Ritchie\’s worried about facism apparently

One of my big concerns is the rise of fascism. I think that’s justified for two reasons; the first is what fascism is and represents and the second is that fascism is at risk of reappearing in Europe.

What makes it so odd is that his entire book, The Courageous State, is a call for a revival of the economics of facism. And there is something of a difference between being concerned about facism and actively promoting it.

116 thoughts on “Ritchie\’s worried about facism apparently”

  1. There seems to be a strong tendency to only call it “fascism” when it clearly comes from the right. But when the exact same policies come from the left apparently we shouldn’t be worried…

  2. The great coup of the left has been to own the language.

    Fascism has become ‘right wing’ because of the horrors committed in its name by Hitler and Mussolini, which could not possibly be owned by the left, when really they were simply rats in the same sack as Stalin.

    You cannot be right wing, by my definition, if you believe in massive state authority over the individual.

    Ergo, fascists are not right wing.

    I blame Rick from The Young Ones.

  3. Sometimes I wonder why Arnald wastes his rhetorical gifts on the clueless idiots here when he could be debating at the Oxford Union or working as a top barrister.

  4. Always had the feeling that the only real difference between Hitler and Stalin was that one was a national socialist and the other an international socialist. Having said that, and leaving inferior races aside, Hitler did less direct damage to his own people (who were obviously superior to other peoples), whereas Stalin really f****d his own people up ‘royally’.

    Oh, and the national socialists had better tailors for their uniforms.

  5. Interested, very true about owning the language. They redefine words to suit their purposes. Like taking racism which just about anybody will understand to mean hatred of a different race such as blacks. But the left use it to mean different nationality, ethnicity, background, culture, what have you. So a white anglo saxon English person can racist to someone from the Netherlands. So that when you do offend a Dutchman they can categorise you as a racist and put you in the extremist category. Also a great way for them to shut down debate when it doesn’t go their way. Just call you racist and say “argument over, you lost”.

  6. “The label “fascism” has been hollowed-out to mean little more than something the left hates at the moment” – Timothy Garton Ash in The Guardian.

    “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies something not desirable” – George Orwell.

  7. @SBML, I had a very instructive discussion with two friends of mine (good friends), one of whom works at the BBC, the other of whom is an Old Etonian socialist.

    We were on holiday together, and chatting as you do about Islamism. I said I was concerned that a lot of the world’s current top 10 of terrorists were Islamists and that maybe there was a thread here worth looking at.

    They told me – despite knowing me well, and knowing that I don’t have a racist bone in my body – that I was ‘racist’.

    Iasked them what race muslims were, bearing in mind you get Somali muslims, Nigerian muslims, Turkish muslims, Saudi muslims, Pakistani muslims, Albanian muslims, Chinese muslims, and even white Emglish muslims from Neasden.

    Didn’t matter, aparently, I was just a racist.

    I pointed out that if I were a racist it would be the race I was against and that, therefore, I would be as anti (if that’s the right word) sikhs and hindus as muslims. But that didn’t help. either.

    Not only do they own the language, they don’t respect dictionary definitions. Wothin 10 years, the OED definition of racist will say something like ‘Prejudice shown by white people to others.’

  8. Interested – actual racism has mostly disappeared from western societies. Most accusations of racism are now a form of social status-seeking behaviour largely deployed by white lefties against other whites.

  9. Okay Arnald, I’ll bite.

    Hitler; national socialist party
    Mussolini; PSI (Italian Socialist party)
    Angelo Olivetti: PSI
    Oswald Mosely – Labour party

    why don’t you name me four self-described fascists who come from the right wing, hmm?

  10. Surreptitious Evil

    Arnald, here’s one to start you off with:

    Goering wouldn’t have described himself as a “facist” – he was sufficiently nationalist not to want to smear himself with a nasty Italian* disease. But he was right wing. Attracted to the Nazis by the rotting stench of power.

    * And check which side Italy were on, incompetently, it must be true, in the previous little conflict.

  11. Try again:
    “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”-Adolf Hitler

  12. Jonathan, find a lefty mate, preferably an intelligent one (there are some), precis the BNP manifesto for him, removing ONLY the part about all blacks being scum or whatever nonsense they claim, and I guarantee you he will love what he hears.

    Yet, somehow, the BNP are ‘right-wing’ too!

  13. Interested,
    I have quite a few lefty mates, most of whom are pretty intelligent. Their ability to believe that Margaret Thatcher; – anti big government, pro low-tax, pro personal and economic freedom – and Hitler;- pro big government, anti personal and economic freedom – were both Right-Wing always amazes me.

  14. SBML>

    “Also a great way for them to shut down debate when it doesn’t go their way. Just call you racist and say “argument over, you lost”.”

    Or maybe it’s that in fact you are an extremist with ‘racist’ views who keeps losing arguments because of them. You and your friend Interested here aren’t exactly proving yourselves tolerant with the rest of your remarks.

    Basically, your sole defence is that you’re clearly prejudiced and full of hate, but that is not based on whatever nonsensical concept of race you subscribe to. Well, bully for you. The concept of ‘racism’ that the rest of society uses describes your behaviour perfectly.

    We all know what you are, you just don’t like the label.

  15. Can we step back, just for a second, and leave left/right alone. If you believe in freedom, this should matter to you whether you are centre-left or centre-right or UKIP or whatever.

    I have been commenting on Richtie’s blog as Westlancs. Having read his followers unapologetically call for government control of the press because, well, just because.. there is no room for doubt in my mind that Ritchie and his accolytes are a bunch of fascists.

    I examined the badges of fascism that Ritchie approvingly quoted – I was going to move on to political control over the central bank, but there really is no point – and focussed on freedom of the press, asking him where statuory underpinning ended and restriction of freedom started. This he described as “crass” and refused to answer. I firmly now believe he is just too thick to provide a coherent view (yes, that is an open challenge to him.) In response I offered him and I offer you all the Zimbabwe experience; it could just as well be Venezuela; it is Hungary. I pointed to the incremental creeping changes the fascist makes to get where he wants. I also pointed out that intolerance of disagreement (meaning him) is a badge of the fascist.

    So he took the hint and gave this remarkable answer:

    “A free press is only possible when supported by the law. That is how it is delivered. Nothing else does”.

    Leaving aside that he has simply lifted this strange little argument from Brian Cathcart of Hacked Off – not even orignal thought hey Ritchie, the suggestion that what he and his fellow fascists are doing actually is PROTECTING the press is hilarious. I googled a little bit of info on the broadsheets: Times, first published 1785, Manchester Guardian 1821, Daily Telegraph 1855. All seem to have managed very well for two centuries without Ritchie’s and Huw Grant’s protection, none seems to want their protection, but none know what’s good for them; only Ritchie does.

    One last point – just for you Richard: another badge of creeping fascism is the use of Doublespeak to justify the next step. Thus what was a naked campaign to sort out the press has become, following international condemnation, an effort to PROTECT it from those who would do it harm. Well your moron followers give the lie to that claim with their cretinous posts.

    By the way, protecting a newspaper from the views of its proprietor and claiming it is better for it to be controlled by “democratic process” is not what press freedom is about and never has been. But then, you don’t really want to protect anybody do you mate; you want to shut up anybody whose views you don’t like, anybody who disagrees with you.

    You FASCIST.

  16. Oh, and on the subject of left/right, it’s all nonsense these days. No group in politics these days is significantly like the historical groups that are the basis of left/right wing, nor are any significantly more like one than the other.

    It’s a simple matter of proof by contradiction. If Stalin and Hitler can both be considered left/right wing, then clearly left/right wing doesn’t mean anything. Hitler and Stalin were evil murderous totalitarian bastards, and their ostensible political leanings pale into insignificance alongside that.

  17. I pretty sure the poor thing’s confusing Nationalism and Fascism.

    If his ego had let him have a brief look at something as basic as Wikipedia, I’m sure he’d be disturbed at the similarities between Ritchie’s Courageous State and Fascism:

    ‘Fascist ideology consistently invoked the primacy of the state’

    ‘..and focused on ending the divisions between classes within the nation’

    ‘It advocated a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky to secure national self-sufficiency and independence through protectionist and interventionist economic policies’

    Given how keen Ritchie is reducing the ability of capital to flow from Nation to Nation, I’m not sure he’s aware of his slightly Nationalist leanings as well.

    Seems to be lacking similar large gaps in his understanding of politics as well as economics.

  18. Ironman

    I comment on Ritchie’s blog too, but he’s deleted my last post (he’s “banned” me several times, but doesn’t seemt o mind me posting again).

    All I did was ask him what the effective difference is between Fascism and Communism, as they both seem to want one-party states, control of the press, control over private property, removal of democracy…

  19. Pellinor>

    Well, there’s a big difference. Fascism has a free-market economy, broadly speaking, although property rights are far from absolute. Communism uses central planning. They are, of course, both philosophies involving the primacy of the state, and therefore under them individual citizens have no non-abrogatable rights.

    Really, Ritchie’s not a fascist per se. He wants a nationalist, socialist, fascist state built on hatred of certain groups. He’s an old-fashioned Nazi.

  20. Sam

    Mussolini; PSI (Italian Socialist party)

    Are you sure? At the back of my mind is the thought that he founded the fascist party, which was rather opposed to the PSI.

    Anyway, what parties call themselves is not that indicative of what they stand for. Otherwise there would be more parties calling themselves The Corruption Party, or the Authoritarian Reactionary Party, and rather less Liberal or Democratic parties.

  21. And this from the man who claimed that capital could be destructive and argued that capital controls – banning people from taking their own money overseas – could and sometimes should be stopped, for collective reasons.

    And of course a lot of socialists get upset when it is pointed out that the Nazis were also called National Socialists. Well, tough. Deal with it, gentlemen.

  22. Fascism has a free-market economy, broadly speaking, although property rights are far from absolute. Communism uses central planning

    No, they’re both centally planned economic models. Under communism, the State owns the means of production. Under fascism, the means of production remains in private hands, but is rigorously planned by government (“you will make this good, at this price, and employ this many workers…”).

    As such, what the modern Fabian-Puritan left desire is more fascist than communist. Expeciallywhen you note that under fascism, generally the same rather small class of people own the means of production as run the government and other institutions; remarkably similar to our current “New Class” of managerialist social democrats.

  23. Ian>

    Under neither system are their absolute property rights, so there’s no such thing as ‘ownership of the means of production’. It’s true that both systems involve some central planning, because a fascist government would set goals – and likely, in practice, be unable to resist interfering where it shouldn’t – but in a proper fascist economy pseudo-private companies would have the freedom to meet those goals in any way they chose; there ought to still be free movement of labour, and so-on, which is something lacking under communism. Spain in the sixties had a reasonable approximation of that kind of economic policy.

  24. Richie is right to be worried about fascism. Collecting all that power in one place scares the bejeebers out of me and its not just fascists who worry me, as Dave said this won’t become left and right but plain old authoritarian.

    He and his mates may be pure as the driven snow and just maybe they do have all our best interests at heart and just maybe they do know what’s best for us plebs. The problem is that he and his mates wont last 5 minutes before the baddies move in, and all that power will attract the baddies as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow. This was ably demonstrated by Willie Sutton’s simple answer.

  25. The reviews I’ve read of the Courageous State give a strong indication that it espouses something very much akin to Fascism – of the Italian rather than the German variety.

    Even if you throw Mr Murphy’s book in the bin and simply consider his core message – that there is something immoral about trying to avoid paying more tax than you are legally obliged to (with the “correct” level of tax being determined by the level of public outrage generated by activists) – then there is more than a whiff of Fascism about it. In truth it’s pure, unadulterated, red-blooded fascism.

  26. Fascism, right wing leftism.
    Communism, left wing leftism.

    Hence the description of Fascism as right wing.

  27. “Fascism has a free-market economy, broadly speaking, although property rights are far from absolute. ”

    I admit I giggled at the last bit.

  28. @Dave – what have I said here that’s ‘intolerant’?

    I blamed Rick from The Young Ones for the popular misconception of fascism and said most (ie > fifty per cent) of serious terrorists these days are Islamic in nature.

    (I can see how you might quibble re Rick, but that was a *joke*.)

  29. Rob>

    It’s a bit of an odd one, isn’t it, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Under fascism you can possess stuff, become rich, and so-on – but have no protection from the government arbitrarily deciding to take it all away tomorrow.

  30. Interested>

    You freely admitted your intolerance towards Muslims, and that your intolerance is based on prejudice. You were merely arguing that your prejudiced intolerance isn’t ‘racism’ by some narrow technical definition. You can call it anything you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of the world’s population finds your views to be both reprehensible and irrational.

  31. Dave, I am not a racist. In fact I can’t be because I wasn’t born here in the UK. I am a foreigner.

    However, I can hate certain people. Based on their beliefs and opinions. That some can’t see that and think I hate these people because of a visible difference rather than non-visible aspects just shows that they are pretty shallow of thought.

    The rest of society, ie. the vast majority, see racism as hating another race. So white working class people hating asians because they take their jobs and breed and smell and practise a weird religion is racist according to the rest of society. The only group who see the hatred by white working class people of people who happen to also be european and white in the same light as the first type of racism is the progressive left. They are the minority. And they aren’t the same as the working class left who actually do tend to be quite racist.

  32. @Dave

    I didn’t ‘admit’ any ‘intolerance’ towards ‘Muslims’ at all, and that’s a fairly a bizarre suggestion.

    I shouldn’t have to say this, because you haven’t begun to prove your case, and moreover I know it’s an old chestnut, but some of my best friends actually *are* Muslims; Muslims, further, who are just as worried, if not more worried, about Islamic terrorism that I am or probably anyone who lives in the UK is. I’ve lived and worked in Muslim countries, and find your common or garden Gulf Arab, in particular, to be a fine chap. My aunt is a Malaysian Muslim; I tolerate her extremely well, and vice versa.

    All I said was more than fifty per cent of serious terrorist attacks were carried out by Islamists, and that to say this was not ‘racist’.

    Are you suggesting that Islam *is* a race? Or are you saying that it’s not the case that the majority of 21st century terrorists are Islamic in nature?

    If so, I’d be interested in discussing either point. But if you admit that I’m is correct, then what I said isn’t ‘irrational’ but a simple statement of fact.

  33. One can hate circs without needing to hate people. I don’t hate muslims–but I am going to do everything I can to ensure that they don’t become the dominant force in this nation by outbreeding the native population and imposing the very nasty system of sharia and the rest on us.
    I do hate socialism and socialists however because they are evil and steeped in such deliberate, chosen, knowing and willing evil that they have crossed the threshold of any human decency. To know that their creed has put millions in the ground and ruined the lives of millions more and to still pedddle it while oozing sanctimonious bullshit is beyond willfulness and egotism–it can only be evil.

  34. Interested>

    I’m not sure how you can interpret your comments about being ‘anti-muslim’ as anything other than intolerance. That stat about terrorism is certainly not the only thing you said. I can’t imagine why you’re denying it, when it’s just a bit higher up the page for everyone to read. Is it some form of cognitive dissonance whereby you can’t accept that you’re being a nasty little racist?

    I’d note that you didn’t only bring up that old chestnut about ‘some of my best friends’ but also your own version of what Hitler was complaining about when he said that every Nazi knew ‘one good Jew’.

    I’m not sure if your confusion is better or worse than SBML’s out-and-out admission of hatred towards others. At least you appear to accept that irrational hatred of others is a bad thing, even if you can’t see that it’s what you’re doing.

  35. Islam isn’t a race its a religion and you can change your religion. Attacks on religious belief aren’t racism.

    Place of birth, skin colour, ethnic origin and the like can’t be changed. Attacks on those characteristics are racism.

  36. SBML you say

    In fact I can’t be because I wasn’t born here in the UK. I am a foreigner.

    I have no idea if you are a racist or not. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt, so let us say you are not. But what on earth does your place of birth have to do with anything? You were born in, say, Ireland or Somalia. That means you cannot be racist? Not *are* not, but *cannot* be. Sorry, obvious bollocks.

  37. @Dave

    What comments about ‘being anti Muslim’?

    I didn’t make any.

    I didn’t say I knew one good Muslim, I said I knew many.

    I’m not anti Muslim; I *am* anti terrorist.

    I suspect you have little understanding of terrorism, and also that you havebproblems with what psychiatrists call ‘projection’ – it’s been noted before on here, after all.

    Butbyou’re right about one thing: what I said is there for all to see, so I will allow those who can read and comprehend to make up their own minds, and leave it at that.

  38. Interested>

    “I pointed out that if I were a racist it would be the race I was against and that, therefore, I would be as anti (if that’s the right word) sikhs and hindus as muslims.”

    You quite clearly stated your ‘anti-muslim’ sentiments. Are you deliberately trying to obfuscate now, or do you genuinely not realise what you said there?

  39. You’re arguing past each other.

    Dave believes in a definition of racism (and more general, class bigotry) in which the identification of any negative traits with any class defined as non-hegemonic is by definition bigoted. The validity of the claims regarding those negative traits is irrelevant.

    Muslims are a non-hegemonic class. Ergo any criticism of muslims as a class is a bigotry. The closest non-hegemonic category of this bigotry for muslims is “racist” since they are mostly not Western caucasians.

    Me, I’m a racist, a sexist and a homophobe. Got tired of trying to argue against that some time ago. It’s easier to just say, “okay, by your definition I am, now let’s discuss the issue”. Rather than all this trying to prove you aren’t, which you can’t, because Dave’s definition automatically means you are. To him.

    You might say, you’re not by your definiton of racist (or any other damnation word) but that’s a waste of time too, because nobody cares what other definitions people have. The word is defined by academics masturbating their verbose ideological jism into journals nobody reads except them.

    You’re all racists, except Dave. That’s just how it is. Embrace.

  40. Eh? What the fuck’s all that about. All I’m saying is that language is fluid, and that arguing about the exact definition of racism is pointless. You can claim that hating someone for their religion is not racism if you like, but that doesn’t make it any better. That’s the whole of the damn point, right there.

  41. Dave, you’re the only person saying anyone hates anybody. Interested said that many terrorists are Islamic, and that’s something worth thinking about.

    Where was the “hate” exactly?

  42. Plenty of valid points here save, as usual Arnald (#8) The truth is that Lady Thatcher summarised it quite well when she pointed out that very few people stopped to consider the collectivist roots of parties like the NF or BNP – as the Road to Serfdom pointed out – the one person neither the Communists nor the Fascists in pre war Germany could reconcile themselves with was the Liberal (What would now be called a Libertarian)

    I think there is probably a stronger analogy with Italian Fascism than necessarily the USSR when considering the Courageous State but as both countries were run along very similar lines and both ultimately ended in ruinous fashion, I think it’s irrelevant – Murphy’s law is , to paraphrase Louis XIV ‘L’etat, c’est tout’ – the exact label you want to apply to his form of total state control is largely academic.

  43. So Much for Subtlety

    Dave – “You can claim that hating someone for their religion is not racism if you like, but that doesn-t make it any better. That-s the whole of the damn point, right there.”

    Except it does Dave. A religion is an opinion. It is entirely right to hate opinions that are hateful. There is no reason to give some opinions a special status because some other people think they are religions.

    And this is simple to prove. Hitler killed Jews because of his secular Darwin-based ideology. The Crusaders killed Jews because of their religion. I take it you are asserting it is right to hate the former crime and its perpetrators, but that it is not right to hate the latter?

  44. @Dave

    Dave, I’m starting to think you might be a bit fucking stupid.

    You pull out this quote: “I pointed out that if I were a racist it would be the race I was against and that, therefore, I would be as anti (if that’s the right word) sikhs and hindus as muslims.”

    What I’m saying, you doofus, is I’m not being racist, because in this country most Muslims are of Pakistani origin; racially speaking, there is no difference between Indian Sikhs and Hindus and Pakistani Muslims.

    Ergo, if it was a race thing I would be every bit against Sikhs and Hindus *as my criticising mates assumed I was* against Muslims.

    That is, I would hate them all, and hate them all equally.

    But they were wrong.

    That is, just for you, and read this slowly if it helps, I am *not* actually anti Muslim. I think they’re misguided idiots – I by much doubt there’s a god who cares whether they eat pork and cover their faces – but if the They thought I was, but they are wrong. And so are you.

  45. @Dave

    Dave, I’m starting to think you might be a bit fucking stupid. And juvenile. But here goes.

    You pull out this quote: “I pointed out that if I were a racist it would be the race I was against and that, therefore, I would be as anti (if that’s the right word) sikhs and hindus as muslims.”

    *IF I WERE A RACIST… I WOULD BE’

    What I’m saying, you doofus, is that, in this country, most Muslims are of Pakistani origin; racially speaking, there is no difference between Indian Sikhs and Hindus and Pakistani Muslims.

    Ergo, if it was a race thing I would be every bit against Sikhs and Hindus *as my criticising mates assumed I was* against Muslims.

    That is, if I were a racist I would be anti (if that’s the right word) all people from the sub continent, and anti them all equally.

    But I’m not, so they were wrong on that basis, but not on that basis alone, because – and read this slowly if it helps – I am *not* actually anti Muslim per se at all, either.

    I think Muslims are misguided – I very much doubt there’s a god who cares whether they eat pork and cover their faces – but if they want to believe that it’s up to them.

    I am anti blowing people up, which is still more popular among Muslims than among Hindus, Sikhs, Methodists or Buddhists, ‘irrational’ as you may think the facts are.

  46. SMFS-

    I’m not sure whether Hitler was about being secular and Darwinian. So far as it goes, it seems he was a passionate nationalist, who thought that the two great threats to the Volk were Bolshevism and Capitalism, and noticed (or believed he noticed) that both groups were dominated by Jews.

    WHich wasn’t in itself entirely a matter of ideology. I’ll put it this way, if I were throwing a buffet for early twentieth century communists, I probably wouldn’t bother making ham sandwiches or prawn cocktail.

  47. @Dave reading on, I missed this gem:

    “You can claim that hating someone for their religion is not racism if you like, but that doesnt make it any better. Thats the whole of the damn point, right there.”

    Firstly, you’re the guy who’s talking about ‘hate”.

    I don’t hate anyone, and haven’t said I do, have I?

    Secondly, and confining ourselves to something less ridiculous, like – say – ridicule, are you really suggesting that there is no difference between my race (defined for life at birth) and my religious beliefs (generally utter non scientific nonsense that I have chosen to believe)?

    Is Richard Dawkins no better than Nick Griffin? Are you really this much of a fool?

  48. This from Dave, also, is a particular gem.

    You can call it anything you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of the world’s population finds your views to be both reprehensible and irrational.

    You sure about that, Dave?

  49. Ian>

    You should do more reading about Hitler’s earlier years. It’s clear he hated Jews to start with. He then found pragmatic reasons why he should indulge that hatred by murdering them. You’ll note that he also hated gypsies and the disabled, neither of whom were commonly Bolsheviks or capitalists.

    In any case, his belief that the groups you mention were ‘dominated’ by ‘the Jhooz’ was complete nonsense. If Marx was Jewish, then Richard Dawkins is still Christian. The tribe weren’t even over-represented – there were just lots more of them about in Europe before Hitler and Stalin murdered millions.

    You also might like to read SMFS’s comment more closely, whilst you’re doing some reading. You’ll note that in fact he specifically stated that he hates certain groups.

    Interested>

    Fine, let’s agree it was just bad grammar on your part, and you didn’t mean to say that. I accept your clarification and apologise for calling you a ‘nasty little racist’. I still think you’re displaying an irrational prejudice against Muslims. That some terrorists are Muslims is not the same as that Muslims are terrorists, any more than all geometric shapes being triangles because triangles are geometric shapes.

    There’s no evidence whatsoever of a causal link between Islam and terrorism, any more than there is between explosives and terrorism. Religion and explosives are both weapons, in the wrong hands, but that’s completely different to being the causes of terrorism.

    “are you really suggesting that there is no difference between my race (defined for life at birth) and my religious beliefs (generally utter non scientific nonsense that I have chosen to believe)?”

    Yes. Your second parenthesis applies equally well to ‘race’ in my opinion.

    Leaving that aside, what we’re actually talking about with ‘racism’ is irrational prejudice against, or hatred of, a group distinguished by something ancillary to the hatred/prejudice. So, to take a less contentious example than Muslims in this company, to say that you dislike Jews because they commit fraud is ‘racism’ in common usage because in fact there’s no link between Judaism and committing fraud.

    You can call the word something different if it makes you happy. That won’t change what other people mean by it.

  50. Ian>

    #60 – you doubt it for a second? I shudder to think what specimens of humanity you must have encountered in your life, then. I haven’t been around quite as long, but in all the different parts of the world I’ve been to, with the wide variety of different cultures, the vast, overwhelming majority have just wanted to live and let live, have a quiet life, and get on with things without any hatred or intolerance of anyone else. There’s always the odd dickhead as well, but generally people tell them to stop making trouble.

    Of course, in a society like ours the couple of dozen maladjusted Nazis in the UK can find each other, get together, and make a disproportionate amount of noise – but they’re almost literally one in a million. (Nazis, that is; if I remember rightly from the days when I had access to such things, the police were keeping tabs on around 50 or 60 genuine Nazis – the leaders and true believers, like Griffin, Tyndal, Morse, and others I can’t remember.)

  51. Ian B>

    No, he said that he hates people who hold those opinions. Which is a very different thing. You people do seem to be having particular trouble tonight with the idea that two different things are not the same thing. I thought that one’s fairly well-established.

  52. Definitions of racism aside, this discussion is remarkably ahistorical. Hitler’s “we are socialists” claim was a deliberate wind-up aimed at the actual socialists. If you want to set your political views apart from Hitler’s, Mussolini’s, and Mosley’s, the best start isn’t to believe everything they say. And if you want to get a feel for the general direction of their politics, have a look at who were their British admirers – most prominently, the Daily Mail.

  53. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “You should do more reading about Hitler-s earlier years. It-s clear he hated Jews to start with.”

    It is not clear to me, but then I am not an expert on Hitler. I will defer to your expertise.

    “You-ll note that he also hated gypsies and the disabled, neither of whom were commonly Bolsheviks or capitalists.”

    He did not hate the disabled. He was just very pragmatic about their usefulness to society and concerned about the costs of caring for them.

    “In any case, his belief that the groups you mention were [dominated] by ‘the Jhooz’ was complete nonsense.”

    I am not sure it is complete nonsense. Apart from Stalin it is hard to find a leader of the Soviet Communist party who was not Jewish – even if they were only part Jewish like Lenin. Tomsky perhaps. Bukharin. That is about it.

    “If Marx was Jewish, then Richard Dawkins is still Christian.”

    Dawkins is not a Communist is he? Although many of his colleagues are without being Communists.

    “The tribe weren-t even over-represented – there were just lots more of them about in Europe before Hitler and Stalin murdered millions.”

    That Jews were over-represented in the Soviet Communist party from the start right down to the end of the party is not really a matter of dispute. It is not simply a matter of numbers in the general population either.

    “You also might like to read SMFS-s comment more closely, whilst you-re doing some reading. You-ll note that in fact he specifically stated that he hates certain groups.”

    Where do I do that?

    “That some terrorists are Muslims is not the same as that Muslims are terrorists, any more than all geometric shapes being triangles because triangles are geometric shapes.”

    True. As it is also true that not all Nazis gassed Jews. Some of them even protected Jews. But we can agree there is a strong correlation between being a Nazi and wanting to gas Jews which is not unconnected to the ideology of being a Nazi?

    “There’s no evidence whatsoever of a causal link between Islam and terrorism, any more than there is between explosives and terrorism.”

    Actually I kind of think there is.

    “Leaving that aside, what we-re actually talking about with [racism] is irrational prejudice against, or hatred of, a group distinguished by something ancillary to the hatred/prejudice.”

    But look at all the assumptions you make – that the current prejudice against Muslims is irrational for instance. Why do you think that? That the reasons for the dislike is ancillary. Care to justify either?

    “to say that you dislike Jews because they commit fraud is [racism] in common usage because in fact there-s no link between Judaism and committing fraud.”

    Although stockmarket frauds in America tend to involve certain ethnic communities – which may be evidence of racism among Enforcement, but it is an interesting choice of example – Michael Milkin, Ivan Boesky, Bernie Maddoff for example. If you go here, one thing that strikes me is the number of non-Anglo names:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_white-collar_criminals

    However I do agree it is racism because there is no reason to think Jews are over-represented among people who commit fraud. However there is a link between being a Muslim and what we now call terrorism. It is not irrational to hate Judaism because, say, you do not like kosher slaughter, but it would be irrational to hate Jews because of it.

    63Dave – “in all the different parts of the world I-ve been to, with the wide variety of different cultures, the vast, overwhelming majority have just wanted to live and let live, have a quiet life, and get on with things without any hatred or intolerance of anyone else.”

    So what? It is largely irrelevant. I am sure that you could have said the same for Germans in 1939. But consider the French people who were running a winery in Tunisia when 9-11 occurred. Their Muslim workers cheered. Secular Tunisia. An irreligious industry like wine making. Still, they were delighted.

    64Dave – “No, he said that he hates people who hold those opinions. Which is a very different thing.”

    If this is still referring to me, I said no such thing. So perhaps you should not lecture other people on reading when you cannot be bothered to do it yourself.

  54. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “Definitions of racism aside, this discussion is remarkably ahistorical. Hitler-s [we are socialists] claim was a deliberate wind-up aimed at the actual socialists.”

    How do you know? What you mean is that generation after generation of leftist writers have tried to claim Hitler was not a socialist. That is not the same thing. By any modern measure, Hitler was, in fact, a socialist. He seems to have meant it to me. Looking at his policies, what strikes me is how much of the post-War social market economy originated in Nazi Germany.

    “If you want to set your political views apart from Hitler-s, Mussolini-s, and Mosley-s, the best start isn-t to believe everything they say.”

    By all means, let us look at what they do – vastly expand the social welfare provisions of Germany and increase State spending on welfare.

    “And if you want to get a feel for the general direction of their politics, have a look at who were their British admirers – most prominently, the Daily Mail.”

    Most famously only because the Left wants to keep banging that drum. It is probably not even true, but the Left does hate the Daily Mail.

  55. the vast, overwhelming majority have just wanted to live and let live, have a quiet life, and get on with things without any hatred or intolerance of anyone else.

    Yes, and then muslims arrive and start blowing them up.

  56. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “I-m not sure whether Hitler was about being secular and Darwinian.”

    I think the evidence is pretty good he was both. Certainly the racism is unthinkable without Darwin. So much so that Leftists have to invent this odd ideology Social Darwinism, which does not seem to have had any real existence at all, to cover up the fact that Hitler’s Darwinism was pretty mainstream.

    “So far as it goes, it seems he was a passionate nationalist, who thought that the two great threats to the Volk were Bolshevism and Capitalism, and noticed (or believed he noticed) that both groups were dominated by Jews.”

    None of which is incompatible with Darwinism.

  57. SMFS-

    Well, Hitler and the Nazis certainly had evolutionary theory of a kind as the basis of their eugenics and racial policy, for sure. But as I read it, the driving force of the Nazis was a passionate belief in the German volk, the bond between the blood and the (father) land, which was sort of mystical or spiritual in nature, basically romanticism applied to the practical world. Same as the Greens.

    The Greens (largely originally a German phenomenon, one notes) nowadays simply apply that same blood and soil to the whole of humanity and the whole of the planet, rather than the German volk and the land of Germany.

    I’m not as such disagreeing with you, but I think the scientific eugenic ideas were not the driving force, they were more of a natural fit to the Volkisch romanticism.

  58. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “The Greens (largely originally a German phenomenon, one notes) nowadays simply apply that same blood and soil to the whole of humanity and the whole of the planet, rather than the German volk and the land of Germany.”

    Indeed. And applying such Volkish concepts to indigenous peoples is entirely mainstream on the Left and the Right – they have some sort of blood and soil attachment to their ancestral land which we palid people cannot understand. Which I do not entirely dispute, mind you.

    The Greens also apply the Nazis racism to almost everything except humans these days. While they may be violently opposed to talking about Europeans in such terms, the Greens approach to invasive species polluting the gene pool of other species is thoroughly Nazi and their solution is often the same – gassing the offending species and/or hybrid.

    “I-m not as such disagreeing with you, but I think the scientific eugenic ideas were not the driving force, they were more of a natural fit to the Volkisch romanticism.”

    But plenty of other people have no problems adopting such Volkish r0manticism without murdering millions. That required their eugenic scientific beliefs. So the core of what is so very objectionable about the Nazis comes from their scientific Darwinism and their atheism.

  59. Surreptitious Evil

    All I’m saying is that language is fluid, and that arguing about the exact definition of racism is pointless. You can claim that hating someone for their religion is not racism if you like, but that doesn’t make it any better.

    Well, it’s certainly pointless even trying to discuss it with you, but still …

    Racism is widely accepted as immoral (IanB’s essential point that we are all xenophobic to some degree notwithstanding). And lots of expressions of racism are illegal.

    Which is why privilege seeking groups insist that not liking, not respecting, or merely being dubious of them or their political or social aims must be “racism”, or its moral equivalent.

    Some of those groups have a fairly strong point. Others, particularly radical political Islamism (which is not the same thing as Islam), greens (especially the CAGW crowd) & sub-culture groups (cf GMP and goths), do not. Yet some silly people not only bow to their demands but insist that we all must too.

  60. @Dave

    “Fine, lets agree it was just bad grammar on your part… I accept your clarification and apologise for calling you a nasty little racist”

    Apology accepted, but I still don’t think you’ve understood me (perhaps that is my fault) because you say this:

    “I still think youre displaying an irrational prejudice against Muslims. That some terrorists are Muslims is not the same as that Muslims are terrorists”

    But I didn’t say this, or even hint that I think it. There are a couple of billion Muslims in the world; if they were all, or even mostly, terrorists, things would be very tasty indeed.

    What I said, which you are not addressing – I suspect because you know it’s true – is that if you take the top 10 worst terrorist attacks in the world, more than half of them will turn out to have been carried out by Islamists.

    This is just a fact, and I think it ill behoves us not to ask why it is.

    Note: I *don’t* have an irrational fear of or dislike of most Muslims, who are overwhelmingly the victims of these outrages anyway.

    *There

  61. …victims of these outrages anyway.

    “Theres no evidence whatsoever of a causal link between Islam and terrorism”

    Here I part company with you. There’s no causal link between Islam and all terrorism, or between terrorism and all or even most Muslims, but it is certainly the case that some Muslims commit significant acts of terror *precisely* because, they believe, their religion requires it of them.

    We run into the usual problems if definition, of course – some Sunnis deny that Shias are even Muslims, and vice versa – but to say that terrorists from either group are not killing people from the the because of religion is a difficult position to sustain.

    It takes a peculiar kind of western arrogance (I assume you’re a westerner?) to listen to a 60-year-old Sunni imam saying “We are doing this because Allah demands it of us, and it is the duty of all Muslims to kill all Jews/Shia/infidels” and to, effectively, pat him on the head and say, no, you’re not doing it because of your religion, there’s no causal link here.

    Arrogance, or perhaps cowardice (at the geopolitical level).

  62. By the way, I’m aware that the formulation “top 10 terrorist outrages in the world” is a gross simplification, and maybe rather crass, but I assume you take my point. And I’m talking recent past.

  63. PaulB is right in that Hitler was not a socialist; socialists at least pay lip service to the notion of equality and redistribution, and he wasn’t big on the former, at least, and not very big on the latter.

    Ironically, he was using exactly the same tactic of owning the language that we’ve discussed on her recently.

    That said, he wasn’t “right wing” either, since to be right wing, I would argue, is to remove the state as far as possible from people’s lives, and that’s something else he wasn’t renowned for.

  64. So Much For Subtlety

    Interested – “PaulB is right in that Hitler was not a socialist; socialists at least pay lip service to the notion of equality and redistribution, and he wasn-t big on the former, at least, and not very big on the latter.”

    Hitler was big on the notion of equality within the racial community – probably more so than the Stalinists were. As for redistribution, Hitler was certainly big on that. The Nazis looted the whole of Europe for the benefit of the German people. They also taxed themselves heavily to redistribute wealth. Whatever else you can say about them, their predatory socialism worked. Within its own very limited framework.

  65. PaulB is right in that Hitler was not a socialist; socialists at least pay lip service to the notion of equality and redistribution, and he wasn’t big on the former, at least, and not very big on the latter.

    He was up to a point. One of the main characteristics of the Waffen SS was that it took people from all classes, whereas the Germany Army generally took its officers from the aristocracy, particularly the Prussians. I have a very good book on the Waffen SS, and inclusivity and equality across the classes was emphasised. There was certainly no love lost between Hitler and the elite of German society and military.

    Then there’s the People’s Car, which has remarkably kept its name to this day.

  66. How do you know?

    You can read about the context of those remarks http://historyandpolitics77.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/we-are-socialists-debunked.html

    By any modern measure, Hitler was, in fact, a socialist.

    Any modern definition of socialism would include not being racist. So no.

    It is probably not even true, but the Left does hate the Daily Mail.

    What do you mean, probably? This is not like trying to guess the colour of a dinosaur, you can look up what it had to say in a newspaper archive. Here are some highlights.

    the core of what is so very objectionable about the Nazis comes from their scientific Darwinism and their atheism

    Scientific Darwinism is a theory of the origin of species, which has been proved to be true. It has got nothing to do with eugenics. Hence the term Social Darwinism, to describe something quite different – the belief that the evolutionary process should be encouraged in humanity by not protecting the unfit.

    Mind you, if Hitler was a Social Darwinist he was rubbish at it. The economic success of the Jews which Hitler so resented showed if anything that they were better adapted than the so-called Aryans to life in early 20th-century Germany, so a Social Darwinist should have been exalting them.

  67. @SMFS socialism, properly understood, is surely an internationalist doctrine? Socialism within one country is thus a contradiction in terms.

    He wasn’t keen on trades unions, he killed millions of his own people, he was a racist (whatever you say about socialists, they aren’t racists), he was an imperialist (ditto).

    I don’t think he was right wing, or left wing, he was with Mussolini the originator of the third way.

    All that said, it’s an interesting question, discussed at this link http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/was-hitler-a-socialist-54817.html

  68. @PaulB re the Daily Mail, though, it’s more than a little ridiculous to lay the sins of the grandfathers at the feet of the current Mail. We could equally look at the Manchester Guardian’s cheerleading for mass murdering communists, but that would be unfair.

  69. Don’t forget the Nazi party as originally founded was effectively coopted by Hitler. The socialist-leaning element was largely purged along with Ernst Rohm.

  70. So Much For Subtlety

    PaulB – “You can read about the context of those remarks”

    1. That link does not seem to work, and
    2. A bunch of people talking on the internet is not proof of much.

    “Any modern definition of socialism would include not being racist. So no.”

    Depends on what you mean by modern. Sweden, the doyen of soft socialism, was sterilizing Gypsies into the 1970s so either they were not socialists or you are wrong. Various PLO-related groups, friends of the slightly less-soft-left, separated Jewish hostages from everyone else and murdered them. That is, on racial grounds, as Jews, not as Israelis. Steve Biko, a hero of the Left when I was middle aged, hated White people on racial grounds.

    “What do you mean, probably? This is not like trying to guess the colour of a dinosaur, you can look up what it had to say in a newspaper archive.”

    Which proves nothing. A few comments that are not all that pro-Nazi taken from the early days of the Nazi period. So what?

    “Scientific Darwinism is a theory of the origin of species, which has been proved to be true.”

    Evolution has been proven true. The origin of species is harder to prove.

    “It has got nothing to do with eugenics. Hence the term Social Darwinism, to describe something quite different – the belief that the evolutionary process should be encouraged in humanity by not protecting the unfit.”

    Encouraged? How about not stopped. But that is not different. It simply says we should admit what a good job evolution is doing to humans, a process that has not yet stopped, and we should continue to encourage it under various degrees of assistance.

    “Mind you, if Hitler was a Social Darwinist he was rubbish at it. The economic success of the Jews which Hitler so resented showed if anything that they were better adapted than the so-called Aryans to life in early 20th-century Germany, so a Social Darwinist should have been exalting them.”

    Maybe so. But he did claim they were crap at most other things.

    83Interested – “socialism, properly understood, is surely an internationalist doctrine? Socialism within one country is thus a contradiction in terms.”

    African socialists do not seem to think it is a problem. Nor do people like Nehru. Self loathing from the Left usually only applies to people of pallour. The Algerians were intent on building socialism in one country and they were big on the Left.

    “He wasn-t keen on trades unions”

    He made them compulsory.

    “he killed millions of his own people”

    So did Stalin only more so. And actually Hitler mainly killed millions of Poles and Ukrainians. Which is not to say that is fine, but Germans did quite well in the war. Even if they were Communists.

    “he was a racist (whatever you say about socialists, they aren-t racists), he was an imperialist (ditto).”

    I think that you can find socialists who are both of those things. H. G. Wells talked about the need to exterminate the lesser races without being any less a socialist.

    “I don-t think he was right wing, or left wing, he was with Mussolini the originator of the third way.”

    I think many of the ideas are older still, but you have a point.

  71. @Luke #30

    sorry, late back to the party. Yes Mussolini was

    a) a member of the PSI
    b) later fanatically opposed to the PSI

    but crucially over the issue of their stance on neutrality in WWI not their economic policies. He was expelled from the PSI because he was too public in his nationalism

    So he was, in fact, a national socialist. Before it became fashionable, so to speak.

    But you’re right to say he hated them afterwards.

  72. Paul B:

    “Any modern definition of socialism would include not being racist. So no.”

    And Interested

    “@SMFS socialism, properly understood, is surely an internationalist doctrine? Socialism within one country is thus a contradiction in terms.”

    I guess the “proper” (i.e. the one used by the left) definition of socialism must then be something like “nice and wellmeaning people who think the way I think about things and want to help the poor and the children and everything to be good and cozy and with lots of ponies” whereas the definition of right or fascism etc is “everything the socialists don’t like”

  73. Fabian socialist scum were big peddlers of eugenics back in the 20s and 30s–Geo Bernard Fucking Shaw and his line about using some “humane gas” to rid the world of those he and his leftist chums wanted rid of. As for socialists not being racists–one-it isn’t true–they hate the white race (and Uncle Joe hated Jews almost as much as Adolf and had plans to ship them all to Siberia en masse–death stopped him) and two–even if it were true–so what?. Which is worse–a racist socialist like Hitler, who is at least loathe to kill one group with quite the same abandon he kills the others–or fucking internationale socialist scum who are equal opportunity mass murdering cunts with a track record far worse than Adolfs.

  74. @SMFS Hitler didn’t make Trades Unions compulsory, he sent the police into all of their HQs (May 2 1933), arrested all the officials and confiscated their funds. As a sop, to prevent the workers organising against him, he set up the German Labour Force under Ley to look aftre the interests of the working class.

    In 1928, something like 20 million man-days were lost to strikes. Guess how many were lost each year between 1934 and 1939?

    @SMFS/Emil, others

    The definitional problem, again. The problem is that we can all use language to say pretty much anything we want. The left (define?) are the past masters at this, but the right (define?) are catching up.

    Last week we were discussing what a ‘feminist’ is, this week it’s socialists and racists. These are intractable arguments not amenable to discussion here, or perhaps anywhere.

    Re socialism, I think it’s impossible to achieve – ergo, arguably, there have *never* been *any* true socialists.

    Others would make a perfectly respectable case to prove that I’m wrong.

    This is why I try to circumscribe my definitions.

    ‘Racist’ to me means ‘discriminates against people from other races – define? Dave points out the problem here, but I take it *very* broadly and crudely for the purposes of this post to mean skin colour – purely on the basis of their race’.

    ‘Socialist’ means ‘believes that the state should act to redistribute wealth among all members of society, and ultimately all peoples’.

    ‘Feminist’ means ‘seeks complete equality between men and women’. IanB would disagree here, as would many others.

    ‘Right wing’ means ‘the minimal possible state involvement in the individual’s life’ and ‘Left wing’ means the converse.

    We’re then onto definitions of ‘minimal’, ‘state’ and ‘involvement’ but it’s easier ground on which to pitch your tent.

  75. @Tim Newman ‘Any modern definition of socialism would include not being racist.

    Guffaw!’
    No-one said they weren’t hypocrites, Tim – they’re human, we all are.

    The fact that some don’t live up to that part of the definition, and that others cloak themselves in the definition, doesn’t mean the definition itself is wrong.

  76. The fact that some don’t live up to that part of the definition, and that others cloak themselves in the definition, doesn’t mean the definition itself is wrong.

    I suppose that depends on whether you consider a definition as what something actually is, as opposed to what somebody says it is supposed to be.

  77. So Much For Subtlety

    Interested – “Hitler didn-t make Trades Unions compulsory, he sent the police into all of their HQs (May 2 1933), arrested all the officials and confiscated their funds.”

    Not all the Trades Unions. All the Communist, Catholic and Social Democratic ones. He then set up one super large Trade Union and made membership thereof compulsory. As you say, the German Workers Front. But membership became compulsory for people like journalists and so on. Which was a handy way to censor the media – expell them from the Union.

    “I take it *very* broadly and crudely for the purposes of this post to mean skin colour – purely on the basis of their race”

    So anti-semitism is not racism?

    “[Socialist] means [believes that the state should act to redistribute wealth among all members of society, and ultimately all peoples].”

    Then there have never been any socialists because the Labour Party does not and never has supported the re-dsitribution of wealth among all the peoples of the world. Besides, I am sure the Nazis were fully on board redistributing wealth among the surviving peoples of the world.

    “[Feminist] means [seeks complete equality between men and women]. IanB would disagree here, as would many others.”

    Rightly. Or custody would be joint by default.

  78. Couple of points.
    If you aspire to have an opinion about Uncle Dolfo’s beliefs it really does help to read his popular best seller. And do so with at least a passing knowledge of German history. Nationalism tends to be a different thing when the nation in question is a delicate flower considerably younger than living memory rather than several centuries.There’s a couple versions available in translation & even downloadable for free on the net. It will bore the pants off of you but in & amongst the turgid prose & inanities are gems that one regularly hears trotted out, almost word for word, by the left today. The man seems to have considered himself a socialist & he certainly has something in common with most other socialists. They all think they cleave to one true form of socialism whilst despising all the other strands. Which is why the most vigorous arguments amongst socialists usually involve them denouncing each others socialism.
    Assholes all.
    And it’s regrettable people like Dave persist in continually using the words hate & racism in the same sentence. I’d quite happily self describe as a racist. There’s no doubt different cultures deal with the world in different ways & as in practical terms, the representatives of those cultures one comes across share the same ethnicity, it’s not a poor working assumption – people like this behave like that. It does not imply all people like this behave like that but it’s a useful working model to start from. Prevents one having unrealistic expectations, causing unnecessary offence & makes life easier in general. It’s got as many positive aspects as it has negative. There’s certainly aspects of the average Brit one could label Britishness & they’re not all desirable. I certainly don’t object to being lumped in with them by foreigners, before they get to know me personally.

  79. ergo, arguably, there have *never* been *any* true socialists.

    But this is the problem with the left. Because they believe in orthodoxy and ideological soundness everyone has to agree. And because not everyone *does* agree they use the No True Scotsman fallacy each and every time to discredit their opponents on the same side. Feminists are worse than anyone at this. It is why I always rather like the “One Trot Faction” song (to the tune, and scheme, of Ten Green Bottles).

  80. @SMFS – the answer to the question re 20 million man-days lost to strikes in 1928 and the days lost each year between 1934 and 1939 is zero. There were no days lost to strikes in those years. You can set up something and call it a union, though they didn’t cal it a union, but if you shoot people for going on strike it really doesn’t suggest you’re a socialist.

    re anti-semitism as racism, I did say it was broad and crude for a blog comment. It’s simialr is the easiest way to answer it. I abhor both.

    Re this bit:

    “Then there have never been any socialists because the Labour Party does not and never has supported the redsitribution of wealth among all the peoples of the world. Besides, I am sure the Nazis were fully on board redistributing wealth among the surviving peoples of the world.”

    Eh? Because Labour are not socialists (though I dispute what you say, plenty in Labour were internationalists) there have never been any socialists? And no, the Nazis were not on board with it – that’s (one reason) why they were not socialists?

    @BIS you’re right that post WW1 Germany was an odd place, where people said and did odd things. Hitler said and did some socialist things – as we have said – but he did some non-socialist things. Like banning the workers from going on strike, and gassing jews.

    Re Dave and racism/hate, you’re right – it’s like being at university again (to be fair I think he’s quite young?).

    That said, I’m not a racist, or try not to be; I genuinely try to judge everyone I meet by their actions. You probably do too, so I doubt we’re arguing too much.

    I have read Mein Kampf. (Actually, I got about two thirds of the way through before giving it up. I found it a bit of a struggle.)

  81. I have read Mein Kampf. (Actually, I got about two thirds of the way through before giving it up. I found it a bit of a struggle.)

    Heh heh! That’s quite good!

  82. Interested:Why are banning strikes and gassing Jews not socialist?. The Left are only pro-strike when non-leftists are on the receiving end.
    How many successful strikes were there in the Soviet Unions heyday?. And while gassing some of their victims is associated with the Nazis, they also employed the Soviet method of starving and working to death many of those they preyed on.

  83. @ Interested
    ” I genuinely try to judge everyone I meet by their actions.”
    Actually, I try very hard not to do that. Different actions can mean very different things in different cultures. If you ignore the context it’s very easy to either misunderstand or cause great offence. So if you’re not sure of the context it’s safer to suspend judgement until you’re more sure what it is you’re judging.

  84. @BIS well, up to a point.

    In the Middle East, for instance, beckoning someone is the same as our two-fingered salute. So if you want to motion to someone to come towards you, you invert your hand and make a sort of scraping motion.

    But I kind of took it as read that we were talking about things on a higher plane than simple cultural differences ie we were *not* ignoring the context.

    Let me restate as: allowing for cultural differences, once explained, I treat people as I find them.

    Thus, were I an Arab, I would not be offended by an Englishman beckoning to me if I knew that this was simply his way of calling me over, not telling me to fuck off.

    Highly ironically, I think I *would* be offended by an Englishman telling me – for instance, naming no daves – that he knew more about my religion and motivations than I did.

    @Mr Ecks – yep but as has been amply pointed out higher up the thread, this is why socialism remains a mere theory. People just don’t seem to be able to live up to it. Soviet Russia was no more properly socialist (‘proper’ being the word I used, and being what I am getting at) than Maggie Thatcher’s Britain.

  85. Interested: Sorry–as Mises and others have shown socialism does not even work as theory never mind practice. To say that poor abused humanity is unable to live up to that crock of shite is tantamount to insulting the millions of poor bastards it has robbed of their lives so far. The Soviet Union was very “proper” socialism indeed and Thatchers Britain was a milk and water version of it.

  86. ‘Right wing’ means ‘the minimal possible state involvement in the individual’s life’ and ‘Left wing’ means the converse.

    No, that’s libertarian versus authoritarian. There are both of those on the Right and the Left. It seems to me that the best working definition of right and left is that, when Statist, the Left prefer carrots and the Right prefer sticks. E.g. left wing governments seek to help criminals to avoid reoffending, whereas right wing governments think they’ll be sorted by a good flogging.

    Of course, the left’s carrots are often remarkably stick shaped, and the two sides tend to end up in the same place. Blair’s government for instance deployed a bewildering array of carrots and sticks; many of the carrots were very stick-ish. An interesting example, the other day I was debating with a crazy radical feminist at the Grauniad on the brothels article, and she declared that men who cannot “control themselves” and visit prostitutes should be “helped” by chemical castration. The help provided by the Left is often of that nature.

    Nonetheless, the Right/Left divide is about how they deal with something they agree on, which is that “society” has issues that must be collectively addressed by some form of community (inevitably, if eventually, the State).

    It’s a libertarian who wants the State to fuck off out of their life. Some people on the right are libertarian, but the two things are not synonymous. Most of the Right, like most of the Left, treat libertarian desire for genuinely small government as moonbattery.

  87. So anyway, after the FUD about Rightwingextremists, it appears that after all the Boston Marathon bombings were another gift of Islamic peace.

  88. I think Interested wins the internet for his Mein Kampf joke, even if it was inadvertent.

    Just going back to the “Does dislike of Islam = Racism” question,
    if I really dont like evangelical Christians, because I’m gay and dont like being called an evil abomination of the Devil by them, am I a racist?

  89. Jim, it was not inadvertent, and yes, I’m here all week. In other news, Rolf Harris nicked. Ridiculous. It was only two little boys.

  90. “What I said, which you are not addressing – I suspect because you know it’s true – is that if you take the top 10 worst terrorist attacks in the world, more than half of them will turn out to have been carried out by Islamists. This is just a fact, and I think it ill behoves us not to ask why it is.”

    As I said, naked blind prejudice. Adjusted for economic factors, Muslims are actually grossly under-represented in that list. But you people are completely blind to that fact. If anything, the evidence suggests that Islam makes people less likely to be terrorists than their circumstances would make them otherwise.

    There is a coincidental geographical correlation between Islam, and the currently poorer areas of the world, that’s all. If you actually want to deal with facts, that’s the end of the story.

  91. Dave, I hate to quote myself but:

    Highly ironically, I think I *would* be offended by an Englishman telling me – for instance, naming no daves – that he knew more about my religion and motivations than I did.

  92. It does appear as if we can throw a couple more Chechen Islamic terrorist scum into the number of Islamic terrorists. The world would be a better place if Mohammed’s parents had decided to have a falafal instead of rumpy pumpy the night the odious, murderous, pedophile, charlatan bandit was conceived. Islam is no less a cult than those founded by Jim Jones and David Koresh, timing was everything, by keeping its adherent in medieval ignorance it has been able to flourish. No intelligent, rational human being could fail to see that Mohammed sucked Allah’s supposed revelations out of his arse.

  93. Surreptitious Evil

    if I really dont like evangelical Christians, because I’m gay and dont like being called an evil abomination of the Devil by them, am I a racist?

    Well, by Dave’s over-encompassing definition of “racist”, then, yes. Unless he does the usual lefty thing (and I’m not yet suggesting he is a lefty) and argues that because ‘Christian’ is (generally) a privilege group, you can’t be x-ist against them.

  94. Surreptitious Evil

    Adjusted for economic factors,

    How the hell can you adjust “the top 10 worst terrorist attacks in the world” for economic factors? At what point of poverty (and, we’ll note, Saudi is hardly the poorest country on the planet) does it begin to excuse terrorism?

  95. @SE – quite.

    Maybe Dave would care to explain the role poverty had in the Boston bombings? Or how multi-millionaire Osama bin Laden was so borassic that he just had to declare war on the West? Or how it is that other extremely poor societies don’t resort to international terrorism? When was the last time a Haitian suicide bomber exploded himself in a crowded marketplace?

    I think the problem here is this: most modern westerners, including almost all media types, are thoroughly post religious. They don’t believe in sin, or hell, or heaven. They also have little experience of the Middle East (the wellspring of Islamist terror). I suspect both of these positions apply to Dave.

    I’ve lived in the Middle East and I was born a strict Catholic. I’m a bit lapsed these days, but the old mortal sin, assumption and ascension is in there somewhere. The belief in eternal life dies hard.

    Just as I know people who would die for Catholicism, in a self-sacrificing way, so I have seen with my own eyes guys beating themselves half to death with chains and scimitars to mark the Haj. They believe this stuff. They think there’s a paradise, they think a stack of virgins are waiting for them, and they think it’s their religious duty to attack the infidel. Not the majority, obviously, but enough to cause problems. (And they swim in a bigger sea, full of islands of support.)

    Pretending (or believing) that this is not the case, and that Islamic terror is a figment of a racist imagination, or that it’s all down to ‘poverty’, is literally ridiculous, and that, Dave, is why I’m ridiculing you. You know nothing, you understand nothing, you see nothing.

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