Foreign Affairs

2015, the Year the War Began

candle snuffedOn Thursday, Monsieur Hulot’s warning was clear: “Tomorrow, millions of climate refugees”. A photo of ecologist Nicolas Hulot, President Hollande’s special envoy “for the protection of the planet”, was featured on the front cover of the fashionable French Left weekly magazine L’Obs (formerly Le Nouvel Observateur). Tomorrow came and that Friday night there were not millions of climate refugees in Paris but 130 dead and 683 wounded in Islamic terror attacks across the capital.

L’Obs is the magazine which many of the dead and injured would have read before the attacks. The pre-massacre edition had articles on the traffic of Kalashnikovs in the suburbs, Muslim voting trends, and immigration: “Xenophobia, A French Tradition”. This last article discussed waves of hatred towards immigrants, in the 1890s and 1930s, while noting that despite resemblances with the past, “France has become more tolerant”—no doubt due to the exalted attitudes of superior L’Obs writers. The author’s conclusion was like a bite into an elitist artisan baguette filled with PC platitudes which ignored the events of January 2015: “historical studies have shown that in no country in the world has a community of immigrants endangered the state which welcomed them”.

In Quadrant (December 2015) Douglas Murray wrote of the refusal to admit the failure of multiculturalism by a powerful and influential intellectual class who reproduce a “wilfully optimistic version of events” in the face of realities which completely “damn the majority beliefs of a whole generation”. The killers, drawn from the “community of immigrants”, had only just been silenced at the Bataclan when a shocked and traumatised young woman spoke into a radio microphone: “Why us? Why us?”

Le Figaro Magazine was published the morning of the attacks. The cover illustration was a decorative page of Arabic text promoting two articles—“The Koran: what it truly says [and] Boualem Sansal’s Cry of Alarm”. L’Obs had claimed Hulot was “sounding the alarm” on climate change, but Sansal’s cry is far more important: it is the testimony of a man who has lived through what he is talking about. It is a discussion of Islam in France, which right-wing commentators have taken more seriously than the Left, but at some point the discussion, in Australia as in France, must turn to counter-terrorism. It should have changed after the Islamic terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher branch when France seemed momentarily united. Assailed by Islamist terrorism, the active response of counter-terrorism is an issue that must be brought forward, and yet it is a defensive measure which could unleash ethnic urban warfare within nations, not only France, that have been invaded and culturally impoverished by aggressive multiculturalism that disdains our history and institutions.

Algerian writer Boualem Sansal was born in 1949 and still lives precariously in his homeland, where he is hated by the government and the Islamists. When he was a child his Kabyle mother was a friend of Albert Camus’s mother in a working-class district of Algiers. He was a successful bureaucrat who late in life turned to writing and representing the extraordinary confusion and suffering of Algeria. In his own life he has experienced the terrorist war waged between the FLN and France (1954 to 1962) which led directly to a “socialist and popular” dictatorship, then the emergence of the killer cults and political parties of Islamism, largely fomented by the Muslim Brotherhood, and finally civil war (1991 to 2002). After an unknown death toll in the 1990s, loosely estimated to be as high as 200,000, the uneasy Algerian present holds a “moderate Islamism” known on the streets, says Sansal, as “radical Islam in suit and tie” or “Jekyll and Hyde”. His most recent book, 2084: The End of the World, describes the closed religious nation of Abistan, a frightening one-cult state as fierce as Orwell’s vision. At the beginning of the book a brief note on what is to come concludes with what seems like a voice already whispering in our ears: “Sleep quietly, good people, everything is perfectly false and the rest is under control.”

In his novels and non-fiction Sansal is a verbal pleasure-seeker who pampers himself and his readers with the French language while describing often most unpleasant occurrences. It is extraordinary that in Algeria there are writers producing fine and sometimes remarkable books even as their own lives are lived under terrifying and threatening pressures. Perhaps Richard Flanagan would learn to write if we sent him to live in Algeria.

Sansal draws attention to the loving marriage of Arabic and Islam. In 2084 the created religion which dominates the stark world of his novel is based on an invented religious language which prevents its members fashioning thoughts outside the approved limits set by the religion. The language of Islam suggests a connection between his futurist dystopia and our present reality: “The scansion in Arabic creates states of quasi trance which one senses as much in chants of the muezzins as in the recitations.” One early morning in Melbourne my scary uncommunicative taxi driver was listening to a broadcast speech with the intensity, I imagine, of a 1930s brownshirt. He seemed spellbound by what he heard.

Sansal points to the great similarity between what has happened in France and what occurred earlier in Algeria when the socialist dictatorship was white-anted by an underground of religious indoctrination by foreign religious zealots supported by Middle Eastern countries: “imams of circumstance, ignorants only capable of repeating ‘Allah Akbar’”—but also capable of teaching intolerance, victimisation and jihad.

In France discussions of Islam and the state throw up the topic of laicism. The French have some pride in their tradition of separating religious and state matters. Sansal points out that this republican concept is seen as a threat by Muslims, “a neo-colonial plot”, and suggests that the simple expression “living together” should replace it. Before doing that, he might like to watch a new film, Patries (Homelands), that explores the idea of “living together” in the Paris outer suburbs. Through the relationship of a white boy and his black friend the film exposes the concept as a failure, and controversially explores a reality to which the anointed Left is blind—anti-white racism. Scriptwriter and film-maker Cheyenne Carron previously made The Apostle, the story of a young Muslim convert to Christianity. After the January killings, screenings in Nantes and Neuilly were cancelled on the advice of French authorities because of the possibility they “would be seen as a provocation by the Muslim community”. Living apart, not living together, is the basic law of practical multiculturalism.

Islamism, says Sansal, “knows how to play skilfully with the scarecrow of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”. He also points to the utter fools we are making of ourselves in the eyes of Islamists and other Muslims:

The intellectuals, like useful idiots, march in this system of victimisation of Islam and emigrants and don’t recognise the evil they are doing, and to the Muslims whether practising or not it is clear that the Islamists who have invented Islamophobia from scratch are manipulating them.

Politicians, in France and Australia, believe that Islam can be domesticated. Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison seemed to be filling a vacant speech bubble with the thoughts of a young and inexperienced political minder: “Over a period of time religions become more indigenised in this country … and that is true of Christianity, as it is true of the Jewish faith as it is of the Muslim faith.”

Sansal is painfully realistic. On the future of Islam on French territory he suggests the conflict is between ideas of an “Islam of France” and an “Islam in France”. The first is a happy fantasy that Islam will become friendly and manageable, a single unified Islam, probably with a recognised and acceptable leader, which would respect and teach respect for state institutions. Morrison’s unachievable student essay represents the future of Islam in Australia as the Church of England in a burka. The other Islam, the Islamic Nation or ummah, is the real one that belongs within the worldwide religious community of believers even as it is broken into different currents, supported and propagandised by different states: “If it is Islam in France which wins, as seems likely, it will be in conflict with everyone, the Muslims who do not recognise it and the French institutions.”

The conversation Sansal is so eloquently taking part in is one which sets out to explain Islam and the Muslims who live amongst us. There is another conversation we must have about protecting ourselves and defeating Islamic terrorism.

Bataclan stopped the music. This is suddenly real—it’s French Psycho on the streets of Marseille, it’s The Plague in Paris. Candles, prayers, piano concerts and pious assurances that “Islam means Peace” are no protection from Kalashnikovs and suicide belts. For perhaps the first time, when a Paris radio station was interviewing their usual ring-me-after-the-massacre Imam he started replaying his familiar “Islam is Peace” track, until he was politely brought to a stop by the announcer who said, “We have heard all that before.” The conversation never really recovered. For once, the platitudes were recognised as unacceptable shrouds over the Islamists’ victims.

The beginning and end of 2015 in France were marked by terrorist attacks and the publication of two remarkable books—Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission at the beginning, and Sansal’s 2084 at the end. It almost seems that each book is fixed to a specific terrorist incident which occurred soon after it was published. The literary magazine Lire gave its Best Book of the Year award to Sansal, and published an interview with him which had been recorded just before November 13. However, after the killings the book Parisians turned to, based on reported sales in Paris bookshops, was the French edition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast—about expatriate life in Paris in the 1920s, when the exchange rate was great. Nostalgia is a dumb antidote to terror. Another old book it may be worth blowing the dust off is Albert Camus’s Les Justes—a discussion of terrorist ethics. Or perhaps it’s time to reread the histories of the Algerian War. The questions of violence and responses to violence raised then are with us again: that agonising past has become our present.

Unfortunately, the doctrinaire Left version of Algeria as a decolonising struggle waged by a vicious and torturing France, and the newer doctrines of racism, sexism and Islamophobia, prevent the French nation from either seeing clearly or acting decisively. President Hollande is probably not only a weak man in character but also one constrained by a pernicious view of France’s colonial history, and the cultural platitudes of his social and political milieu. In the weekly issue of Le Point magazine published the day before the terror attacks, Patrick Besson (who has written a seductive two-volume exploration of sex during the German occupation) commented accurately on the Algerian War: “The Army lost, the [Left] intellectuals won.” This time, whose side will the Left intellectuals be on?

After the terrorist attack a French priest, father Hervé Benoît, wrote that they, the killers and their victims, were “Siamese brothers”. He discussed the song being sung when the firing began: “You summon the devil for a joke? He will take you seriously.” He was firm in his opinions: “It isn’t a return to the Middle Ages, contrary to what the cretins say, it’s postmodernism in all its absurdity.” A Left website organised a petition calling for him to be reprimanded. In several days it collected over 40,000 signatures. Who knew there were so many Catholics in France? The priest was admonished and dismissed by his bishop. Meanwhile, the major bookselling chain FNAC is continuing to sell books calling for jihad against France and the West. The company has refused to remove the books in the interests of free speech.

One book on Algeria and counter-terrorism may not have walked off the shelves in November. Published in 2001, a memoir by eighty-year-old General Paul Aussaresses created great controversy. Available in English as The Battle of the Casbah, the book deals with torture and killings ordered by Aussaresses in Algeria:

Once you have seen with your own eyes as I did, civilians, men, women, and children quartered, disembowelled and nailed to doors you are changed for life. What feelings can anyone have towards those who perpetrated such barbaric acts and their accomplices?

He offended by being unapologetic: “I don’t think I ever tortured or executed people who were innocent.” His book finished when he observed a new generation of French soldiers: “I had no regrets but I did make a wish that none of these young men would ever have to do some day for my country what I had to do over there, in Algeria.” Algeria may now have come to France.

Aussaresses was criticised, his Legion of Honour was cancelled by President Chirac, he was the target of two bomb attacks, was shot at, disowned by his family, and prosecuted for “apology for torture”. During the Algerian War a generation of the French Left courageously exposed torture committed by the French Army. They covered up the same and arguably far worse actions carried out by their side, the FLN. After the war they covered up the crimes of the new Algerian government. Their grandchildren have inherited the culture of deceit. When a killer and maimer of French citizens was invited to France in 2012 she was honoured and applauded.

Zohra Drif was the guest of a conference held in Marseille marking the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Algerian War—and the beginning of the dictatorship in which she was a privileged citizen. Over the years the real power in Algeria has depended on the infamous Sécurité militaire—known under the initials SM, and whisperingly as “Sport and Music”. Criminal torture during the Algerian War became institutionalised in the new state. In the audience was Danielle Michel-Chich—one of the children maimed by Drif’s bomb. She was five years old when the device Drif planted in the popular Milk Bar café exploded. Her grandmother was killed beside her and the child lost her left leg. Drif, after being imprisoned far too briefly, was released when independence was granted and has been a lawyer, vice-president of the upper house of the Algerian parliament, and is the widow of a former Algerian president. Having won the war, the victors looted the country—a widely held view inside Algeria. At the French conference she justified killing and maiming French citizens and, sounding like a character reading from a dated Costa-Gavras script, blamed the French government. The French audience applauded. If Aussaresses had been on the side of the FLN he, like Drif, would have been a hero of the French Left.

Zohra Drif believes a just war is waged with terror. General Aussaresses believed terror could only be halted with torture and killing. Boualem Sansal, responding to his Lire interviewer, suggests that approach gives the enemy a moral victory. He suggests the war should be fought with intelligence, “and armies are never intelligent”. The first step should have been to confront the states who have financed jihad—Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others—and make them assume responsibility for what they are doing. Pressure, exerted through petrol politics and diplomacy, should be exerted on the Arab monarchies to “denounce jihadi rhetoric”. Finally, “the West should think of Islam without folklore. If it had been better studied they would have understood the irreducible side of all religion.” He is not asked if this would prevent a bomb exploding in the Paris Metro, or somewhere in Australia, tomorrow.

Counter-terrorism will confront France, and surely Australia, with moral problems and no easy solutions in an atmosphere of social media bullying and opinion-making, conspiracy theories, pacifism, foolish feminism, intolerance of dissenting views, shame-making politicians, debased popular culture, gallery-playing civil rights performers, trivialised high culture, internet ratbags, cultural nihilism, intellectual dishonesty (I’m thinking of the Left), special pleading, Islamic intolerance and fanaticism, a closed media (the ABC, Fairfax), politicised-subsidised-Left arts, religion-spouting drug-sellers and crooks, and terrorist bombs. On internet social networks crucifixions, torture and the slavery of women are selling points used by the Islamic State to attract followers to a let’s-pretend world of Play Station-Islamism—which is actually all too real. Yet a photo of an accidentally drowned little boy was used to accuse Europe of intolerance, heartlessness and racism and successfully directed politicians into disastrous non-decision-making. Counter-terrorism cannot be waged by forces who do not believe in the justness of their cause or, as in our case, no cause. Dying for nihilism has never had much appeal.

The jihadist attacks may bring us together and restore belief in our fragile democracies. There is an unexpressed but deeply felt Western ideal of the worth of humanity that does need protecting and is worth fighting for. When a Jewish teacher was attacked after November 13 in Marseille by three Islam-quoting thugs it was reported internationally that he had received superficial stab wounds. That was a deliberate lie. He appeared in a short video clip. He had been tortured: long slices of a knife up his arms and chest. Killing a man leaving a Parramatta police station is wrong. If members of our diverse nation do not share revulsion at these simple crimes then we have nothing in common. If our society is this divided then the Bataclan lights have gone out and we will not see them lit again in our lifetime. Will they finally get it?

In the December issue Michael Connor wrote about his visit to Paris in October.


20 thoughts on “2015, the Year the War Began

  • Mr Johnson says:

    A sensation of depression, impotence and also fatigue. More so now, knowing that we had a conservative Prime Minster who was starting to do something about the growing internal Islamist threat, and we swapped him for a pretend conservative who definitely will not. We are hostages, and the alternative is now hard Left, Middle Left, or MT’s pale Conservative Left. Maybe I should just shut my eyes, and sleep, as the ABC gets another few million to tell us the real problems Australia faces are sexism, homophobia, and of course our intolerance to racism – *sigh*

  • ian.macdougall says:

    The jihadist attacks may bring us together and restore belief in our fragile democracies. There is an unexpressed but deeply felt Western ideal of the worth of humanity that does need protecting and is worth fighting for. … If members of our diverse nation do not share revulsion at these simple crimes then we have nothing in common. If our society is this divided then the Bataclan lights have gone out and we will not see them lit again in our lifetime. Will they finally get it?

    Islam has its own modestly proclaimed goal: to take over the world. Most Muslims at best pay little more than lip service to this, but a minority don’t and become jihadists. What really gets up the nose of a lot of Muslims is the ‘western colonialism’ their countries were subject to. They were first conquered by the Islamic Ottoman Turks, who were on the losing side in WW1, and in the peace settlement after Versailles many of their countries became ‘protectorates’ under League of Nations mandates. The modern Islamist grievance is not so much against the Ottomans but against the victorious European ‘protectors’.
    If Europe keeps on taking in large numbers of Muslim refugees, internal fault lines will develop, pushing towards the splitting apart of the present European nations along religious sectarian lines.
    BUT the last religious army to conquer France belonged to the German Nazis. It has to be that big for a people to lose real control of their country.
    In the mean-time, some immigrant Muslims can create what amounts to public nuisance by campaigning for Sharia Law and other special reforms for Muslim neighborhoods and regions. Long before they achieve critical mass required for takeover, the country will likely split into Muslim and Non-Muslim halves.
    Possible preventive remedies, but with constitutional problems:
    1. The Trump approach: ban all Muslim immigration.
    2. Prohibit ALL religious education.
    3. Ban Islam.

  • says:

    The problems we face are more complicated than just that of religiously inspired terrorism. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that any attempted defence by what I regard as civilised people is increasingly being made more difficult by leftists who dominate the MSM and academia.
    It has been evident for a century or more now that the left will unceasingly support totalitarianism of any sort, be it secular totalitarianism such as communism or Nazism, or theological totalitarianism best exemplified by Islam, over freedom/capitalism and democracy. I remember reading about how Churchill was pilloried by the leftist ‘intellectuals’ and commentators of his day for warning about the Nazis and later the communists. About 100 million people last century died from the toxic totalitarian philosophies of socialism via its ugly cousins the communists and Nazis. How many millions will have to die from the toxic theological totalitarian philosophy of Islam before the left will give up its masochistic suicidal delusions. More importantly will civilisation survive this latest challenge?
    Why does it never occur to leftists and the ‘feel good’ brigade that most of the so called ‘Islamophobia’ by the average Australian is actually a self defence reflex mechanism and not some deep seated ‘racist’ impulse? Perhaps some leftist ‘intellectual’ can tell us all how to bargain and make deals with somebody who is even prepared to commit suicide merely to harm you in some way. George Orwell had it correct that some ideas are so stupid that only an ‘intellectual’ could believe it. He would have been even more accurate if he had added government funded sinecured bureaucrat in academia, the media and the judiciary.

    • says:

      The leftists will never change from support of totalitarianism because they believe in central government which controls the mere mortals. Complete defeat of these people will never occur but, as we still have a democracy, they must be beaten at the ballot box.

  • says:

    The real peril to western civilisation is not Islamic terrorism – dangerous and unsettling though it is – but the creeping islamisation of western countries, greatly aided by the hordes of useful idiots of the left and bolstered by demography. In the most significant western countries ever more special concessions and privileges are granted to Muslims, including even the acceptance of some Sharia laws alongside the laws of the land. In addition, the birth rate of Muslims is 10 times that of non-muslims. There already are politicians who depend on the Muslim vote so they pander to their “constituents” at every opportunity. Even Islamic political parties are being formed. It is only a matter of time – and not a very long time, either – before one western country after another comes under Muslim domination. Although in the past Islam always gained ground by the force of arms, that possibility is denied to them now but with the help of the left, demography will give them victory over the unbelievers.

    Yes, that is an extremely gloomy prognosis. Please, if anyone can contradict it, let us know the good news!

    • says:

      This is a valid, sensible, useful and valid comment. It tells of the real danger. Which is not rabid terrorists or their acts, nor extremist Muslims – not the whole nation of Wahhabist Saudi Arabia.

      It is our own stupidity. The mendacity, duplicity and downright stupidity of our own leaders.

      And the solution is simple. And not even necessarily harsh.

      We should insist our functionaries and leaders begin to enforce the laws of our land.

      For the core tenets of Islam are in direct contradiction with those laws, with the supremacy of those laws.

      Simple as that.

      The choice should be put to them: will you renounce this aspect of your core teachings or not? Will you vow to not follow this prescribed path or not? And so on.

      And if you don’t then it is all around the world to see: they begin to demand a mutation of the society towards Sharia Law. That is, the very core of your society gets attacked deliberately and taken over by a religious group.

      It is happening right now in different places in the world.

      And much worse: areas of Manchester, England, I’m told, where Sharia ‘police’ patrol the streets!

      If true then a perfect example of what I say. For how can the authorities, the councils, the police, the armed forces, allow such a thing? I don’t say should they or shouldn’t they allow it – so don’t bother to argue some merit to be found in it (is there any?) because it doesn’t matter.

      The law of the land as it currently stands does not allow such vigilante action. Simple.

      And here’s the bit: the law demands that certain people do something about it. That is their job. If they don’t do something about it they are subject, presumbly, to actions all the way from counselling in their job to losing their to prosecution for failure to properly perform their jobs.

      And that’s the bit. Where we attack those elements of us that are the cause of the problem.

      It is not ‘them’, it is ‘us’ and that’s an example of how it is ‘us’ and what ‘we’ should do about it.

      • says:

        Quadrant needs as a matter of urgency to upgrade these columns to allow editing of comments. Struggling in the print edition it needs to become a web force and some polishing of this software is needed to reach that status.

  • acarroll says:

    Nation: people with shared ancestry, values, culture etc. The Australian government no longer acts exclusively in the founding nation’s interests and increasingly against their interests. In this context, you’re conflating nation and State. State is the word that should be used here.

    The States of the West are in this situation because the egalitarian ideal that was strived for in what were once our nation-states has been usurped by the Left and twisted from a national focus to a universal focus. Much of this happened post WW2 because of the implicit (sometimes explicit) accusation that all Western nations are potential instigators of another Jewish holocaust, even if those nations were involved in “liberating” Europe of National Socialism.

    Multiculturalism — really Multiracialism for that is what’s demanded — is Leftist double speak for totalitarianism and capturing the state for the benefit of a despotic elite who will be able to enact their agenda with impunity. Once ethnic groups rival each other in size in the one territory how else can tensions caused by competition and ethnic loyalty/nepotism be controlled unless by a tough dictatorship, oligarchy or council/soviet? Think Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Singapore, Turkey, numerous African states. Germany, France, Belgium and the UK are well on their way to becoming police states given the fact that each so-called (shocking!) “hate” crime leads to more repressive laws, more surveillance for the natives, more concessions to minority ethnicities.

    Note also that the Left excuses its colonising invitee cultures from believing in universal egalitarian principles, or indeed any of the principles it pretends to stand for, so long as they’re in opposition to the European majority. It’s a fact that many ethnic representative groups in Western countries strive for and demand change in line with Leftist principles while promoting the opposite in their own communities and in their homelands. It’s becoming more and more clear that just about every -ism or -phobia you can name that has come to prominence in the West in the past 50 years is was designed to undermine European nations with the intent on destroying their cultures and their ethnicities. Our ethnic competitors sense our weakness keenly in the face of this onslaught and exploit it to their own benefit — a rational course of action on their part. Ethnic (national) loyalty trumps State loyalty almost every time.

    As a member of the Anglo-Celt nation, that is the founding people of Australia (a family branch of the western European nations), it’s clear to me that many Western States can no longer guarantee our safety. Islamic terrorism is increasing in-line with its demography, and the next anti-racist (read: anti-European) ethnicity-motivated bashing and raping probably happening as I type. Therefore, it’s incumbent on all of is in these families of nations to prepare ourselves, to defend our nation and families when the multi-cult/totalitarian government finally takes the gloves off. The electoral process won’t save us unless we totally throw off the shackles of PC, and no longer fear being called bigots, racists, sexists etc for calling out our interests. I’m increasingly pessimistic that it will happen in time, and there’re no signs the Left will concede they’ve gone too far. If anything, they’re pushing harder.

    Just remember, the Left isn’t stupid. Those who invented the dogma and strategies for attacking European nations seemingly have no end of hate for us and know exactly what they’re doing. They’re internationally organised and extremely well resourced.

    News of Bolshevism’s death is greatly exaggerated.

  • says:

    I tried to post could you please tell me why I have been blocked?

  • says:

    “The lights of Western society — justice, equality, truth — are being extinguished one by one’

    There is no justice in our society unless you have money. This is injustice.
    There is no equality. You are in a pecking order based on gender, race, ethnicity or religion
    There is no truth. Truth was abolished by the Frankfurt school. Truth is now relative and situational.

    We have a problem. It is not Islam, it is us.

    The reason we have creeping Islamification is because we have stopped having children.
    We have become selfish and have put money ahead of life.
    It reflects in how we would rather have an impressive house rather than a loving home.
    Andwe no longer respect our elders.

    We must change

    • Jody says:

      Change? I think the horse bolted long ago on this, and I agree with your statement that failing to keep our population at a sustainable level through breeding was always going to be a problem for the western world. The Pill offered the promise of freedom, which turned out to be a double-edge sword indeed!! There’s no such thing as a free lunch!!

  • ian.macdougall says:


    Just remember, the Left isn’t stupid. Those who invented the dogma and strategies for attacking European nations seemingly have no end of hate for us and know exactly what they’re doing.

    Just out of interest… How would you a. define ‘the Left?’ b. Determine who is or is not a member of it?
    I am genuinely interested, as I identify myself as part of what the late and great C. Hitchens called the antitotalitarian Left.

    • Jody says:

      “Anti-totalitarian” Left is oxymoronic, surely.

    • acarroll says:

      Very good question that would take a considerable response.

      I asked myself this question.

      It all comes down to “who benefits” from such-and-such conflict or demanded social change, and why.

      For the most part individuals of a nation tend to see the inherent benefit of being cohesive within their society.

      It’s a real rabbit hole to descend down, and you need to consider all the background funding, social milieux, upbringing, religion or religious affiliations for context when reading some of the Left’s luminaries. For example, those identifying a so-called class-struggle and promoting workers revolutions, the philosophers, most of whom had nothing to do in their social milieux with any workers or experience with working conditions at all: once the workers got their secured employment and safety rights they were essentially happy to remain patriots of their country, loyal to their kin and kith, which is why the international workers revolution never took hold. After-all, hierarchy in Western (or indeed European) societies has been the rule for thousands of years. The workers won their rights, and socialism for the national community dug its roots, arguably for the benefit of all the nation. Scandinavia becoming the paragon of the success of socialism in a homogeneous nation.

      During the bloody process however, particularly in post WW1 Germany and the Russian Revolution, many new tools and techniques to instigate and cause revolution were discovered. So after the failure of the international workers revolution (which devolved into kinds of national socialist type systems essentially) the acolytes of the original generation of thinkers and activists thought, “Ok, let’s find the next social cleave and apply the same pressure techniques”.

      “Woman are being oppressed by the patriarchy and have been for thousands of years!”

      Can’t find one? Invent one, e.g. “We need to become multi-cultural in order to save the world from European nationalist wars”, then, “Racism is the cause of the minority’s failure to advance in society!”

      Employ multiple strategies at the same time.

      Feminism is one they keep coming back to, as Western societies tended to absorb or deflect the previous waves without ruining their society. So now we’re in 3rd wave feminism.

      Sweden is the exemplar for how this is being played out, look at what it has become.

      Although these strategies have been played-out in other contexts, e.g. China and Vietnam, they haven’t been the main targets and it’s obvious that the odious nature of feminism hasn’t dethroned the traditional gender or parental roles there. Also, no multi-culturalism in Vietnam, China, Africa, etc etc. They’re nominally national socialists, or “Communism for a single country”, like Russia became, or just utter basket cases being exploited by the ruling elite and their international finance buddies.

      The ultimate goal.

      The more compliant (naive, passive, trusting, productive) the general population, the better.

  • ian.macdougall says:

    The ‘Left’ arguably goes back a long way in history, as far back at least as to the Spartacists of the ancient Roman Empire. I suggest that the Eureka miners of old Ballarat are in there as well. ( ) So no: an anti-totalitarian Left is not an oxymoron.
    If we are to avoid a Hobbesian world of war of all against all, I suggest that some sort of scheme for collective welfare is essential. But though I believe Karl Marx’s heart was in the right place, classical socialism cannot be the answer. It attracts too many ticks, blowflies and other grubby takers, because it necessitates hierarchical military organisation to overthrow the old order, and where you get organisation you get oligarchy.

    • says:

      “Anti-totalitarian” left may not be an oxymoron in the abstract, but it most certainly is in practice. There is not a single historical example of a fully just and equitable society which existed for more than the briefest of period following its euphorical inception before rapidly depreciating into harsh totalitarianism. The simple reason for that is that human nature is afflicted with a myriad of less-than-flattering base characteristics, such as avarice, selfishness, dishonesty and the like, which tend to run amuck unless it is held in check. In a Christian civilisation the teachings of Christ is the checking agent, or at least it used to be, but mercifully not yet entirely void. Since leftist ideology is aggressively atheistic, the only option for curbing undesirable human tendencies is brute force. Hence the unavoidable totalitarianism inherent in any social order favoured by well meaning leftists for the benefit all. Even that might be justifiable, but only if those wielding the power were absolutely beyond reproach, which is an impossibility since they are also from the ranks of the same fallibles they would lord over.

      The appeal of a truly just and equitable society is universally appealing. It is most unfortunate and even alarming that hordes of well-meaning people enthusiastically advocate leftist causes without appreciating the reality of what they wish for. They are the armies of the “useful idiots”.

  • Homer Sapien says:

    Ian: After reading “The Naked Communist” by Cleon Skoutsen I rather think Karl Marx was a heartless monster.

  • ian.macdougall says:

    I would incline to seek at least a second opinion, given the passion and passionate self-interest that gets aroused in some quarters at the mere mention of the man’s name.

  • ian.macdougall says:

    “In a Christian civilisation the teachings of Christ is the checking agent, or at least it used to be, but mercifully not yet entirely void.”
    One of the factors that help the teachings of Christ over the parapet and into the void has been the periodic scandal consuming the Church, particularly when the hierarchy close ranks to protect those who have succumbed to mortal temptation, and have engaged in a spot of paedophilia (read buggery). As of late.
    The original Pope John 23 was airbrushed out of church history for this reason. The 20th C Pope John 23 was called ‘Good Pope John’ to distinguish him I suppose from his prior namesake, who I suppose should by implication be called ‘Bad Pope John’.
    Certain Church orders (eg the Franciscans) managed to maintain a life of communal sharing etc for a short time; until they became yet another chapter in the same old story of it.

Leave a Reply