April 30th, 2014

This is what it’s come to in Britain—and the bell tolls for us, too

Quoting Winston Churchill can get you into hot water. Mark Steyn writes :

On Saturday, Paul Weston of Liberty GB, a candidate in next month’s European elections, was speaking on the steps of Winchester Guildhall and quoting Winston Churchill on the matter of Muslims (from The River War, young Winston’s book on the Sudanese campaign). He was, in short order, arrested by half-a-dozen police officers, shoved in the back of a van and taken away to be charged under a “Section 27 Dispersal Notice”. I had charitably assumed this was a more severe equivalent of the parade licensing that American municipalities use to discourage public participation by disfavored groups – ie, Mr Weston was arrested because he did not have his paperwork in order. I dislike such laws, but in America their use testifies at least to a certain squeamishness about directly punishing someone for the content of his speech.

Not so in Britain. The coppers dropped the Section 27 Dispersal business, and instead charged Mr Weston with a “Racially Aggravated Crime” – in other words, he’s being charged explicitly for the content of that Churchill passage, and the penalty could be two years in jail. This is remarkable, and not just because Islam is not a race, as its ever more numerous pasty Anglo-Saxon “reverts” will gladly tell you. For one thing, the police have effectively just criminalized Liberty GB’s political platform.

Where to begin? First, with the offending passage from Churchill’s The River War that Weston had read:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.

The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities – but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

Churchill posits “science” as saving western civilization against the militancy of Islam—meaning, if my interpretation is correct, the science that allowed the West to make superior weapons and to fight effectively with them against Muslim invasions of Europe and later Muslim rebellions around the world (the latter included the war his book was describing). But did Churchill foresee that Islam would take root in Britain itself, and—along with the left—wage a campaign to insidiously undermine the freedom of speech that is one of the bulwarks of western civilization? Not to mention the left’s also working to dumb down the teaching of the science, too?

I don’t think so. Although I’ve hardly read everything Churchill ever wrote, I doubt that even he had the vision to see those possibilities.

And yet here we are—and I use the word “we” because, although the US isn’t quite as far gone as Britain, it’s not far behind. That’s one of the reasons why many people (I include myself among them) are against a special criminal designation known as “hate crimes.” I think that old-fashioned “crimes” would suffice to cover all bases, and that the dangers of adding “hate” as a special intensifier to the mix is potentially too high a price to pay.

Steyn correctly describes the source of the point of view that ended up stifling Weston’s speech and which has weakened the defense of freedom of speech in the US as well:

Two generations of Americans have been raised in an educational milieu that thinks, to pluck a current example at random, that using the phrase “Man up!” ought to be banned. If you’ve been marinated in this world from kindergarten, why would you emerge into the adult world with any attachment to the value of freedom of speech?

As I say, in Britain, Australia and America, free peoples are losing the habits of free speech, and thereby will lose their freedom.

Exactly and precisely. These attitudes became entrenched in academia decades ago, as I discovered on my own when I returned to get my Master’s degree in the early 90s. Although I was still a liberal Democrat at the time, the academic world had passed me by while I’d been out in the other world minding my business and tending my family. In the meantime, someone had taught a whole new generation or two that they had the right to stop speech (and discipline the speaker) if said speech hurt their feelings.

I was shocked; how could this be? Back then I hadn’t the political framework to place it all in a left/right or statist/libertarian context, but I knew I was greatly disturbed by what I saw. When I spoke up to protest it in a class composed mostly of younger undergraduates, I was looked on by both class and professor (a woman of roughly my generation, I might add) as a kind of doddering old fossil with ideas too antiquated to bother much about.

I duly noted back then—although again, I hadn’t much political context to understand it at the time—that at the university I attended a great many of the students working to ban and punish speech they didn’t like called themselves feminists. Note that in the Churchill quote that got Weston into hot water, part of Churchill’s criticism of Islam was that it oppresses women. And so it does, to this day. But it’s the rare “feminist” who cares about that issue and its continuing truth, because somehow the need to soothe the ruffled feathers of Muslims takes precedence. Note what happened to Hirsi Ali at Brandeis, where the protection of Muslim feelings trumped championing women’s rights as well as the airing of ideas in the academic marketplace.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for us all.

26 Responses to “This is what it’s come to in Britain—and the bell tolls for us, too”

  1. rickl Says:

    The Left explicitly teaches that straight, white, Christian males are always and everywhere the oppressors, and only limiting our freedom of speech levels the playing field for women and people of color.

    It’s like a form of Original Sin. We can’t ever not be oppressors. It’s like we’re inherently defective humans or something.

    I’m sure the Left has ideas about cleansing society of our malign influence.

  2. Michael Says:

    This is rather timely given the Townhall post:
    “Dems: Hey, Let’s Amend the Constitution to Limit Political Speech”
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2014/04/30/uh-oh-us-health-spending-spikes-to-three-decade-high-in-q1-n1831608

    While the post optimistically assumes “dems believe the bill has no chance of passing,” in today’s climate, (where so-called, “free speech zones” have been given credibility) I’m not so optimistic.

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left ensured that apartheid in South Africa would never become better. They used white guilt to force the government to do things that weren’t wise.

  4. waitforit Says:

    I’ll have two harem burgers and two harem fries.

  5. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Leftist alliance’s true power is mind control. And their evil goal is nothing less than the total enslavement of humanity, body, mind, and soul.

    It’s not about politics, per say. And it’s not a mistake. It’s an engineered collapse.

  6. kit Says:

    Without white males we would not have cars, trains, planes, antibiotics, bridges, washing machines, refrigeration, television, microchips, flushing toilets and Wedgewood china.

    Don’t feel guilty white guys. We owe you our thanks.

  7. waitforit Says:

    I see it behind their eyes; I am a patient man; I wait for the reprise; I am the waiting land. The power arises; heals in fine, in fire; funny those surprises; waits and wounds the liar.

  8. parker Says:

    As a (mostly) caucasian, heterosexual male I urge everyone, without regard to gender or of confused gender, to man up! On a more serious note, the brain police PC crowd need a thorough thrashing and afterwards a free, one way, trip to Saudi Arabia.

  9. rickl Says:

    It is depressing what a totalitarian hellhole England has become.

    The traditions of freedom of speech, private property, and individual liberty largely originated there. The phrase “a man’s home is his castle” came from there, and meant that even the King himself couldn’t enter your home without a legal warrant.

    America’s Founders merely wanted to assert their rights as Englishmen, which is why they objected to taxation without representation.

    Today England is one of the most pervasive surveillance states on the planet, and America is rapidly following them down the rabbit hole, with government SWAT teams poised to kick down your door at 3:00 AM for filling in a stagnant pond on your property, or making guitars out of illegal wood.

    And of course lawyers and judges declare that all of this is legal, but requiring ID for voting isn’t.

    I see no way to regain our liberty without extreme levels of violence and bloodshed. The only way for civilized men to deal with tyrants is to hunt them down and kill them without mercy or remorse.

  10. Cornhead Says:

    Churchill was spot on. Islam is the most retrograde force in the world.

  11. Steve Says:

    Benghazigate Update: New White House Reaction To Benghazi Documents

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2014/04/benghazigate-update-new-white-house.html

  12. Oldflyer Says:

    You do good work Neo.

    It is excruciatingly sad to read of England today. For better or worse, so many of our traditions derive from England. Actually, they have served us well.

    I first visited England in about 1972. My first impression was of a very safe and civil society.
    In the 1980s and 1990s I had occasion to visit more often for lengthier stays. I sensed that changes were taking place, but had no idea that the British, once so proud of their heritage, would allow their society to degenerate into the sad farce that it has become.

    During the ’90s I worked periodically in Canada, and actually marveled at how very un-PC the casual language could be. To say that the Canadians with whom I rubbed elbows were free speakers would put it mildly. I wonder if the ordinary Canadian now feels restrained in every day conversation?

    We would like to believe that it could not happen here.

  13. mike Says:

    As Western Civilization pushes Christianity out the back door, the most evil Islam is shown in the front. The most cursory study of Islam reveals it to be a political order of the basest class masquerading as a religion.

    It is as if we are all deaf, dumb, and blinded by the glib salesman’s pitch of “equality” and “fairness”, lazily and irresponsibly satisfied in thinking “it won’t affect me – much”.

    Freedom to practice your religion does not require Americans to adopt your law based on that religion. Any so-called thinking person who would vote to allow sharia into America must be prepared to see public beheadings meted out as “justice”, hopefully starting with your own.

    Why is it that such a stone-age philosophy of governance, human relations and bloody self-flagellation has thrived well into the 21st century? It’s certainly not that the practices or reputation have improved. It must be that we have gotten softer, more willing to placate and appease rather than fight to hold the gains that only Western Civilization struggled for and attained.

    I’m game to bring back Cromwell.

  14. Ymarsakar Says:

    The United States of Islam. Sounded like a fantasy of Feri in the old days. Now seems more like a road map.

  15. parker Says:

    When this: http://tinyurl.com/pfle887 migrates from the UK to America there will be not a single mosque left unburned.

  16. Don Carlos Says:

    WWII destroyed British character. as it did character and young manhood and families throughout all of Western Europe. Part of that was due to the conscious decision by Ike and FDR to let the Ivans take Eastern Europe and Berlin in ’45. The Brits pretty abjectly surrendered their Commonwealth (which took some years), Kicked out Churchill and the Conservatives in ’45. In came Labour, the NHS and lots of other socialist schemes like massive public housing “estates”. In came the Muzzies with their British passports. Crime has steadily risen over the decades, each domicile now being burgled yearly on average and the cops don’t bother to investigate, but instead sit in their cop shops drinking tea and allegedly watching surveillance cameras on their tellies.

    Remnant rebel character remains in the US and that is all the barrier we have, with the 2nd amendment. That may not survive given judicial activism, urbanization and the utter breakdown in Scots-Irish enclaves like Appalachia with the disappearance of the family, dependency on the state, and an influx of moneyed Libs into the Carolinas and Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.
    But beware. English talking heads are everywhere and America has never gotten over its inferiority complex. So we have the Piers Morgans talking us down or is it chatting us up? Useless people now, in the main.

  17. Beverly Says:

    Well, I hope all of you see this: Germaine Greer has recently come out in support of female genital mutilation.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/ko5mwgb

    She said, ACTUALLY SAID: “One man’s beautification is another man’s mutilation,” and said that attempts to outlaw the practice are “an attack on CULTURAL IDENTITY.”

    Sorry for the caps, but I’m outraged. This creature calls itself a feminist???

    So, on one hand we have Winston Churchill, who, God bless him, saw clearly that the root of Islam is woman-hatred and saw how destructive (and ungodly) that is; on the other hand, we have this rancid cow, this, yes, “feminazi” who endorses the practices you will see if you click that link above.

    It’s not easy to look at. Girls just at puberty, lying on their backs in a row in the dirt; adult hands holding bloody razor blades. They amputate the girls’ clitorises. (Pharoanic “circumcision” is even worse, q.v.)

    This, this, is one of the reasons I left the Democrats. They don’t give a damn about women or girls. Look who’s defending the rights of women: Churchill. Look who’s endorsing mutilating little girls: Germaine freaking Greer.

    What is this “Culture” they worship? of course, it’s everyone’s culture but ours, which they hate. Leftism is demonic; I’m sorry, it just is. By their fruits shall you know them.

    “An estimated 130 million young girls have undergone sexual mutilation, mostly in Muslim countries, but now, apparently in Great Britain, Europe, and the USA, too.”

  18. Beverly Says:

    I used to work for an NGO (nongovernmental [sic] organization) that worked for women’s reproductive rights in the Third World, so I know rather a lot about this. Somali (Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s native land) practices this severe form of FGM:

    During Pharaonic circumcision, the clitoris and labia minora are cut off, and then the labia majora is sewn closed, leaving only a small opening at the vulva for urination and release of menstrual blood. Sepsis and death are common. When the girls, often child brides, are given to older men on their “wedding night,” the man takes a knife to the girl and slits her open for intercourse. But hey! at least he knows no one else has had sex with her.

    This of course means they can never feel real sexual pleasure, which is why the men insist on it. Keeps the property from straying, don’t you know.

    I think Germaine Greer should undergo this procedure as a form of Cultural Solidarity. To refuse to do so would be racist, wouldn’t it?

  19. Ackler Says:

    Neo, I would love to hear more about your experiences with academic censorship in that class and in academia in general. While random facts about PC absurdity in the ivory tower (cf College Insurrection) are amusing, personal anecdotes are much more informative.

  20. G Joubert Says:

    It’s already here. I see on Drudge right now a link to a story about a public high school in Colorado that recited the pledge of allegiance in Arabic, replacing “…one nation, under God” with “under Allah. Apparently it’s under the rubric of a cultural experience for the students.

    http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/school-recites-pledge-in-arabic-one-nation-under-allah.html

    I remember it being good old GWB himself who declared Islam to be a beautiful religion of peace, just barely a week after 9/11.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    It is right and correct to hate evil wherever it is. Whether one finds it in the streets or in a political party, matters not.

    All too often people think hate is about the same strength as the emotion they get when they choose vanilla over chocolate. That’s not what true hate is.

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    I remember Ackler from before, advocating for group consensus and enforced condemnation of what society deems unrighteous.

  23. expat Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSP47FAtn6U

    I found this via Instapundit or Gateway Pundit. It’s about the use of Halal food to blackmail Australians.The woman seems tto have done her homework.

  24. DNW Says:

    “What is this “Culture” they worship?”

    That’s an interesting question, touched on here previously in discussion on the rise of historicism, and one partly addressed in the famous book Neo recommended I buy and read, “The Closing of The American Mind”.

    It’s that mid 1980′s work that we have all read so much about in the form of references, yet so many of us somehow missed reading for ourselves.

    I finally at Neo’s urging, got to it.

    Yet despite Bloom’s encyclopedic knowledge, which is coupled to an undoubted talent for accurate characterization and description, he gives it seems to me, more a review of the process by which the notion of “culture” ascended to its current status, rather than a satisfying explanation. Perhaps there isn’t one in the sense I would seek. He shows how the wreck develops, who participated, how they came to be there, and what they were doing at the time, but for some reason I’m still asking myself “But why”?

    I guess the simple answer is that the metaphysical views of the modern materialist cannot support what were formerly taken as defining categories and concepts ; “man, per se”; “intentionality” teleology; reason and objectivity.

    There is just swirling matter sometimes coalescing and spinning off sub-vortices or inciting new “patterns”. Some of it “here”, some of it “there”; some spinning in one direction, some in another. All meaningless from a bird’s eye view.

    This notion of reality of course, does not seem however to logically entail a posture of respect for the “over there” anymore than it entails a posture of respect for the “over here” which it admittedly tends to dissolve and undermine. Nor does it explain why the shrug of the progressive at traditional precedent should not be reciprocated once the “progressive’s” views achieve institutional status. “It’s settled Law!” Ah, yeah, now “it’s settled law”. How comical.

    Which is probably why the progressive class really do not try to defend their aims so much by a process of reason – which they view as ultimately futile or meaningless anyway – as by social coercion in the name of what “we want”.

    Sandra Korn’s little diatribe is just the most recent example to catch people’s attention, though sexually ambiguous postmodern leftoids have been shoving their spectacles up their snub noses and declaiming in that way for years.

    I guess there are some people who are determined to worship something, even if it is nothing more than their own framing of what they take to be ultimately meaningless historical accidents … which is of course what they themselves happen to amount to under the terms of their own analysis and dogmas.

    Maybe it is just their biology. Bloom makes a remark regarding Margaret Mead that had to predate her general exposure as a fraud and polemicist by Derek Freeman and others by a decade or two later. [Though anyone who had actually waded through her voyeuristic and cloying prose concerning sexually free "hoydens" and "romeos" might have surmised that she was working out her own interest as a sexual adventuress [Bloom] through her “research”. Nonetheless, early as it was, Bloom boldly comes right out and says it.

    It could be that with that famous principle of the progressive, “the personal is the political” these progressive organisms are revealing more than anyone a part of the original conversation, imagined at the time.

    ” … of course, it’s everyone’s culture but ours, which they hate. Leftism is demonic; I’m sorry, it just is. By their fruits shall you know them.”

    In their vanity, they both despise and revel in existence. Lounging in their appetites, raging at the portions of the universe indifferent to their per definition accidental wills.

    Demons probably do not exist. But given what we might say about the collapse of the old materialist paradigm wherein “matter” seemed to have a clear definition in distinction to energy; the collapse of the notion of human, as a coherent category; the overthrow of reason as the arbiter rather than the servant of appetite; the placing of drives and appetites psychologically outside the realm of the consciousness, and the ontological positioning of “urges” as outside of and beyond the adjudication of reason and objective evaluation; it seems that with the modern liberal “appetite entity” in all his nihilistically dogmatic glory, you have a pretty good naturalistic approximation of what people have traditionally thought of, as, more or less, a demon.

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    DNW, I don’t call them Demoncrats, rule by and for demons, for nothing.

    If God and the Devil does not exist, humanity will create them. For there will always be a need for such, for masters and servants, good and evil. If there is no god that the Left recognizes, they will raise one up Deus Ex Machina style, your Hussein Messiah, if nothing else exists.

  26. Ann Says:

    Beverly,

    That Germaine Greer controversy over female genital mutilation is actually quite old — it happened in 1999. Maybe it’s back in the news again because of what happened with Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis?

    In any case, I was very curious about this a while ago and found Greer discussing her position in a Q&A forum. She gets a tough question and starts talking at around the 16:00 point. I don’t agree with her, but her position is informed and nuanced. She also says the Somali-type mutilation you describe is very rare.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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