Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
9 Vera Lischka belongs to the Social Democratic Party of Austria.
10 Tania Derveaux of Belgium
Of a Friday, I usually cycle the few kilometres to a nearby town and sell my soul to McDonalds, just to take in the local atmosphere.
Today, the girl got everything wrong and apologized, ‘Hang-over, yer know, luv.’
Oh well, that makes it all right then. Don’t give it another thought, dearest. Over the tannoy came the sounds of a local radio show – Village Idiot. Why anyone would wish to go on such a show or be labelled an idiot beats me. Perhaps I am an idiot, I’m too stupid to know but I wouldn’t go on a show to prove I was. I’d open a blog instead.
‘Now, Pam, can you tell us what was the name of the book about a society gone wrong, by George Orwell?’
The host continued. ‘It was the name of a year and not all that long ago.’
‘Er … 1964?’
‘Let’s go over to David. Any idea?’
‘Er … 1981?’
‘No, it was, in fact, Nineteen Eighty Four. Right. Ken Dodd. What was …’ A question followed about the worthy Dodd, Pam getting the answer straight off.
‘Right,’ said our host, ‘it all comes down to one last question. What followed was something about an East Enders character which, with unerring accuracy, David got right.
It’s a rash generalization to blame the dumbing down of education and I do take the point that a person can’t know everything. Why, there are things on the topic of This Blog I couldn’t answer. ‘In what month did Higham post an article on …?’
‘Er … no idea.’
I suppose East Enders is the most important topic in everyone’s mind, apart from Beckam and Brangelina. I suppose such people live happy and fulfilling lives, free from the vicissitudes of General Knowledge cluttering up the recesses of their already cluttered minds.
Yet am I wrong in thinking that a certain knowledge of the world is a good thing and perhaps should be taught in schools? Am I wrong in thinking that you should reasonably be expected to know at least two of the Seven Wonders of the World?
Don’t get me wrong – I run quizzes on this blog which I couldn’t expect more than 10% of the populace to know, so don’t judge yourself by that. Judge yourself by this:
Here’s a quiz which I’d expect any school leaver to get 5/5 on. I’d expect a street sweeper to get 3/5:
1. Excluding Antarctica, Australia and Greenland and counting the huge land mass from Portugal to China as two separate continents [which we won’t argue about for now] and excluding sub-continents, how many continents are there?
2. Which female Australian-expat harpie, from the 60s, wrote The Female Eunuch?
3. How many millimetres are there in a decametre [can also be spelt [or spelled] with a ‘k’]?
4. Which is the longest river complex in northern America?
5. In the 1800s, what was the object of the mass movement of people to the Yukon, to Ballarat in Australia and to other places? What was being sought?
Let’s not get pernickety about the questions. The broad answers are what are required.
5, Germaine Greer, 10 000, Mississippi/Missouri, gold
Thursday, May 28, 2009
... although I personally like the chorus in the following track best. May I suggest you skip the first two minutes and then it gets going and the last minute is quite evocative.
Awa Awa is also a nice track.
If you have the patience and are in a relaxed mood, give these a try.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167
Being labelled arrogant for pointing out the fallacy of taking the philosophers as gospel seems an interesting stance for philosophy to take against its detractors ...
People were warned. It was shown clearly that he did not qualify as president, the people who vote for him did so knowing he'd do these things and yet they thought he would do some good things for them too.
Has anyone seen the film Minority Report? Incarcerated to PREVENT crime? Heaven help America because no one else is going to. Please view the video.
The first article, identifying problems, was here.
Now follows a possible solution entitled: How to Stay Married, from December 11, 2003, by Roger Dobson of The Independent:
So, what is the secret of a happy partnership? If any two ought to know, they are George and Ann Levinger. Not only are they both psychologists and experts in the theory of marriage and close relationships, but they have also just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
For most of their lives, Dr Ann Levinger and her husband, Professor George Levinger, of the University of Massachusetts, have been carrying out research into other people's partnerships. (George is one of the world's leading relationship academics, credited with coining the phrase, "What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility".)
But, with that golden anniversary looming, the couple decided to investigate their own marriage in much the same way as they had been dissecting the lives of thousands of others over the years.
Just how had they stayed the course when so many had fallen by the wayside? What was different about them? Did luck play a part? How had two powerful and successful individuals lived happily together for half a century?
"It is an unusual way to celebrate an anniversary," says George Levinger. But unlike their other studies, there was no risk of the participants hiding anything from the researchers, and the result of this unique academic exercise is both a scholarly assessment of a marriage, and an insight into an enduring relationship that has evolved to see off all threats, including the swinging '60s, and which has adapted to accommodate the needs of both partners.
Lasting bonds: What good partnerships have in common:
# Meeting in an adventurous setting
# Keeping passion alive while resisting mate-swapping
# Similar biological clocks and energy levels
# Not setting up home too close to either set of parents
# Romantic weekends away without kids at least once a year
Those who want to last the course need to be comfortable with a partner's relatives, but should not set up home too close to either set of parents. Shared interests and housework, as well as a shared bed, are important, and so too is having a no-blame culture, with a ban on public rows or put-downs.
Regular travel and holidays play a key role, as does having rewarding jobs. Operating with similar biological clocks and energy levels helps. Regularly telling your partner you love them is vital, as is being a good listener, and having a supportive circle of friends.
The four biggest threats to a marriage are:
… say the couple in a report on their research, published in the journal Personal Relationships.
They identify three factors needed for a good relationship:
A long-term relationship is also affected by three environments or contexts — macro, meso and micro.
# Macro-contexts are the rules, law and circumstances, such as economic opportunity, of the society in which the couple live, and which affect everyone.
# The meso-context is the local environment, and includes social, family and work relationships, as well as the couple's home and physical environment.
# The micro-context, around which most relationship research is based, is the intimate or not-so-intimate environment that a couple evolves for itself over time.
"Initially, our relationship was strongly influenced by our macro-environment. Later, it became increasingly affected by the meso and micro-contexts we had ourselves constructed," say the Levingers.
Couples have little control over their macro-environment, and only varying levels of influence in selecting their meso-environments, but they have a lot of input into their micro-context, which they begin to build from the start of their relationship, say the Levingers, who first met on July 22, 1950, during a mountain-top student trek near San Francisco.
Meeting against a dramatic backdrop may have given the relationship an initial boost and helped create a long-lasting effect. The Levingers point to research that shows heightened arousal was found in couples who met for the first time while crossing a precarious suspension bridge.
"The imprint of that long-ago Sunday morning remains high in our store of romantic memories. That setting had a major impact on both of us," they write.
During the next few months, the relationship grew slowly: "Not only did our mutual love of nature and adventure bring us into stimulating environments, but we were comfortable with each other's families and friends," they say.
"In our marriage, we were able to find rewarding careers with adequate financial compensations. We lived far from both sets of parents and felt free to develop an autonomous lifestyle. Had we lived near one but not the other, we might have been torn by pressures to conform more to the norms of the nearer relatives."
The couple found that in the early years of the marriage, when they had four young children, they needed to escape the pressures occasionally: "One beautiful May weekend, we left our house and children with a babysitter and headed away for a romantic overnight. We called this having an affair with each other, and we vowed to repeat such weekends at least once a year," says Ann Levinger.
During the '60s, there were fresh challenges. As a relationship professor, George Levinger found himself having to include new, alien subjects in his seminars, including open marriages, mate-swapping and swinging sex.
"These were challenging times for committed relationships. Ann and I participated in these discussions, but we realised they were not for us. I considered them distractions at best."
Not that there were no temptations: "My sincerity was tested during my research fellowship at Yale, which required me to spend several nights each week away from home. Not merely to save money, but also to avoid temptations, I rented an extremely small room, with a single bed, and a desk and chair," he says.
He adds: "Ann and I formed our personal response to having affairs. If — as we had witnessed among a number of our acquaintances — the resulting separation or divorce were expensive, then a much cheaper alternative would be to carry on an affair with each other inside our own marriage. Even the allure of coupling with a novel sexual partner we could simulate by pretending occasionally that our own spouse was totally new. By keeping intimacy and passions high, we had little interest in exploring alternatives that might have eroded our commitment."
Sharing experiences and listening to each other was found to have played an important role: "We have shared joys and sorrows, and we know what either pleases or angers our partner. When one of us has a problem, he or she is likely to discuss it first with the other. We also trust each other's judgments in critical personal and interpersonal situations. That, it seems to us, is the crux of intimacy," they say.
"We have tried to create a context of trust and one that elicits verbal and physical affection. And, though we confront conflict privately, we avoid public arguments or put-downs, and choose friends who are mutually helpful and respectful."
The couple also found that although they had been shaped by their marriage, the relationship itself had evolved: "Over the years, our marriage has transformed us as individuals and spouses, and in turn we have grown to transform the marriage itself."
There are situations which really are the end of the world and I’m thinking of genuinely battered wives where even men would admit she gave no provocation, such as Ike and Tina Turner, where the issue was probably that she didn’t knuckle under and become the dutiful wife.
Then there are the ones like this from the first article:
Theodore Dalrymple decries [a particular piece of literature] as the locus classicus of self-pity and victimhood and suggests an alternative title: "How to be Privileged and Yet Feel Extremely Aggrieved".
In my second book, Lemmings, I quote a real incident where a man who was consulting me at the time had a partner who adored him, he seemed to love her and yet he was going round with any number of women behind her back. There were no material reasons for it to be so – just him. He genuinely assumed that all men were like that but I bet he’d have turned savage if she was sleeping round behind his back.
I’m also thinking specifically of a child I once taught who’d become difficult, the father came in and said his wife had left him and there was not much that could be done at that point, the child remaining with him. The thirtyish wife came in a week later, knowing I knew and proceeded to explain that her husband seemed to live for his work and family but she wanted a life. There were fresh fields out there, men to meet etc. The girl herself brought her mother back to some semblance of reason but some of the things the mother had said remained with me – that she felt a sense of grievance that he wasn’t making her life exciting enough. In James Bond’s words – the world is not enough.
The assuaging of the ego in both cases, at the expense of the partner, I found quite nauseating.
Yes you can
We all feel aggrieved, in some way, that we’re not getting a fair deal, that the other doesn’t understand about certain matters, that the storehouse of unresolved petty grievances is unsurmountable and must inevitably lead to separation and divorce. No one’s perfect but I’d like to put a bit of a shaky analogy from gym training which maybe is not so far-fetched.
In pressing weights, the one who wears the correct gear, who talks a lot about his achievements and who pushes the weights until he’s reached what he considers his limit almost always progresses slowly.
Then there is another who reaches his absolute limit but the trainer standing behind him says, ‘No, do another,’ and he finds it in himself to do. Satisfied, he goes to put the bar back in the rack but the trainer says, ‘One more time, come on.’ Instead of giving way to the ‘I can’t’, he gives it one last, massive try and is delighted he could do it but the trainer says, ‘One last time – try it, come on, I’ll hold the ends of the bar for you.’ The lifter shouts and pushes but can’t lift it so the trainer holds the ends of the bar and, encouraged, the man manages to lift it. ‘One more time,’ says the trainer and with a supreme effort, the bar gets halfway, is stuck there, the trainer takes it quickly and puts it in the rack.
‘I couldn’t have done that last one if you hadn’t held the bar,’ the lifter says, referring to the penultimate [completed] lift.
‘I didn’t hold the bar. I was only touching the ends,’ the trainer says. ‘You did it.’
The man had tried to lift that weight 7 times and ended up lifting it 10 and a half times.
I see relationships a bit that way. You can, with the help of the other, if you really, really want to. You’ve got the most powerful force in the universe right there to help you – the chemistry between a man and a woman, if only you’ll let it do its job.
When you finally, absolutely can’t, go and take a break and then come back.
We’re two halves of the same species
Like the other dark piece of legerdemain - that white must be ‘balanced’ with black, the notion that men and women are two different species is a justification trotted out for the inability to come to terms.
It’s so true that if one of the partners refuses to try, then it’s sure looking dire but there are still ways round that, if you really want. Examine yourself and see if you’re the one getting his/her back up, go away and restrategize.
Lastly, put all the stuff and nonsense that the misogynists and misandrists have fed us right out of mind and treat it on a case by case basis. Don’t start thinking, ‘Oh well, that’s women for you,’ or, ‘All men are like that.’
They’re not. There are gender elements, sure, but anyone can curtail and compromise if he/she wants to. If you have a partner on your hands and there’s some sort of chemistry there in the first place, don’t start letting externals like cr-p literature and the media sway you. Take it on a one2one basis.
When all else fails
This is where the law should be clear and there should be a legal formula for separation and divorce. It needs to be thrashed out, not by vocal pressure groups but by people from all walks of life, none excluded, over a period of, say, a year.
It should be equitable, meaning that ALL parties accept the compromise position, not just one vocal party currently in the ascendancy in society, imposing on the other and using an agency to chase up the other party.
Then, with this 1000 page [or whatever] handbook distributed throughout the country, there should be very little discretion for the arbiter [not a magistrate – it should never have got to that stage].
You might say, ‘There is already an equitable system in 2009,’ to which I ask, in return, ‘Do you happen to be a woman?’
No, it is not equitable and fair and all parties have NOT sat down and agreed in principle to the provisions. It needs to be done and done quickly. With even a sizeable minority refusing to accept the current provisions, it can never be workable and can never bring stability back to this area. You need all parties to sign up to it.
The essential problems with our electoral and parliamentary system include:
1. Westminster is a club to which men and women might come in idealism but which they’ll sell their souls to remain a member of. It tends inexorably to corrupt the soul – witness the MP’s expenses row - and it’s heavily under the financial influence of the shadowy Them and why shouldn’t it be?
Look at it from Their point of view. They have an agenda of forming a European bloc to play on the world stage, Britain has already been carved up and the regional assemblies are in place to officially take over, post-Lisbon, courtesy of Common Purpose [* see below].
All they need is the Irish Lisbon vote, which they’re now likely to get.
With the crippling of the Lords, playing on the people’s natural bent against elitism, Blair and Brown have made this a country of Prime Ministerial rule. The Queen is irrelevant, except in loyalist hearts.
The real political power in this country is in the hands of Them; they groomed Blair in 1993 and Brown in 1991 and if you doubt the influence – examine the key movers and shakers in Yorkshire Forward, examine the accounts and where the cash came from.
When a journalist charged Viscount Étienne Davignon, "all the recent presidents of the European Commission attended Bilderberg meetings before they were appointed," Davignon's response [was that] he and his colleagues were "excellent talent spotters."
Ditto in Britain. Everyone knows that Cameron is a clone of Blair, an opportunist out for power and shifting his political position to take advantage of the changing climate.
Where are the men and women of genuine conviction? They don’t get preselected, that’s all – they’re either bought or marginalized.
2. Anyone who knows the sytem knows that the final choice placed before the people is a sealed deal. All the real politicking is done at the preselection stage and that’s where the global power is at its most visible – within the party ranks.
Nobody wants idealists within the Club of Westminster – that’s what the whips are for, charged with ensuring the uniformity of opinion and pulling ‘rebel’ [read people of integrity] members into line.
3. This is one reason a hung parliament might be the best solution. With Westminster poised to become a regional cog within the EU nation, the last PM in the traditional sense, Brown, is doing his masters’ bidding to bring the country to its knees to make the transition smoother by 2012. If you doubt that, read through some of the work by Ian Parker-Joseph and others.
4. What of the little people, like me? What can we do? A dyed-in-the-wool Tory, not unlike David Davis, I see a corrupt leader with no backbone leading what could be an excellent into oblivion. Sympathies are very much with the Libertarian Party these days, perhaps the least corrupt of them all at this early stage and don’t forget the UKIP.
Is it better to vote for one of these?
Under first-past-the-post - hardly.
Under preferential voting, as in Australia – better.
Under proportional representation – best.
Proportional representation weakens the executive and legislature and leaves the country’s governance as a lame duck but it does bring the people’s voice back into the picture, something it risibly isn’t at this juncture.
I like Lord T’s idea of direct voting on major issues via one’s PC, an idea he’ll no doubt post on one day and his plan for the reduction of MPs’ terms is also good – I would add, on a staggered basis.
So here we are – an election in October and whom to vote for? My history says, ‘Vote Tory,’ I’m a paid-up Tory member as of now but to vote for my local member also ushers the corrupt Cameron straight into a Prime Ministerial EU regional dictatorship.
On the other hand, to vote for a minor party is to throw away one’s vote under first-past-the-post.
What to do?
* With its purposes now subsumed into Common Purpose, the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London was funded into existence in 1946 with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
One of the Tavistock founders, Dr. John Rawlings Rees, who also became co-founder of the World Federation for Mental Health, talked of infiltrating all professions and areas of society:
‘Public life, politics and industry should all ... be within our sphere of influence ... If we are to infiltrate the professional and social activities of other people I think we must imitate the Totalitarians and organize some kind of fifth column activity!
We must aim to make it permeate every educational activity in our national life ... We have made a useful attack upon a number of professions. The two easiest of them naturally are the teaching profession and the Church: the two most difficult are law and medicine.’
Common Purpose comes into its own in the post-democracy phase of the EU from 2012.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
If a Facebook group loses all of its administrators, then any member of the group can promote themselves and take over the role. Should the new administrator radically change the published purpose of the group – i.e. Hijack it - then there is not much group members can do about it. Other than leave, of course.
Is this the face of the new plod-car? Actually, difficult to select form these articles.
When the changes take place bulbs will appear with the symbol Lm for Lumens instead of W for Watt. A 60W bulb, for example, will be given the label 800 Lm. (eh? yer wot??)
Now where was I, oh yes.
Men, they do make life interesting. Snips, snails and puppy dog tails...
Speaking of puppy dog tails....
Sigh, I doubt if His Girl Friday will ever speak to me again after the earlier post.
Fencing off the internet
Michael Lynton, the CEO of Sony, attracted a certain amount of notoriety for saying that
"I'm a guy who sees nothing good having come from the Internet. Period."
By many objective measures, the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women's declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging -- one with higher subjective well-being for men.
No argument there. It is supported across the board, for example, Susan Etheridge for The New York Times reports:
American women are wealthier, healthier and better educated than they were 30 years ago. They’re more likely to work outside the home, and more likely to earn salaries comparable to men’s when they do. They can leave abusive marriages and sue sexist employers. They enjoy unprecedented control over their own fertility. On some fronts — graduation rates, life expectancy and even job security — men look increasingly like the second sex.
But all the achievements of the feminist era may have delivered women to greater unhappiness. In the 1960s, when Betty Friedan diagnosed her fellow wives and daughters as the victims of “the problem with no name,” American women reported themselves happier, on average, than did men. Today, that gender gap has reversed. Male happiness has inched up, and female happiness has dropped. In postfeminist America, men are happier than women. This is “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” the subject of a provocative paper from the economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers.
Susan Etheridge herself warns that, ‘All this ambiguity lends itself to broad-brush readings.’ That’s true and everyone will have his or her explanation, along the lines of his or her particular beef about society. Here are a few possible explanations which have been advanced:
1. Women aren’t fulfilling their biological function these days, a corollary of Tim Worstall’s ‘can’t do everything at once’ take:
There are always opportunity costs … with more choices comes a problem: there are more things that we cannot do. One cannot be both a childless career woman and a stay at home mother. One cannot be a career woman with children and simultaneously be a career woman without. As the number of possible paths increases so must the number of paths not taken. And as we all know, the true cost of something is what you give up to get it.
So, taking any one path means forsaking all those other paths, those number of paths which have in recent decades been rising in numbers. Thus the paradox of choice, that more such can make us subjectively less happy. But if you ask people whether having fewer choices would make them happier, no one ever actually says that yes, it would.
This comes out below where women’s thirst for perfection is commented on.
2. One female explanation is:
Again, maybe the happiness numbers are being tipped downward by a mounting female workload — the famous “second shift,” in which women continue to do the lion’s share of household chores even as they’re handed more and more workplace responsibility. It’s certainly possible — but as Wolfers and Stevenson point out, recent surveys actually show similar workload patterns for men and women over all.
3. The lady also posits:
Decline of the two-parent family, for instance, is almost certainly depressing life satisfaction for the women stuck raising kids alone.
4. Another of hers:
Maybe women prefer egalitarian, low-risk societies, and the cowboy capitalism of the Reagan era had an anxiety-inducing effect on the American female. But even in the warm, nurturing, egalitarian European Union, female happiness has fallen relative to men’s across the last three decades.
Warm, nurturing? The EU? Let’s move on.
5. Yet another:
They should also be able to agree that the steady advance of single motherhood threatens the interests and happiness of women.
That’s a whole topic in itself.
6. Meghan O'Rourke argues:
[The] drop in happiness is pegged to an anxiety caused by the plethora of choices available (Barry Schwarz's paradox of choice) and women's feeling that they have to perform well across more categories. This is not exactly the same as struggling to balance so-called work and life (i.e., children).
7. She quotes the study’s authors as saying:
Men's happiness has dropped, too, but not as much as women's. But … it's likely that women are measuring their happiness over time using a broader set of criteria. [It] may be, paradoxically, that the women's movement has decreased women's happiness at this moment in time, because "the increased opportunity to succeed in many dimensions may have led to an increased likelihood in believing that one's life is not measuring up."
8. I’d personally like to say that we shouldn’t forget that the recession, the age of materialism, avarice, crippling debt and disempowerment equally affect the genders and so, is a contributing factor.
Those are the explanations you’re likely to see in the media and yet there are others which many unsung writers and men themselves advance. These don’t see the light of day because those controlling the media don’t allow them to be published.
Having it all
It’s in the nature of a woman to seek perfection and an onwards and upwards path to improvement and better things, hence her attempts to change her man.
There’s the old joke about men being like computers – if she’d waited just a bit longer, she might have had a better model. If enough women feel this way, it becomes societally destabilizing.
Perhaps the modern western woman’s greatest source of unhappiness is her fear that she may be missing out on something, that she may have left some stone unturned, that if she follows Path A, Path B might have delivered her a better result.
The natural consequence of this is that she ends up in an anxious golden cage as she goes into her middle years and old age alone, even within a marriage, perhaps with her children as her comfort until they grow up and move out.
As Meghan O'Rourke said about this ‘having it all’ attitude of the western woman:
I've always hated the phrase "having it all" for its tyrannical insistence on impossible perfection. Does this mean it's finally time to put that phrase to rest in the cemetery of bad language?
The evidence is quite strong that it is a female thing – look at the divorce statistics and who instigates them. I've been round the web and the various figures range form 65-80%. If we settle on 70%, that seems a fairly accurate number.
Women in the 60s saw the chance of becoming equal, of striding the stage alongside men and while that’s a noble motive, it’s not without its cost, as Tim Worstall wrote above.
One lady warns:
Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They’ve missed the opportunity and they’re bereft.
A mother comments
If you are a true feminist you seem to be driven by your career and proving that you can do anything a man can and should get equal pay and treatment, so why put kids in the middle of that?
Another consequence of this behaviour is that it casts men in the role of mere ancillary adjuncts to a woman’s life, not as an equal partner and men do see that.
Whether they like it or not, women’s attitudes to men have changed in proportion to the degree that the educational institutions, the law, the press and government interference in human relations has also reached an all time high.
As Patricia Sexton pointed out in "The Feminized Male" (1969):
In the last generation we have built a society that is severely inhospitable to men and boys. When one considers the four- to fivefold increase in youth crime, drug use, emotional illness, educational failure during the same period, it's clear whose interests have been served and whose injured.
It’s not just women themselves – it’s the combination of women, government and key positions in society, e.g. the family law courts which have caused this to be exacerbated. There were definite wrongs to be righted in the 50s and 60s but the agenda was hijacked in the second wave, by the so-called ‘leadership’ of the movement.
Minette Marrin wrote:
…when I recently wanted to write a book called The Misandrist, my publisher told me the title would be incomprehensible. This is odd, because there is misandry all around us, even if it is a feeling that dares not speak its name.
There is a terrible danger that these attitudes are going to alienate men from women even more tragically than nature did in the first place ... Of course it is not difficult to understand misandry. But it would be a tragic mistake to be as unjust to men as they have traditionally been to us. Yet that is what women seem constantly tempted to do.
F.L. Morton & Rainer Knopff, in The Charter Revolution & The Court Party (p.75), state:
Contemporary (or second wave) feminism has aptly been described as "Marxism without economics", since feminists replace class with gender as the key social construct. Of course, what society constructs can be deconstructed.
This is the feminist project: to abolish gender difference by transforming its institutional source — the patriarchal family. Certain streams of the Gay Rights movement have taken this analysis one step further.
The problem is not just sexism but heterosexism, and the solution is to dismantle not just the patriarchal family but the heterosexual family as such.
Melissa Scowcroft asks the question - who is responsible for the breakdown of society?
So, who or what is culpable? Well, feminism, of course - specifically ideological feminists, who, with their "relentless hostility towards men as a class of enemy aliens," have brainwashed the populace into the belief that "the only good man is either a corpse or a woman." The result, Nathanson and Young contend, is a level of anti-male sentiment that justifies comparison to Jewish persecution.
Christina Hoff-Sommers argues, in Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women, that feminist misandry leads directly to misogyny by what she calls "establishment feminists" against (the majority of) women who love men.
Judith Levine, in My Enemy, My Love commented:
Man-hating is an emotional problem inasmuch as it creates pain and hostility between women and men. But it is not an individual neurosis à la 'Women Who Hate Men and the Men Who...' Man-hating is a collective, cultural problem — or to refrain from diagnosing it at all, a cultural phenomenon — and men, as the object of man-hating, are part of it too.
The essential problem for women is that they have been poisoned by the misandrists who appeared to be their champions but in fact led to their downfall, many of these champions as mad as hatters.
The mind of a feminist
Commenting on Virginia Woolf, Cassandra posted:
Theodore Dalrymple decries the icon of women's literature Three Guineas as the locus classicus of self-pity and victimhood and suggests an alternative title: "How to be Privileged and Yet Feel Extremely Aggrieved".
Current Postmoderns must have taken several leaves out of the Woolf book, as she is no doubt the uncrowned queen of the ludicrous equation and false analogy; of logic so bent it could put the kitchen plumbing to shame.
Unrestrained emotions and high strung aesthetics notwithstanding, Woolf leaves our contemporary Pomos far behind in the use of false analogies and the inability to distinguish metaphor from literal truth.
She ... collapse[s] all relevant moral distinctions, a technique vital to all schools of resentment ...
Here is another prime example of the feminist mindset and these people have not yet died out. A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare by Dympna Callaghan:
The question is not whether Shakespeare studies needs feminism, but whether feminism needs Shakespeare. This is the explicitly political approach taken by all-women team of contributors to A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare.
Choice magazine, who should have known better, called it a ‘classic of Feminist Shakespeare criticism’.
These attitudes have alienated men. Women can rail against this all they like but the simple truth is that there is not only deep anger at the way the government has ridden in on the feminists coat tails and stacked society against the man but it has created a deep and abiding mistrust between men and women.
Juliet Pain [whose blog is now stopped] wrote:
Relationships forged out of this obligatory and mutual distrust are so often going nowhere, right from the start.
Two prime culprits are the statutes which now legally prevent couples coming to an agreement on the distribution of property and the implementers of those statues - the warlock-hunting CSA [take your pick of links].
Prenuptials notwithstanding, gentleman and lady agreements notwithstanding, the state now says to the woman – whatever you and he agreed is of no consequence. If he was fool enough to offer you something, not only do you get that but we’ll also now look at the carving up of his remaining property and the CSA will help you maximize that.
Again, whether women agree that this is the state of affairs or not, that is inconsequential. The relevant thing is that MEN BELIEVE IT IS SO.
There was a local case in this area some time back where a man who ran a business employing a large number of staff separated from his wife, who then invoked the state to get some of the supposed ‘millions’ for herself. He sold off the entire business and tried to place his loyal staff in other positions, sold off all his assets and lived in a modest dwelling, retired from his working life, made her a one-off payment of a couple of hundred thousand, telling her to take it or leave it and after considerable litigation, he was shown to be on firm legal ground and that’s what she ended up with.
The consequence of the whole viperous and acrimonious atmosphere prevailing today is that men will not come near a western woman, knowing full well what is in store. Couple that with the new promiscuity where women sleep with anyone these days, [they call this ‘empowerment’ and ‘choice’], then what are the incentives for any young man to marry, to take his responsibilities?
He has the nooky on tap with any ‘enlightened’ female, the only thing he really wants, without any of the pesky downside. Young women are abetting this, giving it all away, getting pregnant and claiming benefits.
Thus we have a society of single people developing, especially single mothers. 51% of U.S. women live alone and I don't know for the UK. So there's something very, very wrong, isn't there?
Adding fuel to this is the ‘career woman’ mentioned above, in control of her destiny, living alone with her children and bringing a man in as and when necessary.
This does not lead to ultimate happiness, much as Gloria Steinem might mockingly say:
A woman without a man is a like a fish without a bicycle.
Women are now beginning to wake up that they can’t demand it all and then expect men to go along with that. Misandry leads to misogyny and indifferent to a man’s needs leads to misogyny as well. What do women really want – to have a society where there is no recognizable male-female connect beyond the act?
If you haven't experienced it yet, then you're missing the finest experience money can't buy - the ongoing [and that's the key] chemistry in a loving union between one man and one woman.
Contrast that with Alison Jagger, in Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation: Feminism and Philosophy (Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co. 1977), who wrote:
"The end of the biological family will also eliminate the need for sexual repression. Male homosexuality, lesbianism, and extramarital sexual intercourse will no longer be viewed in the liberal way as alternative options... the very 'institution of sexual intercourse' where male and female each play a well-defined role will disappear. Humanity could finally revert to its natural polymorphously perverse sexuality".
Pity we can't get a photo of Alison - she's awfully shy about it.
Is that what women are striving for? Let me ask you girls - do you really want a SNAG or would you prefer a man? If you can't handle a man, perhaps you should ask yourself why.
The system is set up now where there is a strong pressure on people not to marry, for fear of what will happen.
People will not commit. Full stop. Period.
If a man marries, she only has to claim ‘mental cruelty’ and she has a nice little nest egg to take with her to the next man or into her new single life with the kids.
It appears that some in the judiciary wish to address this matter but here’s how they go about it:
Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent for the Independent, wrote an article entitled: Divorce laws 'are destroying marriage'.
Also note the companion article: Making divorce humane. Humane, tolerant, all the things that the modern woman and progressive man would subscribe to, right?
So this is going to be all about protecting the insitution of marriage, right?
Not a bit of it. It’s about removing the ‘fault’ clause of what Verkaik calls ‘quicky divorces’. He quotes Lord Justice Wall, whom he calls ‘one of Britain's foremost family law judges’:
"I do believe strongly in the institution of marriage as the best way to bring up children and that's one of the reasons why I would like to end the quick and easy divorces based on the fault system.”
What this piece of duplicitous legerdemain fails to mention is that Wall is by no means concerned with ending ‘quick and easy divorces’ but with actually accelerating them by imposing NO criteria whatsoever.
Fathers groups know all about this man and his solutions, so how does Verkaik respond to their calling Wall out?
“Nicholas Wall's judgments often attract the unwanted attention of fathers' groups whose members have posted his name on the internet and sent him hate mail.”
Is that a reasoned, unbiased summation of what fathers groups are about? Fathers groups came about for precisely the same reason that feminism came about – there was a societal problem which needed addressing and as fathers are swimming against the tide now, just as the women were, in the late 50s, thus both pressure groups were formed.
You can’t have it both ways. There IS a problem in the way men are being treated in family matters. If there wasn’t, there would simply be no movement. Verkaik is no better nor worse than the rest of them but he is typical.
The western governments, with their mindless ‘positive discrimination’, have created a situation where a divorce where both parties once came to a mutual agreement about property and custody either by themselves or as the result of arbitration is now no longer possible. So if he agrees to let her have the second home and a certain amount of support if she’ll then get off his back and if they agree and go through with this, she can still invoke the law to demand the statutory rights on top of that.
The system is slanted towards the woman who usually retains custody. CSAs around the western world are at one in this highway robbery and whether you ladies reading this hotly dispute it or not, that’s irrelevant. - this is what divorced fathers believe, THIS IS WHAT DIVORCED FATHERS BELIEVE, other young men see it too and wouldn’t get caught in marriage with a western woman for anything.
For example, whom do pre-nups benefit?
If you say they are to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of property ‘when’ the marriage falters, then what the hell is the point of marrying? Nice way to go into it, isn’t it, planning the carve-up before you both start?
One woman notes:
The ease with which people can get divorced these days doesn’t take into account the toll on children. That’s all part of the unfinished business of feminism.
One lady commenter at Yahoo wrote:
More couples are getting divorced because women no longer see the importance of a dad/husband in the family's life. They think they can and should do it all on their own and no one should tell them otherwise. This leads to higher rates of sexual activity among teenage girls who do not have a father figure that is prominent in their lives.
I have no personal axe to grind in this post. Our agreements were made before the government waded in and [so far] all parties are happy. Unless the government makes its legislation retrospective by some decades, then not a lot will change.
I’ve also had 12 years out of the country with women who were sane, women who preferred to concentrate on being women, allowing me to concentrate on trying to be a man for them. I have no complaints and judging from the correspondence back and forth, there don’t seem too many complaints from that direction.
I fully subscribe to Sackerson’s maxim above.
So this post is not personal. It is the result of watching and listening to people, with dismay, observing the unfolding scenario in the west [and sadly, now beginning in Russia] which human beings, male and female, seem incapable of influencing for the better.
What can be done?
Part 2 of 2 is here.
The North Korean tests:
Rhetoric aside, the US and its allies have no realistic means with which to punish North Korea. Military action is widely considered unthinkable. This is not merely because the US is militarily stretched in Afghanistan and Iraq, nor is it because the North could retaliate using its nuclear weapons. It is also because Pyongyang has massive conventional weaponry, including a 1.1 million-strong army (the world's fifth-largest), 180,000-strong special forces (the world's largest such force), and thousands of artillery pieces and short- and medium-range missiles capable of raining destruction on South Korea and Japan.
... plus the Obama factor. The wrong appeaser at the wrong time.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It seems many British travellers aren’t used to beaches, with a tourist complaining that “the beach was too sandy” and another upset when they discovered fish swimming in the sea.
"No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled," the tourist said.
It seems some travellers also have a lot to learn about nature.
"I was bitten by a mosquito – no-one said they could bite," a holidaymaker complained.
In another complaint a British guest at a Novotel hotel in Australia said his soup was too thick and strong, not realising he had been supping from the gravy boat.
In an even stranger twist, one traveller blamed a hotel for her pregnancy.
"My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant,” the guest said.
“This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."
Other complaints included “there are too many Spanish people in Spain” and “too much curry served in restaurants in India”.
Cicero, in De Divinatione, wrote:
There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it.
Cruel but true. The essential problem of philosophy is:
1 That it seeks to explain that which is already explained; 2 It ignores the real causes of what is happening and why it is happening.
Sonus has written a series of articles [see my sidebar] which clearly explain what has happened to our society this time round. I could add to that my series of articles on the Morgans. There are quite a few writers who have pointed to what Hegel said in Lectures on the Philosophy of World History: Introduction, 1830:
What experience and history teach is this – that nations and governments have never learned anything from history or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.
… and which Marx added to in Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 1852:
Hegel says somewhere that all great events and personalities reappear in one fashion or another. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
Morse said to Lewis, in Death of the Self, 1992:
When will you recognize the undertone, Lewis?
Philosophy, particularly in the form of logical positivism [a misnomer if ever there was one], refuses to recognize the undertone, the recurrent truth, even when it bites it on the bum; truth is not pure enough, not sophisticated enough, not intellectual enough, not fashionable enough, it doesn’t create the ‘oh wow’ factor; it is earthy and low-class, it is for the down and outs, it is weakness to recognize truth for what it is.
Man must philosophize because in his view of the world, given truths must never be given, on the grounds that they have been given. The baby is given a rattle but throws it away because it was given it. He wants to find it for himself and falls out of the cot doing so.
Worse than this, truth must not be recognized because it stems from multiple disciplines which recognize both the complexity of life’s manifestations and the need to contain one’s base instincts in order to remain human, the basis for a social contract personally internalized rather than imposed from without; it includes not only philosophy but elements of the metaphysical, the sociological and the historical. Philosophy detests the impurity of those disciplines.
Philosophy has three main justifications for feeling guilt:
1 It has historically supported the risibly called ‘rationalist’ or satanic side in the real, eternal war between good and evil, shown clearly in the Sonus articles, the presence, in other words of a sentient and malevolent force against the best interests of Man;
2 It has been deeply cynical in doing this; it is mischievous;
3 It follows shoddy logic, based on false opening premises.
Take Voltaire, in Épitres, 1769, who said:
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
Therefore he concedes, at a minimum, the possibility that He does exist. And Voltaire, deep inside, does know He exists, when he answers the priest who asks him to renounce the devil, 1778:
This is no time for making new enemies.
Philosophy is oft-times disingenuous and craftily ignores its own illogical use of its own logical syllogism by taking a false premise, i.e. that G-d does not exist and then immediately asks, ‘Well what is truth then, if G-d does not exist?’ without ever having established the first premise.
This is logic?
Coleridge, hardly a philosopher of note, wrote in Aids to Reflection, 1825:
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth …
… thereby rendering his whole argument false before he even makes it, by means of simply beginning with an unestablished premise.
Even Lord T, no lover of Christianity or the principle of the existence of God, wrote in Is There a God, 2009:
I look at things logically and scientifically.
Oh what assumptions there are in that statement, m’lord. ☺ Yet he is forced to conclude:
They may even be right. I just don’t know.
The problem is not the existence of God but the anti-intellectualism of the idea, the lack of style in it, hence the attraction of Voltaire and others to the opposite idea. Dostoevsky touched on this in The Brothers Karamazov, 1880:
It’s not God I don’t accept, Alyosha, only I must respectfully return Him the ticket.
I argued in the articles on Christianity [accessible in my sidebar] that it is not a question of proof. It is a question of the ‘underlying tone’, the weight of where the evidence tends, a point also made by Agatha Christie.
Philosophy detests blacks and whites; they are gauche, not vibrant, not questioning, not subversive enough. Philosophy prefers grey on grey. As Hegel wrote, in Philosophy of Right, 1821:
When philosophy paints its grey on grey, then has a shape of life grown old. By philosophy’s grey on grey, it cannot be rejuvenated but only understood. The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.
From his own pen came the true disingenuousness of philosophy – the desire to obfuscate on the grounds of it being a jolly intellectual exercise and then to set it in concrete as a ‘truth’ but in so doing, causing immense damage in a world which confers on the ‘scientific’ and ‘logical’ the status of the new gods of society, when they are, in reality, nothing of the sort.
Wittgenstein wrote, in Philosophische Untersuchungen, 1953:
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language … [and] … what is your aim in philosophy? To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.
… and then philosophy goes and does the diametric opposite of what it claims. It obfuscates when there is no need to obfuscate, except over a pipe and fine wine in a smoke-filled room with convivial company and an open fire.
Philosophy lends itself to sophistry.
Philosophy can’t bear the idea of there being two eternal verities, good and evil, each having its sentient focal point, as demonstrated over and over and over in history [see Hegel and Marx above] for if it once admits those, then all it’s Sunday afternoon society discussions become meaningless, except in the context of niceties surrounding the general truth.
Take Nietzsche’s ridiculous:
Morality is the herd instinct in the individual.
… in Die Froehliche Wissenschaft, 1882.
No, morality is the feeling embedded within the self, which defines the soul and is inscribed in scripture, which in turn is only reportage of the ground rules which would ensure an orderly society [defined here as meaning the collection of individuals and families within a certain geographical area, in the context of their relationships with one another and their interdependence], should they be followed.
Unfortunately, the illogicality of the assumption that such a good plan would be voluntarily followed by sufficient sections of society [realpolitik] is partly what the Dostoevsky comment above touches on. And yet the test of the existence of G-d has always been laid down, for example, in John 3:16:
First believe and then the proof will be given.
Philosophy tries to say:
Give us cast iron proof first, then we’ll believe.
And in their smug inertia, each of them sits on some tiny throne and superstition holders are expected to come and lay down proofs at their feet when they themselves feel no onus to provide proofs of their own. They simply assert, noises in hollow tin cans.
Cast iron proof is not belief; it is acceptance of a given truth. Belief, on the other hand, demands the active participation of the believer and is therefore a useful tool for the betterment of the self, just as exercise and good diet are also efficacious in promoting good health.
It’s a good exercise to believe at least six impossible things before breakfast each day.
Philosophers detest ‘belief’ as a philosophical criterion, hence the vehemence with which they try to tear down ‘superstition’. Just how ‘belief’ becomes ‘superstition’ in their minds is not adequately explained.
It is assumed.
And philosophy attempts to call itself rational! Voltaire wrote, in Dictionnaire philosophique, 1764:
Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.
Neat, easily remembered and based on outrageously false premises, the Goebbels principle.
There is the aim of philosophy in one – to ignore truth as evidenced in the history which societies themselves repeatedly ignore and instead to posit the diametric opposite as a new ‘truth’, resting on the reputation of the philosopher for authenticity and ignoring the sheer weight of other philosophers throughout the millennia who ‘recognized the underlying tone’ and wrote just as learned works on the matter.
The unestablished assumption is that the Christian message is a superstition. Yet it is one which has brought hope to millions, particularly those down and out. And what has Voltaire’s, Hegel’s, Nietzsche’s and Marx’s philosophy brought?
The extinguishing of the flames?
No, it has given weight to the crazed dreams of Adolph Hitler, Marx and their ilk who, in turn, were equally funded and abetted by the power of darkness in Europe and America [anyone dispute where the cash came from?], recognized by so very many researchers and visible, in part, in the Finance.
Churchill commented, in 1920, on one aspect of this:
"From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, to those of Trotsky, Bela Kun, Rosa Luxembourg, and Emma Goldman, this world wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence and impossible equality, has been steadily growing.
It played a definitely recognizable role in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the nineteenth century, and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads, and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire."
This is but one example of the true crime of philosophy, throughout history, its political use against the common man, always acting as the running dog of oppression instead of nobly lifting Man above his station and freeing him from his chains.
In times of real trouble for citizens, does anyone recall Nietzschean soup kitchens or Hegelian help centres? On the other hand, does anyone recall the Salvation Army wherever and whenever there was a crisis brought on by Them?
And do Christians need to pay London Transport to daub signs on the sides of their buses proclaiming, ‘There is a G-d?’
The philosophers call it ‘humanism’ when it is anti-humanism, enlightenment when it is the sure road to darkness and rationalism when it is illogical irrationalism.
Why is it the sure road to darkness? Here’s why:
What experience and history teach is this – that nations and governments have never learned anything from history or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it. [Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of World History: Introduction, 1830]
There’s a good reason. Because there’ve always been forces preventing the learning of those lessons. It’s been in their interests for the lessons not to have been learnt. It’s been necessary for the advancement of their jaundiced concept of ‘progress’.
I’ll always remember the Thunderdragon’s statement that ‘we’ve moved on from that now’. Y-e-e-es. A bit like Molière’s Le Médecin malgré lui, 1667:
Géronte: It seems to me you are locating them wrongly: the heart is on the left and the liver is on the right.
Sganarelle: Yes, in the old days, that was so but we have changed all that.
Was it mere coincidence that The British Empire was forged when bound by one belief system – G-d, Queen and Country, Rule Britannia? And what is it now, in the days when to utter the word G-d is anathema? As Margaret Drabble wrote, in A Natural Curiosity, 1989:
England’s not a bad country; it’s just a mean, cold, ugly, divided, tired, clapped-out, post-imperial, post-industrial slag-heap, covered in polystyrene hamburger cartons.
[I didn’t say it – she did.]
Was it mere coincidence that America, which so fervently used to believe in itself, in the American dream, the constitution and the flag, before it was sold down the drain by the CFR financiers and the Obamaclintonsocialists, when it was bound by a calvinistic work ethic and a common belief system, went on to become the supernation of the world?
Was this mere coincidence?
Now it has lost that, with the godless, humanistic socialists driving the wedge into American society – observe the result, people.
Observe what 12 years of ‘rationalism’ has done in Britain. Try to set up a business in this country and see how far the taxation lets you get.
When will people learn the lessons of history?
Positives – meeting up with fellow bloggers and making friends, the place I live, a constant delight every morning and evening and … er … well, Britain itself really, with its hedgerows, dry-stone walls, neat gardens, inverted V roofs, paths and lanes. Plus its colours.
No one starves in Britain and in this part of it, it’s safe to walk around. It’s under the jackboot right now but there are still things which are done and not done. One can be surer over here and the beer’s still good.
Negatives – the absolute knackeredness of society. It’s a stiff, an ex-society, so thank you, Nu-Labour. Everything’s so tight, so constricted, so lacking in opportunity, so closed. Even to travel a short distance costs a fortune.
Nothing adds up. A society which must run up huge credit debt just to survive is a society in terminal decline. To apply for something and be asked your ethnicity and sexual orientation is just bizarre. To have to have an NVQ to sweep streets is even more bizarre.
Constants – the blogosphere and blog friendships, same here and in Russia.
Monday, May 25, 2009
The Problem with Linfield
Set in an English stately house, it's a murder mystery ghost thriller and of the three, I like this the best. Moon over Sedna was my attempt at an SF romance, Turandot was the world of Italian opera but this one is a more classic tale.
I do challenge you to see if you can guess the villain before the end [chuckle].
God-free-morals takes me to task for tearing down the holy cows of godless humanism – the so-called ‘great’ philosophers but I charge that the humanists themselves are tearing down the greatest humanitarian of all, a philanthropist and a scientist to boot, then crying foul when it’s done to them. I see precious little practical, hands-on philanthropy in this interesting theorizing – there’s nothing in it for the common man and it’s the common man plus truth that this blog is interested in.
I’ve been called ‘ignorant’ for daring to question the unholy icons of irrationalism, having majored [admittedly long ago] in political philosophy for my degree. So yes, I have read through their turgid texts and parroted them with enthusiasm at the time and the finished product was to be accepted as a paid up member of the Fabians.
The things we do when we’re still in our philosophically formative years.
Whilst my natural metier is G-d, Queen and country and I feel comfortable with that from my upbringing, nevertheless, if you can show, on reasonable grounds, that the Queen is concurrently guilty of being head of an occult family and a temporal realm, if you can show that Voltaire was fundamentally flawed or that David Beckam is not god, then I’m willing to hear it.
Certain things stick in the mind and one which sticks in mine is a dialogue by Morse and Detective-Sergeant Lewis in Vicenza, when they were hot on the trail of a subtle murderer on whom no mud would stick. Lewis despaired, ‘Maybe it was an accident after all, sir,’ to which Morse, exasperated, replied:
When will you recognize the undertone, Lewis? There’s something, an image. A room. In Oxford. A note in an envelope. A woman’s body hanging in a doorway. She’d promised to testify against Clark [the suspected murderer of a current day woman who’s seemingly suicided]. But her nerve failed. Under his persuasion probably.
He’s … in … this!
Recognizing the undertone – so difficult for so many.
The immediate charge against Morse, myself and out ilk is that we’re obsessed with the destruction of another person, that we’re off our heads. Or as Paul [Saul] of Tarsus was charged by Festus:
Thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
We’re certainly unpleasant to behold whilst in full pursuit and all sympathy is, understandably, with the guilty, the perceived ‘innocent’ victims of the withering barrage.
What the people who make those counter-charges never explain though is what possible gain is there in it for the pursuer, the bloodhound, the guided missile? What’s in it personally for him or her? Money? Morse is an excellent example of a non-respecter of persons whilst being a devout respecter of people. He’ll go where the leads take him. There was much in Paul’s manner which was galling, especially his absolute conviction that he was on the right path and yet it’s this sort of person who finds things out in the end, who gets the results.
Dates are very important things in discussing anything of major importance, especially when something written earlier turns out to accord with more modern revelations.
There’s a lady I sometimes quote from her 2000AD article on Them and so far, the things she alleged have only been supported with the passing of the years.
Similarly, there are things written in Passenger to Frankfurt, by Agatha Christie  which mesh with what has been subsequently learned. Only in the context of when it was written, only in the context of things which have come to light since then and from a mind which allows such a scenario to be seen as possible, can it be taken seriously.
‘Marvellously entertaining,’ wrote the Observer but I’d have to disagree. ‘Uncannily accurate in places,’ would have been my comment. As a story, it’s perhaps one of her weakest, it is single-plotted and driven by an idea which in those days was in the realm of pure fantasy. She wrote herself:
It is not an impossible story – it is only a fantastic one.
The reason it is so weak in plot and dialogue is that it has no basis in known reality but she’d got this idea into her head about the shape of things to come and all plot devices were governed by this idea, all relationships, all dialogue, served this end. Nothing stood on its own, in its own right, as a piece of entertainment.
Christie’s world-view was always pro-human, slightly orthodox and filled with compassion for the afflicted. It was also scathing about those who would destabilize the world for their own selfish ends. Very young in WW1, she lived through the depression years and WW2, plus its aftermath, so her views were bound to be coloured by these things.
The context of her 1970 story had to have been the student riots in Paris in 1968, the climate of terror sweeping the world – Munich was only two years away, the machinations of various parties behind the scenes -Watergate was also two years away and the falling away of society, which is interesting to read in this story because many feel the breakdown is a more recent phenomenon.
The lady was also nearing the end of her life and as her writing prowess had necessarily diminished, she rambled more than in her best works, yet she was deeply concerned with the state of affairs which were beginning to consume society. She wrote of these:
‘What is going on in the world today? What is everyone saying, thinking, doing? Every day there is a killing, a girl strangled, elderly woman attacked and robbed of her meagre savings, young men and boys attacking or attacked, buildings and telephone kiosks smashed or gutted, drug smuggling, robbery and assault, children missing and children’s murdered bodies found not far from their homes. Can this be England? Is England really like this? One feels no – not yet – but it could be.’
This was written, remember, in 1970.
She continues, through the mouth of one of her characters:
‘Fear is awakening, fear of what may be. Not so much of actual happenings but because of the possible causes behind them, some known, some unknown but felt. And not only in our own country. Hijacking of planes, kidnapping, violence, riots, hate, anarchy.
They, whoever they are, work through youth in every country. Youth has always rebelled. You pull down, you want the world to be different from what it is. But you’re blind too. There are bandages over the eyes of youth, they can’t see what’s going to come next. And who is behind them, urging them on? That’s what’s frightening about it. You know, someone holding out the carrot to get the donkey to come along and at the same time there is someone behind the donkey, urging it on with a stick.’
The other character now says: ‘You’ve got some extraordinary fancies.’
‘There not only fancies. That’s what people said about Hitler. But it was a long, careful preparation. It was a war that was worked out in detail. It was a fifth column being planted in different countries all ready for the supermen. It’s a creed that they’ll be willing to accept if it’s offered cleverly enough.’
‘Whom are you talking about?’
‘I don’t know but there’s something somewhere and it’s running on the same lines. Pattern again you see. It’s so frightening, the same idea which always recurs. History repeating itself. The young Siegfried.
There’s a good deal of alarm and despondency about. More than usual. Something is brewing and the kind of people who will go anywhere, do anything, unfortunately believe anything and so long as they are promised a certain amount of pulling down, wrecking, throwing spanners in the works, then they think the cause must be a good one and that the world will be a different place.
They’re not creative, that’s the trouble, only destructive. The creative young write poems, write books, paint pictures, as they always have done. But once people learn to love destruction for its own sake, evil leadership gets its chance.’
When told that she should bring this to the attention of the authorities, she replies:
‘Politicians don’t have time to look at the world they’re living in. They see the country they’re living in and see it as one vast electoral platform. They do things they honestly think will make things better and then they’re surprised when they don’t make things better because they’re not the things people want to have. And one can’t help coming to the conclusion that politicians have a feeling that they have a kind of divine right to tell lies in a good cause. It’s not really so very long ago since Mr. Baldwin made his famous remark:
If I had spoken the truth, I should have lost the election.’
Recognize any current pollie in this? Then she gets right down to it:
‘There are forces at work always that give you certain things. But behind of each of them [transport, power, energy] there is someone who controls it. You’ve got to find who’s controlling the powers that are slowly gaining ascendancy in practically every country in Europe and further afield … you’ve got to get behind the things that are happening and find out the motive force that’s making them happen.
One thing that makes things happen is money.
There are big movements afoot. There has to be money behind them. We’ve got to find out where that money’s coming from. Who’s operating with it. Where do they get it from? Where are they sending it to?
'Then there are trends.
It’s a word we use a good deal nowadays. Trends or tendencies. A tendency, shall we say, to rebellion shows up. Look back through history. You’ll find it coming again and again, repeating itself like a periodic table, repeating a pattern. A desire for rebellion, the means of rebellion, the form the rebellion takes. It’s not a thing particular to any particular country. If it arises in one country, it will arise in other countries in less or more degrees. It’s a pattern, a pattern that arises and seems inevitable. You can recognize it where you find it.
There was a period when a yearning towards crusades swept countries. All over Europe, people embarked in ships, they went off to deliver the Holy Land. All quite clear, a perfectly good pattern of determined behaviour.
But WHY did they go? That’s the interest of history, you know. Seeing why these desires and patterns arise. It’s not always a materialistic answer either. All sorts of things can cause rebellion – a desire for freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of religious worship, again a series of closely related patterns. It led people to embrace emigration to other countries, to formation of new religions very often as full of tyranny as the forms of religion they had left behind.
But in all this, if you look hard enough, if you make enough investigations, you can see what started the onset of these and many other – I’ll use the same word – patterns.'
'In some ways it’s like a virus disease. The virus can be carried around the world, across seas, up mountains. It can go and infect. It goes apparently without being set in motion. But one can’t be sure, even now, that that was always really true. There could have been causes. Causes which made things happen.
One can go a few steps further – there are people. One person, ten persons, a few hundred persons who are capable of setting in motion a cause. So, it is not the end process one has to look at. It is the first people who set the cause in motion. You have your crusaders, you have your religious enthusiasts, you have your desires for liberty, you have all the other patterns but you’ve got to go back even further still.
Further back to a hinterland. Visions, dreams. The prophet Joel knew it when he said:
Your old men shall dream dreams. Your young men shall see visions.
And of those two, which are the more powerful? Dreams are not destructive. But visions can open new worlds to you – and visions can also destroy the worlds that already exist.’
An example was now given of an Embassy wife who went to hear the Fuehrer speak:
‘Why was everyone so impressed? And so she went. She came back and said, ‘It’s extraordinary. I wouldn’t have believed it. Of course, I don’t understand German very well but I was carried away too. I mean, his ideas were wonderful. They inflamed you. I mean, you just felt there was no other way of thinking, that a whole new world would happen if only one followed him. Oh, I can’t explain properly.’
She was urged to go and actually write down what Hitler said at the next rally. She reported:
‘I started to write down what he said. This is frightening. There wasn’t anything to write down at all. I didn’t seem to be able to remember a single stimulating or exciting sentence. They were just … meaningless. I don’t understand.’
‘Jan Smuts puts it in a phrase: ‘Leadership, besides being a great creative force, can be diabolical.’’
One of the characters then asks what can be done about it.
‘You’ve got to go like Kipling’s mongoose. Go and find out. Find out where the money comes from and where the ideas are coming from and where, if I may say so, the machinery comes from. Who is directing the machinery? There’s a Chief of Staff, you know, as well as a Commander-in-Chief. That’s what we’re trying to do.’
Later, in describing the modes of behaviour of a new generation which these people are encouraging:
‘Against their mode of government [democracy], against their parental customs, against the religions in which they were brought up. There is the insidious cult of permissiveness, there is the insidious cult of violence. Violence, not as a means of gaining money but violence for the love of violence. That particularly is stressed and the reasons for it are, to the people concerned, one of the most important things and of the utmost significance.’
‘What about drugs?’
‘The cult of drugs has been deliberately advanced and fomented. Vast sums of money have been made that way but it is not, or so we think, entirely activated for the money motive. It looks that way. People are being arrested and brought to justice. Pushers of drugs will be followed up. But there is more than just the drug racket behind all this. The drug racket is a means and an evil means, of making money. But there is more to it than that.
If you live in a castle on a mountain peak, overlooking the world below you, well, it makes you despise the ordinary folk, doesn’t it? You’re the top one, the grand one.’
Eventually, because Passenger to Frankfurt is a work of fiction, the two heroes do get to penetrate the veil and come face to face with the head of the Bavarian family who is behind it all. Actually, it is a woman, a great mother of darkness and she says:
‘With money, if one knows, if one has the discrimination, what is there that money cannot do? It can give one the best.’
Around the walls of the schloss are countless paintings and other works of art, many of them stolen. Throughout the castle are lines of golden haired, blue-eyed Aryans, singing the most beautiful of Wagnerian stanzas and an element of madness pervades.
A great bell now tolls.
Christie, of course, is in the realm of the novel here and she clearly based her idea of what the real power whom the real world Mr. Whites serve, on a Wagnerian and Nietzschean ideal while the actual head is a fat, bloated testament to total excess, with no constraints.
Your own image here is as good as hers, as good as mine, which is somewhat different to Christie’s. The thing she has got right though is the geographical location of one of the hubs of Europe from where the world trouble is generated and fomented.
‘Modern thought, modern writers and others whom she finances and controls. She’s behind it in once sense, supports rather curious charities, earnest philanthropists and idealists, raises innumerable grants for students and artists and writers.
[But] it’s not yet complete. It’s a great upheaval that’s being planned. It’s believed in, it’s the new heaven and the new earth.
That’s what’s been promised by leaders for thousands of years, promised by religions, promised by those who support Messiahs, promised by those who come back to teach the law, like the Buddha. Promised by politicians. The crude heaven of an easy attainment such as the Assassins believed in …
[Drugs] … only a means of having people bent to her will. It’s one way too of destroying people – the weak ones. The ones she thinks are no good although they had once shown promise. She’d never take drugs herself – she’s strong …
Propaganda is the first stage and behind it, there are vast armaments piling up. Arms that go to deprived countries and then on to elsewhere. Tanks and guns and nuclear weapons that go to Africa and the South Seas and South America. In South America, there’s a lot building up. Forces of young men and women, drilling, training. Enormous arms dumps. Means of chemical warfare.’
On the way impressionable people are sucked into it:
‘That’s a very ancient one, the one that everybody understands and appreciates. Something in it for you. That’s your line. You haven’t been appreciated in the past but all he stands for will hold out the hope of reward to you. Because you give him all the inside dope he wants about your own country, he will promise you places of power in that country in the good times to come.
It’s a world movement all right. They come up from nowhere and destroy everything. They haven’t got knowledge and they haven’t got experience but they’ve got vision and vitality and they’re backed by money. Rivers and rivers of money pouring in. But it’s based on hate, it can’t get anywhere. It can’t move off the ground.
Don’t you remember in 1919, everyone going round with a rapt face saying Communism was the answer to everything? That Marxist doctrine would produce a new heaven brought down to a new earth. So many noble ideas flowing about. But then, you see, whom have you got to work out the ideas with?
After all, only the same human beings you’ve always had. You can create a third world now or so everyone thinks but the third world will have the same people in it as the first world or the second world or whatever names you like to use … and when you have the same human beings running things, they’ll run them in the same way. You’ve only got to look at history.’
‘Does anybody care to look at history nowadays?’
‘No, they’d much rather look forward to an unforeseeable future. Science was once going to be the answer to everything. Freudian beliefs and unrepressed sex would be the next answer to human misery. There’d be no more people with mental troubles. If anyone had said that mental homes would be even fuller as the result of shutting out repressions, nobody would have believed him.’
And those who oppose these overwhelming forces and the power of money?
‘There’s always an opposition. There are people who have a suspicion of what’s going on, of how the world is going to be made to change, of how, with money, wealth, armaments, idealism, great trumpeting words of power, that’s going to happen.
There are people who say that shall NOT happen.’
I also like this little barb, which could apply to England within the EU:
‘Can we contemplate a corrupt state subsidized from some outside source?’
That was written, as previously stated, in 1970 but based on the knowledge of a lifetime. I also like her diagramatic explanation of how it all works:
Key to Wagner’s Ring:
A = armaments
D = drugs
S = science
J = agents provocateur
F = finance
A little comment of my own:
When the resources of the state, which is itself in debt, in thrall to outside forces, are swung behind youthfully impractical visions of impossible ideals which sweep the new generation along with it, when those visions were fomented and endlessly funded from elsewhere for socially destructive ulterior reasons, when the entire leadership of a country is treasonous and self-serving, in line with the new philosophy, then that country is heading for a fall and so is the known world.
As is now happening.
Fortunately there is an issue in this country which shows these people in their true light, these people who loudly trumpet their new morality and that issue is the gurkhas. That’s how much the corrupt leadership cares for the traditions and for the defenders of this island nation. I can’t adequately express my contempt.
But that’s another topic.