On the State of Political Rage, Part 15: #Resisttherage

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Ironically, as those who know me might note, here I am using a hashtag thing in my post title–ME, one of the remaining family/friends/colleagues who does not participate in social media, lol, outside of old-fashioned e-mail and one essay of encouragement on LinkedIn.

I don’t even know where one would start a “hashtag movement,” actually (if that’s the correct term for such modern calls to awareness and/or action on social media).

But of course there are myriad reasons many people (including me) don’t jump on the social media bandwagon, as useful and as helpful as that media is for many purposes*.

That said, when tags, whatever their nature, become triggers to act, I’ll do what I can.

If putting a # on top of my message today might cause a few people to read the text and/or view the videos, below, count me in, and hopefully readers and viewers will find something useful in my contribution to the discussion around the state of political rage (as in: getting worse by the day).

It’s that “light one candle” instead of cursing the darkness motivation using what “voice” I have, however limited, here.

So, specifically, then, why #Resisttherage?

If you have read any of my posts on the degraded and degrading state of political “discourse” these days (here are a bunch) you may have noted I have touched on how fast things have been doing just that–even over the short amount of time I have been covering this topic in my posts.

What started with some old-fashioned arguing and debating with the usual amount of push-back from each side of the subject has fast become “potty mouth politics,” you might put it.

The “cause” has crumbled down to celebrities and common people alike spewing “f— (insert name of hated politician, here) after every other word, or just in a repeated series of “f— you’s” that, apparently, express their entire theses.

Regarding one celebrity who is particularly fond of the F word, and who recently took advantage of several bully pulpits including an award ceremony and during a college graduation “speech” to engage in his fave dirty word, most of us, not too long ago, would have at least held our applause and hooting at bay, understanding that when political discourse devolves to this level, there’s not much left to scrape off the bottom of the barrel.

Most people would have turned off the television or live stream at that point, in disgust. We would have chalked the celeb’s behavior up to immaturity, at best; at worst, to his possible drug flavor of the day fueled by unfettered rage.

However, not so, it would seem, now.

Now, sustained applause for his behavior, and that of other like-minded profanity spewers, erupts amid robust hoots and hollers. Such vulgarity even inspires standing ovations at times.

(Side observation: listening to such talk, and variations thereof, you’d think you were back at summer camp in middle school when the counselors were out of ear-shot and the speaker and his little friends were responding to the youthful urge to say “dirty words” and tell “dirty jokes” for [forbidden] fun, shock value, and “educational” purposes…)

Not only that, the next potty-mouthed (adult) pundit, in his or her own venue, seems to become emboldened and even more fervent with this newfound acceptance of vulgar vitriol–and here is where, in an effort to compete for the lowest common denominator of trash talk against politicians or whole groups of people (and perhaps get the most attention, too, amid flagging careers?)–the fun soon changes to danger as f-bombs turn to other kinds of bombs–real ordnance as well–as we saw in the gunning down of several GOP baseball players last year.

(MID-POST UPDATE: this just in–to illustrate the downward trajectory of the “political conversation” these days, not only are the words “F you” [ “F” for short] acceptable in the national discourse, some, apparently lacking any vocabulary whatsoever with which to hold forth, are taking to simply the use of the middle finger salute. Teaming up, even, for smiling selfies.)

Words (and certain crude actions) DO mean things, particularly when there seems to be no more restraint.

Words inspire, yes, and teach, and persuade. But they also incite hate which, if unchecked, quickly becomes rage (see my thoughts on this in the previous post, as well as here, here, and words with optics to emphasize them, here ) which, also if unchecked, kill, or attempt to. Literally.

Here is an article about last year’s assassination attempt  referenced above that may have been inspired by one of the hashtag movements that I won’t advertise here by spelling them out, but movements that encourage “political activism” such as killing colored people (color: White), killing people who protect our communities (and wear blue uniforms), and/or killing any/all politicians who belong to a certain political party (GOP) one has come to hate (which perhaps influenced the shooter in the ball field). And now, some also desire to kill all who even voted for people the hashtaggers hate.

Just in the last week, the darkening state of rage “inspired” another social media user to “tweet” out the most vile, misogynist, sexist, murderous words imaginable against a female government appointee.

Another tweet called for terrorizing the children of the hated political group by protesting and harassing them outside their schools.

Another called for terrorizing the four year-old child of a hated politician’s family member…ironically, over the tweeter’s opinion that the politician is somehow terrorizing–children…

It goes on….

So see what I mean?

About evil begetting only more evil?

And how it starts with words?

So, I wondered at first, like everybody else, how did this happen so fast?

How did the first “words” against one’s political opposition become so rage-filled and rage-inciting, so fast?

I mean, evil has always only gotten worse if not checked by civilized people, right?

Consider…

How (Enraging) Words Kill in the Era of Fast-Paced (and Slide-by) “News”

One reason–but a huge one–is the fast-paced nature of social media, and people who don’t think about how social media platforms, for all their good uses, can be used–even weaponized–by their inventors and owners to begin the movement to destroy their (the owners’) own adversaries.

How?

In the (real) news, of late, such means of weaponizing social media includes suppressing opposing viewpoints by, for example, de-monitizing the video and other social media accounts of those who do not share the same political opinions of media owners. It happens by “shadow banning” certain postings by users not deemed PC, or “politically acceptable,” and it happens by out-and-out censoring the news by censoring certain topics, organizations and people, and so on.

Not to mention exporting some of what is known as fake news, aka pseudo news, (need I elaborate?).

Not to mention that now that the attention span of the average person is, some argue, less than the attention span of a gold-fish (i.e., less than 9 seconds), users are encouraged, you might say, to interact and respond in as few “characters” as possible so that more people are likely to read or view the shorter message.

Of course, this helps the media giants make a lot of money but it also facilitates whatever social and/or political engineering they might wish to facilitate.

As to how, then, quick sound and video bytes facilitate politics and gin up rage, for my focus in this post–but a very critical focus–this helps innumerable ways, considering how critical thinking takes time, discipline, and effort to tap into reason and properly vetted analyses.

Not to mention how MUCH truncated “news and information” can pass by the brain in a few seconds and, as one learns in Propaganda 101, repetition can, over time, cause one to even believe flat-out lies–even big lies–IF they are repeated often enough.

Also, of course, by incorporating repeated lies into any useful (fake or real) news this gives the lies (false) legitimacy, at least to those who are conditioned to accept such repetition as reality or who don’t know any different. It’s just one way propaganda works.

But mostly, social media works the political plan mainly by keeping minds from the news (again, real or fake) that requires time and vetting so it is far easier to lead the unsuspecting by the nose (or the click bait) down a path they may not want really want to go, if they understood how this psychological operation works…

See how easy it can be to speed up the progression (de-gression) from angst to anger to rage to murder?

Oh, and one more “power”.

In an era when the far-left uses the chaos-inducing technique of setting many fires at once (and it’s sooooooooooo easy to do with slide-by’s) to not only deflect debate but also to wear down the opposition** (I mean, think of how quickly the powers-that-be switch from crisis to crisis) it happens even faster.

ENCOURAGEMENT and Antidotes!

Everybody seems to be getting increasingly frustrated and uneasy as the “enemy,” as one perceives them, seems only to get away with an increasing number of lies, crimes (and misdemeanors)  at such an alarming rate, these days, it makes one want to just hole up in a corner with his/her figurative blanky, turn everything off, and go to sleep.

But of course, civilization needs to go on–for as long as possible–by the hard and laborious efforts of speaking truth to power, protesting in (still) legal ways, and pulling together every bit of maturity and patience and good will one possibly can from what’s left of calm and reason–and courage, in some cases (think of the dangers of being a whistle-blower these days)–in order to move forward.

But here is some encouragement regarding how to maintain mental, emotional, and spiritual stability in the midst of this mess:

  • To repeat my encouragement in the previous post, first and foremost: DO NOT ENGAGE WITH RAGE. Rage is powerful. It pulls you in. It exhausts you. It can even make you ill, if not dealt with. And people who are–or are becoming–more mired in rage often refuse to listen to opposing or even encouraging or informative views. Think about it: what kind of discussion can proceed when the rager will only initiate–and respond to–anything by spewing a series of “F you’s!”? Or by name-calling, the viler the better? Obviously, no reasonable discussion can ensue. The rage remains, as well as one’s frustration over the lack of honest communication which might lead back to civilization.
  • I also covered previously how being caught up, or remaining, in rage truncates critical thinking, and critical thinking is where we can access the ways and means to not only overcome the onslaught of rage but also keep our thought-stopping emotions in check. I often tell students that it is essential to keep oneself from the mind- and emotion-control techniques of both the far right and the far left so that we can remain in the middle, where there is more mental and emotional power to deal with greater clarity and control. If we lose clarity and control, we’ve lost it all, as in our freedoms (think martial law, also covered previously), and control is what all political extremists want. And extremists will use any rage-filled (largely unaware) pawns, potent sound byes, and/or emotion-grabbing optics they can, to get control.***
  • Get together with like-minded individuals as often as possible to encourage each other to stay calm, research, think critically, and pray. This political milieu might actually be more than just politics as usual; it may well be an existential threat like none other this nation, indeed the world, has experienced. For it is not just the power of the pen or a good orator a work, here, but the power of instant, global exposure at lightening speed by technology people assume is a-political, that can light not just a few local fires of agitation and violence, but innumerable fires that can explode at once. That’s a lot of rage over a lot of territory. I am reminded, here, as a metaphor, of fire storms, conflagrations either natural or man-made, that reach such intensity they sustain their own wind system, thus, take on a far-more potent destructive power of their own.
  • And also as noted in the previous post, remain in the love of the Lord toward all. This does not mean do not legally protest, vote, speak up in whatever venue that is yours (if just to vote and encourage each other). It all counts. And remember Jesus did also say that when it comes to Him, as it often does when good and evil clash, there would also be great resistance, hatred even. Believers can expect no less, even as we proceed, in that love, as best we can.
  • As the clash gets closer to the primordial Master of Evil, our real enemy, versus God, we can take hope in prophecy; God’s pattern of deliverance “in the fullness of time.” And we also have spiritual “protections”  when the rage hits the fan, as it inevitably–and prophetically–will. Here are a few more ways we can “survive” these treacherous times.
  • And keep in mind that, regarding the superiority of truth to surface and justice to reign, no matter how long it takes and how frustrating: if evil, as brilliant as it is, were to be more powerful, this planet would have imploded eons ago. 

Take heart. You have a lot more power than you think you have–and look around, you do have a venue, however small it may seem, to influence others, or even just one other. Perhaps you, as opposed to me, are even adept with social media?

Most importantly, however, remain calm and stay well so that you, too, can #Resisttherage and move forward.

~~~~~

*I guess this CNN “60 Minutes” feature I have linked in previous posts regarding the (intended) addictive nature of social media would include the primary reasons I, as prone as anyone else to become addicted to same, stay away. Here’s the link again. It’s good and only about 12 minutes in total:

**In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, noted above, consider rule # 8:

“8. ‘Keep the pressure on. Never let up.’ Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.”

***Below, is a very important and salient speech given by, IMO,  one of last year’s free speech heroes, to the U.S. Congress regarding his experience being forced to resign from his teaching position at Evergreen State College in the state of Washington. He was persecuted because he dared protest anti-free speech activities displayed in an event at the college. He identifies as a classic liberal, but NOT a “far-left liberal (which I believe to be a contradiction in terms)”. His words tell it best. NOTE: I have taught with colleagues who used to teach at Evergreen, and my son-in-law graduated from there some years ago. Before the so-called SJWs “took over,” as it were, with help from the current administration, though I am not left-leaning, I would agree to the fact that “HOW to think” was still taught there, as opposed to the encroaching–and now seemingly rubber-stamped–pedagogy of “WHAT to think” that often leads to stopping debate altogether, and, well, the kind of violence and bigotry illustrated last year. Even if one is strongly opposed to classic liberalism, this is well worth viewing and listening to. And for some background, here is what happened to Professor Weinstein.

 

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11 Responses to On the State of Political Rage, Part 15: #Resisttherage

  1. Colin Markham says:

    Hi Phyllis, thank you for the video. There’s one articulate young man who has woken up to the lies and falsehoods. If only there were more like him and in large numbers. When oppression thrives in so-called advanced democratic societies, it’s scary. It reveals that democracy is a thin veneer on the surface of governance and busily being sidetracked by hashtag campaigns, pressure groups and multinationals that fund political parties. Political corruption is as much psychological as it is financial. You wonder about the extent of mind control this sinister system has over the population with useful tools such as TV, the internet and other media. The devil is having a field day deceiving and confusing and he has many willing workers to help him. Bring on the Parousia!

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  2. Colin Markham says:

    Hi Phyllis. Yes, you raise some interesting points that are highly relevant to current trends in our secular humanistic culture. It’s a generational thing with me. As a man in his late sixties I have a keen sense of history, especially how the twentieth-century was such a calamitous era with two world wars, the cold war and the aftermath in idealistic ventures like the European Union and the United Nations which were set up to bring mankind together in an atmosphere of well-meaning harmony. The progress and conduct of both of these organisations is highly questionable. The deep fissures are still there among nations, however ardently politicians try to fill in the cracks with high-sounding rhetoric, international accords, meetings of the high and mighty such as G7/G8, and so on. You don’t need a doctorate in politics to work out that the world, as we are witnessing it now, is teetering on the edge with various rogue states, alliances and simmering animosities – for instance, Iran and Saudi Arabia. And Israel is besieged, as we always knew it would be. The dam has got to burst sooner or later and my guess is that the Middle East will be the place where that will happen, rapidly bringing in Russia, and then the rest will follow. Incidentally this all ties in with Biblical prophecy, but one doesn’t need to be a student of the Bible to work it out.

    What I’m trying to emphasise, bringing it all back to ground-base UK, is that many of the younger generation have no sense of history or national identity. I don’t fully understand how this has come about without using generalisms like ‘being brainwashed by cultural Marxism’, whereby left-wing thinking has an all-pervasive influence on education at all levels. Thus young minds seem to be formed to fit in with the all-prevailing political and cultural climate of the western world which has a strong bias towards the left.

    One of the casualities has been the Christian faith. We now live in the so-called post-Christian age. But maybe it’s far too simplistic to blame politicians and educationists for this anti-religious outcome. There are all kinds of factors, not least the malevolent impact of the world wide web and its spin-offs, the assorted gadgetry that people – mostly of the younger generation – are obsessed with. This technological generation think mechanically rather than analytically, maybe because information is available rapidly at their finger-tips and they don’t have to do anything as old-fashioned as visit a reference library (remember them?) to do research and actually engage their brains to work something out. It’s all there on that darn screen, ready made. Their lives are governed by what they perceive as scientific and technical reality. They reject spirituality as fantasy. Young folk also appear to have an excessive fondness for the European Union, hence the floods of tears when the result of the referendum was announced, exclaiming that those who had voted for Brexit (old fogeys like me) had ruined their futures. Actually we old folk could see the writing on the wall. Our vote was advantageous for the whole country by bringing us out of the Evil Empire. It’s all the difference between having a sense of history and none at all.

    But as I said in an earlier comment, I predict that the EU will not survive in its present form, if at all. There are too many contrary currents for it to harmonise. It’s too ambitious a project to succeed and looks increasingly like it’s built on sand. The two big mistakes were (a) political integration; (b) the setting up of the eurozone. The one is now viewed with deep suspicion in many member states, the other is a disaster that will continue to plague the EU. The UK is leading the way by opting out of this mess and it is only a matter of time before the rest of the edifice begins to crumble. Signs are already appearing, e.g. Italy and the rise of populism across Europe. The sooner the collapse happens the better for all in order to avoid long-lasting damage. For now the EU are making life difficult for the UK in our efforts to formulate an amicable divorce. In so doing they risk damaging themselves as well as us, rather like spiting their noses to save their faces. Our departure could so easily be based on a reasonable settlement, but the way things are proceeding it doesn’t look as if it’s going to end well.

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    • pmcb says:

      Colin,

      I appreciate the “inside baseball” regarding what’s been going on in the UK vis a vis the EU and Brexit, in particular. Many Americans, hampered by truncated, “slide-by news” (that which appears and disappears in seconds with the swipe of a finger on a gadget) do not have more than a cursory idea of what’s going on. Of course, as believers with an ear attuned to prophecy, the EU, if not representative of the foundation of the actual One World Government, is one of the best, modern types of same.

      I have often heard it said by prophecy scholars that Satan, who is hampered by “truncated powers,” so to speak, i.e., he is not all-knowing, for one thing, has always had an “anti-Christ” type despot in the wings ready for ascendancy to his “throne.” I suppose that means Satan has also had the underpinnings of a one-world governance system in the works, as well.

      No wonder, then, in the larger, spiritual reality, Brexit put a 180 spin on our “real enemy’s” machinations (not to mention how politics here in America did a severe about-face in 2016, giving us a respite for the moment from the accelerating downward spiral into socialism. I’d say communism, but because we still have some Second Amendment rights to “bear arms” left, if the old adage “communism is socialism with guns”–i.e., guns only in the government’s arsenal– is accurate, I”d say we’re not at the bottom, yet).

      Although I tend to think that, traditionally, as far as the one-world-government aspect of end times prophecy goes, it is all the iterations of the “shadow/dark/deep state” through time that comprise the real foundations of the last government (smelling of sulfur and brimstone…).

      Regarding another “one world” component, religion, it is very interesting to me that the geniuses of mind control come from our old haunt: Roman Catholicism, in the form of the Jesuits. And now that church has a leader with undeniable socialist/communist leanings and proclamations.

      ~~~~~
      By the way, my sister and I have a new “nervous-system-saving” rejoinder for when we are discussing yet another unbelievable downturn in the national behavior around political events (read: lack of civility). One will now ask the other, in the larger-picture-context of spiritual realities: “Are you surprised?” Answer: “No.” This keeps us from perpetually shaking our heads over potty-mouth politics, abusive politics, and so on. It also gets us right back on track to maintaining our focus on Jesus Christ and away from the anti-Christ, as it were.

      Cheers,
      Phyllis

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      • Colin Markham says:

        Hi Phyllis,
        As always, insightful observations on crucial matters. The reality is the UK has spoit their little game (the Eurocrats) and they are being spiteful and obstructive. You expect a more mature response from politicians on a major issue like this, but when you consider the sort of people we are dealing with it’s too much to hope for. Once again the UK is saving continental Europe from its own folly. Think Napoleon, Hitler and Mussolini. We managed somehow (with help) to destroy those megalomaniacs and I am convinced the hand of God was in there to restore the balance. I’m sure we can see off pygmies like Juncker, Verhofstadt and their cronies who are clearly living in a parallel universe and so far gone as to be in denial about the ills of the EU.

        A United States of Europe just ain’t going to happen. I’ve never bought in to the one-world government conspiracy anyway. How could such a thing be formed? However, I agree with you that Satan has someone in mind to start the ball rolling in terms of the next world war, the Anti-Christ. Then an evil alliance of nations will emerge, a mixture of Middle Eastern states and Russia, and all hell will be let loose.

        For now cultural Marxism has such a hold on western politics and society that it is immovable. It’s ingrained, the very zeitgeist of political discourse and cultural ‘norms’. The rebels of the 1960s, now in their sixties and seventies, have got what they wanted, if indeed they were ever purposeful in what they were aiming to achieve. All I can recall is something much more amorphous, a vague desire to destroy conventions and structures, epitomised by the drug-fuelled flower-power generation and a handful of young left-wing rabble-rousers. The worst outcomes to my mind are the effects of the sexual revolution. This is a whole essay in its own right. The 1960s was the decade when modernism started to gain pace. Socialism and liberalism have kept the momentum going and there’s been a steady decline ever since, all promoted in the name of ‘freedom’ (read self-indulgence, sexual licence, selfishness and widespread unhappiness). Now we are said to be in the ‘post-modern’ era, whatever that means. We know for sure that it’s just as evil, if not more so, than its predecessor. You don’t have to venture very far from your own doorstep to work that one out. And still the liberals insist we are progressing.

        As to mind control, I would look farther afield than the Vatican or the HQ of the Society of Jesus. Look at Russia and its apparent fondness for cyber warfare. Nearer home, I would not trust our own security services and certain websites to eavesdrop on our internet searches and conversations. As to the present Pope, I can’t make the man out. He appears to be a spanner in the holy works. One advantage of voting in septuagenarian cardinals to the papacy is that they don’t have much time to create havoc. The problem for traditionalist Catholics is that they have nowhere to go should Pope Francis have a brainstorm and the Church goes into crisis, leaving them exasperated beyond measure – except maybe the Orthodox Church. Most of the other churches are beyond redemption, having compromised so much that they now serve as cosy prayer clubs for liberals who want a church that doesn’t make too many demands on them. This falling away is all part of Biblical prophecy as a prelude to the big sorting out that will inevitably take place, the End Times. And you need weak leadership, confusion, discord and general discontent to help it along, which is precisely where we are with Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby.

        I also agree with you that many people are ignorant of vital issues that effect us all, or else they just don’t want to know. They are too busy living a kind of self-protective existence in which anything unpleasant ‘out there’ is a world away and might spoil their contentment. On the same note I deplore the fashion to wrap children in cotton-wool to shield them from any unpleasantness. ‘The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ are the stuff of life. We need to experience adversity from time to time to teach us that life is not a bed of roses and sometimes it hurts. Through such events we build character, resilience and resourcefulness. Have you heard of ‘the snowflake generation’? Well, that’s what I’m referring to. Children who have been put on a pedestal and told they are unique and special, like a snowflake (and just as delicate).

        Sound advice about keeping oneself focused on Jesus Christ and not being surprised at a fresh revelation of human iniquity (1 John 2.15-17). I’ve been unshockable since at least 1990, which just goes to show how bad things are in this decadent world.

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      • pmcb says:

        Hi, Colin,

        YES, we have mounds and mounds of snowflakes over here, the closer to colleges and universities, the higher the mounds.

        I agree re the rebels of the sixties and the (questionable) fruit they have born in the world…

        But here’s the rub for those of them who were/are still knowingly (or not) tools of Saul Alinksy’s hero (one, Lucifer, as noted in Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, dedication page): Satan always overplays his hand. The truth will out. Let’s just hope it’s soon enough to fix the damage.

        If not, well, “our redemption draweth nigh.”

        Re: Russia’s (continuing) influence on minds and politics…Diana West does a good job of tracking that history here in the States, in American Betrayal. I am also a huge fan of Solzehenitsyn. I view his One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich as almost a primer on how to survive a prison camp as well a brilliant literary work, which is why I featured it in a post or two. For another primer of survival, I go to Natan Sharansky’s Fear No Evil. Excellent, point by point account of many of his interrogations and how he maintained his sanity amid all. Of course his wife was such an international champion for his release.

        Do you write a blog?

        Cheers

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      • Colin Markham says:

        Hi Phyllis, No I don’t have a blog but I am seriously considering one. It won’t be poitical in content. It will concentrate on prayer, meditation and Bible study. I can only take so much of politics!

        The snowflakes here are also very active on university campuses. They regularly block visiting speakers who don’t accord with their left-wing views. By doing this they nullify the value and integrity of academic discourse. A university should be a place where ideas are formed and debated. It reminds me of Nazi Germany in the 1930s when they made bonfires of books that were considered subversive. Nothing was allowed to impede the brutal march of fascism. Our present-day fascists can be found alive and kicking on university campuses the length and breadth of Britain, egged on gleefully by left-wing academics.

        Yes, Satan always overplays his hand. Even Alinsky was prepared to admit that. Hitler overplayed his hand, ignoring the advice of his generals. Napoleon did the same. Mussolini was a clown. Countless tin-pot dictators have gone the same way. Power goes to the head and megalomaniacs think they are unassailable. I’m reminded of Shelley’s poem ‘Ozymandius of Egypt’. Isn’t it remarkable how generation after generation of mankind disregard the lessons of the past? Man has an infinite capacity to reinvent the wheel, hence the preponderence of ‘self-help’ gurus whose books fill the ‘mind, body and spirit’ shelves in bookshops. The latest fad is mindfulness, which is ironic when you think that a large percentage of minds are solid bone from ear to ear.

        On the question of Russia, I would say the big difference between the Kremlin and the Vatican is that the first denies everything and the second tries desperately to brush the truth under the carpet. Most of the rhetoric coming out of the Kremlin is bizarre. In a similar way some Catholic doctrine is bizarre. Both strategies are in danger of misleading people who are foolish enough to believe the falsehoods. Russia doesn’t seem to have changed much since the bad old days of communism. Maybe the commies did such a good job of peddling lies that it’s become a way of life and everyone readily swallows the guff. There are a few enlightened souls who have stuck their heads above the parapet but they pay dearly for it. Solzhenitsyn was a ground-breaker in exposing the USSR for what it was. Peddling falsehoods is part and parcel of Catholicism, or at least some of the doctrine, and it’s taught and preached unashamedly by intelligent people who ought to know better. Mariology is a case in point….but don’t get me started on that one! Cradle Catholics are indoctrinated from an early age, although I’m not sure if it sticks in their minds so glutinously these days. Most teenagers stop going to Mass as soon as they reach age 18 and don’t return. They don’t believe in any of it as far as I can tell. The way religion is taught in our schools doesn’t help. It’s all about comparative religion: one is as good as another.

        Thank you for your recommendations. Theodore Dalrymple is a good commentator, exposing modern-day human follies. A psychiatrist by profession, he has a brilliant analytical mind.

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      • pmcb says:

        Just saw this video, which is a little bit of encouragement today. Not all young people are caught up in the lock-think of the far left.

        Let’s hope this movement catches on.

        But, really, it was inevitable that the young would begin to rebel…

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  3. Colin Markham says:

    Brilliant article Phyllis. I heartily agree with your analysis of collective outrage, the hashtag mob. It’s amazing how the left wing/liberal mind is so sensitised to the merest hint of a threat to their entrenched ideas. Since western culture is ineluctably dominated by their PC politics and culture you can more or less guarantee that the most vociferous outrage will spring from that source. It’s as if no one else is allowed to hold an alternative opinion. Social media gives the baying mob a spontaneous platform through which to vent their spleens, demonstrating how illiberal liberalism can be in order to protect its dominance of western culture. It’s the ICT equivalent of mass hysteria. An instantaneous response to a perceived injustice means that not a lot of thought has been given to the topic. The subject is rarely considered in all its dimensions. And safely ensconced behind their keyboards, participants feel entitled to express themselves in the most inappropriate and hyperbolic language, littered with expletives and assorted nastiness.

    At this point I could go into a rant about the injustice of people who want to overturn the result of a democratic referendum, the one in 2016 that allowed voters in the United Kingdom to choose between remaining in the EU or leaving it. But I have followed your advice, disengaged with rage and toned down the rhetoric. For one thing habitual rage is injurious to one’s health. I have come to the conclusion that the divisive and contentious debate about Brexit is increasingly academic since it appears that the whole EU project is under threat. The Brussels Eurocrats are besieged by major problems other than Brexit, to do with mass immigration, nationalism and the ongoing calamity called the eurozone. And still they insist that the project is on track and more integration is needed to complete it, the final goal being a United States of Europe. I see the EU as a latter-day Tower of Babel (Genesis 11.1-9), mankind over-reaching himself, humanism gone mad. But the voice of reason has been heard, the march of populism has begun. It will prove unstoppable and the nemesis of the EU. Thank heaven (literally) for rational dissent from the many who see the EU for what it is and what it aspires to be, a European superstate dominated by the Germans. No thank you. Let’s get out of here.

    The United Kingdom is the fifth largest economy in the world with a long history of worldwide trade, technical innovation and influence. We are well able to thrive outside the EU, at the same time continuing to co-operate with our European friends on a wide range of issues. International co-operation doesn’t require political integration and all that would bring, the subjugation of nationhood and the undermining of freedom and democracy. So I say: honour the referendum, honour democracy and let’s get the best deal possible.

    As a footnote I would point you to The Spectator, a weekly libertarian political magazine published in London. In the latest issue (23 June) there are two excellent articles on allied subjects, both penned by American journalists.

    ‘The diversity trap: Britain is succumbing to the same madness as America’, by Coleman Hughes.
    ‘Don’t fight racism with racism’, by Lionel Shriver.

    You should be able to read these articles online without subscribing to The Spectator.

    Colin Markham

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    • pmcb says:

      Colin,

      Thank you for the article referrals. I will definitely check them out. I have read Spectator articles Online in the past, so I think I’m good to get in.

      Many Americans are very interested in Brexit and EU news, but it is especially good to hear from someone “on the ground,” there. We often view what is happening on that side of the pond as a kind of portent of things to come, here, particularly with regard to cultural issues–IF we don’t do anything about them, that is.

      Regarding the fast pace of potty-mouth politics (now being called “abusive politics” by some) the American far left is now harassing people in restaurants and movie theaters as well as in front of their homes, with cheerleaders such as Maxine Waters egging them on… This state of political degradation really amped up over the weekend.

      At least Aunty Maxine (as she apparently likes to be called) is likely incapable of physically harming people she hates, but many of her minions are thugs. So I hope inciting rhetoric such as she spews doesn’t keep degrading the mood of the feeling-ocracy, so to speak, to the point of, as Rush Limbaugh warns, someone getting murdered. If thugs such as Antifa, BLM, and many of the Occupy groups smell blood in the water (and local law enforcement is ordered to “stand down”), things might take a horrible turn–OR, worse, as many have pointed out, it might be necessary to enact martial law/NDAA in which case everybody loses. Except those in power. And just think what “use” that might be if/when the far left regains power. I shudder to think.

      Keep calm and carry on, as one of yours advised, in another war. Always enjoy your observations and insights.
      Cheers,
      Phyllis

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      • Colin Markham says:

        Yes Phyllis, abusive politics seems to be the name of the game. Intimidation and threats are commonplace on social media and mobs of both right- and left-wing supporters are evident at political rallies where controversial issues are being aired. Brexit has divided the UK like nothing else, emphasising fault-lines in society that we all knew were there. Given the context in which Brexit is being fought over (signs of opposition and decline in the EU), it’s amazing that the Europhiles cling to their vicious anti-democratic campaign. This just goes to show how unthinking their stance is, or is it that they simply want to win the argument?

        On a broader plain, the biggest paradox of all is that although we live in times of unprecedented social and moral decadence, there are regular instances of ‘moral’ outrage from atheistic humanists, the very people who created the social and political climate in which the decay came about. I guess it’s not so astonishing when you consider that they are seeking to preserve their grip on western culture, or their skewed interpretation of what that culture should look like. It’s a political reaction, not a moral reaction. It’s also evidence of the muddled thinking that characterises humanistic philosophy which dictates that everything is relative, that there is no objective truth. Whilst it’s clear that mankind is progressing in terms of scientific and technical advances, it’s equally clear that in terms of morality humanity is in a state of degradation. We live in Godless times in which even human life is held cheap. Witness the proliferation of abortion in the west, as if the foetus is a mere ‘thing’ to be disposed of like trash. Elderly citizens are often treated with contempt and cruelty. When the most vulnerable in society are considered peripheral to society’s needs, when the dignity of human life is not respected, we have reached a crisis in the history of humankind that can only lead to disaster. We see already around us the results of widespread moral decline and debasement.

        As for the migration of ideas across the Atlantic, I suggest the direction is usually west to east. We regularly take on board the worst of American cultural trends and what passes for entertainment in the English-speaking world. Occasionally the movement is in the opposite direction. One example is the fad for same-sex marriages, and worse still that these should be ‘celebrated’ in a church. I believe this first gained ground in western Europe. Since most of the Protestant churches are in thrall to liberal trends it’s hardly surprising that they should embrace this innovation, ignoring the fact that it drives a coach and horses through Christian doctrine. Just as sinister is the insidious undermining of both freedom of expression and religious liberty, chipping away at democracy and sacred institutions. As I said in my previous comment, liberalism adopts remarkably illiberal policies to maintain its dominance of politics and society. We should recall with a shudder that National Socialism transmogrified into Nazism. There is really no difference between fascism and communism. They are equally repressive, intolerant and corrupt. It seems ‘liberalism’ is not so very different.

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      • pmcb says:

        “This just goes to show how unthinking their stance is, or is it that they simply want to win the argument?”
        Hi, Colin,

        To your question, I have often thought that of several factors that influence modern political rage–especially when irony and truth stare the ragers in the face, when against all truth, reason, and moral values, lies still hold supreme–it might just be pride.

        There is also the influence of peer pressure to be identified with some kind of “in crowd,” whether the “innies” are celebrities, the loudest (and perhaps hottest) virtue-signalers, college buddies (or any other peer groups buds), or those who are devoted to the highly persuasive (and propaganda-ridden) media.

        Of course, there are also those who are in the same (far left) political camp as the new, 28 year-old, sudden “star” of the Democrat Party who won the Dem run-off in New York a few days ago and who, non-apologetically, champions socialism and by so doing illustrates a frightening, and abysmal, lack of any sense of the history of how socialism (along with its cousin, communism) ends horribly.

        One seriously wonders if this young woman had ANY, REAL world history lessons in school.

        Or was she a victim of an “education” based on a now fifty year-old “text” by Paulo Freire, very popular among those who have gone through undergrad education classes since the late-sixties, early seventies (especially in the U.S. but also in the southern Americas), called Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a Marxist-laced text for teachers that promotes Freire’s political theory that traditional education based on touchstones of Western Civilization is oppressive. I think the fruit of that theory can be viewed today in the SJW movement, and many other, anti-Western-culture movements.

        And it took just one generation…the power of the pen….

        But of course, being a word person, I mostly notice how word-smiths very artfully and cleverly spin reality into propaganda…as word-consumers swipe by “news” bits and pieces on their electronic gadgets at dizzying speeds, their brains skimming carefully-crafted click bait…over and over and over…

        God help us, these days.

        By the way, you have likely read Dinesh D’Souza’s book, Illiberal Education, and The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom, two classic exposes of the kind of “education” in the last fifty or so years that has influenced so much of what has damaged the educational system in America. Just now, I am finishing Diana West’s American Betrayal–a very well researched expose of another, deadly influence on our American culture and foundation of freedom, this one detailing the (real) influence of communism–specifically, how long and in what ways it has been seeding minds–and U.S. institutions–against freedom…

        Thanks, as always, for your contributions.

        Cheers,
        Phyllis

        Like

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