Hot Air and the Paris Atrocities

Michigan Standard
Hot Air and the Paris Atrocities
By Sean Gabb
(The Michigan Standard, 10th January 2015

For the avoidance of doubt, I will begin by saying that the murders this week at Charlie Hebdo were a barbarous crime, and deserve the strongest punishment allowed by law. This being said, the smug chanting of the politicians and media people is getting on my nerves. Here, without further introduction, are the more objectionable mantras:

Je suis Charlie

I will repeat that this was a barbarous crime. But there seem to be barbarous crimes and barbarous crimes. Suppose the attack had not been on a cultural leftist magazine, but on the headquarters of the Front National, and the victims had been Francine le Pen and the party leadership. Would all those city squares have filled with people reciting Je suis le Front National? I hardly think so. Nor would the media have given blanket and uncritical coverage.

Indeed, we had our answer before the gunmen had opened fire. When Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh and Lee Rigby were murdered no less barbarously, we were all urged to moderate our response. In the first two cases, we were told, with more than the occasional nod and wink, that the victims had brought things on themselves. As for the third, the protest demonstrations were broken up by the police.

Cultural leftists have the same right not to be murdered as the rest of us. So far as the present lamentations indicate, they are seen by the directors of public opinion as having a greater right.

We will Never Give up Our Right to Freedom of Speech

The continuing hymn of praise to freedom of speech would sound better if it were seriously meant. I believe that the writers and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo had the moral right to say whatever they pleased about Islam, or anything else. But I also believe that Luke O’Farrell and Garron Helm should not have been sent to prison for being rude to or about Jews. Nick Griffin should not have been prosecuted for saying less against Islam than was published in Charlie Hebdo. The Reverend Alan Clifford should not have been threatened with prosecution in 2013, when he handed out leaflets at a gay pride march in Norwich. Almost every day, in England alone, someone gets into trouble for opening his mouth. Where for them are the defenders of freedom of speech, now more fashionably than bravely holding up pencils or waving candles?

I and my colleagues at the Libertarian Alliance can praise freedom of speech, because we are there for the people mentioned above. Just about everyone else I have seen on the television is a hypocrite. In general, we are free to say only what the authorities want to hear. Even when the law does not cover dissent, there are administrative or economic punishments. See, for example, the UKIP members who were denied the right to foster children, or the difficulty that dissident writers have to find paid work.

These were Cowardly Crimes

The men who shot up the Charlie Hebdo offices are not cowards. They took a considerable risk, and it is generally believed that they will not let themselves be taken alive. This is part of what makes them and their like so dangerous. The Sinn Fein/IRA terrorists were cowards. Their speciality was to plant time bombs in shop toilets, and then run away before they went off. These killers seem to regard themselves as already half way to the company of the seventy two virgins they were promised. There is nowhere they will not go, and nothing they will not do – they and those like them. To call them cowards is a comforting falsehood.

These were Senseless Crimes

The only senseless crime is one that has no evident purpose, or is unlikely to achieve it. The purpose of the Charlie Hebdo killings was to punish outrages against Moslem sensibilities, and to deter their repetition. Can anyone say they failed, or will fail? Some outlets of the mainstream media have republished some of the less offensive cartoons. But it was difficult not to, and there is safety in numbers. From now on, Moslems abroad and in Europe can expect a still more delicate handing of their sensibilities than is already the case. No one wants to be murdered, and one of the surest ways to avoid being murdered will be not to say anything untoward about Mohammed or his alleged teachings.

I now feel obliged to comment on mass-immigration from the Third World. Anyone who said this would be other than a disaster must have been a fool or a villain. It has forced down working class incomes. It has raised housing costs for everyone. It has increased crime and welfare dependency. It has Balkanised politics and administration and law. It has been the excuse for a police state. I am not a violent or an uncharitable man. I am committed to an abstract and universalist ideology. I do not object to a certain porosity of borders. But, like most Jews in Israel, or most Chinese in China – or like most people in all times and places – I regard every square inch of my country as the birthright of my people, and do not look favourably on levels of immigration that seem likely, within the next few generations, to dispossess us of that birthright. Yet this is where we now are, in England, in France, and in many other European and European-settled countries. I have no convincing answers to the problem we face. All I can do is predict one of two outcomes:

First, present trends will continue, and growing weight of numbers, and a greater willingness to resort to violence, will bring about the transformation of our societies in the image of the newcomers;

Second, there will be a nativist reaction, attended by expulsion and the removal of citizenship rights for those allowed to stay, and an authoritarian political settlement.

I do not look forward to either outcome. But, thanks to the conscious or negligent treason of our rulers, it seems likely to be one or the other of these. Anyone who can suggest a less unpleasant outcome that is other than wishful thinking will have at least my gratitude.

The question now outstanding is whether these killings will only contribute to the breakdown of the multicultural illusion, or whether they will be seen, by future historians, as one of its key events. Are they in the same dividing category as the defenstrations in Prague or the Oath in the Tennis Court? Or will the continued chanting of the mantras discussed above keep everything under control? Does the continuing uproar in France mean that something has begun there of wider significance than the murder of a dozen cultural leftists?

26 thoughts on “Hot Air and the Paris Atrocities

  1. Pingback: Hot Air and the Paris Atrocities « Attack the System

  2. The treason of our rulers was, is and will continue to be, deliberate. They mixed this pot on purpose, and they know in their hearts why they did it, and did it willingly. There’s nothing functionally-speaking, that British individuals can now do. Events will take their course, and the outcome will most probably be bad.

    • They called themselves: “Muslim” which means “submit to the creator iof the univers” and so they are on the expection to recieve instruction directly from the creator to instruct their conduct. It is not acceptable to our theist culture. In Christianity, only Jesus himself or the collective body of the church (not the pope alone) would hold such claim to act according to the instruction of the creator.
      From the agnostic taht I am, it looks even worse to claim such a link with the creator.

      Muslim are nothing else that a club of vanity who got a too high view of themselves. They put their act above everybody else act and ourselves. Our modesty is the base of our suvccest. They should not be allow in immigrate in our advance civilisation and robs its benefice from us.

  3. The political classes are not going to change course. This latest incident, and any more like them, will increase the militarisation of the police, increase victim disarmament, increase restrictions on freedom of speech (characterised as “hate speech” they’ll talk out of both sides of their mouth claiming that this is somehow an increase in freedom of speech)… and, of course, increase taxes.

    There is no serious prospect of reduction in immigration, since the EU and UN treaties mean only dickering around the edges is possible.

    Furthermore, the dramatically declining birth rates of the indigenous populations of European nations means the economies are unsustainable without something being done. The economies are a Ponzi schemes, without constantly expanding population to take on debt it can’t work. If you reflect even for a short while, it’s obvious the only solution is mass immigration. You can argue this hasn’t been managed rationally but, after all, since when has the government been able to organise anythings satisfactorilly?

    A balkanised and militarised society isn’t a problem for the rich and politically connected living as they do in their gated communities and with their 24 hour protection and armoured limousines. In fact it’s a bonus for them since they get cheap cleaners, child minders, and gardners. There won’t be much difference between UK and any other third world hell-hole… the poor living hand to mouth in squalor (if they’re lucky) and the super-rich living in luxury and nothing much in between.

  4. There are indeed many threats to freedom of speech – Islam may be the most vicious (at the moment), but it is certainly not the only threat to freedom of speech. And even the United States is not safe – in spite of the First Amendment.

    For example, just today I read an account (from the Heritage Foundation) of how the head of the Atlanta Fire Department was dismissed from his job for writing a book that was against “Gay Marriage”.

    Did writing this book undermine his performance in his job? Of course not – this was not even claimed by his local government employer (the city government of Atlanta), the person was dismissed because of his OPINIONS.

    True the man was not murdered – but he has been punished for expressing his beliefs, for writing a book.

    This is unacceptable – totally unacceptable. Libertarians must not be afraid of being called “homophobes” or “racists” any more than we are afraid to be called “Islamophobic” – this whole “medicalization of dissent” must be rejected. It is the stock-in-trade of the Politically Correct (or “Critical Theory”) Frankfurt School of Marxism people – see Jonah Goldberg’s brief discussion of their influence in the United States, via Columbia university, in his book “Liberal Fascism” (“Authoritarian Personality” and “Paranoid Style of Politics” then on to “racist”, “sexist” and on and on).

    Someone must be allowed to express their own opinions in their own private property and in their own time – and that includes writing books and magazines.

  5. The society that John Pate describes sounds like California – or New York City. The rich and the poor – and nothing much in between.

    Contrary to what the left teach, it is actually areas where government taxes and Welfare State spending are highest (California and New York City) where inequality is most extreme. Places where government spending and taxation are, relatively speaking, much lower (such as South Dakota or Wyoming) are known for a prosperous middle class – exactly what one no longer sees in big government areas. Even if one insists on only thinking about big cities – there is far more of a chance for ordinary people to make a decent living (and afford a house and so on) in a city such as Houston (a big city indeed) than a big government city such as New York or L.A.

    I also agree that the social revolution of the 1960s, and the government schemes that expanded, have led to an unsustainable demographic situation in much of Europe – and this is starting to be seen in wide areas of United States. People may still be having babies in places such as Mormon Utah – but one does not see many children (other than immigrant children) in somewhere such as New York.

    The economy of most large cities (not quite all of them) in the Western world is indeed a credit money expansion “Ponzi scheme” – John Pate is also credit about this.

    I would also point out the military collapse that we are seeing.

    The armed forces of Western Europe, including Britain, have been reduced to token forces – and the collapse is continuing. The same is true of Canada, Australia and New Zealand (although Australia and New Zealand do seem to have got a grip on their immigration policies – people who are openly hostile to these countries, tend to be kept OUT, although some slip in such as the Islamist who attacked in Sydney recently, and the rape gangs that have done such dreadful things in some Australian cities).

    Even the United States (which, alas, certainly has no grip upon its borders) has seen a dramatic decline in its military forces – the proportion of the economy devoted to the armed forces has been in decline for 50 years, and the numbers of warships. military aircraft and so on will soon collapse down to 1930s levels.

    People such as myself have defended the idea of the United States against secession on defence grounds – in spite of the de facto ripping up of the Tenth Amendment (the limit on Federal government spending and regulation).

    However, if the United States Federal government is unable (or unwilling) to secure the borders, and the United States armed forces continue to collapse – due to the Welfare State eating everything that is not itself……

    Well then the arguments to retain the present structure of the United States collapse. And one must turn either to Constitutional Convention or to secession – perhaps, in a post de facto (if it not legal) bankruptcy situation, a new alliance of States.

    Mr Pate is correct – both the monetary system (the financial system credit bubble) and the fiscal situation (the unfunded liabilities of the Welfare States) is unsustainable – and the United States is no exception to this rule.

    Some American States may be “saveable” (perhaps Texas is sustainable), but the present Federal government does not appear to me to be something that can be reformed – the decay appears to have gone too far.

    As for freedom of speech – fortunately most States have their own Bills of Rights, it is up to locally elected judges to ENFORCE these Bills of Rights. But if ordinary people do not stand for things such as freedom of speech – they will fall.

    • I rather think that you believe in freedom of speech about as much as Henry Ford believed in the right to have any colour car you want.

    • Paul Marks – Do you think that those who ‘deny’, to use that ridiculous term, the Holocaust should have the right to do so? And did you ever support the freedom of speech of someone like David Irving?

  6. Sean, what annoys me is how they got to the family of Lee Rigby and made them issue a statement calling for “calm” etc. If I had been a member of his close family, I would have told the Home Office where to go and would have come on camera asking why David Cameron is insistent on importing a fifth column in this way.

  7. Yes, the “cowardly” thing is grating – thanks for pointing it out. Actually, support for multiculturalism is the real cowardly position here.

    • Good for him. A shame he was in the Government that brought in the most draconian censorship laws since WWII – The Video Recordings Act 1984 and the Public Order Act 1988.

  8. Hello to all at the LA.

    Utterly galling to see the free speech hypocrites parading their virtue one hashtag at a time. It is beyond parody, everyone should be tweeting @policescotland, #iamkatiehopkins.

    I think the two options are absolutely the inevitable long term outcomes, before then there will be a third way, a deeply fractured society at war with itself.

    It’s the chipping away that seems most corrosive. If there was a genuine and immediate existential threat people would rally round, remembering our shared values and the freedom we all enjoy. #jesuischarlie might actually mean something.

  9. I did Tweet to Police Scotland days ago (and I find titles like Police Scotland annoying – they are the Scottish Police in proper English) reminding them to focus on real crime and not Twitter nonsense.

  10. You of course referred to the mainstream media and the politicians (Nick Clegg was particularly nauseating in this regard) in the above, but, this issue again has divided libertarians into the serious libertarians and the quislings (the paleos and the neos, the hardcore and the softcore, etc.).

    My ‘libertarian’ friends in Conservative Future were telling me yesterday in earnest that “we must defend freedom of speech, even when it offends people.” My response was a mixture of “Come on, did it really take the loss of twelve lives for you to realise that?” and “What is there left to defend?”

    As to the predictions, I predict the second of the two. We are seeing the mainstream media, after years of no one batting an eyelid, finally starting to tell us “There are now lots of people here who don’t like white Christians.” Trouble is, they forget who opened the doors. The other problem is that the British public are proving quite easy to scare. All it would take is the death of Ian Hislop or Stephen Fry at the hands of some nutters and we’d all lie back and think of the State.

    The State loves conflict. It feeds on this kind of stuff. And dispersed, unpredictable, decentralised groups are difficult to deal with. Even the libertarians will be calling for a police state before you know it.

  11. All usual condemnation of the attackers, blah blah.

    Where was Nick Clegg, after his fine speech on LBC about this attack, when other offensive comments were made eg Liam Stacey. If he speaks up for racists, bigots, homophobes etc then I have missed it.

    However I do not agree the IRA were cowards. Sure they were not as likely to die but they still were, in their way, brave. Their actions were worse in that they did not have any justification, normally, for the people they attacked, did not even know their names but they still ran a risk for what they believed. But so are bank robbers brave. That does not stop them all being criminals and they must be treated as a common (but unusual) criminal.

  12. Pingback: Hot Air and the Paris Atrocities –

  13. Pingback: Hot Air and the Paris Atrocities | Michigan Standard

  14. The followers of the pedophile were indeed cowards. They picked a soft target in a country where street cops are unarmed and where open or concealed carry is as foreign as the American cowboy. The idea of an armed populace is not worthy of consideration by such a sophisticated people as the French.

    These whacked out Jihads carried AK-47s and they knew that no one would fire back. Had the cop who initially showed up been armed with even a 1903 .45, the story would have been different. What these mental midgets did is the same in concept as the IRA planting devices in crappers.

    Contrary to the article the Jihadists shooters did not chose to die as martyrs. There is a reason they fled toward the airport. They also likely thought a general uprising would ensue in support of their murderous actions allowing them to slip away in the confusion. After all, friends of the pedophile ringing Paris burned some one thousand autos to celebrate the New Year.

    Yes they succeeded in shutting up a self righteous obnoxious leftist rag that wasn’t humorous or provocative. But what the escapade did was to help solidify the rising anti-Muslim sentiment growing across Europe. The question is, will Europe surrender or fight?

    The US, by the way, has already surrendered. It surrendered the day G.W. called Islam a religion of peace. What a fool. Then he invited Jihadists priests to the White House for discussions. To cap this off the voters twice elected a Muslim non citizen as president. The spread of mosques across the U.S., as mentioned in the article, along with a twice elected Muslim president serve to drive home that complete surrender.

    Free speech is dead in America. If you don’t think so try flying a confederate battle flag on a major taxpayer supported university. Try holding a discussion on such campuses concerning the proposition that the South was correct in seceding from the totalitarian union run by Lincoln. Hell these mentally constipated leftists on American Campi won’t even let Ann Coulter speak.

    When Iran gets its nuclear missiles aimed at the major cities of Europe the end is near and Europe will fold like a tent. A ten thousand year Dark Age will then encircle most of the world. Scientific inquiry and the idea of individual liberties will end. The only hope may be China, or perhaps a Russian federation of sort.

    To survive, what remains of the West needs to denounce Islam for what it is; a dangerous totalitarian warrior code and not a religion, which it isn’t, thus removing Islam from protection under freedom of religion.

    • I’ve been suggesting that Islam is not an actual religion for some years now, but instead a clever and very aggressomale-attractive pre-capitalist-desert-survival-manual. But it’s like dropping stones into a bottomless well: gales of utter silence.

  15. While I agree with your main point (kudos for the thought-provoking “Je suis FN”), I was surprised by the turn onto border restrictions at the end of the post (“I do not object to a certain porosity of borders.”).

    If you are against violence against innocent people, why use it against locals who want to invite foreigners (as renters, employees, etc) and innocent-until-proven-guilty foreigners?
    I agree that some foreigners are criminals or potential criminals, and so are some locals. But using force on them if they try to pass the border before you have any probable cause of a crime is aggressive behavior, not defensive.
    If being Muslim is a crime worth violence against people who want to move, then will you support deporting natives who convert to Islam?

    For the full version of this argument, see Michael Huemer’s essay (Is there a right to immigate?).

    While I agree with your concern about cultural effects of immigration, there is a third possible outcome: reason wins. I believe that reasonable principles applied universally and consistently are convincing, even against religious or other dogma.

  16. Good post, Sean.

    However, the crass idea of hypocrisy, an idea that all should be ashamed of, is unbearably stupid and, as it usually an unwitting change of the subject, it might be called a logical fallacy, for if a mass murderer , for example, calls another person a murderer, it is never germane that he is pretending not to be a murderer himself; or ignoring it if it is known [though if he admits it then he is not quite a hypocrite, for that is the pretence of being morally upright that, alone, is the hypocrisy]. We should only deal with one case at a time. Hypocrisy is a pet idea of Christianity, a creed full of similar silly cant. The main fact about that creed is that the word never was made flesh; nor was there any word in the beginning.

    I agree that few terrorists are cowards, but I see no reason to think the IRAers were either.

    Yes, I said the Islamic terrorists were bound to fail last week. So it can be honestly said. I still think they can only effectively score own goals, but you are right that they may have a short run deterrence in many cases as a well as feeding more opposition as we have seen since last week which has already brought Islam into being a more normal bourgeois modern religion than it was a week ago. That less cartoons will appear hardly matters, as terrorism to deter them is even more damaging to the cause of Islam. So the terrorism is quite counter-productive. Islam is dying. The terrorism merely aids it to ebb a little bit faster.

    But you are right that the terrorism is purposeful and so the terrorists do have a cause. However, it is a futile one.

  17. Pingback: The wrong kind of free speech | Orphans of Liberty

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s