Articles

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Traditionalist Rebel

Leftist movements begin with rebellion and end with conformity. No Utopian movement can tolerate rebels for long because there is no room for dissent in paradise. An ideal society, the goal of leftist political movements, not only has no room for war, racism, greed and all the other evils the conformist paradises of the left hope to eliminate, it also has no room for disagreement.

The perfect society and its perfect ideology are also the perfect tyranny. Against this Utopian collectivism, which promises paradise and delivers a prison, is the traditionalist rebel who finds virtue in the acknowledgement of human flaws rather than in the unthinking pursuit of an unchanging perfection.

The traditionalist rebel is not seeking perfection, but humanity. He is a skeptical idealist who is interested in character rather than movements. He is above all else an individualist with an instinctive distrust of any movement that requires him to abandon his rights for the greater good.

The traditionalist rebel is the snake in the liberal Eden because he does not have faith in the noble motives of the bureaucratic activists who claim to be the gods of this Eden. He knows enough of human nature to reject the fallacy that the right ideology makes men so righteous that they can be trusted with absolute power without absolute corruption following in their wake. He knows that socialists have not risen above the crimes of selfish self interest that they condemn mankind for.

Their Utopian Eden is a false paradise built on lies and maintained by abuses. It is not the paradise where mankind can return to a state of innocence, but a hell whose innocence is only a willful ignorance of the crimes being committed in its name, whose followers maintain their false virtue through a steady diet of moral outrage over the crimes of everyone but their own superiors and their own ideology.

The traditionalist rebel values innocence, but has learned the lessons of experience. He knows that virtue is an individual struggle and that it cannot be achieved through self deceit. He has learned long ago that we do not become better people by lying to ourselves.

He has built his character by being honest with himself and he does not believe that any man is infallible enough to demand blind faith or that any movement which punishes even the mildest dissent is anything but the worst self of humankind wrapped in deceit and self deceit.

The traditionalist rebel does not believe that collectivist institutions can make us moral. He relies instead on individual institutions of character and honor, empathy and morality. He trusts people individually to do the right thing more than any government. And when he has to trust institutions, he prefers those that are built on honor and integrity, and on simple decency, than those tangled mazes of academic theory whose premises followed to their terrible conclusions assert that human beings are expendable for the sake of utopian ideologies.

It is his individualism that makes the traditionalist rebel so ornery. He has natural anti authoritarian instincts, he demands reasons for restrictions and has a tendency to defy for the sake of defiance. And yet he is not a destroyer, but a builder, he does not want to smash things for the sake of smashing, instead he smashes that which prevents him from building his own values and his own relationships.

Unlike his leftist rebel enemies, he does not fight to impose his system on others, but to defy their attempts to impose their system on him. That is why he is an authentic rebel and they are aristo tyrants playing at being rebels because even bad guys hate seeming like bad guys.

The traditionalist rebel is slow to anger. Unlike the social justice warrior and the crybully, he does not derive his sense of self from manufactured conflicts only meant to reinforce a collective identity, but from his own values. His anger is patient, but also more decisive. It is not the fanatical hysteria of the neurotic leftist who, like the Mohammedan suicide bomber sees paradise in the destruction of perceived enemies, but is a cold, hard determination to be free of them.

It is not the leftist Utopian who wants freedom, but the traditionalist rebel who sees his right to speak, to worship, to marry and raise children, to protect his family and his home, and to go through his life without being accountable to anyone but G-d and his conscience every minute of the day, instead of the ears, eyes and tentacles of government, under attack who truly fights for freedom.

The traditionalist rebel values structure that derives from his own values. He does not believe that mankind can be saved by an external police state, but by the awakening of the authentic voice of the internal conscience. Like America's Founders, he believes that we should build institutions with faith in the Creator and skepticism toward man.

He knows that we cannot make paradise happen by being dishonest about human nature and pretending that the snake of our worst impulses is our god. And so he is naturally skeptical of any grandiose effort at global and national improvement over the improvement of the self that pretend that a better world can be built out of the same materials as the old through sheer collective organization.

The traditionalist rebel is not interested in a better world, but a better self which can be used cooperatively in the building of a better family, a better community and perhaps, a better future, not through top down regulation, but through daily interaction.

Systems are by definition inhuman. Utopian ideologies scale them higher and bigger, nationally and globally, making them ever more inhuman. The traditionalist rebel instinctively rebels against inhuman systems in favor of human connections, he rejects centralized authority for local authority, unelected officials for elected ones, national regulations for human values and mandates for conscience.

At every turn, the traditionalist rebel seeks to scale down issues to character while the leftist authoritarian seeks to scale them up to institutions. This is the conflict that will decide our future.

Will we be a human nation or a massive system? Will we continue to be a nation of individualist rebels or a collectivist nightmare of frightened, angry drones who are convinced that utopia is one more purge away.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Will Banning Muslim Migration Ruin the Anti-ISIS Coalition?

The most common attack on proposals to end Muslim migration to the United States is that this policy would somehow interfere with the coalition to fight ISIS.

Lindsey Graham asked, “How do you go to any of these countries and build a coalition when your policy is simply because you’re a Muslim you can’t come to America?” “This policy is a policy that makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out ISIS," Jeb Bush objected.

The White House agreed, “We have an over-60-country coalition fighting with a substantial number of Muslim-majority fighters who are absolutely essential to succeeding in that effort.”

But there are two things wrong with this argument.

First, no Muslim country or faction is fighting ISIS because they like us. They’re not doing us any favors. They’re protecting themselves from the Islamic State.

The insistence of ISIS that it is the supreme authority over all Muslims has even led it into battles with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. No one fighting ISIS is doing it because of our immigration policy. Jeb Bush referenced the Kurds. The Kurds want their own homeland. Those who want to come to America don’t want to fight ISIS. Those who want to fight ISIS aren’t looking to move to Dearborn or Jersey City.

Second, Muslim countries in the anti-ISIS coalition have much harsher immigration policies for Christians than anything that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz have proposed for Muslims.

When Obama gave his speech, the first Muslim country he mentioned in the coalition was Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia bans all religions except Islam. No churches are allowed in Saudi Arabia. Christmas parties are targeted with police raids. Converting to Christianity is punishable by death. Non-Muslims are entirely banned from some Saudi cities and the legal system discriminates against them.

Saudi Arabia also engages in blatant racial discrimination and denies basic civil rights to women. And yet there are no problems with having Saudi Arabia in the anti-ISIS coalition. Certainly the Saudis don’t worry that we’ll drop out of the coalition because they ban Christianity.

Other Muslim anti-ISIS coalition members include Turkey, whose leader threatened to ethnically cleanse Armenians, Egypt, where discrimination against Christians has led to government persecution, the UAE and Qatar, where churches are not allowed to display crosses, and Somalia, which banned Christmas.

Saudi Arabia’s Islamic justice system is often indistinguishable from ISIS. Turkey and Qatar’s governments have ties to Al Qaeda. Both also have alleged ties to ISIS.

And they are the core of Obama’s Muslim anti-ISIS coalition members.

Why exactly does the United States have to worry about meeting their standards for accommodating Muslims, when they have no interest in meeting our standards for the treatment of Christians?

Muslim coalition countries routinely block citizenship for non-Muslims, some forbid marriages to non-Muslims, yet we’re expected to provide citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Muslims, many of whom support ISIS, Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, just to maintain this coalition?

What use is an anti-ISIS coalition that not only forbids us to protect our own national security interests, but actually demands that we undermine them to accommodate some larger Islamic agenda?

But despite claims by Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and the White House, the anti-ISIS coalition has no interest in our immigration policy. Its Muslim components are divided into local militias and regional powers. The militias are fighting ISIS for the sake of their own interests and their own survival. All they want from us are guns and they don’t care about our immigration policy. The regional powers want us to overthrow Assad. Their own interests, not our immigration policy, are their priorities.

The majority of the Muslim anti-ISIS coalition hates us. Some members actually sponsor terrorism against us. We will not alienate them with a migration ban because they are not our friends.

The Muslim countries in the coalition against ISIS are absolutely unashamed of putting their own religious and national identities first. Yet Bush, Graham and the White House would have us believe that we will destroy any coalition with them against ISIS if we put ourselves first for once.

We need to stop worrying about offending Muslim countries that deny Christians and Jews basic human rights and start looking out for our interests, our own security and our own welfare.

Not only won’t this weaken the coalition against ISIS, it will make it stronger. Countries can be united by shared values or shared interests. No matter how much presidents from both parties may pretend, we have no values in common with Saudi Arabia. We are not united with it or the rest of the Muslim members of the coalition by shared religious or cultural values. We are occasionally united with them by shared interests. It’s time that we were honest about that with them and ourselves.

Jeb Bush’s pretense that we must have shared values to have shared interests is a common foreign policy fallacy. Instead of trying to build shared interests around shared values such as democracy or interfaith dialogue that we clearly do not share with them, we should just focus on our interests.

Saudi Arabia is a brutal totalitarian monarchy that hates everything that we care about from our religion to our way of life. Picture anything from a 4th of July barbecue to Christmas and the Saudis will have banned everything from the beer to the pork chops to the men and women sitting together.

But we both hate ISIS and that’s all that we really need for a coalition against it.

If we are ever going to have an adult relationship with the Muslim world, it will be based on our interests, not values. It will work because both sides know exactly what they are getting out of it.

The Muslim world wants to know what to expect from us. It hates Obama because of his unreliability. To them, his political ideology resembles some species of mysticism which they do not share. It much prefers an arrangement based on mutual interests over our misguided mystical attempts to discover shared values by pretending that Islam is just Christianity misspelled.

It’s not an immigration ban that poses a threat to the coalition, it’s the insistence that shared values come before shared interests. If we are to have shared values with a Muslim coalition, that requires us to prosecute blasphemy against Islam, provide a special status to Muslims and a lower status to non-Muslims. Such an approach is incompatible with our own values, yet we have begun doing just that. Locking up filmmakers and condemning cartoonists has given us more in common with Saudi Arabia and ISIS. And it would be unfortunate if we had to become an Islamic state to fight the Islamic State.

We can best fight ISIS by being a free nation. There is no use in defeating ISIS just to become ISIS. That will not prevent us from joining coalitions of shared interests with anyone else, but it will stop us from trying to find shared values with Islamic tyrannies of the axe, burka and sword. A ban on Muslim migration will allow us to fight ISIS abroad instead of fighting ISIS and becoming ISIS at home.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Left's Manufactured Muslim Crisis

Men and women, some whose clothes were still marked with gray ash, walked dazedly toward Union Square. Many did not know what to do or where to go. So they kept on walking. They knew the country was under attack, but they did not know how bad it was or what might still be heading for them.

Behind them lay a changed city and thousands of American dead. Ahead was the bronze statue of George Washington, facing into the devastation and raising his hand to lead his men forward in victory. Around its base, with the destruction of the World Trade Center as their backdrop, leftists had set up shop, coloring anti-war posters even while rescue workers were risking their lives at Ground Zero.

In the coming days, the statue of Washington would be repeatedly vandalized by leftists drawing peace signs and “No War” and “War is Not the Answer” slogans on it. But that moment crystallized my realization that while Muslim terrorists had carried out the attack, it was the left we would have to fight.

While some New Yorkers had gone to help the victims of Islamic terrorists, the left had rushed to aid the terrorists. Unlike the rest of us, they were not shocked or horrified by the attack. They were treasonously working on ways to spin the murder of thousands of Americans to protect the enemy.

The greatest obstacle to defeating Islamic terrorism is still the left.

The left helped create Islamic terrorism; its immigration policies import terrorism while its civil rights arm obstructs efforts to prevent it and its anti-war rallies attack any effort to fight it. In America, in Europe and in Israel, and around the world, to get at Islamic terrorists, you have to go through the left.

When a Muslim terrorist comes to America, it’s the left that agitates to admit him. Before he kills, it’s the left that fights to protect him from the FBI. Afterward, leftists offer to be his lawyers. The left creates the crisis and then it fights against any effort to deal with it except through surrender and appeasement.

Islamic violence against non-Muslims predated the left. But it’s the left that made it our problem. Islamic terrorism in America or France exists because of Muslim immigration. And the left is obsessed with finding new ways to import more Muslims. Merkel is praised for opening up a Europe already under siege by Islamic terror, Sharia police, no-go zones and sex grooming and groping gangs, to millions.

The left feverishly demands that the whole world follow her lead. Bill Gates would like America to be just like Germany. Israel’s deranged Labor Party leader Herzog urged the Jewish State to open its doors.

And then, after the next round of stabbings, car burnings and terror attacks, they blame the West for not “integrating” the un-integratable millions who had no more interest in being integrated than their leftist patrons do in moving to Pakistan and praying to Allah on a threadbare rug. But “integration” is a euphemism for a raft of leftist agenda items from social services spending to punishing hate speech (though never that of the Imams crying for blood and death, but only of their native victims) to a foreign policy based on appeasement and surrender. Islamic terrorists kill and leftists profit from the carnage.

The ongoing threat of Islamic terrorism is a manufactured crisis that the left cultivates because that gives it power. In a world without 9/11, the Obama presidency would never have existed. Neither would the Arab Spring and the resulting migration and wholesale transformation of Western countries.

In the UK, Labour used Muslim immigration as a deliberate political program to “change the country.” In Israel, Labor struck an illegal deal with Arafat that put sizable portions of the country under the control of terrorists while forcing the Jewish State into a series of concessions to terrorists and the left. The same fundamental pattern of Labour and Labor and the whole left is behind the rise of Islamic terrorism.

Muslim terrorism creates pressure that the left uses to achieve policy goals. Even when it can’t win elections, Muslim terrorism allows the left to create a crisis and then to set an agenda.

The left’s patronage of Islamic terrorists for its own political purposes follows a thread back to the origin of Islamic terrorism. Islamic violence against non-Muslims dates back to the founding of Islam, but the tactics of modern Islamic terrorism owe as much to Lenin as they do to Mohammed.

Today’s Islamic terrorist is the product of traditional Islamic theology and Soviet tactics. The USSR did not intend to create Al Qaeda, but they provided training and doctrine to terrorists from the Muslim world. The “secular” and “progressive” terrorists of the left either grew Islamist, like Arafat, or their tactics were copied and expanded on, like the PFLP, by a new generation of Islamic terrorists.

The earlier phase of Islamic organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, had been inspired by fascists who were seeking to use them in their own wars. Over this layer of secret societies plotting takeovers and building networks of front groups, the Soviet Union added the terror tactics that had been employed by the left. And the leftist mad bomber became the Muslim suicide bomber. Terrorism in the Muslim world has evolved from functioning as a Third World proxy army for the left, in much the same way as guerrillas and terrorists from Asia, Africa and Latin America had, to a diaspora whose migrations lend a domestic terror arm to a Western left whose own spiteful activists have grown unwilling to put their lives on the line and go beyond tweeting words to throwing bombs.

With the Muslim Brotherhood, the origin organization of Al Qaeda, ISIS and Hamas, among many others, so tightly integrated into the American and European left that it is often hard to see where one begins and the other ends, Islam has become the militant arm of the purportedly secular left. Western leftists and Islamists have formed the same poisonous relationship as Middle Eastern leftists and Islamists did leading to the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Arab Spring. Leftists expected Islamists to do the dirty work while they would take over. Instead the Islamists won and killed them.

Having learned nothing from the Hitler-Stalin pact, the left has replayed the same betrayal with the Mohammed-Stalin pact in the Middle East and now in the West. But the end of the Mohammed-Stalin pact will not be a Socialist totalitarian utopia, but an Islamic theocracy of slaves, terror and death.

On September 11, I saw with my own eyes how eager and willing leftists were to rush to the aid of Islamic terrorists even while their fellow Americans were dying. Nothing has changed. Every Islamic act of brutality is met with lies and spin, with mass distraction and deception by the treasonous left. Every effort to fight Islamic terrorists is sabotaged, undermined and protested by the enemy within.

Since September 11, the left has trashed the FBI’s counterterrorism and has now succeeded in destroying the NYPD’s counterrorism while transforming the FDNY into an affirmative action project. What the September 11 hijackers could never accomplish on their own, the leftists did for them by defeating the three forces that had stood against Islamic terrorists on that day. And it would not surprise me at all if some of the “No War” scribblers have gone on to play an influential role in that treason.

The left has crippled domestic and international counterterrorism. American soldiers are not allowed to shoot terrorists and the FBI and NYPD can’t monitor mosques or even be taught what to look for. Islamic terrorism has achieved unprecedented influence and power under Obama. ISIS has created the first functioning caliphate and Iran marches toward the first Jihadist nuclear bomb. The mass Muslim migration is beginning a process that will Islamize Europe far more rapidly than anyone expects.

The Jihad would not be a significant threat without the collaboration of the left. Without the left standing in the way, it’s a problem that could be solved in a matter of years. With the aid of the left, it threatens human civilization with a dark age that will erase our culture, our future and our freedom.

We cannot defeat Islam without defeating the left. That is the lesson I learned on September 11. It is a lesson that appears truer every single year as the left finds new ways to endanger us all.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Conservatism Isn't Dead

No, conservatism isn't dead. It just isn't nearly as influential as some conservatives thought it was.

This shouldn't have come as a surprise after two Obama victories, the failures of the Tea Party and the warping of conservative institutions and politicians to serve entirely different agendas. Ideas only have power when they're vested in organizations that have power. Conservative organizations have very little institutional power. Those that do are not particularly conservative, but serve the agendas of an establishment that has self-interested goals.

Conservative organizations lean heavily on messaging, but their messaging is really about influencing those who do have power. Their most effective messaging is filtered through populist and viral mediums that have the conservative brand, but are not really ideologically conservative.

Conservatives interface with FOX News or the Chamber of Commerce, which have institutional power and which provide a forum for conservative views, but which are not really conservative. The perception that they are waters down the brand and undermines the idea of conservatism.

Conservative overconfidence grew under Obama, but opposition to Obama was far more popular than any set of conservative ideas. Opposition to Obama became its own movement, but it didn't stand for anything. It was a populist movement that was against things and looking for someone to lead.

Meanwhile conservatism became the victim of its own successes. The establishment crippled and then cannibalized the Tea Party. Conservatives finally emerged triumphant in a pitched battle with the establishment over amnesty. But the battle mainly served to discredit both sides in the eyes of a base that had seen a parade of former conservative heroes being exposed as villains.

And conservatism came in for a tug of war between established interests, intellectuals and the grass roots. There were and still are debates over what conservative principles really are. This election has shown that social conservatism and nationalism should be strong parts of a conservative platform.

The libertarian conservatism popular in some circles that packages together immigration, pro-crime policies and cutting social security is vastly unpopular and has no political base of support. This election has completely discredited it and it should be abandoned as soon as possible.

If conservatives want to win elections, their platform is going to have to be populist and realistic. That means small government, but the cuts have to start with the left's sacred cows, rather than expecting the bulk of the Republican electorate to suck it up for the greater good. I would love to see a conservative candidate announce a plan to stop plowing more money into failed Democratic cities instead of announcing yet another bright scheme to slash the military or Medicare.

Likewise the "exporting Democracy" school of conservatives were thoroughly discredited by the Arab Spring. Their agenda is mainstream among the establishment, but conservatives need a sensible realistic foreign policy approach that avoids the extremes of nation building and isolationism, that puts national interests first while at the same time recognizing that we are a world power.

Americans have no interest in fighting wars for futile missions to build democracy. But neither are they willing to sit around and watch a group like ISIS take off. What is needed is an approach that emphasizes decisive military intervention against enemies without regard for collateral damage while minimizing American casualties. We should sharply slash much of our foreign aid budget and look at what actually builds influence and what doesn't. Foreign aid should be closely interlinked with our economic interests, the way that it is in China, and our international interests. We are not a charity.

A small government, hard power, anti-crime, nationalist and traditionalist conservatism can succeed. It has succeeded in this election insofar as the leading candidates have adopted it, with varying degrees of sincerity. If conservatism is to be relevant, it is going to have to shed a lot of its liberal skin, dispense with the globalism that has seeped into it, and actually be conservative.

And then it might be ready to win elections.

Without close ties to a grass roots, conservatism becomes an echo chamber. That's what the National Review really showed. Building ties to a grass roots based around negative oppositionism is easy. Anyone can do it. The hard work will be to build ties to the grass roots based on a positive agenda.

This is where conservatives failed. Trump just exposed their failure. Someone can always be more against X than you are. The specific things that you are against matter less than the act of opposing. Being against something is its own truth and competing in that arena is more a matter of attitude than policy. And yet Trump has, in his own way, also laid out a coherent and easy to understand positive agenda. One of the reasons he's winning is that his rivals have failed to do it. Trump distills his agenda into soundbites. The Republican field has positions that are too complex to boil down.

To the average voter, it's easy to understand what Trump stands for. It's hard to understand what his rivals stand for. All the endless articles about "How to Defeat Trump" completely miss the point. What his opponents had to do was attack him in a simple and crude way over and over again while making the contrast with their own agenda. They failed to do this. That's why they're losing.

The Republican Party in general suffers from an inability to communicate its agenda in ways that people can understand. Conservatives are not immune from this problem. During the Obama years, they compensated by doubling down on opposition. But they haven't produced a positive, coherent agenda that appeals to people. And they haven't bridged the gap with ordinary people.

The weak point has always been organization. The left won based on its organizations. These organizations have become more integrated than ever. Meanwhile the right's organizations are vague and detached, pursuing ambitious goals without a realistic agenda. The organizations of the right occasionally suffice to win elections, but they do not suffice when it comes to making policy.

And they do not suffice at all when it comes to organizing a populist conservative movement.

Conservative organizations suffer from too much 'insiderism' making it easy for accusations about an establishment to stick. This insiderism leaves them at the mercy of the real establishment while preventing them from fully leveraging the grass roots to push back at the GOP establishment.

Conservatism needs its intellectuals, but it also needs its community organizers. We have quite a few of the former and not nearly enough of the latter. Conservatives will never achieve any lasting victories until that changes.

Conservatism isn't dead. It's underdeveloped. It's in the midst of a pitched internal battle which has yet to be settled. And it has a huge head and a small body. That's changing. It's been changing for decades. But the country doesn't have decades. So neither do conservatives.

Conservatives did achieve key goals. They pushed Congress to the right. They hurt the establishment.

Conservatives had managed to rally an opposition, while vastly overestimating their ability to set the larger agenda. This is a setback, not a curtain call for the movement. And setbacks are a learning opportunity.

A conservatism disconnected from actual people is never going to mean anything. Unpopular policies are a self-evident dead end. And organizing an opposition is not the same thing as proving you have the right to replace the thing you're opposing. Among other things, that means cleaning house and having less tolerance for scandals and corruption. It also means becoming less dependent on non-conservative populist acts that blow with the wind to convey conservative messages.

Conservatives have revolutionary ideas. But they let the opportunity at building a revolution slip away leaving behind a dissatisfied base. That mistake cannot and should not be made a second time.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trolling is the New Politics

Your classic troll was an amoral sociopath or played one on the internet. His only cause was his own amusement. He advocated horrible and contradictory causes because it amused him to infuriate people. If he could get an entire group howling for his blood, he won. If an outraged media reported on his antics, he was a prince among trolls. Chaos and absurdity were his only agendas.

But eventually the trolls who did it for the "Lulz" gave way to the "Moralfags" sincere trolls who
were sincerely terrible people. They had the same style as trolls, but there was nothing to deconstruct there. Trolling was just how they advocated for their agenda. It was like the difference between Andy Kaufman and David Letterman. When you actually have an agenda and a program, your surreal deconstruction isn't deconstructing anything. It's just a stylistic choice, it's how you present your agenda.

It's the difference between Dadaists dumping a kitchen sink in a fashionable art gallery and a fashionable retailer selling art prints of that kitchen sink a hundred years later. Deconstruction becomes fashion. The subversive becomes stylistic. The troll turns sincere.

Today the sincere troll is everywhere. There was a time when Anonymous was a name associated with random acts of trolling, many of them nasty and malicious. Then it became trolling for a cause. It stopped being subversive or chaotic and just became another tool of political intimidation.

The sincere trolls really took off on television where Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert made it big. Stewart pretended to be subverting the news, when he was just stylistically updating it. That was what made mainstream news personalities love him, rather than hate him. Stewart wasn't really at war with the news media. He was teaching them how to make their left-wing biases hip.

Stephen Colbert was the prototype of the sincere troll. Underneath the dour, humorless fake conservative with an agenda was a dour, humorless real liberal with an agenda. His move to CBS made that obvious and sent viewers fleeing to watch the sincere trolls still pretending to be trolls.

Obama is the highest profile sincere troll, but the only real joke in his routines is that the most powerful man in the world is acting as if his trolling is subversive, when it actually is one of the ways that he maintains his power. Like Putin's global political trolling, the latest being his move to welcome Jews to move back to Russia, trolling is just a more brazen form of propaganda.

But trolling with an agenda is not everywhere. The old style chaotic trolls, like Joshua Goldberg, who pretended to be everything from a social justice warrior to an ISIS terrorist, are a dying breed. The new troll is just an extra-obnoxious political activist who wears Jon Stewart's clown nose while attacking people for political reasons. It can be amusing, but mainly to those who agree.

In substance, the new troll is really no different than a belligerent talk show host. The style is edgier and trendier. The aim is to disrupt narratives and then construct new ones in their place. And that's where the old trolls, who were concerned with disruption as an end rather that a means, differ from the new trolls who adopted disruption as a means for spreading their message.

Trolling is arguably the new politics. And you don't have to be young to play the game. Trump is great at it. But when presidents and billionaires, the RNC and the DNC, do something, it's not subversive anymore. It's the new language of power. Trolling is how we communicate now. And sincere trolling isn't deconstructing or subverting, it's just a total breakdown in civility.

A total breakdown in civility can be refreshing. It's why watching Trump can be fun. But what it really means is that discourse is now the YouTube comments section even at the highest levels.

What happens when disruption becomes the norm? Then it's no longer disruption. It's just a breakdown into factions that spend all their time mocking each other. Sincere trolling removes most of the self-awareness of the classic troll, the new trolls no longer understand that they're trolling because trolling is just how they communicate now. Trolling becomes the default humor and political commentary. There are no standards and no true sincerity and therefore no one to actually troll.

Sincere trolls are living out a joke that isn't funny and has no actual punchline. They have retained the old troll's sense of false superiority by provoking other people, but when everyone is trolling, then eventually there is no one left to provoke. The sense of superiority is no longer at actually provoking people, but at the expectation that they would be provoked or that they should be provoked.

The end results of that are hubs of insanity like Salon where every headline reads like something a deranged troll might come up with, but it's all sincere, and it's all written to provoke people who aren't reading it, but instead outrages liberals who do read it, so that the site is effectively trolling its own readers. And that's what sincere trolls really end up doing. Instead of trolling their enemies, they end up unintentionally trolling their own side by making it crazier.

It's one reason why Colbert had to leave, because he was increasingly being targeted by social justice warriors who didn't get the joke, didn't like jokes and just wanted to skip straight to the lynchings. And so the sincere trolling comes full circle to a point where trolling has become so sincere that it's just hate. The ironic posture is discarded, the distancing goes away, and there's just anger.

The classic troll filtered his anger through humor and detachment. The sincere troll loses the detachment and eventually the humor leaving behind only the contempt and then the anger.

Trolling was always about contempt. Sincere trolling becomes a collective contempt agenda. In other words, propaganda. But even contempt contains a measure of detachment. Eventually even that measure of detachment erodes and all the filters between agenda and rage vanish. The sincere troll tells himself this is idealism. And yet what makes the sincere troll seem so hip is the distancing self-awareness, the dashes of self-mockery mixed in with the collective contempt agenda. But this is only a pose and politics eventually kills all poses. Political power kills poses even faster.

Contempt is based on either cynicism or idealism. In politics, it's fashionable to base contempt for the other side on idealism. When contempt becomes based purely on cynicism, then the rot has really set in. And yet trolling is contempt based on cynicism. The very need to mask that self-righteous anger which makes political activists look like Howard Dean yelling or a bearded Al Gore preaching, is itself a cynical act. Sincere trolling is cynicism in the service of idealism. But it ends as neither.

Cynicism is at least pragmatic. Idealism isn't. Cynicism in the service of idealism is too self-deluded to be properly cynical. Instead it's just idealism gone rotten. It stinks of the limited pragmatism of power in which the vile means become the self-righteous ends into which the left, like all totalitarian ideologies, eventually falls.

Obama doesn't believe anything he says. You can understand what he believes only based on what he does. Everything he says is only a cover for what he really wants to do. This is cynicism in the service of idealism. Obama offered the country a false idealism in the service of his true idealism. Given enough doses of this dichotomy and you end up with Putin, a man who believes in nothing, because he is the product of a wholly cynical idealistic system where the only smart people were those who believed in absolutely nothing, while appearing to be completely sincere.

At the final stage of the sincere troll is a KGB or Gestapo thug working people over for the greater good. And when that's done, he no longer believes in anything at all except the exercise of power.

The left found a new method of discourse with sincere trolling. Its renewed sincerity was based on the distancing effect of its new style. It did not have any new beliefs. It only had a new style. But the style's self-conscious cynicism lapsed into a worldview that was unthinkingly cynical. Constant trolling for idealistic reasons created a cynical idealism, a limited idealism contained within a larger cynical worldview maintained as a defense mechanism against outside ideas and internal dissent.

Another name for this mindset is fanaticism. The fanatic hoards his idealism by shielding it with an unacknowledged cynicism. This is how cults program a constant contempt for the rest of the world. Underneath the ironic stylings of the new discourse was a narrow-minded fanaticism, around the core of sincerity was a thick shell of dishonesty, the idealism was strategically dependent on cynicism.

Instead of true self-awareness, there was only a pose of self-awareness, a carefully calculated contempt dispensed for idealistic reasons whose idealism derived from a cynicism that had to be concealed from the sincere troll's awareness. This mental house of cards was fragile. It doled out lies based on truth based on lies. It was so rotten with its own distortions that it could only destroy. 

This is now the mindset of our media, especially its younger apparatchiks. It is increasingly the tenor of our politics. As everything becomes politicized, it takes on the sincerely insincere taint of politics in which evil must constantly be done for the greater good. Total politicization means total insincerity which requires new forms of discourse that maintain the illusion of sincerity by acknowledging the insincerity. And so the sincere troll becomes the political model with just enough acknowledgement of his own insincerity to appear sincere, just enough cynicism to appear idealistic, just enough lies to appear to be a truthteller.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Understanding the Caliphate Curve

A report by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation found that the Syrian rebels were mostly Islamic Jihadists and that even if ISIS were defeated there were 15 other groups sharing its worldview that were ready to take its place.

And that’s just in Syria.


The official ISIS story, the one that we read in the newspapers, watch on television and hear on the radio, is that it’s a unique group whose brand of extremism is so extreme that there is no comparing it to anything else. ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. Or with anything else. It’s a complete aberration.

Except for the 15 other Jihadist groups ready to step into its shoes in just one country.

Islamic Supremacist organizations like ISIS can be graded on the “Caliphate curve”. The Caliphate curve is based on how quickly an Islamic organization wants to achieve the Caliphate. What we describe as “extreme” or “moderate” is really the speed at which an Islamic group seeks to recreate the Caliphate.

ISIS is at the extreme end of the scale, not because it tortures, kills and rapes, but because it implemented the Caliphate immediately. The atrocities for which ISIS has become known are typical of a functioning Caliphate. The execution of Muslims who do not submit to the Caliph, the ethnic cleansing and sexual slavery of non-Muslims are not aberrations. They are normal behavior for a Caliphate.

The last Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, was selling non-Muslim girls as sex slaves after the invention of the telephone. A New York Times report from 1886 documented the sale of girls as young as twelve, one of them with “light hazel eyes, black eyebrows and long yellow hair”. An earlier report from the London Post described Turks, “sending their blacks to market, in order to make room for a newly-purchased white girl”. This behavior is not a temporary aberration, but dates back to Mohammed’s men raping and enslaving non-Muslim women and young girls as a reward for fighting to spread Islam.

The ISIS behaviors that we find so shocking were widely practiced in even the most civilized parts of the Muslim world around the time that the Statue of Liberty was being dedicated in New York City.

To Muslims, the end of slavery is one of the humiliations that they had to endure because of the loss of the Caliphate. Europeans forced an end to the slave trade. The British made the Turks give up their slaves. The United States made the Saudis give up their slaves in the 1960s. (Unofficially they still exist.) When the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt, its Islamist constitution dropped a ban on slavery.

The Muslim Brotherhood is on the moderate side of the Caliphate curve not because it doesn’t want to bring back the Caliphate, it does, or because it doesn’t want to subjugate non-Muslims, it does, but because it wants to do so gradually over an extended period of time using modern political methods.

But whether you take the long road along the Caliphate curve or the short one it still ends up in the same place. Everyone on the Caliphate curve agrees that the world, including the United States, must be ruled by Muslims under Islamic law and that freedom and equal rights for all must come to an end.

ISIS is just doing right now what the Muslim Brotherhood would take a hundred years to accomplish.

We are not at war with ISIS. We are at war with everyone on the Caliphate curve. Not because we choose to be, but because like Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich or Communism’s vision of one world under the red flag, the Caliphate is a plan for imposing a totalitarian system on us to deprive us of our rights.

The Nazis and the Communists had a vision for the world. So do the Islamic Supremacists who advocate the restoration of the Caliphate. All three groups occasionally played the victim of our foreign policy, but they were not responding to us, they were trying to bring about their positive vision of an ideal society.

Nazi, Communist and Islamist societies just happen to be living nightmares for the rest of us.

No one on the Caliphate curve is moderate. Some on the Caliphate curve are just more patient. They put up billboards, create hashtags and try to ban any criticism of their ideology as Islamophobic. But that’s just Caliphatism with a human face. And that makes them a much more dangerous enemy.

ISIS is in some ways our least dangerous enemy. We haven’t defeated ISIS, because we haven’t even tried. Instead Obama fights a war in which 75 percent of strikes on ISIS are blocked and leaflets are dropped 45 minutes before a strike on oil tankers warning ISIS to flee. If we were to fight ISIS by the same rules as our wars in the last century, the Islamic State would have been crushed long ago.

A insta-Caliphate like ISIS isn’t hard to beat. The global networks of Al Qaeda employing more conventional terror tactics are a trickier force because they are embedded within the stream of Muslim migration. And the Muslim Brotherhood is the trickiest of them all because it is so deeply embedded within Muslim populations in the West that it represents and controls those populations.

What ISIS accomplishes by brute force, the Muslim Brotherhood does by setting up networks of front groups. Both ISIS and the Brotherhood control large Muslim populations. ISIS conquers populations in failed states. The Muslim Brotherhood however exercises control over populations in the cities of the West. We could bomb Raqqa, but can we bomb Dearborn, Jersey City or Irvine?

This is where the Caliphate curve truly reaches its most terrifying potential.

The original Islamic expansionism was so devastating not because it managed to seize control over the hinterlands of Arabia, but because it conquered and subjugated civilized cities such as Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Athens and Delhi. ISIS envisions repeating these conquests and more, but if it succeeds it will not be because of its military strategy, but because it targets have been colonized.

We can destroy ISIS tomorrow, but we will still be in an extended war with a hundred other groups who all have a vision for restoring the Caliphate. This war will never end until we crush their supremacist agenda by demonstrating that we will never again allow such a horror to exist on this earth. As long as Muslim groups hold out hope for a restoration of the Caliphate this war, in its various forms, will go on.

We are not at war with an organization, but with the idea that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims and are endowed by Allah with the right to rule over them, to rob them, to rape them and enslave them. ISIS is the most naked expression of this idea. But it’s an idea that everyone on the Caliphate curve accepts.

Until we defeat this racist idea, new Islamic groups will constantly keep arising animated by this vision. Wars fueled by supremacist beliefs have historically only ended when the illusion of superiority was destroyed by utterly defeating and humiliating the attackers. It worked with Japan and Nazi Germany.

Our war now will not end until we destroy the supremacist faith in the Caliphate curve.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Why Feminism Failed Cologne's Women

Big Feminism, fresh from fighting pitched battles against swimsuit posters in European subways and other phantoms of "rape culture", failed the women who were attacked by violent Muslim migrant mobs in Cologne, Berlin and Hamburg who were the products of an actual rape culture dating back to Mohammed's injunction to his men that Muslim women must wear burqas to avoid being "molested" while non-Muslim women captured in the House of War could be raped by Muslim Jihadis at will.

Big Feminism has a great deal of interest in rape as an abstract idea that can be unpacked to represent everything the left hates from Valentine's Day to environmental degradation to the college frat, but it has little interest in rape as a crime or rape victims as people. Eve Ensler exploited the idea of rape to build up her brand while her PR was being handled by Trevor FitzGibbon, a progressive sexual predator who was also representing Julian Assange, another progressive rapist. Eve Ensler had a great deal of interest in rape as an ideological tool, but none in the women who were raped by her allies.

Feminism is only another of the many manipulative masks that the left wears. Its acolytes cannot see rape as a personal crime, only as an ideological one. To the left, rape, like racism, is a form of institutional oppression practiced by the stronger white male against everyone else. Sexual assaults that don't fit this structural template won't be acknowledged and when they become so public that they must be acknowledged, it will be only to change the conversation.

That process is already underway in Germany as feminists insist that all the coverage of the Muslim rape mob attackers (a coverage that took place despite the best efforts of their left-wing colleagues to bury the politically incorrect story before anyone had even heard about it) is distracting attention from domestic sex crimes. The obligatory feminist protests emphasized opposition to sexism and racism, but they did not mean the form of racism that led large numbers of asylum seekers to see native women as fair game to be abused, degraded and spit on, but the racism involved in calling them out for it.

The hundreds of women who were attacked in a single day by Muslim mobs are inconvenient victims. Like the Peace Corps workers abused by the locals or female activist raped by the Palestinian Muslims they came to help, their stories don't fit the intersectional paradigm and have to be covered up in a politically correct burka.

Big Feminism joined with the left in crying for the migration of a horde of young Muslim men from a culture where sexual assault and harassment are ubiquitous to the cities of Europe. Feminism forcibly introduced the women of Europe to their rapists and then left the grinning mobs to get on with their work. Now it complains that the women it victimized are a distraction from the much more important conversations it would like to have about convincing everyone to fight rape culture by buying forty dollar "I Am a Feminist" t shirts.

Underneath feminism is the rotten leftist creed that all evils originate with the West. It is as impossible for a mainstream feminist in good standing with the political sisterhood to acknowledge what truly happened in Cologne and commiserate with the victims as it was for a Communist to admit that there was no food because a centralized bureaucracy of senile Socialist civil servants is not the best way to run an economy. They cannot even truly admit the crime until they have redirected the blame to that old standby boogeyman on which all Muslim atrocities since the Gates of Vienna have been blamed; failure to integrate due to European intolerance.

Big Feminism's refusal to advocate for women outside the narrow ideological framework of the left is not a new phenomenon. It not only provided politically correct predators like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, not to mention a legion of lesser known names like Planned Parenthood’s favorite politician Bob Filner or Trevor FitzGibbon, with a blank check for their crimes against women, but actually endangered women across entire cities and countries.

Feminist opposition to rape had already been compromised by the left's pro-crime platform leading it to reject sentencing solutions that actually worked. The left's multicultural components isolated the focus on rapes where the perpetrator was likely to be a straight white male. The high rates of sexual assaults in housing projects or tribal reservations had to be ignored unless, as with the Violence Against Women Act, there was some gimmick for using them to indict white men.

While white men are certainly capable of committing any crime, feminism's refusal to cross intersectional third rails at best abandoned countless women of all races and groups to the abuses of politically correct predators. At worst, Big Feminism aided and abetted their rapists.

This indictment is not uniquely directed at feminism. Liberal Jewish and Christian groups, alongside gay and feminist groups, vocally advocated for the entry of millions of Muslim migrants whose contempt for women's rights was only exceeded by their loathing for Christians, their seething hatred for Jews and their violent distaste of gays.

Gay, feminist and liberal Jewish and Christian groups worked overtime to fill their countries with the demographic most likely to commit hate crimes against them. Like Big Feminism, these other arms of the left sold out the groups they claimed to represent for the larger agenda of the left.

Feminism doesn't exist to help women just as credit cards don't exist to help you save money. That is a service they provide on certain specific terms buried within voluminous documents to solicit paying customers. Like your bank, feminism may occasionally help women within very specific intersectional terms buried within its social justice documentation. Banks serve their shareholders, not their customers. Feminism serves its leftist shareholders who want earnest young female college students and a hundred other identity groups to feel that there is a face of the vast multinational Big Brother left looking out for them. As hundreds of European women found out on New Year's Eve and in its aftermath, that is a lie.

The left does not help women. The left only helps the left. Beneath the slick advertising, the artsy designs that lend the illusion of the personal to the impersonal and the touching video narratives is the soul of an ideological machine whose acolytes are trained to allocate empathy in tune with a rigid set of rules that are as inflexible as any Soviet commissar's handbook. The left is not in the business of caring, but of coordinating, and it exploits empathy to gain recruits only to mandate the things that they are allowed to care about in a coordinated ideological fashion.

Big Feminism, along with the rest of its leftist partners, created the conditions that led to the Muslim attacks on women on New Year's Eve. And feminists are leading the cover up of the crisis they caused and continue to worsen by advocating for even more refugee admissions.

As long as feminism remains a slave to the left, it will be responsible for causing more women to be beaten, assaulted and raped. And then it will cover up the crimes and use the victims to sell more red t-shirts.

As Cologne, where hundreds of women were assaulted in one day, reminds us, a feminism in thrall to the left is one of the biggest threats to women.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bernie Sanders and the Threat to the Left's Aspirational Brand

A big part of how the left won was by transforming its image.

Go back a hundred years and the left had much the same makeup as it does now. But the image of a typical leftist was ragged, angry and unstable. A ranting bombthrower at best. A ridiculous leafletter at worst. One step away from a criminal. Not at all the sort of person you wanted to be.

And the "sort of person you want to be" is how the left makes over the country in its image.

One of the things this season of South Park has been good at is capturing how people unthinkingly embrace left-wing ideas and attitudes because they are aspirational. They know very little of the theory of the political correctness they embrace. All they know is that they represent the values and attitudes of a higher social class. A social class that shops for organic fair trade stuff at Whole Foods.

It's a class issue.

The left originally wanted to be seen as associated with the lower class, even though it actually came out of the upper classes. Political activism requires leisure. It's not really for working people. This created the image of a "dirty" leftist dressed in working clothes.

But without being able to actually organize enough workers as canon fodder in a violent revolution, the way they had in Russia, this image was a dead end. So the left embraced its upper class roots. It became a movement of the glittering people. A moneyed class choked with its own compassion.

And the conservatives were depicted as fat Walmart shoppers, bible-thumpers, gun-lovers, ignorant, inbred, dirty... you've heard the list. Conservatives were lower class. Not aspirational at all.

The left was New York and Los Angeles. The right was flyover country. The left was spending more to buy less food and clothes. The right shopped in bulk and got value for its money. The left was always getting a higher education without actually working. The right worked without the education.

This was the new liberal brand. It made liberalism seem like a leisure class with the money and time to pursue its pleasures and its goals while conservatives lived a lower class lifestyle. 

Liberalism had become a movement of upper class elites violently hostile to the working class and openly contemptuous of it. That contempt was returned leading to the political disasters of the Democratic Party among white voters, particularly in the south. But at the same time it made the liberal into an aspirational figure.

Colleges became finishing schools for teaching youth the manners and attitudes of a new elite. The political emphasis of the curriculum was the point. If you wanted to move up the ladder, you needed to embrace the left's way of thinking and living. If you didn't, you were part of the dirty lower class.

The message was unstated and insidious. It's embedded as an attitude that the younger generation quickly picks up on from popular culture and then from their education. The path upward lies through the left. The left is the movement of the beautiful and successful people. It's the future.

That's the power of a brand. A brand can make a product seem like it's associated with an elite until in a cargo cult response people will buy that product to seem like members of the elite.

But the left isn't a brand. It's an ideology. And the ideology looks a lot more like Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn than the Hollywood stars and starlets who are used as window dressing or even Obama, who did an invaluable service for the left's brand by making it seem cool.

To thrive the left has to seem cool. It has to seem like the movement of the people who have money, who have fun, who have the lifestyle that you want.

The moment it becomes obvious that it's actually a movement of old, bitter angry people like Bernie Sanders who want to destroy everything worthwhile in life because it runs afoul of their ideology, the brand is torched and the left goes back to being a pack of surly outsiders handing out leaflets.

And that's where Bernie Sanders and Corbyn threaten the left's aspirational brand.

Nobody outside the left aspires to be Bernie Sanders. Just like they don't aspire to be Ralph Nader or Jeremy Corbyn or Vladimir Lenin. Even Hillary Clinton is a shaky proposition. Nobody really wants to be her or spend time with her. (The same couldn't be said of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.)

Much of the population has a poor grasp of politics and little knowledge of the issues. And even less interest in both those things. Its responses are common sense, but lack any depth. It is correct in the broad strokes, but often very wrong in the details.

It understands quite well that there is an elite social and economic class with special access to opportunities of all sorts. It has little understanding of who makes up that class, but it can point to a person and recognize that he belongs to that class. Its attitude toward the values of that class are a mixture of mockery, resentment and aspiration. That is how the left seeds its values nationally.

But take away the sense of a superior class partying forever with JFK, Bill and Barack, a glittering set of golden boys who enjoy the good life, and the left is reduced to its ridiculous ideas.

And yet the left must be reduced to those ideas.

The left is intolerant of compromise and uses every victory as proof that the time for compromise is past. It is convinced of its absolute rightness and that the people can and must embrace its ideas once the fog has been cleared away. And so the left can't help exposing itself for what it is. No matter how good its disguises are, the moment comes when it announces what it really stands for.

And eventually it announces it so baldly that everyone has to understand that this is what it is.

The left's political strategy in the West has depended on delaying that day for as long as possible,
compromising their way to power, building elaborate networks of front groups, taking control of a wide variety of institutions, undermining their opponents and making their identity aspirational.

But within the left, there's a tension over the slowness and delays of such a project.

Much like the conflict between Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, the left is caught between those who want to follow a long-range plan, those who want to speed it up and those who want to bring it all down now. And just as the Arab Spring rewarded the most violent factions, political instability and left-wing victories encourage the most extreme forces on the left.

The left presents itself to Americans as an intangible, an attitude rather than a movement, a value rather than a set of ideas, an aspirational lifestyle of clothes, food and trendy activism, a fun way of life rather than a fanatical ideology that seeks to control and dominate every area of life.

The ruptures on the left threaten that disguise. And without that disguise, the left reverts back to what it was a hundred years ago.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Tribal War with Islam

All wars are wars of equals.

That's true in the sense that each side attacks the other in terms of how it defines itself as an entity. States try to destroy other states. Religions fight other religions. Ethnic groups and races engage in genocide. They do this even when the other side does not see itself in the same terms.

The United States tried to fight guerrillas and terrorists as if they were modern states with their own industrial military organizations protecting their industrial core. This tactic made no sense in Vietnam or even Iraq because that wasn't the enemy we were facing. But states are built to fight other states. Tribes are built to fight other tribes. Religions are built to fight other religions.

The modern multicultural super-tolerant western state of this century takes stock of its strongest point, and decides that it's not the old industrial machine, which destroys the environment, its traditional heritage, which is problematic, or its problem solving skills, which are too technical, but its values of super-tolerant multiculturalism. And so it wages war on those insane terms.

The old Western model of war was brutal and efficient. Protect the industrial plant. Use it to churn out more military hardware. Smash the enemy. The new Western model of war is protect social harmony. Create more diversity. And the enemy will eventually be drawn into our global harmony.

When liberals take every terror attack as an opportunity to lecture us on the vital importance of not losing "our values", they are in their own warped and useless way waging war.

In the 20th century, war was distilled down to an industrial core. In the 21st century, the anti-industrial rebels who want to de-industrialize manufacturing while industrializing society, have distilled all that matters down to their values. In their confused world order, the terrorists are attacking "our values" and we in turn must attack "their values" with our superior "values".

Barely half the country accepts their construct of what "our values" are and they have no idea whatsoever what "their values" are, but they assume that just as our values are "our values" so too "their values" are also "our values". This is the sort of thing you do if you're an ideologue.

And also it's a natural human shortcut. It's human nature to assume that people different from you are just dumber, nastier versions of yourself who have the same basic goals and organization as you do.

Ideologues are most likely to assume that everyone agrees with their premises, but just hasn't been shown the right textbooks. And these days ideologues and their textbooks dominate everything.

To the left, Islam is an inefficient sort of Socialism dependent on medieval superstition and lacking modern idea. To Muslims, the left is an inefficient sort of Islam that's missing Allah, Mohammed and the Koran. It's all just a problem of explanations and textbooks.

The left plans to defeat ISIS with "our values" by which it means showing how effective our social harmony is, which it isn't, by refusing to actually fight Islamic terrorism. Eventually the Jihadists will give up their reactionary ways as the ordinary Muslims realizes that he has the same interests as the rest of the great rainbow coalition does. This hasn't even worked too well in Europe.

The left is a purely ideological entity and so it has reduced our countries and cultures to the transportable "our values". Despite Islam's ideological reach, it's not purely an ideological entity.

At the ground floor, Islam is tribal. The Iraqis viewed us as the American Tribe. Tribes raid each other. Their members lash out and kill each other over insults. They count coup on each other. They steal and humiliate each other's women. Tribes are nomadic and they are concerned with honor.

Tribes from Iraq, Syria and North Africa can come to Europe, set up their own territories, pile up loot and then humiliate the native women for New Year's Eve. And then laugh at the impotence of the European tribal authorities.

The Islamic no-go zones are seen primarily as religious, but they are also tribal. Islam incorporates both. Islamic migration also expands tribal territories. It's always been that way.

And this is also how Muslims fight us on a tribal level. They attack the honor of the European tribes. But it's not as if the Merkel government or any of the other European Socialist governments have any concept of honor anyway.

While European Socialists attempt to integrate them with "our values", the ungrateful integratees show that the systems have no honor on a tribal level and are not worth taking seriously.

Beyond the tribal, is the religious. In Islam, religion remains limited to the most primitive level of "My tribal deity Allah is stronger than your deity because we beat you up."

This is literally what Allahu Akbar means.

To the representatives of the secular West, religion is identical with "our values", which is to say that it contains nothing religious about it, certainly no claims which require divine validation or unique truths. Their religion is a spiritual background noise which affirms the essential position that we should be nice to each other while providing support for any leftist position of the moment.

No meaningful dialogue is possible between Allahu Akbar and "Our values" because the two are not speaking the same language except in one sense, both insist on absolute submission. But the left's demand for submission is based on the absolute moral superiority of "Our values". Islam literally means submission, but its moral superiority is a revealed truth based on Islam's military victories.

Islam is right, because it won. It won, because it's right. There's your cycle of violence in a nutshell.

Islam sanctified the tribal raid as a religious act and turned the dead into martyrs. That's Jihad. Terrorism incorporates both the tribal and the religious. Islamic missionary activity in the West also targets dissatisfied minorities, potential fifth columns, in the same manner as the original Arab Islamic conquests did. Even here, Islam unites tribal and religious tactics.

The final element of the tribal war is organizational. It is here that Islam attacks "Our values".

Tribes are forever quarreling. They are weakest at their points of mutual association. This is how Mohammed originally got his start. Islam expanded initially more through clever games of divide and conquer than military strategy.

To the Muslim mind, we are a series of fragile tribal associations. That is also how we appear to the "Our values" left. The "Our values" crowd thinks of the threat in terms of "radicalization", but the real threat is "integration". Mohammed did some of his best work by undermining from within.

To undermine a tribal association, you have to be a part of it. Then you have to raise grievances, find other dissatisfied allies and eventually promise them better treatment under Islam.

That's what Mohammed did. It's what his followers are doing today.

This is where groups like the Muslim Brotherhood play the long game while ISIS plays the short game.

The left's multicultural vision made this mess possible. It's also making it worse. The left despises tribal thinking and yet its entire political infrastructure is built on rewarding it. All Islamic organizations have had to do is built on the left's own work, joining its coalitions as Islamic groups, and then working to hijack them. The growing takeover of #BlackLivesMatter by Muslim groups is one example of the phenomenon.

Our enemies are not states and they will not fight us as states. To the extent that they are tribal, they will fight us as tribes. To the extent that they are religious, in a primitive sort of way, they will attack us that way. But the real problem is that we are no longer states either. Instead we are in the grip of a mystical deluded cult that squawks of "Our values" while tribalizing and dividing us to push through discredited economic and social policies. They have opened the gates to a cruel, backward enemy.

And in doing so, they have brought a tribal war into our own homelands.

Monday, January 04, 2016

America Doesn't Have a Gun Problem, It Has a Democrat Problem

America's mass shooting capital isn't somewhere out west where you can get a gun at the corner store. It's in Obama's own hometown.

Chicago is America's mass shooting capital. There were over 400 shootings with more than one victim. In 95 of those shootings, 3 or more people were shot. 

2,995 people were shot in Chicago last year. Shootings were up, way up, in Baltimore. With an assist from Al Sharpton and #BlackLivesMatter, Baltimore beat out Detroit. But Detroit is still in the running. Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit all have something in common, they're all run by the party of gun control which somehow can't seem to manage to control the criminals who have the guns.

The murder rate in Washington, D.C., home of the progressive boys and girls who can solve it all, is up 54%. The capital of the national bureaucracy has also been the country's murder capital.

These cities are the heartland of America’s real gun culture. It isn’t the bitter gun-and-bible clingers in McCain and Romney territory who are racking up a more horrifying annual kill rate than Al Qaeda; it’s Obama’s own voting base.

Gun violence is at its worst in the cities that Obama won in 2012. Places like New Orleans, Memphis, Birmingham, St. Louis, Kansas City and Philly. The Democrats are blaming Republicans for the crimes of their own voters. 

Chicago, where Obama delivered his victory speech, has homicide numbers that match all of Japan and are higher than Spain, Poland and pre-war Syria. If Chicago gets any worse, it will find itself passing the number of murders for the entire country of Canada.

Chicago’s murder rate of 15.09 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2 rate, but it does look like the murder rates in failed countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To achieve Chicago’s murder rate, African countries usually have to experience a bloody genocidal civil war.

But Chicago isn’t even all that unique. Or the worst case scenario. That would be St. Louis with 50 murders for 100,000 people. If St Louis were a country, it would have the 4th highest murder rate in the world, beating out Jamaica, El Salvador and Rwanda.

Obama won St. Louis 82 to 16 percent.

New Orleans lags behind with a 39.6 murder rate. Louisiana went red for Romney 58 to 40, but Orleans Parish went blue for Obama 80 to 17. Obama won both St. Louis and Baltimore by comfortable margins. He won Detroit’s Wayne County 73 to 26.

Homicide rates like these show that something is broken, but it isn’t broken among Republican voters rushing to stock up on rifles every time Obama begins threatening their right to buy them; it’s broken among Obama’s base.

Any serious conversation about gun violence and gun culture has to begin at home; in Chicago, in Baltimore, in New York City, in Los Angeles and in Washington, D.C.

Voting for Obama does not make people innately homicidal. Just look at Seattle. So what is happening in Chicago to drive it to the gates of hell?

A breakdown of the Chicago killing fields shows that 83% of those murdered in Chicago in one year had criminal records. In Philly, it’s 75%. In Milwaukee it’s 77% percent. In New Orleans, it’s 64%. In Baltimore, it’s 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.

Chicago’s problem isn’t guns; it’s gangs. Gun control efforts in Chicago or any other major city are doomed because gangs represent organized crime networks which stretch down to Mexico. And Democrats pander to those gangs because it helps them get elected. That's why Federal gun prosecutions in Chicago dropped sharply under Obama. It's why he has set free drug dealers and gang members to deal and kill while convening town halls on gun violence.

America’s murder rate isn’t the work of the suburban and rural homeowners who shop for guns at sporting goods stores and at gun shows, and whom the media profiles after every shooting, but by the gangs embedded in urban areas controlled by Democrats. The gangs who drive up America’s murder rate look nothing like the occasional mentally ill suburban white kid who goes off his medication and decides to shoot up a school. Lanza, like most serial killers, is a media aberration, not the norm.

National murder statistics show that blacks are far more likely to be killers than whites and they are also far more likely to be killed. The single largest cause of homicides is the argument. 4th on the list is juvenile gang activity with 676 murders, which combined with various flavors of gangland killings takes us nearly to the 1,000 mark. America has more gangland murders than Sierra Leone, Eritrea and Puerto Rico have murders.

Our national murder rate is not some incomprehensible mystery that can only be attributed to the inanimate tools, the steel, brass and wood that do the work. It is largely the work of adult males from age 18 to 39 with criminal records killing other males of that same age and criminal past.

If this were going on in Rwanda, El Salvador or Sierra Leone, we would have no trouble knowing what to make of it, and silly pearl-clutching nonsense about gun control would never even come up. But this is Chicago, it’s Baltimore, it’s Philly and NOLA; and so we refuse to see that our major cities are in the same boat as some of the worst trouble spots in the world.

Lanza and Newtown are comforting aberrations. They allow us to take refuge in the fantasy that homicides in America are the work of the occasional serial killer practicing his dark art in one of those perfect small towns that always show up in murder mysteries or Stephen King novels. They fool us into thinking that there is something American about our murder rate that can be traced to hunting season, patriotism and bad mothers.

But go to Chicago or Baltimore. Go where the killings really happen and the illusion comes apart.

There is a war going on in America between gangs of young men who bear an uncanny resemblance to their counterparts in Sierra Leone or El Salvador. They live like them, they fight for control of the streets like them and they kill like them.

America’s horrific murder rate is a result of the transformation of major American cities into Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda and El Salvador. Gun violence largely consists of criminals killing criminals.

As David Kennedy, the head of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, put it, "The majority of homicide victims have extensive criminal histories. This is simply the way that the world of criminal homicide works. It's a fact.”

America is, on a county by county basis, not a violent country, just as it, on a county by county basis, did not vote for Obama. It is being dragged down by broken cities full of broken families whose mayors would like to trash the Bill of Rights for the entire country in the vain hope that national gun control will save their cities, even though gun control is likely to be as much help to Chicago or New Orleans as the War on Drugs.

Obama’s pretense that there needs to be a national conversation about rural American gun owners is a dishonest and cynical ploy that distracts attention from the real problem that he and politicians like him have sat on for generations.

America does not have a gun problem. Its problem is in the broken culture of cities administered by Democrats. We do not need to have a conversation about gun violence. We need to have a conversation about Chicago. We need to have a conversation about what the Democrats have done to our cities.

(A version of this article originally appeared at Front Page Magazine.)