Monday, May 30, 2016

“A Complete Way of Death”

A Coffin Called Islam
On May 26, Family Security Matters reprinted an article, co-authored by Clare Lopez and Retired Admiral James A. Lyons,  which originally appeared on Accuracy in Media. “Misrepresenting the Threat of Islam” largely a critique of retired General David Petreaus’s article in the Washington Post (May 15).

Lopez and Lyons score Petreaus on his politically correct verbal soft-shoe about Islam, pointing out that he overlooks or chooses to ignore the fact of the Global Jihadist Movement (GJM), and that Islam is fundamentally not “religion of peace” that was “hijacked” by “extremists.” Jihadists, they write,

…are carrying out the core principles of Islam as specified in the Quran, Shariah and the hadiths.

 Anyone who has bothered to peruse the Koran, Sharia law, and the hadiths, will acknowledge that this is a true statement. I maintain a folder devoted exclusively to violent Koranic verses;  there are over two hundred of them I could easily cite here. The core principles reside in those verses and they are taken literally by jihadists of the Sunni and Shi’ite branches of Islam – as they were meant to be taken and which do not leave any room for subtextual interpretation. Those verses do not represent a guide to becoming flower children, but rather to becoming conquerors and killers.

Lopez and Lyons also upbraid Petreaus on his cheap shot at the First Amendment.

Petreaus not so subtly actually attacked our First Amendment rights when he expressed his concern over the current political dialogue that highlights the threat from Muslims and Islam. This was unconscionable! He has fallen into the trap of “Don’t criticize or take a position that might offend” the seventh century sensibilities of the followers of Islam.

Heeding that draconian advice would effectively shut down all criticism of Islam – scholarly, satirically, and vocally. Permanently. No one could open his mouth about or apply a pen to the subject without inviting a Muslim or government “backlash.” And what were Petreaus’s squeamish words?

Setting aside moral considerations, those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims should realize they are playing directly into the hands of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion. When Western politicians propose blanket discrimination against Islam, they bolster the terrorists’ propaganda. At the same time, such statements directly undermine our ability to defeat Islamist extremists by alienating and undermining the allies whose help we most need to win this fight: namely, Muslims…. I fear that neither is true; in fact, the ramifications of such rhetoric could be very harmful — and lasting.

Let’s parse that statement, and not “set aside moral considerations.” After all, Muslims are the most sensitive crybabies around (until they become crybullies).

“…those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims should realize they are playing directly into the hands of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.”

Not criticizing or mocking Islam has not caused al-Qaeda or ISIS or a domestic Muslim convert to refrain from beheadings, bombings, and conquests. Official government silence, on the other hand, has invited the terrorists to commit more atrocities. Jihadists rush to fill the vacuum left open by political correctness and appeals to “moderation.”

The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion.”

But the clash of civilizations has been underway for decades, and no American president – not Reagan, not either of the Bushes, and certainly not Obama – has ever had the courage or the moral rectitude to recognize that the West ought to be at war with Islam, especially because Islam has declared war on the West. The “provocation” has come and gone, and Islam owns it.

When Western politicians propose blanket discrimination against Islam, they bolster the terrorists’ propaganda.”

This is an indirect reference to Donald Trump, but also to other critics of Muslims and Islam who have proposed the same thing. I personally fail to understand how speaking out against Islam and jihadists “bolsters” terrorists’ propaganda. They will spew their propaganda regardless. They would prefer that we keep our mouths shut and go quietly into the night, and that anyone voicing opposition to Islam or Muslims or jihadists be silenced and punished in accordance with the West ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of Muslms by eviscerating freedom of speech (per the Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum of 1992). Read a portion of the memorandum here.

“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

“At the same time, such statements directly undermine our ability to defeat Islamist extremists by alienating and undermining the allies whose help we most need to win this fight: namely, Muslims.”

This is news to me, that we have “allies” among Muslims in this country or elsewhere. There’s nothing to “undermine.” A Muslim rooting for the Dallas Cowboys or having an ice cream cone is not a definition of a Muslim “ally.”

But the one statement by Lopez and Lyons that caught my attention was this:

Muslims do not consider Islam to be a “religion.” They call it a “complete way of life.”

A complete way of life. I had encountered the phrase almost repeatedly in my Islamic readings, but never grasped its significance in relation to Islam until Lopez and Lyons stressed it.

Yes, I knew that it meant the totality of living. Lopez and Lyons wrote:

Clearly, our leaders need to understand that Islam is a totalitarian ideology, governed by an alien legal system called Shariah that obligates all Muslims to carry out jihad to conquer the world and subjugate it to Islamic Law. [Italics mine]

Every dictator in history has preached a “way of life” to his subjugated citizens – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. And in every instance those “ways of life” have invariably led to misery, slaughter, and poverty. And to death. What the dictators preached, however, was that the imposed “way of life” was a struggle to achieve some of kind of happiness on earth.

Islam’s notion of a “complete way of life” is quite the opposite.

And what is a “religion?”

Every definition of it I found boiled down to the same basic parameters: the institutionalized worship of and reverence for a deity or supernatural being, with obedience to the deity’s wishes in variance with the severity of the creed. Some religions impinge on one’s daily life to some degree, or not at all. One’s “way of life” can include following divinely given golden rules, or none at all. But most religions allow one to set aside some quantum of mortality for oneself.

Islam does not. However, here are some excerpts from a handful of Islamic sites that emphasize a “complete way of life.”


Argument 2: One could out of sheer academic interest look at every aspect of life covered by Islam. Then one could develop alternative forms for each aspect and thereby have a theoretically complete way of life (assuming that Islam is indeed a complete way of life). However, the alternative way of life, although complete, would obviously be a humanly-inspired way of life. Again, being a complete way of life is not a sufficient condition for being divinely-inspired. The very concept of divine inspiration includes the concept of being a complete way of life.

This assumption holds that the concept of divine inspiration logically entails, or analytically includes, the concept of being a complete way of life. [Emphasis mine]

Assumption 3: If a way of life is not complete, then it is not divinely inspired.

It says that while one may have a “religion,” it does not mean that the “religion” is a “complete way of life.” It rejects the human element. Islam regards man-made law as pernicious.

From “Islam 101:”

The Shari‘ah thus prescribes directives for the regulation of our individual as well as collective lives. These directives affect such varied subjects as religious rituals, personal character, morals, habits, family relationships, social and economic affairs, administration, the rights and duties of citizens, the judicial system, the laws of war and peace and international relations. They tell us what is good and bad; what is beneficial and useful and what is injurious and harmful; what are the virtues which we have to cultivate and encourage and what are the evils which we have to suppress and guard against; what is the sphere of our voluntary, personal and social action and what are its limits; and, finally, what methods we can adopt to establish a dynamic order of society and what methods we should avoid. The Shari‘ah is a complete way of life and an all-embracing social order. [Emphasis mine]

Sharia law commands that its “complete way of life” be integrated with an “all-embracing social order.” Which means that Islam is totalitarian, from top to bottom. It embraces everything you do, say, or think.


A Complete Way Of Life !
Islam is a religion, but not in the western meaning of religion. The western connotation of the term "religion" is something between the believer and God. Islam is a religion that organizes all aspects of life on both the individual and national levels.

Islam organizes your relations with God, with yourself, with your children, with your relatives, with your neighbor, with your guest, and with other brethren. Islam clearly establishes your duties and rights in all those relationships.

Islam establishes a clear system of worship, civil rights, laws of marriage and divorce, laws of inheritance, code of behavior, what not to drink, what to wear, and what not to wear, how to worship God, how to govern, the laws of war and peace, when to go to war, when to make peace, the law of economics, and the laws of buying and selling. Islam is a complete code of life. [Emphasis mine]


Instead of the crescent and star,
this is the proper symbol of Islam
Islam is arguably more totalitarian then were Nazism and Communism. Nazism at least allowed you to eat your sauerkraut in peace before you attended the next Munich rally or killed another Jew. Communism allowed you gulp your vodka without recrimination before killing another kulak or Polish officer in the Katyn Forest.

Islam allows you nothing that is proscribed or specifically forbidden, or nothing that is not halal. Every little detail of living is governed by Islam, except for minor concretes, such as the brand of your underwear or the make of your car.

And what is the purpose of Sharia law and conforming to Islam? To gain a place in Paradise. Life on earth is not important. One’s life is not important except as it relates to Allah’s will and pleasure. Islam could be said to be similar to Christian altruism. But in Christianity it is a virtue to sacrifice values. In Islam, it is a virtue and an obligation to sacrifice non-values. Such as infidels, Jews, and other non-Muslims. Islam can't value that which it condemns or does not value; albeit, the non-values can be eliminated, destroyed, and infidels can be enslaved to serve Muslims and Islamic purposes.

Islam has no values, not for anyone who values his life, not for anyone who wants to achieve or keep values. It is the perfect system for those motivated by envy, by hatred of the good for being the good, and by a Kantian will and rote-learned imperative to destroy for the sake of destruction. The elimination of values is the only value possible in Islam. And to a rational Western mind, that is a non-value.

Islam is not interested in creating a Paradise on earth. It is interested only in creating a perfect human society that abides by Allah’s wishes. It creates a hermetically sealed society that permits no air, no choices, and no freedom, with everything predetermined and beyond the realm of reason and choice. It is the enemy of volition and values. It is a system of nihilism.

Islam is literally a “complete way of death.” It is not for nothing that it is often called a death cult by its critics. Its devout worship and live for death, in various degrees of fervor, whether or not they consume ice cream or root for the Dallas Cowboys or set off bombs in Belgian airports or slaughter concert goers in Paris or massacre 3,000 people on 9/11.

The only way for “peaceful” Muslims to cast off the stigma of responsibility for the crimes committed in the name of Islam is to understand and repudiate Islam.

Men like General Petreaus are politically correct ignoramuses and dhimmis.

However, do we really want Islam— or systemic nihilism – to gain more than the toe-hold it already has in America?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Beyond Satire

Real life too often today puts satire to shame. I shall begin with “Liberal Line Dancing.”



Some years ago in Baltimore I took a stroll through a street festival near the Inner Harbor. One event I encountered was something I hadn’t witnessed in person before: line dancing. I had become immersed in the subject of dancing while researching the Sparrowhawk series, set in 18th century Britain and America. I learned that it was only in the early 19th century that individualized dance between couples was introduced and became popular, preceded by the form of highly formalized and controlled modes such as the minuet and its variants, in which the couples barely touched each other.

Until then, from Medieval times to the present, dance was largely a collective pastime. Line dancing seems to be a hybrid of square dancing, which itself has roots in contra or country dancing preceding even Shakespeare’s time, but without participants even having to touch anyone. I was obliged to square dance in high school, and had to clasp the sweaty palms of dozens of others of either gender I didn’t know and didn’t want to know. Personal choice in such affairs of one’s partners was ruled out.

In liberal political, synchronized line dancing, all the players, in unison, wobble, wiggle, gesticulate, kick, turn about, swivel their hips, pantomime, roll their shoulders, and place their hands over their ears, mouths, and ears. The moves are commanded by a dance master, accompanied by a fiddler playing a monotonous tune over and over again, or perhaps with a Karaoke player. The most popular liberal line dances are called “The Shuffle,” “The Dodge,” “Duck and Grovel,” “The Wet Dog,” “The Double Side Step,” “Shake ‘n Bake,” “The Burqa Bop,” “The Muslim Moon,” “The Prayer Rug Stomp,” “The Shadada Shimmy,” “The Cover Your Butt,” “The Twirly,” and “The Hillary Rodham.”

Of all the religious, ethnic, or political groups that make up this country, only Muslims have no dance tradition. Islam does not permit dancing, except for joyous, spontaneous jumping up and down every time Americans or Westerners are killed. Muslims only believe in making babies, and that can’t be comfortably done on the dance floor.

On a more serious note, one of the biggest allies of Muslim immigration (and also of illegals from South of the Border) are the myriad "fair housing laws." The federal government has issued them, and so has every state and local municipality. "Fair housing laws" prohibit discrimination by race, creed, etc. by property owners or landlords.  I left this amended comment on a Sultan Knish column, “Only Islam Can Save Us From Islam.”

Employing this law, the feds and Christian charities that bring in Muslims by the boat full can dump Muslims "immigrants" in places as urban as New Jersey and as unlikely as Montana.

The irony of a "fair housing" law is similar to that of a state or city banning smoking in "public" spaces like restaurants, private clubs, and so on. The irony is that if you set the terms of whom one can associate with in these conditions, you own the facility, not the owner. Non-smokers wanted their "safe places" in which to dine. So bars and restaurants lose business and eventually go out of it. I've seen it happen over and over again where I live.

And if you try to prohibit Muslims from even applying for living space in this country in a private venue, you no longer own your apartment or residential block; the government does and the only beneficiaries are the "discriminated" applicants. You will be called to court and fined up the wazoo. And probably even told to pay compensation to Muslims for trying to keep them out of your hair, out of your daughter's shorts, and off your neck in terms of knives. You’ve hurt their feelings. Freedom of association is a dead letter. If you can't choose your tenants, then you are but a steward of "public" property, and the master sets the rules.

Related to this subject is the new, utterly bizarre anti-discrimination rule in New York City, which prohibits private businesses from barring LGBT and other anti-sex groups from employment and perhaps even housing, and probably even forces bakeries to bake cakes or taking wedding photographs of people you really don’t want to see or touch. Daniel Greenfield discusses this rule in a Front Page article, “New York is Enforcing Gender Identities It Can't Define.”

Individuals living in New York City can choose from a minimum of 31 different gender identities, many of which allow them to fluctuate between some version or a combination of male or female identities.

Businesses that don’t respect and accommodate an individual’s chosen gender identity risk incurring six-figure fines under rules implemented by the city’s Commission on Human Rights.

The list of protected gender identities is available online and includes options such as “gender bender,” “two spirit,” “third sex,” “androgynous,” “gender gifted,” and “pangender.” A city official  confirmed to The Daily Caller that all of the listed identities are protected by the city’s anti-discrimination laws, but said that the list was not exhaustive.

“Exhaustive” is too delimiting a term. Say, rather, the list can be expanded ad infinitum. You have only to use your imagination.

BI-GENDERED • CROSS-DRESSER • DRAG KING • DRAG QUEEN FEMME QUEEN • FEMALE-TO-MALE • FTM • GENDER BENDER GENDERQUEER • MALE-TO-FEMALE • MTF • NON-OP • HIJRA PANGENDER • TRANSEXUAL/TRANSSEXUAL • TRANS PERSON WOMAN • MAN • BUTCH • TWO-SPIRIT • TRANS • AGENDER THIRD SEX • GENDER FLUID • NON-BINARY TRANSGENDER ANDROGYNE • GENDER GIFTED • GENDER BLENDER • FEMME PERSON OF TRANSGENDER EXPERIENCE • ANDROGYNOUS

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss page two of all the alternative genders. Greenfield remarks: “About 70 percent of this list means the same basic thing. Non-op is also redundant because the official doctrine now is that a man can claim to be a woman without undergoing any surgery.”

Reading the list, I was reminded of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which Dr. Beverly Crusher, the Enterprise’s medical officer, was having an affair with a humanoid alien who was actually just the host of a parasite that was the real intelligence. The host suddenly dies and a new one is sent for. The actual alien, put in stasis until the new one arrives, resembled nothing less than a bovine liver.

The new host arrives. It’s a woman.

Dr. Crusher rejects the prospect of having an affair with her. When asked why by the host (speaking unseen for the transplanted bovine liver), she responds that the human race “hasn’t progressed that far yet.” Or words to that effect. Crusher would be amazed by the number of “new” genders that don’t even include the livers of ungulates. Perhaps she would prefer necking with the bladder of a yak. There are more genders on the New York City Commission’s list than aliens in the crew of the Enterprise, more aliens in gender than in a Star Wars cantina sipping Galactic Slurpees.

Of course, readers will all remember the arduous affection of an Argentinean (or Peruvian) who, with great ceremony, married a tree. Determined to go one better, several San Diego students married the ocean at the behest of Santa Monica philosophy professor Amber Katherine. Truth Revolt’s Trey Sanchez carried the headline grabbing story, “This Week in Progressive Lunacy: 'EcoSexual' Professor Marries Students to the Ocean.

Campus Reform talked with Amber Katherine, a philosophy professor, to explain the event and what it means. She said it was to bring about an "ecocentric passion and even lust" for the Earth. Funding for this environmental "marriage" came courtesy of SMC's Public Policy Institute, as well as other campus organizations.

Rings were handed out and students were led with the pronouncement, "With this ring, I bestow upon the sea the treasures of my mind heart and hands—as well as my body and soul. With the power vested in us, we now pronounce you ‘married to the sea.'"

Once "wed," the class was instructed to "make love with the water" by dipping toes in the sea "or any part of your body that you want."

Splish, splash! Looking out, of course, when engaged in connubial bliss, for sharks, Portuguese-men-war, and moray eels. When you marry the ocean, it isn’t promising you a rose garden. Still, the ocean is what the New York City rules might define as “gender fluid.”

Meryl Dickson, of The Walking Dead, in between sips of his whiskey, asks:
“Never mind socialism. Do they know anything about  differential calculus?”

Let us not forget the landlocked Wiccans, who held a formal ceremony in the name of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Craig Bannister of MRCTV reported on May 1st, in “Sanders Camp Holds Friday 13th ‘Ritual for Bernie’ for Wiccans, Druids and Heathens”:

A Bernie Sanders event in Portland, Oregon is inviting wiccans, Druids, heathens and atheists to a “Ritual for Bernie” to “raise the energy” of his presidential campaign:

“Clearly you're feeling the Bern. Maybe you're a Wiccan? Pagan? Goddess worshiper? Heathen? Druid? Spiritual but not religious? Secular Jew? Spiritually open minded? Unaffiliated? Atheist who likes ritual? Other? And you would like to engage with a community of like minded individuals to raise the energy of the Bernie Sanders vibration to a higher frequency and ultimately change the world for our children, grandchildren, and all future generations. I hear you!”

The event is aptly set for Friday 13th in a place called Woodstock Park – and, spelling errors aside, appears to be legitimate, since it claims to be “Paid for by Bernie 2016” and lists both a “Contribute” button and Sanders’ official campaign mailing address.

With such hope and change offered by the Wiccans, all Sanders needs now to clinch the Democratic nomination is a rain dance by Elizabeth Warren, that war bonnet-wearing faux Cherokee Indian from Massachusetts.

Let us not leave out the ethereal perorations and scribblings of university professors. They are in large part responsible for the lunacy in our culture. On May 16th, Tom Ciccotta ran a Breitbart column, “Madness Behind the Method: The Writings of the Craziest SJWs in Academia.  Here are some samples of papers written by the cream of academe:

From North Carolina State: “Sexy warriors: the politics and pleasures of submission to the state”
Jesse Paul Crane-Seeber, who received a Ph.D in International Relations at North Carolina State University, wrote his dissertation on why “war is sexy in contemporary US culture.” The paper, which was titled “Sexy warriors: the politics and pleasures of submission to the state” allowed Crane-Seeber to become an Assistant Professor in Public and International Affairs at NC State.

From Palgrave Macmillan, publishers: “Pornographic Animals”
“Pornographic Animals” is a text written by R. Malamud to explore the intersection of visual sociology and human sexuality. In this groundbreaking work, published by Palgrave Macmillan, Malamud writes about human-Animal intercourse and why humans are sexually attracted to animals.

From the University of California-Santa Barbara: “Smart Cookies: The Gendered Spaces of Labor, Citizenship, and Nationalism in the Girl Scout Cookie Sale”
This 2013 PhD dissertation points out the danger of selling of girl scout cookies and argues that the practice “prepares girls for their roles as American women in a neoliberal and capitalist society.” According to the author, the girl scout cookie selling tradition is responsible for aiding in unconscious female support of “market capitalism, neoliberalism, and American nationalism.” The dissertation argues that the annual girl scout cookie sale manipulates young girls into blindly accepting American society’s expected role for women.

From the University of Alberta: “The Moving Body and Social Change”
Pirkko Markula of the University of Alberta argues that one of the best ways to fight capitalism is through personal exercise routines. According to Markula, through her “experiences as a fitness instructor”, the work “explore[s] if it is possible to practice movement differently beyond the biopolitics of neo-liberalism.”

Had enough? There’s much more in Ciccotti’s article, if you need a good laugh.

But do not laugh too hard or too long. These people exist in the real world. They want you to come along with them and share their Kook Aid and power bars. Progressivism is a long, long progression to insanity.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

It Didn’t Start With Marx

An extraordinary book came my way, one which alters to some degree my own focus on the current conflict between socialism and conservatism, between secular political collectivism and religious political collectivism in America. This is George Watson’s The Lost Literature of Socialism, originally published in 1998 and reissued in 2001. Then, as now, it is largely unheralded by the doyens of socialism and conservatism. The book remains obscure for many reasons, not least of which is that its contents are a revelation which current socialists and egalitarians would prefer not become general knowledge. 

Many of the unsavory roots of socialism, as highlighted by Watson, are hardly complimentary or flattering and do not lend themselves to the unicorn picture of a humane political system in which no person wants for anything, neither free cell phone, an education, and two cars in every garage. But the sources and roots of socialism are basically unknown to modern advocates, who are genuinely ignorant and oblivious to what their forerunners had in mind. They are asking for something the true and inevitable nature of which they do not bother to examine in any depth other than quoting Marxist “scripture” out of historical context and often out of the context of a writer’s works.

Modern socialists are not holding fingers to their lips and urging sotto voce, “Shush! It’s really embarrassing what so many of our pioneer socialists said and did, it’s best that this knowledge not get around! If people knew, it could harm the cause!” No. They are utterly oblivious to the truth.  Watson notes that, overall, modern Marxists “were not just ignorant of the world. They were ignorant of Marx.” (p. 27)

In 1983, in one of his last books, Politics of the Ancient World, [Moses] Finley rightly deplored the vulgar habit of calling all class analysis Marxist, since, he said, it is in fact at least as old as Aristotle.

Socialism as an articulated, propagated cause, therefore, did not start with the publication of The Communist Manifesto (1848) or with Das Capital (1867). It had been growing long in the tooth for decades, even centuries before Marx was even born. Watson, a British Liberal, in his Preface, writes:

The literature of socialism is lost in the sense that it is unread….A lost literature is still a literature, after all, whether it survives in books, periodicals, or manuscripts, and it is the business of the literary historian to read it….

There is abundant evidence…that socialism was not always supposed to be left-wing or favorable to the poor, whether by its adherents or its opponents. It was not anti-racialist…and not always in favor of the welfare state.

Why have they not been heralded? Why have these classic works been ignored, that is, ignored in the sense that they are known and contain inconvenient ideas, not because they are known but snubbed and given short shrift? In the main, most advocates of socialism today do not understand what it is they are advocating. It is because Watson, in researching the sources and foundations of socialism and socialist thought, realized that most of the big names in the history of the development of socialist ideology were, practically to a man, conservatives!

That is, they wished to preserve the status quo of an elite cadre that governs men and disposes of their lives and property. They wished to have the power of Mandrake the Magigian to appropriate the wealth created by capitalism and create a new social order based on collectivism using that wealth, with themselves as the governing class above everyone else.

The vision they commonly held was one that projected an “idyllic” Medieval era, when knights jousted on brave steeds, the elite held court and ate well, and the general population existed at subsistence level or was locked into a guild socialism mosaic of trades and crafts, never to dream of leaving their assigned stations in life or aspiring to leave their allotted status as yeomen and servants for the privileged.

The Kennedy clan can be said to be the first full-fledged realization of a self-perpetuating aristocracy that lorded it over the rest of us. It was Joseph Kennedy, Sr.’s intent that his family should rule, and rule in the literal sense of the word, a rule that bought off the populace with socialist bromides and platitudes to placate the hoi polloi and plebeians with legislative crumbs.

There isn’t a howling socialist demonstrator or candidate for political office who does not want to be in that elite, from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Paul Ryan, and virtually every Democrat and Republican. They want to preserve the status quo so that they can rule, and rule from the vantage point of privilege and empowerment. The “revolution” they want to ignite is not a drive to higher heights of social organization, but a revolving door that puts them back in power, after some messy “revolutionary” disturbances, as the privileged class, insulated from the travails they impose on the population at large.

Until Karl Marx came along, socialists who predated him thought of socialism in terms of rank, not class.  The difference between rank and class is purely “social,” and has little to do with “class warfare” or the evolution of capitalism to an ideal social state. Rank implies that one knows one’s place in society. You take orders, do what’s expected of you, and never presume to tell the next person up the ladder his business.

A promotional flyer for Watson’s book reads and captures the tenor of Watson’s opus:

…Watson examines the foundation texts of socialism to find out what they really say: the result is blasphemy against socialism and against socialism’s canon of saints. Marx and Engels publicly advocated genocide in 1849; Ruskin called himself a violent Tory….and [George Bernard] Shaw held the working classes in utter contempt. Drawing on an impressive range of sources from Robert Own to Ken Livingstone, the author demonstrates that socialism was a conservative, nostalgic reaction to the radicalism of capitalism, and not always supposed to be advantageous to the poor….Two chapters…study Hitler’s claim that the whole of National Socialism [Nazism] was based on Marx, and bring to light the common theoretical basis of the beliefs of Stalin and Hitler which lead to death camps. As a literary critic, Watson’s concern is to pay proper respect to the works of the founding fathers of socialism, to attend to what they say and not to what their modern disciples wish they had said….

Here is a sampling of what the “ancients” of socialism said. In 1862, John Ruskin (1810-1900), an art critic and essayist, and virulently opposed to the Industrial Revolution, published Unto This Last. Watson writes:

Whether medieval, Neolithic, or Paleolithic, socialism was from its origins a hierarchical doctrine, and it habitually venerated aristocracy and leadership. “My continual aim,” Ruskin wrote in Unto This Last,
...has been to show the eternal superiority of some men to others, sometimes even of one man to all others; and to show also the advisability of appointing such person or persons to guide, to lead, or on occasion even to compel and subdue, their inferiors according to their own better knowledge and wider will” (paragraph 54).
Those who have wondered why, in practice, socialists can be so snobbish may have their answer here. They were not snobs in spite of being socialists…but socialists because they were snobs. Capitalism, after all, is radically vulgar…and it can give spending power to the most dreadful people. (p. 48)

I may be an upper class twit, but I own you.
I do not know if Ruskin ever killed anyone, but V.I. Lenin (1870-1924) killed on a mass scale once the Bolshevik government was established in 1917. Yet, he hailed from the Russian aristocracy. His father was made an hereditary nobleman for his work in education. Lenin, for all his hard-scrabble revolutionary activities and periods of imprisonment and exile, had aristocratic pretensions. Watson sheds some light on Lenin’s aims:

The principle of socialist aristocracy was candidly announced by Lenin fifteen years before he seized power, and in What Is to Be Done?, a pamphlet written in exile, he put a blunt case for the rule of an intellectual elite….Lenin’s argument is uncompromising. Since Marxist revolution is based on theory, and only intellectuals can understand theory, only an intellectual elite can lead the revolution: “the educated representatives of the propertied class, the intelligentsia.” (pp. 48-49)

The chief and overriding end of Lenin’s crusade against the Romanoffs and aristocracy was to replace them in fact and in political practice with Lenin and his commissars (and their successors). This is what happened. Soviet Russia, for over half a century, was ruled by a self-perpetuating aristocracy.

Socialism necessarily means government by a privileged class, as Lenin saw, since only those of privileged education are capable of planning and governing. [George Bernard] Shaw and H.G. Wells [both British Fabians], too, often derided the notion that ordinary people can be trusted with political choice….Socialism had to be based on privilege…since only privilege educates for the due exercise of centralized power in a planned economy….The next step was for the ruling elites of the socialist world to grant themselves the privileges, sometimes even hereditary privileges of a ruling caste. (p. 49)

On pages 62 and 63, Watson provides an note about the origin of key terms:

Socialism was first used as a term by Robert Owen in the “Cooperative Magazine” in 1827; and it was an English Christian Socialist, Goodwyn Barnby, who claimed in 1848 to have invented the word “communism” in Paris in 1840.

Watson cites numerous “unknown” advocates or critics of socialism throughout The Lost Literature, among them Alfred Sudre, a French lawyer and writer who published, in 1848, Histoire du Communisme.
Its subtitle was “an historical refutation of socialist utopias.’ Sudre opposed socialism and communism. He wrote that private property was the best defense of the poor against oppression by a stratified communist or socialist aristocratic establishment. Watson writes of Sudre that he averred that

The liberating claims of socialism…however sincere, are a chimera, and the nation that places economic power in the hands of a central authority, Sudre argues, will end with a tyranny like Plato’s guardians, ruled by fear and military discipline. It was the commitment of political thinkers in antiquity to the concept of a perfect state that led them into the monstrous errors that now threaten mankind, and Sudre was the first to notice how deeply indebted the early socialist thinkers were to the heritage of ancient philosophy, though his target was not Aristotle, who inspired Marx, but Aristotle’s master, Plato.

Sudre, writes Watson, was more radical than traditionalist, radical in the sense that he saw free enterprise and private property as a defense against socialist tyranny.

His case is both theoretical and practical. The real charge against communism is that, whatever its motives, its effects would be to create a privileged caste. It is more conservative, as an idea, than any group or party which, in a democratic age, chooses to call itself that. (p. 66)

Watson’s discourse is replete with discussions of obscure writers and excerpts from their works, pro and con socialism. Sudre, John Millar, David Hume, William Morris, Marx, Engels, and so on. It was not so startling, for example, to read that Hitler was first and foremost a socialist (thus the name of his Nazi party, the National Socialist German Workers' Party), but he was willing to allow some free enterprise in order to prop up his command economy. The striking thing is that, while he maintained a lifelong enmity for socialists and communists, he admitted in private that he and Nazism were indebted to Marx and Marxism – including the means to exterminate whole races as Stalin could, except he claimed that the Nazis were more efficient at it. 

I highly recommend Watson’s The Lost Literature of Socialism, especially to those socialists among us who wish to redistribute our lives, our property, and our futures. As a friend who has read it remarked, “there is a nugget on every page.” Socialists who heed my recommendation, however, may need to recalibrate their political philosophy.


The Lost Literature of Socialism, by George Watson. Cambridge, UK: The Lutterworth Press, 1998. 112 pp.