Very often bad and failed ideas do not die, they simply reappear during periods of supposed social and political crisis in slightly different intellectual garb, and offer ‘solutions’ that would merely help to bring about some of the very types of crises for which they once again claim to have the answers. Socialism in its various ‘progressive’ mutations represents one of the leading ones in our time. The latest manifestation of this appeared on August 24, 2017 in the New Republic online in an article by John B. Judis on, ‘The Socialism America Needs Now.’ He is heartened by the wide appeal, especially among younger voters, that Bernie Sanders received during the 2016 presidential contest. He thinks that this may herald a rebirth and a renewed possibility for a socialist alternative to the current American political and economic system. Having traveled over the decades from the 1970s to the present from being a radical, revolutionary socialist to a more ‘moderate’ one today, Mr. Judis admits that the Marxian-style socialism of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries is now long pass. The embarrassing experience of ‘socialism-in-practice’ in the form Lenin and Stalin created in the Soviet Union or by Chairman Mao in China will not fly anymore.
‘I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire,’ said Winston Churchill to cheers at the Lord Mayor’s luncheon in London in November 1942. True to his word, the great man did not begin the liquidation. When his countrymen threw him out in July 1945, that role fell to Clement Attlee, who began the liquidation. Churchill, during his second premiership from 1951-1955, would continue the process, as would his successor, Harold Macmillan, until the greatest empire the world had ever seen had vanished. While its demise was inevitable, the death of the empire was hastened and made more humiliating by the wars into which Churchill had helped to plunge Britain, wars that bled and bankrupted his nation. At Yalta in 1945, Stalin and FDR treated the old imperialist with something approaching bemused contempt.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 22, 2017.
Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation, Every living nation needs symbols. They tell us who we are as one people, in what we believe, and on what basis we organize our common life. This fact seems to be very clear to the current leadership in Russia, particularly to President Vladimir Putin, in restoring and reunifying a country rent by three generations of Red and White enmity to achieve a national synthesis. With regard to things spiritual, this meant first of all the world-historic reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church, between the Moscow Patriarchate and the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. It also meant the rebuilding of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior dynamited by the communists 1931, not coincidentally the recent target for desecration by degenerates hailed by western democracy advocates. Civic and military symbols matter as well. After 1991 there were those who wanted landmarks of the communist era to be ruthlessly expunged the way the Bolsheviks had themselves sought (in Solzhenitsyn’s description) to rub off the age-old face of Russia and to replace it with a new, ersatz Soviet image. Instead, wisdom prevailed. The national anthem adopted in 2001 retains the Soviet melody but with new lyrics (written by Sergey Mikhalkov, who with Gabriel El-Registan had penned the original lyrics in 1944!) – Lenin and Stalin are out, God is in. The old capital is again Saint Petersburg, but the surrounding district still bears the name Leningrad. The red star marks Russia’s military aircraft and vehicles, while the blue Saint Andrew’s cross flies over the fleet. The red stars likewise are still atop the Kremlin towers while the Smolensk icon of Christ once again graces the Savior Gate. The red banner that was hoisted triumphantly on the Reichstag in 1945 is carried on Victory Day. The remains of exiled White commanders like Anton Denikin and Vladimir Kappel were repatriated and reburied at home with honor.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.
This week’s podcast is in two parts concerning Trump’s efforts for dtente in the face of stupendous Russiagate opposition at home. Batchelor’s introduction relates to this and takes us back to the Truman presidency when he first met Stalin at the Potsdam Conference after the end of WW2, and he notes the new President Truman was warned by his advisors not to trust Stalin. Have things really changed? Cohen itemizes the differences but emphases that although the summit meeting in Hamburg with Putin was speculated about by the Western MSM, a meeting with the Russian leader for an hour over dinner that same evening has just now been discovered and has inflamed the media. Not surprising the press found this sinister. Cohen thinks this may indicate something happened at the summit that needed to be discussed more. More about this later…. Cohen then launches a discussion about three very serious examples where the media has been irresponsible in leaving out important facts about the New Cold War that are dangerous to the peace process. The first one discussed was the Trump Junior meeting with the Russian lawyer who was allegedly bringing information about Hillary Clinton funding ‘The Dossier’ transgression. The spin-doctors had a field day with the story and there were serious omissions in its treatment. The second event was the Magnitsky Act of 2012 passed by Congress to punish Russia for the alleged murder of Russian accountant, Sergie Magnitski, in a Moscow prison in 2009. The final act was over the Russian orphan adoption process with the United States – never popular with Russians – that Putin cancelled over a death of a child in the United States – a death that was due to criminal neglect. Cohen still maintains that this is an opportunity for dtente that should be reinitiated. Cohen explains the importance of these events in great detail in the podcast. All of these events resulted in sanctions levied against Russia and were added to with the Crimea amalgamation* with Russia and the shoot down of the MH17 airliner over Ukraine. Batchelor questions the negative impact for dtente in the Trump administration. Cohen returns that sanctions are ‘normal’ during the cold wars with Russia. It never mattered if the so-called crimes were real or not, but nevertheless they are “difficult to remove once imposed”. The ‘sanctions’ are now being expanded in Russia to potentially include large numbers of U.S. diplomats – and that is demonstratively more serious. Putin may be forced to do it to avoid looking weak to his critics. Cohen thinks this may have been the topic of discussion over dinner with Trump. The conversation then shifts to ‘the idiotic sanctions bill of the Senate’ which stupidly attempts to curb Russian gas flows to Europe. (To put this into perspective we might recall that that sort of lunacy started a war with Japan in 1942, but this time the E.U. would be at similar odds with Washington! Larry) Cohen’s comments are in a similar vein. Batchelor wonders if this would create a split with the U.S. in Europe, and Cohen in answer compares what Trump is accused of in that topic compared with what the Senate has done. He further compared Trump to France’s President Macron and suggested that France may have elected another DeGaulle (and that is not a bad thing either). It is human nature to choose the main causes of events, like the top contenders in a contest, but when assessing the damage of systemic efforts like the roll of a dysfunctional press in shaping history we should probably think more in terms of cumulative impacts. When the Fourth Estate ceases to be the tool of journalists who keep citizens honestly informed and hence a curb to illegalities and government dishonesty, then governments can cease to serve the citizen and become a threat to all. We are seeing that in the U.S. MSM, and that narrative is mutually supported throughout the West. This condition has evolved very rapidly these past fifteen plus years. One could even say it was a necessary thing for the Deep State to maintain the myths of the government position around 9/11, and to hide the hideous misdeeds of recent presidents and a certain presidential candidate. It is also vital to present other untruths to support Washington war policies in Washington and beyond. As a result the American MSM now ascribes to Putin and Russia the crimes of which its own country is guilty.
One thing you have to understand about Mr. Zucker. What he does, he does for show. For ratings. If he could get away with claiming Trump met with Putin on the dark side of the moon to concoct a way to beat Hillary Clinton, he would run with it. If he could get away with claiming Arnold Schwarzenegger was the love child of Joseph Stalin and Greta Garbo, he would lead the evening newscast with it. He keeps selling the CNN Trump-Russia ‘investigation’ because he’s (barely) getting away with it and he thinks it’ll keep drawing an audience. In April, CNN boss Jeff Zucker told the New York Times, ‘The idea that politics is sport is undeniable, and we understood that and approached it that way.’ The ‘it’ was certainly the 2016 presidential campaign. Zucker always has understood politics in this corrupt way – and in the process, he helped elect a US president and a California governor. Who is Trump’s most consistent media enemy now? CNN is right up there. But Jeff Zucker, CNN’s boss, was the man who launched The Apprentice, starring Donald Trump, at NBC, in 2004.
Marine Le Pen is the only candidate for the French presidency who represents France. All the rest represent Washington and the EU. Why are the French people so slow to see the obvious facts? France died with Charles de Gaulle. He was the last French president. Washington, of course, hated De Gaulle, because he would not let France be part of the American Empire. He kept France out of NATO. De Gaulle understood that NATO was unnecessary as a military alliance, as there was no threat of a Soviet invasion of Europe. NATO was Washington’s way of absorbing Europe into the American empire. Stalin himself had made it crystal clear that there would be no Soviet invasion when he eliminated the neoconservatives of his time who wanted to establish Soviet hegemony over the world. ‘Socialism in one country,’ declared Stalin as he killed off the Soviet neoconservatives.
Although the greatest domestic political crisis in American history continues to capture the attention of Batchelor and Cohen this week, serious international events now intrude. The headlines include the Senate Intelligent Committee Hearings stated intention to interview Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice over possible surveillance of President Trump, the sarin gas attack in Syria, NATO’s increasing unease with Turkey’s President, Erdogan’s increasing consolidation of despotic power, and finally the death of the Russian poet and dissident, Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Cohen speaks about this poet at great length and great reverence and describes how Russians honour this poet and all its poets and their significance in the history of Russia. This discussion moves into what it was like to resist the government under the Soviet system and Cohen describes how this moderated over time. Under Stalin, for example, ten million died; under Khrushchev the Terror ended but for the Russian people was still very repressive. Among dissidents there were stages of dissidence that resulted in a known measured response from the state. This all ended, of course, with Gorbachev, General Secretary (then leader designate) who encouraged a kind of freedom of speech. All of this (explained by Cohen in greater detail) led up to Cohen’s very big question about what it is about how Americans who have free speech are now so complacent about seeing their political institutions destroyed over government opposition to a legally elected president, and how those same rights to speak freely are in threat? This is a wonderful question that should prompt a great deal of discussion but has not… At this point Stephen Cohen introduced a second major narrative in this debacle. The first, of course, is all the hoopla surrounding the Clinton charges that Trump was a Putin stooge. The second major narrative came from Trump with his accusation that Obama and agents of the government had him under surveillance. This appears to have some validity now and is building as a scandal. But as a sad reprieve to this development comes the St. Petersburg subway bombing – and Trump, to his credit, talked to Putin giving official condolences. The fact of this area of history is revealed that Russia has lost more people to terrorist attacks than 911. Cohen states that this sad fact is something (that officially) both countries share as injury – a common one. And to add insult to this St Petersburg wounding is the American mainstream press once more accusing” “Putin did it (to himself)”, in other words, a false flag attack. This accusation is as shameless as it is ludicrous. There was also an allegation that the bombing was “blow back” for his activities in Syria. Cohen is amazed that Americans are so unimaginative to swallow this kind of propaganda and NOT consider that subway bombings could happen to Americans in their own country. I also wonder how difficult it would be to smuggle in sarin gas for use against Americans in their own country. ISIS apparently has a warehouse of the stuff…
Has Donald Trump overestimated his presidential power? The answer is yes. Is Steve Bannon, Trump’s main advisor, politically inexperienced? The answer is yes. We can conclude from the answers to these two questions that Trump is in over his head and will pay a big price. How large will the price be? The New York Times reports that US ‘intelligence agencies…sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.’ Former National Security Agency (NSA) spy John Schindler tweeted on Twitter that a senior intelligence community colleague sent him an email stating that the deep state had declared nuclear war on Trump and that ‘He will die in jail.’ It is possible that this will be the case. At the end of World War II, the military/security complex decided that the flow of profits and power from war and threats of war were too great to be relinquished to an era of peace. This complex manipulated a weak and inexperienced President Truman into a gratuitous Cold War with the Soviet Union. The lie was created, and accepted by the gullible American people, that International Communism intended world conquest. This lie was transparant, because Stalin had purged and murdered Leon Trotsky and all communists who believed in world revolution. ‘Socialism in one country,’ declared Stalin. Academic experts, knowing where their bread was buttered, went along with and contributed to the deceit. By 1961 the overarching power of the military/security complex was apparent to President Eisenhower, a five star general in charge of the US invasion of German occupied Western Europe during the Second World War. The private power that the military/security complex (Eisenhower called it the military-industrial complex) exercised disturbed Ike so much that in his last address to the American people he said we must guard against its subversion of democracy: ‘Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
Reuters reports that 2,700 US troops accompanied by tanks are moving across Poland toward the Russian border. Col. Christopher Norrie, commander of the 3rd Armoured Brigade Combat Team, declared: ‘The main goal of our mission is deterrence and prevention of threats.’ Apparently, the colonel is not sufficiently bright to realize that far from preventing threats, the force he is leading presents as a threat. And to no less a military power than Russia. What is the point of this miniscule force? It woud not constitute a threat to Russia if it were 100 times larger, perhaps even one thousand times larger. Remember, Hitler invaded Russia against an unprepared Stalin with the largest and best military force the world had ever seen in the largest military operation in human history. The German invasion force was comprised of 3,800,000 troops, 600,000 motorized vehicles, 3,350 tanks, 7,200 artillery pieces, and 2,770 aircraft. The Red Army, despite its officer corps having been purged by Stalin, ate up this magnificient force and won the war against Germany. Compared to Stalin’s Russia, Putin’s Russia is prepared. NATO is not capable of assemblying a large enough force to invade Russia. So what is the point of the 2,700 US troops moving across Poland toward Russia?
With all of the recent accusations that mainstream media outfits like the Washington Post have unloaded regarding what some journalists call ‘fake news,’ a simple truth regarding the media establishment seems to be lost: the very mainstream and respected New York Times has been publishing real-live fake news for the past eight decades. Most people familiar with the modern history of the NYT and its Progressive ideology are familiar with the paper’s denial of the Stalin-induced famine in the Ukraine in 1931 and 1932 that killed up to seven million Ukrainians. It’s lead reporter, Walter Duranty, was a True Believing Stalinist and believed that whatever Stalin did to promote his version of communism was a good thing. Even though some editors at the NYT were very suspicious of Duranty’s claims – that there was no famine at all in the U. S. S. R. or the Ukraine – nonetheless the newspaper ran his dispatches and accepted the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for the Duranty stories. To put it in present terms, the NYT gave its readers fake news and for many years refused to acknowledge that its Pulitzer Prize was based upon fraudulence that made the Washington Post’s ‘Jimmy’s World’ hoax seem to be the definition of Truth. (At least the Post had the good sense to admit what happened and return the Pulitzer Prize; the 1932 Pulitzer still is acknowledged in the NYT lobby.)
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 27, 2016.
One year after narrowly losing to Angela Merkel (and tied with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), Donald Trump has finally won the 2016 Time “Person of the Year Award”, the person – or idea – who according to the magazine has most influenced the news and the world in the past year, for good or ill. ‘It’s a great honor. It means a lot,’ Trump told NBC’s “Today” show. “To be on the cover of Time magazine as the person of the year is a tremendous honor,” added Trump, who in the past had predicted he would never win the honor. Trump beat out 10 other finalists, including his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. TIME declared Clinton their runner-up. This will be Trump’s 10th time on the magazine’s cover, and all but one have been since August 2015. His first appearance on TIME was in 1989. The magazine has made the designation every year since 1927, when aviator Charles Lindbergh was chosen as the first Man of the Year. The title was amended to Person of the Year in 1999. Over its history, TIME has bestowed the title to many presidents, political leaders and industry trailblazers who often view the designation as an honor. However, the magazine also has selected notorious recipients in the past, including Adolf Hitler in 1938, Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942, and Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, because of the impact they had on the world at the time.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2016.
Your crime, as it were, need not be substantiated with evidence; the mere fact you publicly revealed your anti-Establishment thought convicted you. One of the most remarkable ironies of The Washington Post’s recent evidence-free fabrication of purported “Russian propaganda” websites (including this site) is how closely it mimics the worst excesses of the USSR’s Stalinist era. Those unfamiliar with the Stalinist era’s excesses will benefit from reading Solzhenitsyn’s three-volume masterpiece The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, The Gulag Archipelago 2 and Gulag Archipelago 3. One episode is especially relevant to the totalitarian tactics of The Washington Post’s evidence-free accusation. Solzhenitsyn tells the story of one poor fellow who made the mistake of recounting a dream he’d had the previous night to his co-workers. In his dream, Stalin had come to some harm. In Solzhenitsyn’s account, the fellow was remorseful about the dream.
Let’s get this straight. Calling Hillary Clinton a ‘bigot’ has reporters asking every Republican in sight if Donald Trump has gone too far. But the Clinton campaign releases a video saying Mr. Trump is the candidate of the Ku Klux Klan, and it’s all okey-dokey? Then again, Mr. Trump has already been likened to Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. Small wonder there’s a collective ho-hum when Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says Mr. Trump is peddling ‘KKK values.’ This is what Democrats do. It didn’t start with Mr. Trump, either. For years Democrats have portrayed the GOP as one giant hate group. Each presidential election, the drill goes like this: After Republicans nominate someone, he immediately finds himself having to prove he’s not a hater – of African-Americans, of women, of gays, etc.
During the decades-long Cold War the belief in America was that the Soviet Union had an ideology of world domination. Every nationalist movement, such as Vietnam’s effort to throw off French colonialism, was misinterpreted as another domino falling to Soviet world conquest. This mistaken American belief persisted despite Stalin’s purge of the Trotsky elements that preached world revolution. Stalin declared: ‘socialism in one country.’ As the Soviets did not have the aim that the US attributed to them, the two governments could cooperate in reducing the dangerous tensions that nuclear weapons presented.
Twenty-five years ago, on August 22, 1991, I stood amid a vast cheering crowd of tens of thousands of people outside the Russian parliament building in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union. They were celebrating the failure by diehard Soviet leaders to undertake a political and military coup d’tat meant to maintain dictatorial communist rule in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet regime had ruled Russia and the other 14 component republics of the U. S. S. R. for nearly 75 years, since the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917 led by Vladimir Lenin and his communist cadre of Marxist followers. During that almost three-quarters of a century, first under Lenin and especially Josef Stalin and then their successors, historians have estimated that upwards of 64 million people – innocent, unarmed men, women and children – died at the hands of the Soviet regime in the name of building the ‘bright, beautiful future’ of socialism. Millions Dead The forced collectivization of the land under Stalin in the early 1930s, alone, is calculated to have cost the lives of nine to twelve million Russian and Ukrainian peasants and their families who resisted the loss of their private farms and being forced into state collective farms that replaced them. Some were simply shot; others were tortured to death or sent to die as slave labor in the concentration and labor camps in Siberia or Soviet Central Asia known as the GULAG. Millions were slowly starved to death by a government-created famine designed to force submission to the central planning dictates of Stalin and his henchmen.
This post was published at Mises Canada on SEPTEMBER 5, 2016.
Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, ‘The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.’ – Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union No, America, you don’t have to vote. In fact, vote or don’t vote, the police state will continue to trample us underfoot. Devil or deliverer, the candidate who wins the White House has already made a Faustian bargain to keep the police state in power. It’s no longer a question of which party will usher in totalitarianism but when the final hammer will fall. Sure we’re being given choices, but the differences between the candidates are purely cosmetic ones, lacking any real nutritional value for the nation. We’re being served a poisoned feast whose aftereffects will leave us in turmoil for years to come. We’ve been here before.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2016.
Capo for Life! The people of Tajikistan love their president Emomali Rahmon deeply. And as we now know, nearly all of them do. The last time a leader of similarly exalted stature enjoyed such unconditional and unshakable support from the entire citizenry was when comrade Joseph Vissiaronovich Stalin was in charge in Moscow. They’re feeling the Rahmon in Dushanbe! A referendum has just been held in Tajikistan, in order to give its citizens the unique opportunity to ensure a prosperous and peaceful future for the country for generations to come. Voters were asked to approve altogether 40 changes to the constitution. Two questions of especially grave importance were decided – and received the support of nearly 95% of the electorate, in a huge turnout to boot! As the Guardian reports: Voters in Tajikistan have overwhelmingly endorsed changes to its constitution allowing the president, Emomali Rahmon, to run for an unlimited number of terms. In a statement, the central election commission said 94.5% of votes cast in Sunday’s referendum had backed the 40 constitutional changes, while only 3.3% were against. Turnout in the former Soviet central Asian country was 92%, or just over 4 million people, the CEC said. As well as lifting the term limit for Rahmon, the amendments also lower the minimum age for presidential candidates from 35 to 30, and ban the formation of parties based on religion.’ (emphasis added) As you can see, Mr. Rahmon is a true unifier. Rarely are politicians able to inspire such displays of unanimity among their citizens. It seems obvious why it was important to make him president for life, but what about the other points we have highlighted?
This post was published at Acting-Man on May 27, 2016.
I have written extensively regarding Viktor Suvorov’s book, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II. My several posts can be found here. To make a long story short, Stalin supported and strengthened Hitler, baiting him to start World War II against Britain and France with the anticipation that the western capitalist countries would so weaken themselves that the expansion of Soviet communism would be free to clean up and take over the remains. Just before Stalin was to invade Germany, Hitler struck first. The rest is the history with which we are familiar. Through either an email or comment (I don’t recall which) I was introduced to the work of Mark Solonin. With his permission, I offer a brief review of one of his posts, entitled Comrade Stalin’s Three Plans. He begins with a statement that is agreeable to all – whether one believes Suvorov’s account or the more traditional version: The fact is that Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union at dawn on June 22, 1941 became a horrible surprise for Comrade Stalin. Germany’s attack astonished the inhabitants of the Kremlin’s offices, stunning them and putting them into a state of shock. That is the fact. Solonin then introduces the revisionist story – fully consistent with the work of Suvorov: There is another fact. In May-June of 1941 the Soviet Union’s military forces were in a state of covert strategic deployment. All aspects of strategic deployment (mobilization of reservists, strategic regrouping and concentration of troops, operative deployment of alignments) were carried out in a strict secrecy unheard of even by Stalin’s harsh standards.
The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened’. – Josef Stalin Western national governments using their intelligence communities to collectively manufacture, orchestrate and stage violent world events promoting their endless war on terror and then employing their bought and paid for MSM propagandists to subsequently shape public opinion and perception has increasingly been the twenty-first century’s go-to menu utilized by the powers-that-shouldn’t-be. This presentation will provide a dot connecting overview that examines this unfolding process in detail showing how the US government and its Western vassals have deployed theHegelian Dialectic to systematically create crises, and then implement a so called solution in order to gain maximum control over the global population to divide and rule the planet. Ultimately the globalists’ objective behind all these disturbing events and developments is leading humanity towards their New World Order tyranny of a one world government. The biggest pivotal game changer since the JFK assassination has been 9/11, when a handful of powerful Zionist neocons in Washington deploying CIA, FBI and Pentagon collaborators worked directly with Israel and its Mossad along with Saudi intelligence to cold-bloodedly murder 3000 Americans in their much needed ‘new Pearl Harbor’ event in order to pull off the manufactured launch of their war on terror. With the deep Bush-bin Laden family connection going way back as both business and terrorist crime partners, globalist George Bush senior then acting as CIA director and Jimmy Carter’s foreign security advisor-fellow globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski employed a rag-tag group of Saudi Wahhabis called the mujahedeen to fight as US proxy terrorists against an overextended Soviet Army in the notorious empire graveyard Afghanistan in the late 1970′s. Brzezinski went on public recordbragging that he had enticed President Carter to ‘sign the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul’ a full half year ahead of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. That’s how callous the psychopathic architects of war are to think nothing of starting a proxy war that lasts a decade and kills a million Afghans. Thus the bloody origins of this unholy marriage between US Empire of Chaos and its proxy war ally the Islamic jihadists still going stronger than ever today can be traced as far back as June 1979.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 25, 2015.
Peter Simpson is a distinguished classicist and philosopher, known especially for his work on Aristotle’s ethics and politics. (He is also, by the way, a mordant critic of Leo Strauss and his followers.) In Political Illiberalism, he poses a fundamental challenge to philosophical justifications of modern liberalism, culminating in the vastly influential Political Liberalism (1993) of John Rawls. Though Simpson cannot be classed as a libertarian, his bold arguments will be of great use to all of us who, like Lew Rockwell, are Against the State. According to a familiar tale, states before the inception of liberalism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were fatally flawed. They sought to impose on their subject populations a political and religious orthodoxy. The Protestant Reformation brought some progress, but all too often, control by the monarch replaced dominance by the Catholic Church. Premodern illiberal states ‘taught and imposed on society a distinctive view of the good life. … Those who disagreed with this view of religion imposed by the state had to be resisted or expelled or incarcerated or killed.’ What was the distinctive contribution of liberalism? According to this view, the state must not rule on the basis of what Rawls calls a ‘conception of the good.’ By this he means a comprehensive view of the good life for human beings. Religions are prime examples of conceptions of the good, but not the only ones. The all-embracing theory of life taught in Soviet Russia in the glory days of Lenin and Stalin would be a secular example of what liberalism deplores and seeks to eradicate. Instead, liberals maintain, the state must remain neutral in the battle between such competing conceptions of the good. People must be allowed to work out their own salvation, religious or secular, as their own consciences dictate.