Mass Psychosis now and forever

A friend came to use the swimming pool and on her way back to her house she commented on the fact – as she believes- that the world is burning up. There has been smoke in the air from distant forest fires. At church on Sunday in the prayers for the people, the speaker prayed for those not accepting vaccinations and for a respite from forest fires which were caused by out of control climate change. These are intelligent people, and the frame through which they perceive reality is that we are in an ongoing man-made  catastrophe. The alternative that I propose is that we are in a state of mass psychosis. It is equally man made, but one side is plugged into reality and the other is delusional. But who, you might ask?

 

If you can endure the reciter’s annoying voice and cadence, I recommend you work through this interesting video on mass psychosis, linked below.  Fear leads to menticide, menticide to totalitarian rule. The terror comes in waves. It is being generated and manipulated by elites. Does this sound to you like what you are experiencing? We live in an age which is at once technocratic, puritanical, and unforgiving. The obsession with power by today’s radicals is  the characteristic of the pagan world before Christianity. You will miss it when it its effects on people are gone. In truth you are experiencing a world which is increasingly de-Christianized. False gods abound.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09maaUaRT4M&ab_channel=AfterSkool

The video is based on the work of Joost Merloo’ s The Rape of the Mind, which is expensive, but worth considering buying.

 

 

 

 

Stalin’s War by Sean McMeekin

 

Even after reading two volumes of Steven Kotkin’s thorough and excellent  biography of Stalin, I am still surprised at the extent of Stalin’s evil. Take a passage from Sean McMeekin’s “Stalin’s War” for example. The USSR invaded portions of Romania in 1940, on no other grounds than Stalin could get away with it, Hitler was still his ally, and the British and French were powerless.

 

“In the first two weeks after the Soviet invasion, 51,391 ex-Romanian citizens were taken into custody by occupation authorities. By August 2, 1940 the total had surpassed two hundred thousand. By year’s end, three hundred thousand Romanians had been deported from Moldova SSR to Gulag camps in the Soviet interior.”

Can you imagine what it means in terms of repressive power, trains, track, locomotives and feeding, to arrest, process and deport 300,000 people? And for no reason other than they belonged to the wrong social and economic classes.

Okay so you get the point.

McMeekin has stood the usual recital of World War 2 on its head, and it is time that this was done.

Until recently we have been obsessed with Hitler, to the relative exclusion of the other villain, Stalin. There were several reasons for this. First Germany is nearer to the English speaking world and started off more civilized and fell faster into totalitarian makeover than Russia. Second, the Germans were defeated in 1945 and their records were opened since then, whereas Russian archives were only opened since the fall of Communism in 1990. By then the momentum to blame all of WW2 on Hitler had become unstoppable, even though Stalin  played a hugely important role in abetting Hitler in the early stages of the war and the Japanese operated their conquering empire in complete independence of either. And third, not to be underrated, there has always been granted to communism a free pass from criticism by most of the political Left, that operates to this day.

McMeekin’s thesis is to stand the usual accounts on their heads, to situate Stalin as the chief winner in WW2, as the chief villain, as the promulgator of much more extensive evil, and to see Hitler’s Germany as the tool of the USSR, up until it betrayed Stalin by invading the USSR in 1941. Who was the economic colony of whom, asks McMeekin? Who was utterly dependent on Soviet oil and raw materials for its war making?

I am not sure I will agree with all of McMeekin by the time I have finished Stalin’s War. Nevertheless I welcome the refreshingly new perspective that restores to us a vision that was present at the time, before the heroic narratives of Churchill and those of British and American historians came to predominate,  that between Hitler and Stalin there was only a choice of which kind of murderous tyranny would kill you.

McMeekin draws our attention to the oft-forgotten obvious fact, that Stalin killed millions more people than Hitler, was granted more time to do it in, and was convinced of the need to act this way to bring about a claptrap utopia of poverty and repression.

I am enjoying McMeekin’s Stalin’s War. I hope you will read it too.

 

A (relatively honest) global warming debate, until the end

Veritassium host Derek Muller  interviews himself on the subject of global warming, and for a few minutes there is a relatively honest discussion of the issues. Until,  that is, until minute 5:50. when the host, in his guise as good guy, speculates that it would probably be cheaper for us and better for the planet if we abated out emissions of CO2 now rather than later. To which his bad side, replies “no thanks”.

Here is the rub. The advocates of doing something to abate CO2 production engage in many suppositions

  • that abatement of CO2 production can be achieved on a global scale
  • that measures taken will in fact achieve the results set out for them
  • that it will be more affordable than adapting to the projected,  increased consequences of global warming that would otherwise occur
  • and, perhaps most importantly, that humans can be transitioned from their dependence of fossil fuels in a democratic way.

Just as the debate really could have engaged, good guy Veritassium asked the bad guy alter ego why he was wearing sunglasses. And so the principal non-scientific questions were conveniently ducked. Happens all the time.

This is not to disparage Veritassium, which is a solid science show. But it is a critique of the global warmists for consistently assuming away the practical problems.

 

I much prefer the approach adopted by Bjorn Lomborg which is that, if humans had a hundred problems to solve, global warming through CO2 increases would be the hundredth priority, behind the other 99.

The virtues of masculinity, or a reactionary feminist speaks her mind

“It’s not obvious to me that humanity is morally improved from over 2000 years ago.” – Mary Harrington

Like many doomists, she is personally cheerful. In my limited experience, sample size 3,  the depressives are hopeful about the future and cheerful about what is going on, while the doomists are personally happy but inclined to see everything going to shit, which it is.

 

Apparently today it is sufficient to be a reactionary that one believes the following:

  1. There is no progress. There are only trade-offs.
  2. People cannot change sex.
  3. Men and women do not have perfectly aligned interests and our negotiations are eternal and never completely resolved.

Mary Harrington appears as a columnist in  UnHerd. 

For what it is worth, she was gay. “Every woman I dated in the nineties is now a man”, She is now married to a biological man.  She has borne at least one child. She relates as a fact that the child’s DNA lingers in the body of their mothers, and that mothers are  permanently affected by having borne children.

She writes: on “The Virtues of Masculinity”:

Gender studies courses should only be open to people who either have children, or have spent time working with farmyard animals. What else am I to conclude after learning that academics in this field (especially childless ones) think all sex-based traits are down to “nurture” rather than “nature”, even when it comes to the difference between hens and roosters?..

 

“..the underbelly of the internet is full of men violently hostile to the norms of a “feminist” mainstream that deplores the things they value, and who daydream increasingly vividly about the search for glory. Perhaps they will confine this to the realm of fantasy forever. But perhaps they won’t….

“None of this is to offer an unqualified endorsement of these traits, which have many downsides. But wouldn’t we be better-advised to seek constructive roles for the men who possess them, rather than trying to “educate” (in other words shame) “toxic masculinity” out of existence. Especially if the alternative is a growing subculture of men who have gone beyond daydreaming online about “Vikings”, to actively seeking to recreate their violent, restless and hypermasculine world in the 21st century.”

 

I am increasingly of the view that a great reaction – masculinist, inegalitarian, heroic – is coming, and that it MUST come if we are not to be reduced into a life equivalent to the collectivism of slime mold.

Back to the interview and Mary Harrington, to conclude: she says some really interesting things at minute 52:00

“Central to my reactionary feminist thesis is that we have come to the end of the gains we can make by centering freedom….we need a root and branch reexamination of the material conditions we are in now…If you are stuck in the industrial paradigm and you think  more liberation is self evidently better…I can see why you think you are a feminist… we are all of us, men and women alike, liberated enough, and what we need is more and better obligations…”

An interesting thinker. I shall pay more attention to her. You should think about subscribing to UnHerd.

 

I saw this thirty years ago and it is still relevant

Soviet life as seen by Yuri Bezmenov, a Novosti journalist – a KGB outfit – before the fall of Communism. His words still ring true about the system he served. But his comments about how western societies are being undermined are of particular relevance. Eventually he found work in Montreal as a broadcaster for CBC International. CBC management investigated him when the Russian ambassador complained about him.

Bezmenov’s discussion of Soviet cultural subversion is priceless. This starts after minute 27:00 of the interview. First rule was to keep Western journalists drunk for their entire stay. Select journalists by the extent to which they were pliable. His description of the journalists was that they were “useful idiots”. Why would they bring lies back to their own population, he asks? Fear of the Soviet Union. Fear for their jobs. The economic incentive to lie about Russia and earn money as “Sovietologists”.

The journalists visited a kindergarten in Siberia  that was actually the place where the children of political prisoners were being held. The internal passports for travel, which were criticized when applied to South African blacks, go unmentioned when they are shown to apply to all Soviet citizens. A photo of Bezmenov beside the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi will make you wonder who was the better manipulator of opinion.

Part of his job in India was to compile lists of influencers (journalists, professors etc.)  who – as he later found out – would be slated for execution if the Soviets ever took over. He was told never to bother with leftists, but to concentrate on self important psychopaths, whose self importance drives them, as the real agents of destabilization. Leftists will turn into the worst enemies of the revolution. The moment the useful idiots have served their purpose, they are to be executed, exiled, or imprisoned. They will never come to power.

“There are no grass roots revolutions, period”.

He escaped in India from the KGB by disguising himself as a hippie. (Pronounced “kheepi”)

The discussion of ideological subversion starts at 1:07. The main work of the KGB was in intelligence; 85% of the work was psychological warfare to change the perception of reality so that no one is able to come to sensible conclusions as to their self interest and the interests of their society.

  • Demoralization, which takes place  over a period of 3 generations, begins at 1:20, Agents of demoralization are to be shot when the takeover is complete. “In future these people will be squashed like cockroaches”. The demoralization process is basically complete, said Bezmenov over 30 years ago. Exposure to true information has no effect any longer.
  • Destabilization takes two to five years. The influence of Marxist Leninist ideas is strong and takes years to turn around.
  • Crisis, which could take six months
  • Revolution
  • Normalization, the process of getting used to the new state of affairs, which takes forever.

 

As I may have said, I used to think that Bezmenov was a crank. Now I think he was describing, from a Soviet point of view, the fantasy of leftist takeover. The Soviet Union is gone now, but the disaster is still unfolding, more rapidly then ever. Bezmenov thought that the Soviet Union would bring about the revolution, but we are doing this to ourselves. “You have precious little time to save yourselves”.

“You don’t need espionage any more.”

I had thought with the evaporation of Soviet Union in 1990, that it was over, but the mutant virus of communism  spread even more rapidly.

 

 

 

 

I cannot say it better

Rex Murphy and the Suffering Servant in conversation, despairing of the state of western civilization and culture. The intellectual standards of the western world are being wrecked deliberately by idiots hunting the great achievements of the past to demonstrate false virtue to the shallow present. Rex Murphy is incandescent in the beauty of his outrage. Education is an expansion of the person. Memorization of poetry  makes you grow.

 

The Internet is broadcasting, therefore let us regulate!

The new Broadcasting Act, Bill C10, may be stymied in the Senate of Canada, but the actual content of its policy objectives has just been released. Heritage Canada has published “Guiding Principles on Diversity of Content online”. The Guiding Principles have several advantages over the policy objectives of section 3 of the Broadcasting Act. They are not legislated, they can be revised and adapted according to the how the technologies or the societies that adopt them evolve, and they have no legally binding force. They have only the force of the large platforms to back them, if they sign on to the Guiding Principles.

It was Tim Wu in The Master Switch who pointed out that the structure of an industry mattered a lot more than any other factor in determining whether there could be censorship. Vertical integration of the movie-making business with distribution and movie theaters meant that the censors could govern the industry through the code of conduct, one that lasted from Mae West in the 1930s to Easy Rider in the 1960s.

The basic idea of the Guiding Principles is the achievement of diversity, equity and inclusion. It is a set of principles that its signatories are expected to work towards. The most important signatories will be the Internet platforms, because without their compliance, the Principles will be mere hot air.

The private sector companies to which the guiding principles are to apply particularly include “services operating online, whose primary purpose is to broadcast or distribute content or share user-generated content online.” Governments, media sector representatives, regulators and civil society organizations are likewise to be included as signatories.

The goal is to promote diversity on-line, understood as

  • Creation access and discoverability of diverse content online
  • Fair remuneration and economic viability of content creators
  • Promotion of diverse, pluralistic sources of news and information as well as resilience against disinformation and misinformation
  • Transparency of the impacts if algorithmic treatments of online content.

 

Signatories are to agree to implement these goals within the scope of their responsibilities and to develop specific commitments by December 2022 at the latest, to show concrete actions they will take to implement these guiding objectives”.

There follow a number of principles which assume, as a matter of fact, that

  1. There are “equity deserving groups” whose access is limited
  2. Hate, racial prejudice, disinformation and misinformation “can disproportionately affect indigenous people and equity deserving groups”.
  3. “Equity deserving individuals and groups” are defined as those facing significant barriers to participation in different facets of society, a marginalization that could be created by attitudinal, historic, social, economic, legal and environmental obstacles.

Having seen the cartoons of the kids of various heights standing on boxes of various heights to see the baseball game over a wooden fence, “equity” may reasonably be interpreted to mean active measures to overcome the consequences of inequalities, natural or artificial. The term ‘equity’ involves, in modern parlance, an ongoing governmental interference to achieve goals that might not otherwise be achieved in the absence of governmental actions.

The Principles are organized around themes:

  • Creation access and discoverability of content
  • Fair remuneration and economic viability of content creators
  • Promotion of diverse, pluralistic sources of news and information as well as resilience against disinformation and misinformation
  • Transparency of the impacts of algorithmic treatments of online content.

 

The last-mentioned goal says that “content recommendation algorithms and their developers should minimize potential systemic biases and discrimination in outcome, related to such things as race, sexual orientation, gender identity and ability.”

Content recommendation algorithms now seek to interest me in what is related to what I have previously expressed an interest in. If I have expressed interest in videos of Andrew Camarata fixing bulldozers, the algorithm is likely to recommend other machine-oriented males fixing tractors, chainsaws, and building log cabins. Inevitably the algorithms will direct me to things of interest to males, such as myself. I imagine the same happens with videos on golf, tastes in music, physics, flower gardens, or cooking, Japanese art or any taste whatever. How then, it may be asked, will an algorithm correct for systemic bias in male oriented videos if I am a male, and female oriented videos if I were female?

The Guiding Principles do not say, but they expect content recommendation systems to “respect freedom of expression in a way that allows for safe and diverse content.” In other words, safety and diversity, as defined by governments or the platforms, are to constrain freedom of expression.

The Guiding Principles are a kind of Broadcasting Act for the Internet, or a set of objectives that the platforms are expected to implement  By this I mean that the system it envisages is systemic, organized, comprehensive, global (as far as Canadians will see) and subject to government regulation, and that in Annex A to this document, the signatories are expected to develop by December 2022 at the latest “concrete actions they will take to complement the guiding principles.  These specific commitments will remain evergreen and continue to evolve”.

The great advantages for the government, in its efforts to regulate the Internet, are that the Principles utterly bypass legislation, need no Parliamentary approval, require the cooperation of the platforms but not of society, and subject large areas of private tastes to algorithmic manipulation.

The Guiding Principles are creepily totalitarian, and yet one imagines the authors of this document think of themselves as being great public benefactors. In order to explain what I mean, I ask you, as a thought experiment, to replace the content of the particular goals to be achieved by the guiding principles. Look at the whole thing, and ask yourself what the document, conceived as a whole, says. It says in short, that speech carried across the Internet is to serve particular purposes. All speech, everywhere, that is carried on the Internet.

Agreement or disagreement with the guiding principles as they are stated is less important than the whole purpose of the document. Take out the language about diversity, equity and inclusion (the new modern woke credo) and replace it, in this thought experiment, with any other set of goals to be achieved. These goals could be anything: the divinity of Christ, the supremacy of the Aryan race, the sanctity of the Roman Church, the triumph of scientific socialism, the grandeur of the Aztec Sky God Huitchilopotchtli, the preservation of the British Empire, or the values of the Enlightenment. So let [x] stand for the content of the Guiding Principles. Forget whether you agree with them or not. Just think of the Guiding Principles as a block of ideas that can be lifted out and replaced with some other set of desiderata. In effect, by calling the Principles an evergreen document, Heritage Canada virtually guarantees that they will be revised in time.

Then perhaps it becomes clearer that my point is not the DEI principles, though they are creepy enough. It is the idea that everything on-line should be aimed at any guiding principle at all.

Would you think it normal that the publishing industry in Canada be enjoined to publish books that exclusively promote a certain political agenda?

Would you think it right that speech across various telephone and voice applications be organized to conduce to the achievement of diversity, equity and inclusion?

To make the point even clearer, I recall the story of a Canadian diplomat who served in the Soviet Union, as it then was, in the Brezhnev era. I asked whether there was freedom of speech in the Soviet Union. He said ‘yes there was, absolute freedom of speech’. I was startled.

-What do you mean absolute freedom of speech?!!

– If you are out on the ice fishing in winter, and in your shelter, and out of range of prying microphones, and talking with people whom you have known all your life or from high school, and you have developed trust over decades, you can talk about anything. And they do. They talk about stuff no one talks about here, like whether Hitler was right to invade Stalin’s USSR, or whether Communism is a pile of crap, or whether the USA is actually imperialist. There is complete freedom of discussion. You just have to be careful with whom and where you share your ideas.

People need to look at the Guiding Principles from this perspective. Canada will have complete freedom of speech. Just not the kind we have been used to. Thank you, Peter Grant.

 

Jeanne Lamon RIP

 

 

Jeanne Lamon has died of cancer early at the age of 71. She was for many years the head of the Toronto baroque ensemble Tafelmusik. Do her the appropriate honours and buy a box of Tafelmusik CDs.

Here is the obituary.

 

Listen to Tafelmusik rip through Zelenka’s Missa Dei Filii under the baton of Frieder Bernius and an all star cast of singers: Nancy Argenta, Christoph Pregardien, Michael Chance and Gordon Jones. As always, Lamon was the concertmaster, namely, lead violin. Ars longa, vita brevis