Saloforum.com user Angocachi:
I'm 50-some pages into Michael Scheuer's biography on Osama Bin Laden. Some notes that standout in my mind, because I had either been unaware of it or thought otherwise;
- Osama was Ayman Al Zawahiri's mentor and trans-formative figure and not the other way around. It's often been stated that Zawahiri was the brains behind Bin Laden, but this misconception was produced by Saud to try and pin Al Qaeda on an Egyptian rather than an Arabian millionaire. I'll cite loosely from an awesome list Scheuer gives to drive home the point that OBL was the brains, and Zawahiri a sidekick. Zawahiri wanted to overthrow the Egyptian government and march on Jerusalem, and this was his only goal before joining Bin Laden. He believed Jihadists should strike the near enemy, until Osama convinced him the prerequisite of striking the foreigners behind the anti-Islamic regimes. He believed in small secret organization rather than a highly public and 'too large to count the members of' organization until he met Bin Laden. Zawahiri believed they could only topple the secularist regimes by military coups, until Bin Laden convinced him of insurgency. Zawahiri was bordering on Takfirism before Bin Laden got a hold of him. Zawahiri was against publicity until Bin Laden showed him the importance of the media and spotlight. Zawahiri was a Qutbi until Bin Laden took him in. Zawahiri's EIJ failed and was broke, Bin Laden dusted him off and told him that the US was the force behind the Egyptian government and turned his focus on America.
It's true that Zawahiri is an intellectual, but Osama Bin Laden was a superb thinker as well. Al Qaeda was Bin Laden's vision, and it was Zawahiri who was shaped by him, not the other way around.
- Osama's mother may have been an Allawite or had Allawites in her family, Scheuer doesn't know but he's heard the rumors and the reasons behind them are intriguing.
- Osama's idols were Khalid Bin Walid, Nur Al Din, Saladin, and Ibn Taymiyyah.
- Osama went to an elite school as a boy. Compared to the brilliant students he attended class with he was average, but compared to the general populace he was a 1 in 50 student, according to his teacher.
- Osama was not a Qutbi or Takfiri. He did not believe in Qutbi's big ideas; that the Ummah had fallen back into paganism, that bad Muslims should be declared non-Muslims and fought, that Jihad is an offensive duty and the non-Muslim world had to be conquered. Osama wasn't about restoring Muslims to a pure Islam or eliminating heretics and non-fundamentalists. He wasn't about subjugating infidels, and he believed Jihad must be defensive.
- He's never advocated killing the Saudi family and in fact has admired a handful of them. Rather, he wanted to depose them and put them on trial... at last. There's no indication that he wanted to lynch them or have a shoot out with them, as the regime in Libya met its end.
- He was a Spartan and Survivalist, and believed a man should not provide comforts and luxuries for himself lest he grow lazy and cowardly. He shunned air conditioning and cold water, wanted to live as basic a life as possible. It wasn't a religious tenet, just a personal ethic.
- Like his father, he didn't believe in borders between Muslim countries. He was a true pan-Islamist.
- Michael Scheuer shits on a great number of other books, articles, public statements and films on OBL and AQ. He laments the knuckle-dragging demonization of OBL, poorly sourced accounts that rely on OBL's enemies to tell his story, and so on. He rejects Lawrence Wright's 'The Looming Tower" as naive and inaccurate, but still worth a look.
On the other hand, Scheur despises the Neoconservative commentators; Douglas Feith, Bernard Lewis, Charles Krauthammer, George Weigel, John Bolton, William Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and Victor Hansen Davis. The Weekly Standard, Wallstreet Journal, Commentary, National Review, Frontpagemagazine and Powerline are all lying about Al Qaeda, and they're trying to divert public attention away from American foreign policy, especially toward Israel... Scheuer says.
Scheur gives his approval to Peter Bergen, Abdel Bari Atwan, Steve Coll, and Brynjar Lia.
The book is damn good.
Saloforum.com user Thomas777:
Bin Laden was an anti-modernist I believe - he told Mullah Omar that Afghanistan was important because the conditions there (and the simplehearted piety of the Pashtun people) allowed Islam to thrive in ways that it could not in more developed and ''normal'' operational theaters. Bin Laden also would frequently say that the caves and mountains (like Tora Bora) reminded him of his ancestral home in Yemen - and both were similar to the caves that the Prophet took to when he was blessed with revelatory visions.
Osama would watch television news a lot because as a man leading a war effort, he had to stay abreast of information and utilize propaganda to his advantage, but he otherwise disdained media and viewed the use and consumption of it as decadent and un-Islamic. It was noted that the only modern things he used/owned were televisions and his AK-47, as these things were both essential instruments of war.
Westboro Baptist Church & Gay Marriage
this is the cool new thing on facebook
something to do with homopervs
I'll have to look that up
I prefer the swastika. Might not be cool or trendy, but that's ok
I couldn't find the meaning of it. I've seen the yellow equals on blue background up till now; what does red-and-pink signify
Torn rectal tissue
thomas, apparently Schmeisser has been doing drugs and having sex with one of the daughters of the phelps
what do you make of this
"the Red take over of Facebook in support of the LGBT community against prop 8 and the arguments against Same Sex marriage"
Man, was my Facebook red! The Reds are revolting
speaking of homopervs i was just reading about the robert hone case. two gay yuppies, both involved in gay equality stuff, and their houseboy drugged, sexually assaulted and murdered a straight house guest
Schmeisser is a good man, Cornelio.
if schmeisser were to have joined wbc for shits and giggles he would be a good man.. seemed pretty into it and serious not too long ago
Nothing wrong with being serious about WBC. They terrorize shabbos goy losers, Jews, fags, and other scumbags
wbc is a fed op
I think WBC is silly, but whatever turns them on. Liberals and Neocons need to be shit on. Whoever is doing that is ok IMO
I don't think they're a fed op. If they were a fed op, they'd be pulling Tom Metzger type stuff - advocating terrorism but curiously never being indicted
WBC are just nutty holy rollers - their views are actually normal Baptist views. Its their stunts and media presence that is goofy, not their opinions
wbc has done more for gay rights and marriage in the past few years than what the homos have accomplished in thirty
i think i agree with supplanter on this one
Yes and no - people who back ''gay rights'' have serious problems. Its not like otherwise right-thinking people are swayed to this view by goofy stunts performed by Bible bangers
I think guys sucking each others dicks in public like you see at the Folsom Street Fair is more disturbing to people than an old man and a few ladies holding signs making fun of homosexuals
though on the other hand, it is interesting that they put themselves in the scapegoat position so all the lib hivemind rage is directed at them
most videos of their protests show how ugly and disturbed their opponents are
WBC exposes liberal bigotry anyway. Fags shouldn't care what Baptists think of them. If you're an atheist, who cares what other people think? Liberals are just self-righteous bigots who hate people who aren't like them. They're actually more like the Puritan extemists than WBC types are.
people even petitioned the state department to have them listed as a terrorist group
save us hilary clinton from the bad words!
Christians should carry out ''terrorism'' - they're dropping the ball by not doing so.
Americans are all basically atheistic - save for minority outlyers. Pious Protestants, a handful of believing Catholics, etc.
This is why its hilarious that retardo goys claim people like George W Bush are Christian extremists. They think Yale men and country club Brahmins are a bunch of Theocrats. Its hilariously out of touch with reality
East Germany & Deutsche Demokratische Republik
thomas, you read Honecker's autobiography?
I've read excerpts from it, but not in its entirety
Honecker is interesting because he was sort of a compromise between the tough and brutal KPD men like Mielke (and like Thalmann was) and the dour academics like Ulbricht. He was a consummately serious person. He personally hated Gorbachev, interestingly. The Sovs thought Honecker was too much a Stalinist, the West Germans thought he was too cozy with Moscow for comfort. Odd situation
what do you make of the DDR?
it seems they had a high standard of living for an Eastern Bloc country
The DDR realized Sombart's vision of ''German Socialism'' is my take on it. This was combined with a Prussian heritage. That's what Communism in a ''pure'' sense looked like in practice - it was far more doctrinally Communistic than the USSR was after 1953
The DDR had a reasonably high standard of living, and in the 70s, its per capita GDP exceeded that of England's working class. What killed the DDR was the internal situation in the USSR and the fact that the DDR was the literal front like of the Cold War - it couldn't sustain its military committment against NATO.
I'll make the post you suggested this week
When Trotskyites, Maoists, Chomsky accolytes and others claim that Marxism in the East Bloc was irreparably ''deformed'', they're talking literal shit. The DDR was a Marxist state. It cannot really be argued otherwise. It was anti-Jewish, authoritarian, and not particularly internationalist, but this was dictated by the global military situation - it was a state mobilized for war out of necessity. The DDR was nonetheless a ''real'' Communist country. Communism isn't something else - its not money-driven democracy, its not Maoist despotism, its not neo-feudal bartering in the Third World.
i know Bertrand Russell wrote a book on socialism in the at the turn of the 20th century and had a whole chapter on Bismarck
is this considered "German Socialism"?
i think Trotskyism in practice would have just been hyper Jacobinism
there's no way it would have been sustainable
Bismark's Prussia was the foundation, sure - Sombart expounded this tendency further though. Spengler appropriated a lot of Sombart's thought, but tailored it to Conservative principles. Sombart himself was a Left-Hegelian, but he was also a German Nationalist. German Socialism to me is the culmination of Fitche - Hegel - Schopenhauer - Nietzsche - Sombart. Its a peculiar phenomenon. Americans don't really understand ''socialism''. They think ''socialism'' is old people demanding entitlements, Jesse Jackson hustling for federal pork, etc.
PLEASUREMAN - MyPostingCareer.com
I might write a piece on it someday if hicks ever interest me enough to do so. For now, just a short note.
The defining characteristic of a hick is that, despite evidence that he is sheltered and insulated from anything more stimulating than a bingo game, he assumes otherwise because he owns a television and/or radio. Were he to be aware of the outside world and his relative inexperience with it, he would cease to be a hick and instead would probably rise to the level of bumpkin.
I describe the hick as he is; I am neither for nor against him. In a healthy society he is perfectly acceptable--if a little sure of ideas he has merely selected from a choice of two or three large print books. But then, his conviction that his hamlet or town has really settled the ideal way for man to live is part of his charm--he's not one for very much novelty.
On the other hand, these very circumstances have left him vulnerable to pathological thinking--his mental immune system is very weak and the noise of mass society easily overrides it. At best he stubbornly (but inconsistently) resists the propaganda, telling people that God does not want gay people to marry and that blacks were better off before the civil rights era, but the result is that his own children think he's bigoted and stupid. He's never had to think about why or how his hick town functions, much less the world beyond his county line.
At worst the noise of mass society causes him to become more extreme than conventional liberals--he naively and eagerly accepts the new programming, and points his small-minded small town indignation at anyone who doesn't. That indignation was an organic way to make sure people in town cut their lawns and didn't start trouble, but once the hick is infected with this mental virus he attacks anyone who cautions against his new programming. You might get a liberal to admit that he feels safer, even though it's totally racist, now that his kid is in a white school. The hick will double down and say he wishes his children were in an all black school so they could serve as role models on white privilege day (Louis CK was so right!). The non-hick liberal is a reasonable hypocrite--the hick is just an idiot.
The problem is that the hick gets full exposure to mass society through the media, but his local customs and institutions aren't strong enough to defend against it. This is predictable, because for most of the existence of hick habitats no such thing as mass society existed. The hick as he was could only survive thanks to the gentleness of nature--a gale blowing from New York was barely a breeze by the time it reached him. But now nature--mass society--is massive in its turmoil and destructive reach. The hick is sure the storm will blow some wonderful nigger families into his area so he can show everyone how much he's learned from television.
And of course when trouble comes as a result of his naivete, he'll be the first to point his finger J'Accuse style and rage about racism. He'd vote for the cornball nigga Obama twenty times if he could. Hicks learn what they can learn (not much) and are then certain about it forever. Therein lies the problem.
From the messageboard MPC
The Dalai Lama speaking about Tibet in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 10, 1997:
"The unabated influx of immigrants to (our country), has the effect of overwhelming (our) distinct cultural and religious identity and reducing (my people) to an insignificant minority in their own country, amounts to a policy of cultural genocide"
I've always sort of respected real leftists who hate the Dalai Lama. They're being consistent; airhead Hollywood-type libs are going completely against their intra-national beliefs (anti-religion, anti-nationalism, socially liberal) when they gush over him because of their ditsy crush on Buddhism
It's a good line to save for a dinner party where some friend of a friend pipes up about gay marriage: "With all due respect, I have to side with the Dalai Lama on this one."
The Dalai Lama is great for trolling because 99% of shitlibs believe he's this peaceful and gentle man who talks about tolerance and enlightenment and non-violence (which for them means he'll agree with all their poz and insanity) unlike that NAZI OLD BACHELOR from Rome, while in reality he's also a Horrible Bigot and Unacceptable Socially Regressive Individual.
Some old quotes:
"I feed birds, peaceful birds. I'm non-violent, but if a hawk comes when I'm feeding birds, I lose my temper and get my air rifle."
"But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you ... it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."
The liberal doublethink on this issue is hilarious. Tibet was an agrarian, feudal, theocratic state before the Chinese invaded. Buddhists/Shintoists were banzai charging and launching kamikaze attacks throughout the Pacific War for the God-Emperor. Muslims stone adulterers, behead infidels and martyr themselves with regularity but no the neutered and emasculated caricature of Christianity that exists in the West, that's the real threat to liberal society.
Peace loving Buddhist
Sinister Albanian Dwarf and Hateful Bigot
Dalai Lama Lite
Posted by el greco at 3/15/2013 |
* Zorba the Israeli By Sh1ri L3v-Ar1 | Jul.08, 2008
"I expect nothing. I fear nothing. I am free," reads the epitaph on the grave of Nikos Kazantzakis, located in a cemetery in Heraklion on the island of Crete. Kazantzakis, of "Zorba the Greek" fame, is not merely an author, poet, translator, and philosopher - he is an institution.
His status as an institution extends beyond the borders of Greece. The International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis operates throughout the world in order to preserve his heritage. Among its activities is the publication of an annual journal and the organization of events focusing on the author and his work. The society was established in Geneva 20 years ago and has branches throughout the world, including in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and of course Israel.
On Saturday evening, a few dozen people convened in the expansive, lovely home of Greek Ambassador to Israel Nicholas Zafiropoulos in Kfar Shmaryahu, at round tables on the pool patio. A Cretan-style meal was already laid on the tables, accompanied by ouzo-spiked lemonade. A small stage was set up on the side. This was the annual meeting of the Israeli branch of the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis.
Established in 2005, the branch currently has about 20 members, who meet to talk about Kazantzakis and his work.
The first two annual lectures were delivered in a private home in Tel Aviv, but last year Zafiropoulos opened his home to the group, which returned for this year's annual event as well.
Daniel Dalyot, a geriatrician from Tel Aviv, founded the society's Israeli branch. "I've had an attachment to Greek culture since childhood," he says. "I received 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey,' as gifts and have loved Greek culture ever since. I first traveled [to Greece] when I was 16, and I love Greek music very much."
Dalyot is not alone. Many Israelis have fallen in love with Greek culture.
Many are attracted primarily to Greek music and food, but they are not the only draws. A growing number of Israelis in the arts, media, and other professions study Greek, travel to Greece frequently and draw inspiration from Greek culture.
Several members of the society study Greek with teacher Leon Siam, a singer and native of Thessaloniki who immigrated to Israel in the 1970s.
They listen to familiar Greek songs and study their lyrics. "It is an extremely difficult language," Dalyot says. "We are still breaking our teeth after a year." Screenwriter and film critic Kobi Niv, who attended the event on Saturday night and who studies Greek with Siam, explains, "I got involved with Greek culture via Aris San [a Greek singer who emigrated to Israel] and Yehuda Poliker [an Israeli singer-songwriter who is the son of Greek immigrants]."
Yehuda Melzer, publisher of Sifrei Aliyat Hagag (Books in the Attic) and a former philosophy professor, connected with Greek culture by means of his partner, Lily Eiss-Perahia, who divides her time between Israel and an Aegean island.
He spends two months a year on the island and has already befriended some of its prominent cultural figures, including director Theo Angelopoulos and a few writers.
"It's the combination of the landscape and the people," Melzer says. "Greeks have an endless ability to be happy, and we Israelis can only learn from them."
Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Heraklion on the island of Crete in 1883. He studied law at the University of Athens and, later, philosophy at The University of Paris-Sorbonne.
He translated Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Darwin and Henri Bergson into and wrote poems, stories, novels and diaries of his travels to Spain, Italy, Egypt, and Russia. Kazantzakis died in Germany in 1957 and was buried in his birthplace.
His most famous book, "Zorba the Greek," was published in 1946. Its appearance in English in the United States, in 1954, made its author a runaway success that exposed him to the rest of the world.
The novel was published in Hebrew long before Greece became a popular tourist destination for Israelis. In 1958, Hanoch Kalai's Hebrew translation of "Zorba the Greek" became the first title in Am Oved's Sifriya La'am (People's Library) imprint.
A new Hebrew translation by Amir Zuckerman was issued in 1995 with the book's original title, "The Life and Adventures of Alexis Zorbas."
The novel was also adapted into a monumental film starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates and Irene Papas.
The acclaimed novel depicted a friendship between a European intellectual and a miner, who was also a con-man, a potter and a santuri player - and above all an artist in living the good life with an expert ability to seize the day and realize his passions.
Zorbas became an adored figure in Western culture, and his prescription for life, passions and animal instincts were idealized. He came to represent all of Greek culture.
Kazantzakis wrote many books. "The Last Temptation of Christ" roused a storm of controversy when it appeared.
The novel presented Jesus as a human, flesh-and-blood figure who grappled with passions and with temptation.
In 1988, the film version of the book was released, directed by Martin Scorsese with a soundtrack composed by Peter Gabriel.
The film also provoked scandal and was banned in some countries.
On Saturday the novel was the subject of a lecture given by Kazantzakis society member Stelian Luznan. Luznan, an electrical engineer from Tel Aviv, spoke about the association between Kazantzakis's theological approach and the thinkers who inspired him - Buddha, Nietzsche and Lenin.
Kazantzakis is considered a national writer in Greece, and some consider him to be a nationalistic writer. He was a proponent of the use of the popular Greek spoken on the street, and engaged in frequent battles with Athens intellectuals after arriving there in 1906.
Some considered Kazantzakis to be a kind of Zorba himself. He drew his glorification of the instinctual, the passionate, from the philosophies of Nietzsche and Bergson. As a boy he attempted to work in the coal mines in Crete, where he befriended a full-of-life Macedonian named Yorgos Zorbas.
Kazantzakis was also a great fan of the Jewish people. He made many Jewish friends during his years in Europe. "He was fond of Jewish subjects and studied Hebrew with a rabbi in Crete," Dalyot says.
* Kazantzakis The Judeophile
from Selected Letters of Nikos Kazantzakis
Chapter 8 THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF OCCUPATION
Although it was rumoured that Catholic women were more disposed to trading sex for food, which was ‘widespread’ in the town, Orthodox women were equally vulnerable. In fact, most soldiers had little contact with the majority of the Catholic population as they were garrisoned in Ermoupolis.Rigoutsos expressed shock that women from ‘good families’ resorted to ‘prostitution’, suggesting that on every level of society, no one was immune from the degrading consequences of famine. It was well know that, in the murky moral climate of a society in crisis, there were those who were ready to exploit this particular ‘market’, resulting from the Italian army’s demands for sex. These dealers were rated as the most amoral among Syros’s newly rich profiteers. According to Mihalis Stefanos, women were used to extract export permits from the Italians in exchange for a few scraps of food; the women then handed over the permits to the ‘irreproachable Greek operating behind the scenes’. Stefanos thought that the aim was to accustom the girl who returned ‘to be subjected to humiliation time and again, just to get something to eat for a short while’. He reviled his ‘fellow-citizens’ for their betrayal of their own society and nation. For him these men were traitors whose behaviour threatened the moral fabric of the island community. The perception that there was a link between the trade in permits and prostitution was common and came up in the first newspapers published after the occupation by the communist-led resistance group EAM. On the whole, the blame was cast on the women, and scabrous songs and jokes expressed the community’s disapproval of women who associated with the occupiers. Nevertheless there was an awareness that these transactions had ‘protected the lives of the women themselves and entire families’.
The harshness of sexual trading was mitigated in cases where men and women negotiated a stable agreement providing for their mutual needs, or were drawn together by genuine affection. One Orthodox interviewee, living in a village outside Ermoupolis during the occupation, was very reluctant to admit that she was a ‘housekeeper’ for an Italian soldier although this enabled her to survive after her brother and sister had died of starvation. But the scars of the past have still not been effaced and even today both she and her daughter are still reticent about the social stigma attached to her behaviour.
Matthew Raphael Johnson - Who was Rasputin?
A Review of Rasputin: Neither Devil nor Saint, by Dr. Elizabeth Judas
Of all the topics in Russian history that have interested me over the years, few were as mysterious as the relations between the Royal family and Gregory Rasputin. I knew a few things: first, that the tsarevich was sick with hemophilia, and Rasputin had some sort of ability to heal him. Second, I knew that Rasputin had some influence over policy. And third, I knew that Rasputin had little control over his libido. With this information, I began to dig deeper into the life of this mysterious man. Unfortunately, I began to realize just a quickly, that what I thought I knew about Rasputin was false.
Up until recently, revisionist material on Rasputin was very scarce. Among the patriotic elements in Russian society prior to the revolution, only the royal family itself seemed to have any use for him. Outside of a few rather sectarian circles presently in Russia, Orthodox people either dismissed him, or condemned him as a fraud.
Recently, Liberty and Life publishing in California released a small book on the life of Rasputin from one who actually knew the man, a certain Dr. Elizabeth Judas, who was the wife of Alexander Ivanovich, an officer in the tsar’s secret service. Furthermore, the author’s uncle was a major figure in the imperial government. For years, this manuscript has lain rather undisturbed, out of print for decades and completely ignored by mainstream Russia scholarship. Alas, I myself, though immersing myself in Russian history and literature until it poured from my ears, had never heard of this manuscript, nor had any other revisionist writer in this field writing in English.
I was able to read this volume in two sittings. Now merely because it is short (216 pages in large fonts), but also because it is a gripping story. Nothing anyone has told you about Rasputin has even a shred of truth to it. Rasputin was a victim of revolutionary politics from without, and anti-tsarist palace intrigue from within. In the final analysis, this is the conclusion of this book.
Through a series of very interesting events, events that themselves tell much of local politics in the early part of the 20th century, the author, as a young child, met the acquaintance of Rasputin while living in Siberia, where she had many relatives. She knew Rasputin long before the tsar did. It was the author’s uncle, Dr. Lebikov, who first suggested to the royal family that this rather charismatic wanderer (Rasputin was not a priest, nor a monk, nor did he ever have a desire to be ordained or tonsured) from Siberia be brought to the palace to pray for the ailing tsarevich, Alexei. Now, the tsarevich was sick, he suffered from acute pains in his stomach, he never had hemophilia, nor is there any evidence of this serious disease among his medical records, or even within the correspondence between Nicholas and Alexandra, which, by the way, was conducted in English.
The distracted royal couple had no difficulty in permitting this Siberian religious man entrance into the palace. Though his appearance, with long hair and beard, wearing traditional Russian peasant dress, did cause a stir among the nobility at court, many of which were incensed to find such a commoner at the palace.
A few things need to be said about this. The great flaw in Nicholas’s reign was his inability to control the powerful and obnoxious nobility (including other more distant members of the Romanov clan). This was no easy task. Not only did Nicholas have certain familial responsibilities towards them, they also were possessed of political power in their own right, as well as access to substantial fortunes. Nicholas illustrious father, Alexander III succeeded in controlling this element, which is in part explanatory of why terror activity and revolutionary politics substantially subsided during his reign. Of course, Alexander was very different from his son, being much larger and more intimidating, Alexander personally often used physical coercion to control the more restless members of the clan. Nicholas was not of this temperament, being more refined than his father, but he eventually paid for his lack of a hard line in this matter.
Furthermore, Nicholas was a Slavophile: this means, in a nutshell, that Nicholas believed that Russia’s strength was in her peasantry, her agriculture, the commune and the church, all of which Nicholas was attached to not merely as a political figure, but also as a Russian man. To Nicholas, Rasputin represented the best in the Russian peasant: hardy, simple, pious. Rasputin made a powerful impression on the royal couple.
Rasputin was religiously opposed to the use of hypnosis or any sort of “mesmerism” in religious life; he made this clear to the author on many occasions. There is no evidence that he was a part of any sect that used these techniques, nor is there any proof he was even aware of their techniques apart from reputation. Rasputin was able to calm Alexei during his times of physical pain, and it was in this that his services were important. Rasputin did not cure Alexei of anything, but though prayer, was able to soothe the nerves of the young heir. He never took any credit for his services, saying only that God is responsible for the alleviation of Alexei’s pain. Nor did rasputin seek any reward for his services, and was very quick to leave the palace when he was no longer needed. In fact, it is worth nothing htat Rasputin routinely left the company of the royal family with intentions to go back to Siberia. It was only through the pleading of the royal couple that he returned. A rather curious form of behavior for someone who was “power mad.” In fact, twice, Rasputin packed up to leave for his native land, but was enticed back by Alexandra who clearly needed Rasputin to soothe the tsarevich.
Consulting eyewitnesses, there is no evidence that Rasputin had any political agenda whatsoever. There is substantial reason to doubt he was even a monarchist, though he respected the reigning royal family. The author claims that rasputin told her that praying for ht tsar was wrong, and only the poor and needy should be prayed for. However odd this statement might be, it hardly reflects any belief in royalism.
It did not take long for Rasputin to make enemies. The first sin he committed was to foil an assassination attempt on the heir to the throne. Apparently, several members of the palace nobility were ordering one of Alexei’s nurses to rub a certain powder on his rectum. The nurse was told that this was a medication brought back from the Middle East to treat Alexei’s condition. Rasputin, suspicious, asked that it be analyzed, only to discover that it was poison. As soon as this concoction was no longer applied, the tsarevich’s illness disappeared. There is no question, in Rasputin’s mind after this, that there was a cabal in the palace against the young heir. Rasputin’s days were numbered, and he knew it. But it was this incident that sealed the bond of trust between the royal family and Rasputin.
It didn’t help matters when a certain Prince Felix Yusapov approached Rasputin, asking him to intercede with the royal family for the oldest Romanov daughter’s hand. Rasputin, after being offered a bribe, refused. Eventually the story began to circulate, and Prince Yusapov moved to England to avoid further embarrassment. From there, Yusapov began to circulate stories about Rasputin at the English press. Among his accusations was that Rasputin was a Jew, that he had an out of control libido, and that he was an alcoholic. From this time on (about 1909), the stories about Rasputin began to get their start.
The murder of Rasputin is also treated in this book, but one with substantial revisionist material. It is normally told that Rasputin was killed after nearly every conceivable form of killing had failed: from poison to bullets to drowning to beatings. Rasputin was murdered by a group known as the “Mad Gang,” a group of extremely high ranking but also very liberal nobles and politicians who sought the eventual overthrow of Nicholas (and the monarchy in general) and their own installation in power. Among whom was Duma president Rodzianko, Vladimir Purishkevich, and Prince Yusipov. Apparently, according to later police reports, Rasputin was aware of the reason the liberal Prince Yusipov wanted him at his house, though the cover story was to pray for his ailing wife. In several confessions from Yusipov, he said that he first wanted to poison Rasputin, but he refused to eat the cakes especially prepared for him, nor the wine; all of which was poisoned. Eventually, he simply shot Rasputin, and eventually dumped his body into the river Neva, where, according to the autopsy, he died of drowning. It was a rather quick affair, bereft of the drawn out will to live so popular among cinematographers.
Much of the upper nobility in St. Petersburg was frankly being converted to liberalism as the 20th century got started. Many of them resented the traditionalism of the Emperor (though a traditionalism strongly tinged with practical good sense), and certainly, the presence of an “uneducated hick” at court. It might be mentioned that Rasputin was not uneducated, though he certainly had strong peasant roots.
Many of the nobility through their weight behind the liberal reformers, and, slowly but surely, the upper reaches of the nobility were turning against Nicholas. The Emperor was surrounded by turncoats and traitors, each viewing himself as the future president of a republican Russia, or even as the next Emperor. It reached a point where, except for a few trusted intimates, Nicholas was unsure who he could trust. Ultimately, it was Rasputin and Alexandra. As proof of this, here is the official exoneration of Rasputin made by the revolutionary Provisional Government (i.e. the anti-tsarist government under Kerensky, prior to the Bolshevik takeover) in July of 1917:
19 July 1917
This testimonial delivered to Mikhail Mihailovich Leibikov certifies that not a single indication of Gregory Rasputin’s political activity was disclosed by the High Commission of Inquiry. The inquiry into the influence of Rasputin on the Imperial Family was intensive but it was definitely established that that influence had its source only in the profound religious sentiment of their Majesties. The only favor Rasputin accepted was the rental of his lodging, paid by the personal Chancellor of his Majesty. He also accepted presents made by the hands of the Imperial Family, such as shirts, waist-bands, etc. That Rasputin had no connections with any foreign authorities. That all pamphlets and newspaper articles on the subject of Rasputin influence and other rumors and gossip were fabricated by the powerful enemies of the emperor. This statement is given under the signature and seal of the Attorney General of the High Commission.
V.M. Rudnev (signature)
The fact is that the Provisional Government, set up after the formal abdication of the Tsar in 1917, had full access to all the private and public papers of the Tsar, the Duma and all government ministries. Never has such an exhaustive commission into the form, behavior, structure and functioning of the royal government ever been attempted, and certainly, can never be again, given the full access to all records the Commission had (much of which was destroyed by the Bolsheviks for obvious reasons). They found, not only no moral problems with Rasputin, but also that the Imperial government maintained the highest standards in personal dignity while holding office. And all this from the sworn enemies of the Imperial government.
Significantly, the author reports many of the spiritual teachings of Rasputin. He never sought disciple, but he certainly attracted them, and one of his most ardent was the author. Now, here is where things get sticky. Though there is no direct evidence that rasputin was ever a member of one of the small sects that dotted the Russian landscape, some of his teachings are eccentric in the context of Russian Orthodoxy, a view the royal family was certain he espoused. Here, for example, are a few of the spiritual maxims Rasputin made central to his teaching (as reported by the author):
1. Be master of your own Will
2. Don’t worry
3. When in doubt, wait for light
4. Never show temper
5. Keep unpleasant opinions to yourself
6. Take all advice offered to you, but act on your own judgement
7. Be genuine and sincere
8. Understand your own powers
9. Understand your own weakness
10. Have faith in men and yourself
11. Love truth and justice supremely
12. Hold the eye of energy upon life’s ultimate goal
13. Seek light and life up to al light possessed.
According to the author, these were the central maxims of Rasputin’s life. Now, as nice as some of them are, there is a rather odd absence of any reference to God, the Trinity, the church or Jesus. The continued, undefined and deliberately vague use of such terms as “Will” or “the light” are certainly representative of sectarian and semi-gnostic views. He makes reference to faith (#10), but no reference to faith in God. #11 tells us who to love, and it’s not God, Christ, or anyone else. It is the vague and abstract words “truth” and “justice.” Of course, there are 13 maxims that made up his “commandments,” a number loved by Masons and other occultists. This is hardly the language of Russian monasticism, and therefore I remain highly suspicious of the author’s conviction that Rasputin was just a good, simple Christian. There is no mention of Rasputin ever receiving communion, going to confession or other practices normal to Orthodox life. This would explain the nearly universal suspicion of Rasputin exhibited by the upper clergy in the church, which the author fails to explain any other way.
In short, this book is a well done revisionist understanding of Rasputin from one of his ardent supporters and disciples. There is every reason to believe her most important points about the man, and his enemies, largely because they derives solely from eyewitnesses and police reports. For this reason alone, it is an extremely important book. It will not be taken seriously by scholars in “Russia studies,” for it proves one of the major points made by monarchists, then and now: that the nobility in St. Petersburg was anti-tsarist and viewed “parliamentary democracy” as merely a means to gain power under the ubiquitous slogan of “human rights.” Dr. Judas clearly, and though first hand accounts solely, bears this age-old contention out. The peasants were right after all: the tsar was good, his bureaucrats and nobles, bad. This refrain is to be found in peasant folk songs and dances from the 15th century onward, and Dr. Judas shows they were not too far off.
Rasputin was clearly not a bad man, but neither was he an Orthodox one. He spoke of Christ, but did not believe he founded a church. He told men to put their faith in one another rather than God. Nevertheless, had he been listened to, world history would be radically different. He was a quick-witted, educated and very practical man who strongly respected the royal family and wanted their protection, and nothing more. Rasputin correctly predicted that Russia’s entering into World War I would be the end of her, and this prediction, among other things, earned him the hatred of the Petersburg salon crowd. “Neither Devil nor Saint,” a very appropriate title.
Reply from Majorie Rich
It was a real pleasure to read you again. I enjoyed your review of Dr. Judas's book, but I do disagree with a lot of her claims, and will tell you why. All my quotes and remarks are from The Fall of the Russian Monarchy by Benard Pares who was Professor of Russian History, Language and Literature, University of Liverpool 1908-18 University of London 1919-36. In his Introduction he says: "I know of no period of history which is so rich in first-hand materials. That is, of course, due to the Revolution. It is true that a good many materials that I was following up have been lost for ever; for instance, being allowed to live with my regiment that I liked at the Russian front during the War, I found it easy to obtain a lien on the regimental records; but these, for the most part seem to have disappeared. On the other hand the Revolution opened access to a vast number of materials of infinitely greater value, many of which, without it, could hardly ever have been known to the public–private letters of the most personal kind passing between the chief actors in the period, diaries and other personal records. Here, as a student of history, I must pay the warmest tribute to Professor Michael Pokrovsky, the communist historian, to whom fell the priceless opportinity of making the greater part of this rich material accesible. Pokrovsky carried his extreme views into his historical studies, and they have now been discarded in the Soviet Union; but he had those instincts of scholarship which has always been so precious to the academic world of Russia, and in organizing the the work of research and publication under his leadership, he did not forget he was a historian."
I don't believe her claim that the young Alexis did not have hemophilia, and as you mentioned, there are many contradictions. It was through the boy's illness that Rasputin was brought into the palace. He may not have "cured" the illness, but there is no question that he brought relief from his pain. As his last nurse, Teglova, put it to Sokolov, "Call it what you will, he could really promise her (Empress) her boy's life while he lived." So it is easy to see why the Empress turned a deaf ear when Rasputin's many escapades were reported to the Tsar. And some. like the monk, Illidor, and the Bishop Hermogen, were dismissed and sent to different monasteries outside St. Petersburg. Lucas claims that Rasputin, as a Christian, was opposed to hypnosis. Pares wrotes; "Rasputin had already become a great preoccupation to-the principle Ministers. When Stolypin's children were injured by the attempt on his life in 1906, the Emperor had offered him the services of Rasputin as a healer. Later there was an interview between the two at which, according to the account that Stolypin gave to Rodzyanko, Rasputin tried to hypnotize this fine, sturdy and sensible man; Stolypin described how repulsive it was to him. He made a plain report on Rasputin to the Emperor. At the beginning of 1911 he ordered Rasputin out of St. Petersburg and the order was obeyed Stolypin's Minisater of Religion, Lukanov, on the reports of the police, ordered an investigation, and abundant material was forthcoming. From this time ,onwards, the Empress hated Stolypin." For Judas to claim that Rasputin had no political agenda, is ludicrous. All through Pares'book Rasputin brags about not only his sexual conquests, but his polital importance to the Tsar. He was no monarchist, and despised the nobility and declared them members of another race. Surprisingly, he and Count Witte, who held the same views, became friends, One thing I agree with then on, and that was, they both opposed the war and "English diplomacy." Pares says; "On Witte's side, with his rather obvious cunning and predilection for intrigue, it is almost certain that he would be one of the first to gauge Raspotin's political importance and to make use of it." I doubt that Prince Yussupov moved to England to "avoid embarrassment", but he moved there to attend Oxford. I remember that well, as he took an entourage of servants with him, quite unlike most college boys. I do not believe that any "Mad Gang" members killed Rasputin, but I do believe Prince Yussupov's account, plus and Rodzyanko's account in his "The Reign of Rasputin." However, I would not at all be surprised if the "perfidious Albion" didn't have a hand in it.
I was going to list some of the scandalous things that Rasputin did, and was investigated for, but I would run out of time and patience. Nowhere does Pares mention V.M. Rudnev, who gave the Duma findings, but Radzinky does in his "The Last Tsar." He says: "One of the most valuable materials for illuminating the personality of Rasputin was the observations journal kept by the surveillance established for Rasputin by agents of the secret police. The surveillance was both external and internal, and his apartment was under constant watch....Since the periodic press paid inordinate attention to Rasputin's unruliness, which became synonymous with his name, the investigation has given this issue proper attention. The richest material for illuminating this aspect of his personality came from that permanent secret surveillance of his apartment, which made it clear that Rasputin's amorous exploits did not go beyond nighttime orgies and young women of frivolous conduct and chanteuses, as well as with several of his suppliants....As far as his proximity to ladies of high society, in this respect the surveillance and investigation obtained no materials whatsoever." A far cry from Judas's claim. It did proves Rasputin a braggart." In pointing out the Tsar's weakness as a strong leader, does she think that historians blame Rasputin for the Revolution, so she wants to put the blame elsewhere.? That Revolution would have been carried out whether Rasputin had been born, or not. Not being a hard autocratic leader, the Tsar gained Sainthood. Pares saw the Tsar's diary, and his last entry. "Avdeyev was replaced by a Siberian Jew, Yurovsky, a man with a most sinister face and record. Nicholas notes in the last published entry in his diary," This specimen we like least of all."
You aptly called the spiritual maxims of Rasputin what they were. Thirteen, the number beloved of the Freemasons and other occultists. Dr. Judas could have known Rasputin all her life, but that s doesn't make her appraisal of him accurate. I have friends that have known George Bush all his life, and in spite of the damning evidence of his failure as a leader, still support him, and some even think he is intelligent I hope that this lengthy epistle hasn't bored you, as you know more about Russia than anyone I have ever read.
My best wishes to you and yours, Marjorie
Dear Majorie: You are very correct. However, I do think that Judas needs to be read, as she was an eyewitness after all. There can be no doubt that other eyewitnesses have contradicted her testimony. I am certain that Rasputin was not a Christian in any recognizable sense and this is the most significnat aspect of Judas’ book of all: even his greatest admirers, when sizing up his religious credentials, saw no room for Christ or even the Trinity in Rasputin’s words. MRJ
This articles was originally published in Taki's Magazine on May 6, 2008.
What was the most important battle of the late 20th century? You could argue it was the one that took place on the southern border of Morocco on November 6, 1975. Of course, we’re not talking about another Stalingrad here. In fact, what happened that day isn’t usually called a battle at all. Its official name is “The Green March.” On one side were 350,000 unarmed Moroccan civilians carrying green (Islamic) flags, and on the other -- miles inside the border, because they were hoping not to have to confront any of the marchers -- was a shaky, demoralized token force of Spanish troops pretending to defend a former Spanish colony, the Spanish Sahara.
The Spanish Sahara hangs below Morocco where the Sahara meets the Atlantic like a crumbling brick wall. It was about the least desirable chunk of coastal Africa around, with no water to speak of and a tiny population, which is why the Spanish got it. By the time the European powers were ready to divide up Africa in the late nineteenth century, Spain had long since lost its glory and tended to get the scraps and leftovers.
But one thing we’ve learned over the last century is that on this crowded, hungry planet, there’s no such thing as worthless land. Spanish Sahara has proven that: in the 30 years it’s belonged to Morocco, big money has been made from the fishing off the coast and the huge phosphate mine at Bou Craa, a hundred miles inland.
That’s why the Moroccan King Hassan II, a wily old sultan with friends in the CIA, decided it was worth his while to ship all those loyal subjects down to Morocco’s southern border, hand out little green flags for the cameras, and send them across the border toward those Spanish troops.
The Moroccans had to think outside the traditional military-conquest box, for the simple reason that Morocco’s armed forces are pathetic. They’re so bad their only contributions to military history have been in the “slapstick comedy” department. For instance, the Minister of Defense once tried to have fighters from the Moroccan Air Force kill Hassan II by shooting down his Boeing 727 as it came home from a foreign trip. They failed. Seriously: jet fighters failed to intercept and destroy a big, fat, slow civilian airliner even when they knew its exact flight path. A military like that pretty much has to resort to unarmed conquest, because its chances in a fair fight are zero.
Of course the Moroccans had the advantage of facing a weak, dispirited colonial Spain just at the moment the Spanish dictator, General Franco, finally got around to dying. If you’re old enough to recall those early SNL seasons, you probably remember Chevy Chase’s running joke, “This just in: General Franco still dead!” The reason that joke worked is that it took the old General a long time to die, and that meant that greedy up-and-coming regional powers like Morocco had plenty of time to plan ways of getting their hands on former Spanish colonies.
It may not have been very exciting for combat fans, but it was an extremely effective invasion. The Spanish troops didn’t fire a shot. The marchers walked over the border, got sand in their shoes, shouted about how this sacred patch of waterless, flat desert was now an integral part of the Kingdom of Morocco, and went back home. And since then, the Spanish Sahara has been dominated by Morocco, although the local guerrilla army, POLISARIO, gave them some serious problems for a while.
What makes this weird episode my nominee for “Most Significant Battle of the Era” is that it showed the new way of winning disputed territory. If there’s one thing that we should have learned over the past hundred years, it’s that traditional armed conquests are getting less and less effective. This is one of the most surprising twists in all military history. All through the nineteenth century, the European powers, led by the British and French, took the land they wanted on the grounds that they had better military technology, transport and organization. Locals who disputed that notion tended to disappear as casualties of inevitable progress. And that was just an updated version of what had been happening all over the world for thousands of years: bigger, stronger tribes displace and wiped out weaker tribes whenever they could. That was the norm, even in pre-contact North America, where the Navajo were displacing the Ute in the American Southwest long before the white guys showed up.
Now, even though the balance in conventional warfare is if anything tilting further toward the first world, the technologically advanced and organized countries are in retreat, and the former victims are pushing back, not just claiming their old territories but infiltrating the former colonizers’ countries. What matters now is morale, national will. The Spanish didn’t have it, and the Moroccans did. So even though the Spanish troops could have wiped out those unarmed marchers, they failed to open fire. Weapons are only weapons if you’re willing to use them. A technologically advanced army without the will to fire is no army at all.
Only us dedicated war nerds seem to realize how weird this is, how totally unprecedented in military history. Until the 20th century, the problem wasn’t usually getting militarily superior forces to open fire -- it was getting them to stop before the weaker tribe, army or country was totally wiped out. I don’t know of a single case, before the 20th century, of a militarily superior tribe or nation lacking the will to defend its territory, or for that matter, take the territory of weaker neighbors.
The 20th century was the big turning point. New powers like Germany and Japan tried to imitate the older colonial powers of the 19th century and suffered total, disastrous defeat, even though they usually prevailed on the battlefield. That’s the weird lesson of the two world wars: military superiority in the narrow sense just doesn’t cut it any more. Despite the total battlefield dominance of the Wehrmacht (and to a lesser extent the Imperial Japanese forces), Germany and Japan ended the war not just without additional territory but with their home territories in ruins, their cultures gelded, their birthrates for generations to come among the lowest in the world.
Even the older colonial powers, Britain and France, finished the century in big trouble, without the will to resist the immigrants from the colonies they’d once ruled. We’re at a very strange moment militarily: our weapons still work but our will is gone.
The colonies that were established earliest are the most successful. For example, northern North America, now the U.S. and Canada, passed into permanent possession of the European settlers (or so it seemed, until recently). Two things determined this: first, they were settled in the 17th and 18th century, before conscience set in, and because most of the native population had been relatively tiny groups of hunter-gatherers (which also holds true for Australia, though it was settled much later). Everywhere else -- in Latin America, Africa, Asia -- the locals have been pushing back the colonizers without coming close to what old-style military theorists would call military superiority. That’s what we’re seeing now in South Africa, and more slowly in Europe and the southern United States. In other places, especially those colonized by the French (who were never as good at it as the Brits), huge colonial populations were totally eliminated, like the million-plus French residents of Algeria.
So there’s a shocking lesson that military buffs have been slow to face: military superiority doesn’t matter nearly as much right now as birthrate and sheer ruthless will.
Ah, birth rate -- funny how it’s become such a taboo subject for both Left and Right. The Lefties wouldn’t dream of telling third-world people to limit their baby-making, and most right wingers can’t bring themselves to endorse birth control even if it could slow the destruction of their own countries.
So birth rate is a weapon without a counter-weapon right now. So it tends to win. The Moroccans made it clear that the Green March was all about birth rate. The number of “volunteers” they sent to the border was 350,000, exactly the number of births per year in Morocco. So this was basically a ”Lebensraum” argument like the one the Germans tried earlier in the century. You might have heard about that one, a little dust-up called the Eastern Front. And you might be saying right now that if any policy ever failed decisively, it was the Nazis’ attempt to elbow themselves a little living space from Stalin. Which is totally true. But the Nazis tried it the old-fashioned way, with armed conquest.
To succeed in the post-1918 world, the world Woodrow Wilson dreamed up where “small nations” have rights even if they can’t defend them, you need to use slower, less obviously military methods, like birthrate and immigration. The classic example of this kind of slow conquest is Kosovo. The Serbs could always defeat the Albanians on the battlefield, even when outnumbered, but the Albanians had a huge advantage in the most important military production of all -- babies. According to the BBC, the birthrate of Kosovo Albanians 50 years ago was an amazing 8.5 children per woman.
The Serb/Albanian conflict offers damn near perfect lab conditions to prove my case that birth rate trumps military prowess these days, because the Serbs always beat the Albanians in battle, yet they’ve lost their homeland, Kosovo. Here again, we can blame Woodrow Wilson and his talk about “rights.” In places where tribes hate each other, a tribe that outbreeds its rival will become the majority, even if it can’t fight. So, after generations of skulking at home making babies, letting the Serbs do the fighting, the Albanians finally became the majority in Kosovo and therefore the official "good guys," being oppressed by the official "bad guys," the Serbs. At least that’s the way the nave American Wilsonian types like Clinton saw it. So when the Serbs fought back against an Albanian rebellion in Kosovo, and dared to beat the Albanians, Clinton decided to bomb the Serbs into letting go of Kosovo, the ancient heartland of a Christian nation that had spent its blood holding off the Turks for hundreds of years.
The Kosovo Albanians proved that military skill doesn’t matter, because they tried and failed to conquer Kosovo the old-fashioned way: armed rebellion by the Kosovo Liberation Army. It was a wipeout: local Serb militias, a bunch of tired middle-aged part-timers and cops, crushed the KLA. What happened next is a beautiful illustration of the way losers win these days: the Albanians took the bodies of KLA men who’d been killed in battle, stripped all weapons and ammo from them, and showed them to gullible Western reporters as victims of a Serb “massacre.” It was a massacre, all right, but only because the KLA couldn’t fight worth a damn. Alive and armed, they were a joke; dead and disarmed, they helped win Kosovo by making their side the "victims," which led directly to U.S. military intervention.
To win the way the Albanians won in Kosovo, you need to make a lot of babies. It’s that simple. And to see how it works, you have to drop the namby-pamby liberal idea that people only have babies out of “love.” In lots of places on this planet, baby-making is a form of weapons production.
In some places, it’s open policy. For example, in Palestine there’s an all-out birthrate war going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And one of the most frustrating things about this kind of struggle, from the Israeli perspective, is that the worse you make life for the people in the occupied zones, the more kids they have. The Gaza Strip, for instance, has one of the highest fertility rates in the world outside Africa, at 5.6 kids per woman.
The rate for Israeli overall is about 2.8 children per woman, high for a rich country. But the most amazing rates anywhere, even higher than for the Gaza Palestinians, are in the most extreme Zionist groups, the Haredi “ultra-orthodox” Jews. Until recently they averaged eight or nine children per woman. There was actually a big panic in the Israeli settler press when news hit that their rate had dropped to a mere 7.7 kids per woman.
That’s actually higher than the rate for Mali (7.38 per woman), which has the highest birthrate in the world.
The settlers don’t hide the fact that they’re producing as many kids as they can in order to change the demographics of “Greater Israel” in their favor -- above all to make sure the Palestinians never become the majority.
What’s interesting is that there were plenty of voices in the ultra-Orthodox community in favor of using Israel’s military superiority to settle the problem the old-fashioned way, by expelling or wiping out the Palestinians. Those people lost out; their leader, Meir Kahane, was assassinated by an Egyptian cabbie in New York, but he’d lost the debate long before he died. You just can’t get away with those methods these days, not even with every born-again Baptist Zionist in Texas backing you to the hilt.
If you want an example closer to home, just go to Northern Ireland where the Protestant majority the border was designed to maintain has been getting smaller and smaller, thanks to the higher birthrate among Catholics. As of 2001, the Catholics were about 46% of the population, up from 35% in 1961.
But as the dreaded “Catholic Majority” date approaches, a funny thing is happening up in Ulster: the Catholic birth rate is slowing down even faster than the Protestant rate. This always happens when a tribe breaks out of its slums into the middle class. This illustrates one of the real brain-twisters of contemporary demographic struggle: if you really hate the enemy tribe, the best thing you could do would be to make them rich. Rich people don’t have nearly as many kids. Of course there are exceptions like the Ultra-Orthodox Israelis, who are fairly well-off and just dedicated to making as many kids as possible, but generally, money distracts people from starting big families. So the old methods of keeping down the enemy tribe are usually counter productive. If the Ulster hotheads like Ian Paisley had had their way and kept the Catholic s down in the slums, their birthrate over the past 30 years would have been much higher and they’d be ready to stage a Kosovo-style “majority rule” coup like the Albanians did against the Serbs, complete with the USAF blowing up every television tower in Belfast like we did to the ones in Belgrade, just to teach those Serbs a lesson: “No TV till you let your little Albanian brother have Kosovo!”
Makin'em rich is the only way you’re going to settle the kind of conquest-by-immigration we’re seeing now in Europe and North America. Nobody will even say honestly how many illegal immigrants there are in the U.S. right now, but just from what I see driving to work, I’m inclined to go with the higher estimates, something up to 20 million people who snuck in from Mexico and points south looking for work.
As far as I know, nobody’s claiming the Latino immigrants decided to have a lot of kids as a way of reconquering Texas and California, the way the Israeli settlers are doing. La reconquista, if it happens, will be an unforeseen result of rising birth rates and falling death rates for countries like Mexico that are just moving up from the third world to, say, the second-and-a-halfth.
By 1970, Mexico was at that dangerous stage where there’s just enough basic medical care to keep people alive, so death rates are falling sharply, but people are still poor enough to want a lot of kids. Between 1970 and 2000, the Mexican population doubled, from 48 million to 98 million. So on one side of the Rio Grande you had a lot of young poor people, and on the other, a lot of money and companies eager for cheap labor. And a muddy little creek like the Rio Grande wasn’t nearly wide enough to keep those two groups apart.
As the population of Mexico increased and the living standard rose, the fertility rate actually went into an amazing dive, to the point that the rate for Mexican women now is only 2.39 kids per woman, just two places up from Israel’s 2.38.
And the only thing that’s brought the Latino birthrate down -- in their home countries, not among the ones who immigrated to the U.S. -- is getting enough money that peasant families start thinking of themselves as consumers, and get more excited about buying a new truck or a flat-screen TV than having little Jos.
This is all pretty slow to unfold, compared to traditional military conquest. Birth rate takes decades to have an effect; the Albanian victory in Kosovo is the result of birth rates from the mid-20th century. And in some parts of the world, like the US and Europe, immigrants have a history of being absorbed by the locals rather than sticking to the old tribal hatreds in the style of the Balkans and the Middle East. It’s a cultural deal, after all, not racial. Studies of the U.S. Hispanic population show that within a generation or two, most American Hispanics are ranting about policing the borders and keeping those damn immigrants out of the country.
What’s really weird -- and I can testify to this from my own experiences growing up -- is when the local culture infiltrates the immigrants, like the fact that Mexicans in the U.S. are deserting the Catholics and becoming born-again Protestants. Go to any of the younger, feister churchers in the U.S. like the Church of the Nazarene and you’ll see lots of Mexican families with plenty of kids, singing old Scottish hymns in Tex-Mex English. In fact, I ran into a really hilarious article by a U.S. Baptist writer who worried that the Baptist birthrate is going down while the Nazarenes are having babies at a rate of three-plus per woman. So the nightmare scenario that anti-immigrant bloggers are always predicting, where the U.S. turns into one giant Mexico, might end up being true in what you might call “racial” terms -- I mean, your second-grade class photo might be two-thirds Hispanic -- but those Hispanic faces would have absorbed a whole born-again American world picture that actually comes from the Scots-Irish who settled the American south hundreds of years ago.
This is one point where people’s anxiety over these slow, demographic conquests splits according to their real fears: do you just not want to see that kind of face when you go outside, or do you not want to import the culture of the immigrants’ home country? The whole debate right now is so censored, so totally dishonest on both sides, that nobody will come clean about which it is. I suspect for some people it’s the faces: they want the faces on their street to be the same shape and color they were when they were growing up. If that’s what you want, then no matter where you are, I can guarantee that if you’re rich enough to worry about things like this (as opposed to where your next meal’s coming from), then yup, you definitely have grounds for worry. People move around to where the food is, the money, the good grazing, the jobs. The Germanic tribes who moved in on Europe a couple millennia back took a more reasonable view; they called wars “the movements of the peoples.” The Huns push the Goths off the steppe, and boom! Next thing you know, the Goths are wiping out a Roman army at Adrianople.
The faces are going to change. We are in a new military-historical era, in which the only states with the sheer will to resist slow “conquest” by immigration were the Stalinist states. Of course they didn’t have much of a problem there anyway -- not too many immigrants trying to sneak into North Korea or the old USSR -- but even if they had faced real demographic challenge, they had the will to open fire. The Berlin Wall is a nasty case in point, where the will was used to stop people leaving.
But those Stalinist states are not exactly a growth industry these days, and no liberal democratic state has the will to shoot down unarmed people trying to get in (or out, for that matter). Even the Israelis, who are maybe the fiercest first-worlders on demographic issues, don’t shoot the poor Africans who cross to Beersheba for jobs in the cafes. They just send them back to Sudan to be shot there.
So the movement of the peoples, the slow demographic wars, are going to go on. We just don’t have a counter-move, except maybe bombarding poor people with money to stay home. Basically, no matter where you are, the complexions and the features you see on the streets are going to change. If it’s any consolation to face-fascists, Europeans got their licks in first, so to speak. Not many African-Americans around with pure African blood; not many Mexican Indians without some Spanish in them. So now the faces blend the other way.
For most people the real worry, if they were allowed to even say it out loud, is culture: if you’re French, you really don’t want Paris turning into Kinshasa, because let’s be honest, Kinshasa is a Hellhole. If you’re English, you don’t want London turning into Karachi, because Karachi is a nightmare. If you’re American, you don’t want Houston -- oh Hell, ever been to Houston? If you have half a brain, you don’t want Houston at all, the lousy sweatbox.
The thing is, most of the people who invaded from those places tend to agree with you. That’s why they moved in the first place. Nobody knows what a Hellhole the Congo is like a Congolese. I read somewhere that on the Congo riverboats, they have these slang terms for the different decks. The first-class deck they call “Europe.” The second-class deck is “China,” meaning not that great, but livable. The third-class deck is “Congo,” and nobody wants to be there, least of all the Congolese.
So to assess your situation in terms of the new conquests, you have to decide whether you’re in a Kosovo -- two tribes hating each other forever, turning out babies as weapons -- or that Congolese riverboat, where nobody wants it too “authentic” if they can help it. There’s a lot of blurring and overlap between those two models, sure. Take Northern Ireland: a lot of yelling, a lot of noisy tribal hate, but I just don’t think they have it in them to be another Kosovo. Too interested in TV and cars.
That’s what’s funny about the debate right now: the diehards in the U.S. and Europe wish we had the old ruthless will to seal the borders, but the “weakness” of the advanced countries generally works pretty well to turn the immigrants into immigrant-hating locals in a generation or two. The old model, bayonets on the border, isn’t even in the running. Time to face that fact. So the faces will change.
If you can handle these new faces, you’re likely to be surprised to see your “weak” American or European culture win out, slowly, un-gloriously but surely, and you may live long enough to see a whole new crop of pols who look like they just came from Karachi or Kinshasa until you turn the sound on and hear them ranting about how we need to get rid of all these damn immigrants.
Gary Brecher is the author of the book, The War Nerd.
See also: Twilight of the Godless
Rachel Weisz on why Hollywood Jews prefer blondes
By Danielle Berrin - jewishjournal.com October 22, 2009
An article in today’s Variety declared that Alejandro Amenabar’s Spanish-backed epic “Agora,” starring Weisz, enjoyed an unexpected opening in Spain where it grossed $17 million during its first two weeks. Those numbers are decidedly unimpressive by U.S. standards, but for a film that cost $70 million to make and failed to find distribution after its premiere at Cannes, Variety found the numbers “stunning”.
But I’m more stunned by Weisz, who may be Hollywood’s best kept secret. According to The-Numbers.com, a box office database for movie stars, Weisz’s resume has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide ($860 million in the U.S.) with an average gross of more than $35 million per film. Her average opening weekend clocks in at around $11.2 million which puts her on par with Nicole Kidman, who, according to the same Web site, has an average opening weekend of $11.4 million. If the numbers are correct, that means Weisz is only about $2 million shy of matching Julia Roberts’s average opening weekend ($13.4 million) as well as Jennifer Aniston’s ($13.8 million), both of whom are considered two of the biggest movie stars in the world. In fact, according to The-Numbers.com, Roberts is ranked no. 37 on the list of highest grossing movie stars of all time. (Then there’s Angelina Jolie with an average opening weekend of $15.8 million.)
Weiss still needs $500 million to catch up to Jolie’s domestic gross and more than $1 billion to reach Roberts, but her average opening weekend is well suited to the competition. Not that Weisz cares—she is famously content with her private life and avoids getting caught up in the ills of Hollywood.
“Believe me,” Weisz told Blackbook in April 2009. “I get it. I’m living with a nice man, and I have a nice job and a happy family, blah, blah, blah… ”
Weisz lives in Manhattan’s East Village with her fiancé, director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler). She was raised in northern London, in the Hampstead Garden Suburb, by parents Edith Ruth and George Weisz. Her mother was a teacher and later became a psychotherapist; her father, an inventor, who was born in Hungary but fled to England to escape the Nazis.
Below, Weisz talks about being Jewish in Hollywood in a 2001 interview with writer Emma Forrest for Index Magazine.
EMMA: When we were at the drugstore you innocently opened up Talk Magazine and I heard a shriek of dismay.
RACHEL: Yeah, I literally saw not only the most disgusting, but the most ridiculous photograph I’ve ever seen of any woman.
EMMA: And who was it of?
RACHEL: It was me. [laughs] It was me photographed by David Bailey, who had some kind of concept that because it was for a Russian film, I would be wearing a Russian hat. But you can’t really see the hat, just fur everywhere. And my nose looks like it’s … just a really outsized nose, you know.
EMMA: But, you see, you’re holding back from saying what you said at the store, which was that you thought you looked too Jewish. Is it limiting as an actress to be perceived as being too ethnic in any way?
RACHEL: Well, I think you and I have always felt the same way — that we’re Jewish but we can get away with just being exotic. We’re kind of Jews in disguise. Those cultural stereotypes about the Jew with the big hooky nose and the fleshy face rub off on you. That’s terrible to admit, isn’t it.
EMMA: Well, it’s that Jackie Mason joke about how no Jewish woman wants to look Jewish: “‘You think I look maybe a little Italian, I look a little Russian, perhaps I can be Spanish?’ … ‘You look Jewish!’”
RACHEL: Hollywood’s run by Jews. I was advised by an American agent when I was about 19 to change my surname. And I said “Why? Jews run Hollywood.” He said “Exactly.” He had a theory that all the executives think acting’s a job for shiksas.
EMMA: Of all the self-loathing Jews in the world, the most self-loathing are the Hollywood Jews. They don’t want to see images of themselves on screen. That’s why Lauren Bacall had to hide her identity, and Winona Ryder changed her name from Horowitz.
RACHEL: In some way acting is prostitution, and Hollywood Jews don’t want their own women to participate. Also, there’s an element of Portnoy’s Complaint — they all fancy Aryan blondes.
Ezra Pound on Money
Carolina Hartley May 26, 2010
We're never far from money. We spend most of our time and energy in quest of money.
But how did this thing become an intermediary between us and the world around us? Before money, we bartered. Why did money supplant barter and who is custodian of the money system?
These questions are dangerous: they cost Ezra Pound twelve years. Pound was a victim of political persecution at the behest of financiers and their minions like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These people feared Ezra because he asked “what is money for,” and came up with an inconvenient answer.
Pound understood that money is ticket for exchange. People who make things can trade more easily with other people who make things using money. There should only be as much money as there are things to trade. Another way of saying this is: money supply should increase and decrease along with the change in economic output.
Here's the rub. If money supply grows faster than the amount of things made, then theft is taking place. The thief creates extraneous dollars and spends them first: at the time when the rest of us expect a dollar to be worth a certain amount. By the time the thief's dollars have been absorbed into the economy, we notice our dollars are buying less. This is inflation. The thief has dipped into our savings and traded with shoddy bills.
What happens when money supply shrinks compared to things made? Then a new characteristic of money emerges. Things made don't always last — take bread for instance. A baker must sell his bread in a matter of days, otherwise it's lost. Money isn't bound by such considerations. A thief can horde money until the baker's goods rot, then buy his bakery at a huge discount.
The “thief” in both these examples holds a special place in society: he controls the supply of money and “future money” called credit. Controlling money supply is economic power; it is a sovereign privilege. The people who really control a nation control its money supply. 
Pound's criticism of the financial class was that they were bad sovereigns. They managed money supply for their own benefit: they were thieves. In contrast, the Founding Fathers were good rulers because they designed a system where Congress managed the money supply; and Congress was answerable to a large swathe of the population.
Pound identified the grasping, vampire-like nature of international finance, and the venal nature of its supporters in national governments. He was interested in finding ways to systematically limit their power: perfecting what the Founding Fathers started in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. This is why Pound studied in the work of Silvio Gesell.
One of Gesell's ideas was to eliminate the disparity between money and perishable goods. A way to do this is to discount large bills over time: holders of large bills would need to get them stamped every month, each stamp representing a decrease in their value. This way, hoarders bear the cost of their behavior and investment is encouraged. Small denominations would not be discounted.
Gesell recognized that the economy is like a body and money is like its blood. If blood builds up systematically in any one place, a disease results. His discounted script discouraged people from taking advantage of others' simple lack of cash. (Note: this is very different than being forced to lend to people who aren't creditworthy.) Saving in the form of investment was systematically encouraged.
Pound notes that Gesell's system worked imperfectly in Alberta, Canada mostly due to planning errors that could easily be fixed. The system worked very well in the Austrian village of Wörgl, and it was promptly closed down by mainstream financial interests.
These financial interests were trying to preserve their privilege: they benefited from the increasing productivity of the societies they milked. Pound didn't see how being born into a banking family; or buying the latest politician; should give them the right to those benefits. Ezra liked the ideas of Major Clifford Douglas: the people who worked should accrue those benefits. This is the essence of Social Credit.
The text of the 1933 version of Major Douglas' book Social Credit, can be found here. Pound appreciated Maj. Douglas' ideas, but thought they needed further exploration. What Pound really felt passionate about was fixing the money problem. Ezra wrote during the Great Depression when, much like now, people were captivated by the supposed security of gold.
Pound was never an advocate of gold-backed money. He understood how easily such systems can be subverted by controlling the supply or the clearing market for the backing commodity. Much of Britain's power during the 19th century came from the fact that London was the clearing market for gold; and other nations used a gold-standard currency. They had to go to England to manage their money!
In Ezra's words:
The trick is simple. Whenever the Rothschild and other gents in the gold business have gold to sell, they raise the price. The public is fooled by propagandizing the devaluation of the dollar, or other monetary unit according to the country chosen to be victimized. The argument is that the high price of the monetary unit is injurious to the nation's commerce.
But when the nation, that is, the people of that nation own the gold and the financiers own the dollars or other monetary units, the gold standard is restored. This raises the value of the dollar and the citizens of “rich” nations, as well as citizens of other nations, are diddled.
Preventing nations from being “diddled” is why Pound supported Fascism in Italy. He saw Fascism as the only system available to the Italians that was likely to deal with the threat from international finance. Mussolini's Fascism let Italy be ruled in an Italian fashion — and until Anglo-American banking interests were threatened, things worked better in Italy than they had in a long time.
Pound never supported Fascism in America. We have our Constitution, which describes a government for Americans run in the American fashion. If it ain't broke, don’t fix it. Pound realized that America's challenge was implementing the laws we already have. Read Jefferson and/or Mussolini for his whole argument. 
Ezra was a true economic historian. He explained his analysis in the following way:
“The definition of an idea, as observed by someone who understands the events of the day, may shed more light on the historical process than many volumes.”
“History, as seen by a Monetary Economist, is a continuous struggle between producers and non-producers, and those who try to make a living by inserting a false system of book-keeping between the producers and their just recompense.”
“The usurers act through fraud, falsification, superstitions, habits and, when these methods do not function, they let loose a war. Everything hinges on monopoly, and the particular monopolies hinge around the great illusionistic monetary monopoly.”
Pound's analysis identified the canker in American life: the cooperation between government and finance to defraud the public — the “monetary monopoly.” Monopolies don't exist without tacit government approval. Beneficiaries of the financial monopoly have collaborated with venal officials against producers for a long time. The history of the largest American fortunes, since the Civil War at least, have followed this trend.
Historically, banking was begun by families as private businesses. As these businesses grew and issued receipts for gold and silver deposits, they gradually developed “fractional reserve” banking by issuing more notes than they had gold on deposit. Although kings would mint coins of gold and silver they owned at their royal mints, fractional reserve banking was a dangerous business, and Kings did not want to gamble with their sovereign power by going into that business. Rather, kings and especially parliaments, became dependent upon these fractional reserve bankers for loans, and would grant monopoly charters to a group of private bankers to create a national or central bank which would then have the power to regulate the size of the money stock through its fractional reserve activities, as it collected taxes, issued the national paper currency and sold sovereign debt on behalf of the government.
These national or central banks conferred significant advantages on the private banks that organized and owned them. Private banks were allowed to borrow at the discount window at special rates provided that they posted reserves with the central bank. Of course, the real advantage of the central bank for its owners and organizers was inside information. During the years of the gold standard, having a seat on the board of a central bank meant that the insider would know when emergency borrowings ticked up, telegraphing the probable start of a bank crisis and stock market crash. In the case of war, it was an easy task for a private bank with seats in several different national banks to calculate the deposits and income of the contesting states and the loans they secured to raise their armies, thus allowing the privileged few to bet on the probable winner.
The gold standard was popular among bankers for the simple reason that the supply of gold increased irregularly but on average more slowly than the increase in population, meaning that the value of loans would gradually increase over time as would the burden of repayment. Debtors resented the power of gold, hence William Jennings Bryan’s political appeal and his famous “Cross of Gold” speech. Coincidentally the gold standard was finally abandoned in 1971, six years after the birth control pill descended upon the civilized world.
Pound recognized two very important threats to the international banking community that arose out of the Third Reich. First, Hitler abandoned the gold standard, meaning that Nazi Germany suddenly had the power to prevent defaulting on its future debt simply by printing money — a power that the U.S. copied from Germany just as it copied the autobahns. Second, and much more important, the Reich took back the power of central banks by financing infrastructure projects directly, issuing notes in payment to the laborers, contractors, and suppliers rather than first borrowing the money from a central bank at interest. (See here and here.) If this practice had spread, bankers would be no more powerful than plumbers.
Furthermore, as long as the supply of this newly printed money in the form of notes matched the increase in GNP and future productivity from these new highways, rails, and factories, the printing of money would not necessarily produce inflation. The Reich also issued debt directly to German citizens and businesses to finance Hitler’s economic miracle, but the central banks lost control over the money supply and lost the ability to trigger banking panics and depressions inside the Reich. It was a mortal threat, and it had to be stopped. Pound was right.
Hitler’s experiment in freedom from banking was broken, and the finance/government partnership was preserved at the cost of millions of lives in World War II.
This finance/government collaboration explains the American elites' love affair with international socialism. They don't know how to make money any other way. Competition is a sin. Government organized monopolies are profitable when you control the government. If there are no national restrictions on moving profits around, they can hide their loot offshore. The perfect crime.
Pound recommended the writings of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren for a practical explanation of how the young Republic wrested itself from London finance. He recommended Classical study (Aristotle's Politics and the works of Demosthenes) for understanding the tricks financiers use. Nationally-controlled money was popular politics until the Civil War; when Pound notes a collective amnesia took the mind of the American public. Tragedy and forgetfulness. This is also the time when Lincoln let the bankers back in with the National Banking Act.
Ezra didn't revel in victimhood. The “monetary monopoly” was made possible by voters' laziness. In his ABC of Economics, Pound castigates the American public for letting its money fall into the hands of enemies and irresponsible men. Americans circa 1930 were ignorant about money and banking; the situation now is even worse. It is a national tragedy that we have been lazy enough to let Congress sell its responsibilities; and let hostile elites control our credit.
The way to fix the situation is to dissolve the Federal Reserve; force Congress to manage money supply as described in the Constitution; and vote the venal or incompetent out of office. The revolutionary patriots gave us the tools; we need to step up to the plate and use them.
Our amnesia and laziness have had a lot of help. Pound pointed out that hostile elites were overrepresented in academia and the media — a situation which has worsened with time. Now we are reaping the harvest: schools devoid of the Classics; universities teaching castrated Economics; and Gloria Vanderbilt's boy on TV. Ezra saw it coming, and he told us how to fix it.
Carolina Hartley has a degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago. She is also student of aesthetics and social history, though not from the orthodox perspective.
 Pound's repeated recommendation of Christopher Hollis' work The Two Nations is based on the book’s excellent explanation of British economic power over the centuries. Return to text.
 "Ezra Pound Speaking": Radio Speeches of World War II. Edited by Leonard W. Doob. Greenwood Press, 1978. Return to text.
 Pound recommended the correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and the writings of Van Buren for the economic history of the United States.
Pound's Pamphlets on Money are excellent; the first “An Introduction to the Economic Nature of the United States” and “A Visiting Card” are particularly useful. (Published by Peter Russell, London. 1950.) Return to text.
 The Works of John Adams: Second President of the United States: with A Life of the Author, notes and illustrations, by his Grandson, Charles Francis Adams. Little, Brown and Co. Boston 1850–56.
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition, XX Volumes, Washington, 1903-04.
The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren, written in 1854 and remaining in manuscript until its publication as Vol. II of the “Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the year 1918,” Government Printing Office, Washington 1920.
Pound also recommends Jefferson and Hamilton by Claude G. Bower.