Monday, July 12, 2021

A Brief History of Useful Idiots

In case you missed it, there was a little unrest down in the commie hellhole of Cuba over the weekend. Some of the good citizens seem to have grown weary of all that glorious communism supposedly does for the people living under it. And some in the American media are befuddled by people demanding freedom from tyranny. These are the same people who believe that they should be the arbiters of what is and is not real news—just in case you were still wondering why things are so screwed up in this country right now. Commies are bad and anyone who finds it difficult to say so has problems, is un-American, and has probably read too much Howard Zinn. They also can’t be trusted as sources for anything. Like information leading up to an election. 

The phenomenon of intelligent people saying stupid things about tyrants is a constant of 20th century history and continues unabated into the 21st.

It was Lenin who first identified the genus of Western intellectual known as “the useful idiot,” but it was Stalin who showed how incredibly easy it was to seduce them: a free holiday, dinner, a little flattery and wa-hey- the knickers are off! But then Stalin died, the USSR became much less violent and the useful idiots lost interest.
Searching for a new utopia, many pinned their hopes on revolutionary Cuba, where a bearded mega-bore named Fidel Castro was in the process of transforming a corrupt satellite of America into a corrupt satellite of the USSR, even poorer and less free than before. 

Like Papa Joe, Fidel knew how to flatter and soon he had the likes of Picasso, Norman Mailer and Susan Sontag (“the Cuban revolution is astonishingly free of repression”) eating out of his palm. My favorite Castro quote comes from Abbie Hoffman, a justly forgotten 60s radical bed-wetter who compared Castro to… well, read for yourself:
“Fidel sits on the side of a tank rumbling into Havana on New Year’s Day… girls throw flowers at the tank and rush to tug playfully at this black beard. He laughs joyously and pinches a few rumps. .. He is like a mighty penis coming to life, and when he is tall and straight, the crowd immediately is transformed.”

Then there was Castro’s pal, Wee Ernie Guevara, a totalitarian loon who praised Mao, invaded the Congo and died in Bolivia after attempting to inspire revolution among people he knew nothing about. Jean-Paul Sartre declared him “the most complete human being of our age.”

Speaking of Mao, he had his celebrity admirers, too. In 1973, Shirley MacLaine, who was very good in The Apartment with Jack Lemmon, went on a tour of some Potemkin villages in China and wrote a glowing report afterwards. She was especially approving of the absence of advertising billboards, and the general atmosphere of calm which left her feeling “serene.” She never thought that perhaps China was quiet because 60 million people had just been murdered and everyone was very, very scared. Mao was a big hit among 60s students and one of his erstwhile fanboys, Jose Manuel Barroso, who went on to become president of the European Commission.

But Mao and Castro weren’t the only totalitarian despots considered groovy.  In the run up to the Iranian revolution, the french philosopher Michel Foucault,  paid several visits to Iran and later praised the “political spirituality” of the Ayatollah Khomeini who, given the chance, would have had him executed for his homosexuality.  And so on, and so on.

These days, Hollywood morons like landwhale Michael Moore and pinhead Sean Penn still ignore the brutal day to day repressive Castro legacy of the islands population and praises Cuba from time to time. They all seem now preoccupied with promoting the destruction of American culture. But it’s hard to find the pure strain of tyrant admiration, though for a while I was fascinated by a blog entitled Reflections on the Ruhnama, written by “Steve from Wisconsin” who apparently took at face value all the gibberish the deceased Turkmen tyrant Saparmurat Niyazov had scrawled with a colored crayon in his notorious book.

Maybe it has something to do with the loss of religious faith. You know, these leftist elitist no longer believe in paradise, so they project their yearning for redemption onto some exotic remake of America. It pleases certain people of note to adopt counter-intuitive positions, believing it gives them “depth” and “sophistication.” And thus clever people are often the easiest to fool.

And what about today.....Just look around.

A Good Monday Morning

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The rapid, stunning shift in the belief system of the American elites...has sent the whole society into a profound cultural dislocation.

"It is, in essence, an ongoing moral panic against the specter of 'white supremacy,' which is now bizarrely regarded as an accurate description of the largest, freest, most successful multiracial democracy in human history....

The elites, increasingly sequestered within one political party and one media monoculture, educated by colleges and private schools that have become hermetically sealed against any non-left dissent, have had a 'social justice reckoning' these past few years. And they have been ideologically transformed, with countless cascading consequences. Take it from a NYT woke star, Kara Swisher, who celebrated this week that 'the country’s social justice movement is reshaping how we talk about, well, everything.' She’s right — and certainly about the NYT and all mainstream journalism....

The reason 'critical race theory' is a decent approximation for this new orthodoxy is that it was precisely this exasperation with liberalism’s seeming inability to end racial inequality in a generation that prompted Derrick Bell et al. to come up with the term in the first place, and KimberlĂ© Crenshaw to subsequently universalize it beyond race to every other possible dimension of human identity ('intersectionality'). A specter of invisible and unfalsifiable 'systems' and 'structures' and 'internal biases' arrived to hover over the world...."

H/T Althouse

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Saturday, July 10, 2021

Great Moments in History #783

Keith Richards Teaches a Young
Willie Nelson to Play Guitar

~ Thank You MJA@IOTWReport for the Linkage! ~

Friday, July 9, 2021

Middle Finger Symphony Theater


Brought To You By BluesJunky - Middle Finger Symphony Chair of Music

Throwback Thursday: Great Moments in History #14

From the Dank Archives of DMF -  March 21, 2011

On this day in 1964...

To counter the onslaught of the sixties British Music Invasion, legendary rock band 'Newman, Davis, Mitchum, Martin & Garner' was formed as music's first "Super Group".  Gigs were raucous and far between, and the band finally disbanded and went on to successful solo careers and film projects. Their ground breaking formula has been followed successfully many time since. Band members privately blamed the groups demise on the refusal of Frank Sinatra to join the project after insisting on he be lead singer, and which kind of hats would be worn. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Your Wednesday Open Thread

Your Beloved Blog Editrix Turns Things Over to You, the Readers.
 Y'all Say Something Smart.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Knock Knock.......

After spending the past four years screeching that Trump was “authoritarian” and “fascist,” it’s farcically ironic and hypocritical that the Biden White House now wants to knock on Americans’ doors to make sure they are vaccinated. Press Sec. Jen Psaki announced to reporters agents of the federal government will be knocking on unvaccinated people’s doors to browbeat them into getting the shot for a virus that has proven to have a 99 percent survival rate. Sending in federal stormtroopers to bang on people’s doors to check their vaccination status sounds like a blatant violation of HIPAA laws as well as a gross abuse of patient confidentiality. If the central government isn't keeping databases on everyone - the core of a vaccine passport - how will they know which doors to go to?  

Monday, July 5, 2021

'Oikosphobia' is not the Fear of Mass-market Greek Yogurt

As history has pointed out many times, that when the freest and most prosperous societies for their times reach the peak of egalitarianism, something strange happens. The most comfortable and privileged members of  free and prosperous society develop a hatred of their own people and home. Sound familiar??

Benedict Beckeld, a Swedish PhD in Philosophy has written about this combination of insanity, stupidity and self-hatred that is sometimes called 'Oikophobia.’ In 2004 philosopher Roger Scruton described Oikophobia as, “the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiable ‘ours’". Part of this has to do with a need by many to feel superior to others.

Here in America, even as the population of half the third world so it seems, is risking its life to enter mature, tolerant, prosperous Western liberal democracies, the coastal elites have come to despise American culture. Through media and the educational system, the idea has been promoted that America is nothing but a backwards culture built on oppression and exploitation. The elite seek to deconstruct culture then construct a new more repressive one, thus destroying the original culture without a national consensus. 

As is always the case during prosperity fueled oikophobia, the sins of the society are compared to some imagined utopia, not against conditions as they have existed in most societies for most of history. If the status seeking elite were to compare their culture to the human sacrifice of the Aztecs.....or the oppression of the Cultural Revolution.....or the persistence of modern day slavery in the 3rd world...their pronouncement about the awfulness of their own culture could be seen to be the product of either ignorance or an attempt to mislead.  Instead, they have  embraced the playbook of Mao’s Cultural Revolution and we now have calls for snitch squads to be created, turning people against each other and creating the platforms to turn each other in as “extremists.

The important thing to remember is that this degrading of one’s own culture, history and people is a status seeking technique. When a young “woke” college student decries White Privilege....…they aren't offering to make a sacrifice on their part to help elevate some oppressed person. They're simply pointing out that they're better than the other guy.

As Dr. Beckeld also pointed out, as oikophobia increases among elites in a society, oikiphilia increases among the lower classes. So the more the elites come to hate and despise the culture, heritage and history of their society, the more the lower classes seek to defend it.
And so we are.
~ Thank You MJA@IOTWReport for the Linkage! ~

A Good Monday Morning