Gordon Brown Comes out of the Closet


Sean Gabb

Many people have speculated on the Prime Minister’s true inclinations. I am now pleased to bring an end to all this speculation.

I can reveal that Mr Brown is indeed a socialist – a National Socialist. Of course anyone who has watched him during the past decade – supporting a government with a taste for invading other countries and for destroying civil liberties at home – will not have needed to see the photographic evidence.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8033388.stm

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14 responses to “Gordon Brown Comes out of the Closet

  1. I wish he really was a Socialist.
    I also wish he and Parliament pass a law that required us all to piss on Thatcher’s grave the moment the bitch dies.

  2. Esther’s Unusual Seduction: [ This is a work of legend, of sorts. 24 April 2009 ]

    “Wherein Esther is bound within the Ring in the Changing-Room”

    ============================================================

    Esther’s somewhat sexually-confused husband, Ahasuerus, had been having the usual Persian ‘permissive’ ‘problems’ with Esther; and so he and Esther’s uptight mother decided to move Esther secretly to a strict Spartan (!) Training School, to ‘cure’ her of her hedonistic ‘sex addiction.’ The Training School, and its 200 mosly female residents, were situated in an isolated location outside of Lakonia, the Capital of Sparta, nearly self-sufficient in its separation from the outside world.

    Esther was really a healthy Persian girl, gloriously fair, cuddly and delightful, with an ample, sensual and experienced athletic bronzed body. Indeed, she had performed naked at the recent Olympic Games, her frame lightly oiled to show off her finely-defined muscular hardbody.

    She simply didn’t like their austere Spartan Training School, with its emphasis on endurance and super-fitness and warfighting. The determined Spartan staff reciprocated these feelings back towards Esther…

    THE CHANGING-ROOM

    =================

    Esther had been ordered to report to the Changing-Room at the Gymnasium at ten o’clock on Friday night. All week long, Esther experienced a mounting apprehension and tension as the hours and days fled by, towards that Friday night. She tried hot baths, and relaxation exercises, aromatic essences and deep breathing, and slow masturbation. Still, her imagination ran wild with fleeting images of how she might be ‘strictly trained’ — she had heard some truly scary stories from some of the other girls, who she had seen and heard being whipped to tears by the Training School staff.

    For, in Changing-Rooms, people can sometimes really be brought to change…

    Come Friday night, and Esther found herself standing outside the closed doors of the Gymnasium. She could hear several older people talking in hushed tones inside the gym. Suddenly, the doors flew open, and a severe-looking androgynous member of staff with short blonde hair said: “Esther ! Come in here, girl! Right now!”

    Esther shivered. Nevertheless, she stepped defiantly into the Gymnasium. She was led to the Changing-Room, where she was ordered to strip buff-naked and take a hot dip in a wooden tub of steaming hot water.

    The assistant watched as Esther undressed slowly, and stepped into the tub. Esther drew the lacy curtain closed; but she knew she was still all too visible through the filmy curtain.

    The assistant called out: “Come on, Esther! Get on with it! We want you squeaky-clean for this!”

    The hot water stung her skin into aliveness. Esther soaped herself up, and scrubbed her skin with a rough sponge. Her body gleamed as the streams of hot water coursed over her soft young skin. Every pore on her body opened.

    She now heard the assistant say insistently: “Come out now, Esther, and put your new clothes on… Right now, girl!”

    Esther stepped out of the tub, her body all steaming and gleaming golden wet from the hot water, to see that her day-clothes had been replaced with a black lace body-stocking, with open back; a four-centimetres-wide crimson velvet collar with square jewelled clasp; and a pair of short white cotton socks. There were also, laying upon the chair, a pair of four-centimetre- wide silver mesh lockable bracelets.

    There was a rough white cotton towel over the back of the chair.

    Esther towelled herself down under the bleak gaze of the assistant.

    She struggled into the close-fitting black lace body-stocking, pulling the black mesh smoothly around her body. She put on the white socks, and locked the glittering bracelets onto her wrists. She clasped the crimson velvet collar closely around her elegant neck.

    Then she looked at herself in the full-length polished silver mirror, and was amazed at the beauty of what and whom she saw there…. She _really looked_ like a Queen…

    The assistant led her into the main Gymnasium. It was a hot summer’s night.

    There, at the center of the Gymnasium floor, was a kind of large tubular bronze vertical ring, with a leather-covered saddle rising on a vertical wooden pole from a mount at the base of the Ring.

    Esther shivered again, and stepped up to the apparatus. She was told to stand on the base of the Ring, and then to raise her arms spread-eagled apart, up to the high sides of the Ring. The assistant fastened her wrists to either side of the Ring, using the bracelets, then she told Esther to move her feet wide apart: Esther’s ankles were then fastened wide and firmly to the base of the Ring. Oddly, at no stage did she even think to say ‘No!’ (the ‘Safe Word’}

    Esther was now stretched fully spread-eagled, upright, within the Ring.

    [ FX: ]

    Esther’s smooth sun-bronzed skin gleamed under the hot torchlight: the air was alive, and she could feel every little air-current as it stroked over her sensitive body-hairs. She could hear and feel the deep bass pounding of loud drumming music as it started up in the distance.

    Another, much more senior, leather-clad member of the Spartan staff entered the Gymnasium, and nodded approvingly at the sight of Esther’s voluptuous body stretched tight on the flogging-frame (for that was what it in fact was).

    Esther heard the tempered voice of Leonidas saying to her, quietly: “I’m Leonidas, Esther… You’re going to remember tonight’s experiences for a very, very long time, Esther…”

    Esther strained to look around. She could see a low rectangular polished wood table, upon which lay an assortment of – quite intentionally – scary-looking devices; including whips; leather straps; flat wooden-backed bristled hair-brushes; thin, long whippy canes of varying specifications; wooden – as well as leather – spanking paddles; dildoes; and various other mysterious-looking items.

    Also upon the table was mounted a tall polished mirror, facing her.

    Esther could now clearly discern in the mirror a clear image of her perspiring face, and her lightly-bronzed gleaming young body, bound tightly within the polished bronze flogging-frame. The senior Spartan mused aloud: “The outcomes of these whipping sessions are worth quite a lot of effort to us, Esther.

    Some of the stricter ‘Moral’ crowd here actually do get off on all this, you should know.

    That must be why they’re so keen on excusing agression sometimes, and encouraging a harsher regimen. Some of these ‘important’ people pay the Training School well, just so as to actually attend these wicked sessions of ours! There’s one of them over there in a mask, watching all this. And we-all enjoy participating constructively in these sessions… the results can be really worthwhile sometimes, you should know.”

    Esther _shook_ with anger — she cordially dislikd the idea of some of them covertly enjoying watching over her whipping, getting their satisfaction from watching her endure, and building her resistance and her strength. As indeed she was _supposed_ to dislike it…

    They just laughed at all that, of course.

    “Typical Persian soft-headedness.”

    ———— * * * * * ————

    Esther now saw the Spartan leader pick up a large circumferentially-ridged dildo, lubricating it first with light clear olive oil; then she walked round behind Esther, and fitted it to a mounting at the top of the saddle.

    Next, she saw the Spartan leader pick up a shorter, slimmer, ridged and polished horn dildo. This was also lubricated with light clear olive oil, and – this one – dipped in ginger powder also; Esther shortly felt its tip pressing insistently against the clenched and puckered entrance to her bottom, as the saddle was steadily raised between her legs by a silent slave. Try as she might, Esther simply could not maintain closure down there.

    She heard the instruction being given to an assistant, and she drew breath. She felt her labia being teasingly opened, and wild feelings as the dildos were steadily raised up deep inside her.

    Esther felt the dildos thrusting and trembling in varied rhythms inside her body. She couldn’t help enjoying these sensations, in spite of herself. The second dildo inched its way remorselessly, deeply inside her, its rhythms blending strangely with those of the first one. She felt the burning anal heat from the ginger-powder.

    “In the care of Spartans…” Esther thought to herself.

    ———— * * * * * ————

    Esther could feel the wild erotic sensations flooding throughout her entire body.

    “This is ‘punishment’? she wondered, as the tingling waves of eroticism coursed through her. Then she saw the leader picking up a black Spartan discipline-whip. with a black leather-wrapped rigid handle, and twelve thin two-foot-long braided whipcords. The whipcord thongs whistled through the air with a crisp ‘snap’ as Leonidas practiced a precise, swift and strong stroke…

    Esther tensed…

    Leonidas walked around behind Esther, and Esther now heard the whipcord thongs lashing through the air several times. She couldn’t stand the anxiety of the prospect of the impending impact of all those whipcord thongs; but she just had to grin and bear it anyway, as best she could.

    >> THWACK!!! <<

    Suddenly, the twelve braided whipcords lashed fiercely upon Esther’s outstretched bare back. Esther’s body arched within her bonds — she could hardly move. Then, searing pain blazed across her behind. She gasped, determined not to cry out. Leonidas laughed out loud, and lashed three more times at Esther’s pert bottom, fast and hard. Esther’s body bucked atop the saddle. Again and again the whipcord thongs scored deeply across her taut quivering buttocks, raising angry-looking red weals; the violent, sheeting waves of pain blended strangely agreeably, to Esther’s mind anyway.

    The wildly erotic sensations fanned out within her from the two stroking dildos.

    Leonidas’ fingertips ran up and down the sensitive sides of Esther’s tense body, leaving sensitized tracks on Esther’s lovely smooth skin.

    Leonidas shifted stance, and whipped Esther’s sides, and the sides of her breasts.

    Esther’s body convulsed…

    Leonidas now picked up a two-inch wide flexible rough leather two-tailed strap with a short, stout wooden handle. The flat perforated leather strap whipped really hard across Esther’s inside thighs, and Esther involuntarily screamed out loud, albeit through clenched teeth. Leonidas and the others laughed out loud again at Esther’s hot tears, and Esther HATED them even more for that; she HATED them ALL with a PASSION, at least at that moment.

    “I’LL KILL THEM ALL FOR THIS”, Esther thought to herself, savagely (whilst prudently refraining from voiceing this opinion out loud, having regard to all the circumstances…)

    ———— * * * * * ————

    Leonidas shifted the focus of attention to the soles of Esther’s feet, easing the white cotton socks off; and called out “You’ll be getting aound twenty-four strokes of the cane on each sole of each foot down here, Esther! The Persians love these feet-whippings especially — they routinely sentence female prisoners in Persia to five hundred lashes…”

    ———— * * * * * ————

    After what seemed like a very long time, Esther just could not stand it anymore. She heard herself begging Leonidas not to beat her again. This did not work too well, of course: the senior leader would keep right on beating on Esther’s naked rear until she cried helplessly; and they would then keep it up some more, until after Esther had given up all hope of rescue, had completely lost it, screaming and crying and struggling, and at last — and in total despair– had stopped crying altogether.

    [ FX: ] (‘Torn’ — Natalie Imbruglia)

    Bit Esther — quite deliberately — NEVER said the Safe Word “NO!”

    Simultaneously, Esther felt the mightiest orgasm(s) ever beginning to mount. The vibrators thrust harder and harder, quicker and quicker, deeper and deeper into her, vibrating more and more strongly. She broke out in a wildly sexy-looking sheen of perspiration all over her upper body; her face flushed bright pink; she felt both her vagina and her rectum contracting together, repeatedly, against the wild thrusts and vibrations.

    She breathed in deep, savage gasps…

    ———— * * * * * ————

    All the while now, as her orgasm(s) mounted inexorably, she heard – and felt – a long, thin cane whistling wickedly through the air, as Leonidas inscribed sharp, painful, fine narrow red stripes arranged in precise parallel, right across her now-inflamed and quivering clenched buttocks.

    Coursing waves of tingling erotic sensation surged from Esther’s hair-roots to the tips of her fingers and toes. Her hips and back arched desperately against her tight bonds. Her hips rotated, quite fast. Her heartbeat was racing. Perspiration broke out in great glistening beads all over Esther’s upper body.

    She hadn’t felt this good since discovering the joyous art of self-pleasuring for herself, all on her own, innocently humping pillows, at the age of just six (for which she was repeatedly spanked, and hard). Her elegantly erect squared-off shoulders, and her full breasts — nipples firmly and proudly erect, her chest and breasts, her neck and her face, now all flushed bright pink (!).

    Twelve times more, the searing orgasmic blazes flashed throughout her wildly bucking, sweat-streaked body and her mind. Twelve times more, the tidal waves of blazing orgasm tore right through her, from her now loving, gentle, radiantly-smiling tearful face, right down to her tingling pointing toes.

    [ FX: "DEAR OLYMPUS!!! MORE!!! MORE!!! MORE!!!" ]

    — Esther screamed, right out loud now, careless of whoever might hear her, right in the middle of the most intense physical and emotional experiences of her young life…

    [ FX: : "This can go on for longer than you can possibly imagine, Esther" ]

    ———— * * * * * ————

    Copyright Leonidas [2009], who wants Esther to explore, and to play with, very gently; and to experience an exquisitely beautiful intimate meetings of intelligent minds… (Smiles)

    ‘Leonidas’ assigns all authorial rights, copyrights and titles herein to Shirley@PainGate.com

    ———— * * * * * ————

  3. Tony,

    Why are you posting great slabs of porn to the LA Blog? It has no relevance to the original post, and there is no shortage of other places where porn can be found.

  4. Sean:

    It goes directly to motive: It’s not “porn” at all — it’s aimed at eviking _insight_ into the mionds od those who practice or condone TORTURE:

    To make the issues ABSOLUTELY PLAIN:

    ———— * * * * * ————

    “THE LITTLE FASCIST”

    (From: “What do you say after you say ‘Hello’?” by Eric Berne M.D.)

    “Every human being seems to have a small fascist in his head. This is
    derived from the deepest layers of the personality (the Child in the
    Child). In civilized people it is usually deeply buried beneath a platform
    of social ideals and trainig, but with proper permissions and
    directives, as history has shown again and again, it can be liberated
    into full bloom. In the less civilized portion of the population, it is
    openly exposed and nurtured, and awaits only proper opportunities for
    periodic expression. In both cases it is a strong force in advancing
    the script: in the first case, secretly, subtly, and denied: in the
    second case, crudely or even proudly acknowledged. But it may be said
    that whoever is not aware of this force in his personality has lost
    control of it. He has not confronted himself, and cannot know where he
    is headed.

    A fascist may be defined as a person who has no respect for living
    tissue and regards it as his prey. This arrogant attitude is no doubt a
    relic of the prehistory of the human race, still surviving in the gusto
    of cannibalism and the joys of massacre. For carnivorous anthropoids on
    the hunt, ruthlessness meant efficiency and greed was motivated by
    hunger. But as the human mind and brain evolved through natural
    selection, these qualities were not bred out. After they were no longer
    necessary for survival, they became detached from their original goal
    of bringing down the dinner meat and degenerated into ends in
    themselves, luxuries often indulged in and enjoyed at the expense of
    other human beings. Ruthlessness developed into cruelty, and greed into
    exploitation and theft. Since the prey–the flesh itself, and
    especially human flesh–was largely replaced by more compliant
    stomach-filling commodities, it began to be used to satisfy
    psychological hungers. The pleasures of torture replaced or preceded
    the pleasures of eating, and “He He” took over from “Yum Yum.” It
    became less important to kill him (or her) than to hear and watch him
    (or her) scream and grovel. This became the essence of fascism–a
    roving band seeking male of female prey to torment or deride–whose art
    lay in probing for the victim`s weakness.

    There are two by-products of the grovel, both of them advantageous to
    the aggressor. The biological effect is sexual pleasure and excitement,
    with the victim available to indulge even the most ingenious
    perversions the favorite of record being anal rape. Torture brings
    about a peculiar intimacy between the torturer and the victim, and a
    profound insight which is often otherwise lacking in both their lives.
    The other by-product is a purely commercial one. The victim always has
    valuables which can yield a profit. For cannibals it may be the strength
    derived from magic organs such as the heart or the testicles, or even
    the ear. For advanced peoples, the fat can be used to make soap, and
    golden tooth fillings can be salvaged. These yields are exploited after
    the furor of personal encounter has subsided, and they are “melted
    down” into anonymity.

    The small fascist in every human being is a little torturer who probes
    for and enjoys the weakness of his victims. If this comes out openly, he
    is a cripplekicker, a stomper, and a rapist, sometimes with some excuse
    or other such as toughness, objectivity, or justification. But most
    people suppress these tendencies, pretend they are not there at all,
    excuse them if they show their colors, or overlay and disguise them
    with fear. Some even try to demonstrate their innocence by becoming the
    purposeful victims instead of the agressors, on the principle that it
    is better to shed their own blood than that of others, but blood they
    must have.

    These primitive strivings become interwoven with the injunctions,
    precepts, and permissions of the script, and form the basis for
    third-degree or “tissue” games that draw blood. He who pretends that
    these forces do not exist becomes their victim. His whole script may
    become a project to demonstrate that he is free of them. But since he
    is most likely not, this is a denial of himself and therefore of his
    right to a self-chosen destiny. The solution is not to say, as many
    do, “It`s frightening,” but rather “What can I do about it and what
    can I do with it?” It is better to be a martyr that to be a troglodyte,
    that is, a man who refuses to believe he has ascended from an apelike
    creature because he hasn`t yet: but to know oneself is better than
    both…” — Eric Berne M.D.

    ———— * * * * * ————
    :
    Anduril

  5. This doesn’t appear to be a very illuminating comment thread. It is long though. I’ll give it that.

  6. Tony, if you are going to persist in posting tangential epic novels as comments, I will simply have to delete them.

    It is putting other people off reading us, and this is not your blog, it is ours.

  7. Dave:

    How is it possible for you NOT to understand the very deep, very simple issue that these twi perspectives, taken together — one a work of Art , and one a work of professional analysis — provide keys to understanding WHY people seek Power over _other people_; and what that power does to people.

    Why do some people REVEL in being kicked around by Power and Control Freaks, when WE actively RESIST _all_ attempts at coercion and damage to ourselves and others? we don’t seek Power iver other people — TRUE libertarians (of whom there are nowhere near enough RESIST this, whereas all too many people appear to ASK to be pushed around and ASK to be kicked and coerced and damaged some more?

    People are all VOTING to be kicked around, whilst others ACCEPT IT as “normal.” They ask to be kicked and coerced some more… I find this EXTRAORDINARY…

    I’ll provide two perspectives:

    One, posted right here in front of you, written by Philip Pullman, and yanked off Times Online by The Powers That Be, when it’s clearly a brilliand work of Art: the other, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, speaking directly to the most fundamental nature and effects of Art. They say it better than I do, for some ears at least.

    Then — hopefully — you can _re-read the works of Art and see much more the most fundamental question we face — WHY DO PEOPLE PUT UP WITH BEING SO ABUSED — REVEL IN IT all too often…

    So:

    [A] ‘Leonidas’ story:

    [B] Philip Pullman’s awesomely scary story

    [C] Eric Berne’s analysis, which most people never even get to see, because almost all people (including psychiatriests, especially, who are DEVOTED to his “Transactional Analysis” refuse ti accept “The Little Fascist” within their profession, whilst Eric berne thought it one of the best passages he’s ever written…

    So no apologies for posting one short passage from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s inspiring Address, which I listened to with AWE on my first weekend away from a Crisis Recovery Center, set in eight hundred acres of Sussex farland, with its own electricity, its own recreational facilitities, very interesting people, three decent meals a day, a small room of my own with views of lovely countryside, music, table tennis, TV, tropical fish, supportive p[eople and no coercion in sight…

    A major reason why I post this stuff here is that the Sarch Engines relentlessly scan these posts, and MASSIVELY AMPLIFY their effectiveness.

    And the people who see these passages and their links cime here pronto to learn more, read them, and are inspired and empowered to fight for the liberties of themselves.

    There may come a time when men lose courage, and submit, and betray their deepest values and their brothers….

    BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY…

    TODAY WE FIGHT….

    There may come a time when the courage of men fails, and the Western world falls with the snarls of wolves and shattered shields, BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY — TODAY WE FIGHT…

    And for the first time in my lifetime, WE’RE WINNING…

    And if you knew how to fight using SuperCarrier Battle Groups, you’d see it all as clearly as daylight…

    The posts here, indexed via their full text (_NOT JUST A LINK_) are instantly available all over the world…

    Creating more and more Battle Groups…

    Victor Davis Hanson, in “The Western Way of War” vividly and starkly describes the awesome force of an Ancient Greek Pholanx Charge. Our frequently used word “DECIMATED” comes to us from the Ancient greek Phalanx Charges, which DECIMATED the enemies of Ancient Greece and it’s civilized societies.

    The good men and women of the WHOLE WORLD’s Warriors read them via the included and indexed passages which appear here. they can copy them to all their friends and associates if they’re inspired by them.

    You once told me that all you wanted to do was to propagate Libertarian ideas and understandings and inspiration and empowerment, and that’s EXACTLY what I’m doing. For you, Dave, and for our shared ideals and iur onbreakable will to Fight… …

    Two longish posts follow, in the hope that you’ll at last understand WHY they’re being posted HERE, at length, for people to read and for indexing by the entire Internet’s Search Engines, with extracts from the entries, and all accessible by keywords, the “Permissive Action Links” of the Western Way of War…

    And ALL OF THE PASSAGES will be going up on my STARGATE site in Atlanta, with 40,000 Web sites and a host of facilities. Under the FIRST AMENDMENT of the US CONSTITUTION, the STATE CANNOT ATTACK OR BLOCK THEM

    Friends of ours at the National Security Agency throughout the Western World (and not only there — EVERY OTHER SIGINT outfit in the entire World) can defend and propagate our messages, and block Enemy attacks on our Web sites, and further amplify the effectiveness of our freely-offered ideas…

    MASSIVELY EFFECTIVE PHALANXES…

    And you want me to STOP, Dave and Sean???

    WHEN WE’RE WINNING at long last…???

    I WILL NOT BELIEVE IT…

    Get ready for http://www.STARGATE.uk.net/agora/

    Then, for SuperCarriers.org

    And watch with awe as the Twelve Track Plans operate autonomously, serving the highest ideals of Mankind.

    Tempered by Critical rationalism, and the Infinite guidance of the Central Order, on one of whose worlds the Enemy is trying to seize control.

    The Enemy’s own forces turn on them…

    And the enemy shatter, imploded by their own power — Just like Sauron’s Mordor…

    When the One Ring melts into the Fires of Mount Doom..

    Any of the foks hereabouts want to miss seeing that? Smiles…

    Be Seeing You… Smiles…

    You have waited and worked all of your life for this, Dave — you were destined for this day…

    Sincerely,

    Tony

    Anduril (at) STARGATE.uk.net

    “We Shall See”

    • I reviralised PPullman’s piece before they yanked it, Tony.

      Helping People to not want power voer others is what the lA is all about: you too have always known that.

      But putting up 5,000-word comments containing epic mystical allegories will not help to convert people.

      Also stop going on about 9/11truth and all that stuff, please! if you are right, the truth will eventually come out. If not, then not.

  8. ©Philip Pullman 2009

    “Are such things done on Albion’s shore?”

    The image of this nation that haunts me most powerfully is that of the sleeping giant Albion in William Blake’s prophetic books. Sleep, profound and inveterate slumber: that is the condition of Britain today.

    We do not know what is happening to us. In the world outside, great events take place, great figures move and act, great matters unfold, and this nation of Albion murmurs and stirs while malevolent voices whisper in the darkness – the voices of the new laws that are silently strangling the old freedoms the nation still dreams it enjoys.

    We are so fast asleep that we don’t know who we are any more. Are we English? Scottish? Welsh? British? More than one of them? One but not another? Are we a Christian nation – after all we have an Established Church – or are we something post-Christian? Are we a secular state? Are we a multifaith state? Are we anything we can all agree on and feel proud of?

    BACKGROUND

    £34bn cost of state-run surveillance databases
    Former spy chief says UK is now a police state
    First ID cards are to be issued within weeks

    [ COMMENT: That’s a bit rich, Dame Stella! (but she should know)]

    The new laws whisper:

    “You don’t know who you are

    You’re mistaken about yourself

    We know better than you do what you consist of, what labels apply to you, which facts about you are important and which are worthless

    We do not believe you can be trusted to know these things, so we shall know them for you

    And if we take against you, we shall remove from your possession the only proof we shall allow to be recognised”

    The sleeping nation dreams it has the freedom to speak its mind. It fantasises about making tyrants cringe with the bluff. bold vigour of its ancient right to express its opinions in the street. This is what the new laws say about that:

    “Expressing an opinion is a _dangerous_ activity

    Whatever your opinions are, we don’t want to hear them

    So if you threaten us or our friends with your opinions we shall treat you like the rabble you are

    And we do not want to hear you arguing about it either

    So hold your tongue and forget about protesting

    What we want from you is _acquiescence_”

    The nation dreams it is a democratic state where the laws were made by freely elected representatives who were answerable to the people. It used to be such a nation once, it dreams, so it must be that nation still. It is a sweet dream…

    “You are not to be trusted with laws

    So we shall put ourselves out of your reach

    We shall put ourselves beyond your amendment or abolition

    You do not need to argue about any changes we make, or to debate them, or to send your representatives to vote against them

    You do not need to hold us to account

    You think you will get what you want from an ‘inquiry’?

    Who do you think you are?

    What sort of fools do you think we are?”

    The nation’s dreams are troubled, sometimes; dim rumours reach our sleeping ears, rumours that all is not well in the administration of justice; but an ancient spell murmurs through our somnolence, and we remember that the courts are bound to seek the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and we turn over and sleep soundly again.

    And the new laws whisper:

    “We do not want to hear you talking about truth

    Truth is a friend of yours, not a friend of ours

    We have a better friend called hearsay who is a witness we can always rely on

    We do not want to hear you talking about innocence

    Innocent means guilty of things not yet done

    We do not want to hear you talking about the right to silence

    You need to be told what silence means: it means guilt

    We do not want to hear you talking about ‘justice’

    Justice is whatever we want to do to you

    And nothing else”

    Are we conscious of being watched, as we sleep? Are we aware of an ever-open eye at the corner of every street, of a watching presence in the very keyboards we type our messages on? The new laws don’t mind if we are. They don’t think we care about it.

    “We want to watch you day and night

    We think you are abject enough to feel safe when we watch you

    We can see you have lost all sense of what is proper to a free people

    We can see you have abandoned modesty

    Some of our friends have seen to that

    They have arranged for you to find modesty contemptible

    In a thousand ways they have led you to think that whoever does not want to be watched must have something shameful to hide

    We want you to feel that solitude is frightening and unnatural

    We want you to feel that being watched is the natural state of things…”

    One of the pleasant fantasies that consoles us in our sleep is that we are a sovereign nation, and safe within our borders. This is what the new laws say about that:

    “We know who our friends are

    And when our friends want to have words with one of you

    We shall make it easy for them to take you away to a country where you will learn that you have more fingernails than you need

    It will be no use bleating that you know of no offence you have committed under British law

    It is for us to know what your offence is

    _Angering our friends_ is an offence.”

    ———— * * * * * ————

    It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom would ever have allowed its government to pass such laws as the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), the Terrorism Act (2000), the Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001), the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Extension Act (2002), the Criminal Justice Act (2003), the Extradition Act (2003), the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003), the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004), the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005), the Inquiries Act (2005), the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005), not to mention a host of pending legislation such as the Identity Cards Bill, the Coroners and Justice Bill, and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.

    Inconceivable…

    Phillip Pullman; author of “His Dark Materials” and much besides

    [ History: Posted in Rupert Murdoch's "Times Online" last week, and 'pulled' two hours later, without leaving a trace... Truly Orwellian... ]

    ———— * * * * * ————

  9. [D] “One Word of Truth…”

    The Nobel Foundation 1972
    Translation by the members of the BBC Russian Service.
    Copyright BBC 1972

    ISBN 0 370 70491 9

    Printed and bound in Great Britain for The Bodley Head Ltd.
    9, Bow Street, London WC2 7AI, by The Stellar Press Ltd, Hatfield,
    Herts.

    First published 1972

    Eighth impression 1974

    As the savage, confronted with a strange object, asks himself, “Was it
    cast up by the ocean? Has it been long buried in the sand? Did it fall
    from the sky?” – an intricately curved object, reflecting the light
    now dimly, now with flashing brilliance – turns it this way and that
    in bewilderment, twists it, tries to adapt it to some purpose, seeks
    to find some lowly acceptable use for it, never suspecting its higher
    purpose, so we too, holding Art in our hands, conceitedly deem
    ourselves its masters. We boldly direct, renew, reform and proclaim
    it, sell it for money, flatter the powerful with it, employ it
    sometimes for entertainment – even for popular songs and nightclub
    revues; sometimes we use it as a stop-gap or a weapon for transitory
    political and limited social needs. But Art is not sullied by our
    efforts; it loses nothing of its lineage, but every time and however
    applied it grants us a share of its own secret, inner light.

    But can we encompass the whole of that light? Who can dare to say that
    he has defined Art, enumerated all its facets? Perhaps some have
    understood and named them all in ages past, but even then we would not
    stay contemplating it for long: we listened, and scorned it, and
    immediately tossed it aside, as we always hasten to change everything,
    even the best – so long as it be for something new l And when someone
    tells us an old truth again, it never even occurs to us that we have
    already known it earlier.

    One artist imagines himself to be the creator of an independent
    spiritual world, burdens himself with the act of creating and peopling
    this world, accepts complete responsibility for it but he breaks down,
    because no mortal genius is capable of withstanding such a burden;
    just as, in a more general ense, man, who has declared himself to be
    the centre of existence, has been unable to create a balanced
    spiritual system. And if he is overwhelmed by failure, he lays the
    blame on the eternal disharmony of the world, on the complexity of the
    distraught contemporary soul, or on the lack of comprehension of the
    public.

    Another artist knows there is a higher power over him and will work
    joyfully as a small apprentice under God’s heaven, although his
    responsibility for everything he paints and draws, and for the souls
    who apprehend it, is even greater. But on the other hand this world
    was not created by him, is not uled by him, there are no doubts about
    its fundamental principles; this artist has only the gift of
    perceiving more acutely than others the harmony of the world and the
    beauty and ugliness of man’s contribution to it, and the gift of
    acutely conveying this to others. In failure and even in the lowest
    depths of existence – in destitution, in prison, in sickness, the
    consciousness of this steadfast harmony cannot forsake him.

    However, the whole irrationality of Art, its dazzling convolutions,
    its unpredictable discoveries, its shattering influence on people are
    too magical to be plumbed by an artist’s philosophy or scheme of
    things or by the labour of his unworthy hands.

    Archaeologists have never discovered any early stages of man’s
    development when he had no art. In the pre-dawn twilight of mankind we
    received it from Hands we were unable to see. And we had no chance to
    ask, “Why give us this gift? How are we to use it?”

    They were wrong, and they will always be wrong, those prophets who say
    Art will degenerate, will exhaust all conceivable forms, will die. It
    is we who will die; Art will remain. And shall we, before we perish,
    manage to understand all its facets and all its purposes ?

    Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond
    words. Art thaws even the frozen, darkened soul, opening it to lofty
    spiritual experience. Through Art we are sometimes sent –
    indistinctly, briefly – revelations not to be achieved by rational
    thought.

    It is like that small mirror in the fairy tales: you glance in it, and
    what you see is not yourself; for an instant you glimpse the
    Inaccessible, where no horse or magic carpet can take you. And the
    soul cries out for it . . .

    Dostoevsky once mysteriously remarked, “The world will be saved by
    Beauty”. What does that mean? For a long time I thought it was just a
    phrase. How could it be possible? When in our bloodthirsty history did
    Beauty save whom from what? Beauty has ennobled and elevated, yes, but
    whom has it ever saved?

    However, there is this peculiarity in the essence of Beauty, this
    peculiarity in the situation of Art: the genuinely artistic work is
    utterly, irrefutably convincing, and even the resisting heart
    surrenders to it. A political speech, a piece of assertive propaganda,
    a plan for a new society, or a philosophical system can all be built
    with apparent harmony and consistency even on an error, on a lie; and
    what has been hidden or distorted will not be immediately apparent.
    And then a diametrically opposite speech, piece of propaganda or plan,
    a differently constructed philosophy, may emerge looking just as
    smooth and consistent, with no visible flaw. That is why they inspire
    trust – and distrust too.

    It is useless to assert what one’s heart does not believe.

    A work of art carries its proof in itself. Artificial, strained
    concepts do not withstand the image-test; all such concepts crumble,
    they are revealed as puny and colourless, they convince nobody. But
    works which have drawn on truth and presented it to us in live,
    concentrated form, grip us and communicate themselves to us
    compellingly – and nobody, even centuries later, will ever be able to
    refute them.

    Could it be that the old trinity of Truth, Goodness and Beauty is not
    just a well-worn cliche to be trotted out on official occasions, as it
    appeared to us in the days of our conceited materialist youth ? If the
    tops of these three trees merge, as the sages of old used to say, but
    the too obvious, too straight shoots of Truth and Goodness are choked,
    felled, suppressed – then may not perhaps the fantastic,
    unpredictable, unexpected shoots of Beauty fight their way through and
    soar up to the _same place_, and thus achieve the task of all three?

    And in that case will not Dostoevsky’s words, ” The world will be
    saved by Beauty”, turn out to be no slip of the tongue, but a
    prophecy? For he was granted extraordinary vision, he was amazingly
    inspired.

    And then perhaps art and literature will really be able to help the
    modern world.

    Here today I shall attempt to expound what little knowledge I have
    managed, over the years, to glean with regard to this problem.

    I have mounted this platform from which the Nobel Lecture is delivered
    - a platform made available to by no means every writer and that only
    once in his lifetime – not by means of three or four well-carpeted
    steps, but by climbing up hundreds, even thousands of steps,
    unyielding, steep, slippery wit frost, steps leading up from the
    darkness and cold where fate decreed that I should survive, while
    others perhaps more gifted and stronger than I – perished. Of those
    who perished, I myself met only a few in the Gulag Archipelago,* a
    scattered, fragmented multitude of islands; under the millstone of
    surveillance and mistrust I could not speak freely with everybody,
    some I only heard about, others I only guessed at. Those who already
    had a literary reputation when they sank into that abyss are at least
    known – but how many died (“Gulag” signifies the State Prison Camp
    Administration), totally unknown, never once publicly named

    And hardly any of them have ever returned. A whole national literature
    has been left there, buried without a coffin, without even any
    underclothes, naked, just a name-tag tied round one toe. Russian
    literature continued its uninterrupted flow, while from outside it
    appeared a desert. Where a healthy forest might have grown, after all
    the felling nothing remains but a couple of trees overlooked by
    accident. And how am I today, accompanied as I am by the shadows of
    the fallen, bowing my head as I stand aside to let those other men who
    deserved this honour before me take their place on this platform – how
    am I today to guess and put into words what they would have wanted to
    say?

    This obligation has long lain heavy on us, and we have long known it.

    In the words of Vladimir Solovyov

    But e’en in chains ourselves we must complete
    That circle which the gods have fore-ordained.

    During the painful marches of our camp life, in the convicts’ column,
    in the mist of the evening frosts with the strings of lights shining
    through, the words we would have shouted for the whole world to hear,
    had the world been able to hear a single one of us, often rose to our
    throats. At that time it seemed self-evident what our lucky ambassador
    to the world outside would say, and how the world would immediately
    respond in sympathy. Our field of vision was peopled with distinct
    physical objects and distinct spiritual forces, and in an unambiguous
    world we saw nothing to counteract them. Those thoughts did not
    originate in books, they were not selected for their attractiveness:
    they were born in prison cells and by camp-fires in the forest, in
    conversation with people now dead; they have stood the test of that
    life, they grew in that environment.

    But when the external pressures slackened, my horizon and all our
    horizons widened, and gradually, if only through chinks in the fence,
    we saw and got to know the “world outside”. And we were startled to
    find that the “world outside” was quite different from what we had
    hoped: it lived by the “wrong” rules and values, it progressed in the
    “wrong” direction; it exclaimed “What an enchanting lawn!” at the
    sight of a boggy swamp, and “What an exquisite necklace!” on seeing
    the concrete stocks imprisoning people’s necks; and while tears ran
    unchecked down the faces of some, others tripped along in time to a
    carefree hit-tune.

    How did this happen? What caused this yawning abyss? Were we the
    insensitive ones, or the world? Or was it all due to the difference in
    our respective languages? Why are people unable to understand every
    word distinctly spoken by others? Words die away and run off like
    water – tasteless, colourless, odourless, without trace. As I came to
    understand this over the years, the content, the sense and the tone of
    my potential speech – my speech of today changed. And now it scarcely
    resembles the one originally drafted during those freezing evenings in
    the camp.

    Man is built in such a way that (unless inspired by hypnosis) his
    experience of life, both as an individual and as a member of a group,
    determines his world outlook, his motivations and his scale of values,
    his actions and his intentions. As the Russian saying goes, “Trust not
    your brother: trust your own eye, even if it’s crooked”. This is the
    soundest basis for understanding one’s environment an for determining
    one’s behaviour within that environment. And for many a long century,
    so long as the limits of our world were not known or understood, until
    such time as it was permeated by unified lines of communication, until
    it was transformed into one single, convulsively beating lump: until
    then, people were guided unerringly by their experience of life within
    their restricted locality, within their community, within their
    society, and finally within their national territory. Then it became
    ossible for individual human eyes to see and to adopt some common
    scale of values to distinguish what is regarded as normal, what
    unbelievable, what is cruel, what criminal, what is honesty, what
    deceit. And although widely scattered peoples lived in very different
    ways, and although the scales of their social values could be
    strikingly different – just as their systems of measurement varied –
    only a few rare travellers were surprised by these differences, which
    were reported in periodicals as items of wonderment, but which brought
    no danger to a still disunited mankind.

    During the past decades, however, mankind has suddenly but
    imperceptibly become united reassuringly united and dangerously
    united, and as a result disturbances and inflammation in any
    one of its parts are almost instantly transmitted to the other parts,
    which may have no immunity. Mankind has become one, but without the
    stable unity which any community or even nation used to have. This
    unity has come about not through the gradual build-up of experience of
    life; not through the evidence of one’s own eye, crooked though that
    may be; not even through one’s own understandable mothertongue. This
    unity has come to us, over all barriers, through the medium of the
    international radio and press. We are overwhelmed by a torrent of
    events: in the space of one minute half the world learns of any event,
    but neither radio nor newspapers bring us any yardstick by which we
    can measure these events and judge them according to the laws which
    prevail in parts of the world that are unfamiliar to us. Neither radio
    nor newspapers can do it: these yardsticks have for too long and in
    too special a way been assimilated into the particular life of
    individual countries and societies; they cannot be conveyed in a
    trice. In different places, people apply to events their own tested
    scale of values: without making concessions, self-confidently, they
    judge only according to their own scale and not by any alien one.

    There are several such different scales of values in the world, if not
    many: there is a scale for events near at hand and a scale for events
    at a distance; there is a scale for old societies and a scale for
    young ones; a scale for happy events, a scale for unfortunate ones.
    Glaringly, the divisions f the scales fail to coincide: they dazzle
    and hurt our eyes, and so that we do not feel the pain we wave aside
    all alien scales, judging them to be folly and delusion, and
    confidently judge the whole world according to our own domestic scale.
    Because of this, what seems to us to be most momentous, ainful and
    insufferable is not really most momentous, painful and insufferable
    but simply that which is nearer to us. Everything which is further
    afield, which does not directly threaten to roll up to the threshold
    of the door of our own home today, will be recognised by us as being,
    in general, quite bearable and of tolerable dimensions – despite the
    groans, the stifled screams and lost lives, even though there be
    millions of victims.

    In one part of the world, not so long ago, hundreds of thousands of
    silent Christians gave their lives for their faith in God under
    persecution no less severe than that of Ancient Rome. But in another
    hemisphere a madman (and no doubt he is not the only one) rushes
    across the ocean to aim a dagger-blow at the Pontiff and thus to free
    us from religion! He was using his scale to decide things in the name
    of all of us.

    What, according to one scale, appears from afar as enviable
    flourishing freedom, according to another scale, near at hand, is
    perceived as vexatious constraint calling for the overturning of
    buses. What, in one area, could only be dreamed of as unattainable
    prosperity, in another area gives rise to ndignation and is considered
    vicious exploitation demanding an immediate strike. There are
    different scales for natural disasters: a flood with 200,000 victims
    seems of less significance than an accident in our own town. There
    are different scales for giving an insult: in some places even a
    sarcastic smile or a dismissive gesture is regarded as humiliating; in
    others even a cruel beating-up is pardonable and regarded as an
    unsuccessful joke. There are different scales for punishment and for
    crime. According to one scale, a month’s imprisonment, or banishment
    to the country, or to a so-called “punishment cell” where they feed
    you with white bread rolls and milk, shocks the imagination and fills
    the columns of the newspapers with anger. According to another scale,
    people accept as reasonable prison terms of twenty-five years,
    dungeons where there is ice on the wall but where they strip you to
    your underwear, lunatic asylums for the sane, and the shooting on the
    frontier of countless people who won’t see reason and who keep running
    away, one doesn’t know where or why. And what worries us least of all
    are events in those exotic places about which absolutely nothing is
    known, from which we get no news, but only the flat and belated
    conjectures of a handful of correspondents.

    For these double standards, for this paralysis and lack of
    understanding of a stranger’s distant grief, one cannot reproach man’s
    vision: man is built that way. But for mankind as a whole, squeezed
    into a single lump, such a lack of mutual understanding threatens to
    bring a rapid and stormy end. When there are six, four or even two
    scales of values, there cannot be a single world, a single mankind: we
    shall be torn apart by this difference in rhythm, this difference in
    scale. Just as a man with two hearts is not long for this world, so we
    are unlikely to survive together on this planet.

    But who will reconcile these scales of values and how? Who will create
    for mankind a single system of evaluation – for evil deeds and good
    deeds, for what is intolerable and what is tolerable, for how the line
    is to be drawn between them today? Who will explain to mankind what is
    really terrible and unbearable, and what only irritates our skin
    because it is near? Who will direct our anger against that which is
    truly terri ble, and not that which is merely near? Who could carry
    the understanding of this through the barrier of his own human
    experience? Who would be able to bring home to a bigoted and obstinate
    human being the distant grief and joy of other people, the
    understanding of relationships and misconceptions that he himself has
    never experienced? Propaganda, compulsion and scientific proof are all
    powerless here. But fortunately the means to convey all this to us
    does exist in the world. It is Art. It is literature. Art and
    literature can perform the miracle of overcoming man’s characteristic
    weakness of earning only by his own experience, so that the experience
    of others passes him by. Art extends each man’s short time on earth by
    carrying from man to man the whole complexity of other men’s life-long
    experience, with all its burdens, colours and flavour. Art re-creates
    in the flesh all experience lived by other men, so that each man can
    make this his own.

    Even more, much more than this: countries, whole continents, repeat
    each other’s mistakes at a later date, sometimes centuries later, when
    one would have thought everything was so painfully obvious. But no!
    What some peoples have already experienced, thought out and rejected
    is suddenly discovered by others as the very last word. Here again,
    the only thing that can take the place of experience that we have not
    lived is Art, literature. They provide a miraculous facility: that of
    overcoming differences of language, custom and social ystem, and
    conveying life experience from one whole nation to another. And this
    national experience, painfully built up over many decades by one
    nation, when conveyed to a second nation which has never had it, can
    perhaps save it from taking an unnecessary, mistaken or even ruinous
    path. Thus Art can somewhat straighten the twisted paths of man’s
    history. Today, from the Nobel platform, I would insistently remind
    you of this great and blessed property of Art.

    There is another immensely valuable channel along which literature
    conveys human experience, in condensed and authoritative form: from
    one generation to another. Thus literature becomes the living memory
    of a nation. Thus it nurses and preserves the nation’s lost history,
    in a form which is not suscptible to distortion and slander. And this
    is how literature keeps and preserves both the national language and
    the national soul. (Recently it has become fashionable to speak of the
    levelling of nations and of the disappearance of peoples in the
    melting-pot of modern civillisation. I do not agree with this idea,
    but discussion of it is a separate issue. Here it is appropriate to
    say just this: the disappearance of nations would impoverish us no
    less than if all people were made alike, with one character, one face.
    Nations are the wealth of mankind, they are its generalised
    personalities: the smallest of them has its own particular colours,
    and embodies a particular facet of God’s design).

    But woe betide that nation whose literature is interrupted by the
    interference of force. This is not simply a violation of the “freedom
    of the press”: it is the locking-up of the national heart, the
    carving-up of the national memory. Such a nation does not remember
    itself, it is deprived of its spiritual unity, and although its
    population supposedly have a common language, fellow-countrymen
    suddenly stop understanding each other. Mute generations live out
    their lives and die without telling their story either to their own or
    a future generation. If such geniuses as Akhmatova or Zamyatin are
    walled up alive for the duration of their lives, if they are condemned
    to create in silence until the grave, without hearing any response to
    what they have written, then this is not just their own personal
    misfortune but the deep tragedy of the whole nation – and, too, a
    threat to the whole nation. And in certain cases it is a danger for
    the whole of mankind, too, when the whole of history ceases to be
    understood because of that silence.

    Should Art and the artist go their own way, or should they constantly
    bear in mind their duty to society and make themselves useful to it,
    albeit without prejudice? This question has, at different times and in
    different countries, evoked heated, acrimonious and sophisticated
    debate. To my mind, the nswer is quite clear, though I shall not set
    about repeating the lines of the argument.

    One of the most brilliant discussions of this topic came in another
    Nobel Prizewinner’s lecture, that of Albert Camus – to whose
    conclusions I am happy to subscribe. In any case, Russian literature
    has tended away from self-admiration and frivolity for decades now.
    Nor am I ashamed to continue in this tradition to the best of my
    ability. We Russian writers have long had an innate belief that a
    writer is capable of achieving much among his people – and that it is
    his duty to do so. Let us not deny the artist’s right to express
    nothing but his personal experience and his introspective reflections,
    to ignore everything which happens in the rest of the world. Let us
    not make _demands_ on the artist: to reproach and request him, to coax
    and entice him to one’s side – this surely is permissible. After all,
    the development of his gift is only partially his work: his gift is to
    a major extent something inborn, and together with it he receives a
    responsibility to check his own free will. Let us concede that the
    artist owes nothing to anyone: still, it hurts to find him capable of
    a retreat into worlds of his own creation or the wastes of subjective
    caprice, whereby he leaves the world of reality to hirelings, or
    nonentities, or lunatics.

    This twentieth century of ours has proved crueller than the preceding
    ones, nor did all its terrors end with its first fifty years. The same
    old primitive urges rend and sunder our world greed, envy, licence,
    mutual malevolence-though now they adopt euphemistic pseudonyms as
    they go, such as “class truggle”, “racial struggle”, “the struggle of
    the masses”, “the struggle of organised labour”. The primitive refusal
    to compromise has been elevated to the status of a theoretical
    principle: it is considered the virtue of orthodoxy. This refusal to
    compromise claims millions of victims in eternal internecine wars,
    tediously hammering home its message that there is no stable,
    universal human conception of goodness and justice, that all such
    conceptions are fluid and changeable, so that you should always act to
    the advantage of your own party. Whenever any group of workers sees a
    chance to seize n extra slice – never mind if they don’t deserve it,
    never mind if it’s more than they need – they up and grab it, and ruin
    take society. The extent of the violent swings to and fro within
    Western society – or so it seems to an onlooker from without – is so
    great that the stage must shortly be reached when the system will
    become unstable and must collapse. Violence, less and less restrained
    by the legal system built up over the centuries, strides bold and
    victorious through the world, caring not a jot that its sterility has
    been amply demonstrated and proven throughout history.

    It is not only mere brute force that is triumphant, but its strident
    justification also. The world is flooded with the brazen assurance
    that might is omnipotent while right is powerless. Dostoevsky’s
    “Possessed” – figures in a gruesome nineteenth-century provincial
    fantasy, one would have thought – are spreading through the world,
    reaching countries where hitherto people could not conceive of such
    creatures. See how in recent years they have hijacked aircraft and
    seized hostages, caused explosions and started fires,
    signalling thereby their resolve to shake and destroy civilisation 1
    And they may very well succeed in their aim. Young people, at an age
    when the only experience they have is sexual, at an age when they have
    no years of personal suffering and self-awareness to draw on, are
    enthusiastically repeating the discredited platitudes of our Russian
    nineteenth century in the fond belief that they’ve come up with
    something novel. The inhuman degradation of human beings practised by
    the Chinese Red Guards not long ago has been accepted by the young as
    a splendid example to be followed. The superficiality, the failure to
    understand the timeless essence of human nature! The naive confidence
    of these young people who don’t know life! ” We’ll chuck out this
    crop of cruel, venal, oppressive rulers, and we, their successors,
    will be just and understanding, once we’ve laid aside our bombs and
    guns.” But of course they won’t. As for the people who’ve lived a bit
    and who know a thing or two, who could argue with these youngsters,
    many of them dare not argue: they try to ingratiate themselves with
    the young – anything so as not to look “conservative”. This is yet
    another Russian phenomenon of nineteenth century origin: Dostoevsky
    called it “being in bondage to advanced notions”.

    The spirit of Munich is in no sense a thing of the past, for that was
    no flash in the pan. I would go so far as to say that the spirit of
    Munich is the dominant one in the twentieth century. The civilised
    world quailed at the onslaught of snarling barbarism, suddenly
    revitalised; the civilised world found nothing with which to oppose
    it, save concessions and smiles. The spirit of Munich is an illness of
    the will-power of the well-to-do, it is the usual state of those who
    have surrendered to the lust for comfort at any price, have
    surrendered to materialism as the main aim of our life on earth. uch
    people and how many there are in the world today choose passivity and
    retreat just so that normality can last a bit longer and the onset of
    brutishness be put off for another day; as for tomorrow, you never
    know, it may turn out all right. (But it won’t! The price of cowardice
    will be all the higher. Courage and victory come to us only when we
    are prepared to make sacrifices).

    Another thing that threatens us with destruction is the fact that our
    physically compressed, constrained world is not allowed to unite in
    spirit, that the molecules of knowledge and sympathy are not permitted
    to dart from one half of the world into the other. This is for us a
    dire peril, this stopping the flow of information between different
    parts of the planet. Modern science knows that stopping the flow of
    information leads to entropy, universal destruction. Stopping the flow
    of information makes international treaties and agreements illusory:
    within the jammed zone it is no trouble at all to reinterpret any
    agreement, and even simpler to forget it as if it had never been (as
    Orwell understood very well). Those who live within the jammed zone
    are not so much Earth-dwellers as an expeditionary force from Mars
    who, knowing nothing whatever about the rest of the World, are ready
    to go and rample it down in the sublime confidence that they are
    “liberating” it.

    A quarter of a century ago, amidst the great hopes of all mankind, the
    United Nations Organisation was born. Alas, in an immoral world it too
    grew up immoral. It is not a United Nations Organisation, but a United
    Governments Organisation, which equates those governments which were
    freely elected, those which wire imposed by force, and those which
    seized power by force of arms. Thanks to the venal prejudice of the
    majority of its members, the UN jealously guards the liberty of
    certain nations and neglects the liberty of others. It obsequiously
    voted against investigating private grievances – the groans, cries and
    entreaties of simple, humble individuals, insects too tiny for such a
    large organisation to concern itself with. The best document it put
    out in all its twenty-five years was the Declaration of Human Rights,
    yet the UN did not endeavour to make endorsement of it an obligatory
    condition of membership, and thus it left ordinary people at the mercy
    of governments not of their choosing.

    It would appear that the shape of the modern world is entirely in the
    hands of the scientists, for all mankind’s technological steps are
    determined by them. It would appear that the direction the world
    should take ought to depend, not on the politicians, but on the
    cooperation of scientists the worl over, particularly since the
    example of individuals shows how much they could all achieve by
    joining forces. But no, the scientists have made no positive attempt
    to become an important, independently motivated force among mankind.
    They shy away in whole congress-loads from the sufferings of others:
    it is more comfortable to remain within the frontiers of science.
    The same Munich spirit has spread its enervating wings over them.

    In this cruel, dynamic, explosive world, on the brink of a dozen
    destructions, what is the place and role of the writer? We writers
    have no rockets to blast off, we do not even trundle the most
    insignificant auxiliary vehicle, we are indeed altogether despised by
    those who respect only material power. Would it not be natural for us
    too to retreat, to lose our faith in the invincibility of goodness and
    the indivisibility of truth, and content ourselves with giving the
    world our bitter observations from the sidelines: how mankind is
    hopelessly corrupted, how people have become superficial and how
    hard life is among such people for lonely, sensitive, beautiful souls?

    But we do not have even this escape. Once we have taken up the Word,
    there is no evading it afterwards: the writer is not an outside judge
    of his compatriots and contemporaries, but an accomplice in all the
    evil perpetrated in his country or by his people. If the tanks of his
    fatherland have bloodied the asphalt of another country’s capital,
    those brown stains spatter the writer’s face for ever. If some fateful
    night a trusting friend has been strangled in his sleep, the writer’s
    hands bear the bruises from the rope. And if his young compatriots
    blithely proclaim depravity’s superiority to honest toil, if they
    succumb to drugs or seize hostages, then the stench of their speech
    mingles with the writer’s breath.

    Can we have the effrontery to say that we writers bear no
    responsibility for the plagues of the modern world?

    However, I am encouraged by my living awareness of universal
    literature as a single great heart, beating in response to the cares
    and sorrows of our world, although these are presented and viewed
    differently in its every corner. Over and above the purely national
    literatures, there did exist even in former ages the concept of world
    literature as a reality binding together all national literatures at
    their highest level, and as the sum of all literary influences
    mutually shared. But there was usually a time-lag: readers and writers
    became acquainted with authors in other languages after a gap that
    sometimes lasted for centuries, so that reciprocal influences were
    delayed and the reality within which national literatures at their
    highest level were bound together took shape before the eyes, not of
    contemporaries, but of later generations.

    But nowadays there exists between the writers of one country and the
    writers and readers of another an interaction which, if not immediate,
    is very close to immediate – as I have experienced in my own case. My
    books – unpublished, alas, in my own country-rapidly acquired a
    responsive world readership in spite of hasty and often defective
    translations. Outstanding Western writers such as Heinrich Boll took
    it on themselves to produce detailed critical studies of my works.
    During all these recent years, when my work and freedom did not come
    to ruin, when they were being upheld against all the law of gravity,
    as if in mid-air, as if resting on nothing, upheld by the unseen,
    unheard thread of popular sympathy – all this time I could feel with
    the warmest gratitude, beyond all expectation, the support of the
    world brotherhood of writers. On my fiftieth birthday I was astounded
    to receive the congratulations of famous European writers.

    It came about that no sort of pressure on me passed unnoticed. In the
    weeks, dangerous for me, that saw my expulsion from the Writers’
    Union, a wall of defence, raised about me by famous writers of the
    world, protected me from worse forms of persecution, while the
    hospitality of Norwegian authors an artists made ready a roof to
    shelter me if I should be, as then seemed likely, exiled from my
    homeland. Finally, my very nomination for the Nobel Prize originated
    not in the country where I live and work, but with Francois Mauriac
    and his colleagues. And later still I received expressions of support
    from entire national bodies of writers.

    I have therefore understood and experienced this truth in my own life:
    that world literature as a unifying force is no longer an abstract sum
    of influences or a generalisation constructed by literary experts, but
    a common body and common soul, a living unity of heart in which the
    growing spiritual unity of mankind finds a reflection. State frontiers
    still stand out in crimson, are still inflamed by electrified wire and
    bursts of machine-gun fire, and some ministries of internal affairs
    still suppose that literature, too, is an “internal affair” under
    their jurisdiction. One is still presented with newspaper headlines
    “None of their business, interfering in our internal affairs!” – while
    in fact there no longer are any internal affairs in our cramped little
    world. Mankind can only be saved if all men are concerned about
    everything: if all the people of the East are not indifferent to what
    people are thinking in the West; if all the people of the West are not
    indifferent to what is happening in the East. True literature – which
    is one of the most delicate, most sensitive instruments at man’s
    disposal – as already been one of the first to detect, assimilate and
    promote this feeling of the growing unity of all mankind. And so I
    confidently address myself to the world of literature of today – to
    hundreds of friends whom I have never met in person and perhaps shall
    never meet.

    Friends, let us try and help, if we are worth anything at all. In our
    own countries, which are torn by conflicts of opinion among parties,
    movements, castes and groups, who was there from the very beginning
    who was not a divisive force but a unifying one? That is the
    quintessence of the writer’s position: he is there to give expression
    to the national language, which is the main clamp that binds a nation;
    to give expression to the very land occupied by his people; and if he
    is lucky, to give expression to the national soul.

    In my opinion it is within the powers of world literature in these
    troubled times to help humanity to comprehend its own nature in spite
    of what is being instilled into people’s minds by biased persons and
    parties. World literature can transmit the concentrated experience of
    one land to another in sch a way that we stop seeing double and being
    dazzled, the different scales of values coincide, and each nation can
    learn the true history of other nations in an accurate, condensed
    form, grasping it fully with that sensation of pain that comes from
    living an experience oneself, and as a result of that knowledge be
    protected from eventual error. And we writers in so doing may perhaps
    develop our own world vision: we shall use the centre of our eye, like
    everybody else, to see what is near, and use the corners of our eye to
    begin absorbing what is happening in the rest of the world. And then
    we can compare and relate things on a world-wide scale.

    And who, if not writers, can censure not only their own inadequate
    leaders (in some states this is the easiest bread of all to earn;
    anyone who is not too lazy is busy doing it), but also their own
    society, whether for its cowardly selfhumiliation or for its smug
    weakness? Who but writers can reprove the thoughtless excesses of
    youth, and those young pirates with their threatening knives? We shall
    be asked, “What can literature do in the face of the merciless
    onslaught of open violence?” But let us not forget that violence does
    not exist alone and cannot survive in isolation: it is inevitably
    bound up with the lie.

    Between them there is the most intimate, most natural, fundamental
    link: violence can only be concealed by the lie, and the lie can be
    maintained only by violence. Anyone who has once proclaimed that
    violence is his method is inevitably forced to choose the lie as his
    guiding principle. At its birth, violence acts openly, is even proud
    of itself. But it has scarcely established itself when it feels the
    air around it becoming more rarefied, and it cannot continue to exist
    without masking itself with the lie and wrapping itself up in its
    honeyed rhetoric. Violence does not always necessarily take you
    physically by the throat and strangle you: more often it merely
    demands of its subjects that they declare allegiance to the lie,
    become accomplices in the lie.

    And the simple step of a simple, courageous man is not to take part in
    the lie, not to support deceit. Let the lie come into the world, even
    dominate the world, but not through me. Moreover, writers and artists
    can do something more: they can vanquish the lie. Wherever else it
    fails, Art always has on its fight against lies, and it will always
    win. Its victory will be obvious, irrevocably obvious to all men. The
    lie can withstand a great deal in this world but it cannot withstand Art.

    Once the lie has been dispersed, the nakedness of violence will be
    revealed in all its repulsiveness, and then violence, become decrepit,
    will come crashing down.

    This is why I think, my friends, that we are capable of helping the
    world in its agonised testing hour. We must not seek excuses on the
    grounds that we lack weapons, we must not give ourselves over to a
    carefree life, we must go out into battle.

    In Russian the most popular proverbs are about truth. They express the
    not inconsiderable and bitter experience of the people, sometimes with
    astonishing force.

    “One word of truth outweighs the whole world.”

    And on such a fantastic breach of the law of conservation of mass and
    energy are based my own activities, and my appeal to the writers of the
    world.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    ======================

    .

  10. Sheryl Crow sings “Strong enough…”

    In 16/9 Widescreen, High Quality sound

    She speaks for herself

    And for so many of us…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn3TWvmT_w0

    Anduril (A longtime Sheryl Crow fan)

    Beautiful words; beautiful music; beautiful girl)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn3TWvmT_w0

    Anduril

  11. Thanks, Dave!

    [ FX: "Mission Accomplished!" ]

    Now, Beauty sings Truth — for (inter alia) you!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e8DAEBVo9w

    Ever,

    Anduril

  12. One of my dreams is that olivia Newron-John and I “pair up.” O’m absolutely sure that we’d be great together.

    Like her, I’m English, and lived in Australia

    I studied and learned to live at Geelong Grammar School. I was given Firearms and SERE training by Australian Special Forces.

    Sure, I was “asked to leave” for REFUSING to allow myself to be thrashed by “Prefects in the shower… Not into that, folks…

    The day I left, I was in the main Dining Hall.

    I got up to leave, and nearly the entire School stood up and applauded… A magnificent experience.

    This meant that I never git to take my university entrance exams — part of the threats, the coercion: so, I sailed across the Pacific in the ship renamed the “Kakonia” — the name of the Capital of Sparta — and nearly went over the side of the boat into Mid-Pacific waters when the metal watch-strap in my felca Airmaster watch broke… I swiftly leaned over the rail, and caught it.

    I then realized that I was teetering with my waist on the wooden rail, with my feet clear off the deck…

    There’s a point in your life when your Destiny pivots, like me slownly but surely seizing the rail with my free hand and evr so gently getting my feet firmly back on the wooden decking. I later swapped the watch for the Omega Speedmater Chronograph (the famous “Moon Watch” worn by all the apollo Astronaughts on all the Apollo missions.

    All my life, i’ve dreamed of spaceflight. Actually to DO it would be GREAT!

    I worked my nuts half off so as to learn enough physics and engineering to build and fly spacecraft, before the madmen in Power blow the place up.

    I won top marks in my 11+ to get an education so that I could pursue this dream of mine, to get at least SOME of Mankind offworld, so that the human race survives — with some animals and plants — we have to eat, eh? and animals oooo beautiful, and fun to be with, including four of John Aspinall’s Siberain tigers, who I’ve been face-to-face with at howlett’s, with no fence in between; no guns necessary… Smiles

    Olivia and I are the same age (approximately)

    I’d LOVE to be her partner. Magic!

    She can write to me at

    Anduril ( at ) STARGATE.uk.net

    Any time!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e8DAEBVo9w

    • Tony, this is astonishingly interesting, but….

      …see my other comments about this sort of epic fantasy.

      As to ONJ, why don’t you just call her? I’m sure she’d pony up.