I prefer blistex.
(Besides, Party members who get too popular have a funny way of disappearing, if you get my drift)
Originally, the story in Pajamas Media was published with a foreword and an epilogue, while the Cube only had the abridged short "history" part. But considering that Pajamas Media keeps losing links to pictures and even whole stories, I'm currently reposting all my older PJM stories on the Cube - for the sake of good housekeeping.
So here goes the full version:
Excuse me while I question your patriotism, progressive comrades. The Fourth of July is coming and you will not be celebrating it - not with the same thoughts and emotions as the rest of your countrymen. If you have been undermining this country for most of the year, why should this day be different?
A critical look at history always helps if it is based on objective reality and an understanding that our age, just like any historical age, is only a flight of stairs in an endless stairwell leading us up, away from barbarism, towards civilization. Trying to cut corners will only bring you down.
Another sure thing to bring you down is the multiculturalist idea that "up" and "down" are morally equal. If that were true, nobody would have risen above his surroundings, because going down is easier and more natural. But humans are different from the rest of the physical world in that in a free state we tend to go up. Moving upwards is in our nature. Leave us to our own devices and watch. "Up" is where we go to pursue happiness - in more ways than one. That brings us back to the Fourth of July and the different ways to look at it.
The history that we know does not corroborate anti-American talking points. Could there perhaps be some hidden version of history that we don't know? An alternative secret history of the world from which the "progressive" activists, journalists, and politicians draw their talking points? Social criticism implies the existence of an alternative. We never hear much about the alternative to American history or, for that matter, a hypothetical world history without the United States.
"Prior to July 4, 1776, not a single person in the world starved, got sick, worked hard for a living, or experienced any pain nor anxiety."With so many zealots simmering in the anti-American melting pot of "progress," one might think they had already cooked some shared historical narrative in which anti-Americanism actually makes sense and the entire Leftist agenda doesn't appear so absurd. What is it?
Most "progressive" critics either don't think that far, or they don't have the guts to give their views a full exposure. So let's do it for them. Let's connect the dots with logical lines and reconstruct a historical narrative that would validate all the liberal bumper stickers.
HISTORY GOES HERE
This alternative history may never be officially acknowledged, yet it is being implied in news radio and TV programming, film documentaries, Hollywood movies, UN resolutions, comedy shows, and political speeches - including those delivered by Democrats running for President - let alone millions of stickers, placards, T-shirts, and buttons sold at "progressive" junkets.
If I didn't know the real history and was a little more gullible, as many public school graduates are today, such a narrative might also become a part of my perspective. I might conclude, along with such "progressive" minds as Sean Penn and Ben Affleck, that the United States is a force of evil. I might agree with Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill that the world's oppressed would be damned fools if they didn't hate America and yearn for the destruction of this unspeakable beast. As a fair-minded person I might even give them a hand - as Ramsey Clark and Lynn Stewart have done, making the support of America's enemies their full-time job and a life-long commitment.
I'd probably share a utopian belief that once America as it exists today is eradicated, peace and harmony will be restored worldwide, and people will finally have a chance to live as one happy family without wars, greed, corruption, and evil corporations pursuing their racist agenda of climate change. Minority subsistence farmers will hurl their remote controls into the jungle, and everyone's pay will go back to $1,000 a week plus union benefits.
I would certainly decide that the Fourth of July should not be celebrated. Why should we honor the greatest setback in the history of world progress? Rather than watch air-polluting fireworks, we must instead grieve with the rest of progressive humanity over the dark day that gave birth to the evil entity that is the United States of America.
*** Q&A ***
But then again, if I were an intellectually honest public school graduate I might read a few books besides A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn, an anti-American volume that had impressed Ben Affleck and Matt Damon so much that they featured it in "Good Will Hunting" ("That book will blow your hair back"), and even considered turning it into a TV mini-series starring Winona Ryder.
If I were to read about real history I might find out to my great astonishment that for many thousands of years the world's wonderful cultures had been at each other's throat, engrossed in feuds, rape, pillaging, slavery, theft of the neighbors' resources, torture, murder, treachery, corruption, assassinations, and cannibalism. I'd learn that from the beginning of time, human history was a never-ending string of wars, famines, diseases, exploitation, poor hygiene, high infant mortality, and an average life expectancy of about 30 years. I'd gather that the world was mostly run by either ignorant witch doctors or ruthless tyrants who went to war for personal enjoyment, constructing pyramids out of the skulls of slain enemies.
"Turks conquered cradles of ancient civilizations with turn-key cities and pre-existing infrastructure."I'd also discover that people had been migrating all the time, moving to other lands and continents, setting up colonies and empires without asking permission from the natives, who often assimilated into one nation with the conquerors. The latest example is the Turkish Ottoman Empire whose conquest of heavily populated countries in Europe and the Middle East was happening simultaneously with the colonization of the sparsely populated Americas by the Europeans.
The Turks had come from far-away lands, stole the entire Asia Minor from the Christian natives, renamed their cities, and settled on their land for good. As the Americans fought a war against slavery, the Ottoman Empire continued to grow and expand its slave trade, bordering simultaneously on Austria, Morocco, Poland, Sudan, and Persia. The number of people killed, enslaved, converted, and driven from their land was much greater in the Ottoman Empire than in the entire Western hemisphere. Where is the outcry and demands of reparations?
If I were an inquisitive public school graduate I'd ask a question: if land theft and slave labor is what had made America so rich, why isn't Turkey the richest country in the world? As opposed to the bare lands and deserts of the New World, the Turks conquered cradles of ancient civilizations with turn-key cities and pre-existing infrastructure. However, apart from oil deposits, the formerly Ottoman lands remain dirt-poor, with Turkey itself not far away in the lead.
But let's not single out the Turks. Before them were the Mongols, who made no distinction between the civilians and the army, and whose conquest had lead to the creation of the world's largest empire ruled by fear and iron discipline. How many millionaires does Mongolia have today? And before that were the Arabs who came as conquerors from the Arabian Peninsula, stole all of North Africa and Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) from the Christian natives, forcibly converted them to Islam, and settled on their land for good. And before them there had been conquests by the Huns, the Chinese, the Celts, the Greeks, the Romans, the Goths, the Persians, the Slavs, and many others who settled on other people's lands simply because they could.
All cultures practiced slavery in one way or another. It stopped in Europe around the Middle Ages but continued to thrive in Africa, Asia, and in the Middle East. Through the contacts between the Arabs and the Portuguese it was reintroduced to Europe and the Americas. Although the European and American abolitionists eventually brought an end to slavery and slave trade on their territories, it still exists in various ugly forms in other parts of the world.
To get a glimpse of the thousand-year-old dark historical reality, look no further than Sudan where even today Arabs are practicing a racist form of slavery. Black African villages of Darfur are being ransacked, men and women killed and raped, their children taken away as slaves (and also raped repeatedly). Nothing can be done now to change old history, but something can and should be done to change the fate of black slaves today. Only the activists and "community leaders" who usually initiate such actions are so busy fuming over the suffering of black slaves in America seven generations ago that they have no time for the suffering of black slaves in today's Sudan. Could it be because their real concern has never been the suffering of black slaves - but rather finding an excuse to trash the United States?
Another huge slaving outpost waiting to be freed is, of course, North Korea. Why aren't there any calls from the "progressive" camp to abolish a form of neo-slavery called socialism? Why did the "progressives" call the USSR a "workers' paradise" when it was being built by slave labor in concentration camps? If slavery is a certified path to prosperity, why didn't half a century of suffering and millions of lives wasted in the gulag make the Soviet Union richer - but the new economic freedom did, despite the botched reforms and the ubiquitous government corruption? China had emulated the Soviet slave-labor economy with an even bigger army of political prisoners - and with an equally disastrous outcome. But when the Communist rulers abandoned slave labor in favor of capitalist reforms, the economy started to grow - and so did the standard of living.
If putting an end to slavery and giving people a small amount of freedom can bring forth such sizeable growth within only two decades in Russia and China, how much economic growth and prosperity can be achieved by a nation whose people have had two centuries of full economic and political freedom? "Have all cultures already arrived at the final point in their development?"To find the answer, look at a country that starts with "United" and ends with "States." And that's the end of the silly argument about America owing its prosperity to slave labor.
The continent of North America was settled in several waves by Siberian hunters, each wave accompanied by the theft of land and conquest. In what bank is that stolen wealth kept today? The arriving Europeans discovered a collection of half-naked warrior tribes killing one another for land, water, game, wives, and simply as a sport - just like anywhere else in the world thousands of years ago. Only some cultures had grown out of it, others had never risen, yet others had gone over the hill and slid back into barbarism. This begs a question: by what measure do we determine which stage of cultural development is the correct one and deserving of being frozen in time?
The multiculturalist dogma of the equality of all cultures raises even more questions. Have all cultures already arrived at the final point in their development? Is cultural achievement meaningless? Is the history of arts and sciences irrelevant? Is the complexity of social structure inconsequential? Is the respect for human dignity and individual rights an empty sound? Is there no difference between "up" and "down" on the stairwell of human progress? And if you believe all of that, can you still call yourself a "progressive" and maintain a straight face?
History answers negatively to all those questions. World cultures aren't equal and never have been. Humanity is a living, breathing, and evolving organism that thrives on cultural interaction and development, in which cultures compete for survival - and yes, fight with each other - but also learn from the best.
Today we are witnessing a major fight between two of the world's cultures, one of which - the Islamic fundamentalists - got stuck at the lower steps of societal evolution and would like to drag the rest of the world down to their level, so that there would be nothing left above their heads to distract true believers from focusing on their toenails and pondering existential issues such as the foot hygiene of airline passengers.
If you listen to the "progressives" and believe that all cultures are equal, you might as well not resist and descend to their level as John Walker Lindh did. "If we want answers we shouldn't be stopping the pioneers.By the time you discover that the difference between "up" and "down" is not a fancy post-modernist notion, but a reality as essential as the difference between life and death, it may be too late. Not just for you but to those around you as well, within the kill radius of the shrapnel in your explosive belt.
Equating our two cultures is not just unnatural - it's suicidal. We should consider ourselves lucky that a few generations ago Western nations managed to lift themselves out of the sewer in which humanity lived for thousands of years. These nations have mastered science, arts, medicine, increased life expectancy, and developed a legal system that grants more rights and freedoms to individual citizens than any other culture in history. The advancement is reciprocal: the more freedoms the individuals have, the better off the nation is economically. At the head of this upward movement is the United States, the first nation to put individual freedoms above the government's interests. Placing the government in the service of the people at an age when the rest of the world viewed the people as mere servants to their governments.
The vertical map of the world's cultures is never a still picture; they are moving along the entire visible length of the stairwell of progress. The invisible flights of stairs are still ahead of us - a terra incognita. How far up does the stairwell go? Is there an end to it? How soon will humanity get there, and how much has already been covered? If we want answers we shouldn't be stopping the pioneers. We must celebrate them.
As for the poor bastards still down at the bottom, you may empathize with them all you want. But you may also feel a relief that at least some part of the human race has found the ability to clean up their act and show the way to other nations - and a hope that one day, with the right attitude, the others may also climb out of the sewer.
And that is what the Fourth of July means to this author. Fireworks, barbecues, and department store sales are optional.
And he didn't even blush.
"There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality." Karl Marx
“Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.” Vladimir Lenin
Comrades, our faith is in an eternal, un-created universe - quite the opposite of faith in an eternal, un-created God. Thank God (scratch that), thank the Holy Infallible State (Us) that most Americans with Christian faith are completely oblivious to the fact that, as we are instructed by John Locke, faith is any belief undiscoverable by science; otherwise they would realize our game, that our belief is not based and cannot be based on scientific observation of the origin of an infinitely old universe - a belief which therefore requires faith on our part; a faith which is interestingly quite similar in essence to theirs – but don’t ever let on about it. Some of the religious rubes understand that the universe is actually 14.5 billion years old - based on the scientific observations of Edwin Hubble (Doppler shifting of light emanating from distant galaxies) and the mathematical calculations of Monsignor Georges Lemaître, but they haven't connected the dots because if we Atheists admit this scientific truth we are thereby forced to believe in a self-created universe; a belief which violates Einstein's law of mass/energy conservation: E = MC2; where mass can be converted into energy and visa versa, but neither mass nor energy can create its self without supernatural power. In any event Comrades, we should familiarize ourselves with the moral arguments of the American Founding Fathers - so we can undercut them at every opportunity - without ever admitting that our system is also based on faith - one which is simply the mirror image of theirs. Our faith however, as opposed to theirs, leads to the happy realization that all men are not created equal - and there is no such thing as God-given unalienable human rights - this plays directly into our hands.
Comrades, if man is made in the image of God, then his/her value is infinite; and all men are equal in value before God, and equal before the law. If God does not exist, then all men are not created equal – none with infinite and therefore all with unequal value. Under our faith some individuals (like us) will become, as in Animal Farm, “more equal than others” based on our measurable value related to natural selection, and our Nietzschen “Will to Power.” If God does not exist, then the individual has measurable economic and social value; a few of greater value (us) and the vast majority of little value.
Comrades, if man is made in the image of God; then, since God lives and gave life to man, man has a sacred unalienable right to life and self-defense. If God does not exist, then the individual’s right to life is reversible since it comes from a group of other people – from government - from us. The Soviet constitution of our now departed Comrades granted a so-called right to life to its subjects, yet the glorious government engaged in economic/social class struggle - social justice - murdering tens of millions of their own people. Interestingly the Soviet constitution – thank the Holy State - did not grant its “little people” a right to self-defense – no second amendment because we the Pigs of Animal Farm (scratch that) we the State "Philosopher Kings" possess their right to life and self-defense. Remember Comrades, without a right to self-defense the so-called “right to life” is meaningless. The State-damned Declaration of Independence states that all individuals have a self-evident God-given right to life, and the State-damned American Bill of Rights reiterates that all have a self-evident, God-given right to defend life in self defense through bearing arms – so we must destroy all understanding and memory of the American Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights – our education, media and entertainment specialists are proceeding apace on this front.
Comrades, if man is made in the image of God; then, since God is free, man has a sacred unalienable right to liberty – man is born free. If God does not exist, then the little serf's freedom of speech (without fear of life, limb, liberty, or property) is reversible since it comes from a group of other people – from government - from us.
If man is made in the image of God; then, since God is the Great Creator, man has a sacred unalienable right to his/her own creativity – a right to property created through individual labor – a right to the pursuit of happiness. If God does not exist, then the individual’s right to honestly earned private property is reversible since it comes from a group of other people – from government - from us - so we get first dibbs on their stuff.
“If God does not exist, then everything is permitted” Fyodor Dostoyevsky - And that, Comrades, is exactly what we want. Let social justice and our world-wide counter-revolution roll down like a mighty river from the Holy and Infallible State.
And I will never look down on servitude. Bring it on.
If an atheist can tell from his/her own free moral agency that it is wrong for a small group of people (a government) to destroy (take possession of) an individual's unalienable right to life, liberty or labored-for property in pursuit of happiness (If he/she agrees with the self-evident truths of our Declaration of Independence); then I'd say such a person, even while denying the existence of God, has a good measure of God's Spirit within his mind and heart.
Theo - that quote by Dostoyevsky was more of an idea to ponder and discuss in the book, not an axiom.
That thing called reason is our ability to perceive, understand and accept self-evident truth - both scientific and moral; and according to religious faith reason comes from God - a manifestation in man of God's Spirit.
“The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another's pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another's uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for our's.” John Locke
“Where revelation comes into its own is where reason (science) cannot reach. Where we have few or no ideas for reason (science) to contradict or confirm, this is the proper matters for faith…that Part of the Angels rebelled against GOD, and thereby lost their first happy state: and that the dead shall rise, and live again: These and the like, being Beyond the Discovery of Reason (Science), are purely matters of Faith; with which Reason (Science) has nothing to do.“ John Locke
Faith is any belief undiscoverable by science, which is to say any belief based on that which is un-observable and un-testable - such as belief in an uncreated and infinitely old (eternally old) God, or belief in an uncreated and infinitely old (eternally old) universe. Choose your faith. I believe, like our American Founding Fathers, that without faith in God we are left with reversible (not unalienable) so-called human rights which are in fact reversible privileges temporarily granted to some people by another smaller group of people (government). Our Founding Fathers said there is something higher than government - God is higher than government - God-given unalienable equal rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are higher than government - Natural human rights (Natural Law) is higher than government.
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson
You are of course correct; I've strayed into the realm of thought crime, and I now throw myself at the mercy of the Inner Party's Infallible Priests of Power. My only request at this point is to continue receiving my monthly allotment of other people's money; I'm even willing to denounce Commisar Theocritus if that will keep me out of Room 101.
And Red, I'm not quite sure that this cannot be disposed of in an axiom. I once won an argument with a Harvard grad/lawyer (and friend from 1972 on) in which I stated that the difference between America and the USSR (then) was that there is a fence around America to keep people out (we wish) and there is a fence around the USSR to keep people in.
He snorted. "That's bumper sticker."
"That's too clever. The purpose of a government is to serve its citizens, and having a fence around a country to imprison its citizens in tells me all I need to know."
I'm worried because you are edging toward serious thought crime, and if you're not careful you'll find youself in a shit storm of trouble like me. If I can worm (purchase) my way out of this one I'll praise the Holy State and once more become a true collectivized Manifesto-thumping believer again. Since you have far greater influence and contacts within our Infallible Inner Party, the Pigs of Animal Farm (scratch that) the Holy Priests of Power; I'm groveling and begging you to intercede on my behalf. Is there not a special Papal (scratch that) Inner Party dispensation for cases such as mine?
Personally I think that you're doing well. You're nasty, and I like that. You can brown-noise and I like that too. And I've seen the sharp glances that you throw at other people's wallets, and I love that.
I'll tell you what. Go hire someone to do some simple job like mow your yard. And then stand over the poor son of a bitch and yell at him. Inspect his equipment. Ask him if he bought his gasoline from a green gas station. Ask to see his insurance. Ask to see the immigration status of all of his helpers, unless of course they look as though they're Hispanic, and then you can't do that.
Then cut the agreed-on fee in half, and deduct half of that for carrying charges and taxes and other user fees...
If you can reduce a small business working a near minimum wage to furious, helpless idleness where they have to go to you for everything and you have complete control over them, then you are well poised to climb the Socialist Ladder into the upper reaches, and become a Made Prog yourself.
Thank you so much for your Inner Party advice and presumed absolution; in return I shall continue to grovel before you. I've been reading up on the Party's techniques and found a great resource along the lines you have outlined. I can't wait to try it out on some lesser Kulaks than myself.
“The individual is only a cell... power is collective. The individual only has power in so far that he ceases to be an individual... If he can make complete utter submission; if he can escape from his identity; if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all powerful and immortal… Can you not understand that the death of the individual is not death; the Party is immortal... You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do, and will turn against us; but we create human nature.” George Orwell - 1984
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others... We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we're doing... Power is not a means, it is an end… The object of power is power... Always there will be the intoxication of power... We are the priests of power… Power is power over human beings, over the body; but above all over the mind... The real power; the power we have to fight for night and day is not power over things but over men. How does one man assert his power over another... by making him suffer... Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing… We shall crush you down to the point from which there is no coming back... Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling; everything will be dead inside you... You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves.” George Orwell – 1984
“We'll cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman... In the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth as one takes eggs from a hen... There will be no loyalty except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love except the love of Big Brother... There will be no heart, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science… Do you begin to see then what kind of world we are creating... a world of fear and treachery and torment... ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph and self-abasement; everything else we shall destroy... it will be a world of terror… The more the party is powerful the less it will be tolerant; the weaker the opposition the tighter the despotism... Always we shall have the heretic at our mercy, screaming with pain, broken up, contemptible; and in the end utterly penitent, saved from himself, crawling to our feet of his own accord. That is the world that we are preparing… If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.” George Orwell - 1984
The primary ethos of America is Christian, so insult the Xians and suck up to the bombers. Angry? Great. We'll feed it.
And of course we surrender our identity to the Party. Why should we need friends? We will spend all of our time at the union hall, watching the six-hour-long pronunciamenti of Big Brother.
Who will lead us to the Progressive World of Next Tuesday.
So with caution I submit that, “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted” Fyodor Dostoyevsky meant exactly what it seems to say. He was a Christian (of some sort and flavor) and the statement makes sense within Christian reasoning. So did Mr. D. say it? I read him too long ago to remember but it sounds like him.
But it may be a worthwhile effort to rewrite historic Dostoyevsky. Most history can and should be improved upon by more enlightened present minds. Eye witness accounts are notoriously unreliable - eye of the beholder and all that.
The same can be said of history itself.
That said, it is true that atheistic states tend not to last long, torn apart by, I think, the megalomania of social engineers who do not have the humility of someone who does believe that he is watched by a supreme being. It is for this reason that I bow my head at public prayers, never ridicule Christians or Jews, am truly thankful for the good wishes, and prayers of others, and even offer prayers in need of someone else--not that I believe that they are answered, but I might be wrong. I don't pray for myself.
Still, one can I think make the case that it's a very good idea to have a decent religion as the centerpiece of a state, but that you cannot claim that religion gave rise to morality. I suspect it's the other way around.