Categories
Computing Power Dynamics

The Brexit Delusion and the End of Neoliberalism

I've long been critical of superstates and any extreme concentration of power, but only really from around 2014 did anti-EU feeling in the UK gain enough momentum to call into question Britain's integration with the European project and to force a referendum, which the establishment hoped would endorse the status quo's trajectory of ever-closer union. The real underlying cause of widespread public distrust in remote political elites remains the rapid pace of corporate globalisation with its extreme labour mobility, job insecurity, transient communities and fast cultural change. The biggest issue of all is the perceived disenfranchisement of the traditional working classes. I say perceived because some may argue that democratic accountability has always been an illusion, but at least until the late 1970s, British workers had a sense that some politicians in power actually cared about their plight and would negotiate with big business to secure better working conditions, higher pay and above all job security with subsidised training and apprenticeship schemes.

If you think the prospect of Brexit is bad, then you may wonder whom to blame for this calamity. The Guardian's favourite culprits are Tory aristocrats, Rupert Murdoch, Nigel Farage, Arron Banks and naturally the ominous Russian connection. Carole Cadwalladr of the Guardian has taken Putin-themed conspiracy theories to the next level, even claiming Russian involvement in the recent drone incident at Gatwick Airport. Yet they fail to identify the real cause of people's distrust in remote elites, lying politicians, and most notably the former New Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who not only evangelised European integration and opened up the UK Labour market to agency workers from poorer Eastern European countries, but fully supported military interventionism in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Iraq. New Labour had 13 years to help train British youngsters to meet the technological challenges of the new millennium, yet succeeded mainly in producing more project managers and recruitment consultants to organise ready-trained human resources, while more and more British youngsters failed to gain any practical work experience except in dispiriting part-time promotional gigs.

However, the whole Brexit Saga does reveal divisions within the ruling elites, which reflect shifting global alliances as the relative strength of the USA wanes and European governments embrace a more interventionist form of corporatism with the transfer of power away from national governments to supranational organisations. While big business may once have backed continued US Hegemony by supporting resources wars in the Middle East, they now openly despise President Donald Trump's advocacy of America First. When Macron and Trump spoke at the centennial commemoration of the Armistice ending the First World War, news outlets favourable to more global governance (BBC, CNN, the Guardian, New York Times, France 24, ZDF, Le Monde etc.) supported Macron's denunciation of nationalism and his redefinition of patriotism to the mean the exact opposite, while they ridiculed Trump's defence of nationhood. The USA may have a gigantic military industrial complex, but its endless escapades do little to defend US citizens back home, but rather serve mainly to project the power of a global network of banks and corporations on the whole world. Until recently North Americans have been more willing to support their nation's military endeavours than their European counterparts. As the wider American public begin to realise that their country's huge military outlay does not help them and may promote the kind of corporate globalism that will strip them of any economic advantages they may once have had, we can expect peacekeeping activities to be managed more at a supranational level with missions outsourced not only to multinational armed forces but to mercenary outfits posing as NGOs not associated with a specific country. Just consider the example James Le Mesurier's outfit, Academi (formerly known as Blackwater). Judging from their website and many promotional videos available online, you'd seriously think their main mission were to provide humanitarian relief to conflict zones, rather than arm and train insurgents and rescue workers specialised in the art of atrocity simulation. Such organisations are happy to work for the highest bidder, especially with the implicit support of global corporations. As rapid cultural and ethno-demographic transformation destabilises many urban areas, we can expect to see heavily armed transnational security forces deployed in Western Europe in the same way as NATO peacekeeping intervened in the former Yugoslavia.

The Free Market Myth

Western Europe and North America converged in the post-war period on a mixed economy compromise where local small businesses could thrive alongside larger corporations while the government intervened to provide essential services and infrastructure as well as regulate markets in the best interests of social cohesion and general prosperity. Until the 1990s Europe remained a very heterogenous continent. Global brands and culture may well have permeated home-grown traditions, but if you scratched beneath the surface of ubiquitous Anglo-American movies and pop music, young Europeans could still identify with their cultural roots, which they interpreted mainly along regional and national lines. Moreover, each country chose to manage its economy, social welfare and security in different ways. Italy and Greece would offer very limited benefits for the workshy and single parents, as they just assumed extended families should take care of relatives who had fallen on bad times or made unwise lifestyle choices, but offered comparatively generous pensions and early retirement for many categories of workers and state employees. The bedrock of Southern European economies remained family-run businesses, which naturally favoured local or culturally attuned workers. The last twenty years of rapid demographic change has seen hundreds of thousands of longstanding small businesses close as young adults seek better temporary career opportunities in remote cities, often abroad, in the emerging gig economy, dominated by transient design, development and marketing companies whose fortunes are intimately tied to a handful of tech giants, global corps and NGOs. Rather than help their family business adapt to modern technology or a changing clientele, many of the smartest young Europeans are creating marketing media for consumer lifestyle options or awareness-raising initiatives at a design agenc in London, Frankfurt, Paris or Barcelona, while struggling to pay sky-high rents for modest mini-apartments and only being a few pay cheques away from bankruptcy, eviction and a future of welfare dependence and emotional insecurity. Today's knowledge workers are paid not just for their expertise, but for their positive attitude to recent social changes and their compliance with the evolving progressive orthodoxy. Money talks. If you can get €300 a day as a graphic designer in one of Europe's major cities for an advertising agency producing a transgender awareness campaign, why would you refuse? Yet this is precisely what happens. There's a lot more money in transformative social engineering than in good wholesome conservative values. Big business does not want young women to marry and start families in their home region staying at home to give their children the best chance in life. It wants them working for advertising agencies in remote metropolises paying sky-high rents and partaking in commercialised hedonism while the state brings up their offspring in a foreign land instilling postmodern cultural uniformity in their young minds.

For some time now large corporations, third sector agencies and governments have been working in unison to facilitate the kind of rapid cultural change that empowers technocrats and undermines traditional support structures. Nominally Tesco may appear to compete with Sainsbury's and Asda (currently planning to merge awaiting approval), but in practice most shoppers gravitate towards the nearest and most convenient supermarket. The real competition is with independent retailers and farmers. Likewise Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and IBM may appear to compete. For a while I would religiously boycott Microsoft products, probably due to a virus that wiped two hard drives in 2001 (and which had not been fully backed up), preferring Linux instead and then falling into the clutches of Google and the even more restrictive Apple[1] instead. Yet away from the public gaze these tech giants cooperate a good deal. For instance Microsoft has just announced that is abandoning its own Edge Browser (the successor to IE) in favour of Chromium, making the default Web client on Windows 10 just a Microsoft-themed version of Chrome. Meanwhile Google has adopted Microsoft's open source Javascript successor, Typescript, for their Angular framework and have long desisted from seriously challenging Microsoft's main cash cow, its desktop Office suite, which works just as well on Mac OS as on Windows and has fully functional mobile version running on Android and IoS, and distancing itself from underfunded open-source projects like LibreOffice. I suspect behind the scenes their collaboration may be much deeper as Google invests heavily in the development of the Fuschia operating system, optimised for embedded systems, and Microsoft ports its flagship database system to Linux and promotes its cloud Azure services much more aggressively than its ageing desktop OS and has all but abandoned Windows Phone in favour, temporarily at least, of Android. Alphabet Inc. dominates search, video streaming and smartphones, while Microsoft prevails in core productivity software, keeps its grip on desktop computing and diversifies into Web services and artificial intelligence. Meanwhile the other main players, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Huwei and Amazon use variants of each other's technology stacks. Samsung makes screens not just for their ubiquitous gadgets, but for Apple's iPhones too, which are mainly assembled in China using variants of the same components that Huwei installs in its more competitively priced products. Most of the world's estimated 3 billion micro-computers are made in a handful of large manufacturing facilities employing only a few hundred thousand workers at most. Smart automation will reduce these numbers further in years to come.

Our lives are increasingly run by a tangled web of tech companies and parastatal[2] agencies, over whom we have no meaningful control except by asking our governments to negotiate with our technocratic overlords, who in practice do not so much compete as agree to divvy up different market segments. Neoliberalism assumes vibrant competition both between companies and among workers. Yet modern technology requires massive investment only available to the biggest players and most workers compete for crumbs as their monotonous occupations give way to smart automation. This explains the shift in terminology from personnel and staff (the usual terms until sometime in the 1980s) to human resources, emphasising the need to employ real flesh and blood human beings rather than assign a task to machines. While people may compete socially and usually respond positively to financial rewards or other privileges, machines have highly predictable physical needs and do not compete with each other unless programmed to do so. Neoliberalism works when market forces and technological innovation demand healthy competition. It doesn't work when new scientific advances require both substantial investment only available to transnational organisations and multidisciplinary cooperation, while most consumers rely more on welfare than paid employment. This is already the case in the UK where the median annual salary is still just £29,000, which entitles most employees to working family tax credits meaning its often makes little practical difference if you work full, part-time or just claim incapacity benefits. The furore about the UK government's controversial roll-out of universal credit with thousands of severely disabled people deemed to fit to work masks the objective reality an increasingly dynamic labour market marginalises a growing section of the population unable to compete. The privatisation frenzy of the 1980s and 90s simply let large corporations wrest control of key public services from local governmental bodies. Private healthcare and education only empower the wealthy, giving them more specialised medical treatment and greater choice over how their children are educated. I've discussed in earlier blog posts how corporations behave more like states, with massive bureaucracies, legal teams and security services, than agile businesses focused on commercial success. A business may respond to customer demand, while a corporation seeks not just to manipulate customer demand, but to regulate customers. If someone provides you a service almost free of charge, chances are that you are their product. If you use Google's ubiquitous services, the search giant probably knows more about you than your spouse or close friends. In theory the main search providers track your search history to suggest products and services that meet your very personal and idiosyncratic needs. If you enquire about the causes of sciatica, you may well see ads for recliner chairs pop up on your screen on favourite news site, but smart recommendation engines can analyse the demographics of users who seek information about sciatica and guess you may be approaching retirement or be open to considering life insurance. And it gets more sinister if you investigate any contentious issues that challenge vested interests.

The problem is not Europe, but its Rulers

The great European ideal, as many of us understood it in the more upbeat 1990s, stood in contrast to the North American melting pot or the autocratic Soviet model with its extensive ethnic cleansing. If Europe means anything, other than being the Western section of the Eurasian landmass stretching from the Urals to the Atlantic, it is defined by a rich mosaic of interweaving cultures that have evolved gradually over many centuries rather than a new nation of recent settlers who have embraced a shared identity. Europe is simply not European without its constituent nations, and most important of all, cultural continuity linking us with past generations. When communities have deep regional roots, state planners struggle to mould new universalist identities. Britain and France took centuries to suppress regionalism, while Germany and Italy only formed unified states in the mid 19th century. Historically attempts to accelerate the gradual process of cultural convergence have involved some degree of coercion. That was naturally before the emergence of sophisticated modern advertising, global youth culture, radio, television and more recently the Internet. While the European Union may once have championed the continent's distinctive national traditions to placate popular opinion and appear more inclusive, its socio-economic policies have promoted mass migration, both within the bloc itself and more recently from further afield, undermining regional identity and social cohesion. While the towns and villages of poorer outlying regions have been deprived of their best and brightest young adults, the continent's main conurbations have been transformed by transient migrant communities often outnumbering the autochthonous inhabitants. While previous waves of migrants to Europe's richer cities usually assimilated with the dominant local culture (if we exclude ethnic cleansing in the wake of wars of conquest), today's migrants only find localised variants of global consumer culture with which to integrate. What does it mean to be French, German, Dutch, Italian or Polish anyway? Is it just about watching the same American movies, listening to the same pop music, buying variants of the same consumer products, adopting dialects of the same lingua franca or redefining human relationships and family structures at the same rate? Some may dream of a new pan-European community of hipster professionals joining forces to create a more egalitarian and socially just version of the United States of America. Alas the latter dream is eclipsing too as the once affluent middle classes struggle to make ends meet.

The French yellow vest protests took European observers by surprise. Just 18 months after Emanuel had defeated the leader of the country's main nationalist party, Marine Le Pen, in the presidential election, reaffirming France's commitment to European project, its squeezed provincial working classes have revolted taking to streets in their gilets jaunes. While their ruling elites extol the virtues of more globalism and accuse their indigenous peoples of xenophobia, the working classes expect their governments to protect their livelihoods and let their families thrive in their home regions. The emerging conflict is not between rival national identities, who are quite happy to coexist peacefully, but between the arrogant elites eager to socially engineer a more compliant populace and the demos, who just want to get on with their lives.

[1] Mac OS X is based on BSD Unix and thus behaves under the hood more like Linux, which provides some advantages for developers like me who target Linux servers, but may need desktop applications that have not been ported to desktop Linux. The alternative is often running Linux as virtual machine on Windows.

[2] Run directly by government or indirectly with corporate funding. Parastatal organisations may thus include local councils, service companies like Capita or Serco, charities, lobbies and research institutes.

Categories
Power Dynamics

Going with the flow against the Old World Order

Baby Trump Balloon

The affluent professional classes, along with their army of assorted victim groups and infantile self-righteous student types, have set it upon themselves to amplify the mainstream media's disapproval of leading proponents of the old world order of nation states, two-parent families and cohesive communities with shared values. Three weeks ago we saw a large demonstration against the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum with a sea of blue twelve-star flags. Our trendy elitists wanted to vent their anger at those who tricked the English and Welsh working classes into rejecting their beloved European superstate. This week they gathered to oppose a caricature of the US President.

Don't get me wrong, there are many good reasons for protesting the excesses of US imperialism with its endless series of destabilising proxy wars. However, I cannot remember any large demos specifically against the presence of former US presidents with the possible exception of small impromptu protests against George W. Bush. Before Donald J Trump entered the White House global media giants in North America and Europe supported the purported leader of the free world. Now they welcome colourful processions of virtue-signallers opposed not so much to US-led wars, but to the spectre of outmoded nationalism, which rather perversely US foreign policy has done much suppress over the last 70 years. Just over 2 years ago President Obama urged us to support the EU, while his administration armed and funded Islamic fundamentalists in Syria to break up one of the oldest countries in the Middle East.

Alas our motley crew of professional whingers expressed their disapproval of the President's alleged phobias against people of other races, creeds, sexual orientations, gender identities and disability statuses. Most notably they took a stand against his support for strong borders. Yet when Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, visited 10 Downing Street as an official guest of Her Majesty's government, we saw only muted protests. His regime not only jails homosexuals and stones adulterous women, it has singularly failed to accommodate nearby Syrian refugees while bombing North Yemen. By contrast Trump presides over one of the most ethnically diverse and tolerant nations on earth, which, unlike Britain, can truly claim to have been built on successive waves of immigration, but has traditionally expected its new citizens to embrace their new American cultural identity. However, we now live in an age of hypermobility, instant communication and, by any fair historic standards, generous welfare provision. The United States, despite its vast expanses, has a limited capacity for absorbing the tens of millions of immigrants who would love to live the American dream. 350 million US residents still consume more than Africa, India and China combined. The open-borders brigade effectively urge millions of opportunists to bypass legal migration routes, open mainly to talented professionals, and demand access to the US labour market and public services just as big business is investing heavily in smart automation. How are we supposed to tackle climate change and our overreliance on imported goods, if we welcome the mass movement of human beings from regions with relatively low per-capita consumption to countries where most of life's necessities are shipped from hundreds or thousand of miles away to warehouses and supermarkets?

Far from bringing about a more egalitarian and harmonious world, mass migration tends to exacerbate existing social divides creating more competition and rivalry among the underclasses. More important as Robert D. Putnam has amply documented after extensive fieldwork, culture clashes brought about by rapid demographic changes weaken social trust largely to the detriment of the weakest in society.

Ethnic diversity is increasing in most advanced countries, driven mostly by sharp increases in immigration. In the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits. In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to 'hunker down'. Trust (even of one's own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. In the long run, however, successful immigrant societies have overcome such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing identities. Illustrations of becoming comfortable with diversity are drawn from the US military, religious institutions, and earlier waves of American immigration." E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture.

The most successful examples of peaceful and prosperous social democracies are all compact nation states with low levels of migration and a high degree of ethnic conformity (i.e. newcomers have to adapt to their new homeland and not vice versa). Bernie Sanders loves to cite Scandinavia as a model. Of course he meant Sweden, Denmark and Norway in 1970s, 80s and 90s long before mass migration transformed neighbourhoods and led to the creation of parallel communities that barely interact, necessitating an expansion of social surveillance and restrictions on the personal freedoms that Scandinavians cherish. The professional classes have hardly noticed because they have benefited most from recent economic trends. All over Europe the remnants of the traditional working classes are abandoning the social democratic parties that presided over the post-WW2 social stability pact. In Italy the heirs to the old Communist Party rebranded as the Democratic Party who once attracted over 35% of the vote have fallen below 20% in recent polls. The same trend has occurred in Germany where Martin Schulz's SPD has sunk below the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) and in Sweden the Swedish Democrats, which the mainstream media smears as the anti-migration far-right, are now ahead of the Social Democrats in the polls with the affluent professional classes often opting for the Greens instead. The latter group promise a clean and tolerant world devoid of ethnic conflict or extreme inequality. Their only recipe is to tax the very multinationals they claim to oppose rendering us all slaves to the likes of Amazon and Bayer-Monsanto.

Categories
Power Dynamics

End of an Era

That's all Folks!

The Eclipse of American Power

Just 15 years ago in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the alternative antiwar media was abuzz with talk of the Project for a New American Century, championed by the likes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld as they pushed for more proactive military interventions to spread the USA's vision of neoliberalism. We can split the opponents of this strategy into two camps: those who oppose neoliberalism and/or militarism on principle and those who believed whatever its merits the policy was ultimately doomed to backfire. Today most of the globalist media who lent their moral support to successive US-led wars in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Balkans under the pretext of humanitarian intervention, are now openly critical of the US and UK governments and much more supportive of the European Union, which despite the outcome of the UK's 2016 referendum is forging ahead with plans to set up its own unified defence forces and federalise its structures into a United States of Europe. Just 15 years ago the Anglo-American media lampooned the cowardly French and German governments for failing to support the 2003 US-led ousting of Saddam Hussein, now they mock Donald Trump for colluding with Putin and failing to accommodate enough refugees from countries the US military has destabilised, while hailing Angela Merkel and Emanuel Macron as inspirational leaders of the progressive world.

What we are witnessing may be the steady demise of the United States as the main world power. By 2025 China's economy is set to outstrip the USA's. While US-based tech giants will continue to play a leading role in the development of artificial intelligence, the scientific centre of gravity has moved from California to Russia, China and India. You just have to look at the number of graduates in STEM subjects and the origins of the people shaping our cybernetic future. It appears our European neighbours have caught the British disease of focusing on marketing and people management rather than hard sciences. Slowly but surely Chinese and Japanese multinationals are buying their way into Europe, Australasia and North America. The next century will be a lot more Asian than many anticipated. While Anglo-American customs and language may linger on in global culture for some time to come, just as Greek and Latin outlived their respective empires, our future cultural development will be shaped largely by Asians with contributions from Africans and Latin Americans. With over half the world's current population, Asia is home to great civilisational diversity. Yet, thanks to the industriousness of its peoples and relative social stability, the East Asian model will prevail, while the Islamic world's strategy of conquest through high birth rates will only succeed in destabilising other countries, not in gaining control of the commanding heights of the techno-industrial complex.

However, the demise of the American dream is also due to the generally unanticipated failure of neoliberalism to adapt to a world of smart automation that in just 20 years could not only render most jobs obsolete, but subjugate most workless citizens to the dictatorship of a few global corporations. Neoliberalism promised a future of enterprise, competition and personal responsibility with governments intervening only to ensure equality of opportunity and some form of social safety net. In reality we have seen a transfer of power away from small businesses and local institutions to multinational businesses and global organisations. Today's small businesses are often just contract workers, whose income depends entirely on their subservience to the global mafia, e.g. in the Web development industry many of the most lucrative contracts are with advertising agencies or, would you believe it, with charities. There is not very much money to be made advocating localism or any viable alternative to global governance.

Imperialism versus Localism

The national imperialisms of the 19th century have now morphed into unabashed global imperialism, after an interlude of North American dominance. Many observers may wonder how a longstanding opponent of British imperialism, such as myself, could advocate greater national sovereignty for the United Kingdom. If you're anti-British, would you not simply wish to see the dissolution of the UK into smaller regions integrated into a larger superstate? The main flaw in this logic is that the interests of ordinary citizens have seldom coincided with those of their ruling classes. Mercantilism was the primary driver of English and later British imperialism in the 17th and 18th centuries. British may refer either to an imperial state that evolved from the 1707 union of English and Scottish crowns or it may mean the peoples who have long inhabited the British Isles through successive ruling dynasties. I opposed British imperialism, not its peoples. The East India Company helped expand British colonial influence in the subcontinent with a little help from the Royal Navy. Christian missionaries and English language teachers may have followed, but the main purpose of imperialism has always been to expand markets and subjugate peoples by peaceful means if possible and by military means if all else fails. English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh peasants and factory workers did not suddenly decide to colonise the Americas, Africa, India or Australasia. Most did not even leave their homelands or only migrated to another part of the British Isles. Some took advantage of new opportunities in their masters' new colonies, but many died in the process. One may argue that much of Britain's wealth in the 19th and early 20th century came from its colonies, but it was very unevenly distributed. Before the growth of an educated and skilled working class in the late 19th century, most inhabitants of these windswept isles endured poverty every bit as bad or even worse than typical living conditions in 19th century India if we look at comparative infant mortality rates which only began to decline with the advent of modern plumbing.

Today our business leaders only cling to commercial and cultural links with the British Commonwealth through self-interest and tradition. In 2017 India exercises more influence over tiny Britain than vice versa through its large and successful ex-pat community and its dominance in the business services market. Just as China overtakes the US in economic output, India's total GDP is poised to pull ahead of the UK's. Yet big business does not seem to mind one iota. Not only do they have a larger market of new consumers, they can tap talent from a larger pool of university graduates. Subsidising the workless underclasses will be a problem for governments and global charities.

We would like to think that our governments endeavour to give us the best headstart in life through better education and high tech skills training. In the near future a country's wealth may depend more on the percentage of its citizens able to undertake intellectually demanding jobs in scientific research and innovation than by its prestige or the strength of its banking sector. If your youngsters can only aspire to medium skill clerical and manual jobs, their livelihoods will be swept aside by artificial intelligence and global competition. Yet our politicians seem more concerned with promoting gender theory among gullible primary school children than giving them the firm foundations in mathematics, reading and writing they will need to stand a chance in tomorrow's high IQ labour market.

Nationalism has earned itself a bad name by association with 19th century imperialism and 20th century fascism. Yet positive nationalism is just a way of managing in-group preferences and shared cultural values within a confined geographic area to ensure governing institutions can be held to account. Countries can choose different paths and learn from their neighbours' mistakes. If the whole world has to converge on the same social and economic policies, we will thrive or wither together. I'm happy for Moroccans to choose to prioritise Islamic studies in their schools. Its up to them. I'm not so happy for Scottish schools to adopt the same policies or for other countries to unduly influence local democracy here. Localism means devolving power to the smallest viable unit, which may be a farm, a village, a town, a county, a region or small country, a large country or community of countries, but at each stage power has to spread from the bottom up giving each community greater responsibility over its destiny and ultimately greater personal freedom. This stands in contrast to universalism which assumes billions of human beings can magically converge on new cultural norms without coercion. I choose bottom-up democracy and not top-down manufacturing of consent.

Categories
All in the Mind Power Dynamics

Guilt by Association

Screaming at a computer

Recently British author Douglas Murray took part in a video chat with the renowned YouTube sensation and self-proclaimed libertarian philosopher Stefan Molyneux. While critical of Radical Islam and mass migration, Douglas Murray has been careful to steer a middle ground. Initially he came across to me as a Blairite, not least because he's associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, a neoconservative think tank that has counted Labour MPs such as Ben Bradshaw and Jim Murphy in its ranks. I wonder how they reconcile their differences over the EU. As a supporter of the 2003 Iraq War, Douglas Murray has earned himself plenty of airtime on the BBC. I suspect his recent congenial conversation with Stefan Molyneux will soon catapult Mr Murray to the outer reaches of the cybersphere, seldom to be seen or heard again on mainstream TV or other approved channels of official news.

Stefan Molyneux openly believes that not only do genetic variations between racial groups affect our intelligence, but such differences are significant and irreconcilable. I don't have time to do justice to this debate because the subject both fascinates and disturbs me as I'm a little uncomfortable with some of the conclusions of leading social biologists like Charles Murray or Nobel Laureate and co-discoverer of DNA James Watson. Not surprisingly, Mr Molyneux has attracted a large following from what we might fairly call racists and I pick my words carefully. In my mind a racist is not someone who is simply proud of their racial lineage or prefers to mingle with others of the same ethnic background, for most Africans, Chinese and Indians would fall into that category. A true racist believes that their perceived intellectual superiority grants them special rights over other racial groups. Apartheid South Africa before 1994 and Zimbabwe as Rhodesia under Ian Smith before 1980 are classic examples of openly racist states that survived into the late 20th century. Their rulers often cited IQ test results to justify excluding most black citizens from the levers of power. Perversely the self-proclaimed liberal intelligentsia now accuses the native working classes of ignorance whenever they fail to endorse their preferred policy options. Ever so subtly both the BBC and Guardian have blamed a lack of education for the unexpected outcomes of the last US Presidential Election or last year's EU referendum. We read terms such as low-information voters, which is a codeword for low-IQ voters unable to interpret conflicting sources of information.

On Wednesday I awoke to the news that Donald Trump had retweeted three videos originally sent by Jayda Fransen, of Britain First, whose main focus is on the rapid Islamisation of parts of urban Britain and the suppression white British identity. Paradoxically the group's leaders often cite Winston Churchill's forthright warmongering against Nazi Germany in the mid 1930s to justify their stance against Islamic supremacism. To be honest, despite living in London for many years with a short period in Leeds, I've only ever seen Britain First online. Jayda Fransen only came to my attention in a series of videos about the town of my high school years, Luton. As far as I know Britain First is a splinter group from the much larger English Defence League, which attracted many football supporters of different backgrounds. Today in Luton the real divide is over allegiance to Islam, not race or ethnic background. The EDL, UKIP and now its splinter organisation, For Britain are all very supportive of Israel and have many members of African, Asian or mixed racial heritage. The Glaswegian anti-Islam activist Shazia Hobbs, of half Pakistani descent, comes to mind. More notably Breitbart columnist, former UKIP leadership candidate and author of No-Go Zones is one Raheem Kassam, who grew up as a Muslim. The main thread that unites these disparate groups is their aversion to Islamic expansionism and their uncritical support for the Jewish State of Israel. Many naive leftists, and I include my younger self in this category, believe in a simplistic black and white world of affluent white imperialists and poor oppressed dark-skinned people. It seemed to make sense in the 19th century, when most wealth was concentrated in Europe and North America and Western governments treated their colonial subjects as second class citizens. Now the same multinationals that once supported British, American, French, Dutch or German imperialism have shifted their support to globalisation. They are not interested in spreading the cultural heritage of the countries that nurtured technological innovation or in granting their working classes any special privileges. They only need an elite of engineers, scientists and managers trained in psychology and neurolinguistic programming to keep their industrial operations afloat. Everyone else is expendable, useful mainly as consumers who earn crumbs from menial jobs that can be automated or from their obedience to an interlocking network of welfare providers.

However, the marginalisation of the native white working class has not succeeded in silencing dissent, merely in disrupting rational debate about how we should deal with an unprecedented rate of cultural change or even if such changes are desirable or a price worth paying for short-term economic growth. So Brendan O'Neill hit the nail on the head in his recent blog post on the Britain First Retweeting Scandal. This fringe organisation is indeed a monster of the establishment's own making. Our soi-disant liberal opinion-leaders have demonised a large cross section of ordinary decent British citizens, who through no fault of their own happen to descend from a long line of Northwest Europeans who settled in these isles, for the crime of wishing to protect what's left of their cultural heritage in a world of permanent uncertainty. I think a narrow focus on Islam is misplaced or rather its growth and the ensuing culture clash are symptoms rather than causes of a greater malaise. Would radical Islam pose such a threat if our rulers had not destabilised the Middle East and had not allowed the creation of parallel communities in towns and cities which until recently were boringly monocultural with only a trickle of immigrants who had little choice but to assimilate? Can we not at least discuss the causes of the expansion of radical Islam ? Is it fair for working class Europeans to accommodate more Muslim migrants because of the latter group's much higher birth rate? Ironically the very mention of demographics and environmental sustainability annoys both the Christian Right and Islamic fundamentalists, for both believe in large families despite a dramatic drop in infant mortality. The population of Africa and the Middle East is not rising so fast because women are having more babies, but because more babies survive thanks to modern medicine and better sanitation. Subsistence farming can no longer sustain such large populations, leading to a massive oversupply of migrant labourers and beggars in the burgeoning metropolises of the developing world. In such an environment it is easy to see the appeal of radical universalist ideologies that promise welfare for all in exchange for doctrinal subservience. This explains the seemingly odd alliance between the Marxist Left and Radical Islam. They both ultimately lead to an extreme concentration power in state or corporate institutions. What is the point of feminism or the empowerment of women, if all but the most privileged citizens, of either gender, have to submit to the will of higher authorities governing every aspect of human behaviour? I would hope we could have an honest debate on this subject without resorting to unnecessary shaming through guilt by association or pointless virtue-signalling.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/eAsDYc6vR5A

Douglas Murray discusses the concept of guilt by association with American philospher and neuroscientist Sam Harris.

Categories
Power Dynamics

Disturbing Scenarios of the early 21st Century

Bury Park, Luton

Could globalisation trigger regressive ethnocentrism and religious hatred?

In a paradigm shift over the last 30 to 40 years, the establishment media in most Western countries now openly embraces not just globalisation and the gradual dissolution of traditional national boundaries, but also rapid cultural change via social engineering. However, until recently most national leaderships pretended to care about their countries, their citizens and their traditions to retain their people's trust and preserve social stability.

Back in the day rebels would oppose the imperialism or military adventurism of their rulers. We rightly associated wars, exploitation and oppression of subjugated peoples with expansionist nationalism. Some of us felt so disgusted with the crimes of our ruling elite that we would support their enemies or wish for the dissolution of our nation state into smaller regions of a larger continental superstate. Much of the European Union's philosophical appeal among the continent's trendy professional classes rested on its apparent disassociation with previous colonial empires. Yet in the early 21st century it's not so much the working classes who want to abolish their countries, as national elites who are now so enamoured with globalisation that they see their country as a mere anachronism and only pay lip service to its cultural heritage to placate conservative opinion.

Today school students learn about the horrors of, wait for it, nationalism. often seen alongside religion as the root cause of all evil. As discussed in previous posts we should contrast negative nationalism, which seeks to impose itself on rival ethnic identities, from positive nationalism or patriotism, which implies pride in the cultural heritage and collective achievements of one's wider community. In this sense negative nationalism is a precursor to imperialism, which has now morphed into globalism. We find many of the descendants of the same business classes who championed British imperialism in the 19th century and embraced Americanism in the mid 20th century are now the keenest advocates of globalism, often at odds with more conservative or protectionist movements at home. The worst examples of 20th century mass murder came not from small to medium-sized countries minding their own business, but from expansionist regimes that believed either in their civilisational supremacy or sought revenge for perceived past injustices. Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's People's Republic China, both responsible for millions of avoidable deaths, were not compact nation states, but regional powers with a globalist outlook that openly suppressed traditional expressions of ethnic nationalism. Even isolationist regimes such as Pol Pot's short-lived Democratic Kampuchea came about as a reaction to competing expansionist imperialist and ideological forces in the region. Pol Pot received funding both from China and later from the US State Department. His regime could only seize control due to the power vacuum created by US bombing of the Vietcong (Vietnamese National Liberation Front) camps in Eastern Combodia. Admittedly a cocktail of supremacist ethno-nationalism and military might can engender murderous regimes, as we saw in Nazi Germany and Japan. However, one may also argue that they only resorted to genocidal barbarity because other means of commercial and political expansionism had failed. The problems here were military adventurism and ethnic supremacism, not national pride. The British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian and Dutch empires were also responsible for their fair share of mass murder and ethnic cleansing, mostly of defenceless peoples who failed to write their own history books to counter the dominant narrative of civilising the world.

The workers' movement has long championed internationalism, i.e. solidarity and cooperation among independent nations with different cultural traditions and mores. One of the most famous gestures of true internationalism was when British and German soldiers ceased hostilities over Christmas 1914, exchanged gifts and reportedly played football. The truce highlighted the reality that it was not their war. Ordinary working people had little or no say in their country's foreign policy or military planning and had to rely on biased newspapers for information about unfolding events in other parts of Europe and the Middle East. Most supported the war due to their instinctive loyalty to their fatherland, a concept alien to many young Europeans who prefer vaguer appeals to abstract social justice and non-judgmental universalism. A hundred years ago our rulers urged us to fight for our country, now the descendants of the same power elites want us to welcome the transformation of our countries into mere regions of a fluid global superstate. Some still imagine the ruling classes as a reactionary cabal of nationalist aristocrats and religious leaders eager to prevent the fraternisation of a global working class yearning for a new tomorrow free of oppression or petty ethnocentric divisions. This is little more than 19th century fiction. In reality the upper classes have always been more universalist in outlook. The Great War of 1914 to 1918 saw intimately related European Royals on different sides of a dispute over the carving up of the former Ottoman Empire and the remapping of Eastern Europe. Ever since power has shifted to the bankers, oligarchs and state bureaucrats, who strut the world stage and often pose as progressive and environmentally conscientious liberals. Forget the waning influence of British Royalty, the real movers and shakers of the next century will be today's mightiest business leaders and multibillionaire technocrats in the guise of familiar jeans-clad rockstar tycoons such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerberg or even Britain's very own small-time billionaire aviator Richard Branson. These guys are all globalists, not old school nationalists by any stretch of the imagination.

Rebels against Post-modernism

Today's intellectual dissidents are seldom those calling for faster global cultural convergence. That prize belongs to what we may call the loony fringe of overzealous cheerleaders and idealists whose vitriolic loathing of their countries and traditions can be easily manipulated by global bankers who view national democracies with disdain. Instead the rebels of the early third millennium seek to warn us of the creeping authoritarianism of our ruling elites and of the cultural decay of our liberal societies. Naturally their main points of reference are the historically successful and prosperous nation states of the 19th and 20th century with their focus on civic culture and a mix of familial and social responsibility built on traditional values that evolved gradually through trial and error over many generations. While negative nationalism may have led to the revanchist neo-imperialism of the Japanese Empire and Germany's short-lived Third Reich, positive nationalism produced the social democratic mixed economies of Western Europe, North America, Japan, South Korea and Australasia. Most of the relative freedoms and rights we now take for granted evolved in nation states. Each country had a national debate about contentious issues as diverse as abortion, the legalisation or criminalisation of dangerous narcotics, nuclear power or euthanasia. Naturally people may reach different conclusions on these issues and live with the consequences. If a Muslim country wishes to force all women to wear a veil in public, that's their business. A globalist may seek to change such practices through military interventionism rather than by setting an example of more enlightened dress codes. If a cultural habit is bad for its practitioners, they will soon learn by comparison with neighbouring countries who take different approaches. Superior cultures, especially those that have stood the test of time, tend to expand more through emulation rather than conquest or imposition. We may reasonably debate whether the British needed to colonise India and much of Africa to spread our technical expertise, language or customs. Would the Indians and Africans not have found other ways to learn from our scientific discoveries and innovations without being colonised? Indeed many would consider the Christian culture that Britain spread in the 19th century to much of the non-European world both backward and supremacist. One only needs to read the annals of George Bernard Shaw's Fabian Society to learn how many envisaged the British Empire would morph into a Federation of the World.

Rebels vs Conformists

Today's critical thinkers can easily attract derogatory labels such as misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes, Islamophobes (which my spell checker has just underlined), transphobes, right-wingers, conspiracy theorists, fascists or, if all else fails, Nazis. At the recent #welcomeToHell protests against the Hamburg G20 summit, Antifa black block activists asked reporters if they were, wait for it, Nazis before proceeding to beat them up. Such epithets are mere insults devoid of any connection to real historical events, as if modern dissidents are as obsessed with a short chapter in central European history as the authoritarian left seems to be. Unless you submit to borderless universalism and systematic social engineering, you are purportedly on a spectrum of reactionary perspectives that include sympathy for a defunct dictatorship.

By and large dissenters react to overwhelming bias from the mainstream media, academia and corporate lobbyists. Anxiety grows when empirical first-hand experiences diverge from the sanitised versions of reality that our mainstream media feeds us. When the media and other vehicles of indoctrination suppress key aspects of objective reality, some of us begin to ask questions. That doesn't mean we always come up with the right answers. It's easy to get sidetracked by focussing only on circumscribed issues or viewing the whole world through a narrow prism. This is precisely the tactic that clever social policy marketers deploy. They emphasise a perceived problem, e.g. depression in pre-school children, and present a solution, e.g. early psychiatric screening. If we focus on that problem alone without reference to wider society, the solution may sound reasonable especially if marketed as a mental health checkup. Likewise dissidents may view today's social problems entirely through the prism of Islamic fundamentalism or Israeli involvement in recent Middle East wars. These phenomena are based on mere observations of a tangled web of events that cannot be fully understood in isolation.

Islamocentrism

Twenty years ago Islamic fundamentalism seemed a side issue, confined to a few regions of Central Asia and Middle East with a few followers among the Muslim diaspora in Europe. The US and UK had long funded some radical Islamic sects, most notably Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Afghanistan's Mujahideen to counter Soviet influence before 1991 and secular pan-Arabist regimes later. As an opponent of Western interventionism in the Middle East, I soon became acquainted with the prickly Israeli / Palestinian issue and the role of the Zionist lobby in shaping US Foreign Policy. On demonstrations against military intervention I naively viewed Muslims as allies in the great battle against US imperialism and Western cultural decadence. Islam does have a few merits, such as its condemnation of gambling and interests on loans. Some interpretations of the Quran reveal an appeal to universal love and social solidarity akin to Christianity, but in practice modern Islamic societies exhibit extreme materialism, internecine violence, misogyny, child marriage, polygamy and castigation of homosexuality. For many years I wilfully turned a blind eye to these oppressive aspects not only of austere Wahhabism, but a wider unreformed Sunni and Shia Islam.

Before the 1980s many Muslim societies had experienced a rather swift cultural enlightenment. One can still view films of Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon from the 1960s with women wearing revealing dresses, jeans or short skirts just like their contemporaries in the West. Cultural attitudes seemed to differ little from those in Christian countries with a comparable level of economic development. An Afghani acquaintance of mine recounted her experiences as a student in 1980s Kabul before the Mujahideen took over. Educated women could aspire to careers in medicine and scientific research. A decade later the Taliban had forced all Afghan women to wear burkas in public and prevented girls from attending school. Yet these austere practices masked the sexual slavery of young women and little boys behind closed doors. Meanwhile I revisited the nondescript municipality of Luton where I spent my teenage years, only to notice the small Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities once concentrated in Bury Park have become the most visible ethnic group. Women now wear burkas in the town's large Arndale shopping centre. Many long-established pubs have closed to match the town's changing demographics and most of the people I knew from the late 70s have relocated either to nearby market towns or further afield. In little more than 30 years the Muslim community has gone from fewer than 5% of the population to over 50% of under 25s. Nobody really cared that much about Luton, but if you read the liberal press you may be under the false impression that the widely vilified and allegedly rightwing Tommy Robinson exaggerated the scale of the problem facing Luton's parallel communities. While once Lutonians would boast of their Irish, Londoner, Regional English, Scottish, Caribbean, Italian, Greek Cypriot or Indian heritage, today the real divide is between Muslims and everyone else. In the late 70s I eagerly attended Anti Nazi League demos and Rock Against Racism gigs to protest against the antics of few white racists and the short-lived popularity of the National Front (an ex school mate actually joined this organisation). I would read reports of white skinheads deliberately targeting defenceless black and Asian kids. In real life a mixed gang of English and West Indian lads beat me up once, but a I didn't let this isolated incident counter the narrative of pervasive white racism that essentially transferred the guilt of British colonialists onto working class youngsters in post-imperial Britain. None of this rapid demographic transformation would matter if everyone shared similar values and a comparable level of cultural integration. Today Luton's most tightly integrated community adhere to Islam. Everyone else is an outsider or infidel.

Media hysteria means little unless it tallies with lived experience. On my return to Greater London in 2006 I became aware that phenomena I had previously dismissed as mere teething problems of a multicultural Britain had begun to sow deep seeds of division. The rose-tinted view of Cool Britannia that I would read in the Guardian and Independent or see in BBC or Channel 4 documentaries seemed at odds with the harsh reality of ethnically cleansed neighbourhoods interspersed with unaffordable gentrified estates. Alarm bells started to ring when Guardian columnists expressed greater outrage over Daily Mail sensationalism than verified accounts of Pakistani rape gangs. That Daily Mail readers would tarnish all Muslims with the same brush seemed to concern Guardian columnists more than the fate of thousands of mainly white teenage girls treated as sex slaves. Some of us actually care about the truth. The mainstream liberal media now used the same techniques of diversion and subterfuge that served to justify Western intervention in the Middle East to suppress the unfolding reality of the kind of social disintegration that could lead to civil war. Some of us recall the Guardian's anti-Serbian bias in the Yugoslav conflict of the 1990s. In the final analysis the death count was fairly even split among the belligerent sides. The Serbs were the bad guys, while the Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Albanians were mere victims of Serb aggression. The Guardian devoted thousands of column inches not to objective reporting of a complex conflict, but to slandering dissenters who failed to toe their line that the Serbs initiated most violence, going so far as to describe playwright Harold Pinter as an atrocity denier for opposing the 1999 NATO airstrikes over rump Yugoslavia. We now see the same vitriol against those who protest against some of the less salutary side effects of Britain's multicultural experiment. The English white working class have in effect become the Serbs of the current decade. The liberal media either ignores likes of Shazia Hobbs and Anne Marie Waters, or it associates them with alleged far-right activists. That the former is a mixed race Glaswegian and the latter an Irish lesbian and former Labour activist is of little interest to the regressive left, their critique must be ridiculed.

State-sanctioned ethnic cleansing

The concept of multiculturalism appeals to me on many levels, not least because I've long loathed the creeping homogenisation that is rapidly displacing traditional cultures that evolved gradually over countless generations. I would liken real cultural diversity with an insurance policy. If one culture succumbs to dysfunctional decadence, others can correct its ways by seeking inspiration from more successful societies. If a universal culture results in unsustainable degeneracy or extreme totalitarianism, the repercussions are by definition global in nature. However, the peaceful coexistence of diverse cultures is not the same as a deliberate policy of mass movements of divergent peoples or as Douglas Murray would put it the transformation of a country into an airport terminal. Indeed airport-grade security is steadily infiltrating shopping centres, office blocks, colleges and other public venues, just in case some deranged loners or radicalised extremists unleash their hatred on innocent bystanders.

Cognitive Dissonance

The cognitive dissonance of the liberal media is so strong that they fail to acknowledge that the spread of Islamic fundamentalism into the West could destroy the very progressive liberalism they claim to cherish. It could do this two ways. If Douglas Murray, author of the Death of Europe, or Boualem Sansal , author of 2084: The End of the World, are right, then radical Islam will eventually replace modern Western society except perhaps in a few isolated havens of tranquility populated by affluent liberal elitists. However, technological developments will likely preclude such an extreme outcome. Some Islamic leaders may be shrewd businessmen and ruthless political strategists, but they will rely on technology developed by mainly European, North American and East Asian engineers, bioscientists and programmers to placate their growing army of adherents. Countries like Sweden or Germany can only provide generous welfare to economic migrants if they can leverage their collective brainpower to generate excess wealth. The Islamist strategy is solely predicated on conquest by migration and a higher fertility rate and will ultimately fail if their offspring cannot contribute in any meaningful way to wealth generation. A much more likely scenario in my view is that the spread of dysfunctional subcultures and parallel communities will only empower the technocratic elite eager for pretexts to expand surveillance and limit free speech.


What Is Social Engineering

A Web search for this term may define it only in its more recent application in the context of information security where it may refer to psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. This is obviously not what I mean. I refer instead to a combination of social policies, spending priorities, media conditioning, educational bias and commercial incentives that affect human behaviour, social interaction, our identity and sense of self. Architecture, town planning, wealth distribution, transportation, advertising, information technology and schooling are all factors that governments and big businesses can engineer to modify human behaviour. It's not necessarily a bad thing if such policies and their likely implications are openly debated. However, influential pressure groups can easily manufacture consent for radical policy initiatives by focussing on a narrow set of perceived social ills. Other forms of social engineering appear to respond to market forces or popular demand, e.g. pervasive fast beat piped music in shopping malls, leisure centres, offices and now even in some schools and libraries.

The key question is whether policy planners and corporate executives were aware of the psychosocial consequences of their initiatives, e.g. did the expansion of welfare state, especially the provision of generous child benefits to single parents, lead to the demise of the two-parent family as the cultural norm? Some would question the morality of those who even dare to ask such questions? Others would either seek alternative explanations or would welcome the decline of traditional family structures.

Categories
Power Dynamics War Crimes

Another Day, Another Attack

British and Saudi Royals

How the British Foreign Policy Elite favoured its short-term commercial interests over the long-term security and wellbeing of its citizens.

Just in case you haven't read the news. Seven people were killed and 48 others injured in a van and knife attack on London Bridge and Borough Market, in which three suspects were shot dead by police. The perpetrators chanted This is for Allah. This comes just 12 days after an attack at the Manchester Arena with 22 fatalities and dozens more casualties.

When will we finally admit it? We can only enjoy the relative freedom to walk the streets of our cities in safety unperturbed by random terrorist attacks or oppressive policing, if first we manage our social environment sensibly and second we all share values of common decency and mutual respect. The fiction we prefer to believe is, despite many teething troubles, we are somehow all embarking on a new era of universal peace and love, breaking down barriers that once divided us and opening our hearts and minds to humanity's wonderful diversity. I agree cultural diversity may often be an asset because there's more than one way to interpret the world around us or organise complex human societies. The reality is too many of us are competing in a global rat race to acquire a bigger slice of the wealth created by a handful of global corporations to further our own subculture (whether it's postmodern narcissism or Islamic fundamentalism), genetic lineage or just satisfy our whims and fancies. In short, we may preach one-world love, but we practice selfish indulgence, which naturally lets others, smarter or more influential than we are, manipulate our desires and prey on our weaknesses.

Many wishful thinkers (a hackneyed epithet, I know) simply want to have their cake and eat it. They want to benefit from the wonders of dynamic, vibrant and fluid multicultural societies (which are really converging on a consumer monoculture) and a growing economy with plenty of technological innovation, yet complain when a few misfits spoil their party with acts of the vilest hatred imaginable. Whatever crimes our rulers may have committed, one can hardly blame carefree youngsters enjoying a pop concert, performed incidentally by an artist who has supported pro-refugee charities, or late night revellers in one of Europe's most ethnically diverse cities. The attackers did not care if you read the Guardian or Daily Telegraph, if you support open borders, if you oppose the Syrian government, if you hate Vladimir Putin, if you favoured gay marriage, marched against the Iraq War or dutifully displayed refugees welcome signs. To indoctinated Jihadis, you are all just infidels and will suffer the same fate as Orthodox Christians in Syria and Egypt. These attacks have grown in intensity over the last five years with hundreds of deaths every month and tens of thousands forced to flee their homes.

Let us face the ugly truth. Islamic fundamentalism is by any measure one of the most illiberal, intolerant and regressive ideologies that has ever cursed our planet. Its respect for human life and real cultural diversity is comparable in every way to Naziism. Yet today's self-declared anti-fascists, who in Britain organise under the banner of Hope Not Hate, prefer to march against fringe Little Englanders, UKIP or anyone else who supports stronger immigration controls, wishes to preserve traditional English, Welsh or Scottish culture or just uphold the kind of liberal values we had adopted by the 1960s and 70s in the face of Islamic fundamentalism and state-enforced suppression of intellectual freedom. If Hope Not Hate and antifa really wanted to combat totalitarianism, they would march against Islamic extremism rather than appease it.

Establishment Complicity

Our government's reaction to these attacks has always been the same: to restrict everyone's freedom and privacy. It took Prime Minister Theresa May just 12 hours to announce higher levels of Internet surveillance. So we all have to have our social media and private electronic correspondence monitored just in case we express sympathy for proscribed organisations or even for political causes opposed to our rulers' vision of globalisation. I honestly do not buy the theory that Western governments want to impose Islam on Europeans and North Americans. If Islamic fundamentalism colonises the West, as Francophone Algerian writer, Boualem Sansal, foretells in his recent apocalyptic novel 2084: The End of the World, it could in my view only occur due to a systemic collapse of Western civilisation, which continues to spread in the form of mass consumerism and rapid technological innovation in most of the world. If Saudi Arabia represents a threat, it does so with weaponry we sold them and with the proceeds of our addiction to its abundant cheap oil, which just happens to lie under their sand. If there were easy alternatives to fossil fuels, our energy companies would have adopted them decades ago. Indeed Norway and Japan have already converted most of their cars to hybrid or all-electric engines, but that transition will only partially relieve our dependence on petrochemicals. The Middle East quagmire and the emergence of radical Islam or Wahhabism is a direct consequence of decades of US, UK, Israeli and to a lesser extent French foreign policy in the region.

Naturally the affluent elites can always buy greater seclusion from the masses and the kind of internecine urban warfare that inevitably follows the breakdown of social stability, especially in locales with divergent ethnocultural communities. The last adjective implies a difference in ethnic background and/or in cultural identity. One's ethnicity is largely transmitted through one's parents and upbringing, while one's cultural identity, such as religious affiliation or adopted lifestyle, tends to be much more fluid.

Deliberate Destabilisation

There are two ethical justifications for military interventions abroad. One is to defend your own country against foreign aggression. The other, known as humanitarian intervention, is to prevent mass murder or obscene human rights abuses. For most of our history, our rulers have presented these rationales as defence of the fatherland and spreading our superior civilisation. Thus the British Empire saw its role as civilising primitive tribes and backward societies. Yet these pretexts have a very bad track record as the outcome of one allegedly defensive war can soon justify another war, whose rationale depends on a selective interpretation of objective reality. While we can certainly cite examples where the bad guys, i.e. the side with the most repressive or murderous regime, lost (e.g. the defeat of Nazi Germany), there are countless others where the winning military power is so dominant from a cultural and technological standpoint that it can rewrite history to fit the narrative it wishes its new citizens to believe. Europeans did not conquer the Americas and Australasia in order to liberate the native peoples of those continents, but to expand their mercantile empires and colonise new resource-rich land.

As Britain transitioned from a colonial power to a modern European state, its foreign policy elite had to find a new role as mere vassals of a larger US-centred corporate empire. Yet the UK continued to exert considerable influence in the post-colonial era. The Foreign Office and secret services had acquired a good deal of expertise in forging strategic alliances with ethnic or religious factions with a grievance against their new governing authorities. This was especially easy in the many artificial states created by post-colonial planners or in the case of Iraq, hastily drawn on a map as the victors of WW1 carved up the former Ottoman Empire. The Foreign Office's has for the last 60 odd years endeavoured to make the world safe for big business and thereby to capitalise on Britain's post-imperial influence on one hand, while destabilising any regional powers that threatened the supremacy of global corporations. In a complex world, this is no easy task especially when you're competing with rival powers such as Russia, China or India or even settling scores with allies like France (e.g. UK support for the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front to embarrass France over its previous support for the deposed Hutu-led Rwandan government).

Since the late 1990s the Blair, Brown, Cameron and now May administrations have presided over two policy areas that favour Britain's commercial and geopolitical interests over the security of its own people.

  1. Interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have not only destabilised those countries, they have unleashed a large migratory wave from a region with a high birthrate and serious environmental challenges. If humanitarian intervention had been successful, we might expect the migratory tide to ebb.
  2. Relaxed immigration controls from the Muslim countries with easier family reunions. Official immigration restrictions may have seemed rather strict and even unfair on a personal level (the liberal media loves to cite examples of Australian or US citizens whose work visas have expired despite being married to UK nationals), but in practice a well-organised army of migration lawyers manage to circumvent most restrictions, so the UK's Muslim population has continued to grow both through new immigration and a high fertility rate. Vast swathes of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Luton and many other towns and cities across the country now have Muslim majorities who live as parallel communities. The so-called liberal media has tried its level best to downplay the scale of creeping ethnic cleansing, but I've experienced its reality first hand. Many state schools in these voluntarily segregated districts have no non-Muslim pupils at all. Worse still, Islamic schools, often funded with Saudi money, have proliferated in our larger cities. For all the talk of multicultural harmony and integration, communities have grown apart as the traditional settled communities vote with their feet and move to outlying suburbs and satellite towns. Yet to many globalists, even to mention this problem is tantamount to racism.

However, the complicity of our ruling elites goes much deeper. British secret services have long colluded with Islamic extremists to destabilise unfriendly regimes. Mark Curtis, author of Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam, has detailed how the Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, and his father were members of a Libyan dissident group, covertly supported by the UK to assassinate Qadafi in 1996 . This is a very funny way of combatting religious extremism and fostering social harmony in a tolerant multicultural world. Many now yearn for the days when London cafés only served eggs, bacon and chips with a cup of tea, but at least you could identify common criminals.

Categories
Computing Power Dynamics

Capitalism is Dead, long live global corporatism

Why some greedy bankers may want Corbyn to win

I had wanted to expand on my Brave New World thesis in relation to mounting calls from the trendy left and business leaders for a universal basic income. We now see an alliance stretching from social justice warriors, environmentalists and no-borders activists to corporate CEOs all advocating what is in practice a global welfare state. Since Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, joined SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to support UBI (universal basic income), it's become clear to me that tech multinationals are planning for a future where most of their customers will not be workers, who earn money by providing services that big business needs, but citizens whose main responsibility in life will be social conformity and deference to the techno-elite. Just as we thought capitalism had won the great idealogical battle of the 20th century, it has now outlived its purpose as the primary engine of social and technological innovation. Capitalists rely not only on the exploitation of workers, but also on profits from the sales of their goods or services. As workers demand higher pay, shorter working hours and better working conditions, capitalists naturally resort to outsourcing and greater automation. The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution will redefine the relationship between businesses and customers. Previously the market worked by selling goods to workers who in turn earned a living through their productive endeavours. Now big business has dispensed with the need to have so many semi-skilled workers and as AI progresses, so will the minimum IQ required for remunerative work. Most of us could end up either being carers, reliant of state handouts, or being labelled subnormal and thus also dependent on welfare largesse. In the not too distant future the main responsibility of governments may be to redistribute wealth created by tech giants and to supervise their local population to prevent social breakdown. If most people depend on corporate welfare, albeit rebranded as universal basic income, it doesn't really matter where they live. That's why so much of the debate on mass migration misses the point. Naturally if the citizens of a given country wanted greater autonomy, they would need a sustainable population and cohesive community with shared values. In a traditional economy immigration can boost demand and fill skills gaps, but can also lead to unbalanced labour markets and social upheaval. By contrast in a world reliant on corporate welfare only a small minority of working age adults can fill a dwindling number of remunerative high skill jobs. Even most tasks performed by carers can be automated. Human carers can only outperform robots in advanced emotional intelligence and authenticity, both of which require cultural compatibility. If you just need some help dressing and bathing, you may well prefer a smart robot to an underpaid migrant carer with a poor command of your language. If tech multinationals are willing to bankroll universal basic income in Europe or North America, why should they not extend the same privileges to the rest of the world? If your sole role in life is to act as a good global citizen looking after your family and neighbours, then surely you could fulfil that role anywhere, but that would also subordinate all governments to the same worldwide technocratic elite. Nonetheless, my thesis remains incomplete as we see rifts in our ruling elites, some still favouring the illusion of laissez-faire capitalism.

Could Corbyn really win ?

However, events in the UK have kind of overtaken me. Just a couple of weeks ago most political pundits believed a sizeable Tory majority in the coming UK general election was a foregone conclusion. May's local council election results would seem to back this up. Labour did fairly well in trendy cosmopolitan urban areas, while amazingly the Tories gained support among traditional working class voters with LibDems doing best in affluent leafy suburbs. Even in Scotland, which often bucks the English and Welsh trend, we saw the Conservatives pick up votes in some unexpected places as the main opposition to the dominant SNP (Scottish National Party). Then the mainstream broadcasters and social media campaigners began to present Labour's policies in a much more positive light. Corbyn's Labour now promises to renationalise the railways (something New Labour failed to do) and scrap tuition fees while naturally boosting social welfare in many other areas, all presumably funded by raising corporation tax and income tax for the top 5% who earn more than £100,000 a year. Labour has pledged to respect the outcome of EU referendum and prioritise training of British-born youngsters to address perceived skills shortages. More important, Labour has been much more active on the ground than the Tories. While Corbyn may not have the confidence of bellicose Blairite MPs, his leadership has energised an army of young activists, who true to their convictions have attempted to reach out to the working classes, whose confidence Labour have lost.

Islamic Terror rocks the Election Campaign

Last week's bomb attack at Manchester's Ariana Grande concert shocked the nation. What kind of ideology could justify deliberately detonating a nail bomb in a crowded music venue killing 22 innocent revellers including many young girls? Even the IRA tended to target politicians, soldiers and adult protestants. This attack targeted carefree youngsters having a good time. Many have commented on the mainstream media's reluctance to blame radical Islam head on. Britain's growing Muslim community has many difficulties integrating with the country's settled non-Muslim population with radically different cultural attitudes on sexuality, marriage, women's rights, alcohol and gambling. More disturbingly the establishment media has suppressed the scale of mainly Muslim grooming gangs. Yet most people are smart enough not to blame a whole religion for the actions of a tiny minority of its adherents. Islamic terrorism seemed confined to a handful of trouble spots in the Middle East and Central Asia, until our enlightened liberal elite decided to intervene there to overthrow local regimes responsible for abuses of human rights. Rather than stabilise the region, Western intervention has unleashed a hornets nest of Islamic extremism that has spread its tentacles far and wide among the growing Muslim diasporas in the West. So rather than blame their Muslim neighbours, many voters have laid the blame for the murder of 22 innocent youngsters with the government and it doesn't take a genius to work out that on foreign policy and arms sales Theresa May is much closer to Tony Blair than Jeremy Corbyn. Saudi Arabia has long been one of the major funders of Mosques, Islamic schools and madrasas in the West and the cradle of Wahhabism, the most virulent strain of Islam fundamentalism. Yet British governments have been happy to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, which currently spends more on military hardware than Russia, despite the former having a much smaller territory and fewer citizens to defend. Of course, one could also blame rapid mass migration and ethnic cleansing of some inner city districts, but that's not something we can change overnight without triggering even worse social unrest. So when Jeremy Corbyn attributed part of the blame to UK involvement in recent conflicts in Libya and Syria, he had a point. Indeed Mark Curtis, author of Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam, has detailed the Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, and his father were members of a Libyan dissident group, covertly supported by the UK to assassinate Qadafi in 1996 . Of course that does not fully explain why similar attacks have occurred in Sweden, Germany and most notoriously in France, except Islamic terrorists do not really distinguish Western countries they way we do. Theresa May's response was to deploy army reserves onto the streets to supplement armed police, only revealing her earlier cutbacks in policing as home secretary.

The long and short of this whole sorry saga, is that in just two weeks the Tory lead over Labour has shrunk from 15% or higher (some polls showing staggering leads of 46% to the Tories with Labour on just 25%) to as low as 3% (The YouGov poll released on 01/06/2017 for the Times had topline figures of Con 42% and Lab 39). Corbyn's Labour is now polling higher than the party did under Ed Miliband or Gordon Brown. Indeed even Tony Blair, despite enjoying the support the Murdoch press, only gained 35.2% of the popular vote in 2005 and just 43.2% in alleged 1997 landslide. Although I'm no seasoned psephologist, I suspect a marked movement away from the Liberal Democrats and Greens to Labour and only a much smaller trickle away from the Conservatives and UKIP to Labour. Most intriguingly, Labour seem to be doing best among affluent cosmopolitan professional classes, the youth vote (18–24 years) and of course among its special interest groups, the rainbow coalition of ethnic minorities, Muslims, gays, transsexuals and welfare dependents).

As discussed earlier, this heterogenous demographic is only set to grow in coming decades. Corbyn's politics may seem like an anachronistic throwback to the 1970s, but his naive inclusive universalism may serve other long-term agendas brilliantly. The latte-sipping Guardian reading classes now loathe USA's climate change denying President and Vladimir Putin much more the Europe's authoritarian politicians or a Labour leader in bed with a bunch of unreconstructed Marxists. Only ten years ago the bien-pensant metropolitan elite still supported Blair's third way. Now they are throwing their electoral weight behind a more radical strand of globalism.

Derailing Brexit

Only a year ago, the outcome of Britain's EU referendum signalled public discontent with enforced rapid globalisation. Ever since the Conservative Government have attempted to use this somewhat unexpected result to drive their own vision of a more globally connected Britain, while placating public concerns about unbalanced mass migration. Brexit, like most neologisms, means all things to all people. As said I have nothing against a community of European nations cooperating on many strategic environmental and economic issues. Indeed I'd prefer a European Community that stood up for the rights and rich cultural heritage of Europeans as a counterbalance to the growing power of China and India and as a bastion of liberal values threatened by authoritarian tendencies within Islam.

Amazingly Theresa May, who wanted to remain in the EU, has capitalised on public distrust of the European superstate, while advocating policies that seem perfectly aligned with those of Angela Merkel and Emanuel Macron. How could she possibly renege on her commitment to take Britain out of the EU with a slender Tory majority reliant on the support of fervent Brexiters such as David Davis, a curious politician with refreshingly honest views on personal freedom and military adventurism (he opposed many recent military interventions and many laws restricting personal privacy). However, with substantial majority, as Peter Hitchens suggested in his Mail On Sunday blog, PM May could safely ignore her nostalgic Little England colleagues and push through a compromise that would in practice differ little from our current arrangement, leaving large corporations as the main mediators between British and EU interests. But that scenario may not happen. Many reluctant Tory supporters (i.e. patriotic working class voters who used to vote Labour) could well stay at home, making the unthinkable, a hung parliament, a real possibility, except unlike in 2010 the LibDems may only muster a handful of MPs.

We may speculate on the growing role of social media. Both Twitter, which I use, and Facebook, which I don't, have become intensely monitored outlets for virtue-signalling social justice campaigns, usually of the kind that the Corbynite Momentum group would wholeheartedly support. While I realise these days we only need a small group of graphic designers, video editors and Web developers to produce a polished media campaign, I sense the omnipresent hand of international big business behind the myriad campaign groups and NGOs that endlessly promote these awareness-raising spectacles. How else can migrant rights groups afford plush offices in expensive cities ? I really started to question the authenticity of today's corporate left when Greenpeace (an organisation I used to support) supported the White Helmets, which as Vanessa Beeley has amply documented are little more than war propagandists bought and paid for by the US and UK governments.

They are clearly working in cahoots with a tangled web of trendy tech entrepreneurs, globalist bankers such as George Soros whose through his Open Society Foundation, countless NGOs bankrolled by big business and a motley crew of old school Marxists who have long dreamed of a borderless utopia.

I still predict Theresa May will win her snap election albeit with a smaller majority than initially hoped, largely because most older voters would rather side with the devil they know than risk an unpredictable Labour-led coalition, who could hasten the rate of cultural change.

Categories
All in the Mind Power Dynamics

Engineered Chaos

In the great debate on the relative merits of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and atheism as dominant ideologies, let me declare my relative agnosticism. Sure, on a purely empirical level I've long been an atheist and have yet to find any credible evidence of the existence of supernatural beings. However, I doubt we will ever gain a complete understanding of nature so we will always have to account for phenomena beyond our control, but I digress. I'm much more concerned with the way ethno-religious and ideological allegiances warp our worldview and more importantly how the elites can manipulate our prejudices to further their own hegemonic ends. Do the ruling elite really care whether we adhere to Islam or postmodern narcissism? Do they really care whether we support Israel or pan-Arabism?

In the globalised era, old national divisions are giving way to new culture clashes among rival sections of an atomised populace. Last year's UK-wide EU referendum, the Trump phenomenon in the USA and the French presidential dual between Macron and Le Pen, all pitted the somewheres against the anywheres, as David Goodhart theorised in the New Statesman (Anywheres vs Somewheres: the split that made Brexit inevitable). The former group are still rooted in their town, region or country. They have over several generations adapted to their locale's dominant culture in terms of language, cuisine, social customs and worldview. As such they are more likely to cherish the quintessential cultural oddities of their neck of the woods. For decades Northern European holiday makers in Spanish seaside resorts would tend to socialise in largely national groups. Language was not the only barrier. By contrast the university-educated professional classes tend to identify more with an amorphous global culture and can thus much more easily socialise with professional elites from other countries than they can with working class people from their own home town. If you want to discuss the subtleties of English Premiership football and real ale with people well-versed in the vernaculars and idioms of the English Midlands, you'll find it much easier with others who share your cultural heritage. By contrast if you want to discuss the relative merits of keyhole surgery, fine wines and Mediterranean holiday villas, you'd probably be quite at ease to converse with affluent medical professionals from any country, who are more likely not only to be proficient in medical English, but to belong to the same social class. The rooted somewheres tend to be sceptical of globalisation, rapid cultural change and mass migration, while the more erudite anywheres welcome these changes as long as they can afford their exclusivity to keep the riffraff at bay. The political landscape mirrors this split too. On the one hand we have openly globalist parties posing on the lifestyle left that champion the rights of welfare dependents, migrants and ethno-religious minorities and on the other we have conservative or nationalist parties who promise to retain nation states with more socially cohesive communities, but with some boundaries and labour market protections. Often big business will support both sides as long as they can successfully lobby government to defend their commercial interests. Globalist parties tend to attract votes from wishful thinking affluent professionals, idealistic students, new migrants and welfare dependents. As I noted in another recent post Realignment in the age of Elitism, more conservative or nationalist parties tend to appeal to the true middle ground of ordinary patriotic working and lower middle class voters. By contrast more openly globalist parties tend to appeal either to the professional and managerial classes who have benefited most from recent techno-economic developments or to the growing underclasses of welfare dependents and special socio-cultural minorities. The latter group is naturally very heterogenous, anybody from Muslims with large families (and thus very keen on welfare provision, schooling and healthcare) and migrant workers (keen to have unrestricted access to the global labour market) to gays, transsexuals, and some categories of mentally ill people who feel estranged from their heteronormative or neurotypical mainstream culture. It hardly matters that these disparate groups privately hate each other. All that matters is that they depend on the kind of welfare largesse that only big business can provide.

Old rooted identities had a geographic reality, with greater homogeneity within a given region, but more cultural diversity worldwide because each culture could thrive in its own self-contained niche. Large corporations find it easier to rule over transient, volatile, heterogeneous and intersectional communities with competing interests and conflicting demands than over culturally homogenous communities with shared values. The mainstream media may preach universal harmony, but its constant re-categorisation of humanity engenders more distrust and thus justifies more social surveillance. As the native working classes abandon our cities, we see the emergence of transient ghettoes interspersed with gated neighbourhoods for the affluent classes everwhere from Paris to Berlin, from London to Rome or from Madrid to Stockholm. While electronic media can pacify most of the underclasses, police forces are already preparing for street battles on an unprecedented scale in high-density trouble spots. In just ten years the banlieues of Paris have evolved from mixed working class neighbourhoods into ghettoes with few French natives, where women dare not walk the streets alone. Some see these developments as evidence of growing Islamisation, a by-product of former Western colonialism and destabilisation. Yet I see a different scenario emerging, as the technocratic elite take advantage of the conflict between infantilised decadent Westerners and regressive Muslims to impose their new caste system.

Two faces of the same Monster

The globalist left has two rival faces. On the one hand we have mainstream social democratic parties who have thrown their weight behind neoliberal economics, seeking a new partnership between the state and transnational businesses to promote progressive social and cultural change. In the UK we called this strategy Blairism. In Italy the old Communist Party morphed into a bland imitation of the US Democratic Party, implementing policies that penalised small businesses and empowered big businesses to the detriment of blue-collar workers who saw their jobs outsourced. France is a little different. While Macron won the recent French Presidential election by a handsome margin, the mainstream globalist left failed to get much more than 30% of the vote if we combine his votes with those of socialists in the first round. However, France's youthful Blairite, who welcomed the support of former President Obama, is likely to have only a very short honeymoon as his administration proves powerless to tackle the growing disaffection of most ordinary French people with their out-of-touch metropolitan elites. Many on the old radical left opposed this lurch to corporatism, but found it virtually impossible to organise strikes or unite an increasingly fragmented and mobile workforce, whose bargaining power is limited by both extreme labour mobility and by smarter automation. Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece have so far failed catastrophically to offer workers an alternative, simply because their countries' economy and institutions are too enmeshed in a globalised system for them to do anything but negotiate with the powers that be. National governments have become little more than parish councils and trade unions act like student councils whose infantile policy suggestions our real rulers can happily ignore.

Useful Social Justice Warriors

Another faction of the radical left proves immensely useful to large corporations, busy planning for a near future when artificially intelligent robots can displace most low-skill jobs transforming the labour market. Some argue greater automation will just create new jobs for people to do, but that's not how the economy works. Big business needs a reliable and malleable workforce and who could be more malleable and more reliable than robots? They will only deploy human resources if we have niche intellectual skills or can act as friendly humanoid operatives in the growing marketing, social care and awareness raising industries. Today more people, ranging from high street charity promoters to call centre marketers, are employed to persuade us to change our lifestyles and/or consumption patterns than to make the goods we need. The old mixed economy worked on the assumption that and better-educated and better-paid workers would boost demand for the products they helped to make. If the labour market is tightly controlled and industries rely on a large number of skilled workers, businesses will have to acquiesce to workers' demands and accommodate their idiosyncratic customs and regional cultural preferences. Now big business is much interested in socially engineering a new kind of culturally homogenised but synthetically diverse team of enthusiastic colleagues. Many of the lifestyle causes once associated with the radical cultural left, such as women's rights, gay rights, disabled peoples' rights, transgender rights, migrant rights, mental health rights, have been embraced by large corporations. Some see this as progress. Should we not welcome the fact that big business has now come on board in our struggle for social justice or should we just cynically dismiss any corporate initiatives? None of these lifestyle issues affect the economic relationship between social classes, they merely address our perception of the relationships and roles of new and old categories of people within the same socio-economic class. Indeed some of these new categories are a product of recent societal changes. Feminism has morphed from a worthy campaign for women's rights to the redefinition of biologically based genders and traditional two-parent families. Some social critics such as Camille Paglia and Germaine Greer, who once called themselves feminists, now question the role of postmodern feminism as no longer being about empowering women as women, but more about the ideologically driven re-engineering of natural variations of humanity. I've previously observed how the roles of men and women respond to underlying societal conditions. Technological advances over the last 150 years have significantly empowered women, arguably more so than men. Not only do women have more time to pursue careers and not only have strenuous manual jobs been first mechanised and then automated, but women excel in modern higher education and in professions requiring advanced emotional intelligence or people skills (marketing, surveillance, social work, recruitment etc.) more than their male peers. Yet these jobs do not produce any concrete results, except to ensure the smooth functioning of an increasingly complex system that values compliance and harmony more than creativity and personal freedom. We now only need a small minority of the workforce to design, develop, test, build and maintain our goods and infrastructure. Our mixed economy rewards everyone else not so much based on their productivity but on their strategic worth as social regulators and persuaders as well as consumers. Many low achievers already work as product testers, mystery shoppers or product reviewers. That's right big business will pay you to act as guinea pigs for their products or services. The aim is not simply to boost sales or short-term profits, but to analyse the long-term psychological impact of their wares. Some lucky souls even get paid to test games or compete in online role playing tournements.

These lifestyle trends will not only transform the world of work, but traditional family structures and may eventually redefine the purpose of life itself. To enact the kind of far-reaching societal changes required for a Brave New World of intellectually superior creative elites and compliant underclasses of subjugated consumers, today's policy makers have first to suppress traditional social structures. Just as Mao Zedong's cultural revolution paved the way for his country's later conversion to state-managed neoliberalism and extreme wealth disparity, albeit overseen by the Communist Party of China, large corporations are now using social justice idealists to campaign for the kind of social changes that will eventually lead us to an era of hyper-dependence.

Hyper-dependence

So what do transgender teenagers, Muslim migrants, learning disabled adults and other special categories of people have in common? How can we confuse the complex problems that may arise from sexual identity, religion, migration and intellectual impairments? These are mere aspects of humanity that could potentially affect us all. Religion is at heart a belief system that manages human behaviour. Migration is driven largely economic and environmental forces. Sexual identity may be problematic if one is unable to succeed with one's biologically determined gender. Last but not least, intellectual impairment is very relative. But all these categories of people rely not only on state or corporate intervention, but on the blurring of traditional boundaries between countries, close-knit communities and natural categories of people (such as men and women). It hardly matters if many Muslim migrants have regressive views on women's rights or homosexuality, as this provides the perfect pretext for more social intervention. A globalist policy planner does not care so much about a specific self-sustaining community, but how to subjugate the whole of humanity to a handful of corporations. If you're a goat herder in the Yemeni mountains or a Scottish fisherman, you may still retain some degree of independence from the global banking system. If the same Yemeni goat herder becomes a refugee in some godforsaken suburb of a Northern European city and the former Scottish fisherman ends up on incapacity benefit after a spurious psychiatric diagnosis, both owe their continued existence to the illusory generosity of a corporate monster few of us can understand. Yet social justice warriors will fight for migrant/refugee rights and champion the cause of mental illness sufferers, without a moment questioning the system that created these problems or contemplating the long-term consequences of our loss of personal autonomy.

Antifa (antifascist action) have deservedly won their reputation as intolerant agent provocateurs who serve to shut down debate on a wide range of contentious social issues. We now have mounting evidence of collusion between corporate NGOs and far-left political activists, most notably via George Soros's Open Society Foundation, but also via governmental agencies such as Europeans without borders funded by none other than the European Commission. The young idealists who genuinely believe in these causes have the same degree of intellectual autonomy as the cigarette salespeople of yesteryear. They are marketing a dream of a brave new world that can only end in more subjugation with a police state to manage the hyper-dependent masses.

Categories
Computing Power Dynamics

Madonna vs Alex Jones

 adonna

How the Virtue-Signalling Left Cares More About Affluent Jet-Setters Than Defenceless Goat Herders

The faux outrage about Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on citizens of 7 mainly Muslim countries reveals more about the priorities of the affluent infantile left than it does about any shift in US foreign policy. Most people in the world outside of North America, Europe, Japan and a few other wealthy countries cannot afford to fly to the United States. The freedom to travel where you want and to enjoy the benefits of advanced civilisations that took hundreds of years to evolve is a relatively new concept. By contrast food, water and shelter are the most fundamental human necessities. US foreign policy under Bush Senior, Clinton, Bush Junior and Obama has denied millions these basic human rights by bombing neighbourhoods, destroying vital infrastructure for clean water, food distribution and electricity, littering the landscape with depleted uranium, imposing sanctions, arming despotic regimes and covertly supporting Islamic fundamentalist militias in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere. While many protested against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, opposition to subsequent military escapades and arms sales has been muted. The mainstream Western media, most notably the BBC and CNN, have consistently peddled US State Department propaganda by blaming local leaders, Russia or Iran for the region's growing instability. Indeed many left-leaning politicians and opinion leaders supported US intervention in the Middle East. Gordon Brown and the late Jo Cox MP published a report calling for more proactive intervention in Syria to counter aggression from Russia and President Assad. Their narrative leads in only one direction, a borderless one world government controlled by global corporations and policed by a transcontinental expansion of NATO. It's a vision shared not only by Hillary Clinton's campaign team, Tony Blair and George Soros, but also by the EU and China.

Yet the wishful thinking fake Left in all their collective indignation against President Trump seem much more concerned with the rights of affluent Middle Eastern globetrotters than those of Yemeni goat herders whose homes have just been bombed by the Saudi Air Force with the full cooperation of the US and UK or the rights of Christian Syrians murdered by rebel militias that the UK or US armed. They can only relate to people like themselves who value the freedom to travel abroad more than the right to safety, social stability and cultural continuity in your own homeland because they just imagine the world as one large university campus and project impractical idealist student politics onto the rest of humanity.

The latte-sipping soi-disant Left tend to confuse actions with categories of people. Migrate is a verb. Anyone who moves to another region or country is by definition a migrant just as anyone who travels by aeroplane is an air passenger. Migration may be good, bad or indifferent depending on objective environment and social conditions. Likewise anyone who drives a car is a driver. Logically driving may also be good, bad or neutral in different situations. The same human being may be a driver in one situation and a train passenger, cyclist or walker in other circumstances. We should not debate whether migrants or drivers are good or bad people, but whether mass migration or mass motoring make environmental or social sense. Oddly the two phenomena are closely related as people tend to move to more affluent countries with higher car ownership. In today's complex world immigration controls are like traffic regulations. Ideally we would not need any restrictions on movement and if we all lived comfortably in sparsely populated and resource-rich regions we could minimise both traffic and migration controls, but we don't. More freedom in one domain inevitably limits freedoms in other areas. People might value ease of travel, but we also need safe and peaceful neighbourhoods.

Until recently only a tiny fraction of humanity could afford long-distance travel. European emigrants to the Americas would save up many years only to endure a long and arduous journey in the lower decks of a ship. It's something people might do once or twice in a lifetime. On arrival they had little choice but to work for a living as there was no welfare to speak of. Not everyone succeeded. Some died through exhaustion while a few returned to their homelands penniless, but the American dream was open only to those who either arrived rich or worked hard and seized every opportunity. Not surprisingly the USA attracted the most highly motivated immigrants. If you were not prepared to adapt to the competitive reality of the new world, you were better off staying in your homeland where at least you knew the score. However, since the mid 1990s we've seen an unprecedented rise in global migratory flows as millions seek a higher standard of living in wealthier countries. People move not so much because they must, but because they can or rather because they are aware of better opportunities elsewhere.

Celebrity Rednecks vs Hollywood Divas

Two media-savvy celebrities vie for the hearts and minds of the American people. One is a pop star and actress whose semi-pornographic exhibitionism has helped promote the kind of consumer fetishism that big business loves and ecologists loathe. The other is a loudmouthed urban redneck from Houston, Texas, who has built his multimedia career on the conspiracy theory that the Feds want to deny law-abiding citizens of their god-given right to drive oversized SUVs and bear arms. At least Alex has ranted and railed against the establishment and stood up for free speech, but Madonna Louise Ciccone has only ever lent her support to Hollywood fundraisers to improve her public image. I can't recall her voicing her opposition to US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Curiously Alex Jones and Madonna personify only marginally different versions of American exuberance and extreme indulgence. Both drive SUVs and lead jetsetting lifestyles that could sustain 100s, not 1000s, of African or Indian lives.

Since the inauguration of the accidental president of the United States, property developer and reality TV Star, Donald Trump, the world's most influential economic, military and cultural power has been split into two rival camps, both funded by big business. For decades the White House could rely on the main American and European media outlets to toe their lines on strategic foreign, economic and social policies. The Republicans and Democrats differed mainly in rhetoric, one appealing more to the conservative hinterland and the other more to the trendier metropolitan conurbations. In practice they both vigorously pursued policies that benefited mainly large corporations while attempting to manage the expectations and social conflicts of their diversified citizenry. Behind the scenes the two main dynasties of the last 40 years, the Bush and Clinton families, whose members played key roles in the Reagan and Obama administrations too, got along just fine. Bill Clinton famously vacationed with George HW Bush in Kennebunkport.

Donald J Trump is a loose cannon who dreams of a powerful, self-reliant and prosperous America trading peacefully with the rest of the world. Most notably he has publicly advocated strong nation states, secure borders and bilateral trade deals that protect the interests of local workers, all concepts alien to universalists. However, his presidency is now captive to a splinter group of the infamous neoconservatives who architected the USA's disastrous foreign and military policies over the last 30 years or more. While once united, the business elites in the US and to a lesser extent in the UK are now split into two camps. One remains fully committed to the globalist project and view conservative patriotism as an anachronism that must give way to a new global mindset. Globalists may pay lip service to local or national identity, especially for temporary electoral gain, but their long-term goal is a one-world government. A few years ago many would have dismissed such prophecies as far-fetched, but Western academics have long argued against nation states.

The other group recognises the world is a complex and dangerous place and prefers to build on the relative strengths of advanced countries such as the USA, Japan, Australia or France as a model that the rest of the world might emulate rather than attempt to re-engineer the world in their own image. While globalists always favour policies that undermine national privilege and favour cultural harmomisation, modern patriots favour stable societies that benefit their own people and here I use George Orwell's distinction between patriotism (positive nationalism) and negative nationalism. This marks a paradigm shift that may itself be an adaptation to the USA's relative demise as a superpower. When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the USA utterly dominated the world's economic, cultural and military domains. No other country could challenge its hegemony. China may have had a much larger population, but lacked the economic and military means to be more than a regional power. Very much aware of the Anglosphere's soft power advantage, China has focussed on building up its economic leverage with the Europe and North America as well as expanding its mercantile empire to Africa, South America and even the Middle East. The East Asian superpower's economy is set to overtake the USA's in the next 10 to 15 years. A close alliance between China and Russia could challenge the USA's former dominance and prove a much better trading partner for Central European countries who already import much more from China than from the US and rely increasingly on Russian gas. Over the last decade US Foreign policy has attempted to thwart the re-emergence of Russia as a major player in a multipolar world, by preventing a trade alliance with Ukraine under Poroshenko and funding the Maidan movement to bring Ukraine within the EU and NATO umbrella. This strategy has failed. Russia can survive without the US or EU as it has a captive market for its raw materials in China, Iran and India. Russia has little need for territorial expansion and has only acted to defend the rights of Russians in neighbouring countries formerly in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. Yet Saudi Arabia with a fraction of Russia's size and population now spends more on military hardware than Russia.

For the first time in recent history the CEOs of major American corporations and much of the so-called liberal media are openly hostile to the US Presidency. Sergey Brin, the multibillionaire co-founder of Google, led 2000 employees to protest Trump's travel ban. He has already alluded to a future President Pence, possibly after the successful impeachment of the sitting President. Their main concern is the ease of travel of affluent Silicon Valley workers, not the safety of Yemeni goat herders or Chicago residents.

Categories
Computing Power Dynamics

Is Oceania still at war with Eastasia?

Goldman Sachs

How President Trump could signal the demise of the USA as a superpower and how the globalist elite may switch allegiance to other centres of power.

In George Orwell's 1984 Oceania appeared to be in a never-ending war against Eastasia. Airstrip One, the new name for Great Britain, belonged to Oceania with North America and Australasia, but Eurasia stretched across continental Europe to Vladivostok. At least since Britain's WW2 alliance with the USA first against Nazi Germany and later against the former Soviet Union, the UK intelligentsia has consistently supported the US in its many deployments oversees. Admittedly the British government remained technically neutral over the Vietnam War, but the mainstream media gave the US State Department an easy time over the sheer scale of its war crimes in Indochina. Critical analysis came mainly from the left, whom we could split into pro-Soviet and anti-Soviet camps. Yet the carefree hedonism that accompanied the protest movements of the 1960s and 70s could not have existed in the same form in any other society. Students could stage colourful musical protests and develop a hippie counterculture precisely because of the affluence that their capitalist society provided. In the USSR you only had freedoms that the state explicitly permitted. While Americans could protest against racial segregation or unjust wars, Soviet citizens could not openly oppose the party line. Many anti-war rebels of the 1960s would become the entrepreneurs and neoconservatives of the 1980s and 90s. With the fall of the USSR, global capitalism was all that remained in most of the world. Even China embraced its own brand of crony capitalism managed by a one-party state. Yet the US did not stop waging wars in multiple conflict zones. It simply redeployed some resources from Western and Central Europe to the Middle East. The State Department's new goal was not the defeat of Soviet communism or the protection of Western Europe against a rival expansionist superpower, but the pursuance of a New World Order dominated by liberal democracy and free enterprise. Alas both stated goals were mere illusions. Personal freedom depended on widespread prosperity and social cohesion, while free enterprise depended on ideal market conditions, economic growth and healthy competition. In short the relatively successful mixed economy model that boosted living standards in North America and Western Europe in the 1960s and 70s relied on a fine balance between private enterprise, state interventionism, managed international trade and protectionism.

By opening up markets to global corporations and transferring powers to supranational organisations, rather than create a new world of commercial opportunities for an increasingly mobile and versatile labour force, the ruling elites have paradoxically expanded the role of governments and a wide range of non-governmental people management organisations. If you let your manufacturing industry relocate to low wage economies and let low-paid migrants do all the manual jobs that local workers used to, you have to offer your disenfranchised working classes alternative employment. For a while many bought the theory that old manufacturing jobs would be replaced by new jobs in retail, marketing, media and information technology. But big businesses first outsourced call centres to places like India or the Philippines and then replaced them with interactive Websites. The manufacturing jobs of the recent past are not coming back, because it will soon be cheaper to automate these tasks. If the US can no longer rely on steady stream of Mexican immigrants to pick fruit for peanuts, it can hire a team of talented robotics engineers to automate the whole process and thus save future generations of the humiliation of such back-breaking drudgery.

Rapid economic and technological developments have disempowered the working classes, or at least those unable to adapt. As a result, contrary to all the rhetoric who may hear about millions of new small businesses (usually contractors), we've seen a massive rise in the welfare-dependent population. As clever-accounting hides the true level of unemployment, it may be better to talk of underemployment, i.e. people employed only part time to do unrewarding jobs that serve no real practical purpose and who could not survive without some form of welfare subsidy. More disturbingly, the boom of this century's first decade was largely fuelled by debt. Big business sold millions of tonnes of consumer goods with a very limited shelf life that would be soon be superseded by further innovations. Clearly the economic numbers do not add up. Nobody on an average wage can conceivably afford the kind of lifestyle we see in American soap operas. Real estate inflation has long been much higher than retail inflation. More and more young Americans, just like their cousins in Western Europe, can no longer afford to get on the housing ladder, as the wealth gap grows. Traditionally the forgotten people of rural and suburban America would have voted Democrat. They did not need a tax cut, but more government help to get back to work. However, the last 8 years have only seen more jobs outsourced abroad, growing levels of unskilled immigration and record levels of welfare dependence. Trump's rhetoric on immigration and unfair trade deals appeals to more conservative Americans from the Rust Belt and Deep South. The Clinton campaign could only offer more of the same, while receiving massive funding from the same global corporations who outsourced manufacturing jobs and supported the US's disastrous wars in the Middle East. More than any other politician Hillary Clinton has advocated pro-active military interventionism combined with greater global convergence and high levels of immigration. If one slogan could resonate more with your average Joe than anything else, it was Trump's rallying cry of Americanism, not Globalism. The country that exported its brand of universalism to the rest of the world, now wishes to shield itself from the world it helped to create.

Deep in the belly of global finance is a man seldom mentioned in the mainstream media, George Soros. He doesn't just move currency markets, but has been active in fomenting protest movements against national governments that fail to cooperate with the global institutions Mr Soros favours. His Open Society Foundation has its tentacles in many organisations which masquerade as left-leaning grassroots movements (See Organizations Funded Directly by George Soros ) . His involvement in world affairs started shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall through various business schools and media outlets in former Warsaw Pact countries. But after a brief foray into the Balkans quagmire, Mr Soros turned his attention further afield funding pro-EU groups, such as the fanatically federalist European Movement. All these organisations share a few key features. They champion the rights of perceived minorities, especially migrants, and offer new international solutions to social injustices. While some campaigns seem innocent or even laudable, the solutions on offer always lead in one direction: greater global convergence. The trendy left has gone from being mildly critical of George Soros in the early 90s when they rightly viewed him a meddlesome billionaire banker, to brothers in arms. Soros-funded campaign groups, most notably those claiming to further migrant rights, have hired many left-leaning journalists and activists, who genuinely believe they are working for the greater good of humanity. Disasters, such as the regional conflict in Syria and Iraq, are presented as opportunities for refugees to enrich Western Europe with their diverse customs and immense talent. While Soros-funded activists are often critical of past Western intervention in the region, they are more focused on facilitating the movement of refugees rather than stopping the wars that purportedly caused the refugees to flee in the first place. In my experience most Soros-funded activists also recycle the orthodox line that the mainstream media endlessly promotes on the causes of such conflicts, i.e. they are inevitably blamed on local despots rather than foreign intervention, except when the intervening foreign power is conflict with globalist interests as in the case of the recent Russian intervention to help Syria defeat ISIS.

Three apparently disparate groups have thus converged in supporting a new universalist agenda. Together they call themselves the international community supported by major governments (such as the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany etc.), major corporations and an international intelligentsia of enlightened experts and human rights campaigners. Sometimes these groups are so intertwined, it's hard to tell them apart. Someone may start their career as a political activist for some noble cause, such as refugee rights, global hunger prevention or climate change awareness, then get a job with an international charity before moving to a global corporate services company like Price Waterhouse Coopers, Ernst and Young, Deloitte or KMPG with a stint in politics or media advocacy.

Consider the strange case of one José Manuel Barroso. As a young man in the mid 1970s he belonged to the Maoist Portuguese Workers' Communist Party (see him speak in a 1976 TV interview ). By 1980 had joined the mainstream governing PPD (Democratic Popular Party, later PPD/PSD-Social Democratic Party) and rose through the ranks to become Prime Minister of his country in 2002. After supporting the 2003 US invasion of Iraq he became President of European Commission in 2004. Last year, after 11 years of loyal service to European superstate project, Barroso accepted a role as non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International. What, you may wonder, has this to do with the recent electoral success of Donald J Trump? Well, his opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, clearly was funded not only by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, but also by George Soros. Indeed a long list of former EU commissioners and politicians ended up working for Goldman Sachs. The Clinton Foundation has long had close ties with George Soros, so much so, that Hillary's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, married his nephew in the billionaire's mansion.

More disturbing, however, are the close ties between mercenaries and NGOs. The US has long deployed security contractors in conflict zones. These mercenaries are literally guns for hire, who may protect the mining interests of global corporations in African trouble spots such as Sierra Leone or Equatorial Guinea one year and the next be on a mission to train opposition forces in Syria or supplement the Iraqi government's ill-disciplined armed forces. One such group is Blackwater, recently rebranded Academi. Former British army officer and security expert James Le Mesurier, worked for Blackwater in its murderous operations in Iraq. In 2014 he founded the infamous White Helmets in Syria, allegedly to defend civilians in conflict zones and provide critical humanitarian and medical aid. At last we saw a merger of deceptively progressive media activism and the kind of dirty tricks operations many believed the CIA had ceased to undertake in Central America. We now have videographic evidence of Humanitarian aid workers colluding with the same Islamic fundamentalist militias that the US denies supporting. Well-intentioned politicians and former aid workers, such as the late Jo Cox, naively lent their support to this organisation and as a result many worldwise Guardian readers developed a new worldview that pitted the forces of progress represented by the EU, NATO and NGOs against the forces of reactionary nationalism personified by their new bêtes noires of Bashar Al Assad and Vladimir Putin. This simplistic worldview could point to Assad's brutal repression and autocratic rule as well as Putin's alleged corruption and anachronistic views on homosexuality.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YmjMZbaMsF8

Many analysts, myself included, sought to explain recent military conflicts purely in terms of superpower politics and economic expedience, e.g. privileged access to key resources such as oil. It seemed logical to attribute US interventions in the Middle East to US corporate imperialism Others opted for convoluted explanations that typically implicated Israel. Thirteen years after the US occupied Iraq their Air Force is still bombing insurgents, while its ally Saudi Arabia is busy bombing the Houthi militia and loyalists in Yemen. Let su not forget the US's pivotal role in arming and funding opposition militias in Syria. The Middle East quagmire has led to the emergence of more virulent strands of Islamic fundamentalism whose influence has infected not only the Middle East and South Asia, but growing Muslim communities in Europe and North America. This begs the question to what extent do these wars benefit ordinary Americans? After all many of us fall into the trap of claiming that the Americans invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, the Americans destabilised Libya and Syria or the Americans sold arms to Saudi Arabia and Israel. In reality most Americans did no such thing. Their government did. Worse still even many politicians are woefully unaware of their government's role in destabilising much of the world. The US State Department will never admit to funding head-chopping Islamic extremists. It simply claims to have supported Syrian opposition forces who want to see the replacement of the current Baathist regime with a more democratic system. Traditionally a large cross section of patriotic Americans would have supported whatever the US military and secret services did abroad because they believed, mistakenly in my opinion, that such actions ultimately served to defend and broaden the reach of the liberal, democratic and free market values on which their country was founded or at least the kind of prosperous and socially cohesive society that had evolved by the late 1960s. However, many have begun to question this logic. How did US interventions in the Middle East help ordinary Americans back home? They may just have given the United States a few more years of cheap oil, thus delaying an inevitable transition to more more fuel-efficient vehicles. Yet our ruling elites expect North Americans and Europeans to pay the price of a never-ending series of wars, flows of migrants and refugees and resurgent Islamic fundamentalism, a rival strain of global cultural convergence. All for a few barrels of oil.

Something Bigger Is Afoot: Global Realignment

When the world learned that the US electorate had failed to endorse Hillary Clinton and had let a former reality TV star and property mogul Donald Trump win instead, the neoliberal media erupted in indignation. Throughout the campaign the BBC could only discuss how to prevent the accidental election of a populist demagogue because of wild conspiracy theories about Hillary's email server. As it became clear that Trump had indeed won and may break with over 30 years of military and political interventionism combined with free trade and open borders, the mainstream media began to change their tune. If the world's strongest economic power will no longer spearhead the globalist project because it jeopardises the security of its own citizens, who will? What follows is admittedly conjecture as neoconservatives within the Republican Party, not least those allied with Vice President Mike Pence, may keep the USA firmly within the globalist camp. The linchpin in this realignment is not Theresa May or Angela Merkel, but Vladimir Putin. There are now no major ideological differences between mainstream conservatives opinion in Russia and United States. They all support the same basic values of strong families, limited government, hard work and enterprise. Today only the government account for just 35.8% of the Russian economy and 41.6% of the US economy. By contrast the UK figure is 48.5% (France 56.1%, Germany 45.4%). A bilateral trade agreement between Russia and the US would be of huge mutual benefit. Russia has immense resources and the US still leads the world in structural engineering. In a near future where most mundane jobs can be automated, big business will no longer need a large pool of malleable cheap labour. Why should the US continue to waste vast resources trying to reshape Middle East and build a new world order in its image, if the cost vastly outweighs any benefits to its current citizens. A deal with Russia and continued friendly relations with Canada, Australia and Japan could give US businesses access to vast resources without the high political and military costs associated with interventions in the more densely populated regions of the world.

Yesterday Nick Clegg, the former leader of the British Liberal Democratic Party and passionate supporter of the European Union, voiced his concerns about Trump's alleged friendship with Vladimir Putin. After dismissing the idea of a European Army as a wild conjecture during the recent EU referendum debate, Mr Clegg urged Britain to align militarily the new EU Armed Forces to oppose Russian expansionism. Here Mr Clegg makes a fundamental error of judgement. While the USSR undoubtedly had expansionist aims and Soviet troops were until 1990 stationed as far west as Berlin and Prague, Russia only has a few border disputes with countries that were historically part of the Russian Empire and have large Russian speaking populations. Russia has no immediate strategic need to occupy Ukraine or invade tiny Estonia. Russia has plenty of land and resources and has managed surprisingly well with sanctions imposed by EU and US. However, it would like to maintain its longstanding commercial and cultural ties with these countries. Ukraine and Baltic States could prosper as intermediaries between Central Europe and Russia. Amazing the establishment media here hate Putin so much, they are willing to entertain the possibility of new military alliance, potentially with the USA, to oppose Russia. We must ask whose interests such a conflict would serve.

The worst human rights abuses in today's frenetic world occur, not unsurprisingly, in regions under the greatest environmental stress, i.e. those least able to provide their people with a comfortable standard of living, namely most of the Middle East, North and West Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Burma and parts of Central America. Many of these countries are close allies of the US and/or NATO. How can one justify belligerence against Russia because it fails to share the West's values on homosexuality and has purportedly very high levels of corruption (though whether corruption is greater in Russia than in the US or EU is matter for reasonable debate), while selling arms to and collaborating closely with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain ? These countries are not just repressive dictatorships with extreme levels of state-sanctioned corruption, they enforce a strict Islamic code on women's rights to education and workplace equality and outlaw homosexuality completely. If we cared about human rights, surely we should impose a trade embargo against these countries and refuse to buy any of their products until they adopt our standards of morality?

Let's forget about all the moral case for disengaging with the Middle East, the business case is much stronger. I disliked Donald Trump's simplistic rhetoric against Islamic extremists and his offensive bad hombre reference to illegal Mexican immigrants who statistically commit a very high percentage of crimes in the US. However, the USA cannot accommodate everyone in the world who would like to take their slice of American prosperity. Just consider Nigeria, with a current population of some 190 million and fertility rate still over 5 children per woman. Its population is projected to rise to some 500 million by 2050. Most Nigerians now live in or around major urban centres and are keen to emulate the consumption patterns of North Americans. Only a naive policy advisor could fail to envisage potential socio-environmental problems as hundreds of millions leave the developing world to seek prosperity in richer countries. One would have to be amazingly naive to believe that most of these new citizens of the affluent world will acquire the kind of high tech skills we will need in 2050. If the destiny of many of current US citizens is a life of welfare dependence under the guise of the basic income, why should we subsidise 100s of millions of new citizens in the US rather than Africa, the Middle East or elsewhere. If the likes of Amazon want a larger pool of keen consumers, do they really need to live in the United States? Moreover, if existing information technology can let us communicate instantly with people all over the world, do we need to move physically to another country to share our cultural experiences? Indeed we could live together more peacefully if each national community had its own cultural space where its own rules apply. Modern telecommunications ensure that we are still aware of other ways of life. If you think all women should conceal their bodies and faces, move to a country where such rules apply. If on the other hand you're quite happy to bare all at the beach on a hot summer's day, you may visit locales where naturism is tolerated. Believe me, over the next 50 years we will have plenty of contentious moral issues to debate. Should we allow euthanasia for mental illness sufferers or human cloning? Both these controversies have huge implications and thus must be held to the strictest standards of open public debate. This cannot be done in a world of poorly educated welfare claimants dependent on corporate benevolence.

Personally, I suspect many will soon be very disappointed with Donald Trump's presidency, but not because he will reintroduce anachronistic discrimination against women, blacks or homosexuals (a mere figment of the infantile left's imagination), but because he will be a prisoner of the same neocon lobbyists who held sway under Clinton, Bush and Obama. However, if his administration seeks peace with Russia and withdraws from Middle East after eliminating ISIS, while renegotiating trade deals in the interests of working class Americans, the globalist cabal may well move to Berlin. If NATO splits, it will not because the USA abandoned Europe, but because globalists want war with Russia.

I just don't know how they can pull this off without involving other key military players such as Saudi Arabia (the world 4th largest military spender), India or even China. If you imagine Europe 20 years from now with a large and politically engaged Muslim population allied with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (and what about Iran?), the mind boggles. We'd have a Middle Euroasian Union comprising the Arab World, European Union, South West Asia, North Africa and possibly West Africa as far as Nigeria. We could call this new superbloc, Globalistan. Its official religion would be Political Correctness and its official language Globish, with only partial mutual intelligibility with Oceanic English.