What on earth did Jesus look like?

“I’ve never been able to picture my wife in my mind – and now I know why,” writes Dominic Lawson in today’s Mail. I hope Mrs Lawson will be satisfied with the ensuing explanation. I am not.

Mr Lawson and I have a few mutual friends, but we’ve never met. Hence I don’t know what his religion is, though by the general tenor of his writing one suspects that his answer to this question would be ‘none’.

That explains why, in common with most modern men (a designation I never use as a term of praise), he feels the urge to look for a physical, in this case medical, explanation for a phenomenon with a strong spiritual dimension.

This explanation goes by the term ‘aphantasia’, invented by the professor of cognitive neurology Adam Zeman, who happens to be Mr Lawson’s school friend. Those afflicted with this condition, about 2.5 per cent of the population according to Prof. Zeman, are incapable of generating visual images in their minds – they have no mind’s eye.

I’m not qualified to judge Prof. Zeman’s findings or indeed to understand some of the recondite terminology he uses. Neither, I suspect, is Mr Lawson. But being by nature a rather incredulous sort, I may venture a guess that there may be more to it than merely a medical condition.

Mr Lawson, who in general tends to vouchsafe more personal details than we care to know, claims he has no visual memory at all. That must be most unpleasant, and one hopes he still manages to recognise people he hasn’t seen for a few days. The inability to do so may upset some editors, those who don’t like their employees asking “And who might you be, my dear chap?”

Now, if you don’t mind my offering a personal detail of my own, my visual memory is rather good. I can’t claim I never forget a face, but I do so rarely. Most of the time I can easily recognise a casual acquaintance of 40 years ago, and even, to the best of my rather poor ability, sketch his face from memory.

Yet I too have trouble visualising my wife’s face after a day or two apart, this with no aphantasia affecting my encephalo-optical function. The explanation for this must lie in a sphere considerably more complex than one describable by professors of cognitive neurology.

We see those we love differently from the way we see others, and the greater the love, the greater the difference. When a man looks at someone close to him, especially his wife with whom he is, according to St Paul, “one flesh”, he employs a vision other than purely optical.

He doesn’t just see a combination of geometrical shapes, sizes and colours. His eye acquires the X-ray ability to see beyond the physical surface and deep into something infinitely more important: the metaphysical essence. Depending on the kind of vocabulary one is comfortable with, this may be described as the spirit, the heart or the soul.

Because it’s infinitely more important, this essence overshadows the purely physical image or even completely obscures it, as powerful pictures can do. Many who have seen Mont Blanc, even those suffering from aphantasia, will remember its snow-capped summit, but few will be able to describe the trees at the mountain’s foot.

This brings us to the question in the title: What did Jesus look like? The iconic images we all know are not, nor are claimed to be, accurate physical representations. The painters, after all, never saw Jesus in the flesh.

However the evangelists did, and they preserved many of the words Jesus uttered during the months they spent together. Even more important, they memorised, and decades later conveyed, the deep meaning behind those words, the divine significance of the message.

Yet none of them left even a sketchy description of Jesus’s appearance. We can surmise some physical generalities, such as the obvious fact that Jesus didn’t look very different from the ambient Jewish population. If he had, Judas wouldn’t have had to identify him to the arresting detail of Roman soldiers in the garden of Gethsemane.

But the evangelists’ memory didn’t retain any individual physical details, which must have made Jesus look as different from other people as Mr Lawson looks different from me. Why?

Because their visual memory was subjugated to their spiritual vision and the all-conquering love they felt for Jesus. They remembered so little because they loved so much.

Then again, all four of them may have fallen into the 2.5 per cent of the population suffering from aphantasia. I’m sure Prof. Zeman and Mr Lawson would be satisfied with this explanation. Are you?

 

   

  

 

 

 

 

Lies, boldfaced lies and austerity

 Correct me if I’m wrong, but to me fiscal austerity means making sure one always spends less than one earns. I bet your definition is similar to mine, but I’ll go double or nothing that George Osborne’s isn’t.

That’s because you and I live in the real world, the place where we earn some income and figure out how to pay our way and make ends meet.

Sometimes we have to borrow, but we know that, should our liabilities exceed our assets, and our income is insufficient to cover the deficit, we won’t be able to keep the bailiffs at bay.

However, George, along with other finance ministers all over the West, lives in a virtual world where nothing is real: words, thoughts, morals – and certainly money.

George lives by virtual adages uttered by virtual economists, such as Samuel Brittan, the Financial Times guru, who once pontificated that “Since my undergraduate days, I have been pointing out that a government budget is not the same as that of an individual…”.

Back in the old days, when the world was real, and so were the economists, Adam Smith uttered some real, as opposed to virtual, truth: “What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.”

The two statements represented not just two different approaches to macroeconomics but two different worlds. George, along with his past, present and future Western colleagues, lives in Brittan’s world, while pretending to live in Smith’s.

His much-vaunted budget is being hailed by some, and damned by others, as an exemplar of austerity. So it is, except that in George’s virtual world ‘austerity’ is actually another word for ‘profligacy’.

Hence he took one look at the 2008 crisis and knew exactly what caused it: Labour Chancellor Gordon ‘The Moron’ Brown practised profligacy without ever referring to it as austerity.

That, according to George, was his fatal mistake, one that George vowed never to repeat. He too would practise profligacy, ideally on a larger scale than Brown but, unlike his hapless predecessor, he’d refer to it as austerity.

It has worked like a dream (in fact, it could only have worked like a dream, not actual reality). Under George’s austere tutelage, our national deficit stands at £70 billion, far outstripping Brown’s achievement and confidently moving towards the £100 billion mark.

Austerity George has also more than doubled the national debt, to an utterly suicidal £1.5 trillion, which is quite impressive even if lagging behind America’s $18 trillion-plus. At least Obama’s ministers don’t hold up this catastrophic statistic as proof of their fiscal responsibility.

To be fair, Austerity George doesn’t monopolise his virtual economics. He also lets banks play fast and loose with finances, lending trillions with the same reckless abandon as they did in the run-up to 2008.

As with any pyramid scheme, which is the dominant model of today’s economic activity, things look fabulous for a while. As the pyramid totters in the wind, borrowed and freshly printed banknotes fly out of it, settling on the ground.

This creates virtual prosperity that will persist until reality makes a comeback. The pyramid will then collapse – just as it did in 2008. Next time, however, when banks go to the wall, the government won’t be able to help: servicing the galloping debt will leave no money in the kitty.

Meanwhile George is clipping the coupons of his phoney prosperity, helped in this task by grossly inflated property prices. But for Russian, Arab and Chinese money-launderers parking their ill-gotten cash in British townhouses and mansions, George would find it harder to boast of the impressive performance of his austerity.

Yet there are protests all over the country, with Jeremy Corbyn’s candidature for the Labour leadership injecting some Trotskyist energy into his comrades’ indignation. ‘Down with austerity’ seems to be the battle cry, which is the negative to George’s positive.

However, the protesters also live in the virtual world, which is why they don’t bother to look at the figures. Figures have no place in virtual reality.

Brown was running the country into the ground, but he never mentioned austerity, which was fine with our loony fringe, rapidly gaining the status of the mainstream. George is running the country even deeper into the ground, but he calls it austerity, and those are fighting words.

If George were to state openly that Britain is heading for the knacker’s yard, but that’s fine because nothing in the world will stop him spending money on the [poor, needy, minorities, underdeveloped countries, free health and education, foreign adventures – take your pick], everyone would be happy.

As it is, the God of Party Politics speaks to George out of the burning economy, and his commandment is to talk austerity while doing profligacy.

All we can do is pray that the aforementioned pyramid doesn’t collapse before the next general election. Britain could survive another 2008, one hopes, but she won’t survive Corbyn at 10 Downing Street.

I wonder if George is secretly working on the Elect Jeremy campaign. Who knows, Prime Minister Corbyn might even keep him as Chancellor. Do as you’ve always done, George, he’d say. But for Trotsky’s sake don’t mention austerity.

  

 

Racism shoots to prominence in Virginia

The other day Vester Lee Flanagan, a former employee of the local TV station WDBJ, shot dead two of his ex-colleagues on air before killing himself later in the day.

The victims, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, were white, Flanagan was black, and that chromatic distinction apparently precipitated the incident.

In the aftermath, TV audiences have been treated to yet another chorus of demands to ban guns, for, had Flanagan been unable to get his hands on one, the two young journalists would still be with us.

Miss Parker’s bereaved father has vowed to devote his life to the anti-gun campaign. We should all sympathise and – if such is our faith – pray for him and his daughter’s soul.

That, however, doesn’t mean we should accept his views. Instead we ought to wonder to what campaign Mr Parker would be dedicating his life had his daughter been killed by a drunk driver.

Would he call for a ban on cars? Alcohol? Probably not. He’d just grieve and – if such is his faith – pray for his daughter’s soul.

Everything is these days politicised, an observation to which there are no exceptions. But there are degrees, and guns are more heavily politicised than cars or alcohol, especially in America.

Guns add a stream to the watershed dividing Right from Left. The Right tout the right to bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment. The Left argue that the 300 million privately owned firearms in America belong to a group too wide to be described as the ‘well-regulated militia’ mentioned in the Amendment.

Without going into the intrinsic value of either position, underneath it all lies the distaste the two groups feel for each other.

Both see the issue as the thin end of the wedge. The Right believes that the urge to ban guns springs from the creeping statism of the rainbow Left. The Left believes the urge to own guns springs from the creeping anarchism of the white Right, laced with the latent desire to turn firearms on blacks, women and LGBT activists.

Either way, Flanagan’s self-stated motives seem not to be taken into account seriously. Yet they point at a social malaise far more serious than any manifested by the debate on gun ownership.

That Flanagan was a mentally unbalanced man is beyond question. But his public statements, along with the testimony of his former colleagues, leave no doubt that the issue that unbalanced him was that of race.

As racism shoots up higher on the list of the secular deadly sins, its definition gets broader. Defined in the past as hatred of other races perceived as inferior to one’s own, it has gradually got to mean any recognition of racial differences – and eventually anything anyone wishes it to mean.

The concomitant passions have been getting ever more febrile, reaching the red-hot end at the slightest provocation or even in the absence thereof. Blacks in particular have been actively encouraged to see themselves as victims and seek restitution.

This sense of victimhood isn’t wholly without historical and psychological justification. After all, both founding documents of the American republic were largely produced by slave-owners, some of whom, such as Thomas Jefferson, had runaway slaves whipped to raw meat.

Blacks weren’t regarded as fully human, and genetic memory has a much longer half-life than the 150 years that have passed since that perception became unfashionable. The Irish, for example, still talk about Cromwell’s massacres as if they happened yesterday, whereas they predated the US Emancipation Declaration by 214 years.

Having said that, it’s ridiculous to base political action on conditions that no longer pertain. Yet those on the Left do just that, pretending to protect the baby of minorities while in fact seeking to throw out the bathwater of conservatism. Hence race has become another can of oil poured into the fire of political antagonism.

There’s no doubt that Flanagan was psychotic, but his psychosis was fanned by the poisoned air of political free-for-all, driven by the American Left who dominate most of the mainstream media.

Far be it from me to resort to the old mantra of it all being society’s fault, but ambient conditions do contribute to some psychoses staying dormant and some others splashing out in a red spray.

Flanagan’s psychosis would neither sleep nor even lie down. He branded his victims as racist for the flimsiest of reasons or none at all.

Hence he objected vehemently to the use of the phrase ‘reporter in the field’, for to him this evoked the cotton fields in which his ancestors toiled under the overseers’ bullwhips.

When Alison Parker mentioned ‘swinging by the office’, Flanagan took that as a veiled reference to his supposed semi-simian nature. A watermelon eaten in the office was to Flanagan a calculated insult – why, he even accused a convenience store of racism because it sold a watermelon-flavoured drink.

Would he have committed the murders if race antagonisms hadn’t been whipped up to a frenzy for political gain? Maybe. Maybe not. But either way, this, and not gun ownership, is the aspect of the tragedy that merits serious discussion.

Trust Jeremy Corbyn to protect women

People misjudge Jeremy. They see him as a dangerous madman combining Trotskyist views with support for Hamaz and Hezbollah.

Lefties fear, while Tories hope, that Jeremy will destroy the Labour Party if he ever gets to lead it. More farsighted people fear he’ll destroy Britain if he ever becomes prime minister.

They all fail to see Jeremy’s noble inner core, which only my X-ray moral vision can discern.

Jeremy, you see, is the last knight-errant driven by a chivalrous urge to protect our ladies, fair or otherwise. He’s a Don Quixote charging every sexist windmill to defend the honour of Dulcinea del Toboso, as collectively personified by British womenfolk.

It’s only with Cervantes’s help that his generous proposal to segregate our railways can be understood. Every train, suggests our gallant knight, must have women-only carriages, which is the only way to protect our Dulcineas from the sexual harassment they otherwise suffer.

Think of all those ladies in distress suffering a lifelong trauma when yet another ruffian ogles their mummeries and smirks “You don’t get many of those to a pound” or, if his au courant with the PC metric system, “…to a kilo”.

Imagine the anguish of a long-legged girl, mortally wounded by the question “Do they go all the way up to the neck?” Typologically such abuse is only different from rape in some insignificant details.

However, physical abuse is also prevalent, with many a womanly British bottom getting pinched or patted without permission. (A note to my American readers: when in England, don’t ever refer to that part of the anatomy as ‘fanny’. Here the word describes something relatively unlikely to be patted or pinched on public transport.)

Of course another solution would be to cover the jutting womanly attractions with a shapeless black garment that would also cover their faces. Jeremy’s ISIS friends would applaud the idea, but such a radical measure might whip up Islamophobia, which is rapidly replacing sexism as the eighth deadly sin.

Jeremy isn’t only out to protect women. That would be discriminatory and, unlike segregation, discrimination is yet another cardinal sin, Number 10 by the latest count.

My friend Jeremy would have none of that: “My intention,” he says, “would be to make public transport safe for everyone from the train platform to the bus stop…”

Everyone! All ye of little faith, wipe those supercilious Tory smiles off your faces. Not just women, but anyone belonging to any group likely to be abused on any public transport.

In due course we’ll have ‘blacks only’ carriages (or rather ‘Persons of Afro-Caribbean descent only’ ones), ‘cripples only’ carriages (or rather ‘physically or otherwise challenged persons only’ ones) and so forth.

Muslims and Asians, fat, short, ginger-haired and homosexual people – every minority group will have its own carriage, except the Jews. They won’t be allowed on trains at all for fear of upsetting Jeremy’s Hamaz and Hezbollah friends.

Of course buses, being smaller than trains, would be harder to segregate, but I’m sure Jeremy will think of a way.

For example he may propose that alternating is the only way of segregating. Each bus will be assigned exclusively to a potentially harassed group, identified on the front, where the destination is normally displayed. I can just hear people grumbling “You wait around for a woman-only for ages, and then three come together at once”.

If you want to find out about another brilliant idea Jeremy conceived, concentrate and think: what’s the greatest problem haunting Britain, the way the spectre of communism used to haunt Europe?

We’ve already identified some candidates, such as sexism, misogyny, racism in general and Islamophobia in particular, homophobia (not to be confused with haemophilia), discrimination in general and against Muslims in particular – but not against Jews, who, as Jeremy will tell you, deserve all they get.

What comes next? Income inequality, that’s what. Some people make more money than some others, but there comes Jeremy, riding in on his trusted Rocinante, charging yet another windmill with his lance.

We already have a minimum national wage, says Jeremy, which is good. Of course that means that some employers, who can’t afford to pay it, simply won’t hire, thereby increasing unemployment. But Jeremy doesn’t see that as a problem: unlimited social spending will provide more than the minimum wage for those left out.

But now he’s also proposing a maximum national wage, designed to punish greedy fat cats and, ideally, drive them out of Jeremy’s country. Of course they’ll take not only millions of pounds but also millions of jobs with them, but that’s where the unlimited social spending will kick in. Sorted.

Don’t know about you, but I’m warming up to Jeremy. His time has come because he’s a man for our time.     

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

Putin’s statistics and Russian suicides

For reasons that would take a book to explain, many Westerners have always been drawn to various types of Russian fascism.

The international Bolshevik variety attracted the left end of the political spectrum, those Lenin accurately called ‘useful idiots’. Yet not all of Lenin’s Western supporters were fools. Some were knaves.

G.B. Shaw was both, which he proved by summing up the prevailing Fabian sentiments in a 1931 Moscow speech:

“It is a real comfort to me, an old man, to be able to step into my grave with the knowledge that the civilisation of the world will be saved… It is here in Russia that I have actually been convinced that the new Communist system is capable of leading mankind out of its present crisis, and saving it from complete anarchy and ruin.”

Having failed to save civilisation, Russia has switched to national fascism, otherwise known as Putinism. That too is never short of Western fans, and the Internet is bursting with girlish gasps unbecomingly issued by men:

“Putin is popular with his people… 86% approval… looks after his own people… a real Christian…” well, you can look up those panegyrics yourself, along with the offerings by some impeccably conservative columnists.

Most of these people aren’t knaves, and some aren’t even fools. Yet they tropistically reach out for Putin’s brand of fascism, desperately hoping to find there the kind of virtues they don’t see in their own governments.

One can understand their frustration. What’s difficult to comprehend is the ease with which they abandon their principles and override their reason.

Surely, for example, they must realise that the much-vaunted 86% approval rating is meaningless, for two reasons.

First, in a country where the government controls the media, approval ratings testify not to the government’s support but to the efficacy of its propaganda. Thus Romania’s dictator Nicolae Ceausescu polled 97% – two days before he was shot out of hand to the accompaniment of wild public jubilation.

The second reason is less obvious, at least to non-Russians. The country’s population has retained the genetic memory of 60 million people murdered for opposing the regime or – in Lenin’s brilliant addition to jurisprudential thought – “capable of opposing” it.

This second category could conceivably include everybody, and everybody lived in terror. Now imagine their descendants receiving a phone call from a stranger who asks a pointed question: “Do you support Putin or not?”

Putin, as everyone knows, is a career officer in the KGB, the same organisation that massacred most of the 60 million. It’s now running the country and, though it’s less murderous at the moment, genetic memory plays up and most people say ‘yes’ just in case.

That’s not to deny that some genuinely support Putin. But then Russia is entitled to have her fair share of idiots too, along with people particularly susceptible to brainwashing – and believe me, Putin’s propaganda puts to shame anything I remember from my youth under Brezhnev.

There goes that bogus statistic, to be replaced by real ones. Such as the rapidly accelerating death rate, with a 5.2% rise in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2014.

The increase is mostly driven by those aged 35 to 40. About 70% of those deaths are caused by alcohol (and 40% of babies dying before age one are crushed to death by their drunken mothers), and happy people seldom drink themselves to death.

Nor do they usually kill themselves. Yet suicide is another important factor, with some parts of Siberia showing three times the rate defined as critical by the WHO.

Putin’s care for his people obviously doesn’t include cancer patients, most of whom are denied opiate analgesics and, unable to tolerate the agony, kill themselves en masse. Those free of malignancies go the same route out of sheer hopelessness.

I mentioned the other day that 23 million Russians live below the poverty line of about £100 a month.  Now it has been reported that the region of Kostroma (a city of almost 300,000 not far from Moscow) subsists on a average income of £187 a month – not nearly enough to eat regularly.

All this explains why Russian men’s life expectancy is a year lower than in Rwanda, although I don’t know how many Rwandans support their president Paul Kagame.

However, as Putin’s hacks boast, the Russians lead the world by a wide margin in spirituality. Hard to see what options those poor people have, although it’s noticeable that those who manage to get to the West instantly become as materialistic as everyone else.

Facts will never rid people of their superstitions, of which this irrational adoration of Putin is one. However, I can confidently predict that, when Putin is overthrown, no one in Russia, including the notorious 86%, will bat an eyelid – as no one did when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Heroic dissidents used to risk their lives unfurling anti-Soviet posters in Moscow squares – yet no one protested in 1991, when doing so was safe. Neither will they protest when Putin goes, and his Western fans will have to seek another figurehead as an object of their fascistic cravings.

My friend Junk should work on his timing

Junk is the nickname by which Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, is known to his friends, of whom I’m proud to be one. Junk has many fine qualities, prominent among which is his enviable ability to drink any Russian under the table.

Possibly because he shows off this talent too often, he sometimes speaks out of turn, saying things at a wrong time and producing a sound effect akin to that of two pieces of glass being scraped together.

For example, even if I were a huge fan of the Schengen Agreement (passport-free travel throughout 26 European countries), I wouldn’t choose this particular moment for singing its praises.

The Agreement is largely, though far from solely, responsible for the horrendous migrant crisis Europe is facing.

Swarms of Middle Easterners, some suffering from persecution, some only claiming to be, and some all too ready to persecute others, land somewhere on Europe’s Mediterranean coast.

If they claim refugee status, they’re only entitled to stay in the first safe country they reach – if it’s Italy, they’re in luck. If it’s Greece, less so. If it’s Bosnia, my heart bleeds for them.

However, whatever it is, there are always greener pastures elsewhere, specifically in England’s green and pleasant land, which must abandon any aspiration to build Jerusalem not to upset our Muslim friends.

Seeking such pastures would be difficult in the absence of valid visas prominently stamped on their passports. However, Schengen makes such migration a doddle – not only their visas but indeed their passports aren’t going to be checked all the way to Calais or other Channel ports.

I shan’t bore you with descriptions of the resulting chaos, threatening to destroy not only the European order so dear to Junk’s heart, but indeed any order tout court. Suffice it to say that what Europe is in the midst of is nothing short of a crisis, with a catastrophe a distinct possibility.

Then again there’s the minor issue of security, arising because some of our uninvited guests have the requisite training, experience and – more important – inclination to use offensive weapons indiscriminately. This was highlighted the other day on the Amsterdam-Paris high-speed train, where only heroic action by some passengers prevented yet another Muslim perpetrating yet another mass murder.

Much as we all admire free travel, I’d suggest that our present concrete situation shouldn’t encourage abstract pro-Schengen statements. Then again, as Junk has demonstrated on numerous occasions, he drinks more than I do.

He was clearly in his cups when he wrote this paragraph in Le Figaro yesterday: “What worries me is to hear politicians from Left to Right nourishing a populism that brings only anger and not solutions. Hate speech and rash statements that threaten one of our very greatest achievements – the Schengen area and the absence of internal borders: that is not Europe.”

If Schengen is one of our very greatest achievements, I wonder what one of our very greatest fiascos would look like. 

Also, I’d be tempted to analyse the unlikely unity of opinion at both ends of the political spectrum. I mean, those chaps disagree on just about everything else – so isn’t it possible that, if they’re all in agreement, it’s on merit?

Isn’t it also possible that taking an almost universal consensus into account reflects genuine concern rather than populism? And that the resulting anger is fully justified?

Still, as the founder, president and so far the only member of The Charles Martel Society for Multiculturalism, I agree with my friend Junk on one point. Anger alone doesn’t cut it – it’s positive solutions that we must seek.

So next time Junk and I go out for a few pints (of his favourite Martel Cordon Bleu), I’ll outline my proposals, with no anger or populism anywhere in sight:

1) The Schengen Agreement must be suspended until future notice, effective immediately.

2) All European countries will reclaim sovereignty over their own borders, introduce tight controls and admit or turn away anyone they choose.

3) We should select a Greek island we like least and use it as a vetting camp for refugees, generously compensating the Greek government for the inconvenience – and making acceptance of this arrangement a precondition for any further bailouts.

4) Should any immigrant be found in any country for which he has no visa, he must be summarily deported back to the camp.

5) The upkeep of the refugees must by financed by the oil-rich Middle Eastern countries that surely would welcome this opportunity to show Koran-prescribed generosity to their co-religionists.

6) The EU, so ably led by my friend Junk, must acknowledge that Britain is under no obligation to accept any foreigner who doesn’t land on her shores directly, bearing an appropriate visa, preferably not counterfeit.

I’ll have many other proposals as well, but I doubt Junk will stay lucid long enough to get his befuddled head around them. So I’ll stop here and ask myself how likely Junk will be to nod his enthusiastic support.

 

 

 

Yesterday marked a great anniversary of human folly

On 23 August, 1939, Joachim von Ribbentrop and his Soviet counterpart Vyacheslav Molotov signed an agreement known as the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

The two predators divided Europe between them, pushing the button for history’s bloodiest war. A week later the Nazis attacked Poland. In another 17 days the Soviets followed suit. A year later Nazi bombs began to rain on Britain, many of them made in the USSR.

All this is so well-known that it’s hardly worth another comment. What’s truly significant is that the Pact caught the West by surprise, proving yet again that civilised nations have no real understanding of fascism (Col. Putin, ring your office).

In fact, the Pact was the culmination of a long process that started even before the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and Nazi takeover in 1933. The Allies overlooked that development and ignored those who knew better.

One of them was the NKVD defector Walter Krivitsky. He told the Allies as early as in 1938 that a marriage between Hitler and Stalin was imminent. This invaluable intelligence was mocked and discarded, with Krivitsky eventually suicided by the Soviets in Washington. 

The cooperation between German and Russian extremists started in 1917, when the German General Staff used bacteriological warfare by transporting what Churchill accurately described as the ‘bacillus’ of Lenin’s gang into Russia.

The contagion worked – Lenin usurped power and promptly took Russia out of the war. Germany’s defeat in 1918 turned both countries into pariahs and they fell into each other’s embrace by signing the 1922 Rapallo Treaty.

Several years later the Soviets helped Germany cheat on the terms of the Versailles Treaty. They set up several training facilities for German officers in Russia, the most prominent of them being the Kama tank school at Kazan.

There Soviet and German tank commanders worked out the tactics of pincer manoeuvres at depth. In the summer of 1939 the Soviets were the first to use the trick to defeat Japan’s 6th Army in the battle of Khalkin Gol.

The Germans also put the tuition to good use, first in the West and then, on 22 June, 1941, against Russia herself. Such Kama graduates as Model, Thoma and – most illustriously – Guderian enveloped and destroyed whole Soviet army groups, with 4.5 million Soviet soldiers finding themselves in Nazi captivity by the end of 1941.

Many books have been written about the differences and similarities between the Bolsheviks and the Nazis. Yet most of them overlook the most important feature of fascism, clearly visible in both regimes.

This is understandable, for the authors tend to analyse the political ends pursued by fascists and the means of achieving such ends. Yet the essence of fascism isn’t political. It’s ontological.

Neither the Nazis nor the Soviets wanted to create a new political system or a new world order. They wanted to create the new man.

Both were teleological materialists with an occult dimension who accepted unequivocally the false notion of evolutionary progress. Both believed that state action could accelerate the evolution, directing it towards creating an Olympus of demigods.

Within that paragraph you can glean a definition of fascism that’s both broader and more precise than one based on politics. Both the Nazis and the Soviets realised this, which is why they stated that their explicit desiderata, German nationalism and Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat were not the destinations but the vehicles. Once the destinations were reached, the vehicles would be tossed away.

One way of accelerating what they perceived as natural evolution was to destroy large groups of people seen as slowing the process down. By far the most critical group was one that held the Judaeo-Christian view of man, a view that rejected social Darwinism.

Thus both regimes set out to wipe out Jews and Christians with equal gusto, if in a different order. The Nazis started with Jews, leaving the Christians for later; the Soviets reversed the sequence. Neither atrocity was an aim in itself; they were evolutionary tools.

Hence Hitler: “Creation is not finished. Man is clearly approaching a new phase of transformation… The entire creative force will be concentrated in the new breed… It will be infinitely greater than today’s man… Those who understand national-socialism as only a political movement do not know much…”

That was the end. Here’s the means: “I had to use the idea of a nation for temporary convenience, but I already knew that it could have only a transient significance… The day will come when not much will be left of the notion of nationalism, even in Germany. The Earth will witness the appearance of a global brotherhood of teachers and masters.”

In the same vein, Marx’s fascist ideas, later developed by his followers Lenin and Stalin, interpreted class war as a means of creating a classless society, where the very notion of class would be meaningless.

The Soviets and the Nazis, while realising their superficial political differences, were also aware of their deeper spiritual kinship.

That’s why Ribbentrop wasn’t dissembling when saying that he felt in the Kremlin as if he was among his Parteigenossen. And neither was Stalin insincere when proposing a loving toast to Hitler after the Pact was signed.

Western intelligence services never accepted the possibility of an alliance between Stalin and Hitler, an incompetence they have since shown consistently when assessing regimes different from their own.

More worryingly, Western thinkers failed to grasp the true nature of fascism and the two satanic regimes it begat. That’s why none of them predicted the likelihood of a Nazi-Soviet rapprochement, which bespoke a deficit of not only education but also of intellect.

And that’s why yesterday’s anniversary barely rated a comment in our press. Such insouciance shows that no lessons have been learned – and no measures will be taken to prevent calamities in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

Caliph Omar, say hello to Peter Hitchens

Lest I might be accused of Islamophobia and summarily imprisoned (shot?), I don’t reject out of hand everything of Muslim provenance.

For example, I like the Moorish splendour of southern Spain, Avicenna, Persian rugs, Averroës, Lebanese food and Hafiz. I’m also greatly inspired by Caliph Omar’s terse explanation of why the Library of Alexandria should be burned.

“If these books say the same as the Koran,” he’s alleged to have said, “they are redundant. And if they say something different, they are dangerous.”

The story may well be apocryphal, but that doesn’t matter. For I’ve found the aphorism useful as a way of explaining my attitude to opinion pieces in our press and the people who write them.

Take Peter Hitchens for example, and, to paraphrase the American comedian Henny Youngman, please take him.

Whenever Peter delivers himself of views on Russia, his Trotskyist past shines through his conservative present. Putin, according to Hitchens, is the strong leader he wishes we had.

However, his idol is part of a package. If we accept him as an ideal leader, we must also accept having nothing but government-controlled media, an economy dominated by organised crime, millions of people half-starving, murder as a routine way of dealing with political opponents, government officials keeping ill-gotten billions in foreign banks, frequent acts of aggression towards neighbours, fixed elections – the lot.

Hence I put my Omar’s hat on and describe Hitchens’s effluvia on this subject as dangerously idiotic or idiotically dangerous, if you’d rather. Out comes a box of matches (only figuratively speaking, as I hope you understand before calling the police).

Yet on most other subjects Hitchens makes perfect sense, which is to say he agrees with me. That is yet another cause for a figurative auto-da-fé cum bonfire: everything he says I’ve probably said many times before.

For example, in his today’s blog Hitchens vouchsafes the information that, according to the former minister Andrew Lansing, Cameron’s negotiations with the EU are nothing but a planned fix, “right down to a fake table-thumping row with the French to make the Prime Minister look like John Bull.”

‘I told you so’ are among the most despised words in the English language but, at the risk of causing your contempt, here’s what I wrote on this subject on 25 June, following Her Majesty’s speech:

“The Queen, God bless her, doesn’t speak her own mind in public. She speaks the PM’s mind, in this instance Dave’s.

“That’s why one can’t really blame her for joining the campaign portrayed by the government as an epic struggle between David (Cameron) and Goliath (the EU).

“Against overwhelming odds, David claims to be swinging his slingshot loaded with the stone of reforms. The composition of the stone remains unknown, but then it’s only a tool.

“Any tool is designed to do a certain job, and Dave’s courageous efforts are no exception. The job is to get the Yes vote in the upcoming referendum, thus shutting up all those Little Englanders attached to our centuries-old sovereignty.

“The EU fanatics play along by playing hard to get, only to make Dave’s eventual ‘victory’ so much more effective. Thus a youthful French minister explained to Dave the other day that there’s no such thing as ‘à la carte Europe’.

“The culinary idiom comes naturally to the French, and they tend to use it with precision. True enough, no compromise is possible to the founding aspiration of the EU: a single European state.

“However, tactical concessions aimed at pacifying some restless natives are possible, indeed inevitable. When the time comes, Dave will bang his head together with the federasts, and they’ll figure out the sufficient minimum of concessions needed to swing the referendum the right way.

“Whatever it is, one can be certain that the concessions will be both meaningful and irreversible. However, to paraphrase Dr Johnson, the meaningful ones won’t be irreversible, and the irreversible ones won’t be meaningful.”

I almost feel sorry for Peter Hitchens. He just can’t win with me: everything he says is either wrong or redundant.

Still, he’s lucky that the laws of the land and my own pacific disposition combine to make the Omar solution impossible. If Peter ever burns, it’ll be from shame for having talked such utter nonsense on Russia.

 

 

Germany demands

There’s something aggressively irritating about this phrase, isn’t there? Or is it just me?

Any demand issued by any country, even one without Germany’s track record, presupposes the possibility of enforcing compliance. That in turn implies a position of superiority, legal or otherwise.

Such a hierarchical relationship can’t possibly exist outside some kind of imperial setup, with the metropolis lording it over the colonies.

Hence, when newspaper headlines start with the words “Germany demands…”, and the countries on the receiving end belong to the EU, the inference has to be that Germany is the metropolis and the other 27 members are her dominions.

That may be the case de facto, but not yet de jure. Thus, for propriety’s sake, and also not to provoke a hostile reaction, German officials would be well-advised to refrain from butch demands and replace them with polite or, as need be, grovelling requests or pleas.

How much nicer it would be to see a headline saying “Germany begs Britain to take more migrants if at all possible”, rather than “Germany demands Britain urgently takes more migrants”, as it appeared in today’s Mail.

The more polite version would incidentally also be more grammatical, though it’s churlish to expect modern hacks even to know the word ‘subjunctive’, never mind use it properly.

Anyway, should Germany come pleading rather than demanding, one would be inclined to sympathise, if not necessarily comply. However, when Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere reminds Britain that “all EU countries must become more aware of their responsibilities”, one feels contrary. The word ‘must’ tends to have this effect.

That the Germans are getting hot under the collar is understandable. They are about to be inundated with 800,000 asylum applications, mostly from Muslims. If most of them are approved, as experience suggests they will be, the country’s social services, already bursting at the seams, may well implode.

Most approved applications will be followed by requests for family reunification. Add to this thousands of those who’ll get in without bothering about legal niceties, and Germany is looking at a massive growth to its already sizeable Muslim population of 4.3 million.

Faced with such a prospect, de Maiziere understandably ignores the fact that Britain isn’t one of the 26 parties to the Schengen agreement (one removing border checks and passport controls) and can therefore decline to accept any more migrants.

Yet treaties mean nothing when Germany demands. Britain MUST realise that the EU is the politically correct version of the German Reich – and act in a suitably servile manner. “Jawohl, Herr Minister!” would do nicely, not “we already have enough Muslims, thank you very much”.

As a useful illustration of how well the Schengen agreement works, a Moroccan immigrant yesterday embarked on a high-speed train going from Amsterdam to Paris. This being a Schengen area, his passport wasn’t checked.

More important, neither was his luggage that contained such essential travel items as an AK assault rifle, an automatic pistol, a knife and enough ammunition to murder all 554 passengers on board.

Just as the Muslim began firing he was heroically subdued by three US off-duty servicemen and a British expat. Another massacre prevented, many more to come – some conceivably with deadlier weapons than a Russian-made rifle.

There’s no point debating the advisability of having no border controls across a vast continent at peacetime, although one could think of a few valid arguments against.

The critical thing to understand, Herr de Maiziere, is that, watch my lips: WE. ARE. NOT. AT. PEACETIME. Verstehen Sie?

Criminally idiotic action by America and Britain has injected murderous energy into the Islamic world. This fanned up the hostility to the West that Islam has felt – and practised – ever since its birth 1,400 years ago.

Just like the 100 Years’ War didn’t involve 100 years of non-stop fighting, the war waged by Islam on the West has been intermittent, and outbursts of violence have alternated with periods of relative calm.

Largely by our own fault, Islam is currently going through a period of peak passion, spilling out all across the globe, especially in the Middle East and Europe. Since no one has yet repealed the law of self-preservation, we have the right to defend ourselves.

This involves applying wartime rules to all possible sources of danger, of which the burgeoning Muslim population of Europe is emphatically one. Once such a shift has been accepted as necessary, specific measures can be worked out by those with more expertise in this field than I possess.

Suffice it to say that the overall objective has to be not increasing but reducing the current, suicidally large presence of Muslims in Europe. That might involve, for starters, banning all Muslim immigration, curtailing the Muslims’ freedom of travel, suspending the peacetime limitations on surveillance – as I say, let the experts decide.

However, it would be naïve to expect anything like that ever to happen barring a nuclear explosion in a European city centre – perhaps not even then. Not as long as Germany demands and our own spivs obey.

 

Sex in Russia: bear facts

All of you, my readers, doubtless espouse and practise Judaeo-Christian morality, which condones only marital sex in the missionary position. Perhaps a special dispensation can be obtained for one or two more adventurous postures, but that’s it.

Hence, since all deviations are unequivocally off limits, it’s a safe assumption that none of you has ever tried or indeed desired rapture with a species other than Homo sapiens of the opposite sex.

However, the very fact that you are my readers proves beyond any doubt that you are blessed with fecund imagination. Thus it would be no hardship for you to picture another species with which you’d prefer to have sex if you had to.

If your imagination doesn’t stretch that far, as mine doesn’t, then you ought to know that, according to The Sexual Pathology medical journal I once read in a professional capacity, the most abused species in the UK are, in descending order, dogs, seagulls [sic!], cats, sheep and pigs.

These are very different creatures, but they all have one feature in common. Should they reject a man’s advances, they are unlikely to communicate their displeasure in a murderous way.

That means British seekers of perverse pleasure are not only unsporting and unfair, but also out-and-out wimps. Projecting this last characteristic onto their martial potential in case our armed forces require their services, one has to fear for the battle worthiness of the British army.

Now, if you still doubt which side will be the likely winner of the next world war, you should follow the relevant story in today’s papers, complete with an amateur video.

For the amorously enterprising Russians, in addition to targeting the usual defenceless species, also seek non-consensual gratification with animals who can say ‘no’ in an extremely emphatic way – namely bears.

The video shows one such animal barely (no pun intended) escaping rape by virile Russians in Siberia, who ran the bear over with their SUV. As the poor animal lay trapped under their wheels, the Russians instantly improvised the subsequent steps.

They would first have their jollies with the bear and then knife it to death. The articles don’t specify the animal’s sex, but I cordially hope it was female – I’d hate to find out that my former countrymen are perverts.

Unfortunately for them, the potential victim managed to get itself (herself?) free before that ambitious plan could be realised. It (she?) then proceeded to destroy the tyres of the attackers’ vehicle with its (her?) claws and teeth.

Had the pleasure-seekers not had by some miracle another vehicle handy, the (she-?) bear would have done similar damage to their bodies. As it was, they fled, adding a new twist to Shakespeare’s stage direction from Act III of The Winter’s Tale (“Exit, pursued by a bear”).

In due course they were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, with a few months in prison a distinct possibility. There they may expand their romantic horizons even further, this time on the receiving end.

I suppose a moral, or even moralising, conclusion is in order, but I can’t really think of one. Other than repeating the old up-country adage “Nowt as queer as folk” – especially if the folk happen to be Russian.