Friday, September 26, 2014

Euphemisms: The Euthanasia of Words

One must really hand it to President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron for their anti-ISIS speeches at the U.N. on Wednesday: They managed to condemn ISIS, or the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, without much uttering the words “Islam” and “Muslim.”

Not once did Cameron in his UN speech mention “Islam,” but rather “Islamist extremism,” surely a redundancy in terms. He did, however, utter “Muslims” or “Muslim” five times. The rest of his speech stressed that other Muslims were also being killed by the “extremists” and, echoing George W. Bush from nearly a decade and a half ago, indicated that ISIS had “hijacked” Islam, thus exonerating Islam.  He mentioned “evil” once, at the end of his speech.

Did Hitler “hijack” Nazism? Did Stalin “hijack” Communism? Did Ruhollah Khomeini “hijack” Islam?

Obama mentioned “evil” once, also, and uttered “Islam” four times. From him we heard the usual puffery about Islam being benign and peaceful and the cornerstone of Western civilization, and repeated his assurances (to Muslims) that we are not at war with Islam. It’s a statement he made in Cairo and in Ankara, Turkey (“In Ankara, I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam. “) It’s an “extremist ideology” that has declared war on the West, it’s the “violent extremists” who are responsible for the thousands of deaths and the carnage, not Islam itself, implying that Islam is just a hapless spectator to horrific crimes, and not the perpetrator of them.

Obama will not acknowledge that Islam is nothing if not “extremist” or “radical” or “violent.” However: Islam is as Islam does. That is the immutable fact which Obama and his ilk disguise in their patter of dhimmitude, multiculturalism, and moral relativism.

One can even pronounce a proscribed word and not mean that it has any connection to reality or the word’s actual meaning. Obama has made a rhetorical career of it.

Obama will throw a tantrum and berate his military advisors if they try to “paint all of Islam with the same brush.” That is, as a conquering, murdering, raping, looting ideology, as ISIS is and does. If the future indeed does not belong to those who “slander” the prophet of Islam – that is, identify Mohammad as the conquering, murdering, raping, looter he was, provided he actually existed – then the West is cooked per halal style, with our throats cut with knives or machetes we handed to our executioners , our property looted, our womenfolk sold off as sex slaves and concubines, and our children enrolled in politically correct madrassas.

Denial, willful ignorance, wishful thinking: the hallmarks of our age. If you know the truth about ISIS and Islam, as Obama does, and deny the truth, that is to side with Islam and ISIS.   Cameron is merely a knee-knocking fool, whose middle name must be ostrich.

Everyone but a semi-literate dolt reading the British press knows that the term “Asian,” when it occurs in a story about the Pakistani grooming gangs or an attack on white Britons, stands for the prohibited and unmentionable term “Muslim.” But it isn’t only careless usage of the term “Muslim” which could incur judicial disapprobation, jail time, and financial and personal penalties, but the wrath of Muslims over their “outraged religious feelings” or the alleged imputation of their ethnicity, as though mentioning a criminal’s Islamic affiliation was tantamount to expressing one’s “racism.”

Euphemisms, except in certain, defined circumstances (such as in dramatic dialogue, or in lyrics or poetry, or in humor), are corruptors of language and of minds. Euphemisms are not metaphors or similes for anything.  Their purpose is to disguise facts, not serve as guides to facts or as a means of clarification. Their primary purpose is to help a mind evade perceiving and dealing with reality. A euphemism used in dramatic dialogue can be justified if it stresses a disguised fact; but there is no justification for employing a euphemism when dealing with reality.

Politically correct writing and speech employ euphemisms by the dozen (see my two columns on the subject, “The Ghouls of Grammatical Egalitarianism” and “Thought Crime: The Logical End of Politically Correct Speech”) and a mind that consciously, habitually employs them is either epistemologically corrupt or in the process of becoming corrupt. The malady is reversible by choice, and so is not irreversible except in the most corrupt minds. An act of volition is necessary to cure oneself of the habit.

Here is an example of a not-so-complex euphemism, one employed by federal nutrition “experts” and the education bureaucracy: “Managed choice,” meaning an authoritarian desire to force Americans to choose what they, the bureaucrats, consider to be “healthy diets,” and to force parents and their children to associate with others in schools and neighborhoods, whether or not  they wish to associate with them. “Managed choice,” however, is a contradiction in terms.

Suppose one said to you: “The situation here is pure anarchy!” How would you interpret the statement? First, what is the definition of anarchy? The Oxford English Dictionary lists four possible meanings. And what is the context? Is one referring to a food fight in a school cafeteria? Is it a metaphor on the contents of someone’s mind or about a bizarre argument? Is the speaker referring to an “absence of government” or a “state of lawlessness”? A collapse of civil authority?

The purpose of euphemisms in any political, moral, or cultural discussion is to deny reality by denying words of their meanings. “Workplace violence,” a particularly egregious evasion of facts coined by former Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano with the approval of Barack Obama, is another euphemism for Islamic jihad.   

Allow me to demonstrate the employment of metaphors, but not of euphemisms.

Euphemisms are fig leaves for those uncomfortable with reality, and political correctness in speech and the written word demands that everyone affix them to their own minds, else be charged with indecent exposure. Euphemisms are the ObamaCare death panel for language. Words are buried alive, or injected with the poison of subjectivism. Censorship is the “managed choice” of language.

There. That wasn’t so hard, was it? The last sentence, however, was an example of a metaphor employing a euphemism against itself. A censor, however, will not warn you to “Choose your words carefully,” but rather to “Choose my words carefully.”

Because euphemisms are words, let us hear from an expert on language and words, novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand, who rarely, if ever, employed euphemisms. Here she discusses the origin and purpose of language:

In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind….

Concepts represent a system of mental filing and cross-filing, so complex that the largest electronic computer is a child’s toy by comparison. This system serves as the context, the frame-of-reference, by means of which man grasps and classifies (and studies further) every existent he encounters and every aspect of reality. Language is the physical (visual-audible) implementation of this system….

Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause nor the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication ; the necessary pre-condition of communication is that one have something to communicate.

The habitual or congenital usage of euphemisms, therefore, reflects a desire to emasculate one’s own cognition and the deliberate attempt to divert or con the cognition of others.

What is the origin of modern Euphemism-Speak? Linguistic Analysis and a hyena’s litter of minor theories about language. Rand wrote:

There is an element of grim irony in the emergence of Linguistic Analysis on the philosophical scene. The assault on man’s conceptual faculty has been accelerating since Kant, widening the breach between man’s mind and reality. The cognitive function of concepts was undercut by a series of grotesque devices—such, for instance, as the “analytic-synthetic” dichotomy which, by a route of tortuous circumlocutions and equivocations, leads to the dogma that a “necessarily” true proposition cannot be factual, and a factual proposition cannot be “necessarily” true….

The reductio ad absurdum of a long line of mini-Kantians, such as pragmatists and positivists, Linguistic Analysis holds that words are an arbitrary social product immune from any principles or standards, an irreducible primary not subject to inquiry about its origin or purpose—and that we can “dissolve” all philosophical problems by “clarifying” the use of these arbitrary, causeless, meaningless sounds which hold ultimate power over reality. . . .

Proceeding from the premise that words (concepts) are created by whim, Linguistic Analysis offers us a choice of whims: individual or collective. It declares that there are two kinds of definitions: “stipulative,” which may be anything anyone chooses, and “reportive,” which are ascertained by polls of popular use.

  In other words, fifty million Frenchmen can be right, individually, or collectively – but never wrong. That’s what euphemisms can do to language, any language, distill words into meaningless symbols. Which does not facilitate communication between men.

What rushes in to fill that vacuum is the euphemistic babble of Obama and countless other politicians, academics, and their fellow travelers in the cult of “speaking in tongues.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

Productive vs. Parasitical Societies

Daniel Greenfield, writing as Sultan Knish, penned an excellent and perceptive essay, “The Rationing Society.” My chief problem with the essay is in the choice of the terms “production society” and “rationing society,” which misdirect attention from the fundamental issues. Mr. Greenfield’s focus in the essay is the mechanics of wealth distribution in a “rationing society,” at least of such wealth would remain in an economy crippled by controls. I have selected a few of Greenfield’s statements to throw some light on their validity.

 The best literary depiction of a dystopian or “rationing society” or polity is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Regardless of the value of Orwell’s perceptive insights into the means and ends of totalitarianism – and they are many and spot-on – his basic conception of a functioning totalitarian regime was flawed.  A “production society” means free minds, minds free to innovate and sustain a technological or industrial civilization, free to act, and free to trade and to move about and assemble with others or not. A “rationing society” depends on the very attribute in men it wishes to leash or exterminate: free minds free to act.

Orwell’s other famous novel, the parable Animal Farm, was merely an attack by a “democratic socialist” on Stalin’s regime. Stalin and Soviet Russia lost many supporters in the West on the occasion of the Non-Aggression Pact signed by Stalin and Hitler in 1939. But when Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Russia, its Western supporters hurried back into the fold.  

A rationing or authoritarian society seeks to freeze things in a state of stagnation, the better to control things and everyone, but even a technologically stagnant society still needs minds that can sustain it. This is an implicit confession that the state is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. A rationing society will put a premium on the competence to even repair a telescreen or a “Floating Fortress” or weaponry or manufacture razor blades. A free, independent mind is such a society’s primary enemy. The result of leashing or punishing it is  the impoverishment of nearly everyone but the entrenched political class – and then collapse. 

Until the collapse occurs, competent minds able to prop up dwindling products such as shoes and razor blades and food which must now be rationed, until the assembly lines halt, raw materials become scare, and the stockpiles are depleted. The minds that could have replaced them will have been snuffed out, or, as happens in Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, those minds will finally have gone on strike and disappeared. Rand noted in For The New Intellectual:

“Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries.”

Greenfield wrote: "A socialist monopoly however is insurmountable because it carries with it the full weight of the authorities and the ideology that is inculcated into every man, woman and child in the country."

In a capitalist society, force is banned from human relationships, including trade. This is why monopolies in a capitalist society can be overcome. Innovators have a chance to rise and prosper. In a socialist, rationing, or authoritarian society, force is not banned and becomes the primary arbiter and determining factor, or the “economic tool” of first choice by statists. Innovators are discouraged by the threat of force or directly by force. The force can take the form of literal policing with clubs and guns and with the seizure of property and persons, or with punishing fines,  taxes,  draconian regulations, or a combination of all forms.

Among other inevitable consequences is the involuntary transfer of wealth to the state and its patronized special interest groups.

For example, New York has the highest taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in the nation, compelling smokers to cross state lines to purchase them, order them online, or rely on cigarette smugglers (many of whom, today, are Muslim gangs). The taxes, imposed by the federal government, by states, and by municipalities, are intended to discourage smoking, but these same governments nonetheless depend on the tax revenue. Taxes are imposed on gasoline purchases to discourage an increase of carbon emissions, yet these same governments depend on that revenue, as well.

Another instance of an authoritarian grip on another commodity is education. At the moment, “Common Core,” an educational system calculated and guaranteed to dumb down any child forced to attend a "public school," is being mandated across the country, with private schools in many states compelled to adopt it, as well.  With what penalty if a private school does not adopt it? A raid by a SWAT team? Financial penalties? Loss of accreditation? Jail for the school’s governing board and teachers? The sequestering of the school children? Big Brotherish monitors assigned to all classrooms? Your guess is as good as mine.

Why is Bill Gates’s Gates Foundation a “special interest”? It is because his “charity’s” educational goals mesh with the federal government’s, to turn American school children into “responsible” and proactive ciphers to advance what the state says is the “common good.”

Another instance of a rationing society is Obamacare. I don’t think I need elaborate on the federal government’s mandating Americans to purchase of health insurance.

Still another instance of a “rationing society” is the nullification of the right to move one’s property out of harm’s way – that is, out of reach of government taxation, regulations, and controls. See this story about our Authoritarian-in-Chief’s rules for moving corporate headquarters out of the U.S. to friendlier foreign shores, and then moving profits and earnings back into the U.S.  The Washington Post quoted Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, who chortled:

But the rules would not block the practice, known as tax “inversion,” and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew again called on Congress to enact more far-reaching reforms.

“These first, targeted steps make substantial progress in constraining the creative techniques used to avoid U.S. taxes, both in terms of meaningfully reducing the economic benefits of inversions after the fact, and when possible, stopping them altogether,” Lew said in a written statement.

The Authoritarian-in-Chief himself waxed sanctimoniously, according to the New York Times:

“While there’s no substitute for congressional action, my administration will act wherever we can to protect the progress the American people have worked so hard to bring about,” Mr. Obama said in a statement after the regulations on so-called corporate inversions were announced.

Barack Obama and Jack Lew and all the other Progressives and leftists in and out of office want to imprison private property to better slice it down to a “fairer” size – and also to pay off a national debt that can never be paid, not even in six generations of slave labor.

Lenin saw the consequences of Soviet Russia’s full implementation of Communist rationing policies and devised his New Economic Policy (NEP) to stave off starvation and possibly a revolt of the “proletariat” against the “Revolution.” It allowed a modicum of freedom of trade.  He “saved” the Revolution by adulterating Communism – for a while. It was rife with corruption that reached the highest levels of the multitude of bureaucracies. Instituted in 1921, it ended in 1929.

Stalin succeeded Lenin and atavistically reverted to full Communism, kicking off the starvation of millions, a vast expansion of the Gulag, and the infamous purge trials. However, Soviet Russia could not have survived for as long as it did except for what it could steal, cajole, or wheedle from the West. As long as there were semi-free nations willing to grant it bank credits and send it grain and build its factories, it could stumble along as a gasping dependent, counting on the very “economic” forces it wished to eradicate in Russia and around the world. As long as there were semi-free “production societies,” it survived, but just barely and by force. The same thing happened in Mao’s China, but after Mao’s passing the Communist regime there saved itself by opting out for “free market” fascism. However, it’s not really “free enterprise” when the ruling political class insists on having a hand and role in any enterprise.

Greenfield wrote: “Paradoxically, the rationing infrastructure increases in direct proportion to the falloff of production as lower production requires even greater rationing.” 

It isn’t actually a paradox. Under authoritarianism, dwindling production is a function of the number and severity of controls imposed to ensure everyone’s “fair share” or ephemeral “social justice” or some other state-designated end. It’s an absolute corollary of basic economics, a matter of fundamental cause-and-effect.

Laissez-Faire capitalism is the ideal “production society.”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Muslims and Self-Sacrifice

Last March I discussed the Muslim state of mind in “The Pathological Roots of Islam.” This time around I explore the reason that drives ordinary Muslims to want to immigrate to Western nations, when it means having to deal with infidels “lower than pigs and apes.”

On the occasion of the Australian raids on homes after discovery of a plot to behead a random Australian, that is, a non-Muslim, playing the Muslim-persecution-race-religion card, a Muslim whined that:

When asked why police had targeted his brother [Kawa], he said he had no idea.

"I dunno, I got a lot of anger. It's a war on Islam just because we grow our beards. They want to label us as a terrorist, or supporters of IS, whatever, that's up to you." he said.

He later said he believed Kawa may have been targeted because he hung around with "hot heads".

Another Muslim complained and warned, in the Daily Telegraph:

A MUSLIM leader chose the hallowed steps of Lakemba’s War Memorial to preach outrage and condemnation over the anti-terror raids across Sydney.
In front of 300 angry protesters, controversial Hizt ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar warned of a growing anger within the Islamic ­community and said it was time to stop the victimization. “We are tired of being made scapegoats. The government is the terrorist,” he declared to the gathering, many waving anti-government placards.

One must ask oneself this question: If Muslims regard non-Muslims as filthy kaffirs and the lowest of all creatures they'd really rather not be anywhere near, why do they wish to surround themselves with them by immigrating to – or rather, by invading and colonizing, too often by a nation’s invitation – a  country full of them, where they must deal with them daily and not in a beheading way (at first), either? Is it the higher standard of living? Is it the welfare? Is it for jobs? A “better life”?  I think those are just flash card reasons.

What exactly is a kaffir? Islam Stack Exchange, a website for enquiring Muslims, provides an authoritative answer:

My understanding of the term kafir is that it refers to a person who literally rejects God's authority.

So while even the most blatant polytheist would still be mushrik, he would not (necessarily) be kafir.

It's not until the message has been relayed to him and he refuses to accept it that he would be labelled kafir.

However, it seems the common use of the word kafir, at least nowadays, is to refer to anybody who is non-Muslim, regardless of whether or not they're familiar with God's message and His commands.

What is the actual meaning of this term in the primary sources? As in, when the Qur'an and the hadiths refer to the kuffar (or ayuhal kafireen) which interpretation is more correct?

I think the real reason why Muslims want to rub shoulders with us is that Islam inculcates a psychosis in Muslims that allows them to endure the "detested ones" while putting down roots for "the cause," which is basically to subjugate and/or kill kaffirs. They don't even need to think about it, not clearly, it's just a fuzzy state of mind that will in many eventually blossom into action.  Their remaining silent about the atrocities their brethren are committing across town or across an ocean, or denying that ISIS and Al Qaeda and Hamas and Hezbollah and all the other Islamic gangs have nothing to do with Islam, nonetheless still makes them culpable.

Of course, this is just a natural query looking for a logical causal-connection in Muslim behavior, but in a tentative answer one will not find any logic, just as one won't find clean, rational logic in Sharia law or in the Koran. I don't think the Muslim Brotherhood master-plan types even care how their lower-ranking Muslims think or behave, as long as they go to the West to plant seeds and play victim or minority or loud-mouthed advocate -- in short, to act as a spreading, slow-acting poison in Western culture, which has weakened itself with multiculturalism and political correctness and moral relativism. These maladies didn't exist in, say, 19th Britain, so such a "master plan" wouldn't have worked there or even in France.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s “master-plan,” or “Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group,” written May 22nd, 1991, per the Gates of Vienna and numerous other blog sites, cites:

One of the primary documents [pdf] used in the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2008 was the “Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group”. It was written on May 22, 1991 by Mohamed Akram, and gave a brief description of the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States:
The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the 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 Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. […] It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is…
But in the 20th and 21st centuries, such a "master plan" is feasible, and a goodly measure of that feasibility is enabled by the Western refusal to acknowledge the nature, methods and ends of Islam. That “General Strategy” is well-advanced in Europe, not so much in America in spite of our political leadership’s evasion of the issue. And Islam has millions of faith-lobotomized followers to perform those tasks and the footwork. All they need do is "be there" in Dearborn, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, London, Sydney, Amsterdam, and even in tiny Reykjavik, Iceland, to “be fruitful and multiply,” without even joining a noisy demonstration or carrying signs saying "Behead those who defame Islam."  If Islam is spreading, it is largely the West’s fault; it refuses to recognize Islam as the pestilence it is.

Islam is evil, but evil, as a rule, derives any strength or potency it might claim from a refusal of its victims to recognize that it is anti-life, anti-self, and, in this instance, fundamentally anti-man. Islam requires that men consciously repudiate and discard one’s self-interest. Only self-sacrifice is permitted. It requires that one submit without reservation or question to the arbitrary, capricious, irrational whims of an allegedly omnipotent, omniscient ghost.

Muslim mothers have boasted of being “proud” that their sons successfully exploded suicide vests and killed themselves and others. This is the kind of sacrifice which Western mothers, while they adhere to the Judeo-Christian notion that sacrifices are necessary to preserve a value, are not familiar with. One of the most repulsive and psychotic instances of sacrificing values among Muslims is the “honor killing” of wayward mothers and daughters by their own parents and other relatives.

So, I think that for the average Muslim, there's an intractable altruist psychosis in his mind that draws him to Western cultures and nations, not for jobs or a higher, healthier standard of living, but because, down deep, he knows there is a good there and it must be despoiled or destroyed because Allah commands it. So, he will endure being engulfed in a sea of filthy kaffirs. The demands of selflessness and unquestioning submission inherent in Islam make it easy for a Muslim to “suffer” so.  A Muslim can be content to safely participate in the “insurgency” against the West by being a passive cipher and welfare king (or queen), or engage in mere criminal acts against random Westerners in the Westerners’ own countries (rapes, beheadings, no-go vigilantes, attacking Jews, etc.).

This, in Western parlance, is self-sacrifice, not for a “noble end,” or even to preserve values – but instead to destroy values, by being a negative presence among the good. However, before they commit the final, ultimate self-sacrifice, Muslims first want to sacrifice you. It is a sought-after self-sacrifice which easily metastases into pure nihilism.