Guilt, or Self-righteousness?


dj

For conservatives prepared to consider the proposition that there is some kind of fundamental distinction between Western culture and that of the other civilisations of the world, the distinction is sometimes seen in terms of morality. We are, according to this interpretation, a more moral people. We can see this most readily in terms of a contrast with the East Asian civilisation. In China, the interests of the collective (family, nation, state) override moral considerations. Chinese people who know of their government’s use of late-term forced abortions to enforce the national family planning policy often simply deny that anything of the sort takes place; or, when presented with evidence, they get angry and start shouting. Anyone who has lived in China will know that discussions of Chinese brutality towards China’s own ethnic minorities proceed in a very unfruitful way. The Chinese government is prepared to peddle the most transparent lies, such as claiming that a small group of Tibetan refugees, shot dead by China’s border guards for fleeing the country, as shown on a mountaineer’s videotape, actually attacked the border guards. Lies come easier to the Chinese, which is why we call them “inscrutable”: we cannot gauge their moral sensibility.

The abuse whereby Chinese workplace bosses would refuse to allow their employees to marry—they were required to sign the documents—unless the bride first gave her virginity to the boss has been stymied by a change in the law, which does not now require workplace approval for the match, but sexual abuse in the workplace is not only rife, but standard, in China. The parents who lost their children in the Sichuan earthquake of 2009 were arrested for protesting over the schoolhouses that collapsed like jelly as the money for school construction had been siphoned off by corrupt officials. Of the 80-odd earthquake orphans who were disabled as a result of the earthquake, not one—not a single one, according to the Chinese press—found a family in the world’s most populous nation willing to adopt him. As far as most moral issues are concerned, the Chinese do not really seem to “care”.

We care. It is what we do as Westerners. We are the nations intent on building up geo-political rivals by subsidies and technological transfer. Hillary Clinton cares about the rioting Egyptians (although apparently much less about the displaced Palestinians in much worse circumstances). From racism to sexism to homophobia to destruction of the environment, Western political views are directly informed by a sort of cod-altruism. We are worried about the plight of slaves in Mauritania and about child labour in Pakistan. And such supposed “altruism” feeds directly into the politics of guilt: it is “unfair” that other nations are poorer than we; we were the ones who engaged in the triangular slave trade; we are not doing enough to help the homosexuals of Iran; the underclass in Britain cannot be expected to control their own fertility, even in the age of the “morning-after pill”, and so it would be “unfair” not to subside their unproductive lifestyles; and the death penalty for cold-blooded killers would be cruel, as social disadvantage is deemed to play a key role in such individuals’ personalities.

Clearly we are different from the other civilisations of the earth. And it is not just the Chinese who fail to measure up to our moral standards. While the Islamic civilisation includes a large and unbending moral component, one of the key things that stands out is the cruel use of state power to enforce their moral code. For some reason, Islam never set out to create individuals who were morally upright; it did not set out to build individuals who did not need cruel punishments to stay in line. Hilaire Belloc’s wonderful tale, The Mercy of Allah, sets out an understanding of Muslim society that is every bit as selfish and greedy as Chinese society. To rob others, unbeknown to them until you are far off, is shown in that book as viewed as “the mercy of Allah”, who facilitates the crime. Christian concern for others, even those you do not know, does not seem to be present in those societies. In Britain itself, the paedophilia and sexually predatory behaviour of young Muslim men, long suppressed as an item of news, has recently hit the headlines. What surprises you is that such behaviour is not rare or a fringe activity, but one participated in by large numbers of Muslim youths working together. Crime statistics are apparently “top secret” in the UK, but statistics from a range of Western countries confirm the prevalence of crime among the non-European part of the population. In Sweden, for example, the still demographically small first- and second-generation immigrant population is responsible for a large majority of rapes and sexual assaults.

True, violent crime is less common in China, where it is the overwhelming social norm for men to frequent brothels, and the lower level of violence can also be explained by higher average IQ levels in East Asia, which produce a fairly stable population, who prefer to use their intelligence to rip others off financially than to use their fists or force themselves on lone women. Indian and Pakistani doctors in the UK are known for “feeling up” their female patients—presumably in their culture they would get away with this behaviour, and “anti-racism” ensures they often do in Britain too. Real hard violence, as a social norm, is, however, rather found in the African-descended part of the population, who lack the IQs of the Chinese and the economic prospects of everyone else. Many geneticists believe that not only IQs but also the tendency towards aggression is coded for in human genes, and further solid information on this subject is eagerly awaited by conservatives.

So it seems clear that there is a real difference between the West and the other civilisations. This is not to deny that bad behaviour has not become much more prevalent among the Western underclass, possibly as a side function of state sponsorship of sexual incontinence and unmarried motherhood. The “wigger” phenomenon suggests that British youths are modelling themselves on their Afro-Caribbean counterparts, with negative social consequences. However, these phenomena are the result of the distorted morality or guilt of the Western middle classes, who have allowed bad behaviour to take root rather than being “judgmental”. This produces the curious circumstance that, whereas other civilisations, such as Islam, are unofficially immoral, in contrast to the full Islamic law, which would be unbendingly moral, we now officially support immoral lifestyles. Islamic revulsion at Western society has been frequently described in the press: it seems that calls for social integration fall on deaf ears, when that society smiles at images of young women drunk and half-naked lying on the pavement. At least officially, in their own communities, the Muslim leaders are not afraid to denounce immorality. It seems we are both more “caring” and less strict on the moral front than they are, or at least claim to be; there is a good deal of evidence that private moral behaviour is much worse in the Muslim community than it would be in mainstream Britain.

This produces a complicated picture. How can we be more moral if we are morally lax? The solution seems to lie in the cod-altruism mentioned earlier. Western society, and particularly Anglo-Saxon society, is noted for its sanctimonious and self-righteous tone. Western society functions as a competition for moral status, a game of moral “one-upmanship”. I think this explains the pretence of altruism: by displaying your concern for others, you prove your superiority to others, in this game at least. Free Tibet! I’d rather pay a bit more in tax! Save the whale! One of my best friends is black! We mustn’t be judgmental! All these are particular manifestations of the game of moral status.

Actually, the self-righteous do not actually give a damn about any one of their causes. I have tried to winkle out the bottom line of their altruism: when the self-righteous witter on about their concern for the 3,000 desaparecidos of Chile, I ask them if they are as concerned about the 30,000 members of the Matabele tribe slaughtered by the anti-imperialist, Robert Mugabe, in Zimbabwe. That generally leads to a tense conversation: their eyes glaze over, they refuse to listen to any more facts and get angry. Yet, if they really were altruistic, they would care about deaths at the hands of anti-imperialists too. It was shown at one point in the Somali famine that the agricultural situation had recovered in that country, but the fact that Western food donations kept rolling in made farmers reluctant to cultivate their fields. Why would it make any difference to the self-righteous if they were actually harming the Somalis by their vaunted “kindness”? Does it make any difference to them that the welfare benefits system has led to a large rise in the numbers of children brought up by single mothers? And that that situation is linked, in one of the strongest statistical links in the social sciences, with crime, delinquency, drug abuse, and the physical and sexual abuse of the children, often by their mothers’ string of “partners”?

If we are “moral”, we are moral in a way that is largely intended to flatter ourselves. That is why the objects of our concern are so curiously selective. In the 1990s, we were oh-so-concerned about the driving of the Bosnian Muslims out of their “safe havens”, which we viewed as part of a wonderful attempt to create a multi-ethnic society (ahem! among people killing each other), and yet the driving of the Croatian Serbs out of their “protected areas” failed to provoke a similar reaction. It was ordinary people who bore the brunt in both cases. It could be said that Western people are idealistic, and that they pick out the cases to show concern over with a careful eye on what would make themselves look good morally.

That is not to say that self-righteousness is not connected in some way with real morality. The fact that in most of these cases people are being treated in ways that would call for compassion—especially if you were a member of that society, and rather less credibly if you are just enjoying the sensation of concern via the television screen—is what the claim to altruism rests upon. To that extent, it seems that “youthful idealism” is used by a more cynical class of free riders to stake out their own claim to moral superiority, while not really giving a damn. I am a long way from condemning genuine altruism, although it would be very rare, and I do not think I have come across it in British society. Anyone who is really concerned about the starving millions in Africa would sell his house and give the money to the starving. I would not discourage anyone from doing so, as long as no-one else (for example, wife and children) were affected, in which case imposing suffering on them would not be genuinely altruistic. Quite simply, I myself do not care about the starving in Ethiopia—it is a very abstract concept to me, and charity is better directed to one’s own immediate community—but then neither do the self-righteous; the difference is, I do not feel the need to indulge in gesture politics on the issue.

Self-righteousness has become the moral stance of the British elite, many of whom are making large sums out of their concern for others. I am sure senior civil servants, bureaucrats in the health service, headmasters on six-figure salaries in failing schools, “quango queens” and charity directors all tell themselves that they are handsomely rewarded for their superior morality. They are all trying to do good, or so they tell themselves, and if they are actually imposing a financial burden on the low-paid, siphoning money off from front-line healthcare, teaching trendy subjects they know will damage the life chances of their pupils, wasting money on fatuous and politically motivated campaigns, and even directing money collected as “charitable donations” into their final-salary pension funds, they are able to rationalise it in some way to themselves. How lucrative “caring” has become! Quite often these people are prepared to siphon off large sums of money into overseas projects (collecting their salaries on the way). I would argue that the Chinese-style naked pursuit of self-interest at least has the advantage of allowing the Chinese to support their own society. They do not have to pretend to care about the Sudan, and so they can keep all their money in China. And they do not need to feign concern about the human rights of murderers, and so are free to support the death penalty and keep China a stable, low-crime society. And the Muslim society of wealthy Saudi Arabia sees no need to fund unmarried motherhood, so helping to ensure that most children in that society are brought up by both of their real parents. Amazing, is it not, how self-interest often fosters a healthy society?

How did Western society become so self-righteous? Is this merely a phenomenon of the twentieth century as our Christian culture receded? I would argue that the sanctimoniousness of the elite, and their middle-class hangers-on, has huge material advantages for the elite, in that it has vastly expanded the size of the state, but there are other advantages too for the elite of this form of self-righteousness. Whereas traditional morality required them to set a social example themselves, the new form of cod-morality requires nothing of them personally. You can be a serial divorcer and abandoner of children, and as long as you are passionate anti-racist and concerned about global warming, you are still a good person today. The cod-morality requires nothing more than occasional lip-service, whereas traditional morality was a tight life-long straitjacket of behaviour. We have reached the point where morality is what you say and not what you do. A pleasant person who never does anything to harm others, but voices his opposition to immigration—I would put myself in this category—is deemed in self-righteous circles to be a “nasty individual”, based entirely on his views. Someone who has ruined the lives of his wife and children has only to mouth platitudes to become accepted in the best company.

Clearly, though, self-righteousness is connected to our erstwhile morality. Even in the old days, those who were determined to be seen to be behaving in line with the church’s moral precepts were seen as self-righteous. They cultivated their moral images every bit as much as the new elite cultivate theirs. From one point of view, the change in society has been nothing more than a shift in the focus of morality, from sexual to racial matters. Incidents such as the persecution of the witches of Salem in early America show that the same tendency to self-righteousness, together with a taste for persecuting others that is very much alive in the new political correctness, has been there all along. Yet the difference is that the old self-righteousness of the family and the church fostered a good society: it held the fabric of the family and nation together. The new self-righteousness is destructive of the fabric society because it opposes the family and the nation, and it is for that reason, and not its mere sanctimonious tone (unbearable though that is), that I oppose it.

Finally, the church itself warned of self-righteousness and judgmentalism. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were probably not engaging in any form of immorality, but it was their self-righteousness that offended Jesus, who condemned them as “whited sepulchres”. A nation steeped in the Bible was on the look-out for self-righteousness, and this at least meant that a genuine difference between real morality and the cultivation of a fake moral image was clear to all members of society back then. Could it be that, as we have in the main abandoned Christianity, we no longer see the distinction between righteousness and self-righteousness? That having been weaned off the Bible, we take claims of morality at face value?

It was always a problem for the Christian church that it called for righteousness and condemned unrighteousness while claiming to oppose self-righteousness too. Is it not self-righteous to tell others to be righteous? I can only square that circle myself with the concept of nation that is Christian, rather than individuals who are Christian. At one stage, Englishmen were told they were “building Jerusalem”, that England must become the kingdom of God on earth. It was not a messianic vision of the Second Coming of Christ, but was rather a messianic vision of a good society, right here in England. Once the values that were once seen as moral and right are assimilated by the majority of society, it becomes harder for one individual to stake a greater claim to morality by adhering to them. They were once the norm in society. True, there were individuals hamming up their devotion to God, but there was nothing unusual back then about loving your wife “till death do us part” and bringing up your children to behave themselves. This moral tone was what was great about England—we were individuals with integrity, not individuals who it took the strictures of a cruel and barbaric shari’ah law to keep in line. The goal of the Church of England was never merely to create moral individuals, but to create a society where moral behaviour was the accepted social norm. Whether the theology of the Bible was true or not, it is a fact of history that the “new personality” spoke of by St Paul was put on by many—the majority?—of Englishmen, and that a society that worked on its precepts brought the religion of Christianity alive regardless of the facts of science and history.

So it seems to me that our traditional morality has metamorphosised into the self-righteousness, the cod-morality, of our new elite. Having been profoundly influenced by the Gospels, our nation was ripe for the emergence of anti-racism and various forms of synthetic outrage to replace the old certainties. Is this some kind of original cultural flaw in the Western societies? Does our oft-proclaimed moral superiority conceal a tendency towards self-deception and gesture politics? The irony is, when the Western civilisation was at its height, it was better than the rest of them put together!

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25 responses to “Guilt, or Self-righteousness?

  1. Thanks for posting this – I have already noticed a stupid mistake – “pedal” for “peddle”. But I can’t edit the post, so it stands.

  2. Superb, well-written article! I hope it will provoke a long debate.

  3. Pedal changed to peddle

  4. So it seems to me that our traditional morality has metamorphosised into the self-righteousness, the cod-morality, of our new elite.

    I would argue that nothing has changed, at least in history recent enough to be applicable. Moralism has been the overriding characteristic of our society for more than 200 years. It created the Victorian value system, and has been dominant ever since. It grew out of puritanism, that woeful invention of John Calvin which, like all fundemantlisms, pretended to be “back to basics” but was actually a new invention. (The same goes for the “fundamentalism” of the Islamists; nothing like Khomeini’s Islam had ever existed in Islam before. Fundamentalism calls the new the old.

    Anyway, the point is, moralism always focusses on other people for self-righteous reasons. All those absurd Victorians running around “saving” fallen women and rushing off to be missionaries in Darkest Africa and so on. They saw themselves as Calvin’s Elect, and they were going to Heaven, and showing it by showing off their moral virtue. All that has happened is that the particular moral targets have changed to grander endeavours- bringing peace on Earth and so on. But it’s the same motivational psychology. There is direct continuity.

    But the “moral tone of England” you discuss is, as I said, a Victorian invention. Prior to that, England was a rather fun, bawdy place. We were the prostitution capital of Europe. We never stopped being the drunkard capital of Europe. The idea of a reserved Christian England since time immemorial is as much a fantasy as Khomeini’s “true” Islam. They’re moralists too. They just have a different set of silly moral rules to us, that’s all. But then, look at the coincidence- Persia and England were both conquered by daft, fanatical, foreign religions around the 7th century, both of which are descended from the worship of a psychotic sky God from Palestine.

    We’ve been struggling out from under our mullahs, the past fifty years or so, but Persia hasn’t been so lucky yet. Still infected with the religious impulse, it is still alive and well in our “secular” sphere as the moralism called PC. But there is no distinction between righteousness and self-righteousness. Yahweh worship is predicated on the banning of harmless pleasures (ham sandwiches, beer, sex, etc) and instigating a “holier than thou” competition between those who manage to obey the bans and to enforce them on others. That’s how these religions work and why, ultimately, we need shot of them.

  5. I must say, I’m surprised there aren’t more comments on this as it’s a very good and thought provoking article.

  6. In the near future, the Libertarian Alliance will revive Free Life. This will now be an on-line journal, and will enable a more structured publication of articles and responses to them.

  7. Excellent article dj.

    You will have noticed, as will Ian and Sean, that I have for long been arguing for such things as “Fewer Police On The Streets” coupled with “Better People”.

  8. Ian B, I wasn’t convinced by the parallel between 17th century England and the Iran of the Ayatollahs. We don’t need to be fundamentalist, but the essential bedrock of society is the family. It is surely not fundamentalist to say that unmarried women should not have children, and that fathers should not abandon their families? These things are not a feature of “freedom”, but quite the opposite, the inability to behave ourselves in a way consonant with a genuinely free society. I know I mention the Jeremy Kyle Show a lot, but I have noticed how docile the chavs on that programme appear to be while Jezza is screaming abuse at them. It seems they accept their inferior status in society as moral ne’er-do-wells, and they are not behaving like that in a proud and confident assertion of their right to whatever moral behaviour they please, regardless of its effect on others.

    There was nothing absurd about saving fallen women in the 19th century. What is absurd is the churches and those who ought to know better actually sympathising with prostitutes and telling them their lifestyle is just fine. We should treat the fallen women like we did back then. They should be told clearly and imperiously that their behaviour is wrong and they will only be helped by the voluntary sector if they clean their lives up. Would you want a knocking house down your street? Have you stopped to think about the way the prostitutes’ children are brought up? And the impact on society of their bad behaviour when they grow up?

    I am in two minds about whether prostitution should be illegal – perhaps it shouldn’t, but any impact on wider society in the form of anti-social environment for the neighbourhood should be absolutely sat on. I remember when I worked in Piccadilly, walking with my Mum through Soho and feeling embarrassed for her to see the sights there – including scantily clad women beckoning from doorways. If there is legal prostitution, I would prefer it to be out of the way, in saunas, etc, where the general public can overlook it. But even so, we need the churches, the tax/benefits system, the media and the education system to stop fostering unproductive lifestyles. If we don’t, we are stuck with the large style, make no mistake. Someone has to clean up after the underclass after all. And in particularly, I am a **strong** believer in the abolition of divorce.

    You said the moral tone of England was a Victorian invention. Yes, probably, or partly – I think the Georgian period may have become lax, but I don’t think it was like that all the way back; it is probable the industrial revolution created dislocations, including a shift of the populations to urban areas where the parish churches had tens of thousands of potential parishioners each, and at one point the Established Church more or less lost content with the working class, but you are extrapolating this situation into the 17th, 16th, 15th, etc, centuries, the social situation of which was not at all comparable.

  9. >>“Fewer Police On The Streets” coupled with “Better People”.

    Yes, that’s a good approach, but I haven’t noticed any police on the streets during my lifetime!! Apparently the police force does not extend to my local area!

  10. I am referring to the normally-demanded, anodyne but dangerous, statements by _/all/_ politicians wanting to be elected:

    “WE WILL PUT MORE POLICE ON THE BEAT”.

    Eventually, this will be a country where you are either a policeman or a villain. Nothing else will be allowed.

  11. Yes, David, you may be right, but in fact, the police are reluctant to actually foot-patrol. The call “we will put more police on the beat” generally means “we will expand the pension pots of police chiefs and double the number of back office staff, increase the paperwork, and get the police chasing minor altercations under the rubric of ‘anti-racism’”. I don’t know my neighbourhood policeman – there are three assigned to my area, but they never come round, and can only be reached by voicemail.

  12. >>Eventually, this will be a country where you are either a policeman or a villain. ————

    Well state power and villainry among the population are two sides of the same coin. I prepare a society, like the 1950s, where people “had a policeman inside their own heads” – ie they didn’t need cameras and what not to make them behave, they were just brought up better…

  13. Civilization – being civil. Not in sense of being polite in political debate (as certain American and British people, utterly ignorant of their own history, believe), but in the sense of not robbing and murdering each other.

    Whether it is bandits doing the robbing and murdering or (to use the Chinese) words the “official bandits” (the state).

    There were writers in various asian countries (including China) who supported property rights and limited government, and there were in Islamic lands also.

    There were also periods where government (for example) in China did try to respect property rights, keep taxes down, not confiscate enterprises – and so on.

    However, it tend to breakdown (both in the Far East and in Islamic Culture) it tended to breakdown in the West also (there has never been a perfect political situation – anywhere), but generally (at least in recent centuries) the situation was not so bad in the West as it was in the Islamic world or the Far East.

    Why was that?

    Some point to religion (although Christianity did not stop the late Roman world becomming a statist despotic nightmare, collapsing long before the barbarians marched into Rome in 410 – although one could argue that the process of decay was so far gone before the Roman world went Christian….)

    Others point to feudalism – not meaning serfdom (a common confusion) but the landed families acting as a break on government power. Japan was a bit like that – but it is hard to think of any other major nonWestern lands that were.

    In theory it was under Rome that land was privately owned – under feudalism (at least in England) it was “held” – but in practice, few European Kings (or other such) could act like a Roman Emperor.

    Or like the rulers of Islamic lands – or Empires like China.

    For example a Chinese Emperor might be convinced by Taoist arguments that he should leave people alone, but if he was not convinced (and wanted to order people about, take their enterpries and land and …..) then there was nothing much that could be done about it.

    Although once a dynasty started to act that way economic and social breakdown would eventually come and “the mandate of heaven” would change (after a period of bloodsoaked chaos – and such periods could last rather a long time).

    In the West INSTITUTIONS, the landed familes, the city merchants (organized into such things as Parliaments and Estates) and the independent Church (in other cultures the idea of a Church being independent of the state and being able to stand up to the state….. well it would have seemed very odd) acted as a break on rulers.

    True their was the rise of so called “enlightened despotism” from the 16th century onwards (although the movement was defeated in England), but even a tyrant like Louis XIV was not really as much of a “despot” as a Chinese Emperor or a typical Islamic ruler (of course not all Islamic rulers were despots and tyrants – but there was little INSTITUTIONAL reason for them not to be if they wanted to be).

    And in the 19th century the idea of the all powerful “enlightened” despot was rejected in the West. Although the idea came back in the 20th centuryand on a truly terrible scale – claiming that scapegoats, “the rich” “the Jews” (and so on) were responsible for poverty (the old “rich versus the poor” poison that undermined so many Greek city states as well as the Roman Republic) and that if only all power was in the hands of a well meaning group of people……..

    There are many writers on all the above, but I think that Montesquieu is a good place to start even now.

  14. Paul Marks, most of what you say is true, but none of what you said was remotely on-topic.

  15. I am the witness dot com

    Hilaire Belloc’s wonderful tale, The Mercy of Allah, sets out an understanding of Muslim society that is every bit as selfish and greedy as Chinese society.

    The book mentioned above is not about ISLAM but about JEWS. Check the date it was written and if there was any fractional reserve lending at the time of this book in islamic societies ? Hilaire Belloc was a half-english-half-french (mother french) Catholic who hated both jews and muslims. But afraid of jews he wrote a story of jew and painted on islamic background. The book is about jewish mercantile practices.

  16. I am the witness dot com

    Hilaire Belloc’s wonderful tale, The Mercy of Allah, sets out an understanding of Muslim society that is every bit as selfish and greedy as Chinese society.

    The book mentioned above is not about ISLAM but about JEWS. Check the date it was written and if there was any fractional reserve lending at the time of this book in islamic societies ? Hilaire Belloc was a half-english-half-french (mother french) Catholic who hated both jews and muslims. But afraid of jews he wrote a story of jew and painted on islamic background. The book is about jewish mercantile practices.

    The potent arguments that this fictional story of a merchant is a HERESIOGRAPHY of ISLAM is that Hilaire had no vast and intimate experience in the islamic society to know this type of detail. What he MOST DEFINITELY was INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED with was the JEWISH merchants in England and France. Thus, it is impossible to devise such a fictional parable by the observation of the object but only an introspection of the self or surroundings in his own dwelling.

  17. I am the witness dot com

    Hilaire Belloc’s wonderful tale, The Mercy of Allah, sets out an understanding of Muslim society that is every bit as selfish and greedy as Chinese society.

    The book mentioned above is not about ISLAM but about JEWS. Check the date it was written and if there was any fractional reserve lending at the time of this book in islamic societies ? Hilaire Belloc was a half-english-half-french (mother french) Catholic who hated both jews and muslims. But afraid of jews he wrote a story of jew and painted on islamic background. The book is about jewish mercantile practices.

    The potent arguments that this fictional story of a merchant is a HERESIOGRAPHY of ISLAM is that Hilaire had no vast and intimate experience in the islamic society to know this type of detail. What he MOST DEFINITELY was INTIMATELY ACQUAINTED with was the JEWISH merchants in England and France. Thus, it is impossible to devise such a fictional parable by the observation of the object but only an introspection of the self or surroundings in his own dwelling.

    One of the supporting accounts of this business practices is the ROTHSCHILD banksters. The last chapters of the paper currency tale in Hilaire Billoc’s book is a very LUCID and highly clear account of how Jewish banksters setup paper currency system in europe and then in america. The federal reserve mechanism of printing dollars is not different than it. The wars between US and USSR are not different to his narration. There are two lessons to be derived from Hilare Billoc. (1) how the zionist mercantilism actually operates and this is the CLEAREST book on their methods. (2) From the anglo-saxon dominated/led west, there is little expectation of a fair judge/arbiter/mediator for Islam as it is now dominated by zionists and successfully misleads the profligate, greedy and mercenaries in the west, like neocons misled Bush-Cheney cabal into the 911 insider job and anthrax false-flags.

  18. I’m afraid, I have “The Mercy of Allah”, and have read it – and it is not about lending money, and it is not about Jews – it is about Muslims. I am afraid you have inserted your hysteria about Jews into the discussion here… irrelevantly.

  19. What is anti-semitism doing on a libertarian blog, if that’s what this is?

  20. MWR, what is political correctness doing on a libertarian blog? You are clearly not a libertarian. I don’t care what views the person above has on Jewry, I was specifically denying that The Mercy of Allah was an allegory for Hilaire Belloc’s views on Jews (whatever they were). He was writing at a time when there was no need for allegories on such subjects – and, if you were a libertarian, you would appreciate the free speech if not the views….

  21. dj, re your comment on my post. What the heck has political correctness got to do with the phenomenon of antisemitism?

    Dislike of antisemitism has always been rooted in perfectly understandable concerns not unconnected with the way a certain group of people have repeatedly been subjected over the ages, in country after country to irrational persecution, until that persecution eventually reached genocidal proportions. In fact that irrational persecution of Jews continues today and is growing again. I am not going to spell out the horrors of what was done to millions of innocent men, women, and children to underline the reason for that dislike. But if you think PC comes into this you’re off your rocker.

    However I didn’t even say that such views should not be expressed here. Your statement didn’t even follow from what I wrote. I was surprised that a libertarian might be thinking that way, which is what I said. But if that’s the way libertarians normally think, you can count me out any time.

    Now, the issue of my being a libertarian (or not). I am not aware there is a set formula for defining a libertarian person. Over the past forty years I’ve found that people that are involved, and think of themselves as libertarians, have ideas covering a spectrum that is so wide as to be unrecognisable to one another at times, and to possess views which are virtually irreconcilable, and are often at odds with one another. So tell me something new in that respect.

    However one quality that libertarians generally do tend to share is common humanity, which is perhaps at the root of libertarian thought and the way that libertarian thinking is concerned with the individual rather than the collective. Whether or not you believe that can readily be squared with antisemitism is something only you can know.

  22. MWR, I only read your first paragraph. Jews are not persecuted today in Western countries – and the line that they have always been persecuted deserves historiographical analysis.

    Look, this is way, way, way off topic – but you are not a libertarian if you agree to controls on free speech. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter what the content of the free speech it – it is a simply a principle.

  23. As I said dj, people can have very different ideas about what it is to be a libertarian. The very fact that some can reconcile socialism with libertarianism (which I can’t) shows just how diverse those ideas can be. Maybe we all tend to have different aspects that interest us more than others, “intellectual property” being something that bugs me in particular.

    Anyway I do happen to believe strongly in personal freedom and I’ve spent most of my life trying to tell people around me how valuable that is and wasting my breath in the process. Most folks don’t appreciate their freedom until they’ve lost it, by which time it’s way too late to try to regain it.

    Re political correctness, no-one loathes it more than I do, but then you don’t even have to be libertarian to feel that way. I am probably more touchy than most when it comes to antisemitism though as you may have noticed.

  24. No. MWR, some things are core to the concept of libertarianism. It is not that there are different versions. you don’t fit any definition. Touchy about anti-semitism, what the hell have you got to be touchy about? jews are an elite group in all Western nations. It may be your self-serving image to deny this… but then that just shows you’re not a libertarian.

  25. What a refreshingly honest post! On ‘Forums of the Libertarian Left’ anything much like the following will get posters called ‘far right fascists’ and the like:

    ‘True, violent crime is less common in China, where it is the overwhelming social norm for men to frequent brothels, and the lower level of violence can also be explained by higher average IQ levels in East Asia, which produce a fairly stable population, who prefer to use their intelligence to rip others off financially than to use their fists or force themselves on lone women. Indian and Pakistani doctors in the UK are known for “feeling up” their female patients—presumably in their culture they would get away with this behaviour, and “anti-racism” ensures they often do in Britain too. Real hard violence, as a social norm, is, however, rather found in the African-descended part of the population, who lack the IQs of the Chinese and the economic prospects of everyone else. Many geneticists believe that not only IQs but also the tendency towards aggression is coded for in human genes, and further solid information on this subject is eagerly awaited by conservatives.’

    Several FFL regulars even say they do not CARE that certain groups are more likely to be smart, more likely to dominate universities, more likely to win Nobel Prizes, etc. So on one hand they claim to value equality, yet on the other hand they close their eyes to inequalities, making it less and less likely that greater levels of equality could be effectively achieved. Such as the wages of ignorance.