June 26th, 2016

On the seventh anniversary of FredHJr’s death

[NOTE: For those of you who don’t know who FredHJr was, please see this and this, as well as these. The following is an updated version of a post that has appeared previously on this blog.]

Unbelievable that it’s been seven years since commenter FredHJr died suddenly and tragically.

It was extremely tragic for his family. But it was tragic for this blog, too, because he was an invaluable and irreplaceable member of our community, a “changer” who knew a lot about the Left and a keen observer of politics, history, religion, culture—of life itself. I still think about him often, wondering what he’d have to say about everything that’s happened in these last seven years.

One thing I don’t think he’d say, though, is that he was surprised by much of it. Every year on the anniversary, I offer some excerpts from his many comments here.

This comment is from October 18, 2008, just a few weeks before Obama was elected president for the first time:

It’s the Marxist/Leninist ethics of expediency. No regrets. Whatever it takes to discredit anything the other side does and excuse the sins of your own side.

…this reveals a lot about who is about to take power and how they will wield it against the rest of us. They get away with it and many will not at all be troubled by it because they are shaped by the post-modernism, cultural Marxism that they imbibed during their formative and educational experience. If we as a people cannot name this accurately and expunge its corrosive influence over our lives, then down into the wages of perdition and disaster we go.

The comment is from October 28, 2008. The election is getting close:

Obama is part of a nexus of interests. What the American dopes who will put him in office are getting is a NETWORK of alliances and interests, running the gamut from Finance (Soros) to academia to media to law. Thus far, in order to appeal to the Middle Muddle he has been packaged as a moderate or centrist. But once in office the venomous swarm of this network will burst out of the nest and devour the host. You wait and see. And I’m not eager for the moment to say “I told you so.” I really would it be the case that it never happens at all. Why? Because the lives of tens of millions of human beings hang in the balance of this and mushroom clouds on the horizon. I put the value of human life far above my own frustrated rantings.

This was a comment of Fred’s from the very beginning of the Obama presidency, but I think it’s worth mulling over today:

For me, Western Civilization is an incredibly complex work that has eclectically and also seamlessly borrowed the excellence and the virtues of Athens, Jerusalem, Rome, and the Enlightenment. The High Middle Ages and the Renaissance also made important contributions. In its totality it is a meritocracy and a liberation of humanity that has resulted in ever greater learning and material prosperity and health for most of the people who live under it. It is not an unblemished history. Yet in its totality it gleams with advancement when juxtaposed against civilizations which enslave humanity.

I think the beginning of the end of our civilization began with the French Revolution and The Terror. It was the beginning of the elaboration of totalitarian thought and throughout the 19th century this kept on finding newer permutations of elegant, intellectual terror. The 20th century was the culmination of the barbarity of totalitarianism.

Islam, to me, is a separate civilization and ideology of enslavement. Once they were stopped at Poitiers and later at Vienna, we were safe from its predations, and Islam began to collapse into a miasma of ever greater corruption and backwardness. Prior to that point, whatever prosperity it did have was the result of plundering non-Muslims of their property, wealth, and intellectual powers.

Now, with the latter part of the 20th century behind us and the dawn of a new millenium, the totalitarians in both civilizations have mated and allied, creating a very large and powerful force. We are only now just beginning to grasp the enormity of what this is and what it is accomplishing. This combined Beast is relentless in its pursuit to destroy our legacy and put us all under their boots. Also, you can be sure that these two erstwhile allies will fight each other in the future for dominance. To me, Moscow is the epicenter now of the totalitarian forces and alliances within our civilization. In Islam, it is Tehran that is the center of their power. Right now, Moscow and Tehran are allied against the West.

I almost want to say that they have won this war already, because the West is caught at a moment when most of its people do not even know about the existence of this combined Beast, much less have the will to fight it. They are ahead of us. Way ahead across many dimensions. What most helps their cause is the willful self-loathing of our people for their own civilization and heritage. It is very difficult to win this struggle when you have this enervating, entropic force that is like a millstone around the neck.

These are chosen somewhat randomly, but so very much of what I looked at that Fred had written was on target.

RIP Fred, and may your family be comforted in their grief. We miss you.

[NOTE: There are other commenters here who may have died, and I would like to mention them too, but for no one else did I actually get official word of that person’s death. One commenter who comes to mind is “strcpy,” who announced that he was very ill and then disappeared shortly thereafter, about five years ago. I wrote him an email but never heard back, and I fear he’s gone. But I don’t know for sure. Another prolific commenter who disappeared was Occam’s Beard.

There may be others, as well. I wouldn’t necessarily find out. Sometimes people just stop commenting, but it stands to reason some of them will have died. So I’ll take this opportunity to say RIP for all of them, whoever they may be.]

22 Responses to “On the seventh anniversary of FredHJr’s death”

  1. mizpants Says:

    I remember FredHJr with gratitude. I learned so much from him. Others too, but he was special

  2. T Says:


    Thanks for the annual reminder. It’s simply remarkable that it has already been seven years!

    My continued best wishes to his family.

  3. Cornhead Says:

    Before my time here, but so, so right about Moscow and Tehran.

    Obama’s real foreign policy legacy will be when Iran tests its nukes in about three years. I only hope Barack finds out about it after his golf game with the CEO of Boeing. Terrible deal for world security but Boeing sold Iran some jets.

  4. Brian Swisher Says:

    I, too, remember FredHJr, strcpy and Occam’s Beard. The comment section here is the best I’ve seen for consistency and quality.

  5. J.J. Says:

    Thanks for the memorial to FredHJr, neo. Those comments by him are pure gold. Incredible insight. Would that we had such wisdom in our government.

    FredHJr and I had many similar thoughts about the 2008 financial crisis and “Porkulus.” It was nice to know I was in such good company on those issues.

    RIP, FredHJr, and may his family be comforted by their memories of him.

    Now that I’m getting closer to “Flying West,” (I may have one year, or ten, but I can definitely see the end of the runway now) I have left instructions that neo and some other blog masters be informed. I’ve been commenting here since the days of your podcasts with Shrinkwrapped and Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred. I won’t just disappear. 🙂

  6. Eric Says:

    “To me, Moscow is the epicenter now of the totalitarian forces and alliances within our civilization.”

    Based on his stated foreign policy views, Trump is Moscow’s US presidential candidate.

  7. waltj Says:

    I remember Fred well. We were about the same age, had very different histories regarding the Left (he was once a part of it, I never was), but ended up with very similar points of view. His comments were always thought-provoking and remarkable in their clarity. RIP, Fred.

  8. Janet Says:

    Neo, thank you for keeping Fred’s memory alive here. As one of the other commenters mentioned here, the quality of comments on this site are the best amongst the various blogs I follow. Fred was a great example of the wisdom to be found in the common man. The “expert” talking heads we see ad nauseum today don’t hold a candle to an honest man with common sense.

  9. AesopFan Says:

    Janet Says:
    June 26th, 2016 at 7:48 pm
    …Fred was a great example of the wisdom to be found in the common man. The “expert” talking heads we see ad nauseum today don’t hold a candle to an honest man with common sense.
    * * *
    Some of the disruption in society / politics here and in Britain is, I believe, a result of the honest men finally realizing that the experts have been selling them a bill of goods, at best, and down the river, at worst, for a very , very long time.

  10. groundhog Says:

    I was thinking about this idea of not knowing what happens to people on the Internet. I think it is somewhat unique. Even in the days of pen pals who never meet, you usually could expect to find out if something happened to them.

    On the Internet, it is sometimes literally, “here today, gone tomorrow” with no further explanation forthcoming.

  11. Mark30339 Says:

    Amazing. What other blog would remember and share such wisdom?

  12. MikeII Says:

    Eric Says: “To me, Moscow is the epicenter now of the totalitarian forces and alliances within our civilization.”

    Based on his stated foreign policy views, Trump is Moscow’s US presidential candidate.

    Leave it to a Libtard to take a respectful column of a human being that has touched our lives and make it a political jab :-(.
    Of course given dear leader’s “good intentions” and Hildabeast’s desire for “pay for play” speeches and donations to the foundation’s slush fund, I’m sure their decisions will be “pure” as the driven snow.
    Trump is not my first choice but he isn’t guilty of leaving Americans to die in Bengazi or giving Iran the “bomb”.

    One last question Eric, since this is a column about FredHjr-
    Do you really think he would choose Hildabeast over Trump?
    I think not.

  13. DNW Says:

    “I think the beginning of the end of our civilization began with the French Revolution and The Terror. It was the beginning of the elaboration of totalitarian thought and throughout the 19th century this kept on finding newer permutations of elegant, intellectual terror. The 20th century was the culmination of the barbarity of totalitarianism.”

    I think that that is an especially important observation about which we need to be periodically reminded. Especially now that many of our politicians are more enthralled by the French Revolution and it’s predicates, than our own.

    You have of course dealt with this in the past: even contrasting their national slogan with our own Lockean statement of fundamental rights and interests.

  14. DNW Says:

    Oops “its” not “it’s”

  15. Nick Says:

    I usually have a few names going on different sites at any given time. There aren’t many sites that merit loyalty. I think we’ve moved out of a Golden Age of internet communication – actually, gold-plated at best, but there was a little gold. Facebook diminished the anonymity of the internet, then Twitter rewarded the briefest and the worst. There aren’t many salons left.

    The most frustrating part of it is the loss of relationships, however casual they may be. Then again, is it right to call a relationship “casual” when you spend days talking about philosophy and culture, politics and art? The best you can do, I guess, is to respect other people’s personal privacy if they approach you on an anonymous blog. It’s weird, though.

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The astuteness and prescience of those comments is impressive. FredHjr nailed many aspects of the forces on the Left. I would only express reservations about Moscow being the current epicenter of the Left. IMO, the ideology of the Left metastasized after the fall of the Soviet Union. Having spread across the world during the Soviet Union’s time, it is now a disparate network of aligned interests, rather than a centralized ideology…

  17. parker Says:

    RIP to all good people who take the last exit from our lives. They live on through our memories. We too shall pass as all things pass someday. Our lives are best measured by how the living remember us.

  18. kolnai Says:

    However long I’m absent, I always de-lurk to comment on the annual remembrance, as it’s also a reminder to all of us still around how wonderful our little haven and its proprietress are.

    I arrived here shortly after Fred’s passing, but I did know strcpy (who was, as I recall, a young man, making his likely death from cancer all the more tragic), and Occam’s Beard, whose blunt, sometimes endearingly curmudgeonly witticisms and observations were a big part of what made this place so uniquely attractive to me.

    It’s such a noble thing for neo to keep their memories alive – each in his unique way an embodiment of what makes America special (as another commenter said, “ordinary people with common sense”).

    God rest.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    i miss em
    and would trade places with him easy…

  20. Eric Says:

    “One last question Eric, since this is a column about FredHjr-
    Do you really think he would choose Hildabeast over Trump?
    I think not.”

    FredHJr would have recognized immediately that Trump’s rhetoric is consistent with Russian propaganda.

    Based on his comments, I believe FredHJr would choose neither Clinton nor Trump with the grim recognition that both the presumptive GOP and Dems presidential candidates, and more significantly, their contextual social activist movements, to be sides of the same dis-civic coin.

    Based on his comments, FredHJr evidently understood the big picture and long view that the activist game is the only social cultural/political game there is.

    The current challenge to America the leader of the free world would have been a crystalline moment for FredHJr. I believe he would have understood the epochal crossroads that We The People now face.

    As such, I believe FredHJr would have advocated for American conservative and liberal patriots to rally collectively for a viable 3rd option with a competitive activist awakening to save our country and the civilization that depends on our Shining City upon a Hill from both intolerable options – again, more than Trump and Clinton the individual candidates, but their contextual toxic social activist movements to which FredHJr, based on his comments, was evidently sensitized.

    I’m curious – because Neo hasn’t quoted it – whether FredHJr advocated prescription beyond his worthy diagnosis.

    Generally speaking, conservative intellectuals, including Neo, are sharp with diagnosis but also tend to fall short on prescription due to their ingrained aversion to the practical activism that’s necessary to compete for real in the arena versus social activist movements like the Democrat-front Left and Left-mimicking Trump-front alt-Right.

  21. Eric Says:

    Add: In other words, I believe FredHJr would have been #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary. He would not have impotently bent his knee and bowed his head in submissive compromise.

    The question – again, unanswered by Neo’s quotes of him – is whether FredHJr would have undertaken the social activism that’s practically necessary to solve the problem, inspired by and consistent with the Founding Fathers’ essential activism that won our nation via competition in the arena, as much he’s inspired by their ideal aspirations.

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    I think what FredH would do is up to FredH, even dead.

    Unless you have a power to ask a soul without a physical body a question, the issue is no longer in the political arena.

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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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