The Fraud of Democracy

By Matt Johnson (

No one takes "democracy" seriously, and this is because, despite the pompous verbiage, democracy is about the bring to power of one’s favorite media image by any means necessary. Democracy is about manipulating enough people to vote for an image hundreds of times removed from reality. It is a pageant of power, of fund-raising and the manipulation of images. In short, it is alchemy: the manipulation of images to create a counter-reality, and this counter-reality is what is “voted” on. It is this counter-reality, which is filtered through hundreds of "image-makers," campaign staffers, major donors, major media, ad agencies, PR agencies, and dozens of other species of manipulation. It is not a part of reality.

Of course, everything in this fallen world is about power. Universal "ideals," such as “equality” or “liberty,” exist as another form of alchemy, the use of such images disguises the unchanged nature of being: that of force. The use of such mindless slogans are mere symbols for a faction who seeks power at the expense of another.

John "Wetstart" McCain Video, Courtesy of Wayne Madsen

Of course, power is money and money is power. Modernity can be reduced to the alchemical alteration of all actual reality, i.e. Aristotle’s essences, into money. Everything has a monetary value, and this, for the nominalist, is the nature of all things. Hence, just for the McCain candidacy in 2008, here are the top donors to date (all figures from the FEC database):

  • Merrill Lynch $284,610
  • Citigroup Inc $252,801
  • Morgan Stanley $211,821
  • Goldman Sachs $198,045
  • Blank Rome LLP $171,026
  • AT&T Inc $169,613
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co $165,275
  • Greenberg Traurig LLP $152,687
  • Credit Suisse Group $133,125
  • UBS AG $127,315
  • Bank of America $116,125
  • US Government $114,176
  • Lehman Brothers $112,700
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers $111,070
  • Wachovia Corp $111,046
  • FedEx Corp $97,753
  • Pinnacle West Capital $94,900
  • Bear Stearns $90,100
  • Blackstone Group $89,500
  • Bank of New York Mellon $89,500
The rulers of finance capital control democracy. This make sense because republican forms of state have always existed in areas where big money is the true king: Novgorod, Venice, Florence, America, parliamentary Britain, the Netherlands, etc. Republican states exist solely to manipulate the poor into believing they are "free" (always in some vague sense). In Florence, the Medici clan, the group who began and controlled the "Italian Renaissance" and bankrolled the early "scientific revolution," centered around alchemy, controlled Florence from behind the scenes, while secretly approving all candidates to office. No serious historian today will deny that proposition.

What is even more interesting is the fact that the above list is nearly identical to the list of Obama's top donors:

  • Goldman Sachs $627,730
  • University of California $523,120
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co $398,021
  • Citigroup Inc $393,899
  • UBS AG $378,400
  • Google Inc $373,212
  • Harvard University $369,802
  • Lehman Brothers $353,922
  • National Amusements Inc $352,603
  • George Soros $347,463
  • Sidley Austin LLP $326,845
  • Skadden, Arps et al $304,050
  • Time Warner $298,972
  • Morgan Stanley $291,388
  • Microsoft Corp $276,925
  • Jones Day $266,705
  • Latham & Watkins $252,845
  • University of Chicago $250,685
  • Wilmerhale Llp $249,282
  • Exelon Corp $239,061

In this case, finance capital still dominates, though with the university establishment and entertainment corporations adding their funds, making Obama a better fund-raiser than McCain. Goldman-Sachs, howeer, controls both campaigns. Even in Hilary's campaign,. Goldman-Sachs was the third largest donor, and the list was almost identical to Obama's and McCain's, with the exception of Harvard, who backed Obama from the beginning.

So far, Obama has raised $176 million dollars, while McCain has raised $105 million. Nearly $300 million dollars to convince Americans to vote for a media image. The reality is that finance capital, no matter what the candidate, party or issue, controls the debate. In overall giving, Finance has given $100 million in contributions to federal candidates this year alone, far outstripping any other sector. They are followed by the legal profession.

Contrary to myth, defense contractors have given to Obama more than McCain, the former with $410,000 to McCain's $393,000. While energy corporations, corporations in direct competition with Russian and Venezuelan capital, have given to McCain in far greater numbers than to anyone else. They have given to him $2.4 million, while to Obama, $1.3 million.

The oil and gas industry specifically, as a subset of energy, has backed McCain exclusively: $1.3 million to Obama's paltry $394,000. This is solely due to McCain's harsh stand on Russia and his continued commitment to Middle East war. It should be noted, however, as has been written elsewhere on this e-journal, that oil firms support domestic interests solely of the leftist variety, while bankrolling the neocons on foreign policy.

True to form, the entertainment industry is nearly a mirror image to oil and gas, giving Obama and Hilary a combined $8 million, while giving to McCain about $300,000, according to the FEC. Labor is irrelevant, as it gives only about 2% of campaign contributions. Big business provides well over 75% of all money to all campaigns nationwide. According to the invaluable site Open Secrets, law firms give almost exclusively to democrat candidates, while the major banks give equally to both. Real estate gives to candidates in a precise 50-50 split.

Of the top 10 donors for all candidates nationwide, and who, ipso facto, control the state, only one gives in any amount to republicans, and that is, AT&T (only 41% to democrats), though have a domestic record of supporting only liberal causes. Goldman-Sachs gives almost exclusively to democrats (with the exception of McCain), as does Citigroup, JP Morgan, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. George Soros, however, blows all other organizations away with $11 million in contributions to liberal candidates only. He functions, as always, through front groups, this time, a group called ActBlue.

Democracy is the alchemy of modernity: the final dissolution of truth into a haze of money, power and backroom deals, almost exclusively done in the interest of liberal/leftist candidates. Refusal to vote, and agitating to delegitimize the Regime, seems to be the only rational response to this System. Parliamentary systems are based on capital, on its victory. What has it been victorious over? The land, the ancient aristocracy, justice (conceived platonically), and natural hierarchy. There is no live without hierarchy, and the systems dedicated to equality normally create the most rigid of hierarchical systems, such as in the USSR. The hierarchy of republics are created by access to money, which, though it mystifies itself as productive and inventive, is in fact resolvable to finance capital: the production of credit, hence, the control of the society.

Monarchies reflect nature, while republics reflect the very images capital creates. Neither system is capable of creating anything, as governments are pale reflectives of society. Monarchy reflects agrarianism and aristocracy, since it is the oldest form of government. Monarchies reflect nature: hierarchy, unity, tradition and love of God, each notion as old as humanity. All of this exists according to natural law, while modern liberalism and nominalism exist as a matter of convention, i.e. power. Parliaments exist according to convention, specifically, the contract created by property owners to protect their interests. Parliaments, the creation of capital (in that there is no republic without a strong financial sector), exist solely for revolution; the continuing alterations of the life of people, continued innovation and debt, always in its train. The capital that places politicians in office is not “democratically elected,” (using the term in its normal, vulgar fashion) in reality, few know the true string pullers. Politicians are a reflection of a reflection: money, the center of all modern life, is a reflection of alchemy, or the constant innovation which transforms life, attitude and opinion, even the human sort itself. Politicians are a reflection of this money, itself a conventional idea that binds elites together. It is a lie which depends on many other lies to make the system operate.

Monarchy exists only because of nature, it is a reflection of the natural order. Man craves stability, not innovation; order, not transformation; nature, not convention. Few farmers are miserable due to the nature of their work. Modernity has created a drug dependent post-industrial class enslaved to the mindless routine of administration. Farmers exist, when financially stable, within a natural sphere which few suburbanites can comprehend. The work differs from day to day, season to season, as a part of the organic development of the natural world, and has thus, its own built-in rewards. Aristocracy is the cultural and religious center of a people, not necessarily its financial center. It is based on love of land, of a self-less fighting for country and the protection of the weak, this is the knights code of long standing. Aristocracy exists because it and it alone, is responsible for the “abstract” nature of political rule and law relative to the royal prerogative. It’s freedom is nearly non-existent, but its responsibilities never exhausted. Aristocracy, in order to truly be such, must maintain the highest standards of decorum, piety and philosophical depth. Modernity has not changed the order of being, but through rhetoric, has altered the nature of attitudes, hence the world of ideas in which the rabble live. Monarchy deals in stability and natural hierarchy, authority over domination. This natural hierarchy imitates the existence of nature: essence, species, genus, God. Reality as a series of spiritual moves leading to the most spiritual, thus, the most real. Capitalism, the creator of republics, deals in revolution, transformation and fraud. Capitalism can only function within a nominalist epistemology, and hence, seeks the transformation of all natural gradations into a single domination of money. Nature is a set of dollar values. Images can never tell of their source, while in monarchy, responsibility is solely due to the crown (not the state, which is another matter). Capitalism depends on constant revolution for the profit of a few. Monarchy is forced to defend the stable order of Plato's hierarchy and natural law (which are one in the same). Justice, love, dependency, stability, sin, devotion: these are things each man is born fully understanding intuitively. The symbol for modernity is alchemy, the symbol for monarchy is nature, of the essences which define created things.

Monarchy believes in a rationally grounded hierarchy. It believes in the agrarian life, and authority over domination. It holds that God can be found in nature, and hence, the spiritual life is the highest, but is never departed from the life of agriculture. They are distinctions of perspective only. The stability of the natural order is paramount, and the realization remains that all revolutionary forces exist to take power from the aristocracy to give it to the oligarchy. Hence, throughout history, and irrespective of race or religion, man has two options: the alchemical revolutionary statism and worship of matter, which traces its roots to ancient Babylon and Tyre, and finds its apogee in modern America and NATO, or the natural rule of Adam and Abel, manifest in Israel and reaching its apogee in Holy Russia. There is no third option.

A Timeline of McCain's Career
From the Rense e-journal.

1982: McCain, recently remarried to Arizona beer heiress Cindy Hensley, moves to Phoenix and wins a seat in the US House. He quickly forges a relationship with the Democratic House eminence from Tucson, Mo Udall, who although a strong progressive, has always welcomed the opportunity to work with Republicans.

1982-88: McCain takes over $100,000 in contributions from our well-remembered buddy from Lincoln S&L, Charles Keating, and his employees. McCain and Keating are very close, with McCain frequently joining Keating on outings to the Bahamas, on Keating's dime. Keating also has what Silverman calls a "business relationship" with Jim Hensley, Cindy Hensley's father, and with Cindy as well.

1986: During McCain's race for the Senate, Arizona Democrats ask the Udall staffers not to allow McCain to cling too closely to Udall, worrying that McCain is using Udall as a campaign tool. Udall aide Bob Neuman later says he tries to be subtle, but when McCain figures out what Neuman wants, he bawls Neuman out using words the aide refuses to repeat. Neuman later says McCain was so extreme in his reaction that, as Silverman writes, he thought "there was something really wrong with the guy." McCain is running for Barry Goldwater's seat, with Goldwater's endorsement. But after the Keating scandal, Goldwater loses much of his respect for McCain, and, Silverman writes, "soon found he had to stop McCain from using his good name."

1986: McCain jokes to an audience from the National League of Cities and Towns, asking if they've heard "the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly, and left to die?" The punch line: "When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'" Neuman later says, "John McCain is the Eddie Haskell of politics. You can attribute that to me, and he'll kill me for it."

1987-1988: McCain battles against campaign finance reform, in part on behalf of his pal Keating.

April 12, 1988: Governor Evan Mecham (R-Lunatic) has just been impeached, and Democrat Rose Mofford, the Secretary of State, takes over the position. Mofford, a kindly lady with an astonishing snow-white beehive bouffant, is as non-partisan as one can be and still belong to a political party, gracious and well-liked by just about everyone in the state government. But not by McCain and some of his buds. (Disclaimer: Mrs. Max, who describes herself as either a Goldwater Republican or a Reagan Democrat depending on the day of the week, knows Mofford, and likes her tremendously.) McCain and his pals want to eject Mofford using the same recall process that was launched to yank Mecham. Eight days into her tenure, Mofford goes to DC to take part in what one aide later calls the "perfunctory wet kiss" meeting with the Arizona congressional delegation. The meeting is strictly ceremonial, or so most people think. Mofford is quite conversant with her duties as secretary of state, primarily the elections department. She doesn't know a great deal about the Central Arizona Project (CAP) or the technical details of water provision in that dry state. And in eight days, she hasn't been able to learn a hell of a lot. She speaks before the Senate Energy and Water Subcommittee on Appropriations about CAP. McCain is not a member of that committee, but his Republican buddy from Idaho, James McClure, is. McClure asks Mofford, in Silverman's words,

a series of questions that would leave any water expert's mouth dry. Her staff jumped in to try to answer, but even so, ultimately they had to file an addendum to the testimony.

Sandbagged. The publisher of the Arizona Republic, Pat Murphy, who considers himself a friend of McCain's, is "crushed" by the incident. It is, Silverman writes, "the beginning of the end of his respect for and friendship with McCain." During lunch, a "mischievously glee[ful]" McCain brags about his setup of Mofford. As Murphy recalls, "he had slipped some highly technical questions to [McClure] to ask Mofford--questions she wouldn't be prepared to answer or expected to answer. Flabbergasted, I asked McCain why would he want to sabotage Mofford's testimony, when in fact the CAP was the nonpartisan pet of Republicans and Democrats--such as far-left Udall and far-right Goldwater--since its inception. His reply, as near as I remember, was, 'I'll embarrass a Democrat any time I get the chance.'" Murphy accompanies McCain back to his office, where reporters ask about a rumor that McCain had tried to sabotage Mofford's testimony. Murphy is floored to hear him answer, in classic straight-talk fashion, "I'd never do anything like that." Murphy later learns that McCain had even brought in a private film crew to film the testimony for use in embarrassing Moffatt in the recall election. The Arizona Supreme Court strikes down the recall effort, so McCain's gamesmanship did little except destroy his friendship with Murphy and embitter Mofford. While she doesn't talk much about the McCains, having known Cindy since she was little, she will tell Silverman, the CAP hearing, "hurt me more than anything ... to be set up like that." She also says that McCain is "certainly no Barry Goldwater or Mo Udall."

Late 1980s: McCain hosts an event ostensibly to honor Goldwater, but in reality to raise funds for his Senate campaign. Goldwater initially refuses to participate and tells McCain to give half of the proceeds to the Arizona Republican Party. McCain retools the event to honor Reagan instead. Goldwater does speak at the event, but later writes to McCain, "You will recall during my speech at the dinner for the president in Phoenix, I announced that you were going to give half of the funds you raised to the State Republican Party. I am told by the Party, that you still owe them $35,000, and unless you pay all of it, or most of it, they cannot meet their payroll next Wednesday." McCain will continue to use Goldwater, a legend in Arizona politics, as well as Udall as a campaign touchstone for himself.

1990: Facing criticism over his relationship with Keating and an upcoming re-election battle, McCain flip-flops and becomes a proponent of campaign finance reform and reducing government spending. Silverman calls McCain's efforts "a farce. McCain famously sponsored a law designed to control special interests' grip on Washington, but at the same time, he took money from those interests." She adds details and links that I won't go into here, but her summation of his efforts: "sadly cosmetic." What he has done is take such a shrill stance against certain types of earmarks--pork, in the vernacular--that Arizona has lost out on federal funding for, among other worthy projects, a program at a Scottsdale hospital that trains military medical personnel in trauma care. Some of that training has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan, for those who were lucky enough to receive it before the program lost much of its funding. Silverman notes:

Arizona's political forefathers--Mo Udall, Barry Goldwater, Carl Hayden - pushed through one of the biggest pork barrel projects in the history of the United States Congress: the Central Arizona [Water] Project. If they hadn't, there wouldn't be much of a state to represent. As a native Arizonan, those are the politicians I grew up learning about. McCain just doesn't compare.

1991 and After: When Udall leaves Congress, McCain, who had voted with Udall on some environmental issues, quits supporting those issues, and begins to rack up low marks from environmental groups. One of his most recent is a zero from the League of Conservation Voters. He has refused to oppose efforts to mine uranium from sites perilously near the Grand Canyon, and refuses to support proposed changes to the Mining Act of 1872, oblivious to the fact that Arizona is a testament to the environmental degradation that comes with strip mining and other practices. He is well remembered for threatening the job of a Forest Service official who disagreed with him on the topic of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel. However, in campaign appearances, McCain regularly invokes the name and environmental passion of Udall. In April 2008, Newsweek writes, "He traces his environmental awareness to the sainted Rep. Mo Udall, an Arizona Democrat who took McCain as a young congressman under his tutelage ... To environmentalists, that's like saying you learned about civil rights by driving around Alabama with Martin Luther King Jr." It's doubtful that Newsweek bothered to find much on the other side of the story.

Spring 1994: Silverman begins hearing rumors of Cindy McCain's addiction to prescription drugs. She learns of Tom Gosinski, who had been fired from his position as director of government and international affairs for Cindy McCain's nonprofit charity, the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT), which provides medical relief to poor countries. Gosinski had gone to the DEA and told them that Cindy McCain was using an AVMT doctor to illegally prescribe her drugs in her employees' names. Gosinski was one of those employees, and he was worried that he might be culpable. Cindy McCain had had numerous prescriptions written for her, some with as many as 500 pills on a single refill. Dr. John Max Johnson, her AVMT drug connection, told the DEA that she kept them in her personal luggage. Gosinski had not just ratted her out, but filed a wrongful-termination suit against the charity. That alerted John McCain's lawyer, John Dowd, to the situation. Dowd charged Gosinski with extortion. The extortion investigation produded public records that Silverman finds and uses for her reporting. But the McCains learn of her records request, and try to inoculate themselves against her reports, acknowledging Cindy's prescription drug addictions and blaming it on her back surgeries and the stress from the Keating scandal. They also claim, falsely, that Gosinski is trying to blackmail them. In her September 8, 1994 story, Silverman prints the following excerpt from Gosinski's personal journal, an entry from July 1992: "I have always wondered why John McCain has done nothing to fix the problem. He must either not see that a problem exists or does not choose to do anything about it. It would seem that it would be in everyone's best interest to come to terms with the situation. And do whatever is necessary to fix it. There is so much at risk ... During my short tenure at AVMT, I have been surrounded by what on the surface appears to be the ultimate all-American family. In reality, I am working for a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences." Cindy avoids criminal charges by going into a drug rehab program.

1997: McCain is a frequent and steady visitor to Mo Udall, who is slowly dying of Parkinson's disease. Neuman is pleased with McCain's loyalty, but he is stunned when McCain brings reporter Michael Lewis with him to Udall's hospital bedside. (McCain is unable to wake Udall during the visit. Udall will die in 1998.) Neuman later recalls, "That was devastating to me, that he brought in a reporter. I thought that was crossing the line, and it destroyed me." Silverman writes, "I'm sure I would have accepted the offer to go the hospital, as well. I can't blame Lewis, but maybe the sight of the legendary Mo Udall in his final, sad days wasn't McCain's to share."

2000: As the presidential primaries heat up, Silverman flies to Washington to be interviewed by 20/20's Sam Donaldson on McCain. After the interview, Donaldson decides he doesn't want to report anything negative about McCain, and cans the interview. The same thing happens when she helps put together background research for 60 Minutes, when Mike Wallace decides he wants to do a positive story on McCain.

Whee doggies. And there's plenty more in the article: this is just the highlights. Even better, there are links to other New Times stories on McCain. So get to reading, and share the wealth.

The Media's Attack on Masculinity

By S. T. Karnick

The tendency of the nation’s schools to suppress boys’ natural way of seeing and doing things, brilliantly documented by Christina Hoff-Sommers in her 2001 book The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, is becoming increasingly evident in the culture.

According to Hoff-Sommers, programs in America’s public schools are set up to obliterate all that is masculine and establish femininity as the human norm:

This book tells the story of how it has become fashionable to attribute pathology to millions of healthy male children. It is a story of how we are turning against boys and forgetting a simple truth: that the energy, competitiveness, and corporal daring of normal, decent males is responsible for much of what is right in the world. No one denies that boys’ aggressive tendencies must be checked and channeled in constructive ways. Boys need discipline, respect, and moral guidance. Boys need love and tolerant understanding. They do not need to be pathologized.

Hoff-Sommers goes on to note that "it’s a bad time to be a boy in America. . . . Routinely regarded as protosexists, potential harassers and perpetuators of gender inequity, boys live under a cloud of censure.” The school curricula, she observes, are skewed toward girls’ strengths and away from those of boys. That’s why classes emphasize word problems in math class and writing essays in science class, for example.

Boys mistreated by our educational system must advance into society and try to become men, having been taught to disrespect masculinity and suppress it in themselves. One obvious coping mechanism is for males to act more sensitively, making a determined effort to "share their feelings” and be less aggressive and competitive.

Hence a recent Associated Press story describing how TV’s new primetime schedule "puts the softer side of men on display”:

In a number of broadcast ensembles premiering this fall, men are opening up about issues beyond sports, money, power and sexual conquests. They’re expressing their feelings—often to other men—on fatherhood, intimacy and love.

The AP story goes on to quote Nicole Vecchiarelli, entertainment director of the men’s lifestyle magazine Details, as saying of today’s men, "now it seems they can, on the inside, feel a little bit more like girls and that’s still OK.”

The central characters of the new ABC show Big Shots exemplify this elevation of emotions over achievements. These men are the heads of four big corporations, and the hook is that although their businesses are doing well, their personal lives are a mess. One is enormously henpecked, another is divorced and has a young-adult daughter who openly hates him (or seems to), another is distressed by the close friendship between his wife and his mistress, and the other’s wife has been cheating on him with his boss.

Get the irony? At work they’re Masters of the Universe, but in the social realm they’re ineffectual schlubs. Women can do whatever they want to them, and the men can’t find a way to get control over their personal lives. They spend much of the program discussing their feelings about the terrible things that are happening to them.

These otherwise powerful men show that no man is safe from the myriad humiliations women and life in general are apt to heap upon them. A article summarized the depiction of men in the current TV season as follows:

There are guys whose wives cheat on them, whose girlfriends get promoted over them, whose mates make more money than they do; guys who get left out of baby-making, who date women with penises and at least one who gets anally raped by a monkey.

That last instance occurs in the ABC comedy Carpoolers. Similarly, in the pilot episode of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, two brilliant scientists are "pantsed” by their attractive neighbor’s angry ex-boyfriend and spend the next couple minutes of screen time walking around in their briefs. When attempting to gain entry into a locked apartment building, they are outsmarted by two 8-year-old girls. In the pilot episode of Big Shots, the divorced man (Dylan McDermott) explicitly ties the men’s sense of powerlessness to a social trend toward the feminization of males: "Men—we’re the new women.”

Naturally, if men are the new women in today’s culture, "Women are the new men on TV,” as the aforementioned essay noted:

When you turn on your television this fall, you’ll be watching more women kick more ass than you can possibly imagine—physically, economically and sexually. Hard-bodied and smart, rich and aggressive, confident and independent, the chicks who populate the prime-time lineup are being cast in roles that once belonged almost exclusively to men. These broads are cops and lawyers and masters of the business universe. . . . Julianna Margulies will star as a nasty Nancy Grace knockoff, Angie Harmon as a police lieutenant, Lucy Liu as a publishing executive, and Patricia Heaton as a news anchor; there’s a new Bionic Woman and a whole show about the world’s leading incubator of the future, The Terminator’s Sarah Connor. The flinty Cagneys, Laceys, Murphys and Buffys of yore aren’t the exceptions in the new TV season; they rule.

The same trend is evident at the movies. We have the vigilante killer played by Jodie Foster in The Brave One, the ferocious female zombie-killer played by Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil films, the werewolf hunter played by Kate Beckinsale in the two Underworld movies, countless machinegun-toting female police officers of extraordinary fierceness in all sorts of action movies, and the increasingly common occurrence of female characters punching men in the face, especially in comedies. As these cultural products indicate, and as Hoff-Sommers notes, masculine behavior is acceptable as long as the person engaging in it is not actually male.

Of course, something as natural as masculinity cannot be completely eradicated except by exterminating every man in the world, and thus many young men rebel against their indoctrination, consciously or otherwise. The culture is thus also replete with both real and fictional males who take masculinity to decidedly unattractive and even dangerous extremes.

Consider, for example, the brutish ex-boyfriend in the pilot episode of The Big Bang Theory, the Russian thugs at the center of the film Eastern Promises, the foul-tempered chef Gordon Ramsay on FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, and the misogyny and glorification of violence in current hip-hop music. Real-life sports heroes are increasingly being arrested for drunken driving, drug possession, physical assaults, and in the case of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, running a dog-fighting ring.

Even roughnecks such as these, however, are subject to cultural education into the joys of femininity. The hero of the movie The Game Plan, an NFL quarterback played by hyper-muscular Duane "The Rock” Johnson, is narcissistic, arrogant, egotistical, and selfish—both on the field and off. Only after dancing in a ballet and being reeducated by his 8-year-old daughter, his sister-in-law, and the daughter’s dance teacher does he finally win a Super Bowl ring. In today’s culture, women even make the best football coaches.

Other men respond to the cultural denigration of masculinity by simply trying not to grow up at all. This, too, is evident in pop culture. Writing in National Review Online, Justin Shubow notes that "porn-addicted, video-game-playing man-children are the subject of so many recent comedies like Knocked Up; The 40-Year-Old -Virgin; You, Me, and Dupree; and Failure to Launch. Not having been effectively socialized into masculinity, adult males have become less manly but more boyish.”

The central characters of the new TV programs Chuck and Reaper are afflicted with just such a Peter-Pan syndrome. Chuck Bartowsky (Zachary Levi) is a young man of positively stunning ordinariness who works at a Buy-More store, fixing computers and cell phones and being bullied by a jerk coworker who has the inside track on the open assistant-manager job. The two main characters of the new CW series Reaper are college-age (though not college-attending) males who work at their local big-box retail store. Although one is definitely intelligent enough to go to college, he has low self-esteem and little ambition and so decided not to. He spends his time hanging out with his friends and wishes he had the nerve to make a date with an attractive female coworker.

Thus, the war against boys seems to have created three main character patterns for the adult male of our time: sensitive guys who want to please women; weenies and dorks who want only to be left alone to drink beer and play video games with their dork buddies; and thugs who, in rebellion against their unnatural education, are perpetually concerned with proving their toughness through increasingly loutish behavior. There are, of course, examples of decent, positively masculine males in the culture, but they are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the products of educational and cultural feminization.

The fact is that people learn what you teach them. And the consequences of the war against boys—and the broader social war against masculinity in general—are increasingly evident in both the culture and the world at large. We should hardly be surprised that the results are anything but pretty.

From Salvo 4 (Winter 2008)

Solzhenitsyn & Bogus Mythology of WWII

By Eric Margolis.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died this week aged 89, will rank with literary immortals Tolstoy and Dostoevsky as a great chronicler of Russia’s soul and its profound suffering.

Solzhenitsyn’s epic works Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago are literary monuments for all mankind. After years as a political prisoner in the Soviet gulag, Solzhenitsyn declared, "a writer’s goal is to fight the lie" – meaning propaganda, historical distortion, and perversion of facts.

Thanks in good part to Solzhenitsyn and fellow dissident writers, the world finally learned the Soviet Communists had murdered over 30 million people and imprisoned millions more.

At the 1945 Yalta Conference, Stalin boasted to Winston Churchill that Commissar Lazar Kaganovitch, who had supervised the murder of at least seven million Ukrainians and sent 2 million to concentration camps, "is my Adolf Eichmann," referring to the Nazi official responsible for killing millions of Jews.

In 1945, the Soviet Union – the close wartime ally of Britain, Canada and the United States – had 5.5 million prisoners in its prison system, the gulag, of whom 25% died annually from cold, hunger, exhaustion and disease.

Though Stalin’s worst crimes were committed before World War II, the full horror of his system of industrialized murder and slave labor were barely known outside Russia until the 1980’s. To this day, the world is constantly reminded of Germany’s crimes during the National Socialist era. But Stalin’s victims, who surpassed those of Hitler by a factor of three times, are almost forgotten. Why?

History is the propaganda of the victors. Few photographs of the gulag have survived, evidence was destroyed, and witnesses have died. Churchill and Roosevelt could not admit they were allied to the greatest mass killer since Genghis Khan, and complicit in his crimes. Or reveal that Communist agents of influence had shaped White House policy. The feeble-minded Roosevelt even hailed Stalin as "Uncle Joe."

The world’s Communist and Socialist parties managed to suppress the full scope of Stalin’s crimes even after Nikita Khrushchev denounced him in 1956. Solzhenitsyn warned that socialism, and big sister communism, inevitably led to totalitarian states.

Many Western liberal intellectuals were infatuated with Stalin’s brute power and didn’t want to know about their idol’s crimes. The French leftist thinker Jean-Paul Sartre even refused to admit the gulag existed.

Revealing the truth about the Allies’ role in supporting Stalin and his crimes would undermine the whole bogus mythology of World War II that has become the state religion for the political right in North America, Britain and Australia.

Those who considered the Jewish Holocaust a unique historical crime were not eager to bring attention to Stalin’s genocide lest it diminish or dilute their own people’s suffering.

The Soviet Union punished Solzhenitsyn by making him into a "non-person." He was exiled to the United States, where he was at first hailed as a hero. But the uncompromising Solzhenitsyn, ever the Old Testament prophet, fulminated against the "soulless capitalism system" and "mindless western consumerism."

Then he published a book about a hitherto taboo subject, the prominent role of Russian Jews in the Communist party and secret police. The book provoked a storm of criticism in North America. Solzhenitsyn was branded anti-Semitic and quickly became a non-person for the second time.

Solzhenitsyn returned to the new Russia after the fall of Communism and became the leading exponent of the revived cult of reactionary 19th-century pan-Slav nationalism. He championed Russia’s Orthodox Church as guardian of the nation’s soul, proclaimed Russia’s manifest destiny, and advocated a form of modern czarism that looks remarkably like today’s Kremlin run by Vladimir Putin and Dimitri Medvedev.

Being a prophet in the wilderness is a hard, thankless profession. But Solzhenitsyn’s dauntless courage and tenacity shone the light into some of the darkest cellars of Russia’s tortured history. He influenced a generation of writers, including this humble one, whose goal, like his, has always been to "fight the lie."