Thursday, 31 March 2011

Expediency versus morality

In the course of Murray Rothbard's scathing critique of Jeremy Bentham and utilitarianism (found here, chapter 2), my attention is drawn to Herbert Spencer's comments on the same subject, found in 'Social Statics':
"Give us a guide," cry men to the philosopher. "We would escape from these miseries in which we are entangled. A better state is ever present to our imaginations, and we yearn after it; but all our efforts to realize it are fruitless. We are weary of perpetual failures; tell us by what rule we may attain our desire."

"Whatever is expedient is right;" is one of the last of the many replies to this appeal.

"True," rejoin some of the applicants. "With the Deity right and expedient are doubtless convertible terms. For us, however, there remains the question – which is the antecedent, and which is the consequent? Granting your assumption that right is the unknown quantity and expediency the known one, your formula may be serviceable. But we deny your premises; a painful experience has proved the two to be equally indeterminate. Nay, we begin to suspect that the right is the more easily ascertained of the two; and that your maxim would be better if transposed into – whatever is right is expedient."
Read on...

Gerald Celente on the Lew Rockwell Show

Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Journal talks to Lew Rockwell about 'Gold, Guns and Getaway Plans'.
The government and the power elite are out of control. The president rips up the constitution to start another war, and the American boobeosie sit back and watch TV. Wall Street and the big banks rip us off, and Boobus Americanus eats more junk food...


News from Max

Time to catch up with Max Keiser. Much as ever. A useful definition of 'quantitative easing' at 08:20, and an interesting discussion of the Yemeni situation in the second half.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Monsatan hit with pre-emptive lawsuit

From The Cornucopia Institute:

Farmers and seed producers launch pre-emptive strike against Monsanto

Lawsuit Filed To Protect Themselves from Unfair Patent Enforcement on Genetically Modified Seed

Action Would Prohibit Biotechnology Giant from Suing Organic Farmers and Seed Growers If Innocently Contaminated by Roundup Ready Genes

NEW York: On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit today against Monsanto Company challenging the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crops ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed.

Monsanto has sued farmers in the United States and Canada, in the past, when there are patented genetic material has inadvertently contaminated their crops.
This is good news. It shows people getting together, getting smart and fighting back. God speed!

Hat tip: Infowars

It's a beautiful thing

Congratulations if you've been around long enough to know I've posted this before; the one and only Public Enemy, from the album 'How You Sell Soul To A Souless People Who Sold Their Soul'.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Making History history

News to me: Ernest Lissner's depiction of the Poles surrendering at Moscow, 1612

I read Niall Ferguson's piece in the Graun on the poor state of state-run school History with a mixture of sympathy, resigned sorrow and I must say a measure of indifference. He is, I am sure right in what he says, and I would agree with him pretty much down the line, if I stood where he does.

I love History, and have done since I was a child. Prior to this moment, I was idly reading up on the French Wars of the Three Henrys, and before that learning something of the Polish-Muscovite War, which was triggered (my interest, not the war) by the picture above, which I saw on the RT website. However, whatever knowledge is stored away in the recesses of my mind, it did not come from the classroom. I dropped the subject aged 13. Before and since I have been eagerly educating myself, and I am confident that I will master the subject, if I apply myself for the next hundred or so years.

Every criticism Ferguson makes, I am sure to have made myself in private discussions. The lack of chronology, jumping back and forth between centuries and millennia, the concentration on histiography (interpreting is all very fine, but you have to learn stuff before you attempt to interpret it), the politically-correct choice of subject matter etc, and the plain fact that they're not doing it the way I would do it!

However, I don't see how this can be changed within the sphere of state education. The educational establishment can withstand any short-term siege by an upstart Minister. As Ferguson notes, Ofsted are content with things as they are, even when supplying the ammunition for his assault, so there will be no call for root and branch reform from that quarter. In any case, I doubt a state-mandated curriculum can ever be effective. Such a thing only continues a never-ending battle over what it should contain. Our society has been fragmented by a cultural war, and the teaching of History is one casualty. I doubt even a definition of the word could be agreed, let alone the syllabus!

So, I guess I'm going to cop out of the argument by playing the libertarian card; that state schooling is the fundamental problem. I am sure I agree with Ferguson on what History is and what it is not, and I think it a shame that most children do not have this on offer at school. What they must do, especially if they have any passion for it, is not wait for educational reforms, but follow their own noses and educate themselves.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Bastiat on subsidising the arts

"But, by a deduction as false as it is unjust, do you know what economists are accused of? It is, that when we disapprove of government support, we are supposed to disapprove of the thing itself whose support is discussed; and to be the enemies of every kind of activity, because we desire to see those activities, on the one hand free, and on the other seeking their own reward in themselves.

Thus, if we think that the state should not interfere by taxation in religious affairs, we are atheists. If we think the state ought not to interfere by taxation in education, we are hostile to knowledge. If we say that the state ought not by taxation to give a fictitious value to land, or to any particular branch of industry, we are enemies to property and labor. If we think that the state ought not to support artists, we are barbarians, who look upon the arts as useless.

Against such conclusions as these I protest with all my strength. Far from entertaining the absurd idea of doing away with religion, education, property, labor, and the arts, when we say that the state ought to protect the free development of all these kinds of human activity, without helping some of them at the expense of others — we think, on the contrary, that all these living powers of society would develop themselves more harmoniously under the influence of liberty; and that, under such an influence no one of them would, as is now the case, be a source of trouble, of abuses, of tyranny, and disorder.

Our adversaries consider that an activity which is neither aided by supplies, nor regulated by government, is an activity destroyed. We think just the contrary. Their faith is in the legislator, not in mankind; ours is in mankind, not in the legislator."

Frédéric Bastiat - "Should the state support the arts?", an extract from "What is seen and what is unseen". Bastiat fans will be enthused to know that Liberty Fund is publishing a six-volume collection of his writings, with the first volume, "Man and the Statesman" coming out in May 2011.


Van Morrison - Tupelo Honey

"TUC off"

Spokesmen for UK Uncut and the Blackshirts have spoken out against the attempted hijacking of Saturday's riot in Oxford Street by fringe groups who led a break-away march and rally at the same time.

Blame for the trouble is being laid at the door of various groups, including the Islington-based 'Labour Party', whose supposed leader was seen amongst the throng, believed to be one Ed Miliband, although this has yet to be confirmed.

"It is a shame that a small number of peaceful socialists and union members have deflected attention from the positive message of Saturday's event, that smashing up shops and throwing missiles at police is not only fun but great training for the polo season," said Ermintrude Farquharson of the Workers Anarchist Class War Collective.

Equality watchdog gone rabid; fetch the shotgun

If our government really is in the mood for some austerity, they need no more excuse than the latest report from the Equalities Commission to justify savagely cutting its budget. Sadly I doubt that will happen, so we, the idiot tax-payers, will continue to fund loony sociologists and their sick obsessions with children's sexuality.

From a position that few would argue with, namely that it's not good that children are bullied for whatever reason, they attempt to justify prying into the personal lives of children and inculcate the state's orthodoxy in the maleable minds of minors.

If, in the name of scientific inquiry, these academic perverts wish to research the thoughts and feelings of children, then let them do so in the proper manner, which requires them to seek consent from the parents and use the data anonymously. The point of such research is open to question. Its only use, I suggest, is to paedophiles seeking to exploit the vulnerable.

Let this report be a death warrant for the Equalities Commission. It obviously has time on its hands, and as the devil makes use of idle hands, better to turf all these quango-rats out on their arses and save some money for the poor, abused tax-payer.

(Covered in the Mail)

Satan's emissary

Kissinger doesn't deserve songs about him, so much as a rope round his neck and a trap door beneath his feet, but as that's not likely, I'll settle for the song, courtesy of Ben Sommer.

The enemy: the state

Tony Soprano: a paragon of virtue, compared to the Inland Revenue

The state can usually be compared to a mafia organisation, but without the sharp suits. But once in a while they reveal that they're actually worse than that. You can't imagine Tony Soprano sending the boys round on a 95-year-old woman, can you?

Hat tip: Dangermouse

Meanwhile in Egypt

You remember the Egyptian Revolution? I have to ask, due to the goldfish memory syndrome which seems to affect the collective consciousness. A quick recap: the oppressive government of Hosni Mubarak was toppled by protestors, promising to usher in a new era of peace and liberalism. Not that that is likely, but you can't expect the MSM to keep up the interest, especially with the firework display up the coast in Libya going on. But in reality, the ouster of Mubarak is unlikely to bring positive change in itself, especially if his place is taken by one of his chief lieutenants.

Now, you can do your own research, but here's a starter, with the headline; 'Salifis, secularists clash in Alexandria' (Salafis meaning fundamentalists):

“This is the first time to witness physical clashes between protesters. We were here during the revolution. We were united. Now the Salafi movement wants to impose their way of thinking against us,” said Metwaly, referring to the conservative Islamist movement.

Salafi activists called for a parallel demonstration in front of the same mosque to oust Deputy Prime Minister Yehia al-Gamal because of his “secular” views.

The Salafi movement is similar to that of the Wahabi in Saudi Arabia in its adherence to a more extremist version of Islam.

Alexandria is a stronghold for the movement, which had been apolitical under Mubarak’s rule, but now is beginning to engage in the political scene.

Recently, Salafis have organized many public lectures discussing their view on politics, announcing earlier this week that they would form a political party and field candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Brief verbal and physical scuffles erupted between the Salafis and other demonstrators Friday.

I am of the general opinion that we should keep out of the affairs of other countries, and we should certainly not swallow the MSM version of events. They are not reliable. There are always hidden agendas. I keep to this line partly from a sense of powerlessness. No one's paying attention to my opinion. I'm not on the jury. I also have a measure of world-weary cynicism, which leads me to doubt whether positive change will result in either Egypt or Tunisa. I also believe it is up to the people of those countries to sort themselves out, and foreign intervention will not help this, even if it is for the best intentions, which it rarely is.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Police warn of bogus census workers

From Aboutmyarea:

"Police in Tameside are warning residents to look out for vulnerable neighbours as bogus burglars may use the 2011 census as an excuse to strike."

Remember, better safe than sorry folks.

Darn! Failed again

I've just discovered a great new game. It's called 'Census Man' and involves the above guy flying around and repeatedly failing to get anyone to fill in the census. As The Register notes, it smacks somewhat of desperation. They also point out that the data is not in any way confidential, but instead, as was standard procedure under New Labour, and carried on by New Tory, is available to pretty much any state agency that wants it, due to the insertion of one of those clauses in the legislation, and then there's the small matter of Lockhead Martin and the Patriot Act.

Meanwhile the lovin' government is attempting to scare people into filling in their slave form - hat tip to the Witney Witterer for that one.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Concerning the violence on the TUC march

Considering all the window-breakers dress in black with their faces covered, and march around with the red & black flag, it shouldn't be too hard to spot them and take the necessary action.

Hitch versus Aaro

Hat tip: Calling England, which has a clip from the same show, showing Heather Brooke's report.

Friday, 25 March 2011


What's this all about?
"Southland is a country with a specifically authoritarian government. The former dictator resigned handing over power to his son. Since that time, the country’s policy has become more aggressive; military operations have been launched against the French territory. Proofs of aggression clearly showed Southland’s responsibility in an attack against French strategic interests.

The French President and the British Prime Minister decide to give an immediate and common response to this attack. The French Air Force Chief of Staff and his British counterpart ask the French Air Defence and Air Operations Commander and the British Air Command Deputy Commander in Chief Ops to plan and control this air raid, which is a very long distance conventional strike aimed at a strategic target in Southland.

In order to show the common determination of the two countries and the strike capability of the combined force anywhere on SOUTHLAND territory, the selected target is positioned to the far South of SOUTHLAND."
The answer is 'Southern Mistral'; a Franco-British exercise planned for March 2011, involving planes, bombing, a crazy dictator, stuff like that. Who could have known they'd be doing it for real? Weird. It's almost like ... nah ... couldn't be. Just a coincidence. A spooky coincidence.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Some Chesterton quotes

I've not read anything by G K Chesterton, but it's on my list:

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." - ILN, 4/19/24

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." - ILN, 7/16/10

"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable." - ILN, 10/23/09

"Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business." - G.K.'s Weekly, 4/10/26

"The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense." - ILN, 9/7/29

Monday, 21 March 2011

American graffiti

Lauryn Hill: I get out (stencil from here)

Fugees: Ready or not


The sceptic as absolutist: Michel de Montaigne

It is a favourite conceit of modern, twentieth century liberals that scepticism, the attitude that nothing can really be known as the truth, is the best groundwork for individual liberty. The fanatic, convinced of the certainty of his views, will trample on the rights of others; the sceptic, convinced of nothing, will not. But the truth is precisely the opposite: the sceptic has no ground on which to stand to defend his or others' liberty against assault. Since there will always be men willing to aggress against others for the sake of power or pelf, the triumph of scepticism means that the victims of aggression will be rendered defenceless against assault. Furthermore, the sceptic being unable to find any principle for rights or for any social organization, will probably cave in, albeit with a resigned sigh, to any existing regime of tyranny. Faute de mieux, he has little else to say or do.

An excellent case in point is one of the great sceptics of the modern world, the widely read and celebrated sixteenth century French essayist, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-92). [...] A leading humanist, Montaigne virtually created the essay form in France. He started writing these brief essays in the early 1570s, and published the first two volumes in 1580. The third book of essays was published in 1588, and all three volumes were posthumously published seven years later.

Though a practising Catholic, Montaigne was a thoroughgoing sceptic. Man can know nothing, his reason being insufficient to arrive either at a natural law ethics or a firm theology. As Montaigne put it: 'reason does nothing but go astray in everything, and especially when it meddles with divine things'. And for a while, Montaigne adopted as his official motto the query, 'What do I know?'

If Montaigne knew nothing, he could scarcely know enough to advocate setting one's face against the burgeoning abolutist tyranny of his day. On the contrary, stoic resignation, a submission to the prevailing winds, became the required way of confronting the public world. Skinner sums up Montaigne's political counsel, as holding 'that everyone has a duty to submit himself to the existing order of things, never resisting the prevailing government and where necessary enduring it with fortitude'.

In particular, Montaigne, though sceptical about religion itself, cynically stressed the social importance of everyone outwardly observing the same religious forms. Above all, France must 'submit completely to the authority of our [Catholic] ecclesiastical government' .

Submission to constituted authority was, indeed, the key to Montaigne's political thought. Everyone must remain obedient to the king at all times no matter how he discharges his obligation to rule. Unable to use reason as a guide, Montaigne had to fall back on the status quo, on custom and on tradition. He warned gravely and repeatedly that everyone must 'wholly follow the accepted fashion and forms', for 'it is the rule of rules, and the universal law of laws, that each man should observe those of the place he is in'. Montaigne hailed Plato for wanting to prohibit any citizen from looking 'even into the reason of the civil laws' , for those laws must 'be respected as divine ordinances'. Although we may wish for different rulers, we 'must nevertheless obey those that are here'. The finest achievement of the Christian religion, according to Montaigne, was its insistence on 'obedience to the magistrates and maintenance of the government' .

Considering Montaigne's fundamental outlook, it is no wonder that he warmly embraced the Machiavellian concept of 'reason of state'. (May we say that he held the reason of man to be worthless, but the reason of state to be overriding?) Characteristically, while Montaigne writes that he personally likes to keep out of politics and diplomacy because he prefers to avoid lying and deceit, he also asserts the necessity of 'lawful vice' in the operations of government. Deceit in a ruler may be necessary, and furthermore, such vices are positively needed 'for sewing our society together, as [are] poisons for the preservation of our health'. Montaigne then goes on to integrate his defence of deceit in a prince with his seemingly paradoxical defence of reason of state while having no use for human reason at all. For in following reason of state, the prince has simply 'abandoned his own reason for a more universal and powerful reason', and this mystical super-reason has shown him that an ordinarily evil action needed to be done.

Murray N. Rothbard: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought
Volume 1, Page 201

Momo and friends

Roll up, roll up. See the macho men in action

Q: What is a 'no-fly zone'?

A: Whatever the fuck we want it to be, including a justification for assassinating Gaddaffi, according to Dr Liam Fox, as he's a 'legitimate target'. Really, Dr Fox, does that mean you are a legitimate target for Libya as well? But don't worry. They aren't nor were ever a threat. Or else you wouldn't have dared attack them.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Thorium: the fuel of the future... maybe

The Telegraph reports that China is pushing forward with the development of thorium-fueled nuclear power. This is very interesting, as thorium has the potential to provide cheap and relatively safe energy. It would, amongst other things, mark something of a turning point for China, which has been developing by copying the West, but with this, they would be pioneering a technology that has largely been deglected, due in part to vested interests in the established nuclear industry. When, and if we ever, learn the true state of affairs regarding the Japanese nuclear disaster, thorium may look even more attractive.

Bomb Libya. It's what Jefferson would have wanted

I'm no cheerleader for Barry Obama, but this attack from Janet Daley in the Telegraph is beyond dumb. According to Daley, the Founding Fathers will be spinning in their graves because of his tardiness in starting the new war with Libya. America, she states:
"has abdicated its role as defender and standard bearer for the principle of freedom – the idea that all men are born with inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, which the great founding documents of the United States declare to be universal and not simply the birthright of residents of one nation."
Now, the Founding Fathers were a mixed bunch, and few of them emerge untarnished from close-up examination (such is life, they were flesh and blood). They also had widely divergent opinions on the key political issues. But, for what it is worth, the Constitution makes it clear who is responsible for declaring wars. And, whatever Janet Daley thinks, and whatever deluded manifest-destiny bullshit she wants to spread on her roses, that who is Congress, not the President and certainly not the UN.

There's more to say, but her stoopid article ain't worth it.

Shooting fish in a barrel

Odyssey Dawn? Sounds like a dodgy '70s prog-rock album, but no, it's our new war; 'Krieg ohne Strategie'* as Spiegel aptly calls it. I note this, as I'm straining my language skills in the hope of getting a more accurate view from what the Ministry of Truth will be telling us.

What exactly is the plan? From the outside, it has the air of a hastily-arranged benefit gig to save the local orphanage - and no doubt its result will fill a few of those.

The West is going to stop Gaddaffi killing civilians? That's okay, then. Who could object.... what about the rebels, those under arms, who are actively engaged in a war against Gaddaffi's regime? Is he allowed to attack them? It seems not, as the destruction of the loyalist forces outside Benghazi indicate. But are the rebels to be held to a cease-fire, or is Gaddaffi supposed to do nothing while they reverse the territorial losses Gaddaffi has inflicted?

Given that, as far as I can see, Gaddaffi does still have support from a proportion of the population, and there's no way of judging how big that proportion is, how is this thing going to end? Is the West going to do what the rebels demand and assassinate Gaddaffi? That might make it easier to find an eventual solution, but there is no guarantee.

This new adventure has to be the most bare-facedly hypocritical act of aggression in a long time. Hypocritical because only a couple of weeks ago Cameron was touring the Middle East selling weapons to all the other tinpots, with which to massacre their restless populations, but for some reason, that's fine.

* 'War without strategy'

What's going on?

It was a line in the title track from the album that came to mind, pondering the Western powers' latest Safari Club outing. Marvin was right; war is not the answer, and yet, in the most casual way we find ourselves dragged into another conflict in another continent.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Not Libya

Meanwhile amongst our allies, in the benign stability of Bahrain:
Manama. They turned over the limp, lifeless body of the young man,. His back was riddled with bullet wounds. His skull flopped open revealing a bloody mess and a gaping hole where the brain used to be before it was blown out by a high-velocity weapon at point-blank range.

A surgeon at Salmaniya Hospital in Manama said helplessly: “We could do nothing to save him.”

Ahmed Farhan was just one of several Bahrainis killed yesterday by state forces that went on a murderous rampage in mainly Shia towns and villages deemed to be supportive of the popular uprising against the autocratic US-backed regime headed by King Hamad al-Khalifa.

Another doctor said: “This is all-out war against civilians who are simply demanding democracy.”

As hundreds of injured were ferried along the corridors of the hospital, there was an atmosphere of dread among medics that the Persian Gulf island regime had lost all restraint under international law.

This was less than 24 hours after a large convoy of Saudi-led troops arrived in Bahrain, with the ostensible aim of “restoring stability”. At the same time, the Bahraini rulers declared: “The government will never tolerate any disruption of social peace.”
I'm sure, in the idle moments between planning the attack on Libya, our macho leaders will urge restraint both on the Bahraini government and the bullet-ridden opposition.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Ides have come, but they have not yet gone

I'm still letting the blog lie fallow. I can't really add much to the world's debate at the moment. All I can do is encourage you all to pray for Japan, to implore God Almighty to lessen this cup of suffering.

(Read here for title reference)

Sunday, 13 March 2011


John Oliver's 'Literature Rodeo', reviewing apocalyptic literature.

Mencken on democracy: harsh but generally true

You do not know and will never know who the Remnant are, or where they are, or how many of them there are, or what they are doing or will do. Two things you know, and no more: first, that they exist; second, that they will find you. (Albert Jay Nock)

I have alluded somewhat vaguely to the merits of democracy. One of them is quite obvious: it is, perhaps, the most charming form of government ever devised by man. The reason is not far to seek. It is based upon propositions that are palpably not true and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true. Truth has a harshness that alarms them, and an air of finality that collides with their incurable romanticism. They turn, in all the great emergencies of life, to the ancient promises, transparently false but immensely comforting, and of all those ancient promises there is none more comforting than the one to the effect that the lowly shall inherit the earth. It is at the bottom of the dominant religious system of the modern world, and it is at the bottom of the dominant political system.

The latter, which is democracy, gives it an even higher credit and authority than the former, which is Christianity. More, democracy gives it a certain appearance of objective and demonstrable truth. The mob man, functioning as citizen, gets a feeling that he is really important to the world that he is genuinely running things. Out of his maudlin herding after rogues and mountebanks there comes to him a sense of vast and mysterious power which is what makes archbishops, police sergeants, the grand goblins of the Ku Klux and other such magnificoes happy. And out of it there comes, too, a conviction that he is somehow wise, that his views are taken seriously by his betters—which is what makes United States Senators, fortune tellers and Young Intellectuals happy. Finally, there comes out of it a glowing consciousness of a high duty triumphantly done which is what makes hangmen and husbands happy.

All these forms of happiness, of course, are illusory. They don't last. The democrat, leaping into the air to flap his wings and praise God, is for ever coming down with a thump. The seeds of his disaster, as I have shown, lie in his own stupidity: he can never get rid of the naive delusion—so beautifully Christian!—that happiness is something to be got by taking it away from the other fellow. But there are seeds, too, in the very nature of things: a promise, after all, is only a promise, even when it is supported by divine revelation, and the chances against its fulfillment may be put into a depressing mathematical formula. Here the irony that lies under all human aspiration shows itself: the quest for happiness, as always, brings only unhappiness in the end. But saying that is merely saying that the true charm of democracy is not for the democrat but for the spectator. That spectator, it seems to me, is favoured with a show of the first cut and calibre. Try to imagine anything more heroically absurd! What grotesque false pretenses! What a parade of obvious imbecilities! What a welter of fraud! But is fraud unamusing? Then I retire forthwith as a psychologist. The fraud of democracy, I contend, is more amusing than any other—more amusing even, and by miles, than the fraud of religion. Go into your praying-chamber and give sober thought to any of the more characteristic democratic inventions: say, Law Enforcement. Or to any of the typical democratic prophets: say, the late Archangel Bryan. If you don't come out paled and palsied by mirth then you will not laugh on the Last Day itself, when Presbyterians step out of the grave like chicks from the egg, and wings blossom from their scapulae, and they leap into interstellar space with roars of joy.

I have spoken hitherto of the possibility that democracy may be a self-limiting disease, like measles. It is, perhaps, something more: it is self-devouring. One cannot observe it objectively without being impressed by its curious distrust of itself—its apparently ineradicable tendency to abandon its whole philosophy at the first sign of strain. I need not point to what happens invariably in democratic states when the national safety is menaced. All the great tribunes of democracy, on such occasions, convert themselves, by a process as simple as taking a deep breath, into despots of an almost fabulous ferocity.

Lincoln, Roosevelt and Wilson come instantly to mind: Jackson and Cleveland are in the background, waiting to be recalled. Nor is this process confined to times of alarm and terror: it is going on day in and day out. Democracy always seems bent upon killing the thing it theoretically loves. I have rehearsed some of its operations against liberty, the very cornerstone of its political metaphysic. It not only wars upon the thing itself; it even wars upon mere academic advocacy of it. I offer the spectacle of Americans jailed for reading the Bill of Rights as perhaps the most gaudily humorous ever witnessed in the modern world. Try to imagine monarchy jailing subjects for maintaining the divine right of Kings! Or Christianity damning a believer for arguing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God! This last, perhaps, has been done: anything is possible in that direction. But under democracy the remotest and most fantastic possibility is a common. place of every day. All the axioms resolve themselves into thundering paradoxes, many amounting to downright contradictions in terms. The mob is competent to rule the rest of us—but it must be rigorously policed itself. There is a government, not of men, but of laws—but men are set upon benches to decide finally what the law is and may be. The highest function of the citizen is to serve the state—but the first assumption that meets him, when he essays to discharge it, is an assumption of his disingenuousness and dishonour. Is that assumption commonly sound? Then the farce only grows the more glorious.

I confess, for my part, that it greatly delights me. I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself—that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle. I do not know: I report only that when the suckers are running well the spectacle is infinitely exhilarating. But I am, it may be, a somewhat malicious man: my sympathies, when it comes to suckers, tend to be coy. What I can't make out is how any man can believe in democracy who feels for and with them, and is pained when they are debauched and made a show of. How can any man be a democrat who is sincerely a democrat?

Found here at the School of Cooperative Individualism.

My thought for the day

When capitalism is discussed, it is usually being attacked. It's attackers seem to view it as a strange amalgam of two very different concepts: mercantilism and free trade. These are not only different, they are diametrically opposed.

Protect the public from these vile marketing deceptions

Showing their true colours: shades of grey

Political parties have long used marketing and branding to differentiate themselves from their competitors, misleading the public into believing that switching brands at the general election would lead to some kind of positive change, but the evidence confirms that they are all equally carcinogenic, and now pressure is mounting to reduce their ability to peddle this toxic product. According to Dr J. Bloggs of the Clapham Omnibus Research Institute: "They like to pretend that there's some kind of difference between them, but they're all a bunch of robbing bastards."

See here for further details.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Blogging fatigue

Some of you may have noticed in recent times a lack of activity with the blog. I'm not too sure what I'm going to do with it. I'll let it lie fallow for a while, and see if my muse returns. No doubt y'all can amuse yourselves without my assistance.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Ah! Mon Chevalier

Serge Gainsbourg - La Horse

UPDATE: I have found the perfect accompaniment to this instrumental track via The Waspsnest - video shot from the boosters for a Space Shuttle launch. I could watch and listen to this all day... but then I'd never get anything done.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Happy Rothbard Day!

This machine kills fascists - Murray at his famous typewriter

I note, thanks to fellow blogger Tanstaafl Canada, that today is the birthday of Murray Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995). At present I am wading through 'Conceived in Liberty', his history of colonial America, and I've got as far as the Boston Massacre, so it's all shaping up for the final denouement. And of course history was only one string to his poymathic bow. The great man left such a momentous body of work, he will endure for many years to come.

I think I've just stumbled on a series of his lectures that I've not heard before. Here's one of them: "Woodrow Wilson and World War One". The rest can be found at the Mises Institute.

What is happening in Libya?

Ever since the trouble kicked off in Libya, I've had a sense that we are being actively misled, and, as the Western governments queued up to rattle their sabres - in ways that were conspicuously different from their reaction to the other countries in the Middle East, my suspicions have grown. It's almost like toppling Gaddafi was the plan all along.

Now along comes Russia Today, reporting that the satellite evidence doesn't back up the MSM's narrative:

Hat tip: Infowars

UPDATE: Here's an interesting article with a great title: "The London School of Useful Idiots", lifting the lid on the the connections between the Gaddafi family, the LSE, various ex-spooks, arms dealers and, of course, Anthony fucking Blair.

Hat tip: Anna Raccoon

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


If the average person were to consider what qualities to look for in a prospective foster parent, they'd probably say; offering a stable, clean, loving home; having the patience and strength of character to nurture a child, especially one who may be difficult to handle; being reliable and experienced ...

But not if you're a High Court judge. If you're one of them, it's a case of:

"Never mind the welcoming home, never mind how many children you've raised and raised well. Forget all that, what we really want to know is; what do you think about sex? Can you be trusted to impart to your impressionable infant wards the correct opinions in matters sexual? Specifically matters homosexual?"

Thus by the High Court's latest ruling continues the state's struggle to impose its New Sexual Orthodoxy on dissenting Christians.

Not everyone disapproves:
"Stonewall today welcomed a High Court ruling in a case brought by a Derbyshire couple, who as foster parents believe that homosexuality is unacceptable. Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘We’re delighted that the High Court’s landmark decision has favoured 21st-century decency above 19th-century prejudice. In any fostering case the interests of the 60,000 children in care should override the bias of any prospective parent."

‘Thankfully, Mr and Mrs Johns’s out-dated views aren’t just out of step with the majority of people in modern Britain but those of many Christians too. If you wish to be involved in the delivery of a public service, you should be prepared to provide it fairly to anyone.’
Firstly, Mr Summerskill provides me the opportunity to address something I've been meaning to address for a while: the word 'unacceptable'; how it is used to blur an area where distinction is most required: between thought, speech and action; between moral censure, social disapproval or criminal sanction. However, whenever you hear or read someone saying something is 'unacceptable' you can be sure they'll be jumping over moral censure and social disapproval and moving straight for the criminal sanction, or at least some kind of coercive legal restriction, as in the case above.

This is, you recall, a mere matter of opinion; that of the man and wife vis à vis teaching young children about the wholesomeness of homosexuality. Rather than being out-dated, or out-of-step, the majority of parents would take the same view on homosexuality, absent of any religious conviction, with regard to young children. Indeed few parents see it as their duty to actively promote the merits of gayness to their tender offspring.

Also note the term 'public service'. What is this public service, which they are made incapable of rendering by their recusant views? The couple in question most likely didn't see fostering as delivering a public service, but rather as helping particular, needy children, which no one denies they can do.

No. What we have here is a kind of loyalty oath, which the couple will not swear to, and without doing so, they are to be cut off from what Mr Summerskill calls 'public service', which probably encompasses pretty much everything.

As the Telegraph reports:
"Equality laws are supposed to uphold the rights to religious belief. Yet the High Court ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation "should take precedence" over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds. Why has it been left to judges to decide whose rights trump those of others? "
Here we see the poison spring from whence many rivers run: a polluted concept of 'rights', based on nothing in particular, perhaps some kind of vague pantheistic impression, but no more than that. God has been dethroned. Natural law decried as nonsense. Our new rights-jockeys would squirm with spinsterish embarassment before admitting the providence of these rights of theirs. This alone does not damn them, but without the Rosetta Stone of property rights, properly understood, the rest of this rights rubbish is a mere jumbled stew of vested interests competing.

The real losers here are the abandoned children. Summerskill agrees; "the interests of the 60,000 children in care should override the bias of any prospective parent." Fine words, but he really means something quite different. Of paramount importance to him is ensuring that Christians like this couple be prohibited from fostering, and as for the children, let them eat cake.