H.G. Wells, the man for our times

by George Charles Beresford, black and white glossy print, 1920

Emphatically titled How H.G. Wells Distorted The Idea of Liberalism!, a well-meaning article takes issue with Wells’s fawning on Stalin whom he interviewed in 1934.

In common with G.B. Shaw, Wells solved the problem of divided loyalties by loving both Bolshevism and Nazism. One has to acknowledge that, while his intellect was at best mediocre, Wells’s instincts were acute.

He obviously detected a common thread running through both infernal regimes, and did an Ariadne by following it faithfully. The thread was the violent muscularity of totalitarianism, and there’s something about it that has always attracted effete British intellectuals.

Parenthetically, this tendency perseveres, and it’s observable in today’s admirers of Putin’s bare torso with its developed musculature. A real he-man, old Vlad, and he practises the Gordian approach to life in an admirably robust manner – unlike our own wishy-washy politicos restrained by such petty annoyances as the law.

Wells admired Putin’s typological predecessors with fervent passion. On that particular occasion, he told Stalin: “I cannot yet appreciate what has been done in your country; I only arrived yesterday. But I have already seen the happy faces of healthy men and women and I know that something very considerable is being done here. The contrast with 1920 is astounding.”

How things have changed. Today’s hacks, Wells’s descendants, don’t need longer than a day to appreciate everything about a country they know nothing about. But happy faces still act as unerring indicators: see a few of those on, say, a Moscow bus, and Boris is your uncle. The hack instantly knows that Putin is beyond reproach.

Considering that in 1934 just about every Russian had someone in the family arrested or shot, expected to go that way himself any day and starved in the meantime, the Soviets must have found it hard to make sure the visitor saw happy faces. But they were good at that sort of thing.

As to the astounding contrast with 1920, it didn’t prevent Wells from loving Lenin as much then as he loved Stalin in 1934. In his book Russia in the Shadows, he described the syphilitic ghoul as “the dreamer in the Kremlin”. The dreams were rather nightmarish, for Lenin was murdering on average two million victims a year, twice Stalin’s rate at the time of so many happy faces.

Lenin loved Wells back, sufficiently so to add him to a large group of western intellectuals assigned OGPU whores as either mistresses or wives. Wells’s spying paramour was Moura Budberg, Nick Clegg’s ancestor of whom he’s self-admittedly proud.

In due course, Wells developed a similar affection for Mussolini and Hitler, to a point where he urged Oxford students to be “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis”. The author of the article is suitably indignant about that, as he is about Wells’s Bolshevik sympathies. And well he should be.

However, at that point our paths begin to diverge. “Wells,” says the author, “distorted the meaning of liberalism and enlightenment by linking these concepts with fascism and Nazism.” The author’s mind isn’t a match for Wells’s instincts when it comes to following Ariadne’s thread.

He’s too attached to the accepted political taxonomy to see that, different as various modern regimes may be, they all overlap on a vast common element. Rather than distorting the meaning of ‘enlightenment’, they all came out of it the way Eve came out of Adam’s rib.

The misnomer ‘Enlightenment’ is applied to the West’s suicidal effort to destroy the metaphysical underpinnings of our civilisation. The prevailing feeling was that replacing transcendence with transience would open up shining paths leading to paradise on earth. But instead of eudemonic paradise we got demonic hell.

Missing the commonality of all modern regimes, whatever they call themselves, is an easy mistake to make. After all, they’ve been at daggers drawn since the world became ‘enlightened’.

Fascists and Nazis fought communists, communists fought liberals, liberals fought socialists and socialists fought Marxists. But then none so hostile as divergent exponents of the same creed.

All modern regimes worship at the altar of the omnipotent central state growing ad infinitum, eventually beyond national borders. Wells, for example, was a champion of a single world government, as were the communists and Nazis, and are today’s federasts.

Hence, much as these regimes may detest one another, they can always find a common ground. For example, the Second World War was started by Nazi-Soviet-fascist allies who at the time found it easy to reconcile their differences.

However, no modern political contrivance can be reconciled with the traditional, organic state of Western polity. That point was made abundantly clear by the First World War, when modernity joined forces to obliterate the last political vestiges of Christendom.

Wells perceived all that viscerally. And even rationally the fundamental differences among the dominant contemporaneous regimes were slight. For example, put Stalin’s Five-Year Plan, Roosevelt’s New Deal and Hitler’s Four-Year Plan side by side, and you won’t find many differences in their economics.

Totalitarian regimes differ from ‘liberal democracies’ only in methods, not in the underlying imperatives. The former murder millions, the latter don’t, at least not directly. That makes a practical difference to people who live in those countries, and it’s important. But we risk falling into an intellectual abyss if we ignore how much all modern states have in common.

Wells didn’t distort anything. He kept his nose to the wind and caught a whiff of modernity.

Get a PhD in sexual consent

RapeOxford and Cambridge now put on compulsory consent classes designed to combat ‘the rape culture’. It’s good to see that traditional Western culture isn’t the only one these venerable universities now teach how to combat.

Both institutions explain the urgent need for such education with the elegance and verve one has grown to expect from our elite universities.

Thus Oxford: the classes promote “a decision-making framework which equips men to deal with complex gender situations and become agents of positive change within their universities, sports teams, social circles and broader communities.”

Cambridge won’t be outdone: “The purpose is to bust myths about sexual violence, encouraging students to openly discuss sexual consent, signpost them to relevant organisations and individuals and to reinforce the importance of bodily autonomy.” As discrete from anatomy, take note.

All that remains is for sexual consent to gain a full academic status, complete with advanced degrees awarded upon completion.

Being shamefully ignorant of the current curriculum, I can only guess what it might be. However, on the basis of my vast experience in both consent and especially the lack thereof, I may be able to offer a few pointers on the possible areas to explore. For example:

“You’re nicked, sunshine” isn’t what you want to hear after a night of love.

No means no; it certainly doesn’t mean yes please.

No may sometimes not mean no, but Help!!! always does.

Yes doesn’t mean yes either, unless accompanied by a signed and duly certified release form.

“Okay, I’ll do it but please don’t kill me” may sound like consent, but actually isn’t.

The double Nelson isn’t an acceptable sexual variant.

Neither is cold-cock.

Strangulation holds belong in martial, not amorous, arts.

So do strikes with elbows, open palms and fists.

“Please, not on the face” refers to punches only, and what did you think?

Assume that a girl who threatens to call the cops isn’t just playing hard to get.

“I’ll cut you up, bitch,” isn’t a recommended chat-up line.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell passionate gasps from cries for help, but you must learn how to do so.

If it’s necessary to gag a girl, assume that no consent has been given.

A girl who continues to weep throughout the act may or may not have consented – learn how to tell the difference.

If you need a classmate to hold the girl down, assume she probably hasn’t consented.

If it takes more than one classmate, she definitely hasn’t.

If a girl is above the drink-driving limit (80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine), nothing she says or does must be construed as consent.

Always have a breathalyser and a urinalysis kit within reach when planning to indulge in sexual activity.

Since all men are potential rapists and all women are potential victims, make sure you don’t turn potentiality into reality.

Rape is anything the woman says it is.

Since sex even in a loving relationship is crypto-rape, the burden of proof that it isn’t is on you.

Questioning the validity of this academic discipline ipso facto brands you as a rapist, making you liable to criminal prosecution.

Please note that these rubrics are only brief outlines of the possible areas of scholarly inquiry, not their exhaustive summation. Each rubric opens up new horizons for which any inquisitive mind must reach to equip itself for survival in the intellectual and sensual rough-and-tumble of life – and also to avoid doing hard time in the company of other rapists.

The academic discipline of consent closely interacts with adjacent subjects, such as political science. The overlap is almost complete, since in politics ‘consent of the governed’ increasingly gets to mean ‘consent of the screwed’.

I presumptuously took it upon myself to offer suggestions on possible areas to explore. However, in writing this I’ve realised how far I myself still have to go to fulfil the Oxbridge academic requirements.

One wonders if they’ll let me enrol in consent classes as a mature student. It’s never too late to learn.












Modern measurement unit: one Auschwitz

AuschwitzMany young people these days sport Soviet lapel pins, medals and other insignia. Miniature portraits of Lenin and Stalin, red flags, hammer and sickle are seen as cool, a symbol of anti-establishment resentment.

However, one can’t help feeling that the same youngsters would be aghast if someone suggested they replaced Stalin or Lenin with Hitler, or the hammer and sickle with the swastika.

This would be considered dangerous extremism and possibly reported to the police. Unlike Lenin and Stalin, Hitler isn’t cool.

Even some grown-ups writing for our papers see no problem extolling the virtue of Lenin’s and Stalin’s descendants – they quite like Putin’s KGB government, proud of its CV. Intuitive revulsion so many feel about the Nazis just doesn’t extend to the Soviets, at least not to the same extent.

Those chaps could do worse than read this article by the Russian historian Dmitry Khmelnitsky:

“Sixty kilometres from Krakow lies Europe’s most sickening place: the death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. There the Nazis murdered a million and half people in two years.

“This concentration camp, specially created in Poland for secret, industrialised extermination, has become a symbol – practically the only one – of everything inhumane that happened in the twentieth century. True, Europe produced nothing more appalling. But the USSR did.

“Some 7-8 years before Soviet soldiers liberated Auschwitz, the NKVD conducted within the Soviet Union a series of special operations later called the Great Terror. It began on 30 July, 1937, when the NKVD issued Order 00447. The Order established the numerical quotas for both “first and second categories” (death penalty or concentration camp) for each region. Also specified were the make-ups of the troikas authorised to pass verdicts (prosecutor, local party secretary, NKVD head).

“Over 15 months, from August, 1937, to November, 1938, about two million people were arrested and convicted. Of those, 750,000 were summarily shot. About 2,000 were being shot in Moscow every day – an Auschwitz-like scale. The ‘output quotas’ presupposed Auschwitz-like planning and organisation, as did the working methods. In 1937 most corpses were cremated in the Donskoy Monastery. When the crematorium couldn’t cope, the remains were buried in special areas.

“In 1931, 14 years before the liberation of Auschwitz, the Soviets organised a mass famine in the countryside. It’s not that they sought to kill as many people as possible; the aim was different. At the time they were purchasing huge volumes of foreign equipment for the industrial and military installations being built within the First Five-Year Plan. And sales of cereals and timber were the only source of foreign currency. That’s why all food was being confiscated from the villages in 1931-1934.

“We don’t know the exact numbers of those killed by the Golodomor. These vary from a minimum of 3-4 million to a maximum of 8-9 million human beings starved to death. From two to six Auschwitzes.

“But in fact the state extermination industry was in full swing even earlier, when the Five-Year Plan was adopted and the new construction sites were short of labour. It was out of the question that anyone would move there from villages voluntarily. That’s why industrialisation plans included mass incarceration as an essential component. Nationwide forced labour was a must.

“Between 1929 and the mid-50s, about 15 million were sent to the GULAG on trumped-up political charges. There were also deliberately cannibalistic charges of “pilfering socialist property”, when people were punished for picking up a few ears of wheat in a field or a spool of thread at a factory (10 years to death). Many were also imprisoned for tardiness and absenteeism. In total we’re talking about another 20 million.

“The USSR didn’t have death camps as such. The objectives were purely pragmatic: to squeeze every ounce of strength out of a man in the shortest possible time. In its industrial-scale organisation the Soviet punitive system resembled the Nazi one. In scale, it was far ahead.

“During the toughest period, in the early 1940s, the average annual mortality in the camps reached 24 per cent. It’s hard to count all those who died in the GULAG then, but one and a half to two Auschwitzes is a realistic assessment.

“In addition, there were many other victims, those caught in the deportations carried out between 1930 and 1952. That’s another six million. These were kulaks, ‘class aliens’ and victims of ethnic purges. Ten nations were deported in their entirety, many others partially. Sometimes, in winter, a whole trainload of prisoners were unloaded in the steppe, where they all froze to death within two days (as happened to Russian Germans in Kazakhstan).

“Sometimes, when deportation couldn’t be completed on time, the entire populations of villages (for example, in Balkaria) were shot or burned alive. Again, no precise figures are known, but that’s approximately another Auschwitz.

“The Red Army liberated Auschwitz but didn’t let it go to waste. Few people know that Nazi camps, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen among them, stayed in service for another five years as ‘special camps’. They were then rolled into the GULAG and shut down. But their equipment wasn’t lost: the new owners used it in their home-based camps. Documents show that transported to the USSR were modular barracks, kitchen, laundry and medical equipment – along with certain “production mechanisms”. The documents don’t say what is hidden behind this sinister term.”

The article is complete with facsimiles of the cited documents, which I can’t reproduce here. The author also doesn’t mention the millions murdered before 1929. But the point still comes across, wouldn’t you say?






Is the Repeal Bill so Great?

TheresaMayOn the face of it, anyone who likes our constitution and dislikes the EU should jump up and salute.

Theresa May is about to unveil her ‘Great Repeal Bill’. If enacted, it will overturn the 1972 European Communities Act, which paved the way for Britain to join the EU.

How a British PM, especially a Conservative one, could sign that treasonous document in the first place is beyond me. The Communities Act destroyed Her Majesty’s sovereignty through Parliament by stating that European laws took precedence over our own.

I suppose Edward Heath had too many distractions, of the Grosvenor House variety, to ponder the ramifications. The salient one was that, when he signed the Act, Britain effectively stopped being a sovereign nation.

The Act must be repealed. It’s the first step towards Brexit, to which Mrs May’s government seems to be committed. However, we must make sure we don’t put a foot wrong, and I’m not sure Mrs May is all that sure-footed.

Her announcement is tainted with reassurances that the Repeal Act will function thermodynamically. EU laws won’t disappear. They’ll merely become British laws.

Granted, Parliament will regain the authority eventually to ditch whichever laws it doesn’t like. Yet each such step will be put to a vote, and the government only holds a slender majority of 12.

As a matter of fact, the whole Repeal Act will require parliamentary approval in both Houses, which is far from guaranteed, especially in the Lords. What will happen in the event of a nay vote? Or a filibuster in the Lords?

The government is aware of such possibilities, which is why both Mrs May and Brexit Minister David Davis make a point of stressing that EU laws concerning ‘employment rights’ will remain in place, if under new management. This is clearly designed as a sop both to the opposition and Brussels.

Mercifully, our ‘employment rights’ aren’t as subversive as those in, say, France. That makes our labour market more flexible and therefore sexier in the eyes of foreign investors.

Hence it’s a bad idea to issue blank promises, especially if they’re accompanied by Mrs May’s plan to have workers represented on every corporate board. If she wants to hear horror stories of what that policy does on the continent, I’ll be happy to get her in touch with the French businessmen among my friends.

That the government is preoccupied with such niceties suggests not so much its preference for ‘soft’ Brexit as its commitment to soft principles. For neither Labour nor the EU needs to be mollycoddled.

Labour resistance can be downgraded overnight by calling a snap election, something Mrs May is reluctant to do for dubious reasons. The assumption seems to be that the Tories will get their landslide in 2020 anyway, so there’s no need to be distracted by elections.

I’m not going to say that this assumption is false, but it’s definitely optimistic. If the political picture remains the same four years from now, then yes, the Tories will increase their majority. But political pictures are a kaleidoscope, not crusted pigment on canvas.

Since our economy is fundamentally as unsound as that of the richer EU members, it’s not only possible but likely that before 2020 we’ll have some downturn, not to say crisis. That will create dissent within the Tory party, making a Labour victory possible. Brexit, rather than decades of promiscuous tax-and-spend, will be held up as the scapegoat to be slaughtered.

Considering the current disarray within Labour, a snap election now would deliver a majority of 50 at least, enabling the government to breathe more easily. In the face of such a Commons majority, the Lords would be hard-pressed to sabotage Brexit.

As to the EU, it’s like any other bully. Anyone who grew up in a bad part of town will know that meek compliance only emboldens thugs. If you want them to back off, a punch on the nose works much better.

As it is, some EU members, mostly but not exclusively from the low-rent part, are threatening to torpedo any Brexit deal they don’t like. The EU Charter, requiring approval by a “qualified majority” puts them in a position to do so.

In pushing Brexit through, the last thing we should be is soft-talking supplicants. If that’s what we are, Brexit will be tied up in knots for years, which may well mean for ever.

Mrs May must act hard-boiled, not half-baked. We shouldn’t ask but tell, and do so in no uncertain terms. And we should stop resorting to weak-kneed copouts of comparing ‘soft’ to ‘hard’ Brexit.

The choice isn’t between hard and soft. It’s between hard and none. Procrastinate long enough, and the grass into which Brexit will have been kicked will grow too tall to wade through.

Yes, taking an intransigent stance may make us suffer economically, as Christopher Booker pontificates with his customary know-all smugness. But should we put a price tag on our sovereignty?

I don’t know how many Battle of Britain pilots are still with us, but we should ask their views. When taking off in their Spitfires, did they contemplate the economic downside of freedom?

Did Flight 17 die to save Ukraine?

bukThe Dutch report is unequivocal: on 17 July, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was criminally shot down by Putin’s KGB junta.

The day before, the 9M38 BUK missile that killed 283 passengers and 15 crew had been moved from Russia into Pervomaisky, the village controlled by ‘Ukrainian separatists’ (the Putinesque for Russian paramilitaries). After the missile was fired, the launcher went back into Russia.

The investigators interviewed 200 witnesses, analysed 150,000 intercepted phone calls and gathered 500,000 photos and videos to reach their verdict: there’s no doubt, reasonable or otherwise, that the responsibility for the crime rests with the Russians.

Now, anyone aware of how such decisions are made in Russia will know that the missile wouldn’t have been launched without Putin’s explicit order. The Russians can lie all they want, and they’ve been doing that for two years, but whodunit is no longer the question.

Even Putin’s press secretary Peskov inadvertently let it slip that the findings “may be true”. By KGB standards, that’s a resounding mea culpa.

But one critical question still hasn’t been answered, nor even asked: Why? Actually, it isn’t one such question but several.

Why did the KGB junta openly brand itself as evil? Why did its leaders risk prosecution at the Hague tribunal? Why did they use the BUK modification that only the Russian army has? Why did they fire from their controlled terrain?

Here we enter the area of conjecture, but it isn’t very difficult, given the facts and general understanding of how the KGB works. They may not always do things for a good reason, but they always try.

What did they have to gain by shooting down an airliner full of Dutchmen? If they wanted to blame it on the Ukraine, why didn’t they use the older BUK modification the Ukrainians have and fire from some terrain nominally under Ukrainian control?

A mistake must have been made. The Russians clearly wanted to bring down some airplane, for otherwise they wouldn’t have gone to all that trouble. But Flight 17 wasn’t their intended target.

What was? There were no Ukrainian warplanes in the area and, even if there had been, the Russians wouldn’t have needed that charade to fire at them. They had been doing that for weeks, openly and without using BUKs.

The solution to this puzzle is simple for people who understand the evil ways of totalitarian regimes, those serving as Col. Putin’s role models. A bit of history is in order.

On 31 August, 1939, the SS launched a false flag raid on a Gleiwitz radio station in Silesia. They shot up the premises and left behind some corpses dressed in Polish uniforms. This was used as a pretext for invading Poland the next day.

The Nazis’ Soviet allies were suitably inspired. Following their criminal pact with Hitler, the Soviets occupied eastern Poland, the Baltic republics, Bessarabia and, while at it, even Bukovina, which went beyond the terms of the Nazi-Soviet pact.

Then came Finland’s turn, and there the Soviets knew they’d run into some resistance. And, unlike their other victims, Finland was likely to have allies possibly and sympathisers definitely. Sweden could be expected to be displeased, and even Britain was making threatening noises.

Hence, just like the Nazis in Poland, the Soviets were desperate for a casus belli against Finland. Mercifully, the Nazi patent was in the public domain.

On 26 November, 1939, the Red Army shelled its own post at Mainila, on the Finnish border. The Soviets declared that the fire had come from Finland and therefore they were victims of a heinous aggression. That defied not only logic but also physics. It was easy to establish that the shells had come from the south, not north: shell fragments disperse in the direction of the trajectory vector.

In March, April, 1940, the Soviets executed 20,000 Polish officers and high-ranking officials at Katyn and elsewhere. Again false flag methods were used: the murderers used German-made Walther handguns. When the corpses were dug up, the Soviets blamed the massacre on the Germans and persisted in that lie for the next 50 years.

Another false flag operation brought Putin to power in 2000. The FSB/KGB blew up several blocks of flats in Russia and blamed the crime on the Chechens. That kicked off the second Chechen war and adumbrated the entry of the strong leader so admired by Messrs Trump, Hitchens, Booker et al.

This circuitous route brings us back to Flight 17, which clearly wasn’t the intended BUK target. Another plane was.

Indeed there was such a plane overflying the area, a Russian airliner with a profile similar to that of the MA’s Boeing 777. It must have been the real target, in a false flag operation similar to those I’ve outlined.

Had the op succeeded, Putin would have had his casus belli for invading the Ukraine without having to resort to the subterfuge of ‘separatists’. And, since the downed airliner would have been Russian, it would have been Russian investigators on the scene.

While Putin’s tanks rolled towards Kiev, the ‘investigators’ would have hastily concluded that Russia had no choice: Ukrainian ‘fascists’ had to pay for their crime. As it was, the tanks didn’t roll: Putin got cold feet imagining the ensuing global outrage.

Watching him squirm in the Hague dock would be a pleasing sight to all decent people, which category obviously doesn’t include the new UKIP leader Diane James, who describes the KGB colonel as one of her “political heroes”.

Don’t count on my vote, Madam.