HonestThinking is dedicated to topics related to culture, politics, science, and philosophy. To understand what HonestThinking is all about, please read our general manifesto as well as our immigration manifesto.
Antiracism is a false and hypocritical ideology
28.04.2008. Here's a brief but revealing article by Elizabeth Wright: In a column in the New Pittsburgh Courier, black columnist William Reaves once asked, "Can any progress be made without settling the concerns of white people who want to insure a future for their white posterity?" Reaves asked his question back in 1998, emphasizing those blacks and whites who were "uncomfortable" about sorting out the actual reasons for what he called "the true motivation for white supremacy."
He then described events from one of the conferences sponsored that year by Bill Clinton's President's Advisory Board on Race, where the white Robert Hoy, an audience observer, took the initiative, from a floor microphone, to point out that no one on the discussion panels were speaking for white people. This conference, billed as an "honest discussion on race" and part of a year-long symposium, turned out to be just another assembly for the airing of minority grievances, and was completely controlled by activist blacks and their white partisans.
Reaves claimed that the whole year-long forum was "conspicuously lacking one thing, the opinions of white people." Since Hoy had followed the formal rules of the meeting, and was perfectly polite in his presentation, Reaves asked, "Why did Hoy get escorted out of the President's forum on race, given that the Constitution is generally interpreted to allow for free speech?" He called the ouster of Hoy "sadly predictable."
Do you think that those blacks who today are calling for an "open discussion on race" have any more intention to allow for honesty on all sides than they did ten years ago? If Reaves did not know it before, he learned that day that whites are not allowed in on the dialogue. They're just expected to be window dressing – listen and make nice. And, most of all, be ready to go along with whatever demands emanate from the camp of the coloreds – from more quota-driven policies, to more intrusions into other people's lives, to another Federal holiday for a black hero.
Elizabeth Wright is an African-American writer and editor of the Issues & Views Magazine and blog. The above article appeared in Global Politician.
Tried and true brainwashing illusions re-evaluated
28.04.2008. Excerpts from an article (plus follow-up postings) in Foreign Policy by Gustavo de la Casas: Think of “nationalism,” and you might think of a country brainwashed to hate its neighbors. You might imagine thousands of people sacrificing themselves for a power-hungry dictator. You wouldn’t be alone. Albert Einstein himself called nationalism “an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.”
Political scientists blame it for civil wars and territorial ambitions, from Rwanda and Yugoslavia to Nazi Germany and Napoleonic France. Many economists view it as an irrational distraction from free-market principles, impeding growth and promoting corruption across the developing world. When war broke out in the past, nationalism was often automatically assumed to be a party to the crime, either as a tool that would allow leaders to seduce the masses into fighting, or as fuel that stoked popular outrage. There is no denying it: nationalism has got a bad name.
But this negative publicity confuses what is more often than not an innocuous sentiment. Nationalism is a feeling of unity with a group beyond one’s immediate family and friends. In and of itself, it is not conducive to disastrous wars. The bad rap on nationalism relies almost exclusively on cherry-picked exceptions. These conclusions were drawn without considering the far-more-common cases in which nationalism was not the root of some evil. Moreover, many previous studies on the causes of war lacked one key component: an adequate measure of nationalism. Absent this measure, it is impossible to tell if the brand of nationalism of, say, the Axis powers was more intense than others in the years leading up to 1939. Yet, scholars are quick to blame nationalism for a host of ills.
What do Charles de Gaulle, Pope John Paul II, and Arthur C. Clarke have in common? They all openly knocked nationalism. But their VIP status doesn't make them right. A quick reality check reveals that they deeply misunderstood the virtues of nationalism.
Charles de Gaulle (French president, general, and writer, 1890–1970:
"Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first."
Reality check: De Gaulle is splitting hairs. Nationalism and patriotism are the same thing: a love for one's nation. If nationalism or patriotism turns hateful, it is because it mixes with something else, such as lack of a free press, or a threatened elite. That happened in early 1990s Rwanda, where the ruling party used "hate radio" to monopolize political discourse and convince Hutus that their national survival required the killing of Tutsis. But de Gaulle's thinking blinds us to these dangerous combinations. Instead of assuming good and bad forms of nationalism have totally different DNA, we should consider the possible corrupting factors that could send any nation down a destructive path.
Pope John Paul II (1920–2005):
"Pervading nationalism imposes its dominion on man today in many different forms and with an aggressiveness that spares no one. The challenge that is already with us is the temptation to accept as true freedom what in reality is only a new form of slavery."
Reality check: The late pope dreamed of people "liberated" from nationalism. But why should a kinship with your fellow citizens, as long as you respect others, be such a bad thing? On the contrary, imagine what a perfectly "free" society would look like—one filled with individualists who care not about their country, family ties, or global society as a whole. (In fact, these "freed" people would also eschew organized religion and future holy fathers.) In other words, a completely "free" society is no society at all. Given the uncertain alternatives, I'd rather stay with nations.
Thorstein Veblen (Norwegian-American economist who cofounded the institutional economics movement, 1857–1929):
"Born in iniquity and conceived in sin, the spirit of nationalism has never ceased to bend human institutions to the service of dissension and distress."
Reality check: The bestial origins of nationalism offended Veblen's refined mind. And perhaps rightfully so; nationalism doesn't thrive on elegant calculations, but on our animal instincts to form packs. But being primitive does not make something ineffective. Nationalism merely makes us look after our own—especially when the chips are down and people are tempted to leave others behind. The next time your country faces a grave threat, you'd better hope your fellow citizens have nationalism in their hearts.
Arthur C. Clarke (British science fiction writer, 1917–):
"It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars."
Reality check: Clarke reflects the naive hope that technology will trump human nature. But it is human nature that guides technology. After all, it was only a great contest between two nations—the space race—that gave us Sputnik, the Apollo program, and other inspiration for Clarke's novels.
Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi (Libyan leader, 1942–):
"Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin."
Reality check: Sad but true. Of all the prominent figures in this list, only the dictator of an oil-dependent country understands the value of nationalism. But it wasn't always this way. Before becoming a superpower, the United States was a nation whose leaders appreciated nationalism. For instance, President Theodore Roosevelt famously declared that "love of country is an elemental virtue, like love of home." We owe it to ourselves to discard intellectual biases and harness the power of this neglected social resource.
(Gustavo de las Casas is a doctoral student in international relations at Columbia University. Thanks to document.no for the tip about this FP article.)
UK in a death spiral - the Tony Blair legacy
20.04.2008. Almost two-thirds of people in Britain fear race relations are so poor tensions are likely to spill over into violence, a BBC poll has suggested. See also additional comments in The Brussels Journal.
HonestThinking comments: The situation in the UK is currently such that tensions are steadily growing along language, cultural, religious, ethnic, and racial fault lines. Unless these developments are reversed and the said tensions decrease to acceptable levels, the British government will gradually have to employ more and more totalitarian measures, such as limiting the freedom of speech, in order to prevent the situation from exploding. However, since the UK is basically pursuing a utopian dream, denying the reality of human nature, all such efforts are sooner or later bound to fail. The looming disaster can only be avoided if the Britons come to their senses and face the truth; the current developments are simply not sustainable, and their country is in dire straits indeed.
As philosopher of science David N. Stamos put it in the introductory chapter of his excellent book «Evolution and the big questions: Sex, Race, Religion, and Other Matters» (italics in original, boldface and hyperlinks added):
Finally, there are political reasons for why many find the SSSM appealing and are immediately suspicious of, or will not even listen to, those who provide evolutionary perspectives on human nature. At the core of it all is political correctness, with its goal of a sensitive and fair society, especially with regard to groups that have suffered and continue to suffer discrimination and oppression. While among the general public there is a lot of division over the value of political correctness, with many thinking it has gone too far (just listen to call-in radio talk shows), in colleges and universities, especially in the humanities and social sciences, it has become quite a dominant force, even to the point of censorship (in many colleges and universities in the United States, for example, racial theorizing is not allowed). While the basic reasons for political correctness are just and laudable, much politically correct thinking is arguably unrealistic and a form of denial. Nowhere is this plainer than in the big questions where biology should be clearly relevant. Indeed, politically correct thinkers routinely give the impression that they could not care less about being biologically correct. If there is a conflict between political correctness and biology, then too bad for biology. What we shall see in coming chapters is that political correctness, when it shuts itself off from empirical evidence and argument or flies too easily to the SSSM, easily becomes its own worst enemy. To give a quick example, it can now be argued that the communist experiment failed, in country after country around the world, just as every commune experiment of hippies in the 1960s failed, not necessarily because evil or stupid people were behind the experiments, but because they had the wrong theory of human nature. How many other grand visions of human happiness are destined to fail because they have an erroneous concept of human nature?
«Evolution and the big questions: Sex, Race, Religion, and Other Matters» is a must-read for anyone interested in, well, the big questions.
Asian ‘racism’ led to a vicious attack that caused brain damage
15.04.2008. Excerpts from an article in Times Online: The mother of a 15-year-old boy left with brain damage by an Asian gang is blaming multi-culturalism for the way ethnic minorities get away with violent bullying in schools.
Liz Webster, 43, from Swindon, whose son Henry nearly died in the attack, believes a “culture of timidity” among teachers is stopping them clamping down on ethnic minority bullies because they fear accusations of racism. She also accuses teachers of failing to recognise that ethnic minorities can exhibit racism against whites.
Her son, who was a pupil at Ridgeway comprehensive, near Swindon, was set upon by a 16-strong Asian gang, smashed on the skull by repeated blows from a claw hammer and left for dead. Last week 13 of the gang were convicted of charges relating to the attack.
Before the assault little action appears to have been taken against the gang, despite incidents of persistent aggressive behaviour. In the immediate aftermath of the assault, neither the school’s headmaster, Steven Colledge, nor any of its 90 teachers visited the Webster family or even sent a get-well card.
HonestThinking comments: The dishonesty and hypocrisy surrounding the issue of racism is simply appalling.
Hamas MP and Cleric Yunis Al-Astal in a Friday Sermon
15.04.2008. Following are excerpts from an address by Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on 11 April 2008 (quoted from Jihadwatch, emphasis added):
Yunis Al-Astal: Allah has chosen you for Himself and for His religion, so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security, and consolidation of power, and even to conquests thorough da'wa and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world. Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam – this capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.
I believe that our children or our grandchildren will inherit our Jihad and our sacrifices, and Allah willing, the commanders of the conquest will come from among them. Today, we instill these good tidings in their souls, and by means of the mosques and the Koran books, and the history of our Prophets, his companions, and the great leaders, we prepare them for the mission of saving humanity from the hellfire on the brink of which they stand.
HonestThinking comments: The Jihadwatch article has the title We will conquer Rome, and then Eastern Europe and the Americas. This, however, is misleading. According to the above text, Yunis Al-Astal clearly intends to conquer not just Eastern Europe, but "Europe in its entirety".
I have no idea how influential Al-Astal is, but given that he is a Hamas MP and a cleric who gets to preach on Al-Aqsa TV, he does not appear to be entirely marginalized. People who claim that there is no effort on the part of Muslims to conquer the West, are either ignorant or dishonest. There are indeed such efforts going on; the questions is what proportion of Muslims, globally and in the West, are in support of them.
Daniel Pipes's articles Will Europe Resist Islamization? and Europe's Stark Options are well worth reading in this context.
Pinker and Dawkins bashing political correctness
08.04.2008. The 2006 Edge Question — "What Is Your Dangerous Idea" — has now been published in book form in the US and the UK. The question was posed by Steven Pinker, who wrote:
The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?
For the book version, Steven Pinker has written the Preface and Richard Dawkins wrote the Afterword. I am pleased to present both pieces below just in time for the start of the summer reading season. Edge is a conversation. The conversation continues.
Thus writes John Brockman in the opening paragraphs of an Edge article about Dangerous Ideas.
Preparing for the coming demographic tsunami
08.04.2008. Excerpts from a recent article by Fjordman at The Brussels Journal: An American friend of mine has proposed that native Europeans should create a European Indigenous People's Movement. I have hesitated with supporting this because it sounded a bit too extreme. However, in more and more European cities, the native population is being pushed out of their own neighborhoods by immigrant gangs. The natives receive little or no aid from their authorities, sometimes blatant hostility, when faced with immigrant violence. In an age where the global population increases with billions of people in a few decades, it is entirely plausible, indeed likely, that the West could soon become demographically overwhelmed. Not few of our intellectuals seem to derive pleasure from this thought.
HonestThinking comments: While I am not convinced Fjordman's emphasis on Islam is fully warranted (although it is certainly warranted to some degree), I think he is entirely right in pointing out that Europeans are becoming an endangered species, so to speak. His general approach has a lot in common with the one advocated in my own immigration manifesto.
The hypocrisy of asymmetry
08.04.2008. From The Brussels Journal: Why is no other solution ever discussed? Like discouraging frivolous abortions and lowering taxes so young people can afford to have families. Right now there’s a ludicrous situation that a young married couple is supporting someone else’s granny with their exorbitant taxes instead of being allowed to keep the money to have their own child!
And of course there’s the point that has been made many times on this site, that Mexicans are allowed to keep Mexico Mexican, Africans are allowed to favor blacks, China and Japan to keep their countries exclusively for their own race, but every country founded by European whites must import dissimilar immigrants to prove their non-racism to the point that they become minorities in their own lands. This is required of no one else. […]
The third world can and will overwhelm the European established countries with the connivance of leftists for whom racism is the unwillingness to commit cultural suicide.
The least racist cultures are being replaced by more racist cultures. In the coming world after Pax Americana has been destroyed, African blacks for example, can forget about any aid from the Chinese except arms with which to kill each other and to Muslims, they’re worthy only to be slaves.
UK increasingly desperate for solutions to a developing crisis
06.04.2008. The following are excerpts from an article in Daily Mail by Sir Andrew Green (emphasis added): Why has the Government continued to pursue its immigration policy when it must have known that it was deeply flawed?
Some ministers may have believed their own propaganda on multiculturalism. Others, notably Gordon Brown at the Treasury, were keen to see impressive economic growth figures (yes, Britain's GDP does improve with increased immigration but, as the committee itself pointed out, not income per head). And, of course, it helps to keep inflation down to have a ready supply of cheap labour from overseas.
Furthermore, the importation of skills covered up the Government's own failures over the education and training of Britain's workforce.
One has to ask, too, whether there could be a political aspect. Immigrant communities are predominantly Labour voters. If they had all been budding Conservatives, one wonders whether the situation would have been allowed to continue for so long.
There is one more question raised by this report. Where was our supposedly independent Civil Service while the Government's misleading claims were being repeatedly trotted out? Political aspects are not matters for the Civil Service, but it does seem to have been complicit in the output of misleading information over a period of some years.
Here, I think, one can detect the malign influence of political advisers who have undermined both the independence and the self-confidence of the Civil Service. In the past, it has not always paid to stand up to government ministers; it certainly doesn't pay to do so now.
More evidence that Labour really wants to destroy the UK
02.04.2008. The following are excerpts from a recent article by Simon Heffer in The Telegraph (emphasis added): Despite the sheen of reason that Gordon Brown and, before him, Tony Blair and their chums have sought to put on all they do, this Government has had dark motives from the start.
It has followed policies deliberately that have enabled it to pursue its own political agenda - and this has always been a deeply politically motivated government in the way that Lady Thatcher's was, and that John Major's wasn't - and irrespective of some of the dire consequences that might flow from those policies.
The element of deliberation and deliberateness in what Labour has done makes an accusation of incompetence, or carelessness, seem wide of the mark. Things were meant to be this way.
Labour has pursued policies, be they social or economic, for ideological reasons: and when they fail, as so many have, it has not been because of slipshod administration. It is because that was how things were always going to work out.
I mention this in the specific context of the House of Lords report on the benefits - or lack of them - of mass immigration. The theory applies, however, to much else, immediate or not. [...]
With one and a half million unemployed, perhaps the same again on nebulous "training schemes", and about three million on incapacity benefit - many of whom would, if asked, be fit for non-manual work - the idea that we have so small a pool of labour here that we must borrow from abroad is simply preposterous.
That does not stop Mr Byrne from saying the opposite. He must. He has to cover up for the deliberate decision taken at the time when Jack Straw was Home Secretary, and maintained (though he often protested to the contrary) by his successor, David Blunkett, that immigration controls should not be enforced.
Why was this decision taken? It was because of a doctrinally driven determination by the new Government in 1997 to destroy our national identity and to advance multiculturalism.
HonestThinking comments: Compare the above statements from The Telegraph with my own comment Mission accomplished?, written in June and July 2007.
- HonestThinking, English material, March 2008
- HonestThinking, English material, February 2008
- HonestThinking, English material, January 2008
- HonestThinking, English material, 2nd half of 2007
- HonestThinking, English material, 1st half of 2007
- HonestThinking, English material, 2nd half of 2006
- HonestThinking, English material, 1st half of 2006
- HonestThinking, English material, 2005.