Posts Tagged ‘Adolf Hitler’

Drag Queens, Freemasons and the World Economic Forum: The Weird Conspiracist Views of Correct, Not Political

February 6, 2023

I spent some time Saturday evening watching a couple of videos posted by the far right YouTube outfit, Correct, Not Political. One was of their man Jim walking around the demonstrators and supporters at Drag Queen Story Time in Colchester asking them awkward, ‘Socratic’ questions. The other was an interview between Jim and another fixture of the British far right, Godfrey Bloom. Both were weirdly interesting, but only for the light they cast on these two men’s conspiracist views. I’ve already written about how Correct, Not Political has the classic paranoid idea that the Masons are behind a massive conspiracy. His interview with Bloom, and the comments he made talking to some of the people in Colchester confirmed it. It also revealed him to be a mad anti-vaxxer who thinks they’re putting something in it to kill people as part of the WEF’s goal to reduce the human population on the planet.

The drag queen reading to the kids in Colchester was Edward Wilcox, who performs under the name ‘Ann Nemic’ or something similar. Talking to various members of the crowd, Jim said that ‘Nemic’ had been vaccinated twice, and given blood 92 times. He didn’t want to say too much, as he didn’t want his channel to be banned, but didn’t this tell you something. Er, yes. It demonstrates that he was like everyone else and did as the government and medical authorities advised. He got vaccinated to protect himself. As for giving blood 92 times, one of the women at the demonstration pointed out that it made him a good person and that surely you want people to give blood? His stage name also shows that he has a sense of humour: Ann Nemic/ anaemic. It doesn’t say anything more than that, unless you’re so paranoid you think he was actively trying to spread whatever it is in the vaccine which you think is a poison by donating his contaminated blood. Sadly, I think Jim really is that bonkers.

Looking at the crowd, he declared, ‘There isn’t half a lot of sodomy going on here!’ This was probably because they were quite a few gay people and people waving pride flags, not because gay men were having sex in the street. He then went round warning people that drag queen story hour was a plot to indoctrinate kids with gender ideology and abuse from paedophiles. Here he has a point. James Lindsay has read out a paper co-written by a drag queen and queer activist, which states that the purpose of these shows is to queer the children’s minds and upset gender norms. And yes, the founder of Queer Theory, Judith Butler, did support paedophilia and the breaking down of barriers between adult and child. But this doesn’t mean that every drag queen, library or school which stages these sessions holds such views or is even aware of their existence. They may just be doing it because they genuinely feel it is spreading tolerance towards gay and trans people whilst encouraging children to read. No more than that.

Walking around the demonstration was a bald bloke, who looked a bit like the Matt Lucas character George Daws, selling copies of the Socialist Worker. So Jim immediately called him a Communist, asked whether he was trying to get people to sign up for Communism, and then asked people to tell him if there was a country in which Communism had ever succeeded. Well, technically the man was a Trotskyite, which is a slightly different form of Marxism. And I actually agree with him in that there hasn’t been a country where Communism has been successful. China has been doing very well of late, but that’s also thanks to a capitalist component in its economy. But from where Britain stands at the moment, capitalism isn’t working very well either. Far from improving people’s living standards, they’re being lowered. However, the right haven’t given up the refrain that this generation has it far better than anyone else at any time in history, and capitalism has raised more people out of poverty than socialism has. The first part of that statement is utterly wrong, and the second needs serious qualifications.

The drag show, Jim said, was all about promoting equality. But this was equality under communism, where everyone didn’t have life equally good, but equally bad, except for those at the top. Again, this seems to come from critiques of the woke ideology from James Lindsay and the EDIJester. It’s certainly present in those ideologies, though its equity – equality of outcome – rather than equality of opportunity. There were a couple of examples of this in the American education system a month or so ago. One teacher, in the interest of equality, gave all her students an ‘A’. Another one just gave the average award to a series of excellent students, who actually deserved much higher marks to take them into one of the prestigious American universities to study science. This was eventually revealed after an inquiry and possibly legal action. I have yet to hear of a case like this in this country, however.

Jim also got shirty with the Trotskyite because the man called him a Fascist and a Nazi. Jim told him that was libel, to which the fellow rightly pointed out that it was slander, as he’d know if he’d actually had any knowledge of the law. As Jim has prefaced several of his livestreams with old footage of Oswald Mosley and the BUF, and that Mosley changed his benighted organisation’s name to the ‘British Union of Fascists and National Socialists’, it could be said that what the man said was fair comment.

When someone asked who was behind this plot to corrupt Britain’s kids, Jim replied that, again he didn’t want to say too much, but it was the Freemasons, citing a couple of 19th century authors, who, he said, were themselves 33rd degree members of the brotherhood. I’ve forgotten just who they were, but their names rang a bell among the sources cited by those convinced of such a conspiracy. Finally, after bothering the good burghers of Colchester for about an hour, and nearly being assaulted by some particularly angry LGBTQ+ rights demonstrators, he went off in search of something to drink. Going through the town’s back streets, he complained about the number of ‘weirdos’ there were and that it was all coffee houses. Quite what he has against coffee houses I don’t know. Perhaps he was afraid that if he went inside, left-wing intellectuals would all jump on him like the characters in Fraser all those years ago.

His conspiracist views became much clearer in his conversation with Godfrey Bloom. Bloom announced himself has having been an investment banker for 40 years and at one time a member of the defence council or something like that. He was thus well-placed to know that capitalism was about to collapse. Actually, there’s a Marxist economics professor on YouTube, Richard Wolf, who has being saying exactly the same thing. And if it hadn’t been for Brown in 2008, I’m sure it would have collapsed. The two then shared their views on the World Economic Forum wishing to depopulate the planet, set up Green Communism and make us all eat bugs. The WEF has captured all our institutions, including the monarchy. Prince Philip also believed there were too many people on the planet. Well, the late Duke of Edinburgh was the head of the World Wide Fund for Nature, so his views are hardly a surprise. The WEF are Malthusians, which means that they believe that population always outstrips the supply of available food, as suggested by the 19th century economist Thomas Malthus. Malthus and his followers believed that when this happened, starvation and war would inevitably result. In order to prevent this, they recommended birth control and were active promoting contraception. As did the Duke, who on one of his official visits to some tribe showed the men how to put on a condom using a spear. However, the WEF were going much further and planning to wipe out a sizable chunk of humanity using a manufactured disease or its vaccine. Those who survived would be under the WEF’s new communist order.

This made me wonder if Jim knew about the wretched views of the late zookeeper John Aspinall, best known for his big cats killing and mauling people. Aspinall also believed that there were too many people around. He said the British population should be only eight million. However, he definitely wasn’t a communist of any description. He declared that what the country needed was a ‘counterrevolution, Francoist in spirit.’ So his green views were closer to Hitler’s than the WEF. And almost certainly pretty close to Jim’s and Bloom’s.

Correct, Not Political’s Jim therefore seems to have read or watched much material about the woke ideology, especially Queer Theory, and mixed this up with old conspiracy theories about the masons. I also think there might be a touch of anti-Catholicism in their as well. When he was voicing his objections to drag queens reading to children as getting them used to nonces, one woman asked him about Roman Catholic priests abusing children. He didn’t agree with that, either, but said he didn’t agree with established religions as ‘they’re from Satan’. But some of the other things he has said, and they’re nothing I can put a precise finger on, suggests that he might have the same conspiracist views about the Catholic church, which is supposed to be doing the work of the antichrist, as some as the bigoted Protestant writers of the 19th century.

Correct, Not Political aren’t physically violent, and while Jim’s sneers about socialism are irritating, he personally has an affable manner. I can’t say that they present a physical danger, unlike National Action or the BNP, for example. What is dangerous is the mad anti-vaxxer views and the deranged paranoia about the WEF, which he also shares with the Lotus Eaters, Alex Jones and any number of others on the right. And these views are a danger to democratic politics, if only because the undermine proper democratic views in favour of suspicion and paranoia.

Watchmojo on the Most Evil British Tabloids

January 25, 2023

WatchMojo is a YouTube channel that specialises in lists of the most (insert adjective) of whatever subject they’re covering. This is usually popular culture, like films, TV programmes and comics. But in this video from their British offshoot they delve into the very murky world of British tabloid and red top newspapers to discuss the six worst of them. And so, imagine if you will, this run down of the very worst of British journalism accompanied by the old style Top of the Pops theme as that sadly missed programme went down the music charts.

Coming last at No. 6 is the Daily Star for its coverage of weird paranormal stories like black-eyed ghost children, their libelling of the Liverpool fans at the Hillsborough disaster and getting sued by the McCanns for its malign take on the disappearance of their daughter. They also blamed video games for Raoul Moat’s shooting spree, despite the entire lack of evidence showing that video games are responsible for real world violence, and for making up an interview with Duane ‘the Rock’ Johnson.

Coming in at no. 5, pop-pickers, is the Mirror, showing that it’s also left-wing papers that can have appalling low journalistic standards. This is there because of its owner, Robert Maxwell, raiding his employees’ pension funds, and Piers Morgan publishing fake photographs of alleged atrocities by British troops in Iraq. This part of the video shows some of the other headlines from the paper, such as its ‘Achtung! Surrender’ to the Germans at the 1996 World Cup as other illustrations of its lack of taste and anything resembling decent attitudes.

At No. 4 in this chart of journalistic infamy is the Daily Mail, as illustrated by its article ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’ praising Mosley’s BUF and its owner, Lord Rothermere’s trip to Germany and praise of the Nazi regime. The video also states that it’s been suggested that the paper’s pro-appeasement stance convinced Hitler that Britain would not retaliate if he invaded Poland, thus causing World War II. More recently the paper has also been sued for libel or inaccurate reporting by celebs such as Melania Trump, Alan Sugar and Elton John. The video also shows some of its racist headlines opposing the decolonisation of mathematics and opposition to non-White immigration.

The Daily Express is at No. 3, again because of such low points as being sued by the McCanns, scaremongering stories about the world being wiped out by aliens or killer asteroids, and its weird fixation on conspiracy theories about Princess Diana and her death, often at the expense of more current and important stories. In 2010 its editor said that he was appalled by some of the stories it ran, and was going to reign in its islamophobia.

No. 2, the late, unlamented News of the Screws. This was always controversial, but lasted 150 years, even claiming at one time to be the world’s best newspaper. That was until it was brought down by the phone-tapping scandal, whose victims not only included celebrities, royalty like Princes William and Harry, but also murder victims and dead soldiers. It was forced to fold after all its advertisers deserted it.

But the top slot in this catalogue of filth and sleaze merchants is the Scum. This rag’s viciously low reporting has made it notorious around the world, but what foreign viewers may not know is that it’s particularly hated in Britain for its smearing of the Liverpool fans at Hillsborough, like its fellow tabloid the Depress. Instead of the Liverpool fans being responsible for the carnage, it was found that the police were responsible for the 96 deaths. This anti-Liverpool venom is the reason it’s still banned in the city, despite the paper having made some half-hearted apologies afterwards. It also claimed the Birmingham 6, a group of Irish men wrongly imprisoned for an IRA terrorist atrocity, were guilty. On top of this it was also sued for libel by Wayne Rooney. But what makes it especially hated is its staunch support of Margaret Thatcher, the infamous ‘Gotcha!’ headline for the sinking of the Belgrano during the Falklands War, and its claim that it was responsible for Thatcher’s electoral victories with its headline ‘It was the Scum Wot won it’.

Of course this list leaves out some other instances of tabloid wrongdoing. The Scum has had any number of complaints for racism upheld by the former Press Complaints Commission, including one in which it compared Arabs to pigs. Piers Morgan has also been involved in the phone hacking scandal, though it’s possible the video mentions this and I’ve just forgotten it did. And I’d say the worst British tabloid was the Sport in its various editions for its mixture of sleaze, stories about freaks and daft stories following the Weekly World News style of journalism, like its claim that there was a B52 bomber on the Moon. The Sport was set up by David ‘the Slug’ Sullivan, according to Private Eye, a pornographer with convictions for running girls. But the paper has a low circulation compared to the others here, and so is far less influential.

As for the Scum coming first as Britain’s worst tabloid, I agree entirely, although I doubt this is an accolade the Scum would want to boast about on its front page. But when it comes to malign, biased reporting and racism, it is indeed the Scum wot wins it.

Reform Party Promising to Protect British Freedoms against the Government, the EU and Unelected Organisations

January 20, 2023

Okay, I just found a brief video on YouTube, posted eight days ago, on Nick Buckley’s channel. Buckley’s a former police officer and campaigner against knife crime, who’s appeared a couple of times on the Lotus Eater’s channel. I wasn’t surprised then, when he posted this video interviewing Richard Tice about Reform’s ‘Eight Principles’. In the video, however, he only talks about four of them. These are largely about protecting British democratic rights against the threat of the state and unelected organisations and quangos. According to Tice, Brits are aware that they’re born free and have inalienable rights unlike in the EU. Thus, Brits are able to whatever they like unless prohibited, while in the EU they can only do whatever the EU tells them to.

The irony about this is that the idea that humans are born free comes from a continental philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau has been condemned as one of the founders of totalitarianism. One Conservative American group made Rousseau’s The Social Contract one of the most evil books of all time alongside Marx and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin included him among his Six Enemies of Freedom and the Lotus Eaters have also put out videos attacking him. But Rousseau’s book begins with the words, ‘Man was born free yet everywhere he is chains.’ The idea that you should be free to do whatever you want unless the law says otherwise, I think comes from John Locke a century before, and is the foundation of modern liberal ideas of freedom. However, other European philosophers also had views similar to Locke’s, that the state should be limited to the role of a night watchman, in the sense say that it should protect its citizens’ lives and property, but otherwise not interfere. This is the view expressed by the German philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt in his Grenzen Der Wirksamkeit der Staat – ‘Limits of the Effectiveness of the State’. I don’t know what the underlying philosophy of government of the European Union is. I suspect there isn’t one beyond harmonising various trade and other regulations between member states and allowing for the movement of labour and capital. The original intention was to create a united trading bloc to preserve western European economic independence from America or communist eastern Europe. The Eurosceptic right has frequently ranted about the EU being some kind of totalitarian state with comparisons to Nazi Germany and communism, but I’ve seen no evidence to support it. And rather than limiting freedom, I think the EU believes it is actively creating and nurturing freedom in its member states. Such as when it condemns Poland and Hungary for their legislation banning homosexuality and gay rights.

Now let’s go through the principles as explained by Tice and Buckley in the video.

  1. The state is our servant not our master.

I don’t believe any believer in liberal democracy, whether of the left or right, would challenge this. The only people who would are either Fascists, following Mussolini’s pronouncements that the individual is nothing before the state, followers of Hegel’s dictum that ‘the state is the divine idea as it exists on Earth. We must therefore worship the state’ and supporters of Soviet Communism before Gorby’s brief reforms. However, in the context of Reform, a party of the right, it seems to me that this is yet another bland statement intended to justify further privatisation and the expansion of the power of private industry and the destruction of the welfare state against working people, the poor, the unemployed and disabled.

2. Lend us your power and we’ll give you back your freedom.

This could be said by just about any political party, even those which were real enemies of freedom. Hitler, in one of his rants at Nuremberg, declared ‘Everything I am, I am through you. Everything you are, you are through me’. The Nazi party anthem, the Horst Wessel song, also has lines about German freedom. Hitler also talked about preserving freedom through separating the different spheres of party and state and preserving private industry, though in practice under the Nazi regime the party and state apparatus were intermeshed and private industry ruthlessly subordinated to the state. Mussolini also made speeches about how the freedom of the individual wasn’t limited under fascism, except in certain ways, all of which was equally rubbish.

3. People are free.

This means, as he explains, that people naturally hold certain rights and liberties that should always be protected and defended. These include freedom of speech, religion and conscience. This does not mean that certain types of speech have no consequences. I interpret this as meaning that he feels that people can say what they want, but people are also free to express outrage and take action against others for offensive or dangerous speech that is not otherwise banned by law. Tice goes on to say that in practice, while people believe in this principle, they negotiate to give up a certain amount of this freedom with the state.

I think here he means particularly the legislation on hate speech, which in his view prevents proper criticism of certain protected groups in order to combat racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and so on. He has a point, as opponents of gay rights, who have made their opposition very clear in speeches, often quoting the Biblical prohibition against it, have been arrested. In Scotland Maria Miller, a gender critical woman, was arrested for hate speech simply for putting up stickers with the slogan ‘Scots Women Won’t Wheesht’, meaning that they wouldn’t be silent, in her campaign against the proposed gender recognition legislation north of the border. In my opinion, arresting someone for saying that goes beyond a concern about stirring up hatred against trans people into active attempts to police thoughts and opinions about trans rights.

But there are good reasons behind the legislation banning hate speech. In the case of racism, it’s to prevent Nazi groups stirring up hatred against vulnerable minorities like the Jews, people of colour and gays, all of whom have been or are targets of abuse and physical assault.

4. National Sovereignty

This means protecting British traditions, institutions and culture from enemies both external and internal. The external foes include the EU. The internal threats to British tradition and democracy are unelected pressure groups and organisations. These include big tech and companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook. This is a fair point. These organisations can and do censor material posted on their platforms. The right have been complaining about their posts disappearing or the algorithms governing their availability in searches being altered so that they become invisible, but the same censorship is also inflicted on the left. If Tice and his crew get the chance, I’ve no doubt they’ll demand greater freedom of speech for their supporters while maintaining or even strengthening the censorship against their opponents on the left.

Other threats, unsurprisingly, are the European Union, while among the unelected organisations wielding power he puts the environmental groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and the gay rights organisation Stonewall. Tice states that a few years ago Greenpeace published their manifesto for Yorkshire, which was a diatribe against the car, and therefore, in his view, an attack on the automobile industry in west Yorkshire. One of the accusations the extreme right is throwing at environmental groups is that they wish to ban cars and private transport as part of their plan to establish Green Communism. He also includes Stonewall and the massive influence it wields, although no-one has elected it. There is a problem with Stonewall in that the advice it has been giving to companies, the government and the civil service has been wrong. They deliberately gave a wrongful interpretation of the legislation covering trans issues which was very much what they wanted it to say, not what the law actually did. As a result, a number of groups cut their connections to the organisation.

But unelected groups like Greenpeace, Stonewall and so on acquire their power through possessing, or being perceived to express, expertise and competence in particular issues. In the case of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, it’s the environment. Amnesty International is respected because of its thorough investigation and documentation of human rights abuses, even though governments may pay no attention to its findings. Stonewall is taken notice of because it speaks, or claims to speak, for Britain’s gays and articulates their concerns and recommendations to combat prejudice.

Even in the 19th century governments had to pay attention to popular protest organisations, such as the massive abolitionist campaign against slavery, the Anti-Corn Law League set up by Cobden and Bright to have the corn laws repealed so that the price of grain would fall and working people able to feed themselves. There was also the anti-war protests against the Crimean War led by John Bright and others. There are problems with unelected groups exercising power beyond their competence or suitability, but modern governments have always had to deal with organised groups. Tice’s singling out of the environmental groups and Stonewall seems to me to be as much to do with a hatred of their views – the Brexiteers are full-scale behind the right of private industry to trash this country’s green and pleasant land – than with their supposed power outside of the formal sphere of elections. I doubt that Reform would ever go as far if they were in power, but it reminds me more than a little bit of Mussolini’s statement that there should be ‘nothing outside the state, nothing against the state’, and similar bans on private quasi-political organisations in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

But what you’ll also notice is that these principles tell you absolutely nothing about how Reform as a party intends to act on them, except by reading the lines. What does Reform intend to do about the health service? Not said. I suspect, in fact, that as a party of the right they’ll want to privatise even more of it. What about the welfare state and the scandal of millions of people using food banks? No answers there, either. I suspect, however, that in practice you’d get more mantras of encouraging people to be independent, find work and so on, coupled with rants about welfare scroungers. What about industry? Again, the reality is almost certainly that they want more deregulation. Well, we’ve had four decades of Thatcherite privatisation and deregulation, and the result is the mass poverty and failing economy we’re now experiencing. Industry should be acting for the good of society and its employees and not just shareholders and senior management. This means limiting economic freedom, but as the Liberal journalist J.A. Hobson said, in order for the mass of people to be free you need to limit the freedom of the rich. Which is obviously toxic to the Conservatives and other parties of the right.

To sum up, what Reform seems to be doing with these principles is to try to position themselves as defenders of traditional British liberties against the threat of the evil EU and pesky Green and gay groups. But this hides an illiberal ideology that views such groups as somehow subversive, would probably remove the obstacles against real, dangerous expressions of racial and other prejudice, and which would promote the interests of private industry against ordinary Brits.

We can’t afford to be taken in by sweet words hiding their true intentions.

Heartfield’s Cover Art for Michael Gold’s ‘Jews Without Money’

January 10, 2023

I put up a piece a few days ago about the great German radical artist John Heartfield, who used photographs to create stunning pictures. Heartfield’s best known for his political works celebrating Communism and savagely denouncing war and the Prussian aristocracy that promoted it, and especially Hitler and the Nazis. But he also worked for publishers producing book covers. This is his cover for Michael Gold’s Jews Without Money, about poor Jews living on the Lower East Side of New York. The decades from the late 19th century saw mass Jewish migration from eastern Europe to the west and America. Many of them were dirt poor, and poorly educated, living in low-quality, massively overcrowded tenements. It’s from this milieu that many of the great founders of the American comics industry, like the mighty Jack Kirby. Kirby came from the kind of neighbourhood where men wanted to be mechanics rather than artists, and ran with the street gangs before breaking with them to enter comics. This is the background to Will Eisner’s acclaimed graphic novel, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Tales. I’m putting this up here also to make the point that Jewishness isn’t synonymous with wealth and power, whatever the Blairites in the Labour party may think. You may remember that a few years ago one right-wing female Labour MP claimed that socialism was anti-Semitic because it attacked capitalism. Hitler wouldn’t have agreed that ‘Marxist’ socialism was anti-Semitic, because he believed it was created and dominated by Jews. But he would certainly have wholeheartedly agreed with the sentiment that capitalism is Jewish. Other people realised the anti-Semitic nature of what she’d said, even though she obviously didn’t mean it as such, and called her out for it. In the meantime this is a striking piece of art illustrating a piece of American social history.

The Riout 103T Alerion: The Ornithopter that Almost Took Off

January 9, 2023

I was talking on another comments thread about ornithopters with Brian Burden, one of the many great commenters on this blog. Ornithopters are flying machines that work by flapping their wings like a bird or an insect, unlike helicopters or fixed wing aircraft, which use either propeller or jet engines. Some of the very first attempts at powered, heavier than air flight were ornithopters, whose inventors obviously sought inspiration from nature. As human-carrying aircraft, they haven’t been successful. They work as small models, and the early scale models the pioneering aviation inventors and engineers created did actually work, as have more recent model ornithopters and robots modelled on birds and insects. However there were severe problems scaling them up to work with humans. This did not prevent a series of pioneering inventors and aviators trying. One of those was E.P. Frost, who created a series of ornithopters over a decade from the late 19th to the early 20th century. The piccie below shows his 1903 ornithopter, powered by a three horsepower petrol engine and with wings covered in feathers. Another inventor was the French aviator, Passat, who constructed an ornithopter with four flapping wings, covered with fabric rather than feathers, and powered by a 4.5 horsepower motorcycle engine. When it was being tried out in 1912 on Wimbledon Common, it flew for about four hundred feet at a speed of under 15 mph before crashing into a tree. This did not deter Passat, who carried on his experiments into this form of aircraft despite ridicule and the success of fixed wing aircraft.

One of the other aviation pioneers interested in developing this type of aircraft was another Frenchman, Louis Riel, who went on to design the Riout 102T plane, which at one point seemed to be a successful aircraft if further improvements had been made. I found this video about it on Ed Nash’s Military Matters channel on YouTube. This notes the similarity between the four-winged design of the Riout plane and the multi-winged ornithopters of the recent Dune film. This suggests that Frank Herbert, Dune’s author, might have been inspired by Riel’s aircraft. Riel had experimented with a two-winged ornithopter before the First World War before moving on to other projects. He retained his interest in ornithopters, however, and 1937 created the Riout 102T Alerion, which had four, fabric covered planes. Wind tunnel tests were originally promising, until an increase in engine power in one test destroyed the plane’s four wings. Riel had plans to improve and strengthen the wings, but by this time it was 1938. Hitler had annexed Austria and was moving into the Sudetenland, and France needed all its available aircraft to protect itself against German invasion. The project was therefore cancelled.

Brian wondered if computer design and control could result in a practical, human level ornithopter. I think it’s possible, especially as today’s aviation engineers are exploring the instabilities in flight that allow birds to fly so well in creating high performance aircraft, that would need a degree of computer control in flight. One of the issues looks to my like the stresses on the wings caused by flapping, but it may be that this could be solved using the more resilient and durable materials available to modern engineers, which the early pioneers didn’t have. Riel’s plane is not entirely forgotten. Its remains, minus the wings and covering, are in one of the French aviation museums. Perhaps one day they’ll inspire a new generation of engineers to experiment with similar aircraft.

The Lotus Eaters Reject Objective Moral Values

January 8, 2023

This is a bit abstract, but as it involves issues about the objective reality of moral values and justice against moral relativism, it needs to be tackled. A few days ago the Lotus Eaters published an essay on their website by Helen Dale, which denied that there were such things as objective moral values. This followed an conversation on YouTube between Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Gasbag, and the philosopher Peter Boghossian, in which Sargon was also arguing that objective moral values don’t exist. People, including myself, have taken the mick out of Sargon, pointing out that he’s not university educated and that at one point his standard response to his opponents seemed to be to ask if they hadn’t read John Locke. But Sargon’s bright and is well-read in political philosophy, albeit from the Conservative, Libertarian perspective.

Which seems to be where his denial of objective morality comes. Conservatives since Edmund Burke have stressed the importance of tradition, and from what I remember of Sargon’s debate with Boghossian, he was arguing that concepts like human rights and democracy are the unique products of western culture. These notions are alien and incomprehensible to other culture, such as Islam, which have their own value systems, notions of justice and ideas about their ultimate grounding. Now Sargon does have a point. Human rights seem obvious to us, because we have grown up in a society in which such notions have developed over centuries, dating back to the 18th century and beyond, going back to the Roman idea of the Lex Gentiles, the Law of Nations. This was the idea that there were fundamental assumptions about justice that was common to all nations and which could be used as the basis for international law. And the Enlightenment philosophers were confident that they could also discover an objective basis for morality. This has not happened. One of the problems is the values which are to be regarded as fundamental also need supporting arguments, and morality has changed over time. This can be seen in the west in the changing attitudes to sex outside marriage and homosexuality. Back in the early 20th century both were regarded as immoral, but are now accepted. In the case of homosexuality, moral condemnation has been reversed so that it is the persecution of gays that it rightly regarded as immoral. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin was aware of the changes in morality over time, and deeply influenced by the 17th century Italian philosopher Vico. His solution, as someone who bitterly hated Stalin’s USSR and its tyranny, was to argue that although objective moral values didn’t exist, there were nevertheless moral values that acted as such.

I can see some positive aspects to Sargon’s position. If it is accepted that western ideas of truth and justice are just that, localised western notions, that it prevents them from being used as pretexts for foreign imperialist ventures like the Neo-Con invasions of the Middle East. It brings us back to the old, pre-War American conservative values that held that America had no business interfering in the political institutions and concerns of other peoples. But it also leaves the way open for cultural relativism and the justification of despotic regimes. If there are no objective moral values, then there can be no firm moral objections to obvious injustices, such as the genocide of the Uighurs in China or the Taliban’s recent decision to deprive women of university education. From what I’ve been reading, Chinese nationalist communists dismiss such ideas of democracy and human rights as baizuo, which translates as White liberal nonsense. And the Fascists and Communists Sargon despises were also moral relativists. Both Mussolini and Hitler also declared that each nation had their own set of unique moral values and that liberal notions of justice and humanity did not apply to their regimes. In a number of his speeches Lenin denied that there were any eternal moral values, but that these changed instead with each historical epoch, as determined by the economic structure of society at the time. This opened the way to the horrendous atrocities committed by the Nazi and Soviet regimes.

The Lotus Eaters are also staunch enemies of wokeness, but Critical Theory in its various forms also relativizes traditional morality and attitudes arguing that these too are merely the local intellectual products of the west, and specifically White heterosexual elite men. This has led to Postcolonial Theorists betraying feminists and human rights activists in nations like India, by refusing to criticise these cultures repressive traditions, or instead blaming them on western imperialism.

My own belief is that there are indeed objective moral values although human moral intuitions have changed over time. Notions of democracy and human rights may have their origin in the west, but they are nevertheless universal and universally applicable. This does not mean that other cultures may not adopt and adapt them according to their own cultural traditions. In the case of Islam, there are any number of books by the Islamic modernists arguing that modern notions of human rights are perfectly in accordance with Muslim values.

For the sake of genuine humanity and international justice and the eradication of tyranny, we have to believe that there are objective moral values protecting human life and freedom.

John Heartfield’s Satirical Piccie of Weimar President Von Papen – Parallels with a Certain D. Trump, Perhaps

January 7, 2023

John Heartfield was a radical German artist of the Weimar period, who settled in Britain after the War. He didn’t draw or paint, but used photographs. During his career he worked for a number of publishers producing book covers, as well as political posters reflecting his Communist, anti-racist and vehemently anti-Nazi political beliefs. It was Heartfield who produced the famous picture of Hitler standing there, his hand flung back in the lazy Nazi salute he used to do, palm flat, being handed money from a much bigger banker standing behind him. The caption for this pic read, ‘Small Man requests big donations’. I’ve also seen a version with the caption, ‘Millions stand behind me’.

But I was struck by this image of the right-wing German president Von Papen standing with his trousers rolled up and a gigantic ladle, like King Cnut, trying vainly stop the flood that’s about to overwhelm him. The caption reads, ‘Papen, what are you doing?’ ‘I’m draining the Bolshevik swamp’.

Draining the swamp? Now where have we heard that before? Oh yes, it was Donald Trump, who in fact made it much worse and far more fetid. They’re now trying to present him as somehow non-racist. He may personally have been, but some of his friends were firmly members of the Alt- and far right.

Candace Owens on the Historic Forcible Sterilisation of Greenland Inuit Women by Danish Government

December 31, 2022

Yes, I know this is Black American conservative Candace Owens of Republican youth activist group Turning Point USA. Yes, I know she made herself look massively stupid by denying that Adolf Hitler was a nationalist and stating that his policies would have been all right had he stuck to Germany. It’s a ‘no’ to both statements. Hitler was very much a nationalist and wanted to make the Germans the master race, Herrenvolk, of Europe. And the imprisonment of opposition political groups, the smashing of the trade unions, the sterilisation of those judged biologically unfit, the eugenic murder of the disabled, the imprisonment of the long-term unemployed, the mentally unwell and others in concentration camps, and the industrial murder of the Jews and Gypsies would still all have been wicked had they occurred only in Germany. But here she’s saying something genuinely liberal and anti-racist.

She reports that during the 60s and 70s, 4,500 Inuit women, including girls as young as twelve, were forcibly sterilised with the insertion of the IUD – the coil – by the Danish government. This was half the Inuit female population of 9,000 at the time, and was done as part of a programme by the Danish government to control their fertility.

This doesn’t surprise me. The Swedish government was sterilising those it considered biologically unfit until well into the ’90s. There were laws protecting minority ethnic groups, like the Gypsies proper, from sterilisation but they were overlooked when it came to the Tartare, another group of travellers, who were considered ethnically Swedish. This ruling was overturned in the 90s when the programme’s victims came forward. There was also an article a few years ago in the Independent reporting that the Czechoslovakian government had also been sterilising their Gypsy women against their will in order to control their numbers. My guess is that there was similar racist assumption that the Inuit were racially unfit and if their numbers grew too large, they would be a drain on resources. I’ve also heard of Gypsy children in Switzerland being given shock treatment in order to ‘cure’ them of their travelling culture and lifestyle. I don’t know if this will lead to human rights action and the payment of compensation, though it should.

Simon Webb Reviews Debate Between Patriotic Alternative Fuhrer and Two Black YouTubers

December 31, 2022

Mark Pattie, one of the great commenters on this channel, asked me if I’d seen the video in which Webb debates Mark Collett, the current fuehrer of Patriotic Alternative. I hadn’t, so he kindly provided the link. And now I have. It’s not a long video, just over five and a half minutes long, and isn’t actually a debate, despite its title. It’s Webb’s review of another debate between Collett and two Black YouTubers. And to be fair, Webb actually comes out of it quite well, almost appearing like a normal person of moderate, non-racist views.

The video is a response by him to continued calls by his commenters to debate Collett. They’ve also called on him several times to join the party. Webb begins by saying that he got one of their election leaflets through the post. Patriotic Alternative were planning to stand as a political party and put in candidates to fight seats at the last election. In the event, they neglected to register as a party with the electoral commission, and so couldn’t stand any candidates. But Londoners got their literature anyway. Webb states that it horrified the liberals and papers, but he read their pamphlet and couldn’t see anything outrageous in it. This is probably because Webb shares many of their views and prejudices, and so wouldn’t. I’m reminded of something Millennial Woes posted on his YouTube channel a few years ago. Millennial Woes is a Scots extreme rightist. His videos tend to consist of him sitting in a bathrobe in a darkened room, smoking, reflecting on the decline of the west due to non-White immigration. When the Alt-Right were in vogue a decade or so ago, Woes was one of the speakers at their conference. During it he told the assembled White supremacists that he realised how far he’d left the mainstream when talking to a young man on the train. The guy was intelligent and articulate, and it was a shock to Woes that he still believed the conventional narrative about the Holocaust! This comes from the man, who said his most extreme view was wanting to bring back slavery. It shows how people at the political extremes see their views as normal and inoffensive until suddenly shaken by talking to normal folks.

Webb said that there would be absolutely no chance of Patriotic Alternative winning seats in his area. The BNP tried a few years ago and got absolutely nowhere. And when they did win, they didn’t know anything about the practical business of politics in the council, and so were out at the next election. This is true, and it’s hilarious. According to Private Eye, Derek Beacon and his massive fascist legion elected to Tower Hamlets, all seven of them, didn’t realise that as well as proposing motions before the council, you also had to vote for them. Thus, when surprisingly the council accepted one of their motions for discussion, they didn’t vote for it, assuming it would automatically pass or something. The motion then failed. We are, fortunately, not dealing with men of the calibre of Oswald Mosley. Webb notes that in his area the BNP fielded several candidates, one of which was a Jewish woman. He found this surprising. Unfortunately, it isn’t, not if you read the articles on this by the excellent Tony Greenstein. Greenstein has blogged about how the Board of Deputies of British Jews got very upset with the very respected historian of the Jewish community, Geoffrey Alderman, for including in his study of the community’s history the fact that 2 per cent of the Jewish population had voted for the wretched NF. In London this was because they didn’t want their kids going to school with Blacks. He also notes that one Conservative politico, despite being Jewish himself, used to hobnob at elections with the BNP moaning that it was a pit that the nationalist vote was split between the two parties. There are fascist Jews around, and none of them were supporters of Corbyn, as Starmer and the Jewish Labour Movement would like us all to believe.

Webb goes on to comment that the Black YouTubers were perfectly reasonable, but they had weird, high voices so he found it difficult to listen to them. He doesn’t like Collett, and says that he refuses to debate or have anything to do with him because he blames the Jews for everything, and there are enough people on his site who already think he, Webb, is Jewish. This is because Webb has attacked the various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, lived in Israel at one point and supports the country, and occasionally wears a necklace with a Hebrew inscription. He states that Collett made quick, chopping motions that reminded him of a little Austrian dictator in the ’30s, and said he could imagine him on a podium screaming ‘Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Fuehrer!’ (One Race/People! One Reich! One Fuehrer), imitating Adolf himself as he did so.

And that’s about it. He describes the electoral incompetence of Patriotic Alternative and the fact that the BNP got absolutely nowhere in his neck of London, doesn’t say anything unpleasant about the Black YouTubers except for the personal comment about squeaky voices, and compares Collett to Hitler, as no doubt many others have done before him. He rejects Collett’s anti-Semitism, and so could even sound an anti-racist liberal. That’s if you weren’t aware of his views on race, and a video he posted today in which he asks if democracy has had its day, and that Britain, and Europe, need a strong leader who will rally them against the threat of militant Islam.

If you want to check the video to see what Webb says for yourself, here it is.

The Stupidity of Black Anti-Semitism

December 23, 2022

Last week, the American rapper Kanye ‘Ye’ West successfully managed to torpedo his career and popularity by making stupid and bigoted comments about Jews. Unfortunately he isn’t the only person to hold stupid and malign anti-Semitic beliefs. His comments, however, led to one YouTuber putting up a half-hour long video examining whether Michael Jackson was anti-Semitic. I don’t know whether Jackson was or wasn’t. He may have been, but at the end of his life one of his friends or associates was, I believe, a rabbi, Shmuely Boteach. This suggests he probably wasn’t, or if he was, that any anti-Semitic views he had may have been nuanced and riddled with exceptions. But I confess, I didn’t watch that part of the video because I’m not that interested in Michael Jackson. As far as I’m concerned, Jackson was an immensely talented musician and dancer, but a deeply flawed human being. He seemed to me to be a perpetual child, surrounding himself with toys and exotic animals, and his musical achievements are tarnished by the accusations of child abuse.

What I found interesting instead was the beginning of the video, which included clips of other rappers and Black musicians airing their prejudices and negative opinions about the Jews. Many of them were complaints that they were being exploited by the music industry, which they believed was run by the Jews. I dare say that there may be a higher proportion of Jews in the music business, as there supposedly is or has been with the film industry. But this doesn’t come from any kind of stupid conspiracy to control the media. It’s simply because the entertainment industry, by and large, was more tolerant of Jews than other sectors of society. As for exploitation, there are any number of White musicians as well who’ve fallen out with the record label and feel they’ve been cheated on issues of recording rights and royalties. Where this has occurred, it’s been because their managers or the recording companies are acting as exploitative individuals. Again, it’s got nothing at all to do with race, and everything to do with the fact that there are people in every industry who will try to exploit and cheat their clients.

The video began with Professor Griff, who was sacked from NWA because of his anti-Semitic views, and included a clip of Griff explaining them and the circumstances of his sudden exit from the band. And from what he said, Griff certainly appeared to have genuinely Nazi views. He claimed he carried a library of books on them around in a suitcase, in order to educated people, and he’d lay them out on a table. These included such classic anti-Semitic texts as Henry Ford’s The International Jew. Ford was certainly a member of the extreme right. He hated socialism and trade unions, as well as Jews and Lord knows who else. I think he was a favourite of Hitler and the Nazis, who also believed that Blacks were racially inferior. One nasty piece of Nazi doctrine, according to Orwell, was that Blacks could interbreed with gorillas. I really do wonder why any self-respecting person of colour would read anything by people who believed such vile rubbish.

He then came out with some of the class anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, like the Jews caused World War II. This is still being repeated by White fascists after Hitler and Oswald Mosley over here in the UK. No, the Jews had nothing to do with it. The War started because Hitler invaded Poland, thus provoking France and Britain who had made pledged themselves to defend the country.

He also talked about the Rothschild’s and other Jewish banks extending credit and loans to Nazi Germany. This is true. They did, along with a number of other big American companies like IBM. This has absolutely nothing to do with the owners of these banks being Jewish. It’s simply because they, and the other gentile-owned companies that did business with the Nazis, were run by utterly amoral people who cared only about profit. Their dealing with the Nazi was naturally deeply and bitterly resented by ordinary Jewish peeps. And it should be a problem for any daft conspiracy theories about a secret Jewish plot to gain global domination. I really don’t understand how that can be squared with Jewish banks, which are an integral part of this putative conspiracy, collaborating with a regime dedicated to destroying their people. There are attempts to do this, in which a distinction is drawn between the Jewish elite behind the conspiracy and normal, decent Jews, but it’s still an obvious, glaring inconsistency that should show that the conspiracy theory is utter nonsense.

I do wonder where this anti-Semitism in parts of Black popular culture comes from. The Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan are one source. Farrakhan blames the Jews for the slave trade and in the 1980s a ‘historical research institute’ connected with the sect published a book promoting this idea. Proper historians of the slave trade dismiss the idea. Very few of the merchants involved in the trade in America were Jewish. I think Hugh Thomas says there were just four in his excellent book The Slave Trade. There were Jewish financiers involved, but again I don’t think there were that many. And as has been pointed out by historians of transatlantic slavery and anti-racist activists, they were employed by Christian princes.

I do wonder if some of this Jew-hatred comes from racial politics in Harlem during the 1920s and ’30s. The book Colour Prejudice notes that there was considerable anti-Semitism among Harlem’s Black community. This might come from the fact that many of the stores were White-owned, and despite selling to a Black clientele they wouldn’t employ Black staff. This resulted in a concerted campaign by an alliance of Black labour organisations against the policy. They organised a boycott of these stores under the slogan ‘Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work’. One of the leaders of the boycott was Sufi Abdul Hamid, a colourful figure who dressed in exotic eastern robes. He was another native-born Black American, who had converted to a form of Islam. Hamid was particularly vehement against the Jewish owners of such stores, as well as Greeks and Italians, who he derided as ‘spaghetti-slingers’. The boycott was successful, but Hamid lost control of the movement because the other leaders were acutely embarrassed by his racism. See the chapter on Hamid and his literary followers, ‘”In Turban and Gorgeous Robe”: Claude McKay, Black Fascism and Labor’ in Mark Christian Thompson, Black Fascisms: African American Literature and Culture Between the Wars (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press 2007), 87-116.

And against ideas of a Jewish racial antipathy towards Blacks, there’s the long history of Jewish support for the Black Civil Rights movement. Many Jews worked as social workers, school teachers and other professionals within the Black community and so were deeply sympathetic to their cause. The awesome Black Jewish pro-Palestinian activist, Jackie Walker, is an example of this. Her mother was a Black civil rights activist from Georgia and her father was a Russian Jew. Her parents met at a rally by the Communist party. I’ve forgotten the fellow’s name, but one of the Jewish supporters and campaigners for the civil rights of Black Americans was a rabbi.

Griff’s endorsement of Ford’s wretched tome did confirm something that I’ve suspected: that Black anti-Semites were also reading and being influenced by White racists. The same thing appears to be the case in much Afrocentric literature about ancient Egypt being the source of both European and African civilisation. It’s based on long out-disproven theories by White colonial anthropologists, for whom the Egyptians were White Hamites, who spread southward and colonised the continent. The Black Afrocentrists who took over this view simply flipped the races, so that the Egyptians were Black. The result, however, was much the same in that the indigenous African peoples were denied the credit for their own cultural achievement made independently of Egypt, whatever skin colour the Egyptians had.

If the ultimate source of Black American anti-Semitism does come from the racial politics of pre-World War II Harlem, then it’s profoundly depressing that it should still cast a shadow over race relations nearly a century later. Quite apart from the fact that no-one, of any colour, should believe Nazi conspiratorial rubbish.