Tag Archives: Darwin

Barry Taylor, Steve Huber, and Isaiah 59

In RE BARRY TAYLOR: even after a very pleasant lunch with All Saints Rector Stephen Huber on Thursday 18 September 2014 (the day of the failed Scottish Independence Referendum) I still know absolutely no facts or details or real information about the man’s circumstances or the recent history of the past two weeks or so, but I feel the oppressive weight of Isaiah 59:9-11 on my shoulders:

“Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us; We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom.  Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us; We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom. we are like dead men. All of us growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves;   We hope for justice, but there is none, For salvation, but it is far from us.”

or if you grew up with the KJV as I did:

“Therefore is judgment far from us,
neither doth justice overtake us:
we wait for light, but behold obscurity;
for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
We grope for the wall like the blind, and
we grope as if we had no eyes:
we stumble at noonday as in the night;
we are in desolate places as dead men.
We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves:
we look for judgment, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far off from us.”

Steve Huber could not have been any nicer, nor could the stone wall he put up about revealing any details have been any thicker.  It is much easier to attack a man who’s being rude and dismissive to you than one who expresses extreme sympathy and condolences for your sense of loss and talks to you very graciously about life and theology and….everything.

Barry Taylor is apparently in England with his mother now, and will go from there to rest and recuperate in South Africa.  I know this routine: it’s called “running away”.  During the worst summer of my life, at my rock bottom, at my worst times, when I was subject to some of the worst setbacks and disappointments in my life, I went to the Bayreuth Festival in Bavaria, then returned to Harvard to refocus myself on Egypt, then went to England, Greece, and Egypt.  I am a privileged man who has led a privileged life, and I’m glad that Barry’s got similar privileges.  But I still feel that there’s something wrong in the State of All Saints’ Parish….. but Steve Huber has utterly disarmed me from trying to force any issues—-and indeed I have no right to do so…. everyone wants this situation quiet and so it’s going to be kept quiet.  Unlike England and Canada, we have the First Amendment wall of separation between Church and State, and so we cannot demand transparency or public disclosure from Churches as we would if they were part of the government and if (as in England) Parliament still approved the Book of Common Prayer…. (will the UK Parliament soon approve the implementation of Sharia Laws?  Will the Queen or future King still be titled “Fidei Defensor” if that happens?  Luckily, these meditations have nothing to do with Barry Taylor whatsoever).

All I know for sure is that in April of 1974, I was confirmed at All Saints in Beverly Hills by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Robert Claflin Rusack, the then brand-new, newly ordained 4th Bishop of Los Angeles, after completing confirmation classes with Canon Noble L. Owings at St. Thomas the Apostle in Hollywood.

The Church was going through the “New Prayerbook” Crisis (which ultimately “gave birth” to the 1979 Prayerbook we still use…which is now so old and well-established most younger folks cannot imagine what a trauma its introduction created…. I had made myself, my mother and my grandparents proud by learning all the basic prayers and creeds (in both of our English 1662 and American 1928 Prayerbooks) by rote before I was ten, and Canon Owings was impressed too.

But then they changed the prayerbook, and I was frustrated and angry then too. I have been a half-hearted Episcopalian ever since. Too brow beaten and bigoted, I guess, ever to try any other Church seriously, but resentful that I had memorized all my prayers and creeds for nothing. I often still mutter things like “and with thy Spirit”, “remission of sins”, “it is meet and right so to do”, “the quick and the dead” during the normal Rite II services they have everywhere.

I have gone to school, worked, and traveled all over the USA, actually, the world, but I had never met the likes of Barry Taylor anywhere, and when I first heard him preach, I was immediately smitten by his amazingly erudite mixture of pop culture, true insight Gospel, and modern skepticism. As I have said, his series of sermons just last month in August, “Drugs, Art, Sex, and Religion” and “Religion without Illusions” seemed like a major watershed transformational event in my own spiritual life, but it was not over.  I needed to learn so much more from Barry…. and now he’s gone…apparently…..

Part of the reason I loved Barry’s sermons so much was that, although I had been loyal to the Church of my birth, it’s just very hard to “buy” the Bible as truth once you’ve completed a Ph.D. in Anthropology and History, focusing on Comparative Religion and Structural Analysis, ready James G. Frazer’s “Golden Bough” and about ten thousand books and articles written since then, including three hundred or more books about Kingship and Sacrifice as rituals essential to the socio-political lives of the people of Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and the New World—and yes, even pre-Christian Europe and the Near East.  But Barry bridged the intelligence gap between Darwin and Freud on the one hand and Jesus and the Apostles on the other.  

Somehow, in Barry’s sermons, going to Church no longer seemed merely a nostalgic retreat into childhood comfort for me.

POST SCRIPT: WHEN I SAY I HAVE BEEN LOOKING ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA AND THE WORLD FOR AN INSPIRING REASON TO LOVE MY CHURCH AGAIN, I’M NOT KIDDING—I have travelled all over and attended Churches everywhere.

My list of favorite Episcopal Churches in the USA starts with St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue, where I was baptized (I was born in Texas but my academically oriented parents “forgot” to have me baptized until they were about to set sail on the Queen Mary, when I was six months old, and they suddenly realized, “our baby isn’t baptized, what if the ship sinks?” And that is how a baby born in Commerce, Texas in April was baptized in October in mid-town Manhattan. I make it back to New York an average of once a year, and always go to St. Thomas—it has the most conservative and traditional liturgy of any church I know.  They have a phenomenal set of choirs and musical program, as well as the most spectacular altar reredos anywhere I have seen in North of Mexico in the USA or outside of Europe.  

Now my parents were married in New Orleans, where my grandmother had grown up, and as it happened I did my undergraduate college years there at Tulane.   From an early age I knew the Christ Church Cathedral as well as Holy Trinity on Jackson and St. George uptown. Confederate General Leonidas Polk is buried at Christ Church on St. Charles Avenue. In addition to being President James K. Polk’s first cousin, L. Polk was the first Bishop of Louisiana, the founder of the Trinity Church in Natchitoches (where my grandmother was baptized and most of her relatives buried), and the only General in that saddest and bloodiest of all American Wars to wear both a grey uniform and a Bishop’s Mitre.

But they lived in and I spent my elementary school years in Dallas, where I was in the boys’ choir under Russell John Brydon, Jr. at the Church of the Incarnation on Central Expressway, while occasionally enjoying the extravagant displays of wealth at the place somewhat sarcastically called “St. Michael and all Minks” (aka “St. Michael and all Angels”).

During my Harvard years I got to know Christ Church on Cambridge Common, where George & Martha Washington prayed after George took the Command of the Continental Army in the summer of 1775, to rise up against the monarch for whom he had until then prayed as “Our King and Sovereign Lord.”

And then I spent some time working in Palm Beach, Florida, and there my son was Baptized at Bethesda-by-the-Sea on the Feast of the Epiphany in 1993. Later on I lived in Pinellas County and attended the Cathedral of St. Peter there.  I could go on listing all the Anglican Churches in which I have knelt down to pray….but it would grow quite tedious…. from Maui to Fort MacLeod, Moose Jaw, and Moncton in Canada to Manchester, Magdalene College and All Saints Margaret Street in England, to Malta, Montego Bay and Mumbai in what used to be outposts of Empire….it would get VERY tedious….

The Richard Wagner Bicentennial—I cannot understand myself or the World without reference to Richard Wagner and his Music

The reader may recognize in my title here an allusion to Adolf Hitler’s famous (alleged) comment, “Whoever wants to understand National Socialist Germany must know Wagner.”  I have been searching all day and I cannot find a firm anchor for this quote: when and where did Der Fuhrer utter or write these words?  Did Hitler ever even actually say or write these words at all?  The phrase obviously does NOT derive from Mein Kampf because there was no “National Socialist Germany” to understand when Mein Kampf was written. 

And yet, although I can tell you honestly, really and truly, that although I am not a National Socialist by any stretch of the imagination (I simply despise both communism and socialism in all their forms and avatars), that one quote, that one statement, has always made me feel as though perhaps there was something good and decent in Hitler, especially since all the world, even his most ardent detractors, refer to him as “a great genius” and clearly, Richard Wagner was a much detested genius during his lifetime also.   I look at Nazi apologetics in the “New Right” Identity movement and I cannot say that I buy any of their excuses for the invasion of Poland.  I look at Germany, including Dresden, Leipzig, and Bayreuth (the three cities most closely connected with Wagner), and all I see is the legacy of Nazi destruction, of Hitler’s thousand year Reich compressed to ashes and rubble.   And buried in those ashes and rubble is the true moral genius of the civilization that gave us Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Goethe and Wagner.  

Many of my earliest memories in life play in my mind to the accompaniment of the Wagnerian Music which was everywhere in every one of my family members’ homes.  Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad were like family members almost.  

To me, Wagnerian music is the music of liberation and love.  All of the grim restrictions of Baroque and early polyphonic harmony which make Bach’s counterpoint and inventions the most towering achievement of any classical music student’s early formative life.  Wagnerian music transcends life and death, and his poetry and drama teaches us that love is greater than life or death.

It is at this point in my own analysis that I fail to see “love” as a major theme of the Third Reich, and in so failing I cannot see how an understanding of Wagner and Hitler’s National Socialism go hand-in-hand.  Richard Wagner has planned to write an Opera about Jesus Christ.  I wish he had finished it or even started it to the point that we might know his thoughts on what it might have been.  But Wagnerian concepts of “liebestod” and sacrifice of life for love seem Christian, even as Wagner himself for most of his life rejected any sort of Christian moral compass in his own existence.  

I always felt that the book which most nearly approximated my own fascination with Wagner was Jacques’ Barzun’s Darwin, Marx, and Wagner.  Now, up to a point, if you mix the study of Darwin, Marx, and Wagner with a little bit of Freud and Jung, you come close to understanding not only National Socialism in Germany but most of the 20th century in general.  Jungian Archetypes all meet their downfall in Wagner.  Freudian psychology is oddly more consistent with Wagner’s tension between fathers and sons, sons and mothers or aunts, and brothers and sisters with other “taboo” women.  Yet for the most part, in Wagnerian Operatic Poetry, and contrary to historical legend and myth among the Germans and Vikings, women are the universal saviors of men.

It is for this reason that I have so often compared Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Senta, Elizabeth, Isolde and Brunhilde.   The Leitmotif “Death is Her Gift” covers all of these key Wagnerian women.   Redemption through Buffy’s death and sacrifice knows few other parallels in history or myth, except for the death of Jesus Christ…. a figure of ambiguous sexuality at best, neutral sexuality or asexuality alien to most non-Christian religions.

Constructing Wagner as Moral Pariah, Part 1

Posted on May 14, 2013

Evil Genius:
Constructing Wagner as Moral Pariah, Part 1

4,763 words

Part 1 of 4

Richard Wagner was a one man artistic and intellectual movement whose shadow fell across all of his contemporaries and most of his successors. Other composers had influence; Wagner had a way of thinking named after him. It has been claimed that “never since Orpheus has there been a musician whose music affected so vitally the life and art of generations.”[1]

A significant biographical feature of the composers that followed Wagner was how they grappled with his legacy. Some, like Bruckner and Strauss, imitated him; some, like Debussy and Bartok, rejected him; and some, like Hugo Wolf, were almost paralyzed by the immensity of his achievement. Wagner’s influence extended to writers and intellectuals like Proust, Joyce, Lawrence, Mann, Baudelaire, Eliot, Nietzsche, and Shaw. Given his huge impact on Western culture, Bryan Magee has strong grounds for his contention that “Wagner has had a greater influence than any other single artist on the culture of our age.”[2]

Wagner was a deeply polarizing figure in his lifetime, and no other composer has provoked such extreme antipathy or adulation. It has been said that his music has been loved and hated more immoderately than that of any other composer. Wagner was notoriously unscrupulous in his personal life; but his sexual and financial misdemeanors pale into insignificance beside the vastness and originality of his compositions. Even the anti-Wagnerites have had to acknowledge the magnitude of his achievement, and his most fanatical detractors (a great many of them Jewish) have reluctantly agreed with Tchaikovsky, who wrote of the Ring: “Whatever one might think of Wagner’s titanic work, no one can deny the monumental nature of the task he set himself, and which he has fulfilled; nor the heroic inner strength needed to complete the task. It was truly one of the greatest artistic endeavors which the human mind has ever conceived.”[3]

One hundred and thirty years after his death, Wagner retains a cultural prominence that surpasses any of his contemporaries. The excellence of his music has ensured its popularity has never waned, and Wagner is still well represented on recordings, on radio, and in the theater. Wealthy Wagner devotees travel the world in pursuit of live performances of his fifteen-hour, four-night opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Every year thousands still make a pilgrimage to the small Bavarian city of Bayreuth where in 1876 he inaugurated a festival devoted to his own music. The appeal of Wagner’s music, libretti, and stagecraft has ensured his music dramas remain useful to opera companies around the world as a reliable income source, even in straitened economic times.

It is, however, Wagner’s standing as “a notorious anti-Semite,” and the intellectual establishment’s obsession with him on this basis, that has increasingly molded his image in the popular consciousness. A long line of books and documentaries have explored Wagner’s anti-Semitism and his putative role as the spiritual and intellectual godfather to Hitler. In the Jewish-dominated cultural milieu of the contemporary West, this meme has taken on such a life that Wagner’s name is seldom mentioned today without the obligatory disclaimer that, while admittedly (and unfortunately) a musical genius, his reputation is forever sullied by his standing as a morally loathsome anti-Semite. A consequence of this, notes William Berger, is that for many people, Wagner “has become symbolic of everything evil in the world.”[4] Indeed, Wagner’s reputation is now so thoroughly tainted that one almost never encounters a serious examination of his ideas. As the cultural commentator Adrian Mourby notes: “The notion that artists don’t have to be as beautiful as the works they create is a commonplace now — except in the case of Wagner. ‘Judaism in Music’ is what has made him the unforgivable exception.”[5]

Judaism in Music

Kevin MacDonald observes in Separation and its Discontents that Richard Wagner is perhaps the best known intellectual who focused on the Jewish domination of culture.[6] Wagner first expounded on what he saw as the pernicious Jewish influence on German art and culture in his 1850 tract Das Judenthum in der Musik (usually translated as Judaism in Music or Jewishness in Music), which was published under pseudonym in 1850.[7] Wagner’s essay took up the theme of a previous article by Theodor Uhlig in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik that was critical of the “Hebraic art taste” that Uhlig thought was manifest in Meyerbeer’s grand opera Le Prophète.

Wagner attempted in his essay to account for the “popular dislike of the Jewish nature,” and “the involuntary repellence possessed for us by the nature and personality of the Jews.” He concludes that Germans instinctively disliked Jews due to their alien appearance, speech, and behavior, noting that “with all our speaking and writing in favor of the Jews’ emancipation, we always felt instinctively repelled by any actual, operative contact with them.”[8] Wagner here simply stated an obvious fact: that Germans, like all other racial and ethnic groups, were ethnocentric, and this colored their interactions with a fiercely competitive resident outgroup like the Jews. According to Wagner, “We are deliberately distorting our own nature if we feel ashamed to proclaim the natural revulsion aroused in us by Jewishness . . . Despite our pretended liberalism we still feel this aversion.”[9]

Wagner argued in Judaism in Music that Jewish musicians were only capable of producing music that was shallow and artificial because they had no connection to the genuine spirit of the German people. He observes that: “So long as the separate art of music had a real organic life-need in it down to the epochs of Mozart and Beethoven, there was nowhere to be found a Jewish composer. . . . Only when a body’s inner death is manifest, do outside elements win the power of lodgment in it — yet merely to destroy it.”[10] Jews had not fully assimilated into German culture, so did not identify with and merge themselves into the deepest layers of that culture, including its religious and ethnic influences — the Volksgeist. According to Wagner, “our whole European art and civilization . . . remained to the Jew a foreign tongue.” The Jews “through an intercourse of two millennia with European nations” had never fully abandoned the posture of “a cold, nay more, a hostile looker-on.” The entry of the Jews into nineteenth-century European society was for Wagner the infiltration of a wholly alien and antagonistic group whose success symbolised the spiritual and creative crisis of German and European culture.

The same thesis was advanced by Zionist intellectuals like Ahad Ha’Am (the pseudonym of Asher Ginsburg). Kevin MacDonald notes that both Wagner and Ginsburg “developed the idea that Jews could not have their own artistic spirit because they failed to identify completely with the surrounding culture.”[11] In Wagner’s view, higher culture springs ultimately from folk culture. In the absence of Jewish influence, German music would once again reflect the deeper layers of German folk culture. For Wagner, “Judaic works of music often produce on us the impression as though a poem of Goethe’s, for instance, were being rendered in the Jewish jargon. . . . Just as words and constructions are hurled together in this jargon with wondrous inexpressiveness, so does the Jewish musician hurl together the diverse forms and styles of every age and every master. Packed side by side, we find the formal idiosyncrasies of all the schools, in motleyest chaos.”[12]

For Wagner, Jewish art was characterized by imitativeness, and therefore, by shallowness and superficiality. This was exemplified by the compositions that dominated the music scene of his time. From the depth and intensity of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, the music of the concert hall had descended to the superficiality of Mendelssohn — who had diverted the “tempests of revolution” into soothing salon music. Similarly, opera had fallen from the musical-dramatic peaks of Gluck and Mozart to the barren flatlands of Meyerbeer and Halévy. For Wagner, all that was meretricious in Grand Opera could be ascribed to the Jewishness of its composers — whose work amounted to a series of glib surface effects. He writes: “Of necessity what comes out of attempts by Jews to make art must have the property of coldness, of non-involvement, to the point of being trivial and absurd. We are forced to categorize the Jewish period in modern music as the period of consummate uncreativeness – stagnation run to seed.”

Bryan Magee observes that “to write works of this kind was to make use of art as a mere means — a means of entertainment, a means of giving pleasure and getting to be liked, a means of achieving status, money, fame. For Jews it was a means of making their way in an alien society.”[13] It certainly worked for Meyerbeer, with the first hundred performances of Le Prophète in Berlin alone netting him 750,000 marks — almost 200,000 marks more than the entire sum Wagner received over nearly two decades from his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria.[14]

Wagner’s thesis has been roundly condemned by Jewish commentators, and yet the Jewish music commentator David Rodwin, while labelling Wagner’s essay “a vile anti-Semitic screed,” admits there is substantial truth in the “aesthetic eclecticism” that Wagner identified as a unifying feature of Jewish composers.[15] Regarding Wagner’s attribution of “imitativeness” as a particularly Jewish trait, Jacob Katz likewise acknowledges that: “Jewish qualities may quite naturally appear — for better or for worse — in artistic creations of Jews, even of those who have joined non-Jewish culture. It would therefore be preposterous to dismiss categorically all observations from the mouths of anti-Semites as prejudicial misconceptions.”[16] Magee calls Wagner’s thesis “unbelievably original” and notes that:

One does not need to share Wagner’s view of Mendelssohn, who came from a Christianized and highly assimilated family, to see that his argument is substantially correct. . . . A really great creative artist is one who, in freely expressing his own needs, aspirations, and conflicts, articulates those of an entire society. This is made possible by the fact that, through his earliest relationships, mother tongue, upbringing, and all his first experience of life, the cultural heritage on which he has entered at birth is woven into the whole fabric of his personality. He has a thousand roots in it of which he is unaware, nourishing him below the level of consciousness, so that when he speaks for himself he quite unconsciously speaks for others. Now in Wagner’s time it was impossible for a Jewish artist to be in this position. The ghettos of Western Europe had only begun to be opened in the wake of the French Revolution, and their abolition was going on throughout the nineteenth century. The Jewish composers of Wagner’s day were among the very first emancipated Jews, pastless in the society in which they were living and working. They spoke its language with, literally, a foreign accent.[17]

According to Magee, Wagner failed to notice that he was describing a transitional phenomenon — that the creations of Jewish composers would inevitably become “deeper” and more culturally authentic as the descendants of emancipated Jews assimilated into their host societies. Magee cites the emergence of Mahler and Schoenberg in the late nineteenth century to illustrate his point.

Drawing on the thesis of Heinrich Laube’s book Struensee, Wagner argued in Judaism in Music that Jews had also degraded German art by introducing their commercializing spirit into it. In February of 1848, at the funeral of Wagner’s mother, Laube had commiserated with his friend Wagner, equating the sadness of the hour with their mutual despair at the state of German art and culture, noting that “On the way to the station, we discussed the unbearable burden that seemed to us to lie like a dead weight on every noble effort made to resist the tendency of the time to sink into utter worthlessness.” As the preface toStruensee makes clear, this “worthlessness” consisted in the flowering of Jewish commercial values. Wagner’s only remedy was to “plunge dully and coldly into the only thing that could cheer me and warm me, the working out of my Lohengrin and my studies of German antiquity.”[18] Regarding the Jewish tendency to convert art into a branch of commerce, Wagner writes:

[All] is turned to money by the Jew. Who thinks of noticing that the guileless looking scrap of paper is slimy with the blood of countless generations? What the heroes of the arts . . . have invented . . . from two millennia of misery, today the Jew converts into an art-bazaar. . . . We have no need first to substantiate the Jewification [Verjudung] of modern art. It springs to the eye and thrusts upon the senses. . . . But if emancipation from the yoke of Judaism appears to us the greatest of necessities, we must hold it crucial above all to assemble our forces for this war of liberation. But we shall never gain these forces by merely defining the phenomenon [of Judaism] in an abstract way. This will be done only by accurately knowing the nature of that involuntary feeling of ours which utters itself as an instinctive repugnance against the Jew’s prime essence. . . . Then we can rout the demon from the field . . . where he has sheltered under a twilit darkness . . . which we good-natured humanists ourselves have conferred on him.[19]

For Wagner, Judaism was the embodiment of the bourgeois money-egoist spirit, and he observes that: “When our social evolution reached that turning-point at which the power of money to bestow rank began to be openly admitted, it was no longer possible to keep the Jews at bay. They had enough money to be admitted to society.” Wagner believed that Jews “will continue to rule as long as money remains the power to which all our activities are subjugated.” He later confessed to his friend (and future father-in-law) Franz Liszt that: “I felt a long-repressed hatred for this Jewish money-world, and this hatred is as necessary to my nature as gall is to blood. An opportunity arose when their damnable scribbling annoyed me most, and so I broke forth at last.”[20] In Judaism in Music Wagner finds the plea for Jewish emancipation to be “more than commonly naïve, since we see ourselves rather in the position of fighting for emancipation from the Jews. The Jew is in fact, in the current state of the world, already more than emancipated. He rules.”

While stressing the harmful effects of the Jewish financial domination of German society, Wagner believed that the Jewish manipulation of language and art was infinitely more pernicious than their control over money. In his essay “What is German?” (1878, but based on a draft written in the 1860s) he states that culture, not economy, lies at the heart of German identity, and that Jews had bought the German soul and turned German Kulturinto a sham, a mere image; and in doing this had destroyed “one of the finest natural dispositions in all the human race.”[21]

Wagner believed that the German people had been endowed with a uniquely rich inner life which had been forged during the crucible of the Thirty Years War. The body of the nation had almost been annihilated, “but the German spirit had passed through,” and amidst the physical ruins the Germans once again realized they were a nation of the spirit. This spirit had been preserved in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and the German spiritual mission in the world was to proclaim “that the Beautiful and the Noble came not into the world for sake of profit, nay, not for the sake of even fame and recognition.”[22] Wagner thus viewed the new festival theater he built in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth in 1876 as the Grail Castle of a reborn, spiritual Germany. Far from the cosmopolitan theaters operated by city-dwelling Jews, Bayreuth would allow the German nation to regain a sense of its true self by experiencing the mythic force of its own ancient epic — theNibelungen. Through Bayreuth, Wagner wanted to reclaim German art and culture from that “race of mediators and negotiators whose influence was . . . to spread its truly ‘international’ power more and more widely over Germany.”[23]

Wagner repeatedly observed (and lamented) the fact that the Jews had stormed the fortress of German high culture, especially its music, and had successfully “brought the public art-taste of our time between the busy fingers of the Jew.”[24] A host of Jewish middlemen had gained a damaging hold over the critical press, publishing, theaters, operas, orchestras, art galleries and agencies. This Jewish cultural ascendancy in Germany was, of course, to reach its zenith in the Weimar Republic. Despite his stated views, Wagner twice refused to sign the “Anti-Semites Petition” of 1880 (presented to Bismarck) which complained about the very economic domination that so troubled him. The Petition, which quickly won 225,000 signatures, stated:

Wherever Christian and Jew enter into social relations, we see the Jew as master, the indigenous Christian population in a subservient position. The Jew takes part only to a negligible extent in the heavy labor of the great mass of the nation. But the fruits of his [the German’s] labor are reaped mainly by the Jew. By far the largest part of the capital which national labor produces is in Jewish hands. . . . Not only do the proudest palaces of our large cities belong to Jewish masters whose fathers and grandfathers, huckstering and peddling, crossed the frontiers into our fatherland, but rural holdings too, that most significant preservative basis of our political structure fall more and more into the hands of the Jews. . . . What we strive for is solely the emancipation of the German Volk from a form of alien domination which it cannot endure for any length of time.[25]

Cosima Wagner gave several explanations for her husband’s refusal to sign the petition, among them that he had already done as much as he could for the cause, that a petition he had signed against vivisection had failed, and that the new appeal was addressed in servile language to Bismarck, who by this time Wagner loathed.[26] Wagner deplored the “Jewishness” of the new German empire, which he thought, thanks to Bismarck, had turned out to be a real-politischer state, rather than a truly German one. In 1878, Wagner wrote that “Bismarck is creating German unity, but he has no conception of its nature . . . His conduct is a disgrace for Germany . . . his decisions have brought forth from the Jews a petition of thanks.” When Bismarck spoke out against the Anti-Semites Petition it only confirmed Wagner in his conviction that Bismarck had “a pact with the Jews.”[27]

For Roger Scruton, it was Wagner’s determination to use his art to escape from the increasingly commercialized world of art he detested, a world “where value is price and price is value,” and where entertainment is considered more important than art, that is central to his genius. Wagner escaped “to a garret, high above the market place” in conscious reaction against the sentimentality and disingenuousness of the art and music at his time.

The operas of Wagner attempt to dignify the human being in something like the way he might be dignified by an uncorrupted common culture. Acutely conscious of the death of God, Wagner proposed man as his own redeemer and art as a transfiguring rite of passage to a higher world. The suggestion is visionary, and its impact on modern culture so great that the shockwaves are still overtaking us. . . . In the mature operas of Wagner our civilization gave voice for the last time to its idea of the heroic, though music that strives to endorse that idea to the full extent of its power. And because Wagner was a composer of supreme genius, perhaps the only one to have taken forward the intense inner language forged by Beethoven and to have used it to conquer the psychic spaces that Beethoven shunned, everything he wrote in his mature idiom has the ring of truth, and every note is both absolutely right and profoundly surprising.[28]

Wagner fled from the commercialized world of art into the inner realm of the imagination. He believed that the idealism and heroism of a bygone age could be rekindled to dwell among us again. He strove to create a new music public that would not just identify with the Germanic heroic ideal, but embrace it as part of an idealistic nationalism that eschewed the bourgeois values of the mid-nineteenth century. In this endeavor, he strived to connect at an emotional rather than a rational level with his audience. As Wagner once wrote of his Ring cycle: “I shall within these four evenings succeed in artistically conveying my purpose to the emotional — not the critical — understanding of the spectators.”[29] This was in keeping with his dictum that art should be “the presentation of religion in a lively form.”

It was precisely this quality in Wagner’s works that most repelled the Frankfurt School music theorist and critic Theodor W. Adorno, who likened Wagner’s famous system of leitmotifs to advertising jingles in the way they imprinted themselves on the memory. For Adorno, Wagner’s musical innovations led to feelings of disorientation and intoxication that seduced audiences and rendered them docile and dangerously susceptible to political persuasion. In every crowd applauding a Wagnerian work, Adorno insisted, lurked “the old virulent evil” of “demagogy.” Elizabeth Whitcombe notes that:

Adorno believed that Wagner’s work is “proselytizing” and “collective-narcissistic.” Adorno’s complaint about the “collective-narcissistic” quality of Wagner’s music is really a complaint that Wagner’s music appeals to deep emotions of group cohesion. Like the Germanic myths that his music was often based on, Wagner’s music evokes the deepest passions of ethnic collectivism and ethnic pride. In Adorno’s view, such emotions are nothing more than collective narcissism, at least partly because a strong sense of German ethnic pride tends to view Jews as outsiders — as “the other.” It is also not surprising that Adorno, as a self-consciously Jewish intellectual, would find such music abhorrent.[30]

Adorno’s jaundiced assessment of Wagner was encapsulated in Woody Allen’s quip that: “When I hear Wagner I have the irresistible urge to invade Poland.” Scruton points out that Wagner’s attempt to engage his audiences at the emotional level of religion (which so perturbed Adorno) was already doomed when Wagner first conceived it. The main problem being that:

[Wagner’s] sacerdotal presumptions have never ceased to alienate those who feel threatened by his message. Hence modern producers, embarrassed by dramas that make a mockery of their way of life, decide in their turn to make a mockery of the dramas [in so-called Regietheater/Eurotrash productions]. Of course, even today, musicians and singers, responding as they must to the urgency and sincerity of the music, do their best to produce the sounds that Wagner intended. But the action is invariably caricatured, wrapped in inverted commas, and reduced to the dimensions of the television sitcom. Sarcasm and satire run riot on the stage, not because they have anything to prove or say in the shadow of this unsurpassably noble music, but because nobility has become intolerable. The producer strives to distract the audience from Wagner’s message, and to mock every heroic gesture, lest the point of the drama should finally come home.

As Michael Tanner has argued, in his succinct and penetrating defense of the composer, modern productions attempt to “domesticate” Wagner, to bring his dramas down from the exalted sphere in which the music places them, to the world of human trivia, usually in order to make a “political statement” which, being both blatant and banal, succeeds only in cancelling the rich ambiguities of the drama. In contemporary Wagner productions we see exactly what the transition from modernism to the “post-modern” world involves, namely, the final rejection of high culture as a redemptive force and the ruination of the sacred in its last imagined form.[31]

In the conclusion to Judaism and Music, Wagner asserts of the Jews that “only one thing can redeem you from the burden of your curse: the redemption of Ahasverus — going under!”[32] Although this has been taken by some commentators to denote actual physical annihilation, in the context of the essay it refers to the eradication of Jewish separateness and traditions. Wagner advises Jews to follow the example of the German-Jewish political writer and satirist Ludwig Börne by abandoning Judaism. In this way Jews will take part in “this regenerative work of deliverance through self-annulment; then we are one and un-dissevered!” Wagner was calling for the assimilation of Jews into mainstream German culture and society. He thus offered to take Hermann Levi, the first conductor of his last opera Parsifal, to be baptised. Under the influence of Darwinian thinking (promoted in Germany by Ernst Haeckel), Wagner later came to favor expulsion over conversion, and thus paralleled the trajectory of German anti-Semitism over the course of the nineteenth century, which “shifted from demands for Jewish assimilation by intellectuals such as Kant and the young Hegelians in the early part of the century, to an increasing emphasis on the ethnic divide separating Germans and Jews.”[33]

Wagner republished Judaism in Music under his own name in 1869 with an extended introduction, leading to several protests by Jews at the first performances of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In the introduction he writes that: “Whether the downfall of our culture can be arrested by a violent ejection of the destructive foreign element I am unable to decide, since that would require forces with whose existence I am unacquainted.”[34] This second edition of Judaism in Music was published in the same year as Wilhelm Marr’s influential Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum (The Victory of Jewishness over Germanism). Historian Richard Evans claims that by the end of the 1870s Wagner had read Wilhelm Marr’s essay and had “broadly agreed with it.”[35] In 1878 Wagner confessed that “It is distressing to me always to come back to the theme of the Jews. But one cannot escape it if one looks to the future.”[36] In his late essay “Religion and Art” (1881), he described the Jews as “the plastic demon of the decline of mankind,” and declared: “I regard the Jewish race as the born enemies of humanity and everything that is noble in it; it is certain we Germans will go under before them, and perhaps I am the last German who knows how to stand up as an art-loving man against the Judaism that is already getting control of everything.”[37]

________________________________

Notes

[1] Paul Lang, Music in Western in Western Civilisation (London: J. M. Dent, 1963), 878.

[2] Bryan Magee, Aspects of Wagner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 56.

[3] Quoted in Martin Kitchen, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany (London: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 195.

[4] William Berger, Wagner Without Fear: Learning to Love – and Even Enjoy – Opera’s Most Demanding Genius (New York: Viking, 1998), 373.

[5] Adrian Mourby, “Can we forgive him?,” The Guardian, July 21, 2000,http://www.guardian.co.uk/friday_review/story/0,3605,345459,00.html

[6] Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward An Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1st Books Library, 2004), 60.

[7] Richard Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 3 (London: 1894; repr. 1966), 79-100,http://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDF_Books/JudaismInMusic.pdf

[8] Ibid.

[9] Bryan Magee, Wagner and Philosophy (London: Penguin, 2001), 349.

[10] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[11] MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 184.

[12] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[13] Magee, Aspects of Wagner, 27.

[14] Jonathan Carr, The Wagner Clan (London: Faber and Faber, 2007), 83-84.

[15] David Rodwin, “Wagner Was Right: Eclecticism and the Jewish Aesthetic,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkfGEqo3YjQ

[16] Quoted in MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 98.

[17] Magee, Aspects of Wagner, 24.

[18] Paul Lawrence Rose, German Question/Jewish Question: Revolutionary Anti-Semitism from Kant to Wagner (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992), 360.

[19] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[20] Richard Wagner, letter of April 1851 trans. by W. Ashton Ellis, In: Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt 1841-1853 (London: 1897; repr. 1973), 145.

[21] Richard Wagner, “What is German?” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 4 (London: 1894; repr. 1966), 151-69,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagwiger.htm

[22] Ibid. (Italics in the original)

[23] Rose, German Question/Jewish Question, 376.

[24] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[25] Quoted in MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 52.

[26] Jonathan Carr, The Wagner Clan, 75.

[27] Rose, German Question/Jewish Question, 372.

[28] Roger Scruton, Modern Culture (London: Continuum, 2000), 69.

[29] Richard Wagner, “A Communication to my Friends,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In:Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 1 (London: 1895; repr. 1966) 269-392,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagcomm.htm

[30] Elisabeth Whitcombe, “Adorno as Critic: Celebrating the Socially Destructive Force of Music,” The Occidental Observer, August 28, 2009,http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2009/08/adorno-as-critic/

[31] Scruton, Modern Culture, 69.

[32] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[33] MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 165.

[34] Richard Wagner, “Some Explanations Concerning ‘Judaism in Music,’” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. III (London: 1894; repr. 1966), 77-122, http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagjuda2.htm

[35] Richard Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (New York: Penguin, 2005), 33.

[36] Rose, German Question/Jewish Question, 377-78.

[37] Richard Wagner, “Religion and Art,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works, Vol. 6 (London: 1897; repr. 1966), 211-52,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wlpr0126.htm

CONSTITUTIONAL WAR vs. 1984 “Perpetual War”

Congress, originally (in 1787), was supposed to be the successor to Parliament as the highest expression of the Sovereignty of the Anglo-American People.  It seems, over the past 70 years, that Congress has largely abandoned its role as the primary lawmaker in the United States. As noted on this blog recently, Executive Orders have pretty much replaced legislative enactments.  During the 1950s and 60s, the Judiciary was commissioned with implementing the program of desegregation which neither of the directly political branches were willing to impose on the unwilling American people.

But now, as a consequence of all this history, the “legislature” now longer “legislates”–it mostly ratifies bills prepared by bureaucrats or lobbyists.  Debate is almost nugatory, no longer meaningful, and elections seem “rigged” at all levels.  One of the key powers of Congress granted in Article I of the Constitution was the power to declare war, and Congress has done this throughout history—but the last times were in 1941-1942 at the beginning of the Second World War.  

I find myself simply astonished by the following brain-dead (anti-Libertarian, anti-Ron Paul, anti-Constitutional) Republican “Red State” website (http://www.redstate.com/dcacklam/2012/05/16/law-war-security-why-libertarians-are-wrong-about-indefinate-detention/) defense of Indefinite Detention, but I reproduce it here merely to highlight its one key but absolutely fatal flaw—the “War on Terrorism” (like the “War on Drugs”) is an undeclared, unconstitutional war.  It is also a war which is likely to last forever—where there is no Constitutional Declaration of War, there will be no Treaty Ratifying Peace—precisely because the ENEMY DEPENDS ON US FOR ITS EXISTENCE—There can be no Al Qaida, no Terrorist Threat anywhere, that is not nurtured and fostered by the CIA and other elements of the American and “allied” governments.  Long-term terrorism is in essence a fantasy, a very Orwellian Fantasy, just like the “perpetual war” of Eurasia, Eastasia, and Anglo-American “Oceania”: 

I’m sure I’m not alone in having “grown up” on 1984.  In Orwell’s book a very credible “Cold War”-like “perpetual war” consumes what little surplus exists between the economies of London-based Anglo-American Oceania, Bolshevik Eurasia and Sino-Japanese Eastasia, the super-states which emerged from the atomic global war. “The book”, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein, explains how the balance of power is maintained: each state is so strong it cannot be defeated, even with the combined forces of two super-states—despite changing alliances. To hide such ridiculously illogical contradictions, history is  constantly being re-written to explain that the (new) alliance always was so; the populaces accustomed to doublethink accept it.

EXACTLY LIKE THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT AND THE WAR ON TERRORISM, ORWELL’S “FICTIONAL” (or was it Prophetic?) WAR is not fought in Oceanian, Eurasian or Eastasian territory but in the arctic wastes and a disputed zone comprising the sea and land from Tangiers (northern Africa) to Darwin (Australia).  

{{{For those of you with a weak grasp on geography, that includes Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Israel Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, the site of the USS Cole disaster in 1999, the sites of the U.S. Embassy Attacks in Nairobi & Dar es Salaam in 1998, Somalia, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia—in other words EVERY major theatre of war since 1945 EXCEPT for Korea, but including BOTH “Stanleyville and Saigon” and Algiers which were sites of major undeclared “hot spots in the cold war” in the 1950s-60s).  I sometimes wonder whether 1984 was actually an INSTRUCTIONAL manual leaked out, and quickly reclassified as a “fictional” work.  The author George Orwell really DID work for BBC Wartime anti-Nazi propaganda in India, after all, and given his circle of friends and contacts he was probably as privy as anyone outside of government could be to Power-Elite’s Vision of their plans for the next 70 years….}}}

At the start of Orwell’s Perpetual War, Oceania and Eastasia are allies combatting Eurasia in northern Africa.

That alliance ends and Oceania allied with Eurasia fights Eastasia, a change which occurred during the “Hate Week” (comparable to the real world “National Brotherhood Week” maybe?) dedicated to creating patriotic fervour for the Party’s perpetual war.  The public are utterly insensitive and blind to the change; in mid-sentence an orator changes the name of the enemy from “Eurasia” to “Eastasia” without pause. When the public are enraged at noticing that the wrong flags and posters are displayed they tear them down—thus the origin of the idiom “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”; later the Party claims to have captured Africa.  

{{{I personally have, for a long time now, suspected that it is no coincidence that we first went to war with Saddam Hussein and a terrorist named Osama bin Laden and then [had elected for us] a New World Order President named Barack Hussein Obama—so that people would have these similar sounding names confused, just as in Orwell’s 1984}}}.

“The book” by Goldstein, a credible name for a New World Order Theorist if ever there was one, explains the design and purpose of the unwinnable, perpetual war: the war serves to consume all “surplus” or excess human energy, time, labour and commodities, hence the economy of a super-state cannot (or is not expected to) support economic equality (a high standard of life) for every citizen.

Goldstein also details in characteristic doublespeak an Oceanian strategy of attacking enemy cities with atomic rockets before invasion, yet dismisses it as unfeasible and contrary to the war’s purpose; despite the atomic bombing of cities in the 1950s the super-states stopped such warfare lest it cause disequilibrium among the perfectly balanced and perpetually warring powers and thus bring about the uneconomical, politically undesirable, result of an actual peace.

Even the Perpetual War military technology in Orwell’s 1984 is prophetic in that, although it differs little from that of World War II, strategic bomber airplanes have been largely replaced with an evolved species of Werner von Braun’s Rocket Bombs (not quite the ICBMs of the Cold war, or the ABMs of the Star Wars Dreamtime).  True to the reality of Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, helicopters were heavily used as weapons of war (while they didn’t figure in WW2 in any form but prototypes) and surface combat units have been all but replaced by immense and unsinkable Floating Fortresses, island-like contraptions concentrating the firepower of a whole naval task force in a single, semi-mobile platform.  Orwell’s novel describes one such platform anchored between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, suggesting an Political and Practical “Perpetual War”-perpetuating preference for sea lane interdiction and denial).

In any event: serious students of U.S. History will recognize in the passage below, but see the logical and moral flaws in, the direct comparison to the U.S. Civil War of 1861-1865—when the rights of Americans, North and South, were first repressed and began their long decay into the nightmare of what I can only call either “the Brave New World” or “The New Dark Age”—although fans of George H.W. Bush like to call it “The New World Order”:

Law, War & Security – Why libertarians are wrong about ‘Indefinate Detention’

Posted by Dave_A (Diary)
Wednesday, May 16th at 2:56AM EDT
14 Comments
Recommenders: mikeymike143 (Diary), PowerToThePeople (Diary)

We hear complaints on this subject from time to time – in the past it was Bush’s opening Gitmo, the 2006 Military Commissions Act, and now it’s the NDAA & Obama not closing Gitmo…

Supposedly, this is a ‘grave violation’ of people’s rights, and we should all be very, very afraid because ‘It might be us next’…

Predictably enough, it’s usually lefties, extremists, libertarians, and Paul supporters (but I repeat myself on the last one, it seems – as that group encompasses all of the ones preceding) making these claims…

And rather than using the correct terms – such as EPW (Enemy Prisoner of War) or POW, and ‘detention for the duration of hostilities’, they use ‘indefinite detention’ and ‘violation of habeas corpus’ – as if the situation is one of holding every-day civilian criminals indefinitely without trial, rather than holding enemy combatants (some lawful, some very much unlawful) captured while engaging in hostilities against the United States…

So, with that said, here’s the case FOR proper handling of EPWs – or as the L’s call it ‘indefinite detention’:

1) The traditional treatment of captured persons, and specifically the concept of taking prisoners & holding them for the duration of hostilities or until an exchange can be negotiated, is older than the United States – and something we practiced ourselves in every war we have fought.

If it was Constitutional and right to hold British, Mexican, Spanish, German, and Japanese prisoners for the duration of the war-in-question – and to hold captured rebels for the duration of hostilities during the Civil War (despite their holding US Citizenship (the Union never recognized the CSA as a foreign nation) it being legal under the Constitution to try and execute them for treason instead – a decision likely influenced by the mutual possession of prisoners by both sides & the Union’s desire for reconciliation after eventual victory), what has changed to make it suddenly unconstitutional to hold Al Queda and Taliban prisoners in the same manner?

2) There are international agreements on the treatment of captured and retained persons – a subset of what is referred to in the military as ‘Law of Armed Combat’ or ‘Law of Land Warfare’ – that require certain things & prohibit others. Shooting surrendered enemy forces is prohibited, as is torture and various other offenses. <b>So is subjecting captured enemy troops to the capturing nation’s CIVILIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM.</b> Prisoners found to have engaged in unlawful combat/war crimes (through a hearing process spelled out in the aforementioned agreements) are to be tried by <b>military court</b>, NOT civilian court.

3) Of the alternatives, indefinite detention is the only legal way to keep captured enemy forces from returning to the battlefield (that’s why we’ve done it in every other war).

History – including OUR OWN history – shows that when combatants escape or evade capture, they routinely rejoin friendly forces and return to the fight. This isn’t unique to bad-guys – the US military has a good list of medals awarded to troops who escaped from or evaded capture, then returned to friendly lines & re-entered combat. In this war, we have a Marine of Muslim descent, who after being captured in Iraq tricked his captors into releasing him to a neutral Muslim country with promises that he would desert – of course when he got there he immediately went to the US Embassy & returned to the Marines. In addition, there are documented cases of released EPWs returning to the fight against us in this war.

– We can’t shoot them – that’s kind of illegal and immoral (Yes, they’d do it to us, but the price of being good guys is, well, being good)…
– We can’t try them as civilians – they’re not civilians, and it’s illegal.
– Releasing them to a foreign country means they’ll be back in the fight against us as soon as they can find a way home (as a Soldier myself, that’s what I’d do to them if I managed to get captured & released alive (fat chance – which is why anything is preferable to capture in this war, but let’s allow the example))…
– (For Taliban captured in Afghanistan) Turning them over to the Afghans results in them being treated as civilian criminals by the Afghan government, and that results in their being released due to the Afghan rules of evidence being ridiculously too limited.

So that leaves the one thing every single nation has done during a war – lock them up in a POW camp, in military custody (a place like, um, Gitmo) until the war is over…

3) The notion that we are in danger of EPW measures being used against US citizens, on US soil & not engaged in hostilities against the United States, for political or other nefarious purpose is unjustified paranoia. We have been at war for over 10 years now, and it hasn’t happened. Now it’s understandable to hear various revolutionary movements complaining, because at their core you usually find extremists who are willing to levy war against the US to achieve political ends – and who want to make winning that war as hard as possible for the US. But for everyone else, it’s paranoia… Plain and simple…

Personally, I’d say the violent-revolutionary types should be more worried about what we’ll do to them if they actually try to have their revolution – getting captured & held for the duration is the least of worries (compared to being killed by vastly superior pro-US forces, or captured & executed for treason)….

 (http://www.redstate.com/dcacklam/2012/05/16/law-war-security-why-libertarians-are-wrong-about-indefinate-detention/

Is Diversity Dangerous? Is Globalism Hazardous to the future of Darwinian Fitness? Is the West’s Embrace of Diversity the final death sentence for diversity both in the west and elsewhere? Is Diversity Just one big Globalist Plot to end World History and Natural Evolution? Probably so, probably so….

Is Maintenance of Cultural and Genetic Diversity Critical to the Future of the Human Race?  What is the best road to achieving such maintenance?  By globalism and homogenization or by a policy of “good fences make good neighbors” and “vive la difference?”

Accuracy in Media published the article reproduced below almost 9 years ago.  These are not QUITE my views, honestly, because what I believe about diversity runs more like this: Diversity is the fountainhead of evolutionary strength, but it requires the maintenance of voluntary isolation and the freedom to be different, even to cultivate differences, to let those differences flourish, and for each individual to choose the boundaries he wants to impose on his or her own life.  In other words, I believe that homogenization thwarts the evolutionary purpose of allowing small pools of cultural or genetic diversity to crystalize and formulate (cultural) or accumulate (physically) distinctive characteristics and patterns of adaptation which can then compete.  Most evolutionary experiments (both of the genetic/phenotypic/physical and cultural/learned/psychological & linguistic varieties) are failures but some are successes—and if everybody in the world is just subjected to this one big “shake and bake” formula of one-world global mixing and diversification for the purpose of atomizing and isolating individual differences so that they can achieve neither genetic nor social dominance, even locally, then this destroys the very raw material of evolution and change, and diversity is a terribly dangerous thing.  The French, as always, have a phrase that encapsulates my belief about diversity: “vive la difference!”—but “La Difference” and only flourish where there are cultural and physical boundaries which create cultural and genetic isolation.  Globalism is the death of both history and evolution, and I do not favor the acceleration of these deaths.  Globalism by merger of all the diversities of the planet’s great cultural and genetic diversity will only result in a monotonous hamburger-helper world where everyone looks basically alike, listens to the same music, watches the same dumb and dumber TV, buys the same fast foods from the same chains and drinks the same sodas (we’re almost there right now, right?).  “Good fences make good neighbors” and they also permit the survival of cultural and genetic diversity.

Diversity Can Be Dangerous

MEDIA MONITOR  |  BY REED IRVINE AND CLIFF KINCAID  |  JULY 30, 2001

. . . it estimates whites will fall below 50% and become America’s largest minority.

America is rapidly becoming a more racially diverse nation. Whites fell from 80% of our population in 1980 to 69% last year. The percentage of Hispanics, who may be of any race, nearly doubled. They overtook the blacks, who made only a modest gain to 12.3% of the total. Asians, Pacific islanders and native Americans made a big gain, rising to over nine percent of the total population. Whites made the largest gain numerically, but in percentage terms they were the only group whose percentage of the total fell, and it was a large fall— 11 percentage points.

The Census Bureau sees these trends continuing through the year 2060, when it estimates whites will fall below 50% and become America’s largest minority. It predicts that nearly all of the erosion of the white majority will be the result of a big increase in the number of Hispanics, Asians, Pacific islanders and native Americans. If the predictions it made five years ago are any indicator, the bureau is underestimating the increase in the Hispanic and Asians populations. The predictions of what last year’s census would show were far short of the actual increases for those two groups.

Many people, including President Bush, believe that more diversity will actually strengthen and improve our nation. The administration is proposing legalizing some three million illegal immigrants from Mexico. If that is done, the flow of illegal immigrants will no doubt increase, speeding the day the white majority will vanish.

It is true that we have had great success in absorbing immigrants and converting most of them into good Americans. But the success of the melting pot in the past is no guarantee that it will succeed in the future. Diversity is great up to a point, but when the minorities expand in number and power and there is no majority capable of maintaining law and order, government of the people, by the people and for the people may well perish from this part of the earth.

Diversity of language, customs and culture tends to divide, not unite. We have had two serious race riots in Seattle and Cincinnati this year. England has experienced an outbreak of race riots in the Midlands in recent months, clashes between whites and immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh that lasted for days and left behind great property damage and seething anger. In California Mexican immigrants who have risen to positions of power openly talk about the reconquest of the territory Mexico lost in the Mexican-American war.

If America ceases to be a majority white nation, it may not remain one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. In Africa, millions of blacks have been butchered by other blacks. In the Balkans white Christians and Muslims are at each other’s throats. In Sri Lanka the Sinhalese and Tamils have been fighting a bitter war for decades.

We worry about global warming, a threat based on an unproven theory. America’s white majority is shrinking rapidly, and we blithely encourage more and more immigrants, hastening its elimination, and giving no thought to the possible consequences.

Reed Irvine is the former Chairman of Accuracy In Media and Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report.

It is hard to know the truth about World Climate, but when well-published scientists are locked out…..

I have been listening attentively, but without any really deep insight or knowledge, to the debate on world climate change. To the extent that there is scientific evidence on regularities or anomalies in world climatic history, I am very interested and curious. To the extent that noble species such as the polar bears are involved, I could become quite emotionally involved. However, when excellent scientists with unimpeachable credentials are locked out of conferences, I can’t help but smell a great-big politically important rat. The popular perception of truth is, after all, almost always politically determined or controlled. Think of the struggles that Galileo and Copernicus had with the “Renaissance” Church of Rome over their contentions (which we now consider irrefutable truths) about the relationship between the Sun and the Earth in their relative position and rotation. Think about the debate during that same time period about whether cadavers should be used in medical research. Then consider the 19th Century debate over Human Evolution, when the question of “the missing link” in Darwin’s chain of evolution between Apes and Man was first raised up. One of the most distinguished and high ranking scientists of the time, the strong-willed and politically smoothe Thomas Huxley (Aldous’ grandfather) assumed and took over the role as the mild-mannered and retiring Charles Darwin’s mediator and advocate to the rests of the world. Thomas Huxley boldly and fiercely proclaimed that there was no problem posed by the question of the “missing link” between man and apes because “he lives among us today: the Negro.” Yes, Thomas Huxley, man of progress and enlightenment, falsely stated that African-Negroids had skulls half-way in thickness between fossil men and modern Homo Sapiens, that they had prehensile toes (I’m not making this up, I swear!) and that the body odor of Negros was as bad as unwashed apes. This was “scientific truth” in service of the British Empire’s subjugation of almost half of the African continent, except that there was no “scientific truth” in it at all. Every mildly and remotely competent medical doctor and physical anthropologist/ human biologist in the world today (not to mention every observant and decent person of every race) recoils in horror from what Huxley wrote about Black Africans. Yet this was accepted as “scientific truth” 120-140 years ago. What about the Polar Bears? What about Global Warming? What are the political agendas that push these doctrines? Are they any better than Huxley’s appalling pseudo-science? Was what Huxley wrote any less appalling if you believe or oppose general acceptance of the theory of evolution? It was FALSE! His statements today are an embarrassment to evolutionists. In fact, his statements today are so outrageously false that they are even an embarrassment to White Supremacists! What will we think in another 50-100 years about the Polar Bear Extinction and Global Warming arguments? Could Al Gore ever be considered as far off the mark as Thomas Huxley? Exclusion of scientists from important conferences, because of their dissenting views, is simply appalling….  So now, I reproduce from:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/27/warmists-deny-copenhagen-access-to-polar-bear-scientist/

Warmists deny Copenhagen access to polar bear scientist

27062009

From the UK Telegraph 26 June 2009

Christopher Booker

POLAR BEAR EXPERT BARRED BY WARMISTS

Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group, set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission, will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.

This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN’s major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world’s leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week’s meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with the views of the rest of the group.

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching into the status and management of  polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by  insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

polar_bears480

WUWT readers may recall seeing this photo flashed around the world of polar bears “stranded” on ice at sea. Photo by: Amanda Byrd

Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming in the past 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.

He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists’ agenda as their most iconic single cause.

The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the ‘wind-sculpted ice’ they were standing on made such a striking image. 

[Added by Anthony: Please follow this link to the original photographer. See the bottom right photo.

She just wanted a photograph more of the “wind-sculpted ice” than of the bears. Byrd writes:

“[You] have to keep in mind that the bears aren’t in danger at all. It was, if you will, their playground for 15 minutes. You know what I mean? This is a perfect picture for climate change, in a way, because you have the impression they are in the middle of the ocean and they are going to die with a coke in their hands. But they were not that far from the coast, and it was possible for them to swim.”

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Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week’s meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor’s, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: ‘it was the position you’ve taken on global warming that brought opposition’.

Dr Taylor was told that his views running ‘counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful’. His signing of the Manhattan Declaration – a statement by 500 scientists that the causes of climate change are not CO2 but natural, such as the radiation of the sun and changing ocean currents – was ‘inconsistent with the position taken by the PBSG’.

So, as the great Copenhagen bandwagon rolls on, stand by this week for reports along the lines of ‘ scientists say polar bears are threatened with extinction by vanishing Arctic ice’. But check out also on Anthony Watt’s Watts Up With That website for the latest news of what is actually happening in the Arctic. Average temperatures at midsummer were still below zero – the latest date this has happened in 50 years of record-keeping – and after last year’s recovery from its September 2007 low, this year’’s ice melt is likely to be substantially less than for some time, The bears are doing fine.

(Note – this was sent to me via email as an advance copy. Also I should add that the photo was not originally part of the story sent to me, I added the photo since I know the reference. – Anthony)

Related WUWT story here