Justices rebuff Chicago, which defended ban as reasonable exercise of local power.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Constitution’s “right to keep and bear arms” applies nationwide as a restraint on the ability of the federal, state and local governments to substantially limit its reach.
By a 5-4 vote split along familiar ideological lines, the nation’s highest court extended its landmark 2008 ruling that individual Americans have a constitutional right to own guns to all the cities and states for the first time.
In doing so, the justices signaled that less severe restrictions could survive legal challenges. The ruling involved a 28-year-old handgun ban in the Chicago area.
The ruling was a victory for four Chicago-area residents, two gun rights groups and the politically powerful National Rifle Association.
It was a defeat for Chicago, which defended its ban as a reasonable exercise of local power to protect public safety. The law and a similar handgun ban in suburban Oak Park, Ill., were the nation’s most restrictive gun control measures.
Monday’s decision did not explicitly strike down the Chicago area laws, ordering a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling. It left little doubt, however, that they would fall eventually.
Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the court, said the Second Amendment right “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
Five conservative-moderate justices were in favor of gun rights and the four liberals, opposed.
Two years ago, the court declared that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess guns, at least for purposes of self-defense in the home.
That ruling applied only to federal laws. It struck down a ban on handguns and a trigger lock requirement for other guns in the District of Columbia, a federal city with a unique legal standing. At the same time, the court was careful not to cast doubt on other regulations of firearms here.
Gun rights proponents almost immediately filed a federal lawsuit challenging gun control laws in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says those laws appear to be the last two remaining outright bans.
Lower federal courts upheld the two laws, noting that judges on those benches were bound by Supreme Court precedent and that it would be up to the high court justices to ultimately rule on the true reach of the Second Amendment.
The Supreme Court already has said that most of the guarantees in the Bill of Rights serve as a check on state and local, as well as federal, laws.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, told MSNBC that the ruling reiterated that gun ownership was a “constitutional freedom … for every American citizen.”
“It’s a landmark decision,” LaPierre said. “The Second Amendment as an individual right now becomes a real part of American Constitutional law.
“The question before the court was ‘can law-abiding citizens go out and buy and own a firearm?’ And the court said, ‘Yes, anywhere they live.’”
The ruling on gun rights and three other cases came in its last meeting until the fall and the final day of Justice John Paul Stevens’ long service.
The Supreme Court also rejected appeals by the Obama administration and the nation’s largest tobacco companies to get involved in a legal fight about the dangers of cigarette smoking that has stretched more than 10 years.
The court’s action, issued without comment Monday, leaves in place court rulings that the tobacco industry illegally concealed the dangers of smoking for decades. But it also prevents the administration from trying to extract billions of dollars from the industry either in past profits or to fund a national campaign to curb smoking.
The court met Monday morning just a couple of hours before high court nominee Elena Kagan goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her confirmation hearing.
The 90-year-old Stevens announced his retirement in April, paving the way for President Barack Obama to nominate Kagan to replace him. Kagan’s hearing begins early afternoon in Washington, in a Senate hearing room a short walk from the court.
Stevens will retire as the second-oldest justice, after Oliver Wendell Holmes, and tied for second-longest tenure with Stephen Field, whose service began during the Civil War. Stevens’ retirement will take effect on Tuesday, after 34 years, six months and 11 days as a justice.
William Douglas has the record, with more than 36 years on the Supreme Court.
I read with interest Greg Johnson’s recent article about Douglas Hyde’s Dedication and Leadership, a book where the author — who fed 20 years of his life to the meat-grinder of Communist activism — provided trenchant advise on how best to mobilize the idealism, and inspire the sacrifice, of those seeking to change the world. In bringing Hyde to readers’ attention, Johnson’s aim was to encourage activists on the Right to learn from the winners on the Left. The Right, he argued, has been fighting a losing battle since 1943, to the point where nowadays even so-called “conservatives” are defined by their political enemies. Understanding, therefore, how the Left achieved cultural hegemony during the twentieth century is indispensable if we are to end the Left’s tyranny during the twenty-first.
Learning from the successful strategies of the Left, however, is only part of the ‘homework’. The other part is learning from the failed strategies of the Right. Studying the latter is just as important, because the triumph of the Left is as much a consequence of how egalitarians built their credibility (or at least the illusion of credibility), as the defeat of the Right is a consequence of how elitists squandered theirs. The Left’s early victories were hard fought and hard won, but the Left’s recent victories have been largely by default, possible because they faced virtually no opposition.
And it is this lack of effectiveness that makes it difficult for the Right, and particularly those campaigning on behalf of White ethnic interests, to obtain adequate funding. The populace is for the most part ideologically neutral, so the tendency is for individuals to side with winners, or at least to avoid antagonizing them, because winners confer status and control resources, and it is, therefore, always better to side with the winners. Consciously inegalitarian White folk, on the other hand, largely hang on to their money, even when they would rather invest it in opposing the Left; this can only be because, deep down, they have zero confidence that any donations they make will be used effectively to achieve change. They are conscious of their advocates’ record of failure and sense that if others are withholding their altruism, it must be for good reason.
What are, then, the failed strategies of the Right? Below I enumerate some. And further down I propose alternatives.
Failed Strategies: Arcane or Unbelievable Arguments
Freedom of Speech. When confronted with the Left’s efforts to censor them, many White advocates protest by demanding respect for their freedom of speech. Of course, both the Left and the apolitical majority, see this as rank hypocrisy. Why? Because they have internalized two simple Leftist syllogisms:
- White Nationalists are ethnonationalists.
- The Nazis were ethnonationalists.
- Therefore, White Nationalists are Nazis.
- Nazis hate freedom of speech.
- White Nationalists are Nazis.
- Therefore, White Nationalists hate freedom of speech.
Result: no one listens.
In theory, freedom of speech is the quasi-sacred foundation of a free society. In practice, however, freedom of speech is but a fine-sounding platitude, an eighteenth-century abstraction that is taken seriously by the ruling order only until speech threatens that order’s power. When it does, the rules change.
This ought not to surprise. Deep down people know that it has been that way since before the invention of freedom of speech, and know also that it will remain that way, forever and everywhere, no matter who is in charge. The only difference is that some ruling elites are more candid than others when establishing the limits of acceptable speech, and that some limits are more comfortable than others. What is more, daily praxis suggests that most people think limits on speech are a good idea (no one enjoys criticism; banning it, therefore, affords peace of mind).
Another problem is that, as with other such abstractions, it is difficult to get excited about freedom of speech in general, even if censorship elicits immediate anger. I look at how Norman Rockwell illustrated the concept and can appreciate his technical skill; but I cannot imagine anyone being roused to heroic action and sacrifice by that image — not the way I can when I look at Konstantin Vasiliev’s paintings, for example. The latter extol manliness and raw power. This is something with which ordinary folk can identify. It also celebrates freedom of speech in a much more robust fashion: a feared and respected warrior has freedom of speech, for no one dares contradict him for fear of his life!
Communist Atrocities. Since the 1970s, the Holocaust has become a cultural icon in the West, amorally exploited by Leftists and Jewish activists and forgers seeking to suppress the expression of White ethnic interests. The Right has responded, rather feebly, by drawing attention to the far larger record of Communist atrocity. Communist evil must, of course, become and remain an intense focus of attention, and the Left’s efforts to rehabilitate Communist leaders and former Communists, as well as their efforts to whitewash Communist barbarity, must be subjected to vitriolic condemnation — relentlessly — until the term ‘Communist’ is dragged back into the cloacal depths of epithet, where it rightfully belongs.
The problem, however, is that the very monstrousness of the scale of Communist atrocities robs them of their power as a moral argument: the numbers are too vast to be comprehensible. Worse still: the Communist death machine operated in regions of the world that are too mysterious, too different, and too distant for Westerners to identify with them; and for most, the collapse of the Iron Curtain already made of Communism a museum relic over twenty years ago. Without an assault of TV mini-series, big-budget films, and best-selling memoirs to bring it to life in the popular imagination, the tale of Communist atrocities will remain eclipsed by the tale of the Nazi Holocaust, and thus will lack relevance in a twenty-first-century debate about White ethnic interests.
It’s the Jews! Kevin MacDonald’s study of twentieth-century Jewish intellectual movements provides a powerful explanation for the state of contemporary Western society. His monographs ought to be standard university textbooks in Cultural Studies departments. His subject ought to be a standard university module across the Western world.
Unfortunately, however, far too many lack Professor MacDonald’s nuanced, restrained, and carefully caveated approach when discussing Jewry. The tendency among a visible subset of White Nationalists is grossly to exaggerate and oversimplify, to the point where ‘the Jews’ become a universal explanation for the world’s ills: analysis of Jewish contributions to the humanities and Jewish involvement in finance and politics quickly lapse into an all-encompassing conspiracy theory, where sinister Jews are everywhere, behind everything, improbably omniscient and omnipotent, capable of playing a chess game of superhuman convolution.
Perhaps it is the Right winger’s need for order. Perhaps it is the human passion for a good story. Perhaps it is the need for an identifiable enemy. Whatever the explanation, for the apolitical observer out there, the grotesque conspiracy theories put forth by some are so baroque, so far removed from daily experience, so angrily focused on a tiny group of relatively successful people, that he cannot help but buy the far simpler Leftist explanation: “anti-Semitism”. It takes too long, too many words, to explain to a layman how Freudian psychoanalysis, Boasian anthropology, the New York intellectuals, Critical Theory and the radical Left, and the immigration reform movement of before 1965 comprised a concerted attack on Western culture by a clique of long dead, relatively obscure intellectuals who strongly self-identified as Jews, were deeply troubled by anti-Semitism, and sought to advance the Jewish cause. It takes too long, too many words, to explain to a layman that, no, it was not all Jews; that, yes, there was non-Jewish involvement too; that, no, it was not a conspiracy; that, yes, Whites also have ethnic interests; that, no, it is not racist to talk about it; that, yes, there are good Jews also; that, no, criticism of some Jews is not the slippery slope that leads to Auschwitz, and so on.
It is too complicated – too esoteric, too boring. Without a doubt, the complex role of Jews in modern Western society is one of the most important issues of modern times. But it is also incomprehensible outside a tiny circle of abnormally independent doctors and professors. This is why single-word explanations like “racism” and “anti-Semitism” thrive, even when deployed by smelly, tattooed, screeching, dreadlocked thugs: quick and easy to digest, they are politically far more efficient.
The Plight of the Palestinians. Many White advocates deem it important to highlight Jewish influence in Western governments, whose unconditional support for Israel has come at the cost of not just thousands of millions of dollars, but also of forcing the citizenry to live under constant threat of terrorist attacks by angry Muslims. The plight of Palestinians living under brutal Israeli occupation is reported on, often with expressions of outrage, in an effort to generate antipathy towards the Jewish lobby. Unfortunately, the outrage comes across not only as a cynical affectation motivated by anti-Semitism, but also as hypocritical, in as much as it appears to condemn the ethnostatist policies of Israel while desiring an ethnostate here.
Besides, Why on Earth would a White Nationalist give a damn about the Palestinians? It would be more credible to do away with the expressions of outrage and simply state that unconditional support for Israel has proven too costly for both European and North American citizens, and that Israel needs to be held to the same standards of behavior expected of other developed nations in accordance to international law.
Holocaust Revisionism. The aim of Holocaust Revisionism is to strip supremacist Jews and the Left of their most powerful moral weapon: firstly, by exposing falsehoods and inconsistencies in the standard historical narrative, and, secondly, by exposing that narrative’s protected status, the hope is that the event will lose its iconic qualities and that the standard narrative will be put in doubt, thus revealing the cynical manipulations of those who abuse it as a political tool in pursuit of an ethnic agenda.
Holocaust Revisionists view their task as the most important of modern times, but it has proven difficult for them to gain public sympathy because, notwithstanding the politics and the principle of historical accuracy, the Nazis are still perceived as cruel, inhuman, and criminal. Maybe there were no gas chambers in many of the prison camps; maybe there was no signed order from Adolf Hitler; maybe the six million figure had Biblical origins. But, when the perpetration of a crime on a massive scale is in little doubt, even among revisionists, none of this makes a difference to the ordinary man in the street: as far as he is concerned, even if all of these doubts are valid, still the Nazis were not good for the Jews.
In other words, from the point of view or practical politics, the issue is too arcane, and when the standard narrative enjoys the legitimacy conferred by prestigious publishing houses, eminent scholars, elite universities, and the global mainstream media of news and entertainment, the man in the street cannot help but dismiss the scabrous alternative put forth by what to him is a fringe minority of unaccredited researchers as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
The Holocaust Revisionist movement has indeed claimed a number of (uncredited) victories over the years, and it enjoys a small but growing audience. However, this has come at a frightful price for those involved, and the iconic status of the Holocaust has only grown since Paul Rassinier published The Drama of the European Jews in 1964. Against this background, the delirious paranoia of some conspiracy theorists inspired by Holocaust Revisionism has caused that movement to have the opposite of its intended effect, and motivated the apolitical citizenry to support Jewish-sponsored legal limits on speech and thought.
I have no doubt that the standard Holocaust narrative will be revised in future, but this will be a symptom, rather than a cause, of power shifting away from the present ruling order. The history studied in schools and universities is written by victorious rulers, not by vanquished dissidents.
‘I’m not Racist, but…’ Denials of racism on the part of White advocates, or Whites in general, are never taken seriously. On the contrary, they signal weakness and serve only further to stimulate the anti-racists’ blood thirst. The moment someone says ‘I’m not racist, but…,’ my eyes glaze over: like antagonists, observers, and sympathizers alike, I know that I have before me someone who allows his enemies to define him; who lacks the courage of his convictions; who will crumple under pressure; who will apologize on demand; who will appease, and grovel, and stammer, and beg on his knees to retain his perks; whose self-worth, in sum, depends on the system that hates him.
Such a person cannot be taken seriously: ‘I’m not racist, but…’ suggests empty space, a timid structure held together with cello-tape and chewing gum, instead of a solid core. By implication, such a person is a cowardly and hypocritical racist – even proud ones command more respect.
It may or may not be true that someone is racist, whatever that means. But, who cares? Whether or not a White person prefers the company of his extended kin is his prerogative and otherwise irrelevant in an argument about White ethnic interests. Accusations of racism are best met, not with denials or explanations, but with a ruthless counter-attack. And there are plenty of targets.
Prophets of the Apocalypse. I have written on this issue before: Rather than seeking to inspire with visions of a positive alternative to the present order, White advocates seek to terrorise with visions of an impending apocalypse. If you don’t listen to us, their argument goes, it will all end in economic collapse, race wars, and extinction; the planet will end up a “burnt out cinder in the vastness of space.”
This may well prove true, but an all-stick-and-no-carrot strategy is an ineffective method of achieving radical systemic change. Admittedly, it is easier to complain than to think of solutions. But simply complaining is not aiming high. Aiming high is being ambitious, conceiving a radical solution, and developing and pursuing a global plan of action.
Communists, and the Left in general, did all that. As Johnson pointed out, they may have sowed death on the planet, but this does not negate the fact that they demonstrated how radical systemic change is possible in the modern world, even when pitted against a seemingly unmovable ruling order. The proposition of a radical solution, and the active and organized pursuit of fundamental change suggests a vigorous movement likely eventually to achieve its goals — it inspires optimism, mobilizes idealism, and elicits sacrifice. By contrast, to the apolitical bystander all that prophets of the apocalypse suggest is exhaustion, cynicism, old age, and intellectual bankruptcy; the response is, accordingly, to don the blinkers, hoard the victuals, and hunker down. So long as activists on the radical Right cast themselves in the role of prophets of the apocalypse, they will cast themselves in the role of losers.
Voice of Reason. For most ordinary folk, the Right winger, and particularly the White advocate, is a party pooper. He is the gentleman who arrives at a party wanting to switch on the bright lights and turn off the music, to tell everyone to sober up and put out their cigarettes, to scold them for wasting food and electricity, and to inform them that the lawn needs mowing, the floors need scrubbing, the drains need clearing, the overdraft needs paying, the and garbage needs taking out. And when the lung cancer patient is dying, the White advocate is the gentleman who tells him, “See? I told you so! I told you smoking is bad for you, but no, you wouldn’t listen! Now you’ve got what you deserved! And if you think you have it bad now, it will only get worse!”
Again, he may well be right, but his is hardly a recipe for popularity. No one wants to listen to the voice of reason. In times of crisis, when denial is no longer possible and the situation has hit rock bottom, maybe; but in times of real or apparent affluence, in the absence of an immediate and obvious threat, no one has time for the boring realists.
Humans are largely irrational; they hate unpleasantness; and they will dream and pretend for as long as they can before facing the brutal truth. We only need to see what happened to the American economy during the past three years to realise how this is true. There were those who were critical of the credit bubble and prophesied doom at the beginning of the noughties. When Peter Schiff prophesied a collapse in house prices in 2006, he was laughed at on national television (see also here). But when the credit crisis hit and the depression started to bite, at least some of those who laughed were suddenly listening.
And later still, when Washington and the Federal Reserve concocted the temporary illusion of a recovery, the likes of Schiff were again put out of mind, with a sigh of relief. Never mind that the credit time bomb that was ticking under the economic surface has not only not been deactivated, but has been, through bailouts and ill-conceived policies, turned into a thermonuclear warhead — it is easier to ignore the problem, pretend politicians are wise, and hope the economy will soon recover, than face reality and swallow the bitter medicine.
Besides the general unattractiveness of reason, there is a more fundamental problem: most of the citizenry is apolitical; most lack the education, the time, and the energy to arrive at a thoughtful worldview or political opinion, based on original research and personal reflection; most, accordingly, decide on their political and ideological affiliations instinctively, relying on emotional factors connected to their need for status, belonging, and self esteem — some of the main and universal human motivators. The ethnic campaigner on the Right who prides himself on being the voice of reason, and who openly scorns his fellow citizen’s ovine and parrot-like tendencies, has failed to understand basic human psychology. This is astonishing when one considers how much emphasis the Right places on the dumb, biological drivers of behavior. Yet, it is true. So long as he focuses on the frontal lobe, so long as he focuses on that small and relatively recent part of the brain while ignoring the rest of it, his message will fall on deaf ears.
Failed Strategies: Generic Ethnic Interest Organisations
In an earlier article, I stated that the era of the generic White advocacy organization was at an end. The reason is that they have proven not only useless, but, sometimes, also fraudulent, led by fractious micro-Führers and staffed by a creepy gang of undesirables. They leave anyone listening in no doubt of what they believe: they often maintain websites with strongly worded statements of principles. They also — constantly — solicit donations, grandiloquently claiming that the future of the White race depends on them, and that the revolution is indeed coming — maybe not now, but soon.
Yet one never knows what exactly it is that they do, or how they plan to achieve their goals, or even what these goals are, beyond going back to 1933 or 1776. What are they? Political parties? Lobbyists? Developers? Gun clubs? Often, one cannot be sure. Almost always, the only certainty is that through their peculiar mix of ignorance, incompetence, and criminality, they are a blessing to their enemies and a curse to the interests they set out to advance. Almost always, donors end up supporting unemployable, underachieving, and wholly unaccountable webmasters, who survive because those who sustain them know not what else they can do.
The operational practices of generic White advocacy organizations contrast with those of genuine organized activism. Genuine political parties, charities, and pressure groups that solicit donations are mission-specific, focus on solutions, set out achievable goals, have a concrete plan of action, are constantly active, and regularly subject themselves to financial scrutiny, publishing audited accounts on an annual basis in an effort to retain the goodwill of their donors. Accordingly, the millions flow in their direction.
It might be argued that when the system criminalizes an idea, it is unrealistic not to expect believers to adopt underground methods. It might be added that the Communists of old used such methods successfully.
The problem with this argument is that a campaign about ethnic interests is, by its nature — and unlike Communism — inegalitarian. One of the appeals of Communism is that it relieves the great mass of mediocre individuals of responsibility; that it tells them that the reason they are not doing well in life is not that they are less clever, less industrious, and less able, but that they have been held down by a conspiracy of fat, rich capitalists. This allows Communists to siphon from the lower social strata, which is also the most numerous globally, vast hordes of individuals who have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Underground methods go with the grain of who and what they are, so their idealism, dedication, and self-sacrifice confers them credibility.
A campaign for White ethnic interests, on the other hand, is elitist, and therefore loses legitimacy when is seen adopting the style and methods of the lumpen proletariat and common criminals.
Some Winning Strategies
So much for learning from the Right. Is it all hopeless, then? Should we just curl up and die? Should we just hoard the gold, stock up the bunker, and wait until the cannibals outside finish eating each other? No. We use what we have learnt to develop winning strategies.
Some of what follows has been either mentioned or been given more extensive treatment in earlier articles. My purpose here is to distil it all into digestible chunks of information.
The messenger is the message. People are interested in people, and it is the messenger that sells the message, not the message itself. If the average man in the street is comfortable with the messenger, he will be receptive to the message; if he is uncomfortable, he will avoid them both. Therefore, selling a message becomes a matter of style over substance. Substance is important, of course, but politically it is nothing without style, nothing without a personal style, nothing without personality and style. Making a message attractive begins by making the messenger attractive. An attractive messenger is one who makes the people he encounters feel good about themselves, and about being around, and being seen with, the messenger. If the messenger looks like a loser, then his message is for losers. A winning message is delivered by winners.
Be positive at all times. No one likes being around a misery guts. If the Left keeps winning it is in part because Leftists are incurable optimists. Optimism makes people feel good. It shows confidence, and inspires it in others. In a world gone wrong, being positive means focusing on solutions; focusing on solutions necessitates optimism (otherwise, why bother?)
Only optimists can mobilize idealism, dedication, and self-sacrifice. This is not to say that we ought to stop complaining. We must complain vigorously, noisily, systematically, and relentlessly. But we must never simply stop there; complaints must be followed by solutions. Complaints are synonymous with stasis; solutions with forward movement. Complaints followed by solutions means a change of direction, which implies a destination, which implies clarity, ambition, and vigor — all positive qualities that people like to associate with.
Laugh. The stereotypical White Rightist is serious and angry most of the time. He never laughs. He is a pessimist, a cynic, a brooding, fearful, bitter, complaining, nostalgic type. The Left loves this, because these are qualities associated with old age, senility, and death. To the Leftist they prove that Whiteness is on the way out, and that the future is his. Laughter, by contrast, is associated with youth, confidence, vitality, and relaxation. It is infectious and instantly generates an atmosphere of well-being and goodwill.
Leftists understand this, and thus often choose simply to mock rather than debate their opponents. As a result they look as if they are in control, and carry bystanders with them. Underneath, however, Leftists are stern, and do not suffer laughter gladly. In fact, they often do not know what to do when shrugged off and made objects of mockery. Laughter, and by extension humor, is a powerful weapon. Satirize, stereotype, mock, lampoon, caricature, deride, and cartoonify the Left without mercy, in articles, in fiction, in illustrations, in comic strips, in music, in videos, and in computer games. Public laughter will progressively erode the Left’s authority.
Act as if. The negativity, the pessimism, the paranoia, and the emotional masochism of the Right signal to apolitical observers that the Right represents a movement in retreat, a movement of losers, a movement with zero power. Apolitical observers do not need the Left to tell them so: Right-wingers do an excellent job showing it through their behavior. Therefore, apolitical observers treat the Right accordingly, and choose to appease the Left. If the Right is to inspire confidence, it has to act as if. Act as if it is winning; act as if it has millions in the bank; act as if it is going places; act as if it has the key to the future. People are attracted to success; they gravitate to winners; they follow the alpha male. Nothing succeeds like success. Successful salesmen act as if. Act as if.
Non-political organizations. Rather than a monolithic organization proposing to advance White ethnic interests in general, there needs to be a multitude of smaller, focused, mission-specific businesses, clubs, charities, pressure groups, political parties, and media outlets like this one. These do not need to be overtly political: they could take the form of a record label, a publisher, a retailer, a battle re-enactment society, a rambler’s club, or a conservation body. White ethnic interests encompass all areas of life; we need to preserve the quality of our countryside, the quality of our towns, the quality of our food, the quality of our entertainment, the quality of our consumer goods, as much as we need to preserve our culture, wealth, and political power. From an organizational point of view, it is preferable to be the best in one area than to be mediocre in all areas. By envisioning the struggle in terms of a battle for economic and cultural niches, by concentrating effort on winning one winnable battle at the time, and by working harder and smarter than the competition, results will soon mount up.
Parallel status system. Expelled, excluded, passed over, or ignored by clubs, societies, and award bodies because of non-conforming beliefs? Start a rival body, and build a parallel status system. Traditional status systems in the West are currently dominated by the Left, so there is a systematic, structural process whereby the ideologically amiable is noticed, included, rewarded, and promoted, while the ideologically non-amiable is ignored, excluded, punished, and suppressed. (For the Left, work that pays no tribute to egalitarianism — work that is not politically correct — is work without merit.)
There is already an award for those who will not be considered for the Pulitzer Prize: In 2004 Kevin MacDonald received the $10,000 Jack London Award. Let the prestigious awards, prizes, and exclusive societies proliferate, until being passed over for the Nobel Prize can be met with a placid shrug of the shoulders. Why is this important? Because an idea is taken more or less seriously depending on the status of those associated with it. The reason Kevin MacDonald is an especially irksome irritant for the Left is that he is a tenured professor. His professional status confers him academic authority. His academic authority confers credibility to his research. Hence, the $PLC’s efforts to have his tenure revoked.
The above is by no means a comprehensive list. It is also only a proposal. Others might want to contribute with their own ideas, or improve upon mine. The point is that the present situation is only as bad as we make it. The Left would like everyone to believe that the processes they set in motion are unstoppable, inevitable, and irreversible; that they represent the relentless march of progress. Their attitude is that those who cannot, or will not, join this march must fall by the wayside. One would expect that from a faction with a linear view of history. For us, however, history is cyclical. Old masters will fall as new ones rise.
Alex Kurtagic (email him) was born in 1970. He is the author of Mister (published by Iron Sky Publishing, 2009) and the founder and director of Supernal Music.
House Investigation: Private contractors paying warlords, criminals to get supplies to U.S. and NATO bases
(CBS) Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are fuelling corruption in Afghanistan and funding the insurgency, according to a six-month investigation by the House subcommittee on National Security and Foreign affairs.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., told CBS News: “the business is war and the war is business and you’ve got ‘Warlord Inc.’ going on over there.”
Committee investigators found that private contractors in Afghanistan have been paying local warlords, criminals, government officials and a list of others for security on Afghanistan’s roads, to get much needed supplies to U.S and NATO bases. But even worse, anecdotal evidence indicates that U.S. tax dollars are also going into the hands of the Taliban, who own many of the roads and areas through which the trucking convoys have to pass, reports CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan.
That would mean that the U.S. is literally funding the enemy, as violence escalates daily in Afghanistan and more U.S soldiers and Marines are dying than ever before in this war.
“This is the tip of the iceberg,” Tierney said in an interview with CBS News. “There are other contracts over there, whether they are cell phone contracts or base security, and if you’re paying the wrong people to do that and fuelling corruption, then it’s not really going to speak well for the reason we sent our men and women there and the reason they’re sacrificing their lives”.
Read the Full Report (11 MB)
It also means that while the U.S. has been publicly pointing fingers at the Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai for not cleaning up corruption in his government, in fact the U.S. is a huge part of the corruption problem – and until now, has done nothing about it or even acknowledged that fact.
“We can’t be putting that kind of money into a situation where it’s going to be corruptive … we have to get rules in place, implement them, oversee them, get it done right, and then we can demand with much more authority and credibility that the Afghan government do the same,” Tierney said.
The committee investigators focused on one contract – the Host Nation Trucking contract or HNT – that is worth $2.16 billion U.S. dollars and divided between just eight companies – three of them American, three from the Middle East and two from Afghanistan. Over six months, they conducted dozens of formal interviews, dozens more informal interviews and ploughed through more than 20,000 documents.
They discovered damning evidence of the complete lack of oversight from the U.S. military and other agencies at the sub-contractor level of those contracts – and anecdotal evidence from the eight contracting companies that payoffs were being made to the Taliban to keep the convoys on the roads.
“What shocked me is the constant call of the contractors to bring it to the attention of the Department of Defense,” Tierney said.
The response from the U.S.: turn a blind eye, as long as the goods get where they need to go.
But the reality of Afghanistan is that the Department of Defense has been following a policy endorsed by the U.S. government from the very beginning of this war: to use various warlords, criminals, corrupt powerbrokers etc where the U.S. deems it necessary.
From 2001, when the CIA carried in suitcases of cash to pay off tribal leaders, the U.S. strategy has included relying on “bad guys – as long as they are ‘our’ bad guys.”
This is part of what made U.S. allegations of corruption in Afghanistan appear so hollow to many Afghan people. It is widely known and accepted amongst Afghans that Western aid money flooding into the country has created an alternative, more lucrative economy where it’s rarely the “nice guys” who are coming out on top.
It’s also widely known and accepted in many areas, that to carry out any reconstruction projects or U.S. funded counter-insurgency efforts requires large payoffs to the Taliban.
General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, recently set up a special task force to investigate allegations that companies hired with Western money to provide security and reconstruction work for the U.S. and NATO forces, are siphoning off cash and enriching corrupt Afghan powerbrokers.
His efforts pre-date the outcome of the committee’s report, but Task Force 2010 will not be operational until next month – and it comes more than nine years into this war.
For American taxpayers, that will be of little comfort.
“The fact that we have such dire times at home, we need money for schools and for health clinics and job creation and job training, and we’re spending 2.16 billion dollars – a good part of which is going to criminals and warlords- that’s shocking,” Tierney said.
More troubling, is what this means for the U.S. counter-insurgency effort. The implication of the report is that the more money you pour into counter-insurgency efforts, the more corrupt the society becomes and the more money you are giving to the enemy to fight against you.
It also feeds the Taliban propaganda machine as they cast themselves conveniently – and ironically – as the force against corruption in the country.
The issue of corruption has been misused as a political football by all sides – from U.S. officials, including the current U.S. ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, to various Afghan politicians and leaders, to those members of the Afghan Diaspora opposed to President Karzai and harboring their own ambitions or candidates for power in the country.
The truth is that while most Afghans do believe their government – and the U.S and NATO – are all corrupt, this is not a reason to pick up arms.
From 2001 to now, the most vehement and violent opposition to the Afghan government and the U.S. vision for the country, has come from the areas along the Pakistani border.
That pre-dates any talk of government corruption. And it has nothing to do with roads or schools, or unemployment or failed aspirations.
It is a war for power, and now a holy war against the U.S. and the west.
Failure to see it for what it is must surely result in a failure to properly oppose it.
Source: CBS News.