of G. K. Chesterton

Neither Progressive nor Conservative: The Anti-Modernism of G. K. Chesterton

By Keith Preston

AlternativeRight.Com & http://attackthesystem.com

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) bears the distinction of being a writer who resisted virtually all of the dominant trends of his era. He lived during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, precisely the time that modernity was fully consolidating itself within Western civilization more than a century after the apex of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Chesterton began his writing career as a young man and as the twentieth century was just beginning. As much as any other writer from his era, he predicted the horrors that century would entail.
A man of many talents and interests, Chesterton was a playwright, novelist, lecturer, journalist, poet, critic of literature and art, philosopher, and theologian. His work in many of these areas stands out as being among the very best of the era and continues to offer immense insight even in the present day. Among Chesterton’s circle of friends and intellectual sparring partners were such luminaries as H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, and George Bernard Shaw. His relationships with these men are themselves highly significant as each of them were among the leading “progressive” intellectuals of the era and fully committed to the modernist values of rationalism, secularism, and socialism. As these were all systems of thought that Chesterton adamantly opposed, it is striking that he could also count some of these figures as friends and engage them in amiable debate. It was during an era when the old liberal values of rational discourse and gentlemanly civility still prevailed, even among those who in many ways held polar opposite world views. It was before the time of the radical political polarization of modern intellectual life that began with the growth of the totalitarian movements of the early to middle twentieth century. The friendly exchanges between Chesterton and Shaw, for instance, even on topics of intense disagreement in many ways serve as a refreshing contrast to the rhetorical brutality that dominates much of today’s public discourse.

The dramatic changes that had occurred in Western society over the course of the nineteenth century had dramatically impacted the thinking of its leading intellects. The growth of industrial civilization has raised the general standards of living to levels that were hitherto not even dreamed of, and the rising incomes of the traditionally exploited industrial working class were finally allowing even the proletariat to share in at least some middle class comforts. The rise of new political ideologies such as liberalism and democracy had imparted to ordinary people political and legal rights that were previously reserved only for the nobility. Health standards also increased significantly as industrial civilization expanded and life expectancy began to grow longer. Scientific discovery and technological innovation exploded during the same era and human beings began to marvel at what they had accomplished and might be able to accomplish in the future. Religion-driven superstitions had begun to wane and the religious persecutions of the past had dwindled to near non-existence. Societies became ever more complex and out of this complexity came the need for an ever expanding class of specialists and more scientific approaches to social management. While only a hundred years had passed between the world as it was in 1800 and the world of 1900, the changes that had occurred in the previous century were so profound that the time difference might as well have been thousands of years.

The profundity of this civilization-wide change inspired the leading thinkers of the era to tremendous confidence and optimism regarding the future and human capabilities. If one surveys the literature of utopian writers of the era one immediately observes that many of these authors expressed a confidence in the future that now seems as quaint as it is absurd. The horrors of the twentieth century, with its genocides, total wars, atomic weaponry, and unprecedented levels of tyranny would subsequently shatter the naïve idealism of many who had previously viewed the advent of that century with great hopes that often approached the fantastic. The early twentieth century was a time of joyous naivete. Bertrand Russell would later insist that no one who was born after the beginning of the Great War which broke out in 1914 would ever know what it was like to be truly happy.

“Pick a star, any star” – the retro-futuristic optimism of the past

But G. K. Chesterton, while far from being a cynical or overly pessimistic figure, was not one who shared in this optimism. Indeed, he was one who understood the potential horrors that could be unleashed by the new society and new modes of thought as clearly as any other. To Chesterton, the progressives of his time were over confident to the point of arrogance and failed to recognize the dangers that might befall mankind as humanity boldly forged its way into the future. Perhaps one of Chesterton’s most prescient works of social criticism is Eugenics and Other Evils, published in 1917. [1] At the time the eugenics movement that was largely traceable to the thought of Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, had become a popular one in the world’s most advanced nations such as England, America, and Germany. It was a movement that in its day was regarded as progressive, enlightened and as applying scientific principles to the betterment of human society and even the human species itself. Its supporters included many leading thinkers and public figures of the era including Winston Churchill, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, John Maynard Keynes, Anthony Ludovici, Madison Grant, and Chesterton’s friends Wells and Shaw. Yet Chesterton was one of the earliest critics of the eugenics movement and regarded it as representing dangerous presumptions on the part of its proponents that would likely lead to horrific abuses of liberty and violations of the individual person which it eventually did.

One of Chesterton’s most persistent targets was the growing secularism of his era, a trend which continues to the present time. That Chesterton was a man of profound faith even as religion was being dwarfed by science among thinking and educated people during his time solidifies Chesterton’s role as a true intellectual maverick. It is this aspect of Chesterton’s thought that as much as anything else continues to win him the admiration of those who remain believers even during the twenty-first century. Chesterton was always a man of spiritual interests and even as a young man toyed with occultism and ouija boards. The development of his spiritual thinking later led him to regard himself and an “orthodox” Christian and Chesterton formally converted to Catholicism in 1922 at the age of forty-six. His admirer C. S. Lewis considered Chesterton’s writings on Christian subjects to be among the very best works in Christian apologetics.

In the intellectual climate of the early twenty-first century, religious thinking has fallen into even greater disrepute than it possessed in the early twentieth century. In relatively recent times, popular culture has produced a number of writers whose open contempt for religious believers has earned them a great deal of prominence. While intelligent believers who can offer thoughtful defenses of their views certainly still exist, it is also that case that religious belief or practice is at its lowest point yet in terms of popular enthusiasm in the Western world. Less than five percent of the British population attends religious services regularly and even in the United States, with its comparatively large population of religious fundamentalists, secularism has become the fastest growing religious perspective. Chesterton would no doubt be regarded as a rather anachronistic figure in such a cultural climate.

Abandoned church

The contemporary liberal and left-wing stereotype of a religious believer is that of an ignorant or narrow-minded bigot who is incapable of flexibility in his thinking and reacts with intolerance to those holding different points of view. Certainly, there are plenty of religious people who fit such stereotypes just as overly rigid and dogmatic persons can be found among adherents of any system of thought. Yet, a survey of both Chesterton’s writings on religion and his correspondence with friends of a secular persuasion indicates that Chesterton was the polar opposite of a bigoted, intolerant, religious fanatic. In his Christian apologetic work Orthodoxy, Chesterton wrote,

“To hope for all souls is imperative, and it is quite tenable that their salvation is inevitable…In Christian morals, in short, it is wicked to call a man ‘damned’: but it is strictly religious and philosophic to call him damnable.” 

Of his friend Shaw, he said, “In a sweeter and more solid civilization he would have been a great saint.”

In his latter years when he knew he was dying, H. G. Wells wrote to Chesterton, “If after all my Atheology turns out wrong and your Theology right I feel I shall always be able to pass into Heaven (if I want to) as a friend of G.K.C.’s. Bless you.” Chesterton wrote in response:

“If I turn out to be right, you will triumph, not by being a friend of mine, but by being a friend of Man, by having done a thousand things for men like me in every way from imagination to criticism. The thought of the vast variety of that work, and how it ranges from towering visions to tiny pricks of humor, overwhelmed me suddenly in retrospect; and I felt we have none of us ever said enough…Yours always, G. K. Chesterton.” [2]

It was also during Chesterton’s era that the classical socialist movement was initially starting to become powerful through the trade unions and labor parties and virtually all leading intellectuals of the era professed fidelity to the ideals of socialism. Yet just as Chesterton was a prescient critic of eugenics, he likewise offered an equally prescient critique of the totalitarian implications of state socialism. Because of this, he was often labeled a reactionary or conservative apologist for the plutocratic overlords of industrial capitalism by the Marxists of his era. But Chesterton was no friend of those who would exploit the poor and workings classes and was in fact a staunch critic of the industrial system as it was in the England of his era. “Who except a devil from Hell ever defended it?” he was alleged to have said when asked about capitalism as it was practiced in his day. [3]

Indeed, Chesterton’s criticisms of both industrial capitalism and state socialism led to the development of one of the most well-known and interesting aspects of his thought, the unique economic philosophy of distributism. Along with his dear friend and fellow Catholic traditionalist Hilaire Belloc (Shaw coined the term “Chesterbelloc” to describe the pair as inseparable as they were), Chesterton suggested the creation of an economic system where productive property would be spread to as many owners of capital as possible thereby producing many “small capitalists” rather than having capital concentrated into the hands of a few plutocrats, trusts, or the state itself.

The prevailing trends of the twentieth century were towards ever greater concentrations of power in large scale, pyramid-like institutions and ever expanding bureaucratic profligacy. Chesterton’s and Belloc’s economic ideas were frequently dismissed as quaint and archaic. However, technological developments in the cyber age have once again opened the door for exciting new possibilities concerning the prospects for the decentralization of economic life. Far from being anachronistic reactionaries, perhaps Chesterton and his friend Belloc were instead futuristic visionaries far ahead of their time.

It is clear enough that Chesterton was in many ways a model for what a public intellectual should be. He was a fiercely and genuinely independent thinker and one who stuck to his convictions with courage. Chesterton never hesitated to buck the prevailing trends of his day and was not concerned about earning the opprobrium of the chattering classes by doing so. He was above all a man of character, committed to intellectual integrity, sincere in his convictions, tolerant in his religious faith, and charitable in his relations with others. In his intellectual life, he wisely and quixotically criticized the worst excesses of the intellectual culture of his time. The twentieth century might have been a happier time if the counsel of G. K. Chesterton had been heeded.


[1] Chesterton, Gilbert Keith. Eugenics and Other Evils. Reprinted by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (November 20, 2012). Originally published in 1917.

[2] Babinski, Edward T. Chesterton and Univeralism. Archived at http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/chesterton.htm. Accessed on March 12, 2013.

[3] Friedman, David D. G. K. Chesterton-An Author Review, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to Radical Capitalism. Second Edition. Archived at http://daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf. Accessed on March 12, 2013.

Originally published in Chesterton: Thoughts & Perspectives, Volume Thirteen (edited by Troy Southgate) published by Black Front Press.

vendredi, 16 mai 2014

Waren de Beatles Ierse nationalisten?


Waren de Beatles Ierse nationalisten?
Francis Van den Eynde
Ex: Deltapers - Nieuwsbrief - Nr. 83 - Mei 2014
Je hoeft geen fan van de popmuziek te zijn en ook niet zelf de beruchte ‘sixties’ meegemaakt te hebben om te weten dat de wispelturige en incidentrijke muziekgeschiedenis van de Beatles grosso modo in drie periodes kan worden opgedeeld.

Tijdens de eerste, die ongeveer duurde van 1960 tot 1965, werden ze formidabel populair op wereldniveau met het coveren van bekende Amerikaanse rock and roll en al even Amerikaanse rhythm and blues nummers: I Got a Woman van Ray Charles, That’s all Right Mama van Elvis Presley, Roll over Beethoven van Chuck Berry, enz. De eigen muziek die ze tijdens die jaren uitbrengen, is hierop volledig geïnspireerd: I Want to hold your Hand, I Saw Her Standing There … Vanaf 1965 wagen ze zich verder en beginnen ze te experimenteren. Eerst vrij schuchter, voor het nummer Norvegian Wood schakelen ze bijvoorbeeld een sitar in en het overbekende Yesterday laten ze door een strijkorkest begeleiden. Van af dan zullen ze op veel radicalere wijze het ingeslagen pad blijven volgen. In die mate dat wanneer ze in 1967 de LP Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band op de markt brengen, deze door de recensent van de oerdeftige Britse Times een mijlpaal in de popgeschiedenis wordt genoemd. Het zijn de jaren van Let it Be, Hey Jude, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields for Ever, Eleanor Rugby (deze opsomming is niet chronologisch) en zo vele andere. Ze hebben op dat ogenblik met hun meer gesofisticeerde muziek definitief de Merseybeat (genoemd naar de rivier Mersey, die door hun geboortestad Liverpool stroomt) ver achter zich gelaten. Ook de teksten die ze zingen hebben een hele verandering ondergaan. Misschien spreken ze u niet aan, geachte lezer, maar u zult moeten toegeven dat de inhoud van pakweg Let it Be of Eleanor Rugby heel wat meer diepte heeft dan die van She Loves You of die van A Hard Day’s Night. Ze durven zich zelf aan politiek wagen. Ze hebben uiteraard een links pacifistische reputatie, maar dit weerhoudt er hen niet van, in het nummer Revolution de draak met Mei 68 te steken. Oordeel zelf:
You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead
Liever de IRA dan het Brits leger
De derde fase van de muzikale evolutie van leden van deze popgroep wiens populariteit tot hiertoe door niemand werd geëvenaard, kan best het Post Beatle tijdperk worden genoemd. Ten gevolge van allerlei interne strubbelingen valt de ploeg in 1970 uiteen. Alhoewel ze af en toe nog eens  met een paar andere leden van de groep musiceren,  beginnen John Lennon en Paul McCartney met succes een eigen carrière uit te bouwen. Lennon gaat solo, denk aan het lied Imagine. Je kan het met de teneur van de tekst totaal oneens zijn maar niemand kan tegenspreken dat het een prachtig stuk is. McCartney van zijn kant sticht een nieuwe groep, The Wings, en brengt onder meer het prachtige en onvergetelijke Mull of Kintyre uit.

Ondertussen staat Noord-Ierland in rep en roer. De bewoners uit de zogenaamde katholieke wijken van dat stukje Ierland waren in 1969 een vreedzame campagne voor gelijke burgerrechten begonnen (het censitair kiesrecht was er nog altijd van toepassing). De campagne werd door de Britsgezinde protestanten met veel geweld beantwoord. In die mate zelfs dat de IRA er zich toe verplicht zag haar wapens boven te halen om een aantal wijken tegen ware pogroms te beschermen. De Britse troepen die de politie te hulp kwamen, gingen zich algauw als een brutaal bezettingsleger gedragen. De situatie werd met de dag erger. Op 13 augustus 1971 gingen de Engelsen over tot de arrestatie van honderden Ieren die allemaal zonder vorm van proces voor onbepaalde tijd in het pas gebouwde concentratiekamp van Long Kesh werden opgesloten. Het trieste hoogtepunt werd bereikt op 30 januari 1972 (Bloody Sunday) toen Britse soldaten In Derry (op dat moment nog Londonderry) 13 burgers die aan een vreedzame manifestatie deelnamen, doodschoten. Dit alles liet John noch Paul onberoerd. Ze kwamen immers uit Liverpool, een stad die ten gevolge van de massale immigratie in de negentiende eeuw qua bevolking eerder Iers dan Brits is. Beiden zijn ze trouwens van Ierse afkomst: Lennon is de verengelste vorm van de Ierse familienaam O Lionnain die veel voorkomt in het Noord-Ierse graafschap Fermanagh en de ongehuwde moeder van Paul droeg de typisch Ierse naam Mary Mohin McCartney. Beiden zullen dan ook fel reageren. McCartney schrijft het lied Give Ireland Back to the Irish, dat hij met de Wings op plaat uitbrengt. Het refrein luidt:
Give Ireland Back To the Irish
Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away
Give Ireland Back To the Irish
Make Ireland Irish Today
Lennon reageert nog feller met twee liederen die volledig in de Ierse rebelsongtraditie thuis horen, The Luck of the Irish en Sunday Bloody Sunday, dezelfde titel als het gekende nummer van Bono en U2, maar veel harder qua tekst. We kunnen er dan ook niet aan weerstaan, het u in extenso te laten lezen:
Sunday Bloody Sunday (Lennon-Ono)

Well it was Sunday bloody Sunday
When they shot the people there
The cries of thirteen martyrs
Filled the Free Derry air

Is there any one amongst you
Dare to blame it on the kids?
Not a soldier boy was bleeding
When they nailed the coffin lids!

Sunday bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday's the day!

You claim to be majority
Well you know that it's a lie
You're really a minority
On this sweet emerald isle
When Stormont bans our marches

They've got a lot to learn
Internment is no answer
It's those mothers' turn to burn!

Sunday bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday's the day!
Sunday bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday's the day!

You anglo pigs and Scotties
Sent to colonize the North
You wave your bloody Union Jack
And you know what it's worth!
How dare you hold to ransom
A people proud and free
Keep Ireland for the Irish
Put the English back to sea!

Sunday bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday's the day!

Well, it's always bloody Sunday
In the concentration camps
Keep Falls Road free forever
From the bloody English hands

Repatriate to Britain
All of you who call it home
Leave Ireland to the Irish
Not for London or for Rome!

Sunday bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday's the day!

(bekijk en beluister op youtube)
Een toemaatje: zowel Lennon als McCartney werden meer dan eens in pro Ierse demonstaties opgemerkt en Lennon die ooit verklaarde dat hij de IRA boven het Britse leger verkoos, werd er door de FBI van verdacht het Iers geheim leger te financieren. Meent u ook niet dat de vraag die als titel voor dit stuk wordt gebruikt, positief mag worden beantwoord?
Francis Van den Eynde

mercredi, 30 avril 2014

Inglaterra apoya a Azerbaiyán contra Armenia

Inglaterra apoya a Azerbaiyán contra Armenia




Ex: http://www.elespiadigital.com

El embajador británico solicitó a Armenia que "devuelva" a Azerbaiyán los territorios circundantes a Nagorno-Karabaj "tomados" durante la guerra.

El Reino Unido apoya firmemente los principios del arreglo pacífico del conflicto de Nagorno-Karabaj a través de la mediación del Grupo de Minsk de la OSCE . Así lo manifestó el embajador británico en Azerbaiyán Irfan Siddig en una entrevista con 1news.az.

"Los territorio de Azerbaiyán de Nagorno-Karabaj y la tierra circundante son reconocidos internacionalmente. Pero está claro que la situación de Nagorno-Karabaj la disputan Armenia y la población armenia de Nagorno-Karabaj. Así, en la práctica, esto significa que un acuerdo sobre el futuro estatus de Nagorno-Karabaj debe lograrse sobre la base de los principios de Helsinki -no uso de la fuerza, el respeto a la integridad territorial y la igualdad de los pueblos y su derecho a la libre determinación. Este es el elemento más difícil del conflicto, que debe ser acordado entre todas las partes", dijo el Embajador.

"Sin embargo, el estatuto de los territorios que rodean Nagorno-Karabaj, que las fuerzas armenias continúan manteniendo bajo ocupación como consecuencia del conflicto militar, no puede ser negado. Es Territorio de Azerbaiyán, y en cualquier solución pacífica las fuerzas armenias deben retirarse de estas tierras, ya que la continua ocupación de estos territorios es uno de los obstáculos para la paz, y el Reino Unido apoyó la pronta devolución de esas tierras a Azerbaiyán en el marco de un acuerdo de paz global", concluyó Siddig.

vendredi, 07 mars 2014

Les plus anciennes empreintes d’Europe


Les plus anciennes empreintes d’Europe
Il y a 800.000 ans

Joël Ignasse*
Ex: http://metamag.fr
Ce sont les premières traces de pas humains observées en dehors de l'Afrique. Elles ont été découvertes sur la côte anglaise. Jusqu'à cinq personnes, peut-être de la même famille, ont laissé, il y a plus de 800.000 ans, une série d’empreintes de pas sur la rive d'un ancien estuaire, à Happisburgh, dans le nord de l’Angleterre. Ces traces ont été mises à nu par l'érosion dans une couche de sédiments. Et leur découverte est le fruit d'un fabuleux hasard.

"Leur emplacement a été révélé juste au moment où les chercheurs étaient là pour le voir, lors d'un relevé topographique. Deux semaines plus tard la marée aurait érodé les empreintes" souligne le Dr Simon Lewis, un des découvreurs.

Des traces extrêmement rares

Les découvertes de ce type sont exceptionnelles. Et il faut des conditions bien particulières pour que des empreintes soient saisies lors de leur impression et conservées au fil du temps pour être découvertes des milliers d’années plus tard.

Seules trois lignes d’empreintes sont plus anciennes que celles de Happisburgh : celles de Laetoli en Tanzanie datées de 3,6 millions d’années environ et celles d’Ileret et de Koobi au Kenya (1,5 millions d’années).

Les traces de pas d’Happisburgh ont pu être identifiées grâce à des photographies 3D de la surface. Elles ont révélé des formes d’orteils, de voutes plantaires et de talons appartenant à des adultes mais aussi probablement à des enfants. Leur taille (estimée grâce à la dimension des empreintes) variant entre 93 cm et 1m73. À quel groupe humain appartiennent-ils ? Les scientifiques n’ont pas la réponse.

Le site d’Happisburgh marque le premier établissement humain connu en Europe du Nord. Il y a peu encore, les historiens du peuplement estimaient qu’à cette époque, le Pléistocène inférieur, l’extension humaine ne dépassait pas une zone limitée par le sud des Pyrénées et des Alpes. C’est la découverte à Happisburgh de plus de 70 outils en silex qui a remis en cause cette théorie. Selon les auteurs, qui publient leur découverte dans PLOS ONE, ces empreintes appartiennent à des Homo antecessor.


mercredi, 05 mars 2014

Document Britse versie NSA: Overheid infiltreert inderdaad blogs en websites

Document Britse versie NSA: Overheid infiltreert inderdaad blogs en websites

Letterlijke instructies hoe mensen moeten geworden gemanipuleerd om hun 'leiders' te 'vertrouwen' en te 'gehoorzamen', zodat ze 'volgzame' burgers blijven


Complex schema uit het document, waarin instructies worden gegeven hoe mensen online moeten worden gemanipuleerd, zodat ze een politiek correcte mening krijgen.

Door velen wordt het nog altijd afgedaan als een complottheorie, maar uit een voorheen vertrouwelijk document van de GCHQ, de Britse versie van de NSA, blijkt dat de overheid wel degelijk met zijn eigen 'trollen' websites, blogs en sociale netwerken infiltreert om de commentaren en discussies te manipuleren, verwarring te zaaien, en commentatoren en sites met een niet gewenste mening zwart en belachelijk te maken. In eigen land merken we dat bijvoorbeeld aangaande artikelen en sites die tegen de EU en de euro zijn, en de CO2/Global-Warming agenda ontmaskeren.

Overheidstrollen bestaan

Dankzij Edward Snowden en Glenn Greenwald hebben we nu zwart op wit, compleet met kleurige grafieken, dat de overheid de publieke opinie probeert te manipuleren en controleren door online discussies te infiltreren, en waar mogelijk sites en schrijvers die er een niet gewenste, politiek incorrecte mening op nahouden met nepcommentaren in diskrediet te brengen, en zo mogelijk kapot te maken. 'Hiermee bedreigen ze de integriteit van het hele internet,' aldus Greenwald.

De inmiddels niet langer geheime eenheid die dit uitvoert heet JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). De namen in de EU en Nederland zullen anders zijn, maar vrijwel exact dezelfde taken uitvoeren. Zodra een artikel of een discussie op een website, blog of Facebook pagina de 'verkeerde kant' op gaat en het overheidsbeleid ten aanzien van bijvoorbeeld de EU, de redding van de euro, de klimaatagenda, de immigratie en dergelijke bekritiseert, proberen de overheidstrollen de lezers te doen twijfelen aan de gepresenteerde informatie, en daarmee aan de website of blog(schrijver) zelf.

'False flag operaties'

Uit het document blijkt dat ze daar extreme tactieken voor gebruiken die letterlijk 'false flag' operaties worden genoemd. Dat houdt onder andere in dat er artikelen en informatie op het internet worden gezet die aan anderen worden toegeschreven. Ook worden er valse berichten verspreid en 'slachtofferblogs' opgezet van mensen die beweren het slachtoffer te zijn van de schrijver of website die de overheid kapot wil maken. Daarnaast wordt er op diverse forums allerlei negatieve informatie over het doelwit geplaatst.

Soms wordt er rechtstreeks in sites en blogs 'ingebroken', worden foto's veranderd, en worden er valse emails en berichtjes aan collega's, buren, vrienden en familie van het doelwit gestuurd. In andere gevallen wordt er via blogs vertrouwelijke informatie aan de pers of bedrijven gelekt en wordt er belastende informatie op forums gezet, zodat bepaalde ongewenste 'zakenrelaties' worden gestopt of geruïneerd.

Cyber offensief

Deze verdeel-en-vernietig strategie gebruiken de overheidstrollen ook tegen andere landen en hun regeringsleiders, militaire instellingen en inlichtingendiensten. Tevens worden mensen die worden verdacht van gewone misdaden -maar niet zijn veroordeeld- op de korrel genomen. Er wordt gesproken van een waar 'Cyber Offensief', ook tegen mensen die helemaal niets te maken hebben met terrorisme of bedreigingen van de nationale veiligheid.

Grootste angsten bevestigd

Complotfanaten zien in het document hun grootste angsten bevestigd. 'Deze toezichtorganisaties hebben zichzelf de macht gegeven om doelbewust reputaties te vernietigen en de (politieke) online activiteiten van mensen te verstoren, zelfs als ze van geen enkel misdrijf worden beschuldigd,' vervolgt Greenwald.

Hij wijst daarbij op Obama's informatie'tsaar' Cass Sunstein, die al in 2008 voorstelde dat de Amerikaanse regering een team van cyberagenten zou inzetten om online groepen, blogs, websites, sociale netwerken en zelfs chatrooms te infiltreren, zodat de in zijn ogen valse 'complotten' over de regering en het overheidsbeleid zouden worden bestreden. Ironisch genoeg werd Sunstein onlangs door Obama benoemd tot een commissie die toezicht moet gaan houden op de activiteiten van... de NSA.

Mensen gemanipuleerd om hun leiders te 'gehoorzamen'

Nog verontrustender is wat onder het kopje 'Verborgen Online Acties' wordt geschreven. Behalve een groot aantal tactieken om informatie te beïnvloeden en verstoren, worden letterlijke instructies gegeven hoe mensen moeten worden gemanipuleerd om hun 'leiders' te 'vertrouwen' en te 'gehoorzamen', zodat ze 'gewillig' met de politiek correcte mening mee gaan. Er wordt uitvoerig beschreven hoe mensen online met elkaar omgaan, en hoe de overheidstrollen hen kunnen bespelen, zodat hun opvattingen en gedrag worden veranderd.

Complottheorie blijkt realiteit

'Beweringen dat de overheid deze tactieken gebruikt worden vaak afgedaan als complottheorieën, maar deze documenten laten er geen twijfel over bestaan dat de overheid precies dit doet... Wat rechtvaardigt de inzet van overheidsorganisaties om de reputaties van mensen die van geen enkel misdrijf worden beschuldigd te vernietigen, om onlinegroepen te infiltreren, en om technieken te ontwikkelen waarmee online discussies worden gemanipuleerd?'

Wie vertrouwt zo'n regering nog?

De GCHQ documenten bewijzen volgens Greenwald dat 'een grote Westerse regering gebruik maakt van de meest controversiële technieken om online misleiding te verspreiden, en de reputaties van doelwitten te beschadigen. Een van de tactieken die ze gebruiken is het verspreiden van leugens over deze doelwitten, inclusief wat door de GCHQ zelf 'false flag operaties' worden genoemd... Wie zou een regering die deze macht gebruikt, en dan nog wel in het geheim, met vrijwel geen enkele toezicht en buiten ieder legaal raamwerk, nog vertrouwen?'

U bent niet paranoïde

Dus als u de volgende keer op een forum, NUjij, een website of een blog als deze weer eens iemand tegenkomt die een beetje teveel klinkt als een door de overheid betaalde trol -of dat nu over informatie over de EU, de CO2/Global-Warminghoax, of juist een onderwerp als dit artikel gaat-, dan weet u nu zeker dat u niet paranoïde bent. (1)


(1) Zero Hedge

mardi, 11 février 2014

The Americanization of the World



The Americanization of the World

The Americanization of the World, by William Thomas Stead.

With this post, I will begin a review of the above titled book, written in 1902.  In order to provide context as to my purpose for and approach in this review, I will begin by re-introducing and expanding upon my working hypothesis under which I have been considering various events over the last century and more.

1) There is a group of elite that operate above politicians and national governments, working through think-tanks and other global foundations and institutions.

2) The elite are not all of one mind, although in many ways their interests are aligned and the tools through which they leverage control are equally beneficial to all.

3) Until the turn of the 20th century, much of this control was exercised through the British government and other British-based institutions.

4) Beginning as early as the late 19th century (and perhaps the mid-nineteenth century), two things were becoming clear to this group:

a.The ability of Great Britain to be an effective tool for global reach would soon reach its limits.

b.The potential reach through the United States was untapped and, relatively speaking, unlimited.

5) The commonality in philosophical heritage and language of the people in Great Britain and the United States made the US population susceptible to similar tools of control – tools already established and proven effective.

6) Actions were taken beginning in the late 19th century to effect the transition of this tool for global control from Great Britain to the United States.

7) These actions, through two World Wars, culminated in the United States moving to the position as the primary tool for control by the elite.

8) Winston Churchill – worshiped despite being the leading political figure during the entire span of the demise of the British Empire – played the key role in supporting this transition: both the decline of Great Britain and the ascendency of the United States as leader of this broader, English-speaking, elite controlled empire.

9) As opposed to looking elsewhere for world government, the United States has been the tool to implement world government – taking a leadership position in establishing the UN, IMF, World Bank, NATO, etc.

10) The good news?  Decentralization will win out: witness the break-up of the artificial conglomerations of the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.  Witness similar events unfolding in Iraq, the inability to consolidate in Afghanistan.  Witness tiny Belgium, divided in two – yet somehow the entirety of Europe is going to meld into one?  Much more capable thinkers than I am write of the coming of the end of the nation-state (see especially the sections on Barzun and van Creveld).

Some of the visible actions taken to move the US into this leadership position include:

1) The creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913

2) The engagement of the US into the Great War, despite overwhelming public opinion against getting involved in this European conflict

3) The engagement of the US into the Second World War, again despite overwhelming public opinion against getting involved in this conflict.

4) Various purposeful actions taken by the British government to a) overcome the historical animosities between the two countries, and b) move the US toward the position of global primacy.

If you find this too tin-foil-hat for you, there is little reason to continue reading this post (if you haven’t stopped already).

While reading 1939 – The War That Had Many Fathers, I came across another event that seems to have helped move the US into a position to take the hand-off from Great Britain: the assassination of President McKinley in 1901.  As I explain here, this event helped to move the US from a negative or neutral posture toward Great Britain (and even somewhat favorable to Germany) toward a much more positive relationship with Great Britain through the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

This transition was but one step in what is known as the Great Rapprochement, the turning of US policy toward Great Britain in the period 1895 – 1915.

Also while reading the above-mentioned book I came across the name William Thomas Stead, and his book “The Americanization of the World.”  Given the title and description of the book, and that this book was initially published in 1902 (precisely at the beginning of this changing relationship), it seemed to me a worthwhile read given the hypothesis I identify above.

With that lengthy preamble out of the way, I offer an even lengthier introduction of Mr. Stead….

Who was Stead?  “William Thomas Stead (5 July 1849 – 15 April 1912) was an English newspaper editor….”

If his date of death seems familiar, it is because Stead died aboard the Titanic. Before this, he was a tremendously influential newspaper editor and author:

In 1880, Stead went to London to be assistant editor of the Liberal Pall Mall Gazette (a forerunner of the London Evening Standard), where he set about revolutionizing a traditionally conservative newspaper “written by gentlemen for gentlemen”.

Stead early on learned the power that the press could project over government action:

Stead’s first sensational campaign was based on a Nonconformist pamphlet, The Bitter Cry of Outcast London. His lurid stories of squalid life in the slums had a wholly beneficial effect on the capital. A Royal Commission recommended that the government should clear the slums and encourage low-cost housing in their place. It was Stead’s first success.

Despite being able to successfully move government to action, not every endeavor ended well; still, his reach and magnitude knew few limits:

In 1884, Stead pressured the government to send his friend General Gordon into Sudan to protect British interests in Khartoum. The eccentric Gordon disobeyed orders, and the siege of Khartoum, Gordon’s death, and the failure of the hugely expensive Gordon Relief Expedition was one of the great imperial disasters of the period.



Gordon was sent to evacuate British citizens from a troubled region and to otherwise abandon Sudan.  Once Gordon arrived, he apparently pursued a different course: he decided it was best to crush the Muslim uprising for fear that it would eventually spread to Egypt as well.  Gordon, with 6,000 men, began a defense of Khartoum.

On March 18, 1884, the Mahdist army laid siege to the city. The rebels stopped river traffic and cut the telegraph line to Cairo. Khartoum was cut off from resupply, which led to food shortages, but could still communicate with the outside world by using messengers. Under pressure from the public, in August 1884, the British government decided to reverse its policy and send a relief force to Khartoum.

“Under pressure from the public” a relief expedition force was sent, but failed to arrive in time to save Gordon and his men:

On January 26, 1885, Khartoum fell to the Mahdist army of 50,000 men. At that time of year the Nile was shallow enough to cross by wading and the Mahdists were able to breach the city’s defenses by attacking the poorly-defended approaches from the river. The entire garrison was slaughtered, including General Gordon. His head was cut off and delivered to the Mahdi. Two days later the relief expedition entered the city to find that they were too late.

Lord Kitchener later reconquered Sudan.

Forgive my diversion into this tale of late nineteenth century British imperialism; however it serves to demonstrate the power and influence that Stead possessed.  As cited above, “In 1884, Stead pressured the government to send his friend General Gordon into Sudan….”  It seems reasonable that he also was the one to apply pressure to send aid to “his friend” Gordon.

More on Stead and his influence:

1885 saw him force the British government to supply an additional £5.5million to bolster weakening naval defenses, after which he published a series of articles.  Stead was no hawk however; instead he believed Britain’s strong navy was necessary to maintain world peace.

Stead saw peace through war.  He saw the British Navy as a global force for good.  Consider how the tools used by the elite have not had to change a bit over the 125 years since Stead’s time, as the same tools used by Stead to help usurp wealth from the British middle class remain completely effective in the propaganda campaigns designed to usurp wealth from the middle class of the US today.

…he is also credited as originating the modern journalistic technique of creating a news event rather than just reporting it, as his most famous “investigation”, the Eliza Armstrong case, was to demonstrate.

Stead had other passions, showing an ability to understand future global consolidation well before any generally visible steps:

Stead was a pacifist and a campaigner for peace, who favored a “United States of Europe” and a “High Court of Justice among the nations”….

Stead held court in high places:

[Stead] was an early imperialist dreamer, whose influence on Cecil Rhodes in South Africa remained of primary importance; and many politicians and statesmen, who on most subjects were completely at variance with his ideas, nevertheless owed something to them. Rhodes made him his confidant….

Rhodes, of course, cornered the South African diamond market with the help of rather influential friends – call them the elite of the elite.  Rhodes was also quite influential regarding British Imperial policy:

Historian Richard A. McFarlane has called Rhodes “as integral a participant in southern African and British imperial history as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are in their respective eras in United States history…

And Rhodes was influenced by Stead.

Stead found his influence ever-growing:

The number of his publications gradually became very large, as he wrote with facility and sensational fervor on all sorts of subjects, from The Truth about Russia (1888) to If Christ Came to Chicago! (Laird & Lee, 1894), and from Mrs Booth (1900) to The Americanisation of the World (1902).

And finally, to show the well-rounded character of the man:

Stead claimed to be in receipt of messages from the spirit world, and, in 1892, to be able to produce automatic writing.  His spirit contact was alleged to be the departed Julia Ames, an American temperance reformer and journalist whom he met in 1890 shortly before her death.  In 1909 he established Julia’s Bureau where inquirers could obtain information about the spirit world from a group of resident mediums.

As mentioned, Stead died on the Titanic.  His reputation survived:

Following his death, Stead was widely hailed as the greatest newspaperman of his age…. Like many journalists, he was a curious mixture of conviction, opportunism and sheer humbug. According to his biographer W. Sydney Robinson, “He twisted facts, invented stories, lied, betrayed confidences, but always with a genuine desire to reform the world – and himself.”

Why all of this background on Stead?  Well, it seems he was a rather influential fellow within the British elite at precisely the time when the United States began its turn toward Great Britain: an empire which (to say nothing of the spat in 1776) less than a century before burned the White House and much of the capitol, and only a few decades before, while officially neutral, aided the South in their war for independence – guilty enough to ultimately pay restitution of $15.5 million for building war ships for the Confederacy.

Great Britain was officially neutral throughout the American Civil War, 1861–65. Elite opinion tended to favor the Confederacy, while public opinion tended to favor the United States.

I will suggest it is elite opinion that counts when it comes to matters of politics, for example:

Diplomatic observers were suspicious of British motives. The Russian Minister in Washington Eduard de Stoeckl noted, “The Cabinet of London is watching attentively the internal dissensions of the Union and awaits the result with an impatience which it has difficulty in disguising.” De Stoeckl advised his government that Britain would recognize the Confederate States at its earliest opportunity. Cassius Clay, the United States Minister in Russia, stated, “I saw at a glance where the feeling of England was. They hoped for our ruin! They are jealous of our power. They care neither for the South nor the North. They hate both.”

Yet as early as 1895 – only 30 years after the end of the war – the US and Britain began their courtship.  And in the background was William Thomas Stead.

Finally, on to his book and the first chapter:

As it was through the Christian Church that the monotheism of the Jew conquered the world, so it may be through the Americans that the English ideals expressed in the English language may make a tour of the planet. (Page 3)

Setting aside the exaggeration of the claim, given the religion of statolatry (to borrow a phrase from Charles Burris), the comparison seems quite appropriate.

Stead saw the inevitability of the United States taking the preeminent position among the English-speaking nations.  He looked at population growth over the preceding 100 years (including empire), but also at differentiating the white population from the non-white (a recurring theme in his writing); he felt strongly that it was the white population that was of importance.

We are comparing the English-speaking communities.  The right of leadership does not depend upon how many millions, more or less, of colored people we have compelled to pay us taxes. (Page 5)

Stead, not shy, makes plain one purpose of colonizing people of color – compelling tax payments.  Stead also discounts the millions of British subjects in, for example, India, Africa, and the West Indies when it comes to considering the trends of population and future supremacy.

Population should be weighed as well as counted.  In a census return a Hottentot counts for as much as a Cecil Rhodes; a mean white on a southern swamp is the census equivalent for a Mr. J.P. Morgan or Mr. Edison.

A nation which has no illiterates can hardly be counted off against the Russians, only three per cent of whom can read or write. (Page 9)

He also sees no hope for reversal of this trend in favor of the US and to the detriment of Great Britain – not only in population but also industrial production and therefore capability of global reach.

Having presented this case, he suggests Britain embraces this inevitable change, restoring old bonds:

The philosophy of common sense teaches us that, seeing we can never again be the first, standing alone, we should lose no time in uniting our fortunes with those who have passed us in the race. Has the time not come when we should make a resolute effort to realize the unity of the English-speaking race?  …while if we remain outside, nursing our Imperial insularity on monarchical lines, we are doomed to play second fiddle for the rest of our existence.  Why not finally recognize the truth and act upon it?  What sacrifices are there which can be regarded as too great to achieve the realization of the ideal of the unity of the English-speaking race? (Page 6)

Stead sees continuous contention between the United States and Great Britain for control of global trade, with Britain eventually and ultimately the loser.  Stead is writing during the very early phases of the Great Rapprochement.  As regarding great sacrifices, considering the tremendous work done by Great Britain behind the scenes to create the propaganda in the US necessary to drag the American people into two world wars (as I view these wars as key to formalizing the transition of power), it seems reasonable to conclude that Stead’s suggestion that no sacrifices should be considered too great was taken quite seriously.

Stead goes on to outline the power and control available through a united US and British front: population, land mass, control of the seas and most navigable rivers.  And gold: “With the exception of Siberia they have seized all the best goldmines of the world.” (Page 7) Not a barbarous relic, apparently.

Between the two, they have seized the dominions of Spain, despoiled the Portuguese, the French and the Dutch, and left nothing but scraps to Italy and the Germans. (Page 7)  The only statistic in which these non-English-speaking nations hold the lead is in the amount of national debt! (Page 11)

Stead is looking for a savior, someone to lead in bringing these two – the US and Britain – into one, with the US taking the leading position:

The question arises whether this gigantic aggregate can be pooled.  We live in the day of combinations.  Is there no Morgan who will undertake to bring about the greatest combination of all – a combination of the whole English Speaking race?

The same motive which has led to the building up of the Trust in the industrial world may bring about this great combination in the world of politics.  (Page 12)

Presumably he is writing here of the work done by Morgan in consolidating the US steel industry.  Of course, Morgan also had connections with the same elite family that assisted Rhodes with diamonds in South Africa:

In 1895, at the depths of the Panic of 1893, the Federal Treasury was nearly out of gold.  President Grover Cleveland accepted Morgan’s offer to join with the Rothschilds and supply the U.S. Treasury with 3.5 million ounces of gold to restore the treasury surplus in exchange for a 30-year bond issue.

It should also be kept in mind: McKinley was a Rockefeller man; Rockefeller had ties to Germany.  Teddy Roosevelt, beneficiary of McKinley’s assassination, was a Morgan man; Morgan was a strong friend of Britain.  It seems the “Morgan” that Stead was looking for in the political combination was the same “Morgan” that he was referring to in the industrial combination.

Stead sees the impossibility of the American people accepting a combination where those in America would accept being subservient again to the crown:

It is, of course, manifestly impossible, even if it were desirable, for the Americans to come back within the pale of the British Empire. (Page 15)

Instead, he suggests Britain should accept reunion “on whatever terms may be arrived at.” (Page 15)

While not an overt political reunion, it certainly seems that a reunion was accepted by the British – and ultimately the U.S.  If one visible actor can be placed at the center of this “success,” I will suggest it is Winston Churchill.  For much of the first half of the 20th century, Churchill played a leading role in British politics; even when not in an official position, he was communicating directly with Roosevelt behind the scenes in order to facilitate America’s entry into the Second World War – the final event in ensuring the transition.

During this time, Britain (or more precisely, the British population) certainly paid the price of reunion – “whatever terms necessary,” as Stead suggested in 1902: the terms for the British population can be seen in the blood of two world wars, inflation, a depression, a loss of manufacture and industry.  This price was paid over the next 50 years.  In the end, the United States clearly stood on top of the English-speaking world.

One politician, more than any other, stood in a position of leadership and influence while Britain was economically and physically bled: Winston Churchill.  Presiding (in various roles) over such a massive loss of Empire would normally result in the derision of the leader.  Yet Churchill is exalted.  Perhaps it has little to do with his role in the death of the British Empire, but because of his role in the birth of the larger, Anglo Empire.  For this reason, the gatekeepers of mainstream history frame Churchill in a praiseworthy manner.

And one writer, a man who traveled within and influenced the highest circles of the elite, wrote the book before the events even occurred: William Thomas Stead.

I will continue with further posts regarding this book as I find comments of import.  In the meantime, the examination of this one life and this first chapter has provided insights supportive of my working hypothesis regarding the transition of elite power and control from Great Britain to the United States.

dimanche, 26 janvier 2014

Kriegserklärung des britischen Königs George VI. älter als angenommen

Kriegserklärung des britischen Königs George VI. älter als angenommen

König George VI. bei seiner Rede zum Kriegseintritt Großbritanniens.



Die bekannte Rede des englischen Königs George VI., in der er seinem Volk am 3. September 1939 die Kriegserklärung an das Deutsche Reich bekanntgab (The King’s Speech“), wurde bereits mehrere Tage vor Ausbruch des Zweiten Weltkriegs geschrieben. Dies stellte sich erst kürzlich heraus, als der Entwurf der Rede für den König bei dem Londoner Auktionshaus Sotheby’s angeboten wurde.

Dieses Aktenstück stammt ursprünglich aus dem Besitz des Verfassers des Entwurfs, Harold Vale Rhodes, eines hohen Beamten. Rhodes spielte eine wichtige Rolle bei der Gründung des britischen „Informationsministeriums“ zu Beginn des Zweiten Weltkriegs, das für die Propaganda zuständig war.  Es wurde am 25. August 1939 geschrieben, zwei Tage nach der Veröffentlichung des Molotow-Ribbentrop-Pakts. Laut Nachforschungen der Londoner Tageszeitung Daily Mail sollen sogar noch ältere Entwürfe für die Kriegsrede des Königs existieren.

„Geschah nicht aus dem Blauen heraus“

Zwar versuchte der Historiker des Londoner „Imperial War Museum“, Nigel Steel, die Bedeutung des Fundes herunterzuspielen: „Als das passierte, geschah dies nicht aus dem Blauen heraus“. Dennoch dürfte die Tatsache, dass eine ausführliche Kriegsrede des Königs bereits über eine Woche vor den deutsch-polnischen Grenzzwischenfällen geschrieben wurde, für einiges Erstaunen sorgen. Galten doch diese Grenzzwischenfälle und der folgende Einmarsch der Deutschen in Polen als offizieller Grund für den Ausbruch des Zweiten Weltkriegs.

Für Überraschung wird dies insbesondere deshalb sorgen, weil Historiker gerade für die Zeit unmittelbar vor dem Kriegsausbruch bislang von sehr ernst zu nehmenden Friedensgesprächen und Initiativen ausgegangen waren. Das Schriftstück wurde am 10. Dezember in London verkauft.

mardi, 07 janvier 2014

William Joyce

William Joyce

By Kerry Bolton

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

William_Joyce_politician-426x625.jpgWilliam Joyce, more infamously known to history as “Lord Haw Haw,” the epitome of a British Traitor, was hanged on the basis of a passport technicality on January 3, 1946. Like the name “Quisling” (see Ralph Hewin’s excellent biography Quisling: Prophet Without Honour) much nonsense persists about Joyce. 

The following is redacted from my introduction to William Joyce’s Twilight Over England [2] (London: Black House Publishing, 2013). The second part of the introduction, not included here, examines the primary points of Joyce’s book, the continuing relevance of which is its cogent criticism of Free Trade liberalism and international finance.


Twenty-five years ago I was told a little anecdote by a work colleague, a middle aged Englishman. He said that as a small lad in England he and his friends were one Christmas eve singing carols to earn some pocket money. One household they came to was particularly memorable for him during those Depression years. A gentleman answered the door, invited the children inside and gave them each not only a cake but also a shilling. What struck my work colleague all those years later, still, was not only the generosity of the amount each child had been given, but more particularly, that someone from the ‘middle class’, invited a group of working class children in to the household where they received their cakes and coins. Such lack of social snobbery was a rarity that my work colleague had never forgotten. My English friend concluded by stating that the kind benefactor was named William Joyce.

My English friend was no Nazi; not even vaguely ‘right-wing’. His anecdote on this humanity of William Joyce, enduringly hated as a traitor, whose very name, as ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, as he was dubbed by the Allied propaganda machine, is Britain’s equivalent to Norway’s Quisling, and America’s Benedict Arnold. Joyce, as a British ‘Nazi’, is automatically regarded as a rogue, a lunatic, an apologist for mass murder and aggression, a fool, or any combination thereof. Yet the anecdote from my English friend’s childhood betrays a human side to the likes of William Joyce that just maybe indicates the he was none of those things, but a man of entirely different character. For in Twilight Over England, written while Joyce’s beloved Britain – yes, beloved Britain – was at war with Germany, and while Joyce had made the fateful decision that siding with those who were fighting Britain was the greatest manifestation of that love of Britain, we have the testament of a man deeply anguished at the level to which his people had been reduced by a rapacious system. That this system of international finance and Free Trade is more fully enthroned today and over more of the world than in Joyce’s time shows the relevance of this volume for the present and foreseeable future. In Twilight Over England we might discern – if we open our minds, and for a little while at least, leave behind the prejudgements and the victor’s hateful propaganda – the historical circumstances, centuries in the making, that brought this Briton to a martyr’s death.

Indeed, J A Cole, as objective a biographer that one could expect, described Joyce as ‘intelligent, well-educated, dedicated, hardworking, fluent and sharp-tongued’.[1] Although critical of Joyce, Cole also described him as ‘so unlike the stereotype which fear and prejudice had created’.[2] As a paid broadcaster for the Germans during the war, Joyce retained a character devoid of egotism and vanity, living frugally, refusing pay raises and perks other than cigarettes, and only being persuaded with some difficulty to buy himself a smartly-cut suit.[3] How far away the reality of Joyce was from the character depicted, apparently without a shred of good conscience, by Rebecca West, who gloated at Joyce’s trial, referring to him as opening ‘a vista into a mean life’, always speaking ‘as though he was better fed and better clothed than we were, and so, we now know, he was’,[4] going so far as to describe Joyce as ‘a tiny little creature’,[5] presumably confident that such was the hysteria that nothing she wrote against him would be challenged. It is as though West, and a gaggle of lesser slanderers, took all that Joyce truly was and turned it on its head. However, anyone with an eye to fame or money can still write whatever junk they can contrive on certain events related to the Second World War, and seldom are they called to account for their humbug. Indeed, to expose the lies can render one a jail sentence in many states and the destruction of one’s reputation and career.[6]

Joyce was a rare combination in history: an activist, a revolutionary, and a tough fighter, scarred with a Communist-welded razorblade. He was not some sallow intellectual whose only battle was fought within the brain and with verbosity at a safe distance from one’s targets. He had been the Director of Propaganda for a mass movement, Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, which like Fascist movements across the world in the aftermath of the First World War, attracted individuals of many types and classes in solidarity. In Britain these included the American expatriate poet Ezra Pound, a founder of modern English literature;[7] Wyndham Lewis, novelist, painter, philosopher and co-founder with Pound of the Vorticist arts movement; the British nature writer and Hawthorne Prize Winner Henry Williamson, who never repudiated his belief in the heroic virtues of Mosley or Hitler, even after the war and who, like many who joined Mosley, was a First World War veteran haunted by the prospect of another war, but also reminded of the Europe that might still be when on Christmas Eve 1914 Germans and Britons greeted each other in no-man’s land to play football, returning to slaughter one another the following day; the military strategist, General J F C Fuller, father of modern tank warfare; and many others of the highest intellectual and cultural calibre.

William was born in New York on 24 April 1906, his father, Michael Francis Joyce, a Catholic, having migrated from Ireland in 1892, and marrying Gertrude Brooke, daughter of a Lancashire physician. In 1906 the family returned to Ireland, Michael having done well as a builder, and now becoming a publican and a property owner. William was educated at Catholic schools, and at an early age threw himself with gusto into whatever he did: When assisting at a service in the chapel he swung the censer with such force that the glowing incense flew down the aisle. He received his broken nose not through a fist fight with a Communist during the 1920s or 30s, but with a boy at school who had called him an ‘Orangeman’, because of the Joyce family’s avidly pro-British sentiments at the time of Ireland’s tribulations. His nose was not properly attended to, and hence William always had a distinctively nasal tone to his voice. During the Republican rebellion Michael’s properties endured arson. Young William saw the body of his neighbour, a policeman, on the road, with a bullet through his head. On another occasion he witnessed a Sinn Feiner cornered and shot by police.[8]

In 1920 the British Government reinforced the Royal Irish Constabulary with the Black & Tan paramilitaries. At fourteen, William served as a spy for the authorities, keeping his eyes and ears open for snippets of information that might be of use, and ran a squad of sub-agents. With the truce of 1921, and the departure of the British, the Joyce family moved to England. At 15, eager to continue serving King and Empire, he enlisted in the army at Worcester, giving his age as 18, but his real age was soon discovered and he was discharged. At 16 he joined the Officer Training Corps at the University of London, and after graduating from Battersea Polytechnic, enrolled at Birbeck College, part of the University.

Of Joyce’s intellectual gifts, his lifelong friend and comrade, John MacNab related to Cole:

‘He kept no files, diaries or notes of any kind, but he could recall the date, place and circumstances of remote events and meetings with people. He never forgot a face or a name, and could give a full account, unhesitatingly, of almost anything that had ever happened to him. At intervals of years he would repeat the same account without the least variation. He could quote – always exactly – any poem he had ever read with attention, and even notable pieces of prose. As a Latin scholar his technical qualifications were inferior to my own, yet he was the one who could quote Virgil or Horace etc., freely and always to the point, not I’.[9]

MacNab stated that Joyce was a multi-linguist, gifted in mathematics and his ability to teach it. ‘He read widely in history, philosophy, theology, psychology, theoretical physics and chemistry, economics law, medicine, anatomy and physiology. When he broke his collarbone in 1936 while skating, he was able to set it himself due to his knowledge of physiology. He was a talented pianist’.[10]

British Fascisti

While pursuing a BA in Latin, French, English and History, in 1923 he joined the British Fascisti, founded that year by Miss R L Linton-Orman, a member of a distinguished military family who had served with the Women’s Reserve Ambulance during the Frost World War and had twice been awarded the Croix de Charité for gallantry for heroic rescues in Salonica.[11]

The first such body to be established in Britain, inspired by the assumption to power by Mussolini in 1922, and the destruction of Communism in Italy, there was not much ideological substance to the British Fascisti (later ‘British Fascists’), other than loyalty to ‘King and Empire’, a determination to form a paramilitary force to stop Communism in the event of revolution or strikes, and to maintain order at Conservative Party meetings when Communists and Labourites threatened violence. The membership was drawn mainly from the middle and upper classes, and included a good number of retired officers. The first president of the British Fascists was Lord Garvagh, who was succeeded by Brigadier-General Blakeney, later associated with both Arnold Leese’s Imperial Fascist League, a small but persistent anti-Semitic group; and Mosley’s British Union.[12] The present of such personalities indicates the impression that Fascist Italy was making on important sections of Britain, and that it could never be dismissed as the collective delusions of a ‘lunatic fringe’.

Despite the lack of ideological substance, many stalwart Fascists got their start with the British Fascisti, including those who were to play a prominent role in the British Union of Fascists (BUF). It was as leader of the ‘I Squad’ of the British Fascisti that on 22 October 1924 Joyce stationed his men at Lambeth Baths Hall in South-East London, to protect the election meeting of Jack Lazarus, Conservative party Parliamentary candidate for Lambeth North, from Communist attack. These were times in which electoral meetings not approved by the Left were subjected to attack from Communist and Labour party thugs armed with razors, often put into potatoes for throwing, and spiked sticks. Hence, the British Fascisti emerged at a time of a very real threat of violence by the Left against the Conservative and Unionist parties, regardless of the other shortcomings of the organisation as a serious political alternative.

The Communist assault on Lazarus’ election meeting was ‘vicious’.[13] A ‘Jewish Communist’, as Joyce described him, jumped on his back and tried to slash his throat with a razor, but only succeeded in cutting Joyce from mouth to ear, his neck protected by a thick woollen scarf. He did not realise he had been slashed until the crowd drew back aghast, and he attempted to stem the blood with a handkerchief given to him, then walked to the police station where he collapsed.

While active with the British Fascisti, Joyce was also president of the Conservative Society at Birbeck College, where he developed his oratory, seeing Conservatism as the upholder of ‘Anglo-Saxon tradition and supremacy’.[14] Meanwhile, 1926 proceeded with a General Strike that did not result in the threat of a Soviet Britain, and the British Fascisti went into decline. That year Joyce married Hazel Barr, while continuing to do well with his studies, and the following year obtained First Class Honours in English, but did not complete his MA. His attempts for several years to introduce the Conservative Party to ‘true Nationalism’ failed. Biding his time, as the several small Fascist groups that arose failed to impress him, Joyce taught at the Victoria Tutorial College, and then at King’s College.

The Red thuggery that the British Fascists had attempted to combat continued. A target was to be not a party from the Right but from the Left: the New Party, founded in 1931 by the Labour Party’s most promising young politician, Sir Oswald Mosley, after Labour Caucus refused to adopt Mosley’s bold plan for unemployment.[15] The New Party was regarded as traitorous by the Labour Party, and was subjected to violent attacks by Communists and Labourites. It was such violence that contributed to Mosley’s turning to Fascism and forming his Blackshirt squads to protect the meetings that he could not efficiently protect during the New Party electoral campaigns, although even then he had started forming a squad of stewards trained in boxing by Jewish boxing champion Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis. Mosley records that extreme Left reaction had been subdued until the promising results of the New Party vote came out in a by-election.[16] Mosley, referring to the General Election soon after, related: ‘All over the country we met a storm of organised violence. They were simply out to smother us, we were to be mobbed down by denying us our only resource: the spoken word; we were to be mobbed out of existence’.[17]

In 1932 Mosley visited Fascist Italy, and like many others was impressed by what he saw at a time when Britain continued to stagnate. Joyce read the news reports of Mosley’s visit with interest but, having long had an increasing animosity against Jewish influence in Britain, was more interested in the progress that the Hitler movement was making in Germany.[18] When Mosley re-established the New Party as the British Union of Fascists most of the adherents of other Fascist groups, particularly the British Fascists, joined him. Joyce joined the BUF in 1933,[19] and, fatefully, obtained a British passport by falsely claiming that he had been born a British subject, with the expectation that he might accompany Mosley on a visit to Hitler.

Joyce was soon noted in the BUF for his oratory skills, and he resigned his teaching post at Victoria Tutorial College and his studies at London University to become the BUF’s West London Area Administration Officer. He then became Propaganda Director, addressing hundreds of meetings. It was on hearing Joyce, then 28, speaking that ex-Labour MP John Beckett,[20] joined the BUF, and committed himself to National Socialism, having previously been impressed by what he had seen in Fascist Italy, declaring Joyce to be one of the greatest orators who had recruited thousands to Fascism.[21] Indeed, Joyce filled in for Mosley if the latter could not attend a function. Jeffrey Hamm, a young Mosleyite before the war, who became particularly active in Mosley’s post-war Union Movement, reminisced on Joyce’s oratory that ‘his wit and repartee were proverbial’. ‘On one occasion a buxom lady in the crowd was shouting abuse at him, culminating in an angry roar: “You bastard!” Quick as a flash Joyce gave her a cheerful wave, as he cried: “Hullo, Mother!”’[22]

Joyce divorced Hazel amicably in 1934. He had sired two daughters who were close to their father, despite his hectic life as a Fascist leader.

His BUF classes on Fascist ideology, held jointly with his closest colleague, John Angus Macnab, with whom he also established a private tutoring business, were used to propagate his own views on Fascism, and here he introduced the term National Socialism to the movement, which was renamed the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists in 1936.[23] Although Joyce believed that National Socialism was intrinsically based on the nation from which it arose, was more inclined to quote Thomas Carlyle than Hitler, and eschewed both the swastika and the fasces when creating his own movement, he saw Hitler as a closer example to consider than Mussolini, not least because Hitler dealt with the Jewish question head-on. It was Joyce who coined the BUF axiom: ‘If you love your country you are National. If you love your people, you are Socialist. Be a National Socialist’. The reader will find this phrase cogently explained in Twilight Over England.

Joyce met Christian Bauer, who represented Goebbels’ newspaper Der Angriff, in Britain, and at Bauer’s request, after his return to Germany, Joyce maintained contact with him,[24] although it transpired that Bauer was more important when in Britain than he was in Germany.

In 1937 Joyce married Margaret White, a Manchester BUF organiser, who had accepted his proposal at a party, even although the two hardly knew one another. It had been literally ‘love at first sight’ between the two, and a scholarly member of her branch remarked on the engagement that it ‘may be uncomfortable being married to a genius. And William is a genius, you know!’[25] On the first day of the year, the Public Order Act was introduced banning the wearing of uniforms at public political functions; i.e. the black shirt, prohibiting the effective stewarding of open-air meetings, and other measures designed to impinge on the BUF campaign. As previously stated, Mosley had adopted a black shirt uniform to establish a disciplined and recognisable formation to keep order at his meetings having experienced Red thuggery at New Party meetings, as had the Conservative Party many years. The banning of the uniform saw a considerable rise in disorder at BUF functions. Despite the great deal of nonsense that had been alleged about ‘Fascist violence,’ the Blackshirts always answered the razorblade and the cosh with fists when necessary. One of these great myths is that Lord Rothermere, proprietor of the Daily Mail, who had supported the BUF during the first few years, withdrew his support in 1934 because of such Fascist violence. In fact, as related by Randolf Churchill some thirty years later, it was due to ‘the pressure of Jewish advertisers’.[26]

By 1937, both Joyce and Beckett, editor of Action and The Blackshirt, had become increasingly critical of BUF administration. Matters were decided when Mosley was obliged through financial stringency to reduce the paid-staff by four-fifths. Among them were both Joyce and Beckett. Macnab, the editor of Fascist Quarterly, resigned in protest at Joyce’s dismissal. Macnab & Joyce, Private Tutors, was a now established to earn a modest income to offer tuition for university entrance and professional preliminary examinations, and to teach English to foreign pupils of sound character.

National Socialist League

Joyce’s concerns were directed towards forming a new political organisation that would more precisely reflect his view on British National Socialism. Joyce, Beckett, McNabb and a few others founded the National Socialist League. Despite Joyce’s admiration for Hitler, his organisation was based on British roots. That a front-group for the League was named the Carlyle Club after Thomas Carlyle, whom Joyce often cited as a precursor of British National Socialism, is indicative of the British character of his variation of National Socialism. After all the concept of the National and the Social synthesis is universal, and movements of such a type had been arising spontaneously and independently of one another since the immediate aftermath of the First World War. One might refer to the Legion of the Archangel Michael in Romania, the Hungarist movement in Hungary, National-Syndicalist Falangism in Spain, and many others throughout the world. The Israeli scholar Dr Zeev Sternhell provides a convincing argument for the emergence of proto-Fascism from a union of Left-wing syndicalist and Right-wing Monarchist theorists in France as early as the late 19th century.[27] Mosley’s ‘Fascism’ had been based on his Birmingham manifesto to cure unemployment through a massive public works programme that had been rejected as too radical by the Labour Government, not by reading Mein Kampf or Mussolini’s Doctrine of Fascism.

As for Joyce’s National Socialist League, it was surprisingly ‘democratic’ in structure, with leaders elected at branch level, and no fuehrer-complex being evident in either Beckett of Joyce. Nor was there a paramilitary complexion to the group.[28] The symbol was a ship’s steering wheel, the design of which is also suggestive of a Union Jack, below which was the motto: ‘Steer Straight’. A newspaper was published, The Helmsman. Funding came from Alec Scrimgeour, an elderly stockbroker, whom Joyce had known since the BUF, and who treated Joyce as a son. Cole mentions that one supporters ‘claimed to be the King of Poland’. This cannot be anyone other than the New Zealand poet Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk who, unlike his many contemporaries who were embracing to Communism, being a Monarchist, embraced the Right, then Fascism and National Socialism, and never recanted. Indeed, even in December 1945, Potocki printed an ‘Xmas card’, the ‘X’ in the shape of a swastika, with a poem that paid tribute to ‘our William Joyce’. As to his eccentric claim to the throne of Poland, it was as legitimate as any other, being descended from a Polish noble lineage. [29]

The primary ideological text of the League was National Socialism Now, published in September 1937. National Socialism Now is a cogent 57 pages defining the fundamentals of National Socialist ethos, method of statecraft, and type financial and economic systems. Joyce’s opening lines are that,

‘We deal with National Socialism for Britain; for we are British. Our League is entirely British; and to win the victory for National Socialism here, we must work hard enough to be excused the inspiring task of describing National Socialism elsewhere’.[30]

While National Socialism was forever linked with the name of Hitler, no matter where it arises it ‘must arise from the soil and people or not at all’.

‘It springs from no temporary grievance, but from the revolutionary yearning of the people to cast off the chains of gross, sordid, democratic materialism without having to put on the shackles of Marxian Materialism, which would be identical with the chains cast off’.[31]

Joyce returned to a theme that he had introduced to the BUF, that the synthesis of Nationalism and Socialism is a logical development; that ‘the people’ are identical with ‘the nation’, and anything else, whether called ‘nationalism’ or ‘socialism’, is a waste of time. It was Socialism that provided the foundation for class unity rather than class antagonism, which had been engendered by the dislocations caused by industrialism and usury. Such class division is aggravated rather than transcended by Marxism and other forms of materialistic socialism. Both Capitalism and Marxism are international. Indeed Marx pointed this out in The Communist Manifesto, and described anyone resisting this internationalising tendency of Capitalism as ‘reactionary’, because the historical process towards Communism is aided by Capitalist internationalisation, and what Marx called the ‘uniformity in the mode of production’ across the world.[32] Today we call this ‘globalisation’ and the process has been accelerating. What has emerged is not Communism, but a Capitalist ‘new world order’. Communism is not even anti-Capitalist, but an extension of it, and hence, as Joyce explains in Twilight, it is Nationalism, intrinsically based on Socialism, that not only opposes Capitalism, but transcends it. Equally, any Socialism that embraces internationalism is not only hopeless in combating Capitalism, but assists in its victory. We are now able with both hindsight and observing present-day events, to confirm that this indeed the case. Communism, and Social Democracy literally failed to ‘delver the goods’, and now Free Trade Capitalism runs rampant over the entire world, imposed by US weaponry where, where debt to international finance and the opiate of the shopping mall and MTV are insufficient. The Socialism of Joyce’s day, represented mainly by the Labour Party, did not oppose the system of international finance any more than the Conservative Party, that had long since forsaken its patriotic and rural origins, and both permitted a system of Liberal Free Trade that invested capital to build up cotton manufacturing in India for example, while allowing the mill workers of Lancashire to rot.[33] The same situation is visited upon us in recent years, with Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’ in Britain, and in New Zealand, the Labour Party during the 1980s, being in the forefront of inaugurating ‘Free Trade’ in the name of ‘socialism’. Joyce saw it going on in his own day. We relive it today. The same old abandonment to Capitalism by Social Democracy, which had also obliged Mosley to resign from the Labour Party in disgust.

The weakness of Westminster parliamentary democracy allowed international finance to carry on unhindered. Joyce’s British National Socialism advocated the ‘leadership principle’, with authority to act, but in Britain’s case the symbol of unity within one personality had existed for centauries in the form of the Crown, and Joyce did not envisage a National Socialist Britain that need be under the dictatorship of a British ‘fuehrer’. Indeed, he advocated the corporatist or organic state that he had alluded to in his BUF pamphlet, Dictatorship. In NS Now Joyce pointed to the guilds of Medieval Britain, and outlined a corporate state based on the revival of the guilds as taking over many functions of the state. Both employers and employees would be represented in the same corporative organs, which was the method of successful industrial organisation that would be enacted in Germany in the Reich Economic Chamber. Parliament would hence be a corporative body with representatives elected from such guilds.

Joyce next turned his attention to the financial system. National Socialist banking reform is based the premise that money and credit should serve the people, and not master them. Hence, credit and currency should be issued by the state according to the production of the people, allowing the people to consume that production. Private financial interests should not issue credit and currency as a profit -making commodity. Currency and credit are only intended as a means of exchanging goods and services. That is the method that National Socialist Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan used and by which they flourished in the midst of the world Depression.[34] Again, there is nothing intrinsically ‘fascist’ or ‘nazi’ in such a banking system. The First New Zealand Labour Government had initiated the same type of policy, issuing 1% Reserve Bank state credit in 1935 for the construction of New Zealand’s iconic state housing project, which itself solved 75% of the unemployment rate.[35] Banking reformers around the world were demanding that the state assume its prerogative to issue the nation’s own credit and currency, without recourse to becoming indebted in perpetuity to international finance.[36] As Joyce was to emphasis in Twilight, it was this struggle between productive work and parasitism that led to the world war, the fact being that it was the Axis states that posed a deathly challenge to this parasitism the world over. New Zealand, despite the Labour Government measures in 1935, true to Social Democratic form, did not go beyond those limited measures, despite their success, and despite the promises the party had made in its 1934 election manifesto. Again, Social Democracy posed no real challenge to the system of world trade and banking that was – and remains – in the hands of a few parasites.

The League was ‘openly and unashamedly Imperialist.’ One of the primary aims of ‘Fascism’ was to create autarchic or self-sufficient economics states, or geo-political blocs. Of course, with Britain being the greatest imperial power, British Fascism or National Socialism sought to re-create the Empire as an autarchic bloc, where investments would be made only within the Empire, and not placed outside the Empire, only to undermine the manufacturing the agricultural sectors of the Empire peoples. Joyce pointed out that the system of international trade and finance was the enemy of both the British and the Colonial peoples; that both were equally exploited, and granting independence to India was not going to change that situation a jot. National Socialism would end usury and exploitation in India with the same methods as in Britain.[37] What Fascism was trying to address was the iniquitous system that is today called ‘globalisation’, whereby investments can be moved out of states and indeed entire industries shut-down and relocated to cheap labour pools, and currency speculators can make vast fortunes overnight by destroying entire economies. That is the system that won the Second World War against the Axis and that is the system that has driven the world to the present debt crisis, as it inevitably would. That is the system for which the Allied troops fought and died, just as the same plutocratic wire-pullers of ‘democracy’ declare war on states that are problematic to the ‘new world order’.

Finally, Joyce addressed the matter of foreign policy. Even then the war drums were being beaten against Germany, Italy and Japan. Joyce saw the keystone of world peace and order being an alliance between Britain and Germany with the assistance of Italy, which would form a bulwark against both international finance and Communism. From the 1920s, when Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, an alliance with Britain and Italy was envisaged as the cornerstone of Germany’s future foreign policy, Hitler definitively stating: ‘In the predictable future there can only be two allies for Germany in Europe: England and Italy’.[38] Was this mere cant, albeit dictated a decade before Hitler came to Office, while sitting in a jail following the abortive Munich putsch? Hitler in both public and private pronouncements always affirmed his admiration for the British Empire and the kinship that should have existed between the Third Reich and the Empire. Like Joyce, he believed that the two would be a great stabilising force in the world, and legitimate scholarship has only confirmed these views.

Captain A H M Ramsay, Conservative Member of Parliament for Midlothian and Peeblesshire from 1931 until his detention through 1940-1944, under Defence Regulation 18B along with Mosley and 1000 others, wrote after the war a volume much in the mode of Joyce’s Twilight and NS Now not only in regard to the war but also the takeover of Britain by international finance. Joyce had been a member of Ramsay’s Right Club that campaigned against war with Germany.[39] Like Joyce, Ramsay pointed to the Judaic character of the Puritan revolutionary zealots, whose armies ‘marched around Scotland, aided by their Geneva sympathisers, dispensing Judaic justice’.[40] Ramsay proceeds to consider the formation of the Bank of England with the encumbering of Britain with a National Debt; a matter that is dealt with in relative detail by Joyce in Twilight. Ramsay points out that the officialdom of ‘world Jewry’ had ‘declared war’ on Germany as soon as Hitler assumed Office. An ‘international economic boycott’ was declared by the World Jewish Economic Federation, headed by Samuel Untermeyer from the USA, who wrote in The New York Times of a ‘holy war’ against Germany, in which both Jew and Gentile must embark, while the Jews were the ‘aristocrats of the world’.[41] The Jewish leadership through its influence on politics, business and media the world over, hoped to economically strangle Germany. They could not ruin Germany through such means however, because the Hitler regime’s banking and trade reform not only withdrew Germany from the international finance system, but through barter proceeded to capture the markets of central Europe and South America. As Joyce was to emphasise in Twilight, this was the real cause of the world war; a conflict between two systems, one productive and creative, the other parasitic and exploitive.

It should be pointed out that Ramsay enjoyed the friendship and confidence of British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain in the moths immediately preceding the World War. Ramsay alludes to Chamberlain’s guarantee to assist Poland in the event of invasion on the basis of a supposed Germany ultimatum that transpired to be fraudulent,[42] and that Germany had sought for months a negotiated solution for the return of Danzig and the ‘Polish Corridor’ to Germany, while Poland resorted to what today would be called ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Germans within Poland; a matter which will be considered further.

Ramsay points out that Hitler had ‘again and again made it clear that he never intended to attack or harm the British Empire’. [43] Indeed, what is called the ‘Phoney War’ ensued, where no real fighting was taking place. The situation changed immediately Churchill became Prime Minister. Then the previous policy of only bombing military targets was reversed, and British Bomber Command was ordered to bomb civilian targets, a strategy that would eventually lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of German civilians by the end of the war, the fire-bombing of Dresden,[44] Hamburg, Berlin and other German cities going down in infamy as obliterating in deadly infernos more victims than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Actions speak louder than words, as it is said, and Hitler on numerous occasions offered his hand of friendship, while still in a position of strength, indeed winning the war. One of the most notable occasions is that involving the British invasion of Dunkirk, around which much nonsense about British heroism continues to be spoken. Ramsay cites the pre-eminent official British military historian Captain Liddell Hart. This nonsense continues despite Hart’s book on World War II, The Other Side of the Hill, having been published in 1948, with chapter 10 entitled ‘How Hitler beat France and saved Britain’. Ramsay comments that the chapter would ‘astound all propaganda-blinded people… for the author therein proves that not only did Hitler save this country; but that this was not the result of some unforeseen factor, or indecision or folly, but was of set purpose, based on his long enunciated and faithfully maintained principle’. Hart details how Hitler halted the Panzer Corps on 22 May 1940, allowing the British troops to escape back to Britain. Hitler had cabled Von Kleist that the armoured divisions were not to advance or fire. Von Kleist ignored the order, and then came an ‘emphatic order’, according to Von Kleist, that he was to ‘withdraw behind the canal. My tanks were kept halted there for three days’.[45] Hart records a conversation between Hitler and Marshall Von Runstedt two days later (24 May):

‘He [Hitler] then astonished us by speaking with admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilisation that Britain had brought into the world… He compared the British Empire with the Catholic Church – saying they were both essential elements of stability in the world. He said that all he wanted from Britain was that she should acknowledge Germany’s position on the Continent. The return of Germany’s lost colonies would be desirable but not essential, and he would even offer to support Britain with troops, if she should be involved with any difficulties anywhere. He concluded by saying that his aim was to make peace with Britain, on a basis that she would regard compatible with her honour to accept’. [46]

Captain Hart comments on the above: ‘If the British army had been captured at Dunkirk, the British people might have felt that their honour had suffered a stain, which they must wipe out. By letting it escape, Hitler hoped to conciliate them’.[47] Hart alluded to the pro-British sentiments in Mein Kampf and the manner by which Hitler did not deviate from his desire for an alliance with Britain. As we now know, so far from the British people being cognisant of the equanimity of Hitler towards them, the propaganda machine merely used this to further inflame them toward war, and Dunkirk had ever since been portrayed as a great feat of British moral courage.

Even during the early 1920s, when Hitler was in jail dictating Mein Kampf he realised that any future goodwill between Germany and Britain relied on the question as to ‘whether the exiting influence of the Jews is not stronger than any understanding or good intentions and will this frustrate and nullify all plans’.[48] Mosley, Ramsay, Admiral Sir Barry Domvile and hundreds of others jailed under 18B, who sought peace with Germany, were aware of this also. However, there were still prominent people within Britain who were free, to whom Hitler might appeal for peace, and it is presumably with these in mind that Hitler kept open the prospect of a negotiated peace with honour.

However, eminent people who hoped for a negotiated peace with Germany were no match for the war party and its backers. Winston Churchill, whose drunken, opulent lifestyle had got him into debt, led the war party. He had personal reasons for assuring the destruction of Hitler, even if that also meant the destruction of the British Empire; which, of course, it did. By 1938 Churchill was bankrupt, and Chartwell House was about to be put on the market. A few days before however Sir Henry Strakosch, the South African Jewish mining magnate and financial adviser, came to the rescue and agreed to pay off Churchill’s debts.[49] Churchill had whored himself to international finance for the sake of £18,000, and in so doing doomed the lives of millions and the survival of the British Empire. Strakosch was financial adviser to General Smuts of South Africa, and in 1920 drafted the blueprint for the Reserve Bank of South Africa.[50] He has also served as adviser on setting up the Reserve Bank of India. Like the US Federal Reserve Bank and other central banks throughout the world, the reader should not be confused into thinking that these acted as state banks issuing state credit, even when they were, like the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, nationalised. These central banks were based on plans provided by individuals such as Strakosch, the Bank of England’s Sir Otto Niemeyer, and Warburg in the USA. The thraldom of most states to international finance, from which Germany, Italy and Japan had broken free, is the most significant cause of World War II, as explained by Joyce in Twilight.

Since the 1920s Churchill’s financial adviser for his stock market dealings had been Bernard Baruch, the international financier who had run the US War Industries Board during the First World War I, and had become the virtual dictator of the USA during the war years.[51] Nothing would or could divert Churchill from leading Britain into war with Germany.

To Germany

During the Munich crisis in 1938 Joyce foresaw the coming war, and the quandary that placed him as an avidly pro-British devotee of National Socialism and Anglo-German accord. He told Macnab that in the event of war, he could not fight against Germany in the service of international finance but neither could he be a conscientious objector and evade national service. He had already envisaged sending Margaret to Ireland with Macnab, while he would go to Germany, perhaps to fight the Russians[52].

Mosley’s answer was to immediately issue a call to his supporters to fully support the war effort once the war that he had vigorously campaigned against, had eventuated, while he and 800 of his followers were detained under Emergency Defence Regulation 18B. Mosley’s order stated that ‘Our members should do what the law requires of them; and, if they are members of the armed Forces or services of the Crown, they should obey their orders and, in every particular, obey the rules of the Service’. However, it was also a call to ‘stand-fast’ against the ‘corrupt Jewish money-power’ and ‘to take every opportunity within your power to awaken the people and to demand peace’.[53]

Among the first to die in the war were two Blackshirts, Kenneth Day and George Brocking, while on an RAF daylight bomber raid on Brűnsbuttel.[54]

While Joyce campaigned with his National Socialist League, and Mosley held meetings attracting the largest audiences ever seen in Britain to the very eve of war, Joyce also sought to widen his campaign. He was involved in an anti-war campaign with Lord Lymington, Conservative MP, and an early advocate of agricultural self-sufficiency and organic farming,[55] also a particular concern of both Joyce and the BUF.[56] Lord Lymington and Joyce created the British Council Against European Commitments. Lymington’s group joined with a similar organisation founded by Hastings William Sackville Russell, Lord Tavistock (later Duke of Bedford) and emerged as the British People’s Party (BPP), the policy of which not only included peace, but in particular advocacy of banking reform.[57] Joyce had confided in Beckett that he would probably go to Germany in the event of war, and Beckett left the League to become General secretary of the BPP. It is often commented that there was a fallen out between Joyce and Beckett, but, as will be seen, they remained steadfast friends.

As forebodings of war approached in 1939, one of the first to depart from Britain to Germany was Mrs Francis Dorothy Eckersley, a member of the BUF, whose son was at school there. Mrs Eckersley was to play a role in the Joyce’s settling in Berlin. Before Macnab visited Berlin, Joyce had asked him to take a message to Christian Bauer, asking whether Goebbels would arrange for the immediate naturalisation of Joyce and his wife, should they settle in Germany.[58] Defence Regulation 18B was about to be passed when Joyce received news from Macnab that naturalisation would be granted. He then received news from an MI5 agent to whom he given information on Communist activities, that it was likely he would be arrest under 18B within a matter of days.[59] The Joyce’s left for Germany on 26 August 1939, William convinced that imprisonment in Britain during the war would mean unbearable suffering for Margaret.

To the Joyce’s dismay, Christian Bauer did not have the influence in Berlin that had been assumed, and he had been ‘called up’. However, Mrs Eckersley did have connections with the Foreign Office, and Joyce was able to secure a part-time job as a translator of German scripts.[60] Within days, war had been declared by Britain against Germany, a declaration that was not met by the Germans with any more jubilation than it was met by the Joyces and many other Britons. In England, meanwhile Mosley was holding the largest rallies in British Union history, and just two months previously the biggest indoor hall in England had been filled with 20,000 people to hear Mosley.[61] Mosley was arrested under 18B on 23 May 1940, and his wife Diana on 29 June.[62] Captain Ramsay MP, and Admiral Sir Barry Domvile CB, founder of the Link, which had also campaigned for Anglo-German cooperation, were among the 1000 others.[63]

Mrs Eckersley’s friends had been at work to secure Joyce a position, and Dr Erich Hetzler, an official in the Foreign Office, who had studied economics in England, interviewed him. It is notable that during the interview Joyce explained he was a National Socialist and British, but that a National Socialist in Britain was not the same as in Germany.[64] Hetzler recommended Joyce to the English-speaking department of the Reich radio service. Norman Baillie-Stewart, a former Subaltern in the Seaforth Highlanders, headed the English news service, under the direction of Walter Kamm. Joyce’s first broadcast, reading a news bulletin, took place on 11 September 1939. He did well, but drew the immediately jealousy of Baillie-Stewart.[65]

The disparaging nick-name of ‘haw-haw’, which was to become synonymous with Joyce, first appeared in the Daily Express on 14 September 1939 where the columnist, the pseudonymous Jonah Barrington, commented on a broadcast from Germany: ‘A gent I’d like to meet is moaning periodically from Zeesen. He speaks English of the haw-haw, damit-get-out-of-my-way variety, and his strong suit is gentlemanly indignation’.[66] The name was picked up by British propaganda, and stuck, like the name of Quisling was to become synonymous with ‘traitor’.

Ironically, Barrington was describing Baillie-Stewart. Barrington and the media ran with the typically banal propaganda image, and ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ was introduced to the public as a figure of ridicule. Lord Haw-Haw soon became conflated with Joyce and stuck, since Joyce would become the leading British broadcaster, despite his own voice, affected by the broken nose he had since childhood, not being suggestive of the ‘Bertie Wooster’ type figure that Barrington was trying to portray.[67] Other half-witted attempts at satire by Barrington, with names such as The Whopper, Uncle Boo-Hoo and Mopey, fell by the way, while Lord Haw-Haw remained. It was Lord Donegal, writing for the Sunday Dispatch, who suggested that Lord Haw-Haw might be Joyce. However, the voice that he asked Macnab, then a volunteer ambulance driver, to hear, was Baillie-Stewart, and Macnab could reply honestly that it did not sound anything like Joyce.[68]

Joyce could now apply for naturalisation, and correctly recorded his birthplace as New York.[69] Margaret was employed writing women’s features for the radio network, and became known as Lady Haw-Haw. The broadcasts were widely listened to in Britain. The matter of the identities of Baillie-Stewart and William Joyce were soon resolved by the British, but ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ stuck with Joyce rather than with Baillie-Stewart,[70] another reflection of the puerility of British war propaganda. Comedians began to lampoon Lord Haw-Haw. The deaths of millions of Britons and Germans were such a whopping good laugh for those who could avoid service by larking about on the Home Front, while Mosleyites were among the first to enlist and die.

Interestingly, Cole discusses the insistence of ‘upper class’ origins for William Joyce by the British propaganda machine, and hence the maintenance of the ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ myth as an aristocratic ‘traitor’, perhaps also reminding audiences of Sir Oswald Mosley’s aristocratic birth, and the similar backgrounds of others who had sought conciliation with Germany and who had seen Fascism and National Socialism as a means of transcending class divisions. Cole writes: ‘The theme of the aristocratic traitor aroused such an immense public response that the jeering appeared to be directed as much at the traditional British upper classes as at an unknown traitor in Germany’.[71] The irony was that Joyce was the very antithesis of the character portrayed by British propaganda, as indicated by the opening anecdote of this introduction, and he lived simply and without thought of his material well-being.

A survey by the BBC concluded that Joyce was getting six million regular listeners daily, and 18,000,000 occasional listeners. The reasons for this included not only the mirth that had been directed at Lord Haw-Haw, but also that the broadcasts focused on ‘undeniable evils in this country… their news sense, their presentation’, making them ‘a familiar feature of the social landscape’.[72]

In early 1940 the Buro Concordia was formed under the direction of Dr Hetzler, which would focus on explaining National Socialism to English listeners. Joyce would lead the team and write the programmes. He refused insistent offers of a salary increase. The first programme was aired in February 1940, under the name of the New British Broadcasting Station, transmitting for half an hour from East Prussia, albeit under sparse conditions and resources.[73]

It was at this time, in February 1940, that Joyce was asked by the Foreign Office to write a book, Twilight Over England. While Joyce addressed a British audience, which would have few chances to read the book, the Foreign Office, had intended an English language testament for audiences in the USA and India. Twilight also went into German and Swedish editions, at least. The book as will be seen, is largely an indictment of the English system of Free Trade, the influence of Jews and the iniquity of international finance.

On hindsight, reading the volume today, one might be struck by its current relevance, as the world is plunged into what American strategists approvingly call ‘constant conflict’, in extending in the hallowed name of ‘Democracy’ the system of debt and exploitation which the Axis fought seventy years ago. As Joyce tried to explain, Westminster democracy and party government is a system that has not brought any meaningful benefits to the people who have lived under the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ for centuries, let alone to tribesmen from the deserts of Afghanistan to the jungles of New Guinea, who are having this odd system born from the merchant class of England, imposed on them by force of arms. We still live under the same system that Joyce exposed, because international finance won the war.

By mid 1940 the British had ceased considering Lord Haw-Haw as a joke and were worried by what they thought was his inside knowledge of events in Britain. Other secret Anglophone broadcasting stations were planned under Buro Concordia.[74]. Meanwhile, Joyce’s commitment to Britain was indicated by his having defaced his British passport so that after it had expired it could not be used by German Intelligence, which was eager to obtain such passports.[75] So much for disloyalty.

In July 1940 Hitler made a peace offer to Britain, and Joyce was optimistic. On ‘Workers’ Challenge’, a broadcasting service pitched specifically to British workers, Joyce stated that British workers and German workers did not wish to fight each other. The British Communists had been saying that the war was between capitalist powers and was not a workers’ fight, until the party-line was reversed when Germany and the USSR came into conflict. ‘Workers’ Challenge’ called for a workers’ revolt against Churchill and a peace that would have nothing to do with the nazification of Britain. Of coursed, Churchill was committed to unconditional surrender, and the chance to save the Empire and Europe was rejected for the sake of Churchill’s ego, or perhaps mainly due to his £18,000 debt to Strakosch and his friendship with ‘Barney’ Baruch (?). As Joyce commented on his programme on 23 July, the rejection of peace would bring tragedy to England, and if Britons remained silent then it must be assumed that they consented to their own annihilation.[76] Joyce was prescient. Is there still doubt? While it might be a cliché to say that British won the war but lost the peace, that is beyond rational doubt. As for the impact of ‘Workers’ Challenge’, a BBC survey found that it had a ‘heavy following’, that ‘the following grows’, and that a lot of Joyce’s remarks ‘were true’.[77]

On 28 August the first air raid casualties in Berlin occurred. Both Joyce and the CBS foreign correspondent William Shirer, epitome of the anti-Nazi propagandist, were at the broadcasting house. Shirer, who had avoided meeting the ‘traitor’ for a year, noted in his diary that Lord Haw-Haw ‘in the air-raids has shown guts’.[78] Joyce went out to see the damage and was ‘profoundly moved’ by the devastation. Already there were comments on the civilian targets of the British, in contrast to the military objectives of the Luftwaffe, but could anyone in Germany have envisaged the criminal fire-bombing of defenceless German cities that was to become the speciality of Bomber Command?

Shirer, the inveterate anti-Nazi whose book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich became a classic history,[79] nonetheless observed Joyce as ‘an amusing and even intelligent fellow’, ‘heavily built and of about five feet nine inches, with Irish eyes that twinkle’.[80] He noted that Joyce had a deep hatred of capitalism. ‘Strange as it may seem, he thinks the Nazi movement is a proletarian one which will free the world from the bonds of “plutocratic capitalists”. He sees himself primarily as a liberator of the working class’.[81]

Shirer’s quip about the ‘strangeness’ of Joyce’s view of National Socialism as a movement fighting capitalism is perhaps best explained by Shirer’s own ignorance as to the character of both National Socialism and the war.[82] The reader will see the anti-plutocratic character of National Socialism explained in Twilight, a copy of which Joyce gave to Shirer.

Twilight was published in September 1940, by Santoro, an elderly Italian who owned a Berlin publishing house, Internationaler Verlag, the English edition running to 100,000 copies.[83] They were distributed at POW camps, where there were efforts to recruit for a Legion of Saint George (also known as the British Free Corps) as a unit of the Waffen SS to fight on the Eastern Front (not against fellow Britons).[84]

After a year of delays, the Joyce’s were German citizens. In 1941 Joyce registered for military service and was put in a reserved category. Joyce was now permitted to reveal his identity and stated:

‘I, William Joyce, left England because I would not fight for Jewry against Adolf Hitler and National Socialism. I left England because I thought that victory which would preserve existing conditions would be more damaging to Britain than defeat’.[85]

On 11 May 1941 Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess reached Scotland on his ill-fated peace mission. It was undertaken at a time when war between the USSR and Germany was approaching, and the German authorities were obliged to repudiate the Hess mission as the lone efforts of someone who had become mentally unhinged. Perhaps Hess was unbalanced if he thought he could overcome the war party led by Churchill, but there was still thought to be a prominent peace party within influential circles who aimed for a negotiated peace. Hess had flown to Scotland in the hope of talking with the Duke of Hamilton, who was thought to be among the peace party. It is known that Hess had long been discussing possibilities of a peace mission to Britain, with Hitler’s knowledge, and that Hess’ friend Albrecht Haushofer had been in contact with the Duke of Hamilton.[86] New evidence has come to light that Hess probably did fly to Britain with Hitler’s approval. British historian Peter Padfield states that Hess brought with him to Britain detailed peace proposals from Hitler. The proposals asked for Britain’s neutrality in a coming conflict with the USSR, in return for which Germany would withdraw from Western Europe and would have no claims on Britain or the Empire.[87] Of course, such proposals were perfectly in keeping with the foreign policy aims that Hitler had desired since the 1920s, as we have seen previously. The proposals from Hitler specified German aims in Russia and even stated the precise time of the German offensive. Padfield remarks: ‘This was not a renegade plot. Hitler had sent Hess and he brought over a fully developed peace treaty for Germany to evacuate all the occupied countries in the West’.[88] Padfield also remarks on a significant ‘negotiated peace’ faction in Britain, and the ruin that peace would have meant for Churchill’s career. There is also allusion to this peace faction including the Royal Family.

Joyce expected he would soon die, whether fighting the Russians, during an air-raid or hanged. Awarded the War Merit Cross 1st Class, a civilian medal, which meant little to him, he was called up to the home guard, the Volkssturm, and he started training with weapons.[89] During the course of an air-raid, confined in a shelter, he proceeded to teach a French journalist English songs, which drew the attention of an air-warden. When Joyce refused the order to quieten a scuffle ensued, Joyce received a cut lip, and the warden a black eye. The air-raid warden stated that Joyce would be reported. Bellowing with laughter at the absurdity of the situation, Joyce was duly notified that he was charged with ‘sub-treason’, and that the warden had been the personal chauffer of Freisler, president of the People’s Court. His employers warned him that the charge was more serious than he assumed. However, the court and all traces of the documentation as well as Freisler’s chauffeur were buried in rubble from an air-raid and so was the charge of ‘sub-treason’.[90]

At the suggestion that the Joyces obtain false papers with the view to escaping as the war drew to a conclusion, Joyce was furious and adamant that ‘soldiers cannot run away, so why should I?’[91] For Joyce, from boyhood to the end of his life, honour an integrity were paramount, courage an instinct.

With Berlin in ruins, the staff of Buro Concordia prepared to relocate. With the impending Russian occupation of the city, the staff of the English Language Services proceeded to Apen, a small town between Bremen and the Dutch border, although Joyce would have preferred the barricades with his Volkssturm colleagues.


On 30 April 1945 the staff were called together and told of Hitler’s death. Lord and Lady Haw-Haw made their final broadcasts that day. Joyce reiterated what he had always said:

‘Britain’s victories are barren. They leave her poor and they leave her people hungry. They leave her bereft of the markets and the wealth that she possessed six years ago. But above all, they leave her with an immensely greater problem than she had then. We are nearing the end of one phase of Europe’s history, but the next will be no happier. It will be grimmer, harder and perhaps bloodier. And now I ask you earnestly, can Britain survive? I am profoundly convinced that without German help she cannot’.

Is there any reader who is so ignorant or so naïve, other than the ideologically or ethnically biased, who can deny that Joyce has been proved correct? Britain lost her Empire, lost her markets, the Commonwealth and colonial peoples were detached from her and left to wallow in Third World poverty, or become colonies of a US led world order, and debt became more than ever the preferred method of economics.

Orders came from Goebbels, the first from the Reichsminister that had acknowledged them, that the Joyces were not to fall into Allied hands. However, attempts to get them to neutral Sweden via Denmark or to Eire, were abortive. They ended up in Flensburg, back in the crumbling and occupied Reich. Joyce, as was his habit, adopted a rascally attitude even now, and played what he called ‘Russian roulette’ by greeting British soldiers, to see if they would recognise his voice. On a stroll back from the woods he encountered two officers collecting firewood, and approached them offering some sticks. One of the officers, Lieutenant Perry,[92] a returning Jewish refugee serving as an interpreter, a type that was now swarming over Germany in the wake of the Allied occupation, recognised Joyce’s voice. They pursued Joyce in a vehicle, and Perry asked, ‘You wouldn’t happen to be William Joyce would you?’ Joyce reached for the less than convincing fake identity papers that had been given to him by the Germans and was shot by Perry, the bullet entering through Joyce’s right thigh and passing through the left.[93]


The military authorities promptly called on Margaret Joyce at the lodging of an elderly widow, who was also detained, but quickly released, albeit not before her household food rations had been looted by the liberators.

Joyce’s first court appearance on treason charges was held at the Old Bailey on 17 September 1945. He entered a ‘not guilty’ plea. The main problem for the prosecution was in regard to whether Joyce was a British national under the protection of the Crown when he made his broadcasts in Germany. Joyce had never been a British citizen, and he had obtained a British passport for his move to Germany by making a false declaration. Two of the three charges could not be upheld. The case reached the House of Lords. However, Joyce was in no doubt that his hanging was required, and his defence team had even received death threats should he be acquitted. Joyce was hanged on the basis that because he had a British passport he was under the protection of the Crown when he started his broadcasts, and therefore committed high treason. The charge was dubious at best. He had never used his British status for protection at any time, and there is no reason to believe he would have in any circumstances. He moved to Germany with the intention of become a German citizen as promptly as possible, although German officialdom had been tardy in the process. Joyce was hanged on a passport technicality. Judgement was passed on 18 December 1945 to dismiss the appeal. Lord Porter dissented, stating that it was by no means clear that Joyce could have been considered to have owed allegiance to the Crown at the time of the broadcasts.[94]

Joyce on being told the decision wrote to Margaret that it was a relief the matter was over and that he found it undignified to have to plead for his life before his enemies, and to ‘observer their pretence at “fair play”’. Amidst the petty vengefulness of a befuddled and war-worn people, The Manchester Guardian nonetheless questioned the appropriateness of death sentences for Joyce and John Amery (whose trial had lasted eight minutes) for views that ‘were once shared by many who walk untouched among us’. Joyce appreciated the acknowledgment of his sincerity by the Guardian. His friends remained steadfast, and John Macnab was particularly active on Joyce behalf. Macnab, an avid Catholic, remarked on his last visits to Joyce that ‘being with him gave a sense of inward peace, like being in a quiet church’.[95] Some of his former teachers at Birbeck College, remembering the likeable and hardworking student, asked the prison Governor to relay their well-wishes to Joyce. He handed his brother Quentin his final message:

‘In death, as in this life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war: and I defy the power of Darkness which they represent. I warn the British people against the aggressive Imperialism of the Soviet Union.

‘May Britain be great once again; and, in the hour of the greatest danger to the West, may the standard of the Hakenkreuz be raised from the dust, crowned with the historic words “Ihr habt doch gesiegt”. I am proud to die for my ideals; and I am sorry for the sons of Britain who have died without knowing why’.

Joyce’s old friend, the one-timer Labour Party stalwart John Beckett, wrote to him in his final days: ‘Our children will grow up to think of you as an honest and courageous martyr in the fight against alien control of our country … That is how we shall remember you, and what we will tell our people’.[96] It has only recently been known that Beckett’s departure from the National Socialist League was for reasons other than a falling-out with Joyce. Beckett referred to this when writing to Joyce:

‘No one knows better than myself the sincerity of the beliefs which led to the course of action you chose. You remember we discussed the position in 1938, and the disagreement and respect I showed for your opinion then, remains’.[97]

Joyce replied in a letter that was intercepted and never given to Beckett:

‘Of course I remember, quite vividly, how we discussed the situation in 1938. I do not, in the most infinitesimal degree, regret what I have done. For me, there was nothing else to do. I am proud to die for what I have done’.[98]

Beckett in his farewell wrote to Joyce: ‘Goodbye, William, it’s been good to know you and there are few things in my life I am prouder of than our association. Yours always, John’.[99]

Joyce took holy communion, wrote to his wife and to Macnab, and at 9:00 am precisely he was taken from his cell by the hangman, Albert Pierrepoint and hanged.[100]

On the morning of 3 January 1946, the day of his execution, a crowd of 300 gathered outside Wandsworth prison; most to gloat but some to pay their final respects. Some of the crowd, on the notice of Joyce’s execution being posted up, set themselves apart from the crowd and gave the Fascist salute in Joyce’s honour.


[1] J A Cole, Lord Haw-Haw: The Full Story of William Joyce (London: Faber and Faber, 1987), 307

[2] Cole, 16.

[3] Cole, 212.

[4] Rebecca West, The Meaning of Treason (London: The Reprint Society, 1952), 3.

[5] Ibid., 4.

[6] One might recall the fates of Dr Robert Faurrison in France, Fred Leuchter in the USA, David Irving in England, Dr Joel Hayward in New Zealand, Ernst Zundel in Canada, et al.

[7] K R Bolton, Artists of the Right (San Francisco, Counter-Currents Publications, 2012), 97-119. Pound, stranded in Italy with his wife when the USA entered the war, broadcast for Italy on a programme called ‘Europe Calling’, analogous to Joyce’s broadcasts named ‘Germany Calling’. Handed over to US troops after the war by Italian partisans, Pound was confined in an animal cage under the scathing Pisan sun. The embarrassment of trying and hanging for treason one of the world’s greatest literary figures was avoided by declaring Pound unfit to stand trial, and he was confined to a mental asylum for thirteen years, after which, still undiagnosed or treated for any supposed ‘mental illness’, he was permitted to leave the USA and return to Italy.

[8] Cole, op. cit., 22-23.

[9] Ibid., 56.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain (London: Basil Blackwell, 1987), 51.

[12] Ibid., 53.

[13] Cole., op. cit., 30.

[14] Ibid.,  31.

[15] Oswald Mosley (1968) My Life (London: Black House Publishing, 2012), 294.

[16] Ibid, 295.

[17] Ibid., 297.

[18] Cole, op. cit., 39.

[19] Thurlow, op. cit., 98.

[20] In 1925 Beckett become the youngest Labour MP of his time, at the age of 30. Becoming increasingly radical, he was expelled from the Labour party and lost his seat in 1931, joining the BUF two years later.

[21] Cole, op. cit, 45.

[22] Jeffrey Hamm, Action Replay (London: Howard Baker, 1983), 151.

[23] Cole, op.cit., 57.

[24] Cole, op. cit., 59.

[25] Ibid., 65.

[26] Randolf Churchill in letter to The Spectator, 27 December 1963, cited by Mosley, My Life, op. cit., 363.

[27] Zeev Sternhell, Neither Left Nor Right: Fascist Ideology in France (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1986); The Birth of Fascist Ideology (Princeton, 1994).

[28] Cole, op. cit., 73.

[29] K R Bolton, ‘Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk: New Zealand Poet, “Polish King”, and “Good European”’, Counter-Currents Publishing, http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/08/count-potocki-de-montalk-part-iii/

[30] William Joyce, National Socialism Now, 1939, Chapter 1.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), 71-72.

[33] Joyce, NS Now, op. cit., Chapter 2.

[34] K R Bolton, The Banking Swindle (London: Black House Publishing, 2013), 103-120.

[35] Ibid., 96-100.

[36] Ibid, passim.

[37] W Joyce, NS Now, op. cit., Chapter 4.

[38] Adolf Hitler (1926), Mein Kampf (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1969), 570.

[39] Ramsay was one of the many veterans who had served in the First World War ‘with gallantry’ (Griffiths, 353) who were imprisoned under Regulation 18B. Members of the Right Club included Admiral Wilmot Nicholson (another First World War hero), Mrs Frances Eckersley, who was to assist the Joyce’s on their arrival to Germany; and the Duke of Wellington. Richard Griffiths, Fellow Travellers of the Right (London: Oxford University Press, 1983) 353-355.

[40] A H M Ramsay, The Nameless War (1952), 17.

[41] Ramsay, ibid., 54.

[42] Ramsay, ibid., 59-60.

[43] Ramsay, ibid., 62.

[44] David Irving (1966), The Destruction of Dresden (London: Futura Publications, 1980).

[45] Ramsay, op. cit., 67.

[46] Cited by Ramsay, ibid., 68.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Hitler, Mein Kampf, op. cit., 575.

[49] David Irving, Churchill’s War Vol. 1 (Western Australia: Veritas Publishing, 1987), 104.

[50] Stephen Mitford Goodson, Inside the Reserve Bank of South Africa (2013), 67-69.

[51] David Irving, op. cit., ., 14.

[52] Cole, op. cit., 77.

[53] Stephen Dorril, Black Shirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism (London: Penguin Books, 2007), 466.

[54] Ibid.

[55] Griffiths, op. cit., 319.

[56] The BUF had its own notable agricultural expert, Jorian Jencks, author of BUF rural policies.

[57] Griffiths, op. cit., 352.

[58] Cole, op. cit., 82-83.

[59] Cole, ibid., 86.

[60] Cole, 103.

[61] Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley, 440.

[62] Ibid., 449.

[63] Ibid., 455.

[64] Cole, op. cit., 108.

[65] Ibid., 113.

[66] Ibid., 115.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Ibid., 118.

[69] Ibid., 121.

[70] Ibid., 124.

[71] Ibid., 126.

[72] Ibid., 127.

[73] Ibid., 137.

[74] Cole, 159.

[75] Ibid. 161.

[76] Cole, 164.

[77] Cole, ibid., 182.

[78] Cited by Cole, ibid., 170.

[79] William L Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Secker and Warburg, 1977).

[80] Recall the description of Joyce’s appearance by Shirer with that of Rebecca West.

[81] Cited by Cole, op. cit., 174-175.

[82] Shirer was listed as a Communist sympathiser in a 1950 US publication, Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television, based on FBI documents. Shirer had been a member of the Committee for the Prevention of World War III, founded in the USA in 1944, which lobbied for the elimination of Germany. Among its members were James P Warburg, ‘ideologue’ of the society and a scion of the influential Warburg banking dynasty. Did Shirer ever regard the alliance between plutocrats and Leftists against the Axis to be ‘strange’? For several years after the war the Committee’s aims were implemented under the so-called Morgenthau Plan, named after US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr., a supporter of the society. The Morgenthau Plan attempted to exterminate the German people through starvation, until being reversed by the Marshall Plan several years after the war, when it was realised that the Germans might be needed to fight the Russians, again.  See: James Bacque, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation 1944-1950 (London: Little, Brown & Co., 1997).

[83] Adrian Weale, Renegades: Hitler’s Englishmen (London: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1994), 36.

[84] Ibid., passim.

[85] Cole, op. cit., 190.

[86] Wolf Rudiger Hess, My Father Rudolf Hess (London: W H Allen, 1986), 66-67.

[87] Jasper Copping, ‘Nazis “offered to leave Western Europe for free hand to attack USSR”’, The Telegraph, 26 September 2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10336126/Nazis-offered-to-leave-western-Europe-in-exchange-for-free-hand-to-attack-USSR.html

[88] Peter Padfield, Hess, Hitler and Churchill (Icon books Ltd., 2013), cited by Copping, ibid.

[89] Cole, 219.

[90] Cole, 221.

[91] Ibid., 222

[92] The large numbers of Jewish lawyers and interpreters who entered Germany with the Occupation forces were given false names. See Cole, op. cit., 247.

[93] Ibid., 246.

[94] Ibid., 287.

[95] Cole, 300.

[96] Cited by Beckett’s son, the author and journalist Francis Beckett, ‘My Father and Lord Haw-Haw’, The Guardian, 10 February 2005, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/feb/10/secondworldwar.world

[97] Ibid.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Adrien Weal, op.cit., 195.


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mardi, 12 novembre 2013

Warum die UKIP täuscht


Warum die UKIP täuscht

von Johannes Konstantin Poensgen

Ex: http://www.blauenarzisse.de

Ein Rechter hierzulande muss, mangels ernstzunehmender Parteien, ins europäische Ausland blicken. Doch der Schein trügt: Eine Alternative wie die UKIP wird die Probleme nicht beseitigen.

Einen Großteil der deutschen konservativen Aufmerksamkeit hat in den letzten Jahren die britische „United Kingdoms Independence Party” (UKIP) auf sich gezogen. Dieser ist sowohl dank ihres charismatischen Führers Nigel Farage, als auch aufgrund der tiefen wirtschaftlichen Krise des Landes ein kometenhafter Aufstieg gelungen. Deshalb ist es wichtig, die Natur dieser Partei zu untersuchen ‒ und vor allem, was sie geleistet hat und was sie noch leisten kann.

Keine Ein-​Themen-​Partei

Die UKIP hat seit ihrer Gründung 1993 drei wichtige Etappenziele erreicht: 2004 gelang der Einzug ins Europäische Parlament. Die Partei gewann 16,8 Prozent der britischen Wählerstimmen und damit zwölf Sitze. Ironischerweise bot das Parlament in Straßburg der UKIP und insbesondere dem begnadeten Redner Farage eine gute Plattform. Es war ein Gütesiegel der Seriosität. Zweitens ist sie eine der wenigen Protestparteien, der es gelang, die Fixierung auf ein Thema zu überwinden und zu allen Politikbereichen ausgearbeitete Programme zu erstellen.

Hierbei verbindet UKIP ihre zentralen Forderungen nach einem Austritt aus der EU und einem Ende der Masseneinwanderung mit liberalen Positionen in Fragen der Wirtschaft wie der Gesellschaft. Drittens veränderte UKIP tatsächlich die politische Debatte in England. Mit dieser Leistung steht sie unter den Protestparteien Europas allein da. Selbst dem in Wahlen ebenfalls erfolgreichen Front National und und der FPÖ gelang es nie, dem Gegner die eigenen Themen und die eigene Debatte aufzuzwingen.

In Britannien müssen nun aber auch die alteingesessen Parteien zur Einwanderungs– wie zur Europafrage Farbe bekennen. Es zeichnet sich sogar ein, unter Umständen aber nur rhetorisches, Einschwenken auf UKIP-​Forderungen ab. Ein Beispiel dafür sind die jüngsten Forderungen von Premier David Cameron (Conservative Party) gegenüber der EU.

Das liberale Verhängnis der UKIP

Die UKIP stilisiert sich damit als Verteidigerin der britischen Demokratie. Liberales Gedankengut ist derart essenziell für die gesamte Programmatik dieser Partei, dass dieser Anspruch ernstzunehmen ist. Denn die Partei ist nur aus der liberal-​parlamentarischen Tradition Britanniens zu verstehen. Darin liegt das Geheimnis ihres Erfolgs und zugleich ihr Verhängnis.

Die UKIP braucht unter Briten niemanden von einer neuen Weltsicht zu überzeugen. Sie baut auf das auf, was auf der Insel eine lange Tradition hat. Nigel Farage will nichts umstürzen, sondern ein politisches System wieder in sein Recht setzen. Hinter dieser politischen Tradition steht die Geschichte und der Stolz des ganzen britischen Volkes. Unter Brüsseler Vormundschaft, ebenso wie unter dem Kartell seiner etablierten Parteien, droht es zu einer Karikatur herabzusinken.

An der ethnischen Krise ändert die UKIP nichts

Doch dadurch wird die UKIP trotz aller Erfolge zum Anachronismus. Es ist bezeichnend, dass die UKIP glaubt, der Einwanderungsproblematik sei allein mit einer Reduzierung der Migration beizukommen, als wenn zumindest die Großstädte Englands nicht bereits ethnisch zersplittert seien, als wenn es keine Unruhen in Tottenham gegeben hätte, als wenn nicht die großen Unterschiede in der Geburtenrate der einzelnen Gruppen diesen Prozess weiter treiben müssten, egal was an der Grenze geschieht.

Dem Erbe der Premiers Gladstones und Churchills, selbst dem Maggie Thatchers, wird zunehmend die Substanz entzogen. Eine liberale Partei wie die UKIP kann weder mit dieser noch gegen diese Entwicklung regieren. Wie will sie etwa die den Muslimen bereits eingeräumten Schariagerichte auflösen, ohne Widerstand in der muslimischen Bevölkerung auszulösen?

Farage: Der letzte britische Premier?

Es steht außer Zweifel: Die UKIP wird bei den Unterhauswahlen 2015 ins Parlament einziehen. Es ist sogar möglich, dass sie bald den Premierminister stellt. Das Mehrheitswahlrecht, welches sie bisher hinderte, muss sie fördern, sobald sie eine bestimmte Wählermasse erreicht. Es wäre ein demokratischer Traum. Die Bürger hätten tatsächlich eine ungeliebte Machtelite friedlich abgewählt, mit ihren Stimmen der Politik keine andere Fassade, sondern eine andere Richtung gegeben. Aus dieser Welt stammt die UKIP, darüber hinaus wird sie nicht aber nicht wachsen.

Nigel Farage könnte der letzte britische Premierminister werden. Dieser Ausdruck bleibt bewusst mehrdeutig: Er könnte der letzte Premierminister sein und bzw. oder der letzte Brite als Premierminister. Zumindest wird er wohl der letzte Premierminister, bei dessen Wahl britische Stimmen den Ausschlag gaben. Es wäre nicht das schlechteste Ende des britischen Parlamentarismus.

mercredi, 18 septembre 2013

D. H. Lawrence on the Metaphysics of Life


D. H. Lawrence on the Metaphysics of Life

By Derek Hawthorne

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

1. Life and the “Creative Mystery”

Lawrence believes that the chief thing modern science simply cannot explain is life itself. And he regards life as an irreducible, and ultimately inexplicable, primary. Further, he believes that there is no such thing as disembodied spirit, or immaterial existence. The only meaningful distinction is that between living and non-living matter.[1]

In addition, Lawrence believes that non-living matter is merely the dead remains of the living. (A position that will strike many as utterly bizarre.) Lawrence makes this claim many times, especially in Fantasia of the Unconscious, but also in his strange, Hermetic essay “The Two Principles.” He writes there, “Inanimate matter is released from the dead body of the world’s creatures. It is the static residue of the living conscious plasm, like feathers of birds.”[2] And: “death is not just shadow or mystery. It is the negative reality of life. It is what we call Matter and Force, among other things. . . . The cosmos is nothing but the aggregate of the dead bodies and dead energies of bygone individuals. The dead bodies decompose as we know into earth, air, and water, heat and radiant energy and free electricity and innumerable other scientific facts.”[3]

Obviously, if the non-living comes from the living and is its residue, then living things must have existed before there were any non-living things. But this seems to present a whole host of difficulties. Where did these living things reside, if not on the non-living rocks we call planets? If they were like the living things we know, then wouldn’t they have had to have breathed oxygen and consumed water? And oxygen and water can hardly be classed as “alive.” Lawrence finds a way around this problem, however, by postulating that in the beginning there were no living things; instead, life was “homogeneous,” and not divided into distinct creatures.

He puts this idea forward in his 1914 philosophical essay “A Study of Thomas Hardy”: “In the origin, life must have been uniform, a great unmoved, utterly homogeneous infinity, a great not-being, at once a positive and negative infinity: the whole universe, the whole infinity, one motionless homogeneity, a something, a nothing.”[4] (I will have reason to return to this quotation later for, as we shall shortly see, Lawrence qualifies this statement in an important way.)

Lawrence’s conception of an undifferentiated, homogeneous “life” is very close to Schopenhauer’s “will.” Recall that in The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer argues that the will is an impersonal, self-perpetuating force, and that it lies at the root of all that exists. Lawrence seems to have held some version of this theory for most of his life. In a letter from 1911 he writes: “There still remains a God, but not a personal God: a vast, shimmering impulse which waves onwards towards some end, I don’t know what—taking no regard for the little individual, but taking regard for humanity. When we die, like rain-drops falling back again into the sea, we fall back into the big, shimmering sea of unorganized life which we call God.”[5]

In Women in Love Birkin often expresses Schopenhauerian ideas: “Well, if mankind is destroyed, if our race is destroyed like Sodom, and there is this beautiful evening with the luminous land and trees, I am satisfied. That which informs it all is there, and can never be lost. After all, what is mankind but just one expression of the incomprehensible.”[6] And, later in the novel, Lawrence expresses Birkin’s thoughts after Gerald’s death:

If humanity ran into a cul-de-sac, and expended itself, the timeless creative mystery would bring forth some other being, finer, more wonderful, some new, more lovely race, to carry on the embodiment of creation. The game was never up. The mystery of creation was fathomless, infallible, inexhaustible, for ever. . . . The fountain-head was incorruptible and unsearchable. It had no limits. It could bring forth miracles, create utter new races and new species in its own hour, new forms of consciousness, new forms of body, new units of being. To be man was as nothing compared to the possibilities of the creative mystery.[7]

Lawrence also sometimes refers to “the pan mystery,” and at one point says “God is the flame-life in all the universe; multifarious, multifarious flames, all colours and beauties and pains and somberness. Whichever flame flames in your manhood, that is you, for the time being.”[8] Finally, in one of Lawrence’s last works of fiction, The Man Who Died, he writes,

And always the man who had died saw not the bird alone, but the short, sharp wave of life of which the bird was the crest. . . . And the man who had died watched the unsteady, rocking vibration of the bent bird, and it was not the bird he saw, but one wave-tip of life overlapping for a minute another, in the tide of the swaying ocean of life. And the destiny of life seemed more fierce and compulsive to him even than the destiny of death. The doom of death was a shadow compared to the raging destiny of life, the determined surge of life.[9]

Unlike Schopenhauer, Lawrence never settles on a single term for this “life force,” and so I have chosen to follow his language in Women In Love and to refer to it consistently here as the creative mystery. I take Lawrence’s discussion in “A Study of Thomas Hardy” of primordial life as a “great unmoved, utterly homogeneous infinity,” as yet another description of the creative mystery that lies at the root, and origin of all things.

It is easy to see that the creative mystery forms the basis for Lawrence’s ontology, his theory of Being.[10] If Lawrence merely followed Schopenhauer and identified the creative mystery with Being (as Schopenhauer himself never explicitly does), he would fall squarely within the tradition of what Heidegger calls “ontotheology.” Ontotheology is the error of identifying Being-as-such with the highest or most basic of all beings, or things that have being. The error is analogous to declaring that the characteristic of Tallness is just the same as a thing that happens to be tall (i.e., a thing that “has” tallness). To recognize what Heidegger calls the “ontological difference” is to recognize that Being is not simply another of the beings, no matter how special.

If the creative mystery is something that has Being, then it cannot be Being-as-such. Fortunately, however, Lawrence does not make this error. One of the few places where Lawrence explicitly refers to Being occurs in his essay “Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine”: “The clue to all existence is being. But you can’t have being without existence, any more than you can have the dandelion flower without the leaves and the long tap root.”[11] Essentially, for Lawrence Being is the emergence of individuals out of the creative mystery. The creative mystery itself is not Being, but what one might call the “ground of Being.”

This ontology comes very close to Heidegger’s understanding of the Pre-Socratic conception of Being as phusis. And surely this is no accident. Lawrence’s understanding of the creative mystery and what emerges from it was not formed solely through his encounter with Schopenhauer. His descriptions of it also reflect his encounter with pre-Socratic philosophy, which he also studied carefully. In particular, one can detect a strong hint of Anaximander’s “indefinite” (apeiron), out of which all things emerge and into which they return. I will return to Lawrence’s ontology later when I discuss his theory of the “Holy Ghost,” which “draws” individuals out of the creative mystery and into the flowering of Being. For now, however, we must continue to investigate Lawrence’s understanding of the creative mystery itself.

2. The Holy Ghost

Earlier I quoted Lawrence’s essay “A Study of Thomas Hardy” concerning the origin of life, when it was “uniform, a great unmoved, utterly homogeneous infinity.” However, he qualifies this statement in the next sentence: “And yet it can never have been utterly homogeneous: mathematically, yes; actually, no.”[12] Indeed, Lawrence makes it very clear elsewhere that he believes in the primacy of the individual.

In Fantasia of the Unconscious he writes, “Life is individual, always was individual and always will be. Life consists of living individuals, and always did so consist, in the beginning of everything.”[13] Later in the same text Lawrence remarks that living individuals are “the one, pure clue to our cosmos.” And then: “I only know there is but one origin, and that is the individual soul. The individual soul originated everything, and has itself no origin.”[14]Lawrence is here going a step further. Life is always individual life, but what accounts for individuality as such is “the soul,” or what he calls elsewhere the Holy Ghost. Lawrence has acquired these terms from his Christian upbringing, but he uses them in a highly unusual way, as we will see in the next section.

But here we must pause to raise a troubling, and obvious objection: doesn’t all of this completely contradict the idea Lawrence puts forward that in the beginning only life existed, but that it was an “utterly homogeneous infinity”? Yes and no. Lawrence frankly admits elsewhere that he does not believe there ever was a literal beginning to the universe. So what was the point, then, in telling us what happened “in the origin”? Is Lawrence simply spinning out myths? The answer is yes: Lawrence is consciously and deliberately expresses his ideas in mythic form.

When Lawrence speaks of a homogeneous life “in the origin” this is a mythic way of speaking of the creative mystery that is the source of all things. In a way, one can say that this is the “origin” of all things. However, the creative mystery has always existed in and through individuals. Because these individuals are all expressions of the creative mystery, they are all one; but the one creative mystery exists only within the many. As Lawrence says, “life” is homogeneous “mathematically,” but not “actually.”

Now, some might charge that the foregoing is merely a facile way of trying to resolve what is quite simply a glaring contradiction in Lawrence’s thought. But this is not the case. Lawrence makes it quite clear, in fact, that he means us to interpret him exactly as I have suggested. In his essay “The Two Principles” Lawrence writes: “When we postulate a beginning, we only do so to fix a starting point for our thought. There never was a beginning, and there never will be an end to the universe. The creative mystery, which is life itself, always was and always will be. It unfolds itself in pure living creatures.”[15]

For Lawrence, existence “begins” with an undifferentiated life force, which then progressively and infinitely individuates itself. Of course, we must remember that Lawrence does not believe in a literal beginning. When this is taken into account, his position comes extremely close to that of Schopenhauer: existence is, at root, an infinite will that never exists as such, purely by itself, but is continually “expressed” through individuals. Lawrence’s account of the course of creation then becomes, in effect, an alchemical ontology giving us the ultimate qualities and categories of being itself—the most fundamental of which are Fire and Water.

Lawrence develops his “creation myth” in Fantasia and in “The Two Principles.” It is complex and obscure, and best set aside for the moment. Instead, I will turn now to another issue, and an important one. We have seen that for Lawrence the purpose of existence itself is individuation: the coming-into-being of individuals of various forms, each unique and, to one degree or another, independent and self-sufficient. But how, in metaphysical terms, can we account of the arising of the individual? Lawrence answers this question with his idiosyncratic theory of the “Holy Ghost.”

Writing of the positive “sun-pole” and negative “moon-pole” in Fantasia, Lawrence states that “Existence is truly a matter of propagation between the two infinities. But it needs a third presence. . . . The hailstone needs a grain of dust for its core. So does the universe. Midway between the two cosmic infinities lies the third, which is more than infinite. This is the Holy Ghost Life, individual life.”[16] Lawrence also speaks of the ‘individual soul” as the “one clue to the universe.”[17] We shall see that the soul and the Holy Ghost are, in a way equivalent.

The Holy Ghost, Lawrence tells us, mediates between dualities. In the language of “The Two Principles” the Holy Ghost is that which “draws together” Fire and Water to produce a new individual. In his essay “The Crown,” Lawrence remarks that every new (living) individual is “a glimpse of the Holy Ghost.”[18] And in “Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine” he writes that “All existence is dual, and surging towards a consummation into being. In the seed of the dandelion, as it floats with its little umbrella of hairs, sits the Holy Ghost in tiny compass. The Holy Ghost is that which holds the light and the dark, the day and the night, the wet and the sunny, united in one little clue. There it sits, in the seed of the dandelion.”[19]

Lawrence’s concept of the Holy Ghost is not unlike Aristotelian entelecheia, or full or completed actuality. It is that for that for the sake of which each thing strives: its end, or, in Lawrence’s terms, its “fullness of being.” The entelecheia of a thing is just the fully-accomplished being or acting of the thing, yet it has the status of an ideality which is, in a sense, logically and ontologically prior to the existence of the thing. This comparison may seem a bit of stretch, so let us consider the following statements Lawrence makes in his essays. In “Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine” he writes,

Any creature that attains to its own fullness of being, its own living self, becomes unique, a nonpareil. It has its place in the fourth dimension, the heaven of existence, and there it is perfect, beyond comparison. . . . At the same time, every creature exists in time and space. And in time and space it exists relatively to all other existence, and can never be absolved. Its existence impinges on other existences, and is itself impinged upon. . . . The force which we call vitality, and which is the determining factor in the struggle for existence is, however, derived also from the fourth dimension. That is to say, the ultimate source of all vitality is in that other dimension, or region, where the dandelion blooms, and which men have called heaven, and which now they call the fourth dimension: which is only a way of saying that it is not to be reckoned in terms of space and time.[20]

dh-lawrence-women-in-love.jpgIn “Him with His Tail in His Mouth” (1925), Lawrence writes “Creation is a fourth dimension, and in it there are all sorts of things, gods and what-not. That brown hen, scratching with her hind leg in such common fashion, is a sort of goddess in the creative dimension.”[21] And in “Morality and the Novel” (1925), Lawrence tells us “By life, we mean something that gleams, that has the fourth-dimensional quality.”[22] Nothing in Lawrence is ever completely clear, but it seems clear enough in these passages that he thinks that living things exist in two ways. In space and time they exist alongside other creatures, and in large measure are what they are in contrast or opposition to those other creatures. In truth, however, their being is located in a realm beyond space and time.

So far, this seems Platonic. However, Lawrence tells us that any creature that attains its own “fullness of being” becomes unique, and “has its place in the fourth dimension.” In other words, being, for Lawrence, is an achievement. When creatures actualize themselves through becoming what they are, this actuality (what Lawrence calls “vitality”), achieved in space-time, partakes of the eternal.[23] Employing Aristotelian terminology to explain these ideas is almost irresistible—but I hope at this point that the reader sees that my use of this terminology is not misuse.

The Holy Ghost is the actuality of each individual living thing, existing “prior” to it, drawing it on to its achieved fullness of being. Lawrence’s statement that in the fourth dimension “there are all sorts of things, gods and what-not” is tantalizing. I take it to support my claims about the Holy Ghost (i.e., that it is a non-spatio-temporal ideality). But Lawrence’s remark about the hen shows very clearly that, as I shall argue more fully later on, each individual thing is itself God or a god insofar as it follows its Holy Ghost and achieves its fullness of being.

As we have seen, the universe for Lawrence tends toward individuation—or, to put it another way, the creative mystery realizes itself through the perpetual blossoming of myriad individuals. “While we live, we are balanced between the flux of life and the flux of death. But the real clue is the Holy Ghost, that moves us into the state of blossoming. And each year the blossoming is different: from the delicate blue speedwells of childhood to the equally delicate, frail farewell flowers of old age: through all the poppies and sunflowers: year after year of difference.”[24] The blossom is the “completed” individual, which is a wholly unique creation; an unrepeatable expression of the creative mystery.

Lawrence tells us that “Blossoming means the establishing of a pure, new relationship with all the cosmos.”[25] According to Lawrence’s fanciful cosmogony, “first” the creative mystery abides as the one existing individual. Yet, in this form, it is simply undifferentiated “life plasm”—and, in truth, it is no individual at all, for it has no other against which it marks itself off as a specific something. The creative mystery then comes to actualization as an individual, not through the introduction of a foreign other, but through “othering itself”: through expressing itself as an infinite plurality of individuals, whose identities mutually determine each other – who are drawn forth from the mystery in blossoming, abide for a while, then die. The residue they leave forms the material out of which other living things are grown, and on which they depend for shelter and sustenance.

That Lawrence is aware that he is formulating an ontology is clear from the language he uses. For example, to repeat a quotation from “Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine,” he states that “The clue to all existence is being. But you can’t have being without existence, any more than you can have the dandelion flower without the leaves and the long tap root.”[26] By “being” Lawrence means “blossoming,” which not only bears a strong similarity to the Aristotelian entelecheia, but also, more generally, to the Greek phusis, mentioned earlier. Existence, on the other hand, refers to the concrete forms through which blossoming takes place: individual flowers, animals, human beings, etc.

Lawrence is telling us that the clue to understanding beings is Being, but that there is no Being without beings. So long as one understands the specific sense Lawrence gives to Being—“blossoming”—these are not vacuous statements. Things exist only insofar as they are, in essential terms, the blossoming forth of an underlying, primal reality—and this underlying, primal reality only exists through the concrete forms of blossoming in terms of which it “specifies” itself.

Unsurprisingly, Lawrence goes on to identify his Holy Ghost with God. To Heideggereans, of course, this means that Lawrence’s ontology slides over into the fallacy of ontotheology, discussed earlier. Lawrence remarks that “The flower is the burning of God in the bush: the flame of the Holy Ghost: the actual Presence of accomplished oneness, accomplished out of twoness. The true God is created every time a pure relationship, or a consummation out of twoness into oneness takes place. So that the poppy flower is God come red out of the poppy-plant.”[27]

In truth, however, this is not ontotheology. Lawrence is in actual fact telling us that there is no separate being called God. If however, what we mean by “God” is simply the most fundamental fact or, we might say, the most fundamental act in the universe, then we may identify God with Being or blossoming as such. Lawrence’s imagery in the above quotation is a particularly brilliant example of both his skills as a writer, and as an interpreter of myth. God is the burning bush—but in truth every bush, every flower, every living thing is the fire of God: the fire of “accomplished oneness.” God, for Lawrence, just is individuation, and God comes into being, in the world, each time a new living individual blossoms forth.

So far I have spoken in general terms of the Holy Ghost as, in effect, an ideality all living things are striving, in Aristotelian fashion, to “realize.” But nothing has been said specifically about the Holy Ghost in us, and our experience of it. In his 1924 essay “On Being Religious,” Lawrence tells us that “Only the Holy Ghost within you can scent the new tracks of the Great God across the Cosmos of Creation. The Holy Ghost is the dark hound of heaven whose baying we ought to listen to, as he runs ahead into the unknown, tracking the mysterious everlasting departing of the Lord God, who is for ever departing from us.”[28]

The Holy Ghost is an “ideality,” in the sense that it is something being striven for, but in the human being it is not the intellect or a part of the intellect. In so far as Aristotle seems to identify the actualization of the human animal with the actualization of its intellect, this is definitely a point on which Lawrence parts company with Aristotle. As I have argued in other essays, for Lawrence the “true self” is not to be identified with the conscious, socially-constructed ego, nor is it to be identified with intellect. In fact, for Lawrence, the Holy Ghost in human beings is more or less the same thing that he calls the true unconscious (see my essay “D. H. Lawrence on the Unconscious [2]”). It is the primal self that knows without abstract concepts, and guides without words and rules. It is this primal self that draws us on to the realization of our “fullness of being.”

Our Holy Ghost is our being—and it is an expression of the ultimate being, the creative mystery. Thus, when Lawrence tells us that “Only the Holy Ghost within you can scent the new tracks of the Great God across the Cosmos of Creation” he means that if we are to identify ourselves with our primal self—if we are able to become, in a sense, just that—then through it we know all of life, all of the universe. Lawrence’s position is, again, structurally similar to that of Schopenhauer. In Schopenhauer’s philosophy, we come to know the will in nature through the will that manifests itself in our deepest self. Indeed, that is the only way in which we may become aware directly of the will as the source of all that is.

“We go in search of God,” Lawrence writes, “following the Holy Ghost, and depending on the Holy Ghost. There is no Way. There is no Word. There is no Light.”[29] Lawrence means that there is no way to God, to awareness of ultimate reality and ultimate goodness, except through following our own Holy Ghost and letting it draw us into blossoming, into fullness of being. In other words, because God just is Being or blossoming, there is no way to God except through each of us becoming what we are.

Words cannot get us there, nor can following a path marked out by others, or a light kindled by others. Each of us is alone before God, and each way to God is individual because God is individuation. Recall the passage quoted earlier: “Creation is a fourth dimension, and in it there are all sorts of things, gods and what-not. That brown hen, scratching with her hind leg in such common fashion, is a sort of goddess in the creative dimension.”[30] In a sense, each living thing is God insofar as it achieves its fullness of being.


[1] “There is no utterly immaterial existence, no spirit. The distinction is between living plasm and inanimate matter.” Phoenix II, 230 (“The Two Principles”).

[2] Phoenix II, 230 (“The Two Principles”).

[3] Fantasia, 150-51.

[4] Phoenix, 432 (“A Study of Thomas Hardy”).

[5] Selected Letters of D. H. Lawrence, ed. Diana Trilling (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy, 1958), 10. Note that Schopenhauer does not identity will with God. His is an atheistic philosophy. But Lawrence has already gone beyond Schopenhauer and given a religious dimension to the will doctrine. Also, there is no direct evidence that Lawrence read The World as Will and Representation. However, we do know that he read Schopenhauer’s essays, and that they made a major impact on him.

[6] D. H. Lawrence, Women in Love (New York: Viking Press, 1969), 52.

[7] Ibid., 470.

[8] Phoenix II, 426 (“The Novel”).

[9] D. H. Lawrence, The Man Who Died (New York: Ecco Press, 1994), 17-18.

[10] I capitalize the B in Being to distinguish it from a being, or thing which has Being. In other words, beings (things which are) have Being.

[11] Phoenix II, 470 (“Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine”).

[12] Phoenix, 432 (“A Study of Thomas Hardy”).

[13] Fantasia, 150.

[14] Fantasia, 160.

[15] Phoenix II, 227 (“The Two Principles”).

[16] Fantasia, 158.

[17] Fantasia, 150.

[18] Phoenix II, 396 (“The Crown”).

[19] Phoenix II, 470 (“Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine”).

[20] Phoenix II, 469 (“Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine”).

[21] Phoenix II, 431 (“Him With His Tail in His Mouth”).

[22] Phoenix I, 529 (“Morality and the Novel”).

[23] In “Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine,” Lawrence writes “Being is not ideal, as Plato would have it: nor spiritual. It is a transcendent form of existence, as much material as existence is. Only the matter suddenly enters the fourth dimension” (Phoenix II, 470). I take Lawrence to be expressing here (without realizing it) essentially the Aristotelian alternative to Platonism: the being of the thing is not another “thing” existing in another reality. Instead, in some sense a living thing becomes eternal—becomes fourth-dimensional—in its actualization. At the same time, we may speak of this “actualization” as something transcendent precisely because it is not a spatio-temporal “thing” at all, but something ontologically “prior” to things. Insofar as it is the actualization of some spatio-temporal living thing, however, in another way it is immanent.

[24] Phoenix II, 396 (“The Crown”).

[25] Phoenix II, 471 (“Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine”).

[26] Ibid., 470.

[27] Phoenix II, 412 (“The Crown”).

[28] Phoenix I, 728 (“On Being Religious”).

[29] Ibid., 729.

[30] Phoenix II, 431 (“Him With His Tail in His Mouth”).


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jeudi, 22 août 2013

U.S., Britain and New Big Game in Near East


U.S., Britain and New Big Game in Near East

Interview with Jeffrey Steinberg

Ex: http://www.geopolitca.ru

1. Please give us a brief review of the contemporary situation in Egypt with respect to the recent government change and the recent riots, in Syria with respect to the ongoing civil war and insurgency, and in Turkey with respect to the recent socio-political crisis encountered by the Erdogan government.

The three situations must be treated as distinct but clearly all part of the same mosaic of change in the region.  Regarding Egypt, more and more evidence is coming out publicly, indicating that the Morsi government was more interested in consolidating absolute Muslim Brotherhood control over the state apparatus than in governing on behalf of the entire Egyptian people.  When somewhere between 10 and 22 million Egyptians turned out on the street on June 30 in a peaceful protest, demanding Morsi’s resignation, the Egyptian generals acted on that popular mandate.  This is an old story in Egypt.  The Army comes out of the Nasser tradition and sees itself as the guardians of the nation.  They had evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood was planning a purge of the top generals, arrests of opposition leaders and a move to consolidate the “Ikhwanization” of the country.  The interaction between the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Army was intense prior to, during and after the ouster of Morsi.  This is an ongoing process.  Unless the Muslim Brotherhood decides to launch an all-out military campaign to take back power, they will be incorporated into the political process, including the upcoming elections.  Morsi and Khayrat al-Shatar, the power behind the scenes within the Muslim Brotherhood, made the mistake of presuming that the Obama Administration would assure that they remained in power by pressuring the Army to stay in the barracks, regardless of what happened on June 30.  Ultimately, the Muslim Brotherhood failed to live up to the mandate that they were given by the Egyptian people.  General Martin Dempsey, the wise Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recently observed that modern history has seen very few successful revolutions.  He noted that in almost every instance, except for the American Revolution, the first generation got it wrong, the next generation in power overcompensated and also got it wrong, and the third generation managed to get it mostly right.  We are at the very early stages of the Egyptian revolution.  Economic well-being for the vast majority of Egyptians is the ultimate test.  Egypt has water, which is the most precious commodity in the region, and has the capacity to grow vast amounts of food.  Development projects have been on the drawing board for a long time.  This will be the measure of success of the future governments.

The Syria crisis is a tragedy in almost every respect.  No one involved in the Syria events of the past two-and-a-half years is immune from some responsibility for the bloodshed and the near-total destruction of a nation.  A country that was once a model of communal integration (Sunni, Shiite, Alawite, Kurd, Druze, Christian) and was a birthplace of Christianity has been thoroughly Balkanized into warring factions.  Outside powers played the Syrian situation to their own interests and advantages.  President Obama, declared that President Bashar al-Assad had to go almost two years ago, before receiving any intelligence or military assessments of the situation there.  Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey all jumped into the situation early on, promoting an armed Syrian opposition that was expected to oust President Assad in short order.  Now, Syria is the epicenter of a regional sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiites/Alawites that has spread to Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan.  The British have been promoting just such a sectarian “Hundred Years War” within the Muslim world as part of a classic Malthusian population reduction campaign.  Saudi hatred for the Syrian Alawites has been exploited by London, assuring that arms and cash have been flowing into the hands of a global Sunni jihadist apparatus.  Now, the Obama Administration is weighing in with covert support for a more “moderate” anti-Assad Free Syrian Army, centered in Jordan.  Weapons that were confiscated after the execution of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya in late 2011 have been smuggled into the hands of Syrian rebels, including the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front since April 2012.  The program has been coordinated out of the Obama White House and managed by the CIA.  President Obama has his own “Iran-Contra” scandal brewing and is attempting to cover up for crimes that have been ongoing for over a year and which could lead to his impeachment.  At one point, the danger of the Syrian crisis triggering a global war prompted US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to attempt to convene a Geneva II peace conference, as a way to avoid the situation slipping totally out of anyone’s control.  That Geneva II option remains the last best hope that further destruction of the entire region, and a possible trigger for general war can be prevented. 

There are some significant parallels between the Erdogan government in Turkey and the recently deposed Morsi Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.  Since coming into power, Prime Minister Erdogan had pursued a policy of economic and political cooperation with all of Turkey’s neighbors.  That policy served Turkey well for several years, building trade with Russia and Iran, settling Kurdish conflicts involving both Turkey and Syria, and building a strong economic bridge with the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, without damaging Ankara-Baghdad relations.  When the Syrian protests erupted in early 2011, President Obama urged Prime Minister Erdogan (one of the few foreign heads of state to have any kind of personal relationship with the US President) to “take the lead” in pressing for Assad’s rapid removal from power.  Erdogan presumed that Washington would make good on its demand for Assad’s removal from power.  Given the US role in the overthrow and execution of Qaddafi in Libya, and given the Obama Administration’s strong promotion of humanitarian interventionism and “R2P” (“Responsibility to Protect”), post-Westphalian dogmas permitting a full range of intervention into the internal affairs of formerly sovereign states, Erdogan was not totally foolish in his expectation that Washington would run a replay of Libya in the Eastern Mediterranean and Assad’s days were numbered.  That prospect never materialized, and as the result, the Turkish people are becoming disillusioned with the Erdogan AKP approach.  The Turkish Army, having been a target of Erdogan purges, is becoming restless.  The Turkey situation has become an important piece of the regional disintegration.  Economic and political agreements with Iran, Russia, Syria and even Iraq are now in doubt.  Turkey is facing a period of potential turmoil.  The European economic crisis, far from being solved, will add further fuel to the fire in Turkey.

2. What is nature of the Arab Spring, and how do you see the Arab Spring developing in the future?

There are two dimensions to the Arab Spring that are generally ignored.  First, a combination of economic depravations and political persecution created a “perfect storm” for popular dissatisfaction to spill over into mass action.  In Tunisia, as well as Egypt, a well-educated segment of youth revolted over the fact that they had no prospect for a future in their own country.  The initial impulse was that of a classic “mass strike” when a large percentage of the population concluded that they had nothing left to lose, and they seized upon a symbolic event and launched a public demand for change.  Second, once events on the ground reached a critical mass, external political forces intervened for self-serving reasons.  London wants a permanent war of “each against all” to reduce the population levels in the developing world.  Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two rival Wahhabi monarchies, began pouring money into contending factions of the Islamist opposition and the militaries.  The Obama Administration concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood were the safest representatives of “political Islam” and began backing them in both Egypt and Syria.  The fact that the United States has turned Qatar into a forward-based hub of Washington power projection in the region has, up until the recent change of power in Qatar, meant a combined Doha-Washington backing for the Muslim Brotherhood as the “pragmatic” Islamists.  There is a serious reassessment now underway in Washington.  The outside factors made it impossible for the internal dynamics of Egypt and Syria to come to an understanding about a way forward.  At no time was there adequate outside economic assistance to provide breathing room for a raw political process to evolve.  The standard IMF recipes for economic starvation and “shock therapy” privatization and de-subsidization made matters worse. 

3. What is the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and in Egypt?

Historically, the Muslim Brotherhood was a creation of the Sykes-Picot colonial process and of British intelligence.  The organization evolved, spread, spawned a far more virulent network of more radical jihadists including Al Qaeda.  A long exile in Saudi Arabia, following the Nasser crackdown against the Brotherhood beginning in the 1950s, spawned a new neo-Salafist phenomenon.  When Hafez Assad launched his own harsh crackdown against the Syrian Muslim Brothers in the early 1980s, that led to a second wave migration and exile in Saudi Arabia.  Under the influence of Dr. Bernard Lewis, a British intelligence “Arabist” who is also a leading Zionist, successive American administrations adopted the “Islamic Card” as a tool to bring down the Soviet Union.  The Afghan War of the 1980s saw British and American intelligence deepen the alliance with the Muslim Brothers.  This spawned Al Qaeda and a large number of groups that were foreign fighters brought to Afghanistan as “muhahideen” trained and armed to fight the “Godless” Soviet Red Army.  The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an arm of Al Qaeda created by Afghanzi fighters who returned to Libya after that Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, is exemplary of the spreading neo-Salafist problem that emerged out of the “Bernard Lewis Plan” to play Islam against Communism.  When Communism collapsed in the early 1990s, the West in general and the United States in particular became the “New Satan” to be targeted.  The Obama Administration’s belief that the Muslim Brotherhood was potential allies led to a string of policy blunders and mishaps that are still playing out.  In recent weeks, Washington’s love affair with the Muslim Brotherhood has fractured.  The ouster of the Emir and prime minister of Qatar has weakened the financial support for the Muslim Brotherhood.  It is too early to say what the next phase of the process will look like, but the naïve presumptions about the Muslim Brotherhood are being severely challenged right now.

4. Is there a difference between the policy supported by General Dempsey and Defence Secretary Hagel on the one hand and the State Department and White House forces on the other? If yes, please explain these differences.

There are significant differences.  General Dempsey is a leading figure in a war-avoidance faction inside the governing institutions of the United States.  He has taken a courageous stand, opposing direct US military engagement in Syria.  He wants to bring home the American troops who have been engaged for over a decade in Afghanistan, and he wants to assure that there is never again a long war that drains the armed forces and the nation’s resources of the US.  He has the backing of Defense Secretary Hagel in this quest.  General Dempsey believes that it is a priority to deepen cooperation with Russia and China, the other two leading world military powers.  He judges all military options from a global overview.  The contrasting views inside the Obama Administration are centered at the White House with people like Dr. Susan Rice and the former Special Assistant to the President Samantha Power, now the President’s nominee to replace Rice at the UN.  They are extreme proponents of humanitarian interventionism.  In that respect the “liberal” humanitarian interventionists are soul mates of the neoconservatives of the Bush-Cheney era.  It is ironic but also not surprising that the leading war-avoidance forces in the United States are active duty and retired flag officers of the armed forces, who have lived through the hell of the post-911 long wars and want no more of it.  They are painfully aware that a conflict that pits the United States against Russia and/or China could lead to thermonuclear war and extinction of mankind.  They understand war as Dr. Rice and Samantha Power (and President Obama) do not.

5. What is the role of Israel and of the U.S. Israeli lobby in the contemporary upheaval in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean in general? 

The Revisionist Zionist Movement, founded by Jabotinsky and now ruling Israel under Netanyahu, is a British colonial creation—part of the divide and conquer strategy that the British and French imposed on the Middle East from the end of World War I.  Israel and the Israeli Lobby, as such, are expendable pawns in the larger British game.  To the extent that Israel has any pretence of being a sovereign state, they have been pursuing a series of tragic self-destructive policies ever since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 after his historic Oslo Agreement with Yasser Arafat and the PLO.  Without a drastic change in policy, Israel is likely doomed.  The Israeli Lobby is a powerful force in Washington politics but is not all-powerful.  Right now, their focus is on Iran.  Their primary objective is to keep up pressure on President Obama to where he will eventually take military action for regime change in Iran.  That could be a trigger for all-out war, which is exactly what General Dempsey and the rest of the JCS want to avoid at all costs.  Israel was, ironically, sidelined as a minor player in the unfolding events in Egypt and Syria.  There is no good outcome of the Syrian mess from Israel’s standpoint.  They had a truce with the Assad governments in Syria and came close on several occasions to formalizing it in a Camp David-style treaty with Damascus.  Israel may appreciate the benefits of the Syrian Army being gutted, but they do not welcome a Jihadist state on their northern border.  The British will sell out Israel in a heart-beat to pursue their new game of permanent brutal sectarian war within Islam.

6. Which is the strategy of Netanyahu and the Zionist political forces in general in the fields of geopolitics and geoeconomics?

The Netanyahu Zionists want to maintain the status quo of gradual absorbtion of the entirety of the West Bank into a Jewish state.  They will exploit so-called peace negotiations with the Palestinians to stall, as new settlement expansion accelerates by the day.  As pawns of larger forces, including the British, they do not really have a strategic vision.  They have integrated their high-tech aerospace and electronics sector into the United States economy to such an extent that they are defacto the 51st state.  Most Israeli high-tech companies have their stock traded on the NASDAQ exchange in New York. A majority of Israeli Jews are so fed up with the madness dominating Israeli politics that they would prefer to live in the United States.

Interviewed by  Dr Nicolas Laos (member of the faculty of International Relations at the University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus (Greece) and a columnist of the Greek political daily newspaper "Ellada").


mercredi, 22 mai 2013

Pas d’orchidées pour Mrs Thatcher !

Pas d’orchidées pour Mrs Thatcher !

Le fossoyeur de l'Angleterre

Auran Derien
Ex: http://metamag.fr/

La spécialité de la finance anglo-saxonne est le mensonge et l’inversion des valeurs.  Au décès de Mrs Thatcher, les perroquets médiatiques autorisés ont voulu nous faire croire qu’elle était la miss Blandish de la politique. Des penseurs plus pénétrants et scrupuleux révèlent qu’elle fut plutôt la Mama Grisson. Revenons à la réalité de son action car nous comprenons mieux ainsi l’horreur de l’Occident contemporain.

La fondatrice du totalitarisme occidental 

L’école autrichienne, la pensée de Hayek, n’ont rien à voir avec ce que promeut la globalisation. Les agités du bocal qui donnaient les conseils ou les ordres à Mrs Thatcher n’ont jamais lu ces auteurs. D’ailleurs, ils ne lisent rien. A quoi bon? N’exhalent-ils pas la vérité révélée? Ils se sont contentés d’écouter et d’appliquer les prédications de Milton Friedman, lequel a ratiociné à partir du modèle d’équilibre général. Ça n’a rien de libéral...
La société du spectacle a mis en scène Mrs Thatcher, pour que le public vote en sa faveur. Derrière elle, s’activait en réalité tout un groupe de banquiers et autres fanatiques, à la recherche de politiciens aptes à prendre des mesures qui leur assureraient enfin le statut de gérant du monde pour mille ans. Parmi les créatures qui contrôlaient la pseudo dame de fer, citons le banquier Victor Rothschild (1910-1990) dont le Dr.Tarpley rappelle qu’il servit de spécialiste de la sécurité pour Royal Dutch Shell et qu’il avait formé un think tank dont le gouvernement britannique s’inspirait. Entre lui, Keith Joseph, le cerveau politique, et Alfred Sherman, ils géraient MrsThatcher. Sherman, communiste à l’origine, était allé en Espagne durant la guerre civile. Puis il avait conseillé le premier ministre israélien Ben-Gurion avant de fonder, en 1974, avec Joseph et Thatcher le Center for Policy Studies qui fut le centre de production des idées que prétendit ensuite mettre en œuvre Mme Thatcher, une fois premier ministre. 
On voit que l’emballage hayékien ne correspond en rien aux obsessions profondes des employeurs  de Mrs Thatcher. Elle fut mise en orbite pour détruire la société britannique et n’arrêta pas de tourner  en chantant une demi-douzaine de slogans très primitifs basés sur un darwinisme social des plus sordides. Il semble que ce soit  keith Joseph qui ait le plus contribué à une des mesures fondamentales : réduire les salaires des enseignants ;  car pour les trafiquants, la connaissance est inutile voire dangereuse. La population ne doit pas étudier, du moins rien de fondamental. Les enseignants ne doivent pas pouvoir constituer une profession où chacun vit dignement de son salaire. Sinon, la révolution en faveur du soviet de la finance ne serait pas possible. Il faut abattre la culture pour que le bétail de la ferme des animaux suive la caste des chargés de mission du bien en soi…
L’accession au pouvoir de cette fausse Miss Blandish ne fut possible qu’avec l’utilisation des méthodes de marketing, importées des USA par l’agence de publicité Saatchi & Saatchi. Elles innovaient dans un contexte de crise sociale déclenchée en 1973 (hausse du pétrole) alors que les prédicateurs économiques de Chicago parcouraient le monde avec l’appui de Kissinger afin de duper le plus de gouvernants possibles. 
Thatcher applique les insanités friedmaniennes
Pour les riches, l’inflation de l’époque paraissait indésirable car elle favorisait les classes moyennes dont elle amortissait les dettes automatiquement. Aussi, fut-il décidé de prendre au sérieux les élucubrations de Friedman, en bloquant l’offre de monnaie pour démarrer une récession qui créa un chômage massif. La restriction monétaire fit monter la livre et l’industrie commença à disparaître. Seuls les banquiers de la City profitèrent de la livre surévaluée pour s’offrir des actifs à travers le monde…

Milton Friedman et Ronald Reagen
La réforme fiscale fut aussi brutale. La TVA monta et, face aux critiques de cette politique de néantisation du peuple anglais, il lui fallut chercher une guerre capable de redorer son blason ; de faire naître temporairement autour d’elle un nationalisme factice, trompeur et niais.  Cela lui réussit. La guerre des Malouines, en 1982, fut son tremplin pour une nouvelle période  économique. Appliquant les mesures de Friedman, elle devint naturellement la grande amie du général chilien Pinochet, lui même fanatique partisan des mesures des impenseurs de l’Ecole de Chicago. Elle devait aussi promouvoir Gorbachev, qui fut transformé en coqueluche de l’Occident au fur et à mesure qu’il trahissait le peuple russe. On relira sur ce point l’excellent ouvrage de Alexandre Zinoviev : Perestroika et contre-Perestroika. O.Orban. 1991. “Gorbatchev est devenu le héros de l’occident, qui l’a couvert d’honneurs et de louanges pour ses mérites, non envers l’URSS, mais envers les occidentaux”.
L’obsession de “privatiser” en faveur des financiers, seule ligne de conduite permanente de la dame, correspondait-elle à des accords qui liaient la Grande-Bretagne? Fallait-il solder des dettes qui remontaient à la seconde guerre mondiale? Etait-ce une contrepartie aux aides du FMI signées en 1976?  Elle a finalement exercé le rôle de Mama Grisson, organisant le hold-up du siècle sur une contrée désormais victime de la tyrannie obscurantiste d’une bande de financiers parvenus. 
La véritable noblesse est morte
Mrs Thatcher a détruit un monde à base de solidarités professionnelles pour livrer le tout aux démons de la City. La justification à partir des penseurs autrichiens, notamment Hayek, est totalement erronée. Il n’y a pas et il n’y aura jamais d’ordre cattalactique quand la mafia financière règne. Le discours monétariste et l’obsession des privatisations sont destinés à justifier le vol en faveur de ceux qui se sont préparés pour la grande orgie de pillage. On ne saurait oublier qu’elle a couvert, en 1986, la destruction des règles financières qui assuraient encore un peu d’harmonie dans ces métiers de gangster. 
En échange, elle a terminé dans la nouvelle noblesse, celle d’une époque Orwellienne où les voyous s’achètent les titres puisque la dernière véritable noblesse européenne est morte en 1914-1918.

jeudi, 18 avril 2013

Margaret Thatcher, le devoir de haine


Margaret Thatcher, le devoir de haine

par Claude BOURRINET

Pour le bonheur du monde, du moins son équilibre et sa beauté, il eût cent fois mieux valu que Margaret passât en 1979 dans l’autre monde, en enfer, comme dirait Mélenchon, qu’on ne croyait pas si croyant. Cette année 2013, si triste pourtant, puisqu’elle a vu Chavez disparaître, – une grande perte – est au fond généreuse, puisqu’elle vient de délivrer le royaume de Sa Gracieuse Majesté d’un être pestilentiel. On ne saurait trop s’en réjouir.

Las ! la « Dame » dite « de fer », du métal dont on fait les barreaux de prison, a eu le temps de sévir, et d’emprisonner, d’empoisonner la Grande-Bretagne, l’Europe, et une grande partie de l’univers.

Plusieurs ne sont pas sortis indemnes de cette contamination. La droite « dure », libérale, mondialiste, évidemment. De même l’extrême droite sécuritaire, anticommuniste, néoconservatrice, sioniste et atlantiste, qui se satisferait, en guise de programme, de greffer une paire de couilles à un cerveau reptilien. Mais aussi, de façon plus inquiétante, ceux des patriotes dont on aurait attendu plus de jugeote, et qui considèrent que la mégère décoincée présentait, avec sa morgue cassante et sa sauvagerie désinhibée, tout ce qu’il y avait de plus distingué en guise de patriotisme, « bien qu’ultralibérale ».

L’un des problèmes récurrents de tout ce qui se situe à droite de la droite est que, quoique arborant volontiers les signes éminents de la virilité la plus martiale, on mouille comme n’importe quelle femelle délurée, pourvu qu’en face on agite le gros bâton. Il suffit de démontrer qu’on fait fi de tous ces ridicules scrupules qui ne font qu’affaiblir les maîtres de ce monde pour recueillir tous les suffrages des candidats à la surhumanité.

En l’occurrence, avec Maggie, il ne s’agissait nullement de surhomme, mais de sur-épicier, comme son origine sociale l’y invitait, et une nature calculatrice, mesquine, matérialiste et singulièrement bilieuse.

Le thatchérisme s’est donc emparé des esprits politiques. Tout dirigeant, ou postulant à la direction des peuples, fait dorénavant du Margaret comme monsieur Jourdain faisait de la prose. Même la gauche. Blair l’a reconnu, et à sa suite les « socialistes » français. Avec sans doute un peu de cette tartuferie faux-cul, qui ne seyait pas, il faut le reconnaître, à la Dame de fer. Du thatchérisme flambeur au thatchérisme flamby, si l’on veut. Mais comme la défunte boutiquière l’affirmait, en lorgnant son tiroir-caisse, « il n’y a qu’une seule politique possible : le libéralisme ».

On connaît la chanson.

Pourtant, saisir son destin, n’est-ce cracher à la gueule de la méduse ?

Quelle est l’erreur des patriotes (car les autres, on tire la chasse d’eau sur eux) ?

Thatcher aurait mis au pas les syndicats, qui prenaient en otage les entreprises et ruinaient le pays. Les appareils syndicaux avaient dans beaucoup de secteurs le monopole de l’embauche, et exigeaient l’aide de l’État pour sauver des usines en faillite. Soit.

Replaçons l’enjeu à sa véritable place, qui est l’irrésistible et dévastatrice ascension du néocapitalisme. Les syndicats, les grèves… quelle aubaine pour faire sauter la marmite !

Mais quelle a été la politique d’une nation qui est la patrie d’origine du libéralisme, lequel est fondé sur la doctrine de la « main invisible et infaillible du marché », et sur celle de la nécessaire division du travail à l’échelle mondiale ? C’est de sacrifier tous les secteurs qui peuvent être pris en charge par d’autres régions de la planète. Ce fut d’abord l’agriculture, pour accroître les bagnes industriels, où s’entassèrent des miséreux, l’ancienne paysannerie libre. À l’époque actuelle, c’est l’industrie qu’on délocalise pour que la finance fructifie et que le banquier règne. L’un des principaux paradis fiscaux en Europe et dans le monde, c’est la City. Un nid de frelons. Thatcher a fait d’une partie de sa patrie une nation de rentiers, d’actionnaires et de propriétaires avaricieux, captivés par la bourse, et se souciant comme d’une guigne de l’avenir de la société. Une corruption massive.

La société ? Mais ça n’existe pas ! assurait sentencieusement Thatcher. Il n’est que des individus qui travaillent, accumulent, jouissent de leurs gains. Le retour aux sources libérales dans sa pureté suprême. L’antithèse absolue d’un autre Anglais, George Orwell, qui pensait qu’une existence ne pouvait se passer d’obligations sociales, de solidarité, de considération des autres, de générosité et d’un minimum de sacrifice pour que le Bien commun prévale sur l’égoïsme dévastateur.

Car c’est bien un champ de ruine qu’a laissé l’Attila des marchés après onze ans d’agressif délire libéral. Des millions de chômeurs, la misère, une dérégulation tous azimuts, un service public cassé, un enseignement dévalué, un gouffre entre le Nord et le Sud. Un chef d’État, un homme politique responsable doit-il considérer son propre peuple comme ennemi ? En fanatique qu’elle était, comme le sont d’ailleurs tout autant les oligarques européens qui mènent la politique économique actuelle en doctrinaires, Thatcher a préféré démolir que construire.

Comme elle a détruit la vie de partisans, héroïques, de républicains irlandais chers à notre cœur, dont la faute inexpiable était de lutter pour leur patrie : Bobby Sands (I.R.A.), 27 ans, meurt le 5 mai 1981 après 66 jours de grève de la faim, Francis Hughues (I.R.A.), 25 ans, meurt le 12 mai 1981 après 59 jours de grève de la faim, Raymond McCreesh (I.R.A.), 24 ans, meurt le 21 mai 1981 après 61 jours de grève de la faim, Patsy O’Hara (I.N.L.A.), 23 ans, meurt le 21 mai 1981 après 61 jours de grève de la faim, Joe McDonnell (I.R.A.), 30 ans, meurt le 8 juillet 1981 après 61 jours de grève de la faim, Martin Hurson (I.R.A.), 29 ans, meurt le 12 juillet 1981 après 46 jours de grève de la faim, Kevin Lynch (I.N.L.A.), 25 ans, meurt le 1er août 1981 après 71 jours de grève de la faim, Kieran Doherty (I.R.A.), 25 ans, meurt le 2 août 1981 après 73 jours grève de la faim, Thomas McElvee (I.R.A.), 23 ans, meurt le 8 août 1981 après 62 jours grève de la faim, Michael Devine (I.N.L.A.), 27 ans, meurt le 20 août 1981 après 60 jours de grève de la faim…

Paix à leur âme et leur souvenir sera à jamais gravé dans notre mémoire.

Quel oxymore plaisant, du reste, que l’expression « patriotisme libéral » ? Car, tout en étant disciple des néocons Hayek, Popper, Friedman, elle aurait défendu les intérêts de son pays. Quelle blague ! Son euroscepticisme ? En fait, du chantage, tout simplement, pour, finalement, à force de coups de boutoir, d’entrisme opportun, de vociférations vulgaires, de contournements perfides, et, il faut le dire, pas mal de complicités dans la place, parvenir à transformer l’Europe-Puissance en grand marché ouvert à quatre vents, ce que la Grande- Bretagne a toujours ambitionné qu’elle fût. Les Malouines ? Une stratégie cynique et criminelle pour récupérer quelque popularité après l’échec de sa politique économique. Le nationalisme british ? L’Angleterre est devenue, ou a achevé de l’être, une sous-colonie américaine, et les Anglais un chenil. Notre avenir, en quelque sorte.

En vérité, comme chacun sait, le libéralisme, même affublé (on se demande pourquoi) du préfixe « ultra », qui suggérerait qu’il existât deux espèces de libéralismes, n’est pas, ne peut être un patriotisme. Le seul attachement qu’un libéral puisse éprouver pour le territoire qui l’a vu éventuellement naître, et pour la nation dont il serait formellement un membre, est du même acabit que celui qui lie un cadre dynamique à son entreprise, ou au groupe international dont elle est une filiale. Pour le reste, l’argent n’a ni odeur, ni saveur, et ne connaît pas les frontières ni les identités.

Thatcher apparaît donc comme un marqueur idéologique. Haïr ce genre d’individu monstrueux, programmé pour abolir les peuples et faire triompher Mammon, promouvoir le culte du Veau d’Or et bousiller tout ce qui échappe au fric, est non seulement salubre – un signe de santé – mais terriblement nécessaire pour envisager un jour la victoire. Respecter cette putréfaction, voire l’admirer, c’est se considérer d’ores et déjà comme battus.

Claude Bourrinet

• D’abord mis en ligne sur Vox N.-R., le 10 avril 2013.

Article printed from Europe Maxima: http://www.europemaxima.com

URL to article: http://www.europemaxima.com/?p=3058


jeudi, 11 avril 2013

Thomas Carlyle: Over helden en heldenverering


Thomas Carlyle

(vertaling Bert Bultinck)

Over helden en heldenverering

| Vijfde Lezing – De Held als Literator.
Dinsdag, 19 mei 1840

Held-goden, Profeten, Poëten, Priesters. Het zijn allemaal vormen van Heroïsme die tot de oude tijden behoren, die al in de vroegste tijden verschijnen; sommige van die vormen lijken niet langer mogelijk, en kunnen zichzelf niet meer tonen in deze wereld. De Held als Literator, waarover we vandaag zullen spreken, is al bij al een product van onze nieuwe tijden; en zolang de wonderlijke kunst van het Schrift, of van het Paraat-Schrift dat we Drukwerk noemen, blijft bestaan, mag men veronderstellen dat hij één van de belangrijkste vormen van het Heroïsme zal blijven voor alle tijden die nog volgen. Hij is, in verschillende opzichten, een zeer bijzonder fenomeen.

Ik zeg dat hij nieuw is; hij is er amper langer dan een eeuw. Nooit, tot zo’n honderd jaar geleden, was er enig beeld van een Grote Ziel die op zo’n abnormale manier apart leefde, niemand die poogde de inspiratie die in hem was uit te spreken in Gedrukte Boeken en die plaats en levensonderhoud vond door middel van wat het de wereld behaagde hem daarvoor te geven. Er was al veel ver- en gekocht; en achtergelaten om de eigen prijs op de markt te vinden; maar de bezielde wijsheid van een Heroïsche Ziel nog nooit, op die naakte wijze. Hij, met zijn copy-rights en copy-wrongs, in zijn vieze zolderkamertje, in zijn versleten jas; die vanuit het graf hele naties en generaties regeert (want dat is wat hij doet) die hem tijdens zijn leven al dan niet brood wilden geven – hij is een curieus spektakel! Er zijn weinig vormen van Heroïsme die nog meer onverwacht zouden kunnen zijn.

Helaas, de Held uit de oude dagen heeft zich in vreemde vormen moeten wringen: de wereld weet bij tijden niet goed wat met hem aan te vangen, zo vreemd is zijn verschijning in deze wereld! Het leek ons absurd, dat mensen, in hun brute bewondering, één of andere wijze grote Odin als god namen en hem als zodanig vereerden; of een wijze grote Mohammed voor een door god bezielde, om diens Wet twaalf eeuwen religieus na te leven: maar dat een wijze grote Johnson, een Burns, een Rousseau als doelloze slampampers worden beschouwd, en af en toe een paar muntstukken toegeworpen krijgen om van te leven, als zouden die enkel bestaan om de leegheid te amuseren: dit zal misschien, zoals reeds eerder gesuggereerd, ooit nog wel een veel absurdere stand van zaken lijken! – Ondertussen moet, aangezien het spirituele altijd het materiële bepaalt, deze Literator-Held als onze belangrijkste moderne persoon worden beschouwd. Hij, hoe hij ook moge zijn, is de ziel van alles en iedereen. Wat hij verkondigt, zal de hele wereld doen en maken. Hoe de wereld hem behandelt is het meest significante kenmerk van de algehele staat van de wereld. Als we goed naar zijn leven kijken, kunnen we misschien een glimp opvangen, zo diep als ook maar mogelijk is voor ons, van het leven van die bijzondere eeuwen die hem hebben voortgebracht en waarin wij zelf leven en werken.
Er zijn authentieke Literatoren en inauthentieke; zoals bij elke soort zijn er authentieke en onechte. Als we Held als authentiek opvatten, dan zeg ik dat de Held als Literator voor ons een functie zal blijken te vervullen die voor altijd de meest eerbiedwaardige, de hoogste is. Hij spreekt, op zijn eigen manier, zijn eigen geïnspireerde ziel uit; alles wat een man, in elk geval, kan doen. Ik zeg geïnspireerd, dat wat we ‘originaliteit’, ‘oprechtheid’, ‘genie’ noemen, die heroïsche kwaliteit waar we geen goede naam voor hebben. De Held is hij die leeft in de innerlijke sfeer van de dingen, in het Ware, Goddelijke en Eeuwige, dat altijd, onopgemerkt voor de meesten, onder het Tijdelijke, Triviale leeft: daarin ligt zijn wezen; hij openbaart dat uitgebreid, door een handeling of een uitspraak, en door zichzelf uitgebreid te openbaren. Zijn leven, zoals we vroeger al zeiden, is een stuk van het eeuwige hart van de Natuur zelf: dat is het leven van iedereen, – maar de zwakke velen kennen dat feit niet, en zijn het meestal ontrouw; de sterke weinigen zijn sterk, heroïsch, standvastig, want het kan zich niet voor hen verstoppen. De Literator, net als elke Held, is er om dit uit te dragen, zoals hij dat kan. Intrinsiek is het dezelfde functie waarvoor de oude generaties een man Profeet, Priester of Godheid noemden; om die dingen te doen, door woord of daad, waarvoor alle soorten van Helden de wereld ingestuurd worden.

Zo’n veertig jaar geleden gaf de Duitse Filosoof Fichte een zeer opmerkelijke reeks lezingen over dit onderwerp in Erlangen: ‘Über das Wesen des Gelehrten, Over De Natuur van de Literaire Mens.’ In overeenstemming met de Transcendentale Filosofie waarvan hij een groot leermeester was, stelt Fichte eerst en vooral: Dat alle dingen die we zien of waarmee we werken op deze Aarde, in het bijzonder onszelf en alle mensen, als een soort overjas of zinnelijke Verschijning zijn: dat er onder dat alles, als hun essentie, datgene ligt wat hij de ‘Goddelijke Idee van de Wereld’ noemt; dit is de Realiteit die ‘aan de grond ligt van elke Verschijning’. Voor de massa is zo’n Goddelijke Idee niet te herkennen in de wereld; zij leven enkel, zegt Fichte, onder de oppervlakkigheden, de praktische probleempjes en de uiterlijkheden van de wereld, en dromen niet dat daaronder ook maar iets goddelijks is. Maar de Literator wordt speciaal hierheen gezonden om, voor zichzelf, dezelfde Goddelijke Idee te onderscheiden en om die, voor ons, duidelijk te maken: elke nieuwe generatie zal dit Idee aan zichzelf kenbaar maken in een nieuw dialect; en de Literator is er om dat te doen. In die bewoordingen drukt Fichte zich uit; en wij hoeven dat niet te betwisten. Wat hij op zijn manier benoemt is datgene wat ik hier, in andere woorden, op onvolmaakte wijze tracht te benoemen: dat waar momenteel geen naam voor is: De onuitsprekelijke Goddelijke Betekenis, vol van glans, van wonder en terreur, dat in het wezen van elke man ligt, van elk ding,– de Aanwezigheid van de God die elke mens en elk ding heeft gemaakt. Mohammed verkondigde dit in zijn dialect; Odin in het zijne: alle denkende harten zijn hier om dat, in één of ander dialect, aan te leren.

Daarom noemt Fichte de Literator een profeet, of zoals hij hem liever noemt, een Priester, die voortdurend het Goddelijke voor de mensen ontvouwt: van tijdperk tot tijdperk vormen Literatoren een eeuwig Priesterschap, dat alle mensen leert dat er nog steeds een God is in hun leven; dat elke ‘Verschijning’, wat we ook zien in de wereld, niet meer dan een overjas is voor de ‘Goddelijke Idee van de Wereld’, voor ‘dat wat op de bodem van de Verschijning ligt’. In de ware Literator is er dus altijd een, al dan niet door de wereld erkende, wijding: hij is het licht van de wereld, de Priester van de wereld: - hij leidt de wereld, als een heilige Vuurpilaar, in diens donkere pelgrimstocht door de woestijn van de Tijd. Fichte onderscheidt gepassioneerd de ware Literator, die we hier de Held als Literator noemen, van de massa valse onheldhaftigen. Wie niet volledig in deze Goddelijke Idee leeft, of voor wie er slechts gedeeltelijk in leeft en er niet naar streeft, als naar het enige goede, om er volledig in te leven, – hij is, waar hij ook leeft, in welke praal en voorspoed dan ook, geen Literator; hij is, zegt Fichte, een ‘zielige, een Stümper’. Of, hij kan, op zijn best, als hij van de prozaïsche streken is, een ‘loonslaaf’ zijn; Fichte noemt hem elders zelfs een nul, en heeft, om kort te gaan, geen genade voor hem, geen verlangen dat hij blijmoedig onder ons blijft! Dit is Fichtes opvatting van de Literator. In zijn eigen uitdrukkingsvorm zegt het precies wat we hier bedoelen.
Vanuit dit standpunt beschouw ik Fichtes landgenoot Goethe als de meest opmerkelijke Literator van de laatste honderd jaar. Wat we een leven in de Goddelijke Idee van de Wereld kunnen noemen was ook, op een vreemde manier, aan die man gegeven; een visioen van het innerlijke, goddelijke mysterie: en vreemd genoeg, rijst uit zijn boeken de wereld eens te meer op als goddelijk verbeeld, werk en tempel van een God. Geheel verlicht, niet in woeste onzuivere vuurglans als bij Mohammed, maar in milde, hemelse stralen; -waarlijk een Profetie in deze hoogst onprofetische tijden; mijns inziens, veruit het grootste, zij het één van de stilste, van alle dingen die in deze tijden gebeurd zijn. Als specimen van de Held als Literator zouden we deze Goethe verkiezen. En het zou me zeer aangenaam zijn om het hier over zijn heroïsme te hebben: want ik beschouw hem als een echte Held; heroïsch in wat hij zei en deed, en misschien nog heroïscher in wat hij niet zei en niet deed; wat mij betreft een nobel spektakel: een groot heroïsch man van vroeger, die sprak en zweeg als een Held van de oude tijd, in de verschijning van een uiterst moderne, welopgevoede, zeer gecultiveerde Literator! Wij hebben zo geen spektakel gehad; geen man die daartoe in staat was, de laatste honderdvijftig jaar.
Maar momenteel is de algemene kennis van Goethe zodanig dat het meer dan zinloos zou zijn om het in deze kwestie over hem te hebben. Hoe ik ook over hem zou spreken, Goethe zou voor de meesten onder jullie vaag en problematisch blijven; geen indruk behalve een valse zou ik kunnen meegeven. We moeten hem voor later bewaren. Johnson, Burns, Rousseau, drie grote figuren van een vorige tijd, uit een veel slechtere staat van omstandigheden, passen hier beter. Drie mannen van de Achttiende Eeuw; hun levensomstandigheden lijken veel meer op wat die van ons nog altijd zijn, dan op die van Goethe in Duitsland. Helaas, deze mannen overwonnen niet zoals hij; ze vochten moedig, en vielen. Ze waren geen heroïsche bezorgers van het licht, maar heroïsche zoekers ervan. Ze leefden in bittere omstandigheden; worstelden als onder bergen van obstakels, en konden zich niet ontvouwen in duidelijkheid, of in een zegevierende interpretatie van die ‘Goddelijke Idee’. Het zijn eerder de Graftombes van drie Literaire Helden die ik u wil tonen. Daar zijn de monumentale bergen, waaronder drie spirituele reuzen begraven liggen. Zeer somber, maar ook groots en vol belang voor ons. We blijven een tijdje bij hen.¹
In deze tijden wordt er vaak geklaagd over wat we de gedesorganiseerde staat van deze maatschappij noemen: hoe slecht veel geordende maatschappelijke krachten hun taak vervullen; men kan zien hoe zoveel machtige krachten op een spilzieke, chaotische, zeg maar ongeordende manier functioneren. De klacht is meer dan terecht, zoals we allemaal weten. Maar misschien, als we dit bekijken vanuit het standpunt van Boeken en van de Schrijvers van Boeken, zullen we er als het ware de samenvatting van elke andere desorganisatie vinden; – een soort van hart, van waaruit, en waar naar toe, alle andere verwarring in de wereld circuleert. Als ik kijk naar wat schrijvers in de wereld doen, en wat de wereld met schrijvers doet, dan zou ik zeggen dat dat het meest abnormale ding is wat de wereld vandaag laat zien. – We zouden in een onmetelijk diepe zee terechtkomen, als we hier verslag van zouden willen doen: maar omwille van ons onderwerp moeten we er even een blik op werpen. Het ergste onderdeel van het leven van deze drie Literaire Helden was dat ze hun zaken en maatschappelijke positie zo chaotisch vonden. Via de platgetreden paden kan men behoorlijk makkelijk reizen; maar het is hard labeur, en velen gaan eraan ten onder, als men een pad door het ondoordringbare moet creëren!

Onze devote Vaders, die goed aanvoelden hoe belangrijk het spreken van man tot menigte was, stichtten kerken, vonden fondsen en maakten reglementen; overal in de beschaafde wereld is er een Preekstoel, omringd door allerlei soorten van complexe, waardige accessoires en hulpmiddelen, zodat van op die preekstoel een welbespraakte man zijn naasten zo voordelig mogelijk kan toespreken. Ze vonden dat dit het belangrijkste was; dat er zonder dit niets goeds was. Dat werk van hen is waarlijk vroom; mooi om te aanschouwen! Maar nu, met de kunst van het Schrift, met de kunst van het Drukken, is die hele aangelegenheid totaal veranderd. De Schrijver van een Boek, is hij geen Predikant, die niet preekt voor deze of gindse parochie, op één of andere dag, maar voor alle mensen van alle tijden en plaatsen? Zeker, het is van het grootste belang dat hij zijn werk goed doet, wie anders het ook slecht moge doen; – dat het oog niet foutief rapporteert; want dan dwalen alle andere leden! Wel; hoe hij zijn werk doet, of hij het goed of slecht doet, of hij het überhaupt doet, is iets waarvoor geen mens in de wereld ooit de moeite heeft gedaan om over na te denken. Voor één of andere winkelier, die geld voor diens boeken probeert te verkrijgen, als hij geluk heeft, is hij nog van een zeker belang; maar voor elke andere man van geen enkel. Waar hij vandaan kwam, en waar hij naar toe trekt, via welke wegen hij hier aankwam, en via welke hij zijn tocht zou kunnen voortzetten, vraagt niemand. In de maatschappij is hij een accident. Hij zwerft rond als een wilde Ismaëliet, in een wereld waarvan hij als het ware het spirituele licht is, ofwel de juiste ofwel de verkeerde gids!
Van alle dingen die de mens ontworpen heeft, is de kunst van het schrift zeker het meest miraculeuze. Odins Runen waren de eerste vorm van het werk van een Held; Boeken, geschreven woorden, zijn nog altijd miraculeuze Runen, in hun meest recente vorm! In Boeken ligt de ziel van de hele Voorbije Tıjd; de heldere, hoorbare stem van het Verleden, wanneer het lichaam en de materie ervan volkomen verdwenen zijn als een droom. Machtige vloten en legers, havens en arsenalen, uitgestrekte steden, met hoge koepels en veel werktuigen,- ze zijn kostbaar, groot: maar wat wordt er van hen? Agamemnon, de vele Agamemnons, Periclessen, en hun Griekenland; alles is nu verworden tot enkele brokstukken, stomme, sombere wrakken en blokken: maar de Boeken van Griekenland! Daar leeft Griekenland – zeer letterlijk – nog steeds voor elke denker; en kan het terug tot leven geroepen worden. Geen magische Rune is vreemder dan een Boek. Alles wat de mensheid ooit heeft gedaan, gedacht, gewonnen of is geweest: het ligt als in magische bewaring in de bladzijden van een boek. Ze zijn het uitverkoren bezit van de mensen. Is het niet zo dat Boeken nog altijd de mirakels verrichten die volgens de legenden de Runen altijd deden? Ze overtuigen de mensen. Geen roman uit een leesgezelschap, beduimeld en verslonden door dwaze meiden in afgelegen dorpen, zo verschrikkelijk, of hij helpt de praktische kant van trouwerijen en huishoudens van deze dwaze meiden in goede banen leiden. Zoals ‘Celia’ zich voelde, zo handelde ‘Clifford’: het dwaze Theorema van het Leven, in deze jonge breinen gestampt, komt op een dag terug te voorschijn als vaste Werkwijze. Vraag u eens af of enige Rune, in de wildste verbeelding van de mytholoog ooit zulke wonders heeft verricht, als diegene die, op de feitelijke vaste aarde, sommige Boeken hebben gedaan! Wat heeft St. Paul’s Cathedral gebouwd? In essentie, was het dat goddelijke Hebreeuwse BOEK – gedeeltelijk de wereld van de man Mozes, een vogelvrij verklaarde die zijn Midianitische kudden hoedde, vierduizend jaar geleden, in de wildernissen van Sinaï! Het is uiterst vreemd, maar niets is meer waar dan dat. Met de kunst van het Schrift, waarvan de Boekdrukkunst een eenvoudig, onvermijdelijk en relatief onbetekenend uitvloeisel is, begon voor de mensen de ware heerschappij van mirakelen. Het Schrift verbond, met wonderlijke nieuwe raakpunten en eeuwige nabijheid, het Verleden en het Verre met het Heden in tijd en ruimte; alle tijden en alle plaatsen met ons feitelijk Hier en Nu. Alle dingen veranderden voor de mensen: leren, preken, regeren, en alle andere dingen.
Laten we eens naar het Leren kijken, bijvoorbeeld. Universiteiten zijn een opmerkelijk, respectabel product van de moderne tijden. Ook hun bestaan is wezenlijk aangepast door het bestaan van Boeken. Universiteiten ontstonden wanneer er nog geen boeken verkrijgbaar waren; wanneer een man, voor één enkel boek, een heel landgoed moest geven. In die omstandigheden was het noodzakelijk dat, wanneer een man enige kennis wou meedelen, hij dat deed door de mensen die wilden leren, van aangezicht tot aangezicht, rond zich te verzamelen. Als je wou weten wat Abélard wist, dan moest je naar Abélard gaan luisteren. Duizenden, wel dertigduizend, gingen naar Abélard en diens metafysische theologie luisteren. En nu kwam er voor elke andere leraar die iets van zichzelf had aan te leren een nieuw gemak: zoveel duizenden die gretig wilden leren, waren daar al verzameld; van alle plaatsen was dat de beste voor hem. Voor elke derde leraar was het nog beter; en werd het altijd maar beter, naarmate er meer leraars kwamen. De Koning moest nu alleen nog dit nieuwe verschijnsel opmerken; de verscheidene scholen doen fusioneren; het gebouwen, privileges en aanmoedigingen geven en het Universitas, of School van Alle Wetenschappen noemen: en de Universiteit van Parijs, in grote trekken, was er. Het model van alle volgende Universiteiten; die tot op vandaag, zes eeuwen lang al, doorgegaan zijn met zichzelf te stichten. Dat, stel ik mij voor, was de oorsprong van Universiteiten.

Het is niettemin duidelijk dat met deze eenvoudige omstandigheid, het gemak om Boeken te verkrijgen, alle voorwaarden van de zaak veranderden. Eens je de Boekdrukkunst uitvindt, verander je ook alle Universiteiten, of maak je ze overbodig! De Leraar moest nu niet langer alle mensen persoonlijk rond zich verzamelen, om zo hen te kunnen zeggen wat hij wist: druk het in een Boek, en alle leerlingen van heinde en verre, hadden het elk bij hun haardvuur, voor een kleinigheid, en konden het veel efficiënter studeren! – Zonder twijfel heeft het Spreken nog steeds een bijzondere kwaliteit; zelfs schrijvers van Boeken kunnen het, in sommige omstandigheden, passend vinden om ook te spreken, – getuige onze huidige bijeenkomst hier! Men zou kunnen zeggen – en dat moet zo blijven zolang de mens een tong heeft – dat er een apart domein voor het Spreken is, zowel als één voor Schrijven en Drukken. In alle opzichten moet dit zo blijven; zoals onder andere bij de Universiteiten. Maar de grenzen van beide zijn nog nooit aangetoond, vastgesteld; laat staan in praktijk gebracht. De Universiteit die zich volledig rekenschap zou geven van het grootse nieuwe feit van het bestaan van Gedrukte Boeken, en van eenzelfde niveau zou zijn voor de Negentiende Eeuw als die van Parijs was voor de Dertiende Eeuw, is nog niet tot stand gekomen. Als we er goed over nadenken, is alles wat een Universiteit, of een Hogeschool, kan doen, nog steeds slechts wat de eerste School begon te doen – ons leren lezen. We leren lezen, in verschillende talen, in verschillende wetenschappen; we leren het alfabet en de letters van allerlei Boeken. Maar de plaats waar we onze kennis gaan halen, zelfs theoretische kennis, is bij de Boeken zelf! Het hangt af van wat we lezen, nadat allerlei Professoren voor ons hun best hebben gedaan. De ware Universiteit van deze dagen is een Verzameling Boeken.

Maar door de introductie van Boeken is voor de Kerk zelf, zoals ik al suggereerde, alles veranderd, wat het preken betreft, wat haar werking betreft. De Kerk is de werkende erkende Vereniging van Onze Priesters of Profeten, van zij die door wijze lessen de zielen van de mensen leiden. Zolang er geen Schrift was, vooral waneer er geen Gemak-Schrift of Drukken was, was de preek van de stem de enige natuurlijke methode om dit te doen. Maar nu er Boeken zijn! – Hij die een Boek kan schrijven, om Engeland te overtuigen, is hij niet de Bisschop en de Aartsbisschop, de Primaat van Engeland en Heel Engeland? Ik zeg dikwijls dat de schrijvers van Kranten, Pamfletten, Gedichten, Boeken de echte werkende en wezenlijke Kerk van een modern land zijn. Nee, niet alleen onze preken, maar zelfs onze eredienst, worden zij ook niet verricht door middel van Gedrukte Boeken? Het nobele gevoel dat een getalenteerde ziel voor ons in melodieuze woorden heeft aangekleed, woorden die melodie in ons hart brengen,– is dit niet essentieel, als we het goed begrijpen, voor het wezen van de eredienst? Er zijn er velen, in alle landen, die, in deze verwarde tijd, geen andere manier van verering hebben. Hij die ons, op welke manier dan ook, op een betere wijze dan we ervoor kenden, toont dat een veldlelie mooi is, toont hij ons dat niet als een uitvloeisel van de Fontein van alle Schoonheid; als het handschrift, daarin zichtbaar gemaakt, van de grote Maker van het Universum? Hij heeft voor ons een klein vers van een heilige Psalm gezongen, hij heeft het ons met hem doen meezingen. Wezenlijk wel. Hoeveel te meer hij die de nobele handelingen, gevoelens, stoutmoedigheden en beproevingen van een man en een broeder bezingt, uitspreekt of op een andere manier naar ons hart brengt! Hij heeft werkelijk ons hart geraakt als was het met een gloeiende kool van het altaar. Wellicht bestaat er geen eredienst die authentieker is.
Literatuur, in zoverre het Literatuur is, is een ‘apocalyps van de Natuur’, een openbaring van het ‘open geheim’. Het zou best, in de stijl van Fichte, een ‘voortdurende revelatie’ van het Goddelijke op het Aardse en het Gewone genoemd kunnen worden. Het Goddelijke duurt daar werkelijk steeds voort; het komt te voorschijn, nu eens in dit dialect, dan in dat, met verschillende graden van helderheid: alle werkelijk getalenteerde Zangers en Sprekers doen dit, bewust of onbewust. De donkere stormachtige verontwaardiging van een Byron, zo wispelturig en pervers, kan er enkele trekken van hebben; of nee, de verdorde spot van een Frans scepticus,– zijn bespotting van het Valse, een liefde en verering van het Ware. Hoeveel meer nog de sferenharmonie van een Shakespeare, van een Goethe; de kathedraal-muziek van een Milton! Zij zijn ook iets, die nederige echte leeuwerikennoten van een Burns, – veldleeuwerik, die begint van de nederige voor, ver boven het hoofd in de blauwe diepten, en die ons daar zo authentiek toezingen! Want alle werkelijke zang is wezenlijk een verering; zoals men inderdaad kan zeggen dat alle ware arbeid dat is, – waarvan die zang voor ons slechts de neerslag, en passende melodieuze voorstelling is. Fragmenten van een echte ‘Kerkliturgie’ en ‘Preekbundels’, vreemd verborgen voor het gewone oog, vind je zwalkend op die enorme schuimoceaan van het Gedrukte Woord dat we vaag Literatuur noemen! Boeken zijn ook onze Kerk.

¹ Dat doen we niet: deze tekst is een fragment van een lezing waarin Carlyle zijn ideeën over de Held als Literator illustreert aan de hand van drie grote voorbeelden: Samuel Johnson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau en Robert Burns. Hier worden enkel de meer algemene opvattingen van Carlyle gepubliceerd.


lundi, 08 avril 2013

Pulp Fascism

Pulp Fascism

By Jonathan Bowden 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

Editor’s Note: 

The following text is a transcription by V. S. of a lecture entitled “Léon Degrelle and the Real Tintin,” delivered at the 21st meeting of the New Right, London, June 13, 2009. The lecture can be viewed on YouTube here [2]. (Please post any corrections as comments below.)

I have given it a new title because it serves as the perfect introduction to a collection of Bowden’s essays, lectures, and interviews entitled Pulp Fascism: Right-Wing Themes in Comics, Graphic Novels, and Popular Literature, which is forthcoming from Counter-Currents.

I proposed this collection and title to Bowden in 2011, and although he wrote a number of pieces especially for it, the project was unfinished at his death. We are bringing out this book in honor of the first anniversary of Bowden’s death on March 29, 2012. 

jb_index.jpgI would like to talk about something that has always interested me. The title of the talk is “Léon Degrelle and the Real Tintin,” but what I really want to talk about is the heroic in mass and in popular culture. It’s interesting to note that heroic ideas and ideals have been disprivileged by pacifism, by liberalism tending to the Left and by feminism particularly since the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. Yet the heroic, as an imprimatur in Western society, has gone down into the depths, into mass popular culture. Often into trashy forms of culture where the critical insight of various intellectuals doesn’t particularly gaze upon it.

One of the forms that interests me about the continuation of the heroic in Western life as an idea is the graphic novel, a despised form, particularly in Western Europe outside France and Italy and outside Japan further east. It’s regarded as a form primarily for children and for adolescents. Yet forms such as this: these are two volumes of Tintin which almost everyone has come across some time or other. These books/graphic novels/cartoons/comic books have been translated into 50 languages other than the original French. They sold 200 million copies, which is almost scarcely believable. It basically means that a significant proportion of the globe’s population has got one of these volumes somewhere.

Now, before he died, Léon Degrelle said that the character of Tintin created by Hergé was based upon his example. Other people rushed to say that this wasn’t true and that this was self-publicity by a notorious man and so on and so forth. Probably like all artistic and semi-artistic things there’s an element of truth to it. Because a character like this that’s eponymous and archetypal will be a synthesis of all sorts of things. Hergé got out of these dilemmas by saying that it was based upon a member of his family and so on. That’s probably as true as not.

The idea of the masculine and the heroic and the Homeric in modern guise sounds absurd when it’s put in tights and appears in a superhero comic and that sort of thing. But the interesting thing is because these forms of culture are so “low” they’re off the radar of that which is acceptable and therefore certain values can come back. It’s interesting to note that the pulp novels in America in the 1920s and ’30s, which preceded the so-called golden age of comics in the United States in the ’30s and ’40s and the silver age in the 1960s, dealt with quite illicit themes.

One of the reasons that even today Tintin is mildly controversial and regarded as politically incorrect in certain circles is they span much of the 20th century. Everyone who is alive now realizes that there was a social and cultural revolution in the Western world in the 1960s, where almost all the values of the relatively traditional European society, whatever side you fought on in the Second World War, were overturned and reversed in a mass reversion or re-evaluation of values from a New Leftist perspective.

Before 1960, many things which are now legal and so legal that to criticize them has become illegal were themselves illicit and outside of the pedigree and patent of Western law, custom, practice, and social tradition. We’ve seen a complete reversal of nearly all of the ideals that prevailed then. This is why many items of quite popular culture are illicit.

If one just thinks of a silent film like D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation in 1915. There was a prize awarded by the American Motion Picture Academy up until about 1994 in Griffith’s name. For those who don’t know, the second part of Birth of a Nation is neo-Confederate in orientation and depicts the Ku Klux Klan as heroic. Heroic! The Ku Klux Klan regarded as the hero, saving the White South from perdition, from the carpet-baggers, some of whom bear an extraordinary resemblance to the present President of the United States of America. Of course, they were called carpet-baggers because they were mulatto politicians who arrived in the South primarily from the North with certain Abolitionist sponsorship and they arrived with everything they owned in a carpet bag to take over. And that’s why they were called that.

That film, which you can get in any DVD store and buy off Amazon for ten pounds or so, is extraordinarily notorious, but in actual fact, in terms of its iconography, it’s a heroic, dualist film where there’s a force of darkness and a force of light. There’s a masculine individual. There’s people who believe that they’ll sort out problems with a gun. The Bible, in an ultra-Protestant way, is their text. It’s what they base metaphysical objectivism and absolute value upon, and that film is perceived retrospectively as an extreme White Right-wing film although Griffith himself is later to do a film called Intolerance and actually, like a lot of film makers, had quite a diverse range of views irrespective of his own Southern and Texan background.

The thing one has to remember is that the methodology of the heroic can survive even if people fight against various forces in Western life. One of the great tricks of the heroic in the last 40 to 50 years is the heroic films involving icons like Clint Eastwood, for example, as a successor to this sort of archetype of John Wayne and the sort of Western stylized masculinity that he represented. Eastwood often plays individualistic, survivalist, and authoritarian figures; Right-wing existentialist figures. But they’re always at war with bureaucracies and values that are perceived as conservative. One of the ways it tricks, which has occurred since the 1960s, is to reorient the nature of the heroic so that the eternal radical Right within a society such as the United States or elsewhere is the enemy, per se.

There’s a comic strip in the United States called Captain America which began in the 1940s. Captain America is a weedy young man who almost walks with a stick and has arms like branches, and of course a friendly American scientist introduces him to a new secret program where he’s injected with some steroids and this sort of thing and immediately becomes this enormous blond hulking superman with blue eyes. Of course, he must dress himself in the American flag so that he can call himself Captain America. So you get the idea! He has a big shield which has the star of the United States on it and has a sidekick who dies in one of the 1940s comics, but of course these figures never die. They’re endlessly brought back. But there’s a problem here because the position that Captain America and a lesser Marvel Comics equivalent called Captain Britain and all these other people represent is a little bit suspect in an increasingly liberal society, even then. So, his enemy, his nemesis, his sort of dualist alternative has to be a “Nazi,” and of course Captain America has a Nazi enemy who’s called the Red Skull.

The Red Skull is a man with a hideous face who, to hide this hideousness, wears a hideous mask over his hideous face as a double take. The mirror cracks so why not wear a mask, but it’s not a mask of beauty. It’s a skull that’s painted red, and he’s called the Red Skull. He always wears green. So, it’s red and green. He always appears and there’s always a swastika somewhere in the background and that sort of thing. He’s always building robots or cyborgs or new biological sorts of creatures to take over the world. Captain America always succeeds in vanquishing him in the last panel. Just in the last panel. The Red Skull’s always about to triumph until the fist of Captain America for the American way and the American dream comes in at the end.

This mantle of the heroic whereby Right-wing existentialists like Captain America fight against the extreme Right in accordance with democratic values is one of the interesting tricks that’s played with the nature of the heroic. Because the heroic is a dangerous idea. Whether or not Tintin was based on Léon Degrelle there is of course a fascistic element to the nature of the heroic which many writers of fantasy and science fiction, which began as a despised genre but is now, because it’s so commercially viable, one of the major European book genres.

They’ve always known this. Michael Moorcock, amongst others, speaks of the danger of subliminal Rightism in much fantasy writing where you can slip into an unknowing, uncritical ultra-Right and uncritical attitude towards the masculine, towards the heroic, towards the vanquishing of forces you don’t like, towards self-transcendence, for example.

iron_dream.jpgThere’s a well-known novel called The Iron Dream and this novel is in a sense depicting Hitler’s rise to power and everything that occurred in the war that resulted thereafter as a science fiction discourse, as a sort of semiotic by a mad creator. This book was actually banned in Germany because although it’s an extreme satire, which is technically very anti-fascistic, it can be read in a literal-minded way with the satire semi-detached. This novel by Norman Spinrad was banned for about 20 to 30 years in West Germany as it then was. Because fantasy enables certain people to have an irony bypass.

Although comics are quite humorous, particularly to adults, children and adolescents read them, scan them because they sort of just look at the images and take in the balloons as they go across because these are films on paper. They essentially just scan them in an uncritical way. If you ever look at a child, particularly a child that’s got very little interest in formal literature of a sort that’s taught in many European and American schools, they sit absorbed before comics, they’re absolutely enthralled by the nature of them, by the absolute villainy of the transgressor, by the total heroicism and absence of irony and sarcasm of the heroic figure with a scantily clad maiden on the front that the hero always addresses himself to but usually in a dismissive way because he’s got heroic things to accomplish. She’s always on his arm or on his leg or being dragged down.

Indeed, the pulp depiction of women which, of course, is deeply politically incorrect and vampish is a sort of great amusement in these genres. If you ever look at comics like Conan the Barbarian or Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk and these sorts of things the hero will always be there in the middle! Never to the side. Always in the middle foursquare facing the future. The villain will always be off to one side, often on the left; the side of villainy, the side of the sinister, that which wants to drag down and destroy.

As the Hulk is about to hit The Leader, which is his nemesis, or Captain America is about to hit the Red Skull, which is his nemesis, or Batman is about to hit the psychiatric clown called The Joker, who is his nemesis, there’s always a scantily clad woman who’s around his leg on the front cover looking up in a pleading sort of way as the fist is back here. It’s quite clear that these are archetypal male attitudes of amusement and play which, of course, have their danger to many of the assumptions that took over in the 1960s and ’70s.

It’s interesting to notice that in the 1930s quite a lot of popular culture expressed openly vigilante notions about crime. There was a pulp magazine called The Shadow that Orson Welles played on the radio. Orson Welles didn’t believe in learning the part, in New York radio Welles, usually the worse for wear for drink and that sort of thing, would steam up to the microphone, he would take the script, and just launch into The Shadow straight away. The Shadow used to torment criminals. Depending on how nasty they were the more he’d torment them. When he used to kill them, or garrote them, or throttle them, or hang them (these pulps were quite violent and unashamedly so) he used to laugh uproariously like a psychopath. And indeed, if you didn’t get the message, there would be lines in the book saying “HA HA HA HA HA!” for several lines as he actually did people in.

The Shadow is in some ways the prototype for Batman who comes along later. Certain Marxian cultural critics in a discourse called cultural studies have pointed out that Batman is a man who dresses himself up in leathers to torment criminals at night and looks for them when the police, namely the state, the authority in a fictional New York called Gotham City, put a big light in the sky saying come and torment the criminal class. They put this big bat symbol up in the sky, and he drives out in the Batmobile looking for villains to torment. As most people are aware, comics morphed into more adult forms in the 1980s and ’90s and the graphic novel emerged called Dark Knight which explored in quite a sadistic and ferocious way Batman’s desire to punish criminality in a very extreme way.

There was also a pulp in the 1930s called Doc Savage. Most people are vaguely aware of these things because Hollywood films have been made on and off about all these characters. Doc Savage was an enormous blond who was 7 feet. He was bronzed with the sun and covered in rippling muscles. Indeed, to accentuate his musculature he wore steel bands around his wrists and ankles, as you do. He was a scientific genius, a poetic genius, and a musical genius. In fact, there was nothing that he wasn’t a genius at. He was totally uninterested in women. He also had a research institute that operated on the brains of criminals in order to reform them. This is quite extraordinary and deeply politically incorrect! He would not only defeat the villain but at the end of the story he would drag them off to this hospital/institute for them to be operated on so that they could be redeemed for the nature of society. In other words, he was a eugenicist!

Of course, those sorts of ideas in the 1930s were quite culturally acceptable because we are bridging different cultural perceptions even at the level of mass entertainment within the Western world. That which is regarded, even by the time A Clockwork Orange was made by Kubrick from Burgess’ novel in the 1970s, as appalling, 40 years before was regarded as quite acceptable. So, the shifting sands of what is permissible, who can enact it, and how they are seen is part and parcel of how Western people define themselves.

Don’t forget, 40% of the people in Western societies don’t own a book. Therefore, these popular, mass forms which in one way are intellectually trivial is in some respects how they perceive reality.

Comics, like films, have been heavily censored. In the United States in the 1950s, there was an enormous campaign against various sorts of quasi-adult comics that were very gory and were called horror comics and were produced by a very obscure forum called Entertainment Comics (EC). And there was a surrogate for the Un-American Activities Committee in the US Senate looking at un-American comics that are getting at our kids, and they had a large purge of these comics. Indeed, mountains of them were burnt. Indeed, enormous sort of semi-book burnings occurred. Pyramids of comics as big as this room would be burnt by US and federal marshals on judges’ orders because they contained material that the young shouldn’t be looking at.

The material they shouldn’t be looking at was grotesque, gory, beyond Roald Dahl sort of explicit material which, of course, children love. They adore all that sort of thing because it’s exciting, because it’s imaginative, because it’s brutal, because it takes you out of the space of normalcy, and that’s why the young with their instincts and their passion and glory love this sort of completely unmediated amoral fare. That’s why there’s always been this tension between what their parents would like them to like and what many, particularly late childish boys and adolescents, really want to devour. I remember Evelyn Waugh was once asked, “What was your favorite book when you were growing up?” And just like a flash he said, “Captain Blood!” Captain Blood! Imagine any silent pirate film from the 1920s and early ’30s.

Now, the heroic in Western society takes many forms. When I grew up, there were these tiny little comics in A5 format. Everyone must have seen them. Certainly any boys from the 1960s and ’70s. They were called Battle. Battle and Commando and War comics, and these sorts of thing. They were done by D. C. Thomson, which is the biggest comics manufacturer in Britain, up in Dundee. These comics were very unusual because they allowed extremely racialist and nationalist attitudes, but the enemies were always Germans and they were always Japanese.

Indeed, long after the passing of the Race Act in the late 1960s and its follow-up which was more codified and definitive and legally binding in the 1970s, statements about Germans and Japanese could be made in these sorts of comics, which were not just illicit but illegal. You know what I mean, the Green Berets, the commandos, would give it to “Jerry” in a sort of arcane British way and were allowed to. This was permitted, even this liberal transgression, because the enemy was of such a sort.

But, of course, what’s being celebrated is British fury and ferocity and the nature of British warriors and the Irish Guards not taking prisoners and this sort of thing. This is what’s being celebrated in these sorts of comics. It’s noticeable that D. C. Thomson, who has no connection to the DC group in the United States by the way, toned down this element in the comics as they went along. Only Commando survives, but they still produce four of them a month.

In the 1970s, Thomson, who also did The Beano and utterly childish material for children for about five and six as well as part of the great spectrum of their group, decided on some riskier, more transgressive, more punkish, more adult material. So, they created a comic called Attack. Attack! It’s this large shark that used to come and devour people. It was quite good. The editor would disapprove of something and they would be eaten by the shark. There was the marvelous balloons they have in comics, something like, “This shark is amoral. It eats.” And there would be a human leg sticking out of the mouth of the shark. Some individual the editor disapproved of was going down the gullet.

Now, Attack was attacked in Parliament. A Labour MP got up and said he didn’t like Attack. It was rather dubious. It was tending in all sorts of unwholesome directions, and Attack had a story that did outrage a lot of people in the middle 1970s, because there was a story where a German officer from the Second World War was treated sympathetically, in Attack. Because it was transgressive, you see. What’s going to get angry Methodists writing to their local paper? A comic that treats some Wehrmacht officer in a sympathetic light. So, there was a real ruckus under Wilson’s government in about ’75 about this, and so they removed that.

judge-dredd-1.jpgVarious writers like Pat Mills and John Wagner were told to come up with something else. So, they came up with the comic that became Judge Dredd. Judge Dredd is a very interesting comic in various ways because all sorts of Left-wing people don’t like Judge Dredd at all, even as a satire. If there are people who don’t know this, Dredd drives around in a sort of motorcycle helmet with a slab-sided face which is just human meat really, and he’s an ultra-American. It’s set in a dystopian future where New York is extended to such a degree that it covers about a quarter of the landmass of the United States. You just live in a city, in a burg, and you go and you go and you go. There’s total collapse. There’s no law and order, and there’s complete unemployment, and everyone’s bored out of their mind.

The comic is based on the interesting notion that crime is partly triggered by boredom and a sort of wantonness in the masses. Therefore, in order to keep any sort of order, the police and the judiciary have combined into one figure called a Judge. So, the jury, the trial, the police investigation, and the investigative and forensic elements are all combined in the figure of the Judge. So, if Judge Dredd is driving along the street and he sees some youths of indeterminate ethnicity breaking into a store he says, “Hold, citizens! This is the law! I am the law! Obey me! Obey the law!” And if they don’t, he shoots them dead, because the trial’s syncopated into about 20 seconds. He’s given them the warning. That’s why he’s called Judge Dredd, you see. D-R-E-D-D. He just kills automatically those who transgress.

There’s great early comic strips where he roars around on this bike that has this sort of skull-like front, and he appears and there’s a chap parking his car and he says, “Citizen! Traffic violation! Nine years!” and roars off somewhere else. Somebody’s thieving or this sort of thing and he gets them and bangs their head into the street. There’s no question of a commission afterwards. “Twelve years in the Cube!” which is an isolation cell. It’s got its own slang because comics, of course, create their own world which children and adolescents love so you can totally escape into a world that’s got a semi-alternative reality of its own that’s closed to outsiders. If some adult picks it up and looks at it he says, “What is this about?” Because it’s designed to exclude you in a way.

Dredd has numerous adventures in other dimensions and so on, but Dredd never changes, never becomes more complicated, remains the same. He has no friends. “I have no need of human attachments,” he once says in a slightly marvelous line. He has a robot for company who provides most of his meals and needs and that sort of thing. For the rest, he’s engaged in purposeful and pitiless implementation of law and order. One of his famous phrases was when somebody asked him what is happiness, and he says in one of those bubbles, “Happiness is law and order.” Pleasure is obeying the law. And there are various people groveling in chains in front of him or something.

Now, there’ve been worried Left-wing cat-calls, although it’s a satire, and it’s quite clearly meant to be one. For example, very old people, because people in this fantasy world live so long that they want to die at the end, and they go to be euthanized. So, they all queue up for euthanasia. There’s one story where somebody blows up the people waiting for euthanasia to quicken the thing, but also to protest against it. And Judge says, “Killing euthanized is terrorism!” War on terror, where have we heard that before? Don’t forget, these are people that want to die. But Dredd says, “They’re being finished off too early. You’ve got to wait, citizen!” Wait to be killed later by the syringe that’s coming. And then people are reprocessed as medicines, because everything can be used. It’s a utilitarian society. Therefore, everything is used from birth to death, because the state arranges everything for you, even though socialism is condemned completely.

There’s another bloc, it’s based on the Cold War idea, there’s a Soviet bloc off on the other side of the world that is identical to the West, but ideologically they’re at war with each other, even though they’re absolutely interchangeable with each other. But the Western metaphysic is completely free market, completely capitalist, but in actual fact no one works, and everyone’s a slave to an authoritarian state.

There’s also an interesting parallel with more advanced forms of literature here. A Clockwork Orange: many people think that’s about Western youth rebellion and gangs of the Rockers and Mods that emerged in the 1960s at the time. Burgess wrote his linguistically sort of over-extended work in many ways. In actual fact, Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange after a visit to the Soviet Union where he was amazed to find that, unlike the totalitarian control of the masses which he expected at every moment, there was quite a degree of chaos, particularly amongst the Lumpenproletariat in the Soviet Union.

George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four has an interesting idea, and that is that the proles are so beneath ideology, right at the bottom of society, the bottom 3% not even the bottom 10%, that they can be left to their own devices. They can be left to take drugs. They can be left to drink to excess. They can be left to destroy themselves. Orwell says “the future is the proles” at one point. Remember when Winston Smith looks out across the tenements and sees the enormous washerwoman putting some shirts, putting some sheets on a line? And she sings about her lost love, “Oh, he was a helpless fancy . . .” and all this. And Winston looks out on her across the back yards and lots and says, “If there’s a future, it lies with the proles!” And then he sings to himself, “But looking at them, he had to wonder.”

The party degrades the proletariat to such a degree that it ceases to be concerned about their amusements because they’re beneath the level of ideology and therefore you don’t need to control them. The people you control are the Outer Party, those who can think, those who wear the blue boiler suits, not the black ones from the Inner Party.

TheIronHeel500.jpgThis interconnection between mass popular culture, often of a very trivial sort, and elitist culture, whereby philosophically the same ideas are expressed, is actually interesting. You sometimes get these lightning flashes that occur between absolutely sort of “trash culture,” if you like, and quite advanced forms of culture like A Clockwork Orange, like Darkness at Noon, like Nineteen Eighty-Four, like The Iron Heel, like The Iron Dream. And these sorts of extraordinary dystopian and catatopian novels, which are in some respects the high political literature (as literature, literature qua literature) of the 20th century.

Now, one of the reasons for the intellectual independence of elements in some comics is because no one’s concerned about it except when the baleful eye of censorship falls upon them. A particular American academic wrote a book in the early 1950s called Seduction of the Innocent which is about how children were being depraved by these comics which were giving them violent and racialist and elitist and masculinist stereotypes, which shouldn’t be allowed.

Of course, a vogue for Left wing comics grew up in the 1970s because culture in the United States, particularly men’s culture, is racially segregated in a way which is never admitted. African-Americans have always had their own versions of these things. There are Black American comics. Marvel did two called The Black Panther, and the Black Panther only ever preys on villains who are Black.

There’s another one called Power Man who’s in prison loaded down with chains and a White scientist, who might be Jewish, experiments on him. He’s called Luke Cage and he’s experimented on so he becomes a behemoth. A titan of max strength he’s called, and he bats down the wall and takes all sorts of people on. And yet, of course, all of the villains he takes on, very like the Shaft films which are both about James Bond films which are very similar, all of this material is segregated. It occurs within its own zone.

But you notice the same heroic archetypes return. Yet again there’s a villain in the corner, usually on the left side, Luke Cage has an enormous fist, there’s a sort of half-caste beauty on his leg looking up, staring at him. This sort of thing. It’s the same main methodology. It’s the same thing coming around again.

Although there have been attempts at the Left-wing comic, it’s actually quite difficult to draw upon with any effect. Because, in a way you can criticize comics that are metapolitically Right-wing, but to create a Left-wing one is actually slightly difficult. The way you get around it is to have a comic that’s subliminally Rightist and have the villain who’s the extreme Right. There are two American comics called Sgt. Fury and Sgt. Rock and another one’s called Our Army at War. Sgt. Rock, you know, and this sort of thing. And you know who the villain is because they’re all sort in the Second World War.

The attitude towards Communism in comics is very complicated. Nuclear destruction was thought too controversial. When formal censorship of comics began in America in the 1950s something called the Approved Comics Code Authority, very like the British Board of Film Classification, emerged. They would have a seal on the front of a comic. Like American films in the 1930s, men and women could kiss but only in certain panels and only for a certain duration on the page as the child or adolescent looked at it, and it had to be, it was understood so explicitly it didn’t even need to be mentioned that of course it didn’t even need to be mentioned that it was totally heterosexual. Similarly, violence had to be kept to a minimum, but a certain allowed element of cruelty was permitted if the villain was on the receiving end of it.

Also, the comics had to be radically dualist. There has to be a force for light and a force for darkness. There has to be Spiderman and his nemesis who’s Dr. Octopus who has eight arms. But certain complications can be allowed, and as comics grow, if you like, non-dualist characters emerge.

There’s a character in The Fantastic Four called Doctor Doom who’s a tragic figure with a ruined face who is shunned by man who wants to revenge himself on society because he’s shut out, who ends as the ruler of a tiny little made-up European country which he rules with an iron hand, and he does have hands of iron. So he rules his little Latvia substitute with an iron hand. But he’s an outsider, you see, because in the comic he’s a gypsy, a sort of White Roma. But he gets his own back through dreams of power.

There’s these marvelous lines in comics which when you ventilate them become absurd. But on the page, if you’re sucked into the world, particularly as an adolescent boy, they live and thrive for you. Doom says to Reed Richards, who’s his nemesis on the other side, “I am Doom! I will take the world!” Because the way the hero gets back at the villain is to escape, because they’re usually tied up somewhere with a heroine looking on expectantly. The hero is tied up, but because the villain talks so much about what they’re going to do and the cruelty and appalling suffering they’re going to inflict all the time the hero is getting free. Because you have to create a lacuna, a space for the hero to escape so that he can drag the villain off to the asylum or to the gibbet or to the prison at the end. Do you remember that line from Lear on the heath? “I shall do such things, but what they are I know not! But they will be the terror of the earth!” All these villains repeat that sort of line in the course of their discourse, because in a sense they have to provide the opening or the space for the hero to emerge.

One of the icons of American cinema in the 20th century was John Wayne. John Wayne was once interviewed about his political views by, of all things, Playboy magazine. This is the sort of level of culture we’re dealing with. They said, “What are your political views?” and Wayne said, “Well, I’m a white supremacist.” And there was utter silence when he said this! He was a member of the John Birch Society at the time. Whether or not he gave money to the Klan no one really knows.

There’s always been a dissident strand in Hollywood, going back to Errol Flynn and before, of people who, if you like, started, even at the level of fantasy, living out some of these heroic parts in their own lives. Wayne quite clearly blurred the distinction between fantasy on the film set and in real life on many occasions. There are many famous incidents of Wayne, when robberies were going on, rushing out of hotels with guns in hand saying, “Stick’em up!” He was always playing that part, because every part’s John Wayne isn’t it, slightly differently? Except for a few comedy pieces. And he played that part again and again and again.

Alamo_1960_poster.jpgDon’t forget, The Alamo is now a politically incorrect film. Very politically incorrect. There’s an enormous women’s organization in Texas called the Daughters of the Alamo, and they had to change their name because the White Supremacist celebration of the Alamo was offensive to Latinos who are, or who will be very shortly, a Texan majority don’t forget. So, the sands are shifting in relation to what is permitted even within popular forms of culture.

When Wayne said he was a supremacist in that way he said, “I have nothing against other people, but we shouldn’t hand the country over to them.” That’s what he said. “We shouldn’t hand the country over to them.”

And don’t forget, I was born in ’62. Obama in many of the deep Southern states wouldn’t have had the vote then. Now he’s President. This is how the West is changing on all fronts and on every front. American Whites will certainly be in the minority throughout the federation in 40 or 50 years. Certainly. Indeed, Clinton (the male Clinton, the male of the species) once justified political correctness by saying, “Well, in 50 years we’ll be the minority. We’ll need political correctness to fight that game.”

The creator of Tintin, Hergé, always said that his dreams and his nightmares were in white. But we know that the politically correct games of the future will be Whites putting their hands up in the air complaining because somebody’s made a remark, complaining because they haven’t got a quota, complaining because this form is biased against them, and this sort of thing. They’ll be playing the game that minorities in the West play at the moment, because that’s all that’s left to them. You give them a slice of the ghetto, you predefine the culture (mass, middling, and elite), in the past but not into the future, elements of the culture which are too much reverent of your past don’t serve for the future and are therefore dammed off and not permitted. This is what, in a sense, White people face in America and elsewhere.

One of the great mysteries of the United States that has produced an enormous amount of this mass culture, some of which I have been at times rather glibly describing, is why has there never been a mass serious Right-wing movement of the real Right in the United States. The whole history of the 20th century and before would be different if that had occurred. Just think of it. Not some sort of trivial group, but a genuine group.

Don’t forget, the real position of the American ultras is isolationism. They don’t want to go out into the rest of the world and impose American neo-colonialism on everyone else. They’re the descendants of people who left the European dominion in order to create a new world. Hence, the paradox that the further Right you go in the United States, the more, not pacifist, but non-interventionist you become.

Before the Confederacy, there was a movement called the Know Nothings, and this is often why very Right-wing people in the United States are described as Know Nothings. Because when you’re asked about slavery, which of course is a very loaded and partial question, you said, “Well, I don’t know anything about it.” And that was a deliberate tactic to avoid being sucked in to an abolitionist agenda or a way of speaking that was biased in the political correctness of its own era.

But it is remarkable that although the Confederacy didn’t have the strength to win, if they had won the history of the whole world would be different. The 20th century would have never taken the course that it did.

One of the interesting things about the American psyche, of course, is that many unfortunate incidents, the war that we fought with the United States in 1812, for example, have been completely elided from history. It’s gone! It’s gone! We almost went to war with them in 1896 over Venezuela. That still has slightly interesting intonations even now a century or more on when Joseph Chamberlain was Colonial Secretary. This is again [elided] rather like the Suez incident 1956. There are certain incidents that are played up. And there are anniversaries that are every day on the television, and that you can’t escape from. But there are other anniversaries and other events which have been completely air-brushed from the spectrum and from the historical continuum as if they never occurred.

One episode is the extraordinarily bad treatment of prisoners of war by Americans going way, way back. The Confederates and the Unionists treated each other that way in the Civil War, but the Mexicans certainly got the boot in the 1840s as did the Spanish-Cubans at the turn of the 20th century. Americans beat up every German on principle, including members of Adenauer’s future cabinet when they occupied part of Germany. They just regard that as de rigeur. This frontier element that is there, crude and virile and ferocious, not always wrong, but ultimately fighting in ways which are not in the West’s interests, certainly for much of the 20th century, just gone, is part and parcel of the heroic American sense of themselves.

Where do all of these archetypes ultimately come from? That American popular culture which has gone universal because the deal is that what America thinks today, the world thinks tomorrow. When we allegedly ruled the world, or part of it, in the 19th century, Gladstone once stood in Manchester in the Free Trade Hall and said, “What Manchester thinks today, the world thinks tomorrow.” But now it’s what’s on MTV or CNN today, that the world would like to think is the ruling discourse of tomorrow.

American self-conceptuality is, to my mind, deeply, deeply Protestant in every sense. Even at the lowest level of their popular culture the idea of the heroic man, often a dissident police officer or a rancher or a hero of certain supernatural powers and so forth, but a man alone, a man outside the system, a man whose anti-Establishment, but he fights for order, a man who believes that everything’s settled with a weapon (which is why they always carry large numbers of weapons, these sort of survivalist type heroes). All of these heroes, the ones created by Robert E. Howard, the ones such as Doc Savage and Justice Inc., the Shadow, and all of the super-heroes like Batman.

Superman is interesting. Superman is Nietzschean ideas reduced to a thousand levels of sub-intellectuality, isn’t it? That’s what’s going on. He has a girlfriend who never ages called Lois Lane, who looks 22 now even though she’s about 88 in the trajectory of the script. There’s a villain who’s bald called Lex Luthor who’s always there, always the nemesis, always plotting. Luthor’s reinvented later in the strip as a politician who takes over the city. Superman’s clean and wholesome, you see, whereas the villain becomes a politician. You can see the sort of rhetoric.

luthor-1.jpgLuthor and Superman in the stories are outsiders. They’re both extraterrestrials. Luthor, however, has anti-humanist values, which means he’s “evil,” whereas Superman, who’s partly human, has “humanist” values. Luthor comes up with amazing things, particularly in the 1930s comics, which are quite interesting, particularly given the ethnicity of the people who created Superman. Now, about half of American comics are very similar to the film industry, and a similar ethnicity is in the film industry as in the comics industry. Part of the notions of what is right and what is wrong, what is American and what is not, is defined by that particular grid.

Luthor’s an anti-humanite. Luthor always has these thuggish villains who have several teeth missing and are sort of Lombrosian, and they’re ugly, have broken noses and slanted hats. This is the 1930s. And Luthor says, “I’m sick of the human. We’ve got to transcend the human.” They don’t have words like “transcend” in comics. They say, “go beyond” or something, you know. “We’ve got to go beyond the human. Humans have got to go! I’ve got to replace them with a new species.” And one of his thugs will say, “Way to go, Luthor! This is what we want!” If you notice, you have a comic called Superman, but Superman has liberal values and fights for democracy and the American way, and Luthor, although no one ever says he’s “fascistic,” is harsh, is elitist, is inegalitarian.

You know that the villains have a tendency to punish their own men? You remember Blofeld in the Bond films? One of his own minions will fail him, and he’ll sit in a chair and you know what’s going to happen. A hand strokes the cat with the diamonds around its neck. The villain likes cats, and the cat’s eyes stare on. The finger quivers over the button. And Blofeld, or Luthor, or Dr. Doom, or the Red Skull, or the Joker, or whoever it is, because it’s the same force really, says, “You failed me. There is only one punishment in this organization . . .” Click! The button goes, and there’s an explosion, the bloke screams, goes down in the chair.

There’s a great scene in Thunderball at the beginning where the chair comes up again. It’s empty and steaming, and all the other cronies are readjusting their ties. Blofeld’s sat there, and the camera always pans to his hands, the hands of power. You know, the hands of death, the hands of Zeus, the hands of Henry VIII. The closet would meet, and they’d all be disarmed by guards, but he would have a double-headed axe down by the chair.

It’s said, by American propaganda, that Saddam Hussein once shot his Minister of Health during a revolutionary command council meeting, and the same script had to be continued in the meeting by the Deputy Minister of Health. Just think of how the Deputy Minister felt! Let’s hope he wasn’t wearing gray flannels, because they might have been brown by the end of the cabinet session.

This idea of dualism, moral dualism (ultimately a deeply Christian idea in many ways as well as a Zoroastrian idea) is cardinal for the morality of these comics and the popular films and TV serials and all the internet spin-offs and all of these computer games. Because even when the hero is a woman like Lara Croft and so on, it’s the same methodology coming round and round again. Because adolescent boys want to look at somebody who looks like Lara Croft as she runs around with guns in both hands with virtually nothing on. That’s the sort of dissident archetype in these American pulps going back a long way. It’s just the feminization of heroic masculinity actually, which is what these sort of Valkyries are in popular terms.

Now, the dualist idea is that there’s a force for evil and a force for good, and we know who they are (they are the ones out there!). In The Hulk, the Hulk is green because he’s been affected by gamma rays. The Hulk alternates with a brilliant scientist, but when he’s in his monstrous incarnation—because of course it’s a simplification of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Robert Louis Stevenson’s myth—the Hulk, particularly early on in the comics, is incredibly stupid. If he saw this table in front of him he’d say, “Table. Don’t like table.” And he’d smash it, because Hulk smashes. That’s what he does! He smashes!

The villain in The Hulk is called the Leader. The Leader is the villain. The Leader is all brain. Indeed, the Leader has such a long head that he’s almost in danger of falling over because of the size of his brain. So, like children have to wear a steel brace on their teeth, the Leader wears a steel brace on his head because he’s “too bright.” So, the Leader—notice the Leader is a slightly proto-fascistic, Right-wing, elitist figure, isn’t he? The man who wants to dominate through his mind—is counter-posed by just brute force: the Hulk!

This idea that there’s a force for good and a force for evil and the one always supplants the other, but the one can never defeat the other, because the Leader in The Hulk, the Owl in Daredevil, the Joker in Batman, Dr. Doom in The Fantastic Four, Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin (another green one) in Spiderman . . . They’re never destroyed. If one of them is destroyed, their son finds their mask in a trunk and puts it on and knows that he wants to dominate the world! And comes back again. They can never be destroyed because they’re archetypes.

The comics hint at a sort of pagan non-dualism partly because they insist upon this good and evil trajectory so much. That’s in some ways when they become quite morally complicated and quite dangerous.

In Greek tragedy, a moral system exists, and it’s preordained that you have a fate partly in your own hands even though it’s decided by the gods. In The Oresteia by Aeschylus, you have a tragedy in a family (cannibalism, destruction, self-devouring) which is revenged and passed through into future generations. So that the Greek fleet can get to Troy, a girl is sacrificed. Clytemnestra avenges herself as a Medusa, as a gorgon against her husband who has killed her own daughter. Then, of course, there’s a cycle of revenge and pity and the absence of pity when the son, Orestes, who identifies with the father, comes back.

In this type of culture, and obviously a much higher level conceptually, it’s noticeable that the good character and the evil character align, are differentiated, merging, replace one another, and separate over the three plays in that particular trilogy.

If you look at real life and you consider any conflict between men, Northern Ireland in the 1970s (we’re British here and many people here are British nationalists). But if you notice the IRA guerrilla/terrorist/paramilitary, the Loyalist guerilla/terrorist/paramilitary . . . One of my grandfathers was in the Ulster Volunteer Force at the beginning of the 20th century, but I went to a Catholic school.

Nietzsche has a concept called perspectivism whereby certain sides choose you in life, certain things are prior ordained. When the U.S. Marine fights the Islamist radical in Fallujah, the iconography of an American comic begins to collapse, because which is the good one and which is the evil one? The average Middle American as he sat reading Captain America zapping the channels thinks that the Marine is the good one, with a sort of 30-second attention span.

But at the same time, the Marine isn’t an incarnation of evil. He’s a man fighting for what he’s been told to fight for. He’s a warrior. There’re flies in his eyes. He’s covered in sweat. He’s gonna kill someone who opposes him. But the radical on the other side is the same, and he sees that he’s fighting for his people and the destiny of his faith. And when warriors fight each other, often there’s little hatred left afterwards, because it’s expended in the extraordinary ferocity of the moment.

This is when this type of mass culture, amusing and interesting and entertaining though it is, begins to fall away. Because whenever we’ve gone to war, and we’ve gone to war quite a lot over the last 10 to 12 years. Blair’s wars: Kosovo. There’s the bombing of the Serbs. Milošević is depicted as evil! Remember those slogans in the sun? Bomb Milošević’s bed! Bomb his bed! Bomb his house! And this sort of thing. Saddam! We’re gonna string him up! The man’s a war criminal! The fact he’d been a client to the West for years didn’t seem to come into it. Hanged. Showed extreme bravery in a way, even though if you weren’t a Sunni in Iraq, definitely, he wasn’t exactly your man.

There’s a degree to which the extraordinary demonization of the Other works. That’s why it’s used. The British National Party won two seats in that election but there was a campaign against it for 12 to 15 days before in almost every item of media irrespective of ideological profile saying, “Don’t vote for these people!” to get rid of the softer protest votes and you’re only left with the hard core. That’s why that type of ideology is used. Maybe humans are hardwired to see absolute malevolence as on the other side, when in actual fact it’s just a person who may or may not be fighting against them.

But what this type of mass or popular culture does is it retains the instinct of the heroic: to transcend, to fight, to struggle, to not know fear, to if one has fear to overcome it in the moment, to be part of the group but retain individual consciousness within it, to be male, to be biologically defined, to not be frightened of death, whatever religious or spiritual views and values that one incarnates in order to face that. These are, in a crude way, what these forms are suggesting. Morality is often instinctual, as is largely true with humans.

I knew somebody who fought in Korea. When they were captured, the Koreans debated amongst themselves whether they should kill all the prisoners. There were savage disputes between men. This always happens in war.

I remember, as I near the close of this speech, that one of Sir Oswald Mosley’s sons wrote a very interesting book both about his father and about his experiences in the Second World War. This is Nicholas Mosley, the novelist and biographer. He was in a parachute regiment, and there’s two stories that impinge upon the nature of the heroic that often appears in popular forms and which I’ll close with.

One is when he was with his other members. He was with his other parachutists, and they were in a room. There was The Daily Mirror, still going, the organ of Left-wing hate which is The Daily Mirror, and on the front it said, “Oswald Mosley: The Most Hated Man in Britain.” The most hated man in Britain. And a chap looked up from his desk and looked at Mosley who was leading a fighting brigade and said, “Mosley, you’re not related to this bastard, are you?” And he said, “I’m one of his sons.” And there was total silence in the room. Total silence in the room, and they stared each other out, and the bloke’s hands gripped The Mirror, and all the other paratroopers were looking at this incident. And after about four minutes it broke and the other one tore up The Mirror and put it in a bin at the back of the desk and said, “Sorry, mate. Didn’t mean anything. Really.” Mosley said, “Well, that’s alright then, old chap.” And left.

The other story is very, very interesting. This was they were advancing through France, and the Germans are falling back. And I believe I’ve told this story before at one of these meetings, but never waste a good story. A senior officer comes down the track and says, “Mosley! Mosley, you’re taking too many prisoners. You’re taking too many prisoners. It’s slowing the advance. Do you understand what I’m saying, Mosley?” And he said, “Sir, yes, I totally understand what you’re saying.” He says, “Do you really understand what I’m saying? You’re slowing the advance. Everyone’s noticing it. Do something about it. Do you understand?” “Sir!”

And he’s off, I guess to another spot of business further down. Mosley turns to his Welsh sergeant-major and says, “What do you think about that? We’re taking too many prisoners.” Because what the officer has told him in a very English and a very British way is to shoot German soldiers and to shoot German prisoners and to shoot them in ditches. What else does it mean? “You’re slowing the advance! You’re taking too many prisoners! You’re not soft on these people, are you, Mosley? Speed the advance of your column!” That’s what he’s saying, but it’s not written down. It’s not given as a formal and codified order. But everyone shoots prisoners in war! It’s a fact! When your friend’s had his head blown off next to you, you’d want revenge!

I know people who fought in the Falklands. And some of the Argentinian Special Forces and some of the conscripts together used dum-dum bullets. Hits a man, his spine explodes. So, when certain conscripts were found by British troops they finished them pretty quickly at Goose Green and elsewhere. This will occur! In all wars! Amongst all men! Of all races and of all kinds! Because it’s part of the fury that battle involves.

One of my views is that is that we can’t as a species, or even as groups, really face the fact that in situations of extremity this is what we’re like. And this is why, in some ways, we create for our entertainment these striated forms of heroic culture where there’s absolutely good and absolutely malevolent and the two never cross over. When the Joker is dragged off, justice is done and Inspector Gordon rings Batman up (because it is he) and says, “Well done! You’ve cleansed the city of a menace.” All of the villains go to an asylum called Arkham Asylum. They’re all taken to an asylum where they jibber insanely and wait for revenge against the nature of society.

I personally think that a great shadow has been cast for 60 years on people who want to manifest the most radical forms of political identity that relate to their own group, their own inheritance, their own nationality, their own civilizational construct in relation to that nationality, the spiritual systems from the past and in the present and into the future that are germane to them and not necessarily to the others, to their own racial and biological configuration. No other tendency of opinion is more demonized in the entire West. No other tendency of opinion is under pressure.

Two things can’t be integrated into the situationist spectacle based upon the right to shop. They’re religious fundamentalism and the radical Right, and they’re tied together in various ways. It’s why the two out-groups in Western society are radical Right-wing militants and Islamists. They’re the two groups that are Other, that are totally outside. The way in which they’re viewed by The Mirror and others is almost the level of a Marvel Comics villain.

I seem to remember a picture from the Sunday Telegraph years ago of our second speaker [David Irving], and I’m quite sure that it’d been re-tinted, at least this is my visual memory of it, to appear darker, to appear more sinister. I remember once GQ did a photo of me years ago when I was in a group called Revolutionary Conservative. That photo was taken in Parliament Square. You know, the square that has Churchill and Mandela in it, that square near our parliament, with Oliver Cromwell over there hiding, [unintelligible] over there hiding further on. That photo was taken at 12:30, and it was a brighter day than this. But in GQ magazine it was darkened to make it look as though it was shot at nine o’clock, and everything was dark, and because it involved so much re-tinting it slightly distorted and reconfigured everything. That’s because these people are dark, you see! They’re the force from outside! They’re that which shouldn’t be permitted!

Whereas I believe that the force which is for light and the force which is for darkness (because I’m a pagan) can come together and used creatively and based upon identity and can lead on to new vistas. But that’s a rather dangerous notion, and you won’t find it in The Fantastic Four when Reed Richards and Dr. Doom do battle, and you won’t find it in Spiderman when Peter Parker and Dr. Octopus (Dr. Otto Octavius) do battle with one another. You won’t see it when the Aryan Captain America is taking on his National Socialist nemesis, the Red Skull. You won’t see it with the Hulk taking on the Leader. You won’t see it in any of these forms. But these forms have a real use, and that is that they build courage.

Nietzsche says at the end of Zarathrustra that there are two things you need in this life. You need courage and knowledge. That’s why Zarathrustra has two friends. He has an eagle, which stands for courage, and he has a snake, which stands for knowledge. And if you can combine those things, and synthesize them, you have a new type of man and a new type of future. And Nietzsche chose the great Persian sage as the explicator of his particular truth, because in the past he represented extreme dualism, but in the future Nietzsche wished to portray that he brought those dualities together and combined them as one heroic force.

Thank you very much! 

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/03/pulp-fascism/

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lundi, 25 mars 2013

Chesterton the prophet of menacing Americanisation


1920: Chesterton the prophet of menacing Americanisation


 By Nicolas Bonnal

Ex: http://english.pravda.ru/

But to-day personal liberties are the first liberties we lose.

In 1920 Chesterton visits America where he gives some lectures. The British (yet Catholic) genius is intimidated by this great country which horrifies and amazes then many European writers. Think of Kafka or Celine who describe a curious mega-machine.


Yet America happens -at least for Chesterton- to be a problem, because this is the country that will become the matrix of globalization (we all agree that being that matrix ruin the ancient Americans as a people). And when the author of father Brown gets to the control area, he is asked some very indiscreet questions such as: are you an anarchist? Then the questionnaire asks him naively if he is "ready to subvert by force the government of United States!" And what would answer our poet? ''I prefer to answer that question at the end of my tour and not the beginning'.

The questionnaire is not over. It asks then if the traveller is a polygamist! This time Chesterton is somewhat upset, like should have been the future travellers when asked if they are Nazis, anti-Semites or of course communists, Islamists or terrorists (what else, carnivores?). And he unleashes this terrible phrase:

Superficially this is rather a queer business. It would be easy enough to suggest that in this America has introduced a quite abnormal spirit of inquisition; an interference with liberty unknown among all the ancient despotisms and aristocracies.

So, let us think of inquisitive America as the land of the modern inquisitors (I think of course of Dostoyevsky). And, as if he had known we were doomed to an endless clash of civilizations between Muslims and Yankees, Chesterton evokes his visit to Jordan and compares with bonhomie Arab administration to the American one: 

These ministers of ancient Moslem despotism did not care about whether I was an anarchist; and naturally would not have minded if I had been a polygamist. The Arab chief was probably a polygamist himself.

Of course Chesterton, having quoted the Muslim world, had to speak of prohibition. That American prohibition too is hard to swallow for our drinker of beer (he deals with the subject -and with Islamism too- in the scaring novel the flying inn). And beyond the classical denunciations of hypocrisy and Puritanism, prohibition inspires him the following witty lines:

But to-day personal liberties are the first liberties we lose. It is not a question of drawing the line in the right place, but of beginning at the wrong end. What are the rights of man, if they do not include the normal right to regulate his own health, in relation to the normal risks of diet and daily life?

Chesterton knew he was entering in a no smoking area. The Americanization of the world would mean an exigent agenda of rules and orders to comply in all fields.  It is linked to the reign of the lawyers and congressmen, the cult of technique, a past but resilient Puritanism and of course the desire to homogenize all migrants. And he concludes on this matter with his sarcastic and efficient remark:

To say that a man has a right to a vote, but not a right to a voice about the choice of his dinner, is like saying that he has a right to his hat but not a right to his head.

Another subsequent menace is the Anglo-American friendship. Chesterton guesses that the anglo-American condominium means a general police of the planet and a future world order. The end of his strange and genial book is dedicated to the future new world order, whose prophet and agent is the famous sci-fi writer H.G. Welles. The motivation of this world state is mainly... fear, the artificial fear of the machines (think now of gun control).

He tells us that our national dignities and differences must be melted into the huge mould of a World State, or else (and I think these are almost his own words) we shall be destroyed by the instruments and machinery we have ourselves made.

But America has given to Chesterton enough reasons to fear its matrix, its efficiency and its blindness too. This is why America is too the magnet of heretic and modernist H.G. Wells. A country founded by Illuminati and masons has to become the mould and model of all.

Now it is not too much to say that Mr. Wells finds his model in America. The World State is to be the United States of the World... The pattern of the World State is to be found in the New World.

And although he speaks English and is an Anglo-Saxon, Chesterton, who is above all a Christian, a democrat and a humanist who mainly enjoys French and Russian peasants, then plundered by bolshevists, and he understands the American menace: the Americanisation of this planet, Americanisation that nothing will stop. The American menace consists in destroying any resisting nation in order to create the new united states of the world.

 The idea of making a new nation literally out of any old nation that comes along. In a word, what is unique is not America but what is called Americanisation. We understand nothing till we understand the amazing ambition to americanise the Kamshatkan and the hairy Ainu.

Let us be more humoristic, but not optimistic. For the new American order will be established on the models of a nursery. This is where the blatant American feminism interferes:

And as there can be no laws or liberties in a nursery, the extension of feminism means that there shall be no more laws or liberties in a state than there are in a nursery. The woman does not really regard men as citizens but as children. She may, if she is a humanitarian, love all mankind; but she does not respect it. Still less does she respect its votes.

Our European commission works like this nursery. And of course our genius thus seizes American paranoia and the perils of modern pseudo-sciences, say for instance the theory of the gender. As if he was predicting infamous patriot act, Chesterton writes:

Now a man must be very blind nowadays not to see that there is a danger of a sort of amateur science or pseudo-science being made the excuse for every trick of tyranny and interference. Anybody who is not an anarchist agrees with having a policeman at the corner of the street; but the danger at present is that of finding the policeman half-way down the chimney or even under the bed.

That's not all. Why this American matrix imposes her strength so easily? Chesterton has already remarked that American political order incites citizens - or pawns- to be repetitive, trivial and equal: I think they too tend too much to this cult of impersonal personality. Thanks to fast-foods and commercial centres, business cult and universities, television and movies' omnipresence, this model has been applied in fifty years everywhere, event in the resilient Muslim countries, making the globalization more a mind-programmed attitude than a free will. But this is where we are. 

But friendship, as between our heroes,

can't really be: for we've outgrown

old prejudice; all men are zeros,

the units are ourselves alone.

Eugene Onegin


Chesterton, what I saw in America, the project Gutenberg e-book.


Nicolas Bonnal

dimanche, 17 février 2013

Some Sort of Nietzschean

Some Sort of Nietzschean

By Alex Kurtagić

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

Wyndham Lewis in 1917 

Wyndham Lewis in 1917


Paul O’Keefe
Some Sort of Genius: A Life of Wyndham Lewis [2]
London: Pimlico, 2000

In his acknowledgment pages Paul O’Keefe states that it took him a decade—not including the years of research already donated to him by another writer—to complete his biography of Wyndham Lewis, a project he began in 1990 while he was president of the Wyndham Lewis Society. And this is apparent, for this volume, holding 700 pages of tightly packed print, offers an indefatigably detailed and masochistically researched account of the British modernist artist and author’s life.

Biographies differ in emphasis, depending on the author’s biases, and the tone here is set early in the first chapter, which consists of a detailed description of Lewis’ bisected brain—now preserved in the Pathology Museum of the Imperial College School of Medicine—and the progressive destruction (through compression of the adjacent structures) caused by the growth of its pituitary tumor, medically known as a chromophone adenoma. O’Keefe’s narration is temperate and balanced in the extreme, abstaining from either celebration or condemnation, or indeed evaluation, of his subject. Instead, we are presented with unvarnished facts and restrained descriptions of circumstances, and, where records have not survived or never existed and witness memories were unavailable, with the most disciplined of inference.

Initially, the effect of this cold detective approach is a certain literary anhedonia: the narrative barely raises the pulse, despite Lewis’ turbulent social life, truculence, and extraordinarily difficult personality. One feels that another author would have been able to produce much more dramatic prose with the same information.

All the same, O’Keefe’s biography is impressive, and after a somewhat laborious account of Lewis’ Bohemian early life and career—which, ironically, includes his most significant artistic period, coinciding with Cubism and Futurism, and now referred to as Vorticist—the pace picks up once we get to 1930, the year Apes of God (London: Arthur Press, 1930), Lewis’ savage satire of London’s literary scene and the Bloomsbury Group, was published. We learn, as we race through the decade, that Lewis would routinely ridicule his friends and patrons in his novels, where they would appear thinly disguised under a pseudonym. Few were spared, which led to many a falling out, libel writs, and loss of patronage. This, plus Lewis’ quarrelsome, irascible, ultra-individualistic, cruel, secretive, litigious, and somewhat paranoid personality, kept him always on the verge of bankruptcy, despite his tremendous creative energy and productivity. Indeed, when a group of friends decided to contribute monthly to a fund so that Lewis could work without financial worries—for he was always in arrears and in debt—he very quickly and rudely alienated his benefactors. This was probably because he resented being beholden to anyone. Any well-meaning gesture was an affront.

The book is hard to put down as we pass through the 1940s. From the late 1930s, when Lewis travelled to North America, where he alternated between Canada and the United States and where he remained until after the end of the war. There we are taken to what was probably the most bitter and penurious period in his life. By this time he had difficulties finding a publisher, having become notorious for attracting libel suits, locking horns with his earlier publishers, and not delivering manuscripts for which he had been paid an advance. In the United States his books were deemed by some not the most marketable. Commissions for portraits and other art, which he desperately needed and assiduously sought, were scarce and not proof against upsetting his patrons. They were also not terribly popular—in 1938 his portrait of T. S. Eliot had been rejected by the Royal Academy [3]. And speaking engagements, greatly facilitated by the publicity efforts of friend and future media guru Marshall McLuhan, proved insufficient and disappointing financially—Lewis was no Jonathan Bowden, in any event. Thus, he and his wife survived in cheap hotels and grim rented accommodation only a dollar, sometimes a few cents, away from eviction until 1945.

Lewis’ situation improved marginally thereafter, though by this time his eyesight was in steep decline, owing to his as-yet-undiagnosed pituitary tumor compressing his optic nerve. His 1949 portrait of T. S. Eliot would be his last painting. All the same, Lewis marched on, continuing to author substantial and difficult books—including the last two volumes of his Human Age trilogy, the first of which had been published many years earlier—even after he went blind in 1951. In his final years, Lewis benefited from the radio dramatisation of his trilogy and from his Civil List Pension, which, though exiguous, provided him with a bare minimum of security.

O’Keefe’s narration continues through to a search of Lewis’ condemned flat soon after his death and to his final resting place inside a niche in a wall at Golder’s Green Crematorium.

Despite its comprehensiveness in all that pertains to Lewis, O’Keefe’s biography has two major deficiencies, which stem from the fact that all we learn is tightly circumscribed to the facts and events relating to Lewis and his immediate social periphery. Firstly, aside from a few clinical descriptions, we learn very little about Lewis’ art and writing, or their cultural significance. By the time he finally receives a modicum of institutional honors and recognition, it comes almost unexpectedly; it is as if there had been a sudden sea change and the invisible powers who had previously been critical, suspicious, or unimpressed suddenly decided to relent. Secondly, there is virtually no wider historical, cultural, or sociological context, leaving Lewis’ life and work somewhat abstracted; the points of reference appear shadowy, remote, and somewhat peremptory. One can go too far in the opposite direction, of course, which would detract from a work that aims to be objective, devoid of opinion and coloration, or about an individual as opposed to his times, but it seems O’Keefe was a little too careful to avoid this.

We do obtain some perspective through Lewis’ relations with (and on occasion anecdotes involving some of) the various and now illustrious members of Lewis’ circle—which included Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, and W. B. Yeats—but this perspective remains somewhat shallow, and the individuals concerned remain somewhat distant. This may well be because Lewis was a study in detachment; we learn that for him friends were there to be used, and were friends only in so much as they were useful. Bowden described him [4] as “a bit of a rogue” and “a rascal,” and one can see why.

Having said that, in this biography Lewis does not come across as the iron-hard Right-winger that Bowden made him out to be. It is admitted that Lewis wrote a book called Hitler (London: Chatto and Windus, 1931), but he wrote it hastily and it seems he later regretted it, writing The Hitler Cult and How It Will End (London: J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd., 1939) and The Jews: Are They Human? (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1939), the latter of which is an attack against anti-Semitism. (O’Keefe also documents the frustration with Lewis of German National Socialists visiting the United Kingdom in the early 1930s in the face of the British author’s refusal to identify Communists as Jews—although this may have been recalcitrant individualism on the part of Lewis, for an anecdote a few hundred pages later on in the biography suggests he was aware of the “Jewish question,” a state not necessarily incompatible with dismissing anti-Semitism as “a racial red-herring.”)

It is admitted that Lewis met William Joyce and Oswald Mosley (O’Keefe, p. 370), but any relations in this biography appear vague and non-committal, his article in the British Union Quarterly notwithstanding. It is admitted also that, he wrote two other books (Left Wings Over Europe [London: Jonathan Cape, 1936] and Count Your Dead: They Are Alive! [London: Lovat Dickson, 1937]) which have been interpreted as in support for Mussolini and Franco respectively, but they are anti-war tracts. Later, Lewis would write Anglo-Saxony: A League that Works (Toronto: Ryerson, 1941), which is pro-democracy, and America and Cosmic Man (New York: Doubleday Company, 1949), where he pledges allegiance to a cosmic or cosmopolitan utopianism (Cosmic Man, p. 238).

Lewis’ politics were complex. Not Red, certainly, but not pure Black either. Now, Bowden, who knew O’Keefe for a time, described the latter as a liberal, and told in his 2006 talk about Lewis how, while being a member of the Wyndham Lewis Society, he told those present at an AGM that the society was “based on a lie”—proceeding then to accuse its members of revisionism, timidity, and denial. It may be that Bowden saw in Lewis want he wanted to see, or that his interpretation of Lewis as a Nietzschean metapolitical fascist owed to Bowden’s approaching his subject as a Nietzschean and a Stirnerite. Or that he focused only on the parts of Lewis that interested him, obviously the inter-war and then the late period.

In O’Keefe’s biography, certainly, Nietzsche does not figure in relation to Lewis. This is not to say, however, that Lewis was not a Nietzschean force or cannot be seen as such: aside from what can be gleaned from his prose or the conceptual elitism of his 1917 manifesto (“The Code of a Herdsman”), Lewis was certainly always against, always difficult and “rebarbative,” and always—despite his navigating a fairly wide circle of leading modernist artists and literati, alone against all, unabated by poverty and refusing to throw in the towel even after he went blind.

The reason for the above remarks is that I read this book as background research for a biography of Jonathan Bowden. Bowden mentioned Lewis frequently in his early writing, and among his effects after his death several books by Lewis were found, including Childermass (London: Chatto and Windus, 1928), The Revenge of Love (London: Cassell and Co. 1937), Self Condemned (London: Methuen Press, 1954), Apes of God, Snooty Baronet (London: Cassell and Co., 1932), Tarr (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1918; London: Chatto and Windus, 1928), and The Demon of Progress in the Arts (London: Methuen Press, 1954).

From the present biography of Lewis one can easily see the reasons why Bowden could have conceivably either identified with or seen something of himself in Lewis. Both lost a parent in early life. Both were prolific painters and writers, both of an experimental sort, though Bowden more than Lewis. Both identified with the politics of the Right, while also being aggressively individualistic, though, again, Bowden more than Lewis. Both were unafraid of—and indeed enjoyed—including friends and acquaintances in their prose, where these victims of cruel and often libellous psychoanalysis appeared quasi-cartoonified and only thinly disguised under pseudonyms. Both moved frequently during early adulthood and later lived closed off, hidden away at a recondite and obscure address. Both were secretive in their personal lives, which they strictly compartmentalized—in Lewis’ case, many of his friends were unaware of the fact that he had a wife and several children (by previous lovers) until Lewis was in late middle age; initially, he never mentioned her, few ever saw her, and no one was ever given access to the flat hidden behind a door below his studio, where she lived with him, until many years later. Both found wealth elusive, and were mostly interested in recognition. And there are other parallels. On the whole, however, Bowden was more consistent philosophically, harder politically, and a more extreme artist and writer.

Irrespective of your thoughts on modernism in general, Wyndham Lewis is sufficiently interesting on his own for this major biography to be educational and entertaining, though I suspect it will be those familiar with Jonathan Bowden’s oratory who will get the greater profit.


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/02/some-sort-of-nietzschean/

mercredi, 23 janvier 2013

T. S. Eliot reads "Journey of the Magi"

T. S. Eliot reads "Journey of the Magi"

mardi, 22 janvier 2013

"The Hollow Men" by T.S. Eliot (poetry reading)


"The Hollow Men" by T.S. Eliot (poetry reading)

lundi, 21 janvier 2013

Classical Modernism & the Art of the Radical Right

wyndham lewis-567455.jpg

Classical Modernism & the Art of the Radical Right

By Jonathan Bowden

Edited by Alex Kurtagić 

Editor’s Note: 

The following is an excerpt from Jonathan Bowden’s Heat. He wrote the text aged 30, between July and September 1992. The text is reproduced as it appears, only lightly edited for spelling and punctuation.

. . . this brings a particular dilemma to the surface, namely the division between political and literary extremism. This is the division or discrepancy, if one exists, between the expectation, thought, and expression of a particular desire and its political realization. Indeed, Stephen Spender was quick to point out in his introduction to Alistair Hamilton’s book The Appeal of Fascism: Fascism and the Intellectuals [2], that a large amount of guilt underlay the Leftist response to fascism in the thirties—namely, his own flirtation with communism, among others, could be explained by the proximity he saw between intellectual gestures and the irrationalism of the radical Right.

In a sense Spender had recognized that an enormous amount of anti-bourgeois emotion and Romantic conceit—the entire sweep of Romanticism, Symbolism, and the Decadence—had at root “fascistic” emotions. This was a somewhat sweeping statement, it had to be admitted, but it was not completely inaccurate. For as with the Symbolist and decadent liberal anarchist Octave Mirbeau and his Garden of Supplicants, a large amount of Romantic rhetoric was bourgeois anti-bourgeois. In other words, it was so radical it soon began to take leave of the class, namely the middle class, which had given it birth. It was Spender’s understanding (in a rudimentary way) of the thesis which George Lukács would later put in a more forceful manner (namely, in The Destruction of Reason) that turned this poet into a pansy-Bolshevik; a pink shade of red—a member of the Homintern. Yet Spender grasped a fundamental point, which is often overlooked, and this has to do with the educated antecedents of classical fascism. It is as if—at least at one level of consciousness—all work of a Romantic, pre-modern, anti-modern, illiberal, and anti-Victorian guise presaged a classical vision of the Right. It even penetrated into the early stages of modernism—where an attempt was made to clear away the “decadent” effluvium of High Romanticism with some sharp-edged early modernism, if not neo-classicism in modern guise. Hence, the fact that Lewis, Pound, Eliot, and Hulme were “soured” Romantics; cynical post-Romantics, if you will. Men who viewed Romanticism with a certain leavened sardonicism. It was a bitter and twisted form of modernism which looked to the past as it demolished it and to the future as it remonstrated with it on behalf of forms of the past. As a result, classical early modernism had two conflict strands within it. One of these went forward into an analysis of pure form—the architecture of formal misstatement—where all that matters is the consideration of a particular type of form; a formalist criteria, a logarithmic exercise in relation to the possibility of taste—whereby modern art produced through Surrealism and its aborted pre-birth/after-birth (Dadaism) to a consideration of color, tactility, and the instrumental nature of a form of vision. When there was nothing left to say—when art had been neutered by the nature of the photographic image, on the one hand, and the impossibility of expressing meaningful statement in a “bourgeois world,” on the other. (The latter in accordance with a particular type of minimalist Marxist aesthetic; the sort of thing which was an Adornoesque parody of itself.) While another tendency in modernism has yet to be explored and this is the proto-classicism which led early modernists to experiment with the possibility of a return to classical simplicity by virtue of a modernist aesthetic. This was why a large number of early modernists, like Epstein and Gaudier-Brzeska (whose work outraged traditionalists), were so interested in the purity of classical form—its aesthetic simplicity and proportion. Likewise, modern classicists, of a highly modernist and individualist character, like Maurras and T. E. Hulme, preached a new form of art which was spare, linear, rectangular, and masculine. In some respects, this predisposition teetered on the edge of two conflicting cultural vistas. On the one hand, it wished to go back even to before Romanticism, on the other, it wanted to recreate everything again in a way which had never been done before.


machine age drawing.jpg

As can be seen from the projected career of various modernists, the modern aesthetic could only go so far, in that a large number would fall away before the vista of total modernity. This is in relation to a pitiful summation of complete modernism which entered into a form of reiterated stylization; sheer form in the pursuit of its absence, the formlessness of an aesthetic concerned with nothing but the possibility of misstatement. Hence, the fact that Lewis, Dalí, Marinetti, de Chirico, Roberts, Gaudier-Brzeska, and many more, gradually fell away from modernism—Dalí towards a symbolic, classical, neo-Romantic form of iconography, namely religious painting, and Lewis towards modernist figuration, expressive linearity, anti-abstraction, and blindness. Also, the latter was to repudiate a form of aesthetic futility, the abandoned purpose of nihilistic modernism—i.e., the sheer purposelessness of empty abstraction; the pursuit of a type of form which had nothing to communicate—in his book that was also a form of recantation, namely The Demon of Progress in the Arts [4].

So we can say that there was a form of arrested classicism within early modernism which later came to reject it. This type of art either put modernism at the service of a neo-classical state, i.e., futurism in Fascist Italy, or it embraced fully-fledged traditional neo-classicism à la Arno Breker and the return to a naturalist form of neo-Grecian art. This was a type of counter-revolution in relation to modernism; a reformatory form of counter-reformation—a type of European modernity that was anti-modernist, a modern form of non-formalist criteria, neither academic nor anti-academic. It was a form of anti-formalist, anti-Bolshevik revolutionary tradition in relation to artistic procedure. What became known—somewhat crassly—as “Nazi art.”

Indeed, it is interesting to note that after the war, after defeat, these various strands came together again, if only in the form of friendship between the various protagonists—namely, the practitioners of a form of pre-to-early modernism that had a classical bias and straightforward neo-classicists who were the radical and talented vanguard of a type of artistic traditionalism; revolutionary artistic traditionalism nonetheless. The people concerned were Breker, Dalí, Fuchs, Pound, Cocteau, Hauptmann, Céline, members of the Wagner family, Speer (if only retrospectively), and the gradual reconsideration of Vorticism and Futurism—as the political passions which had led to opposition against them began to fall away.

Source: http://www.wermodandwermod.com/newsitems/news110120131209.html [5]


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/01/classical-modernism-and-the-art-of-the-radical-right/

00:04 Publié dans art | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : art, angleterre, wyndham lewis, peinture, avant-gardes | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

samedi, 19 janvier 2013

Carlo Galli, "Leviatano di Thomas Hobbes"

Carlo Galli, "Leviatano di Thomas Hobbes",

16 settembre 2011


dimanche, 02 décembre 2012

Wyndham Lewis: Radical for the Permanent Things

Wyndham Lewis: Radical for the Permanent Things
by Stephen Masty
Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), dead for more than half a century, may still take celestial delight in remaining so frustrating: he certainly tried hard enough.
Firstly, his enormous breadth of talent overwhelms today’s overly-specialised critics in their imposed pigeon-holes: some still call him England’s greatest Twentieth Century portraitist and draughtsman, his substantial shelf of novels could keep another league of critics busy, and his volumes of social criticism a third. Next, nobody could be so marvellously abrasive without lots of practice, so whomever you adore from the first half of the Twentieth Century, Lewis said something snarky about him at least twice. Lastly, he had an almost magnetic attraction to being politically-incorrect, giving any sniffy modern who has not read Lewis a good excuse to dismiss him out of hand. So he is largely ignored: a big mistake.
When Lewis is recalled apart from his paintings it is usually for his invective. In one book, he devoted a whole chapter called “The Dumb Ox” to Ernest Hemingway, who went berserk after reading it in the famous Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris, smashed a vase and ended up paying thousands of francs (but he got even and described Lewis as having the eyes of “an unsuccessful rapist”). Virginia Wolfe was scared to show her face in Oxford or Cambridge, the students were so impressed by the drubbing she got from Lewis. James Joyce’s “Ulysses” he described as “a suffocating moeotic expanse of objects” that would remain among the canons of literature, “eternally cathartic, a monument like a record diarrhoea” (if I go “halves” will anyone help get this carved in stone?).
While his best friends, Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, called Lewis, respectively, “the only English writer who can be compared to Dostoevsky,” and “the most distinguished living novelist,” he said the former lacked even “a trace of originality,” and accused the latter of “dogmatic insincerity.” However the context is lost to me, they remained friends nevertheless, and this entertaining gossip is still only the “People Magazine” of literary criticism, a nutrition-free distraction.
The man who taught Marshall McLuhan everything he knew about “the global village” (except for the phrase itself), Wyndham Lewis remains desperately timely in his critiques of the youth-cult and its cultural effluvia, the treachery of capitalism, the paucity of well-manipulated bourgeois democracy, and above all the dumbing-down of Western culture and society. If by your friends we shall know ye, think of T. S. Eliot, Roy Campbell and Russell Kirk: in other words he was a conservative defender of The Permanent Things although an ultra-radical, avant-garde modernist, as contradictory as that sounds at first.
Born to an English mother and an American Civil War-hero father on a yacht off Nova Scotia, (Percy) Wyndham Lewis was later to write a novel in which, perhaps unique in literature, the heroine kills herself out of sheer hatred for Canada. Educated at Rugby School and The Slade School of Art, he painted and drew for several small groups attempting to forge Modernism out of the artsy-craftsy movements of the late Victorian era, culminating in Vorticism.
The Vorticists, England’s first indigenous avant-garde movement, were captivated by Cubism and were among the earliest to embrace abstraction, often with industrial themes. Vorticism rebelled against a populist fin-de-siècle fashion for the feminine, the floral and the facile but its thrusting and very masculine techno-optimism died in the trenches of the Great War along with some its talented members.
Its flat, mechanistic images were fine teething-material for Lewis’s draughtsman’s eye and unerring hand, and Vorticism proved a good marketing platform for the ambitious young artist at a time when various Modernist movements seemed to run a dime a dozen: Cubism, Futurism, Tubism, Suprematism, Expressionism, Verismus (may I stop now?) all trying to cram art into an ideological suitcase that was, of course, fully branded, wholly marketable and potentially lucrative. Ultimately, after a stint as an artilleryman, Lewis returned home and moved on, while Vorticism became what veteran art-critic Brian Sewell calls “in the history of western art, no more than a hapless rowing-boat between Cubism and Futurism, the Scylla and Charybdis of the day.”
Vorticism’s inspirations had been far from only graphic and Lewis developed them into a more coherent and visceral rejection of perceived decadence, with antecedents including Hegel and Nietzsche: the former in a belief that art is generated by a conflict resembling the dialectic, differing little from Eliot’s more sophisticated assertion that art progresses through clash but may achieve union, through tradition, with the timeless. Influenced by the latter, Lewis rejected the bourgeois effect on art, which today one might call “dumbing down.”

As Lewis began to write more and paint less, he looked beyond graphic art to see larger forces at work including science, united against individualism and excellence, and this separates him from futurist-utopians of the day such as H. G. Wells. He became, in effect, an anti-Modern Modernist, writing:
“The puritanical potentialities of science have never been forecast. If it evolves a body of organized rites, and is established as a religion hierarchically organized, things more than anything else will be done in the name of 'decency.' The coarse fumes of tobacco and liquors, the consequent tainting of the breath and staining of white fingers and teeth, which is so offensive to many women, will be the first things attended to.”
Russell Kirk described their mutual friend, the poet Roy Campbell, as “a hot hater” and Lewis fit the description to the letter, so his objections are often clearer than his beliefs. But Lewis was, fundamentally, a conservator of social dynamism in the same sense that Eliot believed that modern art could be well-applied to defend The Permanent Things.
Even then, the Left’s thus-far relentless Long March to Cultural Revolution identified modernist reforms only with revolution, chiefly through an overly-simplistic notion that new graphics or literary styles somehow had to go hand-in-hand with new, ideologically-driven systems. Hence the startling originality of Lewis on canvas, or Eliot in print, must have confounded Leftist aesthetes who perhaps rarely fathomed how modernism can be part of traditionalism. As both men knew, Western values and vigour are worth conserving, not the delivery-mechanisms.
Propelled by his excellent choice in enemies but still a child of his age, Lewis echoed Oscar Wilde in charging Revolution with the high-crime of being a bore:
“Revolutionary politics, revolutionary art, and oh, the revolutionary mind, is the dullest thing on earth. When we open a ''revolutionary'' review, or read a ''revolutionary'' speech, we yawn our heads off. It is true, there is nothing else. Everything is correctly, monotonously, dishearteningly ''revolutionary'.' What a stupid word! What a stale fuss!”
Yet Lewis, in his diagnostic skills a political sophisticate, saw revolution as a mere con-job by ruling elites, part of the intentional process of dumbing-down that strengthened control. He wrote:
“A sort of war of revenge on the intellect is what, for some reason, thrives in the contemporary social atmosphere...The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are as arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit. They are utilitarian and political, the instruments of smooth-running government.”
Lewis would have regarded today’s simplified political bifurcation, so essentially American, as hopelessly naive: Capitalism good, Socialism bad. He complained that, “In the democratic western countries so-called capitalism leads a saturnalia of 'freedom,' like a bastard brother of reform.” He deplored:

“a new familiarity and a flesh-creeping homeliness entirely of this unreal, materialistic world, where all sentiment is coarsely manufactured and advertised in colossal sickly captions, disguised for the sweet tooth of a monstrous baby called the Public, the family as it is, broken up on all hands by the agency of feminist and economic propaganda, reconstitutes itself in the image of the state."

The forces of feminisation, homogenisation and dumbing-down were many, while true artists manned the last barricade. Whether by cheap products, cheap art or cheap politics, the herd was stampeded by its clever masters, chiefly under the banner of equality:
“The intelligence suffers today automatically in consequence of the attack on all authority, advantage, or privilege. These things are not done away with, it is needless to say, but numerous scapegoats are made of the less politically powerful, to satisfy the egalitarian rage awakened.”
Lewis flirted briefly with Italian Fascism as a means of redirecting society away from self-centred decadence, but soon found that Mussolini’s vainglorious strutting and attempting to replicate Roman glory were retrograde, backward-looking. Briefly in the early 1930s, he thought that Hitler might be a force for peace and cultural reinvigoration but he denounced Nazism in one book and Anti-Semitism in another, even though years before he had fictionalised Jewish characters unflatteringly. The twin verdicts may be that, as so many others, he entertained views now wholly and happily anathema, but he never feared to reverse himself honourably; a better record than many of his adversaries who pimped for Stalin until much later or unto the bitter end.
Meanwhile, Lewis had a remarkable gift for seeing far down the socio-ideological train-track.
In his 1928 “The Doom of Youth,” he described a cult that plagues us yet. A society that destroys faith in the hereafter can live only for earthly life, taking refuge from death in an unnatural fixation with youth and protracted adolescence; hence maintaining the appearance of youth until it becomes ludicrous. Since real youths lack experience, achievements and contacts, “official” public youths will be older and older. Politicians, he predicted, will jump onboard with bogus youth-wings, nevertheless controlled by middle-aged party-apparatchiks; presupposing the Hitler Youth Movement and even the fat, balding and comically-inept, 50-year-old, KGB “youth representatives” sent to international youth conferences to mingle with real Western and Third World teenagers into the 1980s. On to then-trendy monkey-gland treatments, more complicated cosmetics and foundation-garments, real and fake exercise regimens and the rest, until nowadays where in any Florida geriatric home (“God’s waiting-room,” my dad calls it) are toothless, pathetic wrecks hobbling around dressed as toddlers.
Lewis was by no means a systematic philosopher, he was an artist; but his draughtsmanship alone can imply an insistence on precision in thought. Taking art seriously, he saw creativity as a moment of intense thought looking ahead and essentially prescriptive, creating something needed and new yet influenced by tradition.
In his 1927 “Time and Western Man,” he attacked a decadent and romanticised aesthetic that sapped modern creativity of its forward-looking dynamism. Yale critic Kirsty Dootson explains Lewis and:
“...the 'time-cult,' which he perceived to be the dominant philosophy of the early twentieth century promulgated by Henri Bergson...and practised by authors such as James Joyce and Gertrude Stein. Lewis condemned the demonising of 'space' due to the rise of the 'time-mind' as, for him, Bergsonian time stood for all that is degenerate in art: flux, change, romanticism, the crowd and the unconscious, whereas space represents all that is desirable: stability, fixity, classicism, the individual and consciousness...The former separates us and keeps us still, while the latter binds us all together and keeps us constantly moving.”
Time can be a muddle and a cul-de-sac: is the child the father of the man?  The focus turns inward to the self, its influences, conflicts and reactions, and can lead to navel-gazing, solipsism, inertia and paralysis. Space describes the road ahead, even though the artist travels with the essential baggage of values, culture and tradition that influence his every act.
Lewis’s friend Roy Campbell, says Professor Roger Scruton, “began to see the three aspects of the new elite—sexual inversion, anti-patriotism, and progressive politics—as aspects of a single frame of mind. These three qualities amounted, for Campbell, to a refusal to grow up.” For Lewis, the time-cult enabled the process.
A prescient collaboration between Lewis and Campbell resulted in “Satire and Fiction,” a 1930 pamphlet promoting the former’s savage, satirical novel “The Apes of God.” There the authors argue that satire becomes impossible in a rootless age lacking normative behaviour, for satire mocks things against an unstated but presumed cultural norm: Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” would not have succeeded satirically had Georgian Englishmen actually approved of eating Irish babies. Without shared values, satire cannot function: forty-two years later, Terry Southern remarked belatedly that satire became impossible after Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize.
In the same decade Lewis returned to painting, establishing his reputation as being perhaps England’s greatest portraitist of the last century. Walter Sickert put him in an even bigger league as “the greatest portraitist of this or any other time.”
Critics attempt to analyse his ingredients of success, some saying that his draughtsman’s attention to detail, or his hybrid of portraiture and caricature, provided the impact. It may be something different augmented enormously by his technical mastery, namely his rare ability to perceive essences of character in those whom he portrayed. The sense of melancholy in his portrait of Eliot, so callously overlooked by the Royal Academy in 1938, is sometimes said to be modern Britain’s finest portrait. Or his picture of the aristocratic and aquiline Edith Sitwell in a cold room, wearing a vast turban and surrounded by her old books, is another example of many. The sparse sketch of a handsome and oddly lissome, young Roy Campbell, drawn with the disciplined, concise lines of a Japanese master of sumi-e brushwork, is one more.
Russell Kirk met Lewis in London circa 1950-1951, living in a condemned flat in Notting Hill that the artist referred to wryly as “Rotting Hill.” He soon gave up his job as art-critic for The Listener (clever it was, uniting his graphic-eye and writing skills for a radio-review magazine) because he began to go blind due to a pituitary tumour. Dr. Kirk memorialised him in a chapter of “Confessions of a Bohemian Tory,” recalling that the old lion feared sightlessness slamming shut a door that would nevermore be opened.
Lewis died in 1957, within a few months of his friend Roy Campbell who was 19 years his junior, and almost eight years before T. S. Eliot. Lewis was long interested in Catholicism but never converted, and his ashes are buried in London’s Golders Green Cemetery.
Besides his startling graphic talent and his socio-political prescience, Lewis deserves the attention of Imaginative Conservatives by blasting the still-prevalent notion that modern art needs be the private preserve of the Leftist, the revolutionary, the meddler and the moon-calf. He lived what he preached with relentless vigour, and in that sense his portrait-bust sits comfortably beside that of T. S. Eliot: two radical-conservatives, modernist-traditionalists and indefatigable champions of The Permanent Things.
Stephen Masty lives in Kabul and London.