That war ended 97 years ago. It has of course always been recognised as a cataclysmic episode in European history but with each passing year it seems more and more obvious that it was an even more significant event than it appeared at the time. The outbreak of war in 1914 was the moment that the long slow suicide of European civilisation began. It was the event that started our civilisation on the path of self-hatred and guilt. It was the moment that we began to lose faith in our own civilisation.
So Sweden is “slamming shut” its borders against refugees. This is likely to be seen as a reason for celebration. A few moments’ thought suggests that the celebrations may be premature.
First of all let’s be clear about one thing. The Swedish government doesn’t give a damn about the Swedish people or Swedish civilisation or western civilisation in general. Their hostility to western civilisation is as strong as ever. This is not about saving Sweden. This is about saving the Swedish government.
The big threat to the established parties in western Europe is the recent rise of nationalist parties (usually labelled as far-right parties even though they are in fact all left-leaning parties). By pretending to have suddenly switched to an anti-immigration stance the ruling socialists hope to outflank and destroy the nationalist Sweden Democrats. They are counting on Swedish voters being stupid enough to fall for this and go back to supporting the established parties. They are almost certainly correct in their assessment of the stupidity of the Swedish voters. Once the Sweden Democrats are disposed of it will be back to business as usual.
In any case the “slamming shut” of the borders will almost certainly prove to be mostly window-dressing. It doesn’t matter. It makes no difference what governments do – what matters is appearances.
My prediction is that the ruling socialists will go on to win a landslide victory in the next election. The destruction of Sweden can then be resumed without interference from annoying critics.
I suspect we will see something very similar happen in France. Hollande will talk tough about declaring war on terror. The French will fall for it. Hollande will win the next presidential election easily and the Front National will be effectively removed as a threat to the established parties.
Never underestimate the cynicism ofd those who rule us, and never underestimate the gullibility of voters.
So the Black Justice League at Princeton University wants the name of former president of Princeton (and former President of the United States) Woodrow Wilson expunged from the university because Wilson was (apparently) an evil racist and imperialist.
The irony here is that if they’re hoping to upset conservatives they’ve picked the wrong guy since most conservatives consider Wilson to be one of the most catastrophic presidents in US history.
Of course if you’re going to consign Wilson to the memory hole then there are quite a few other presidents who will also have to become unpersons. Abraham Lincoln was a notorious racist. George Washington was a slave owner. Lyndon Johnson was an open racist who was very fond of using the dreaded N word. Even that darling of the Left, Franklin Roosevelt, can’t escape. The white American athletes who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics were invited to meet Roosevelt, but African-American Jesse Owens was pointedly not given an invitation leading Owens to remark that Hitler hadn’t snubbed him but Roosevelt had.
In fact it will probably be necessary eventually to declare most American presidents unpersons.
I fully expect that within the next few years we’ll see a move to have Washington DC renamed Martin Luther King City. And no, I’m not joking.
Of course this Orwellian madness is not confined to the US. In Britain you can be arrested for quoting Winston Churchill.
I can’t help being highly amused by the call by the Central Council of Jews in Germany to limit the intake of Moslem refugees. Apparently they have finally figured out that Moslems might not be very friendly towards Jews. Deliciously ironic given that Jews have up until now been such enthusiastic proponents of mass immigration and multiculturalism (although not of course in Israel).
Even more amusingly they’re telling us that we should oppose Moslem immigration not just because it threatens Jews but because it threatens feminists and the LGBTQWERTY lobby. “Don’t just think about the Jews, think about the equality between men and women, or dealing with homosexuals,” added their spokesman.
So when Moslem immigration was merely a menace to Christian European civilisation it was a good thing but now that it menaces Jews it’s a bad thing. And it’s a bad thing if it interferes with the efforts of feminism and the homosexual lobby to destroy European civilisation.
I’m not indulging in Jew-bashing here. Every ethnic group has the right to put its own interests first. I can’t fault Jews for doing that. It would however be nice if Jewish groups would acknowledge the right of white Europeans to put their own interests first as well. There’s no mention by the Central Council of Jews in Germany of the damage Moslem immigration might be doing to European civilisation. That does kinda look like hypocrisy doesn’t it?
Lawrence H. Keeley’s War Before Civilisation comprehensively demolishes the myth that warfare is a relatively recent phenomenon and that early human societies were peaceful.
Keeley was inspired to write the book after being twice refused funding to investigate fortifications around a number of early Neolithic villages. His third attempt to receive funding was successful when he removed the word fortification from his research proposal and replaced it with the neutral word enclosure. When he and his colleagues thereupon excavated the sites they discovered irrefutable evidence that the fortifications were indeed fortifications. Life in Belgium in 5000 BC was apparently anything but peaceful.
Keeley realised that the prevailing view in archaeological circles that prehistoric humans were peaceful and knew nothing of the horrors of war might be entirely wrong. His subsequent researches, documented in this book, showed conclusively that war was not only ubiquitous in prehistoric societies – it was far more destructive than any modern wars.
Keeley bases his arguments not just on archaeology but also on studies of those primitive societies that have survived into modern times.
The evidence is overwhelming. Your chances of becoming a casualty of war in modern civilised societies are much much less than your chances would have been of being killed in war in prehistoric times, or as a member of surviving primitive cultures.
Pre-modern cultures did not fight large-scale pitched battles but war was more or less continuous, taking the form of ambushes, raids and small-scale skirmishes. The overall death rates in this kind of small-scale war are staggering and horrifying.
One of the really interesting points he makes is that in pre-modern societies intermarriage and trade actually increase the risk of wars between neighbouring tribes.
Keeley argues persuasively that since the Second World War archaeologists and anthropologists have deliberately shut their eyes to the evidence of war in pre-modern societies. This deliberate and willful blindness is of course politically motivated. Scholars in these fields do not want to accept the unpalatable truth that civilised societies might be in general far more peaceful than primitive cultures. That might force them to face the even more unpleasant truth that civilisation really is a good thing.
What makes Keeley’s arguments more compelling is that he had no political axe to grind. He admits that he himself had swallowed the myth of peaceful pre-modern cultures until he found that the evidence simply could not be ignored.
A fascinating book that demonstrates the stranglehold that political correctness exerts on just about every area of science. Highly recommended.
In the wake of the Paris terror attacks and the ongoing ”refugee” crisis in Europe there are many who seem to think that perhaps finally sanity will prevail and European governments will start to take firm action. Personally I think it’s true that firm action will be taken but I’m not at all confident the actions will be the right ones.
There’s little doubt in my mind as to the most likely scenario. It will be very mild Pushback followed by a very severe Crackdown. But it won’t be a crackdown on immigration – it will be a crackdown on European citizens.
There will be mild resistance to the invasion. Nationalist parties might make significant gains in most countries but they will come nowhere near gaining actual power. There will be a few large-scale street demonstrations. There will be a few violent incidents, some of them associated with these demonstrations. Much if not most of the violence may well be instigated by the anti-racist crowd but of course nationalists will be blamed. There will then be a media panic that “right-wing extremists” are threatening European values and causing terrorism.
The result will be a crackdown that will make current attempts to stifle dissent look like a Sunday School picnic. Nationalist parties will be banned and their leaders imprisoned. Nationalist bloggers will be arrested and many will be imprisoned. Draconian controls over all media will be introduced. Anyone who expresses even the mildest criticism of the invasion will be silenced. Of course the targets won’t be confined to nationalists. This will be too good an opportunity to waste. Climate change sceptics and anyone who isn’t totally on board with the program with regard to the LGBTQWERTY agenda will also be rounded up.
The end result will be totalitarianism. Elections will still be held but only approved parties, that is “anti-racist” “non-extremist” parties will be permitted to participate. No dissent whatsoever will be permitted.
I also don’t believe there is any chance that Marine Le Pen will be allowed to win the next Presidential election, even assuming that she gets enough voter support to do so (which seems to me to be very unlikely).
In the incredibly unlikely event she does win I don’t believe she will be allowed to remain in power. If the French establishment cannot remove her the US government will. There will be a propaganda campaign about the necessity for regime change in France and the need to restore freedom and democracy. Her government will be destabilised and crises will be manufactured to give legitimacy to her removal. The global elites have no intention of abandoning immigration policies which from their point of view have been spectacularly successful (the fact that they have been disastrous for the people of Europe is entirely irrelevant as far as they are concerned). The ethnic fragmentation and balkanisation of Europe and the demoralisation of the white population suits those elites very well indeed – it makes any resistance to their power almost impossible.
Of course it’s possible that this was always the objective – to manufacture a crisis as an excuse to crush dissent.
The US will congratulate European leaders for acting courageously to defend freedom and democracy.
It being Armistice Day I hope I will be forgiven for another post on the First World War.
Which brings me to Niall Ferguson’s 1998 book on the Great War, The Pity of War. Ferguson is one of the more controversial historians of our time but then controversial historians tend to be the most interesting.
The book is certainly not a straightforward narrative history of the war. Ferguson sets out to answer ten questions about the war and along the way he demolishes several persistent myths and then goes on to draw some startling conclusions.
Economic history being one of Ferguson’s specialties you won’t be surprised to find that economic factors are dealt with in considerable depth. While he makes some interesting points on this subject I found the book to be much more intriguing when the author switches his focus away from economics.
The first few chapters are the most impressive. Ferguson has little patience with the idea that whatever happened in history must have happened because it was inevitable that it would happen. The idea that history is shaped by remorseless economic and social forces that cannot be altered has of course always been popular with Marxist historians and it has become more or less generally accepted. Ferguson rejects this pernicious idea in a pleasingly forthright manner. He argues that the First World War was far from inevitable. He also argues that the war was not the inescapable consequence of the naval arms race between Britain and Germany, or the economic rivalry between the two countries. Nor was it the result of German militarism. In fact he argues that if anything it was the lack of militarism in Germany that contributed to the outbreak of war. It was the military weakness of Germany that contributed to the outbreak of war – Germany was motivate by fear rather than ambition.
Ferguson is also convinced that there was no necessity for the British to become involved in the war and that Britain would have been much better off having nothing to do with it. More provocative is his claim that cynical calculations of party political advantage led the Liberal Government to embroil the country in the war. Lloyd George and Churchill wee among the chief villains in this sorry saga.
The First World War to some degree marked the beginnings of the modern intrusive surveillance state, of political censorship and the rise of propaganda as a frightening tool of government policy, subjects dealt with in some depth in this book.
One of the most important questions Ferguson sets out to answer is not who won the war, but who won the peace. His conclusions are rather startling.
Ferguson’s most controversial conclusion is undoubtedly that Europe would have been far better off had Britain and the US kept out of the war and if Germany had been victorious. It has to be said that he makes a reasonably persuasive case for this conclusion.
I found the many chapters dealing with the complex ins and outs of international finance to be a little on the dry side, or perhaps they were just a little too technical for a reader like myself who is not an expert in such matters.
The Pity of War makes some interesting and thought-provoking contributions to the ongoing and indeed never-ending debates about what is arguably the key event in modern history. Recommended.
Do opinion polls actually mean anything? Here’s an interesting piece from the Pew Research Centre on the declining response rates to opinion surveys. In some cases the response rate is as low as 9%. If only 9 percent of those approached agree to take part in a poll how likely is that that the poll represents a truly random sample?
The article goes on to claim that this is not a major problem, but since they are a polling company you would of course expect them to say that.
They do admit that low response rates have introduced a certain bias. People who are more engaged in the political process, not surprisingly, are more likely to respond. Alert readers might well see this is as being potentially very significant indeed. People who are obsessively engaged in the political process might well be expected to be a lot more left-wing than the general population. One might reasonably suspect that the sorts of people who are involved in “political activism” and who spend their leisure hours carrying placards in demonstrations would be much more likely to respond to a public opinion survey. This could mean that opinion polls are seriously overstating the level of support for notions like climate change, homosexual “marriage” and open borders.
It’s interesting to speculate on the possible reasons for declining response rates. I would personally suspect that people who hold politically incorrect views are increasingly cautious about expressing such views. This caution is perfectly understandable in a society in which you can lose your job and your future prospects by expressing a forbidden view. Guarantees of anonymity are also increasing regarded with scepticism. We live in a world in which privacy is thing of the past. Even if the risk seems small would you risk your entire future just to participate in a poll?
I also suspect that even those who do respond may be reluctant to be entirely frank.
So do opinion polls increasingly reflect a subtle socially liberal bias? I would suggest that it is entirely possible.
One might also ask the question – if opinion polls are no longer reliable how much sense does it make for governments to go into a panic every time a slightly unfavourable poll comes out? And how much sense does it make to organise a coup to remove an elected leader who won a huge majority in the previous election (as happened recently in Australia) just because of rather questionable opinion polls?