Understanding power

“My theory of power centers around Power Networks, and assumes that all people are motivated by survival instincts to seek, consolidate, and capitalize power.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
-Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887.

In the 115 years since that was spoken, few people still fully grasp the idea of “power”. We speak of people as “rich and powerful”, always instrinsically connecting money to power. What most people (especially here at K5) fail to understand that money and power are equatable. Power is far better than money. ”

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Big Brother reaslised…EU votes in death of privacy.

“The European Parliament passed a controversial measure Thursday that would allow countries to force telecommunication companies to keep detailed records of customers’ data for snooping purposes.

The Parliament passed the Communications Data Protection Directive, 351 to 133, despite an aggressive campaign by civil liberties groups who say the measure would enable police to spy on citizens.

Parliament members who voted for the directive say police need to access transmission data for e-mail, phone calls, Internet use, faxes, and pager messages to deter terrorist attacks. The directive would permit authorities to direct telecom companies to store such data for indefinite time periods.”

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Evolution, Males, and Violence

A brilliant essay by David Barash on sex differences, violence..and well…life in general:

People are generally insensitive to whatever permeates their lives. So, if you were to ask someone to describe human violence, only rarely would you hear that it is overwhelmingly perpetrated by males. And yet, the truth is that if we could eliminate or even significantly reduce male violence, we would pretty much get rid of violence altogether. The maleness of violence is so overwhelming that it is rarely even noticed; it is the ocean in which we swim.

What might be called the “killing establishment” — soldiers, executioners, hunters, even slaughterhouse workers — is overwhelmingly male. Underworld killers such as violent gangs are also peopled largely by men. Whenever seemingly unprovoked and deadly shootings occur in homes and workplaces, men are typically the mass murderers. Nor is this imbalance limited to the United States: Whether in Kosovo, Rwanda, Cambodia, the Middle East, Guatemala, or Afghanistan, when people kill and maim other people, men are nearly always the culprits. And of course, the lethal operatives of Al Qaeda and its equivalent are reliably male, as are those sent to combat them.”

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On hearing Simon Hughes is calling for increased immigration…

Hughes is the bellweather for the faux progressive herd. He represents a
constituency with a large immigrant population so he is keeping one
chameleon eye on them and another on his bosses arse. He regularly pumps out
this specious rubbish (seemingly lifted straight off a ‘disinformation on
immigration’ primer) in defence of this potentially ruinous experiment in
mega-immigration (mass- no longer captures the scale of the irruption).

He is a textbook example of the socialist self server. Other people
nationalism and bigotries are OK. Your own kind and your own history are
despised. Look after yourself and your own short term interests whilst
claiming to be serving the interests of universal man. At all costs repeat
the mantra: diversity is good, diversity is a strength, immigration brings
diversity.

Of course ‘diversity’ is a filler goodthink/goodfeel word – effectively
meaningless but thanks to repetition, it is now “good”. The propagandists of
the left are trying to achieve the javalamu effect (
http://www.juvalamu.com/ ). First associate a vague word with almost all
your core principles, then relentlessly redefine it positively.

Eventually you have a meaningless incantation that sounds good and evokes an
appropriate emotion. Simply use you spell word whenever you need to
introduce positivity. As it has no real meaning it cannot be criticised or
deconstructed. It is just a trigger word after all. Javalamu = diversity.

It is a terrible pity that history’s lash cannot inflict any real pain on
the villains of posterity or that contemporary villains cannot be threatened
with future shame. What good is it that people like Hughes will be denounced
as insane fools in 50 years (along with all the other apologists for
fundamentalist intolerance, unrestrained immigration and multiculturalism )?
He will be dead by the time the consequences of his actions have fully
matured. Where are the ghosts of Winterval future when you need them to show
idiots like this the likely consequences of their self-interested idiocy?

What is needed in this dishonest world where style trumps substance and
appearance is all that matters, is a way to somehow connect the people
who’s decisions have massive consequences for others to those very
consequences. We need to rediscover shame. Perhaps we should adopt a sins of
the father approach? It would sharpen political thinking and clear up plenty
of bullshit. Imagine if politicians had to stake the lives or livelihood of
their children (or related descendants ) on the outcomes of their policies.
Maybe the politicians entire estate could be confiscated? Every living
descendant sterilised? The sons hanged for the sins of the father.

If only….

False idealists like Hughes articulate romantic delusions and receive in
return what they hunger for most: acclaim. That it is the acclaim of the
ignorant , the uncomprehending and the collusory does not matter. When the
delusory nature of their hopes is revealed and the deadly consequences of
their idealism expounded – they accuse you of attacking the hopes and
principles themselves.

It is the perennial problem when dealing with idealists (or false idealists)
who are addicted to the mind killing toxic air of their imagined moral high
ground: How can you make them see the link between what appears to be
harmless prating about rights/fellowship/decency etc and the consequences of
actually acting on their proposal? Does one unfurl the long scroll listing
grim unintended consequences and the annihilation of the naive? Does one
ignore and wait for maturity to set in?

These false idealists may or may not misunderstands the constraints on their
(pretend) noble ambitions (and the dangers they create). The dishonest known
the ruinous consequences if their proposals, but speak out anyway to harvest
praise and acclaim. The honest are simply deluded or foolish – believing
their own exhortations and naive pronouncement. Both can be deadly if they
are persuasive. History and the truth are no defence against them: They
appeal to an otherwhere where an ideal set of circumstances makes an ideal
set of men. They sell a dream – knowingly or not the half realisation of
which is ruinous.

This reminds me of a rather macro level prisoners dilemma. If prisoners
cooperate it is best for them both. If one betrays the other then one
co-operating is doubly punished. An idealist – ignoring all evidence of
man’s self interest – would have you wager the future of an entire culture
or society and 1000 years of moral calculus on an experiment in
mega-immigration and the hoped for beneficence of the ingressing hordes.

I know it sound like insanity. That is because it is.

This is just another expression of the battle between naivety and
experience, wisdom and folly, youth and age, reason and madness. It is of
course easy to preach tolerance, brotherhood, fellowship of man, equality,
fairness etc. One is likely to get much approval and ego stroking for
endorsing such goodness. It is an entirely different matter taking
realistic measure to protect yourself from the intolerance, enmity, envy,
violence, inequality and unfairness that is very much the norm in most of
the world. Idealists hope their own fairness will be a talisman to ward off
the brutality of others or perhaps they hope that they will be taken
seriously enough to be universally praised for their goodness, but
sufficiently ignored for their suggested actions never to be carried out.

Hughes is like the person who loudly harangues the lifeboat crew to return
to the site of sunken ship “for the others”. It is an ostensibly noble
sentiment but such an action would be suicide for those in the lifeboat. The
haranguer has lifted the guilt of survival but is secretly grateful that he
is ignored. “But I tried” he will say to themselves, “those brutes refused
to go back”. Win:win for the haranguer – he get the moral praise, to ease
his guilt and survive.

The nightmare, of course, is to be a sane person on boat where such a silly
notion takes root, where the meme spreads and the boat is turned around. Now
that is the situation we face today. We on the lifeboats that represent Europe are being turned
around to accept the horde…and leading the flotilla is Hughes and
company…

[ Update: It is worth quoting at length from a brilliant essay I cam across this afternoon.
From “No-Think Nation VI: Destroying the West with Political Correctness” By Paul Craig Roberts

Does democracy undermine a countryís future by shortening the time- preference of rulers? Does racial diversity produce conflict? Are Americaís ìtwo greatest strengthsî in fact the countryís two greatest weaknesses?

In an important new book, Democracy: The God That Failed political economist Hans Hermann Hoppe makes the case that democracy causes rulers to use policy for their short-term gains at the expense of the long-term welfare of the country.

A king or hereditary line of rulers has a long-term view, because he and his heirs have a proprietary interest in the country. Although all kings will not be well-informed or in possession of good judgment, their proprietary interest causes hereditary rulers to pay attention to the repercussions of their actions on the economic, social and cultural strength of their country.

A democracy, on the other hand, is ruled by temporary and interchangeable caretakers, who have no proprietary interest in the country. Their ability to exploit the country to their advantage is limited to their uncertain term of office. The results are shortsighted or present-oriented policies, which benefit the office holder at the long-term expense of the country.

The longer democracy exists, the more damage will be done to law, property, culture, family, and moral values by the musical chair system of rotating rulers guided by short-term interest. As redistribution expands, the incentive for businessmen, judges, and consumers to take a long-term view is systematically reduced. Business time horizons shrink to three months, saving rates fall and debt levels rise as shortsighted rule reduces government to income and wealth confiscation.

The prevailing incentive for citizens becomes to over-consume income and to be a net debtor, as wealth is targeted for exploitation both by government and lawyers.”

Not a cheerful analysis. Before dismissing it, sit back and make your list of government policies that take a long-term view to actually promote ìthe general welfare.î

At this point the author of this peice lists Reaganís supply-side policy, which cured ìstagflationî by overthrowing Keynesian short-term demand management, and President Reaganísa and his decision to abandon ìcontainmentî and actively work to hasten the fall of the Soviet Union.

he then analyses several of America’s ìgreat victoriesî which he points out are actually unmitigated disasters

“The Civil Rights Act destroyed freedom of conscience, voluntary association, and equality in law, replacing it with status-based privileges from the feudal past. Busing and federal aid destroyed public education. The Great Society spending programs eroded family and encouraged public dependency. The New Deal destroyed accountable law by forcing Congress to delegate lawmaking power to unelected federal bureaucrats. The Social Security Act substituted an intergenerational Ponzi scheme, which is entirely dependent on favorable demographics, for individual saving. The Federal Reserve Act gave us the Great Depression. American entry into W.W.I, which was to make the world ìsafe for democracy,î resulted in Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.

Yet, all these disastrous policies greatly benefited the politicians who inflicted them.

When democracy is mixed with racial and cultural diversity, the combination of short time horizons with internal conflict maximizes weakness, regardless of accumulated scientific and technological skills.

In another important recent book, Conflicts Explained by Ethnic Nepotism, Scandinavian scholar Tatu Vanhanen argues that group conflict is biologically or racially based.

Professor Vanhanen constructs an Index of Ethnic Heterogeneity, [RTF] a measure of ethnic, tribal, racial, linguistic and religious diversity, for every country in the world with a population larger than one million. He then constructs an Index of Ethnic Conflict [RTF] and finds a strong correlation between the scores of the two indexes.

In our world of politically correct scholarship, it is almost obligatory for sociologists to assume that the source of conflict is ìoppressionî or ìinjustice.î Prof. Vanhanen dismisses these ìexplanationsî as worn-out Marxist propaganda.

Conflict, he concludes, comes from ìethnic nepotism.î It is natural to the human species to favor relatives over people who are unrelated to us. Extending this principle, people care more for those genetically related to them than for others. Of all chasms that separate people, race is the hardest to bridge.

Multiracial or multitribal states break up, because assimilation across racial boundaries is rare.

The only solution to the conflict is secession and separation.

Professor Vanhanen notes that the belief that racial diversity is a strength is limited to Western European countries, the U.S. and Canada. The belief is so obviously at odds with the experience of the rest of the world that only people brainwashed by political correctness can believe it.

By infusing themselves with massive racial diversity, the countries of the West are ceasing to be nation-states and are planting seeds of future conflict without precedent in world history.

Nonthinking civilizations are doomed. The weakness of Western intellectual thought is apparent when the entire edifice can be challenged by two books.

Is the West too politically correct to free itself from the black hole of No- Think? ]

Brilliant stuff…

Big in japan

The British embassy in Tokyo has issued a leaflet to local shopkeepers to avoid ‘misunderstandings’. Here are a few exerpts:

“What is an England supporter? The behaviour of England supporters is different from that of football fans in Japan. They tend to move in groups. Before the start of the game they gather in bars, parks and open spaces, where they display their flags. While drinking beer and singing, they raise their expectations for the match. By wearing their England shirts, they express their pride in their mother country.

During the game, they are focused only on the events on the pitch. You could say that they feel 100% at one with the players and their fellow fans.

After the match, supporters lose a little of their enthusiasm for the game. Celebrating a win or commiserating a loss, they will analyse the match in detail over a final beer. After that they’ll just go back to their hotel to sleep. That doesn’t change whether they win or lose.

Some supporters are very noisy. You might feel frightened by their big bodies and their large numbers. But please don’t view them only as a threat. Be generous and try to understand how mad they are about football. Share that understanding with them.

Trying to communicate: Memorising just a few phrases of English such as “Welcome”, “Can I help you?” and “England are a great team” can make quite a difference.

Have writing implements, paper and dictionaries to hand. When you come across someone with a strong accent, you can sometimes get by through writing things down.

Even if your bar is full, that won’t stop supporters trying to come in. They might buy alcohol to take outside and drink in the street or in parks, so it’s a good idea to think about serving drinks in plastic cups.

When British people throw away their rubbish, they don’t separate it into different categories. It might be useful to put an English sign on each bin indicating what to put where. “

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Sex in prisons…

..OK so it is not all booty bandits and being a prison wife and owning a bitch or being a chump. Prison sex, in the UK at least, appears to be:

Some screw screwing (having sex with prison officers)
A smatering of homosexuality
Mostly masturbation…

There’s no need to be an academic to deduce that getting your end away in nick – heterosexually speaking that is – is pretty difficult at the best of times. What’s that I hear? So it should be, these are criminals we’re talking about. Well, go with me on this one, and I will try to unravel the can of worms that is sexuality in our country’s prisons…

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DíSouza on Racism

“Although the term is used in various ways, the basic meaning of racism is clear. Racism is a theory of intellectual or moral superiority based upon the physical characteristics of race. According to Websters New World Dictionary, it refers to a ìdoctrine of teaching.. that claims to find racial differences in character and intelligenceî and that ìasserts the superiority of one race over another, as well as ìany program or practice of racial discrimination or segregation based on such beliefs.î

From this definition one must meet four criteria to qualify as a racist.

First, one must believe in the existence of biologically distinguishable races.
Second, one must rank these in terms of superior and inferior groups.
Third, one must hold these rankings to be intrinsic or innate.
Finally, one must seek to use them as the basis for denying other people their rights based on their membership in a particular racial group.”

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Make babies now!

There have been a whole rush of scare stories and books to frighten mothers who plan to have their children late.

This article explains how waiting to have a baby is an evolutionary mistake. It will, according to a recent study, lead to the “likely eventual extinction of the older mother’s lineage.”

This follows closely from the furore that surrounded the publican of Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s “Creating a Life” in which she kicked off baby panicwhen she rightly pointed out that the older women get, the less fertile they become.

See The Talk of the Book World Still Can’t Sell from the New York Times or Making Time for a Baby from Time.com

Tough times for those childless singles….better get a breedin’ there folks.

Dem limey poofs…

From: “ray hartman”
To: tim.richardson@theregister.co.uk
Subject: poor gelded bas*ards

tr:

So spammy-poos are coming after the brit-twit. Poor Brit bastards ya used ta be tough. Till the Gv’mnt tit became more important than
Brit-yeoman-steel. And the damnable OxBridge culture less important than the next ecstasy tab ta stick up yer arse. More’s the pity.

‘Course now us Yank dsl-rubes keep our Winchesters and Mauser-98s well oiled, so while the byte_wogs may get us, the first-one-thru-the-door gets sent ta hell. Remember? Ya used ta be like that also. Ya taught us why and how ta do it. More’s the pity.

ray hartman
spokane, wa.

Lagaan – Marxist porn comes of age

Lagaan (2001)
Dir: Ashutosh Gowariker
225min

It is a film that Louis Proyect said “should not be missed by anybody who likes to see the underdog get the better of his oppressor, especially when the oppressor is a preening and sadistic British colonial officer.”

Sounds like Marxist porn? It is. This film is a curious admixture of crude propaganda movie – stuffed with racist stereotypes and appealing to base, quasi-fascist notions of unity through war against a common enemy – and an excellent adventure story/moral tale.

“Lagaan” features stereotyped parasitic colonial villains and valiant but oppressed peasants. At one level the film is an allegory of the capitalist conversion and subversion of dissent and rebellion – in this case symbolised by the villagers taking up cricket (capitalism) to beat the capitalists/oppressors at their own game.

The fact that colonial values have won out does not fit well into this story. Cricket is the national sport of Indian and Pakistan. The Indian Army’s elites are trained at Sandhurst. The poignancy of a token moral victory by the peasants in this film in the wider context of cultural annihilation is perhaps the main emotional force in the film. The battle won amongst the annihilation of a lost war. The charge of the light brigade. Defiance in death.

A telling point in the film is where the villagers, confronted by a cricket game, watch bemusedly. The game is judged to look “silly and stupid”. Of course that silly and stupid game is now the national sport of both Indian and Pakistan. I am sure the irony is not lost on the film makers.

But then again this film is saturated with irony.

In one scene in the film, the protagonist (Bhutan) persuades the rest of the team to accept an untouchable into their ranks (In real life this would have to be done at gunpoint…but we have suspended out incredulity for now). The team is not happy. How can they allow somebody from the lower caste on their team? Bhutan delivers a speech about the need to unite all Indians against their enemy and to eradicate the caste system.

One must wonder what to make of this outburst. The caste system in India is being challenged – but not because of some internal moral authority or enlightenment. Rather , it is globalisation and the forces of capitalist modernity that are destroying yet another “traditional” power system – this time the caste system.

Perhaps Bhutan’s speech can be seen in the light of the Indo-Pakistan nuclear stand off as a call to arms for all Indians (regardless of ethnicity) against the common enemy – Pakistan?

The cricket team is a perfectly politically correct assembly: it is composed of a member of the lower caste, a token Sikh, Muslims and Hindus who, of course, get along amicably.

The film does not present the scenario of the team being confronted with the news that say local Muslims had just burned to death 50 Hindus or Hindu mobs had just mass murdered Muslims, also by fire. I imagine a speech denouncing the British would be in order and a sub plot blaming the local British commander for instigating the violence. One wonders if the amicability is only maintained with the fascist notion of in-group solidarity at the expense of a common enemy – in this instance the minority British colonialists?

“Lagaan” is, in the tradition of Bollywood, a long film. Over four hours – split into two parts. One has to wonder, why does it take fours hours to tell a fantasy story of some poor villagers beating local squaddies at their own game?

This is, after all, a Bollywood film. Consequently there is a love triangle, plenty of dancing and glittering costumes. It also has to be long. People want decent length movies in India. Quantity and quality are not neccisarily distinguished.

As the film is ultimately about the superiority of the Indians, the enemy’s women are also conquered. An English woman sympathetic to the cause – none other that the chief baddies sister – teaches the Indians the fine points of cricket and falls in love with the virile Bhutan.

[ In a scene cut from the movie, we learn the brutish British cricket captain keeps Bhutan’s sister as a bed wench. She symbolises the Indian comprador class. ]

This revisists the old cliche of salvation for the natives at the hand of white women. Perhaps this is another nod towards India’s obsession with fair skin. After all, when was the last time you saw a dark skinned Bollywood actress? A light skinned Sudra probably has better prospects in life than a dark skinned Brahmin. Such is the power of complexion in India. But that is another discussion. Back to the film…

At one point in the film we are even treated to – get this – a rain dance! If a non-Indian were to have included this primitive behaviour in a film they would be accused of being racist or at least anti-Indian. Louis glowing descibed the scene as having “a delirious quality ” where the droight stricken villagers “serenade and dance to the darkening clouds that they hope will finally bring much needed rain.” For some reason this reminds me of the flashback scene in Dancing At Lughnasa where the old priest reveals to his shocked relatives that he has “gone native”.

All in all the film is an enjoyable romp for the sort of people who enjoy world music, dance awkwardly at bongo troupes in the foyer of London’s Barbican and think that colonialism was ultimately a bad thing or that Marx was…well…right.

This film with its simple plot and crude (and some might say racist) stereotypes could have been squeezed into a 7 minute short. I think it would have done better as a massive propaganda poster or perhaps a sculpture. As it is – a loose copy of Escape to Victory but with neither the humour nor the dramatic tensions of the original – it is probably worth seeing. Be warned, if you believe the stereotypes, then your name is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

2/10

[ I, Jonathan Davis, have NOT seen the film. This “review” is based on Louis’ earlier post and is mostly tongue in cheek. The film has received high praise across the world and despite the dodgy political “messages”, the acting, dancing and story are by nearly all accounts superb. ]