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Baraniecki Mark Stuart (Spain)

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Religion and Rise of Western Culture
Religion and Rise of Western Culture
by Christopher Dawson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.43

4.0 out of 5 stars The Rise of Medieval Christendom, 21 May 2016
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The reader has to wait until the last chapter for Dawson to reveal his interesting Franciscan view of Christianity in daily life – a certain humility, the need for some physical labour and a respect for nature in its completeness - a view that has always had a broad appeal and which is well suited to blend with materialistic modern life and correct its deficiencies.

He refers to one of the first vernacular early English narrative poems “Piers Plowman” by William Langland, following St Francis in its unity of daily religion and culture, not rejecting the church hierarchy, but at the same time showing a simpler direct Christian life, with the poem being written in the late 14th century at the dawn of a modern world that brought, towns, universities, science and the finally the humanistic Renaissance.

The prior period, from the fall of the Classical world. is usually described as the Dark Ages (at least in northern Europe) but Dawson quite persuasively shows that Europe actually developed a stability and unity around the concept of “Christendom”. Christianity wasn't “something else that was happening” it was the core of European life, in fact creating a stable base for later developments.

It's an interesting story with the author travelling from the 7th century Celtic monasteries of Iona and Lindisfarne to the proto-democratic town Communes of the 14th century (that still exist essentially unchanged in present day Switzerland).

He emphasises the point that, prior to its collapse, the Roman Empire was already Christian (the conversion of Constantine) with the barbarian tribes that occupied and settled ex-Imperial Europe finding in Christianity a higher morality, learning and culture than their own. A common result was conversion to Christianity with tribal groups maintaining military and political power while the Church would provide a spiritual, cultural and literate life (in latin), based on a Western European network of monasteries.

The author shows how Christianity developed a symbiotic relationship with temporal power through the Middle Ages with the most notable event being the merger of Church and State under Charlemagne (Charles I of the Franks) and the creation of the Holy Roman Empire with the Emperor being crowned and anointed by the Church (for the first time in 751).

Danish-Scandinavian tribes eventually destroyed the Carolingian Empire and invaded the British Isles, but here again, they converted, with Canute becoming an active Christian king and missionaries of the 10th century finding success in the conversion of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe to Christianity (St Adalbert in Bohemia, Hungary and Poland). The interesting point that Dawson makes, is that Christianity had reached a critical mass where “Christendom” had a generalized meaning in Europe in the same way that “Islam” had a meaning in the the Middle East and North Africa – with a clear opposition between the two.

The Europe wide concept of the “Christian Knight” grew out of a feudal system of noble/priest/peasant with the reconquest of Spain becoming a religious project that belonged to the whole of Christendom ( in the same way as the Crusades) and which succeeded. It's undeniable that a European wide Christian culture was created around the written Latin of the Church and throughout this time it was the Church either through monasteries, Cathedral schools or eventually Universities that preserved ancient Classical texts concerning mathematics, science and philosophy.

It's not fashionable to say it today, but the book makes clear that Europe is a Christian creation in the same way that the Middle East was created by Islam.


Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9-11 Cover-Up in Florida
Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9-11 Cover-Up in Florida
by Daniel Hopsicker
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The 9/11 Failed Coup, 15 May 2016
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Probably the first thing to say is that Daniel Hopsicker is not a secondary sources sort of writer. He has spent a lot of time down in Florida tracking down everyone who had contact with the 9/11 pilots, interviewing witnesses and cross checking their stories.

In reality this is a genuine investigation where he lets the facts of the case emerge and speak for themselves.

The official story goes that Islamic fundamentalist trainee pilots sneaked unseen into Florida flight training schools where they learnt to fly the jets used on 9/11, which in itself immediately causes a problem since: 1) they were not Islamic fundamentalists – a lot of their time in Florida was spent seriously partying 2) they didn't sneak in unseen – they were highly visible and got red carpet treatment with regard to visas etc. 3) they were completely incapable of flying the 9/11 airliners at the speeds and on the trajectories seen on the day.

There's no doubt about this. Hopsicker has spoken to the flight trainers, mechanics, flight school administrators, accountants, other students, Atta's girlfriend, the other girls, the bar owners, apartment owners where they lived, neighbours, police, local journalists, in fact anyone they had contact with and the story comes out the same every time, despite FBI visits and threats.

However, Hopsicker did come across something unexpected. A report that originally came out in the Longboat Observer, a local newspaper:

Sometime before 6:00 a.m. on September 11, or possibly on the evening of September 10, a van occupied by some Middle Eastern men pulls up at the resort. The men claim to be reporters and say they are there for a “poolside” interview with Bush. They then ask for a particular Secret Service agent by name. Security guards phone the receptionist at the resort and relay the men’s request. The receptionist has not heard of the Secret Service agent named by the men or anything about a planned interview with Bush. She passes the phone to a Secret Service agent, who similarly tells the security guards that no one knows of the agent the men referred to or is aware of any scheduled interview with the president. The Secret Service agent says the men should contact the president’s
public relations office in Washington, DC, and has them turned away from the premises. [Longboat Observer, 9/26/2001; Longboat Observer 9/7/2011]

The alleged incident on Longboat Key will come to light after reporter Shay Sullivan hears local Fire Marshal Carroll Mooneyhan describing it to a colleague during a lull in a firefighters’ union meeting and then writes an article about it for the Longboat Observer. Mooneyhan does not witness the incident firsthand, but will learn about it when he is at the front desk at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort at around 6:00 a.m. on September 11. At that time, he will overhear the receptionist and a security guard discussing what happened. It is unclear when exactly the incident they discuss is meant to have occurred. . [Longboat Observer, 9/26/2001; Longboat Observer 9/7/2011]

Hopsicker interviewed Mooneyhan who confirmed the story.

If this was in fact an assassination attempt against Bush, and had he been assassinated that same morning, with 9/11 going through later in the day, VP Cheney would have become President under Emergency Law dating from the Reagan administration, with the neocons holding the Office of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act to enforce it – which would have been the end of American democracy, so 9/11 starts to look a lot like an attempted coup d'état that failed.

The author is more concerned with giving the evidence that drawing conclusions, but it would account for the present unease of the 9/11 planners. Under their anticipated totalitarian regime they wouldn't have had to have to worry about the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, ex-CIA agent Susan Landauer's video “Extreme Prejudice” (2 million+ YouTube views) or General Wesley Clark (YouTube: “Wesley Clark, Take Out 7 Countries”) revealing the Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz/ neocon war agenda. Also they would not have had to deal with any more US elections.

Every US citizen with the slightest concern for Democracy needs to carefully read this book.


No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller
No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller
by Harry Markopolos
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.38

4.0 out of 5 stars No One Would Listen, 29 April 2016
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An interesting book in which a group of financial derivatives specialists centred around Harry Markopolos stumbled on the fact that the Madoff company must be falsifying performance data on their investment fund.

Markopolos raised a series of red flags in a detailed 2005 submission to the S.E.C. (Securities and Exchange Commission) strongly suggesting that Madoff Securities was a Ponzi scheme, and continued to visit and make submissions to them until all it would have required on their part would have been a few telephone calls and half an hour on a Bloomberg terminal.

For various reasons they refused to act while Madoff stole a further $40 billion!!

The book makes it clear that a New York SEC staff comprising of lawyers and recent graduates lacked the training or experience to investigate financial crime. Markopolos did have the necessary skills, along with a few institutional investors who completed their own due diligence and (privately) decided not to invest. Caveat Emptor.


Hons and Rebels
Hons and Rebels
by Jessica Mitford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The British Aristocracy 1930 - 1939, 29 April 2016
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This review is from: Hons and Rebels (Paperback)
This is a fine introduction to the British aristocracy and its struggles from the early 1930's to the outbreak of WW2. The author doesn't pull any punches and is quite open about its (the upper class) ambivalence about war with Germany. Hitler's defeat of the German communists was viewed with approval as was support for Franco against the Spanish Republican government.
However, after the invasion of Holland they closed ranks against fascism, isolating the author's sister Diana who was interned with Oswald Mosley (British fascist leader) and a second sister Unity (companion of Hitler) who was invalided by a suicide attempt on the declaration of war.
The part of the book dealing with the author's romance with Esmond Romilly is equally well written but very irritating as they make a nuisance of themselves throughout Spain, France and America all the while spouting Communist nonsense.


The Conquest of New Spain
The Conquest of New Spain
by Bernal Diaz del Castillo
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The Conquest of New Spain, 29 April 2016
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Sometimes extraordinary events are fortuitously recorded by a well placed participant. In this case, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, describes the 16th century Spanish discovery and defeat of the Mexican empire in an account that is so compelling that it is difficult to put down.
The basic facts are not disputed, and reveal the extraordinary military valour of Cortez and most of his men. He gives weight to existing tribal conflicts, the role of religious beliefs and also illustrates Cortez's manipulative cunning and great love of love of gold, even going as far as cheating his own men.


The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
by T R Reid
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Another example of US Special Interests working against the Public, 25 April 2016
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On page 164, the author T.R.Reid says that, “.....many Americans have concluded that health care reform is beyond the power of a Democratic government.” which sets the fatalistic tone of the book.

He provides an interesting round the world tour of national health care systems (and sometimes non-systems) showing for example how the French “Carte Vitale” carries a citizens entire medical history – cutting out a mass of expensive medical bureaucracy. The doctor simply slips the card into a reader and has access the patients full history right on the screen.

In Canada a single payer national (or provincial) system allows the government to tightly control all medical cost across the country, with the result that Canadians have the same average level of health as Americans at about half the cost per person.

Reid continues with the examples, making it clear that US healthcare is a disaster on any kind of cost/benefit basis, and what is even worse, he shows the US even failing on basic measures of healthcare output such as infant mortality or the DALE rating (How long an average person can expect to live without serious illness or disability) with the US in 24th position behind most developed countries – despite its sky-high spending.

He quotes Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution who said, “I look at the U.S. healthcare program and see an administrative monstrosity....”, with the reality being a fine collection of medically related special interests snuggly hooked into, and exploiting a corrupt political process. Like much else to do with the United States government, special interests are looting and impoverishing the country.

So maybe American healthcare is just one example among many, as a well connected élite live in a bubble with world-class service, while the great unwashed (general public) get on a best they can, i.e. T.R.Reid's pessimism is fully justified.


Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators
Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators
by William Stolzenburg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Top predators and the Earth's degraded natural environment., 3 April 2016
This is a fascinating book from ecologist and writer William Stolzenburg dealing with ecology, “The interaction among organisms and their environment”.

He particularly covers the role of top predators and the way in which their critical function in ecological chains has been badly underappreciated until recently.

In a general way, the book is built around an experiment started in 1963 by Robert Paine, a young college professor from the University of Washington in Seattle, with the results eventually published in a 1966 issue of the scientific journal American Naturalist . He found and studied two adjacent intertidal stretches of rock at the edge of the sea at Mukkaw Bay on Washington State's isolated Olympic Peninsula, visiting them each month to remove the top predator, a starfish called Pisaster ochraceous from one of the rocks while leaving it on the other.

Both rocks were initially populated with a community of marine invertebrates, barnacles, limpets, snails, chitons and starfish but on the new starfish free rock that he created (he threw them back into the sea), the mussel (Mytilus californianus - the main prey of the starfish) showed a spectacular increase in population numbers, eventually taking over the whole rock/living space to the exclusion of all other species.

The point being that without a top predator, the food chain no longer worked with the mussel crowding out and destroying the whole ecosystem of this small world.

Stolzenburg shows this general result being repeated around the world on land and sea but of course on a much larger scale, with top predators either extinct or on the verge of extinction and greatly degraded natural habitats being the rule rather than the exception. He shows that top predators need enough prey to survive which means a complete and sufficiently numerous ecochain which now almost inevitably means conflict with humans at numerous points such as taking livestock, preventing logging, direct physical risk to tourists etc.

From an ecological point of view he sees the root of the problem some 100.000 – 50.000 years ago when the first anatomically and behaviorally modern humans appeared in the world in larger numbers and started the direct and indirect destruction of the world's top predators, interestingly proved by the rare situations where humans are currently excluded from relatively large fertile areas of the planet. The best example (not mentioned in the book) possibly being the unintended natural experiment of Chernobyl in the Ukraine where a nuclear power plant explosion in 1986 led to establishment of a radiation contaminated fenced Exclusion Zone covering 4.200 sq km.

The result of this rather strange experiment was the natural regeneration of a flourishing full ecosystem that includes a healthy numbers of top predator wolves, with lynx, wild boar, roe deer and moose among much else.

An excellent book and highly recommended.


Swiss Democracy: A model for Britain
Swiss Democracy: A model for Britain
by Mr Kenrick Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Swiss Democracy vs ersatz British Democracy, 13 Mar. 2016
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Kenrick Jones is a British academic active in local politics who has written a very interesting book comparing Swiss and British democracy.
He sees many positive aspects to the Swiss system linked to local democracy. Like he says, “Can one doubt that much of the peace and orderliness which is evident in Swiss society stems from the knowledge that the people do enjoy a large say in the running of their country.”

His comparison of Swiss local politics and British local politics is quite detailed with regards to power, procedures and revenues but it is also bolstered by interviews with key figures. For example in the Canton of Geneva he talks to Monsieur Kyburz, Lord Mayor of the 46 Communes of Geneva and Mayor of the Commune of Carouge, who states that the driving force behind all Swiss democracy is the principle of subsidiarity i.e. devolving power down to the smallest viable unit that can support it. “So in Geneva,” said the Lord Mayor, “each Commune has as much power as it can usefully exploit.”. He also notes that participatory democracy can be frustrating and costly but that citizen involvement makes it more than worthwhile.

A key point that Jones emphasizes throughout the text is local taxation. Switzerland is very unusual in that the major responsibilities that are taken on locally (at the Cantonal level) such as health, police, law and education are also funded locally. For example in year 2002 Geneva collected locally 84% of the money it needed through an income tax, capital tax and rates. This is a mayor contrast to Britain where health, law and education policy are decided (and funded) at the national level with local authorities receiving rate support grants in return for implementing central directives.

The next question is, “If Swiss Cantons and Communes have so much power how do they handle it?”

Jones shows that the answer is really split into two.

On the one hand, there is a major effort to get interested community participation (as a long term Swiss resident said, “Swiss people vote for issues, British for parties”), with the system naturally leading to Proportional Representation at all levels up to the 200 member Swiss National Council.

On the other hand there is the critical importance of the Popular Initiative and consequent Commission of Inquiry. Popular Initiatives can be launched by anyone who can collect a certain percentages of signatures and they are followed by a lengthy and rigorous Commission of Inquiry that airs the issue and questions all parties prior to a referendum vote. These do work at all levels. For example in 1992 the Federal government approved legislation enabling the state to apply for membership of the European Union. This was challenged and defeated with over 1.5 million yes/no votes on a 78.8% national turnout.
The system covers any issue. In a 2005 referendum same sex couples were granted the same legal rights as heterosexuals but were not allowed to adopt children. In 1994 a successful Popular Initiative led to the banning of heavy lorries passing through alpine villages en route to Italy (vote 51.9% for, 48.1% against).

The author asks the question about the exportability of the Swiss democratic system. It certainly results from the peculiar circumstances of Switzerland. The Federation grew out of the 1291 alliance of Unterwalden, Uri and Schwyz, gradually expanding to cover people of different languages (German, French, Italian and Romansch), different religions (49% Catholic, 47% Protestant) all with very strong local ties, sometimes even to a particular alpine valley.

He concludes that the happy historical accident of Swiss democracy is a viable and superior system and suggests that it can be used to counteract the problems of disconnected centralized “establishment” politics such as can be found in countries like the UK.

Highly recommended.


Restoring America
Restoring America
by Dr Michael Hart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.07

4.0 out of 5 stars E Pluribus Unum no more, 25 Feb. 2016
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Author Michael Hart is concerned with the breakdown of Constitutional America giving many examples such as the NSA mass collection of private communications (in violation of the 2nd Amendment, “ The rights of the people… against unreasonable searches and seizures.”), or the wholesale infringement of States rights (in violation of the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited to it by States are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.”)

In what could be called a de facto Post-Constitutional America he sees a polarization of power not uncommon to mature Democracies as the system is gamed by special interests..

On the one side voters are bought by public spending/benefits transfers creating a giant debt based welfare system (what he calls the Wolf/Sheep problem – Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner), and on the other, a multitude of special interests hook into a corrupt political process to secure government contracts, favourable legislation, bank bailouts etc. at the expense of the public.
He sees a big problem with special interests since their political action for private profit is often directly opposed to the interests of the general population, with issues such as mass immigration of low wage labour, uncontrolled outsourcing, vastly expensive (and useless) wars or ballooning healthcare costs. Logically these forces oppose nationalism and support multiculturalism and neo-liberalism (as collected in the P.C. package).

Hart’s opinion is that the US has become so polarized between the Liberal left and Traditional right (not establishment Republicans) that things have past the point of no return. So, as in an irreparable marriage, the only solution is divorce and the division of the present United States into two independent countries. The greater part of the book covers the practicalities of the divorce settlement, with the hope that it can be accomplished amicably – basically along the lines that Red counties form the American Federal Republic (AFR) and the Blue counties form a new United States.

This reviewer sees some problems with the idea, 1) on the positive side that the Democratic system may not be as broken as he thinks, with cultural affairs having more of a cyclical aspect and racial integration offering more possibilities than he allows, and 2) on the negative side, that special interests derive too much power from the present United States to allow the separation of the AFR.

Taking the positive side, the public are at last finding a voice (written Feb. 2016) in Republican candidate Donald Trump advocating controlled immigration and outsourcing, and rejecting fake WMD stories and Middle East wars. He’s proposing to democratically fix the whole of the US and not divide it in two. Also the author could have taken a more cyclical view of US society (e.g. The Fourth Turning) showing a growing societal rejection of decadent and corrupt late stage neo-liberalism with a return to societies foundational ideas. Again this suggests coming together rather than separating.

The book goes at some length into the question of race saying that Multiculturalism doesn’t work, but it may have been clearer if the author had that said that racial integration only stopped working in the 1970’s when the US abandoned the Pluribus Unum “Melting Pot” idea in favour of divisive Cultural Marxist “Multiculturalism”. Differences in intelligence can be found in other places apart from the Black/White divide, for example in rural/town populations or the management/employee divide in any company, suggesting that differences in intelligence are much less important that loyalty and commitment to a joint project and making the best of everyone’s ability (excluding no one). Also the melting pot does work, although it can take time. For example Britain is an integrated mixture of Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Danish-Scandinavians, Old British (Welsh) and Normans with surnames still showing the origins although no one pays any notice. It did take centuries and it’s interesting that when Julius Caesar successfully conquered Britain, the Saxons hadn’t yet arrived to teach the British to speak English.

On the negative side the outlook seems much darker than he suggests. Hart politely hopes that the very well entrenched Establishment will quietly transfer Federal power over the Red counties to the AFR when in reality this is probably the last thing that they will do. Unfortunately, a much likelier outcome is that they use readymade rhetoric about “Southern Racists” and “Rebellion” to claim the moral high ground, drawing parallels with the Civil War to launch an attack on the AFR and destroy it.

The author seems to believe the hollow idea that somehow the 2nd Amendment will protect the AFR, which it may have done in the 18th Century, but not in the 21st. Small arms are no match for the weapons of the US military. This suggest that the Blue Alliance will make an extreme effort to control the US military command structure and bribe/confuse troops for sufficient time to destroy the AFR. History shows that successful coups work this way. The Bolsheviks (1917) broke the command structure (General Order Nº1) and subverted the loyalty of the 125.000 soldiers in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) with promises of private land, farms, stopping the war, avoiding the return of landowners etc. with the result that only 25.000 or so remained loyal. Of course, they used the troops against the Provisional Government itself. When the elections to the Constituent Assembly eventually came (far too late) at the end of November 1917, they filled the assembly hall with soldiers armed with rifles, grenades and machine guns and rejected the result of the vote (Social Revolutionaries 20,893,743, Bolsheviks 9,023,963 out of 36.257.960 votes cast). The Bolsheviks declared that Constitutional Democrats were to be arrested and Lenin established his dictatorship.

Recommended as an interesting book, certainly worth buying.


The Liberal Delusion
The Liberal Delusion
by John Marsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

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4.0 out of 5 stars Less a delusion, more a cynical route to power., 15 Feb. 2016
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This review is from: The Liberal Delusion (Paperback)
John Marsh does quite a through job in “The Liberal Delusion” of highlighting the social failures of modern Western societies, with their record levels of crime, fatherless children, drug taking and welfare dependence and certainly showing that something is wrong. There are many books on the same theme, but where Marsh interestingly parts company with most of them is in identifying the source of the malaise back in the 18th century, specifically the Enlightenment and the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Rousseau held that humans were born into a state of nature which was a state of innocence with vices and problems being introduced through contact with the corruption of society. He was adopted by the Jacobins who used his ideas during the French Revolution to attack the foundations of French society (the Church and the aristocracy), with the Church of course teaching “Original Sin” and the aristocracy having little interest in Liberty, Progress, Reason, Tolerance and Fraternity. Marsh suggests that the “natural state of innocence” idea has become part of the dogma of Liberal/Leftist thought despite plenty of evidence proving the contrary, and that they use it in Jacobin style to attack the “guilty” power structures of traditional society.

The key question seems to be whether the Liberal/Left really believe in the Blank Slate, enforced equality and White European Guilt, or are just using it to weaken society and gain power. The author seems to suggest that they do hold a genuine (but mistaken) belief in the natural goodness/equality of people and sees this as the root of the problem as they pursue their impossible objectives.

Perhaps he could have shown more of the practical side of the Enlightenment. It was something special as it finally broke the rigid framework of religious thought and challenged the class structure of traditional society, introducing the fresh idea that Everyman could rise through his own efforts. Anyone could improving their knowledge/education and reject religion in favour of reason with the whole package being the launch pad for “Progressive” ideas up to the present day.

Marsh does show that the original project was positive but also shows present day “Progressivism” sliding into decadence, selfishness, and sociological chaos as societies' beneficial structures are also targeted and destroyed. On P.113 he quotes youth worker and pamphleteer Shaun Bailey saying, “The key point about (modern) Liberals is that they make any language that was traditional, normal or useful seem right-wing, racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-this, anti-that and blah de blah. Public discourse is owned by the liberal intelligensia”

Which returns the reader to the question of whether liberals are using Political Correctness through a genuine belief in their Better World Project or simply as a cynical route to Power. It is probably both, but the book would have benefited from a discussion of the Route to Power variant with the classic example being the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917.

For example, the Bolsheviks cast themselves in the mold of the French Revolution declaring Liberty and Equality, freedom for the Working Class and styling themselves a Class Leaders – also offering the 125.000 soldiers in Petrograd (St Petersburg) private land, farms, exit from WWI and stopping the return of landowners, resulting in only 25.000 staying loyal and the rest following Bolshevik General Order Nº1 to disarm their officers and no longer accept orders. They broke up the Constitutional Convention with armed force and on taking power Lenin and Trotsky called for the massacre of every Democrat that could be found – soon going on to any opponent of the Left or Right and eventually building up to the largest massacre of (Christian) Europeans that the world has ever seen.

The point is that Bolshevik activist were always a small minority who knew that they could never gain power Democratically and simply used Communist ideas as a justification for grabbing and holding power. As Marsh points out, it was Lenin who coined the phrase “Political Correctness” when he wrote in a letter (1922), “The fundamental idea is clear: To bring forward a politically correct state, which sets out the essence and justification of terror.”

They were certainly not planning to connect with the “Workers” in their private lives. Slezkine in his remarkable (celebratory) book “The Jewish Century” documents in detail the way in which the new "revolutionary" bourgeoisie quickly moved into St Petersburg's' vacant aristocratic homes, enjoyed their new country dachas, held Pushkin evenings and attended elite educational academies while tens of millions of Russians and Ukrainians were shot or died in appalling conditions in their Gulag.

Altogether an interesting book but in the opinion of this reviewer the author underplays the leftist totalitarian technique of infiltrating and weakening society sufficiently to take a shot at absolute power.


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