Friday, April 12, 2019

Removal of Roger Scruton

With a delay of 1 day or so, the Czech press (especially Echo) informed us that the mob has gotten Roger Scruton on second try (that's the title chosen by the Washington Examiner). See also Roger Scruton's sacking threatens free speech and intellectual life (The Telegraph) and The real Roger Scruton scandal (Spiked) or The smear of Roger Scruton (The National Review); thank God these sources stood on the side of freedom and Sir Roger (something that wasn't guaranteed anymore).

A well-known British philosopher was a government adviser for housing (and previously for architecture) – an unpaid position – but the leftist mob doesn't want any conservative in the old-fashioned sense to be anywhere. So they were attacking him all time. It didn't work a few months ago. Now, Scruton (75) agreed to give an interview to a young leftist George Eaton (deputy editor of New Statesman).

And it was a trap – the interview was manipulated in order to make predetermined claims, "Scruton has said blasphemous things", and the left mob was joined by some conservative-in-name-only leftists around Theresa May's party who criticized Scruton for these "blasphemies" and Scruton was sacked.

His sacking is another proof of the fact that the contemporary left-wing totalitarianism is at least comparable to the communist one, at least in the 1980s. It's not just about the methods which are similar and about the "forbidden words" which are more constraining than they used to be in communism of the 1980s, as I will discuss later. Also, we see that the same people are being harassed for very similar acts.

Scruton has a special relationship to Czechia. He speaks some Czech and was one of the Western supporters of the Czechoslovak dissent. So 35 years ago or so, he would travel to Prague etc. and smuggled books and texts that were forbidden in the communist Czechoslovakia. The dissidents liked these contributions – they organized some intellectual seminars in their apartments – "The Underground University" – and Scruton participated at some of them. He was both arrested by the Czechoslovak StB service as well as expelled from Czechoslovakia at some points. After the communism fell, he was given a top medal from Havel and a honorary doctor degree from the Masaryk University, and perhaps more.

Now, Scruton has de facto turned into a dissident in his own country, the U.K. In practice, conventional conservative people like him are no longer allowed in any positions that are close to the government. The aggressive mob of radicals that has undergone metastasis and is almost everywhere just doesn't allow it. What's fascinating is that the list of victims already includes the likes of Scruton – who has been connected with the "Czech liberal intellectual elites" for decades like Havel (those that are considered the promoters of PC in Czechia now). He's still heretical enough for the "London liberal intellectual would-be elites".

His 2017 talk on capitalism in Oxford, thanks to Sylwek K.

On Facebook, Mr Martin Gust has pointed out that if the Charles University in Prague had balls, they would organize a tour of his lectures to compensate for the trouble he faces in the U.K. There's just one problem here: When Scruton was smuggling the forbidden books to Czechoslovakia, the current rector of the Charles University was spending his evenings on meetings of the communist party. ;-) Well, similar kind of people, if you allow me to use this euphemism, are powerful almost everywhere.

Yesterday, Scruton wrote an apology for thinking for the Spectator. Among other things, he admits it was a mistake to address a herd of young leftists as if they were responsible human beings. They may just look similar but the confusion may be problematic. In practice, you can't really talk to any groups or organizations with young people anymore because the concerned leftists are parts of almost all such ecosystems. In some physiological sense, due to their separation from those of us who can wisely discuss, these people are turning into another species that should be given a less optimistic name than "homo sapiens". That phrase means "a wise man" and was introduced by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. I think that the youth no longer knows any of this and they will ban the term "homo sapiens", anyway, because it's politically incorrect for some reason (e.g. because Linnaues was a white man). In this way, Nature will automatically regulate the terminology and the deteriorated mankind will rename itself e.g. to "homo erectus" again so that the terminology will keep on being aligned with the mankind's intellectual skills.

See another text in the Spectator about Eaton's tricks and the fake conservatives' cowardice. OK, Eaton has deleted some tweets etc. that have already been used as proofs of a blasphemy. But what were those charges? Well, Eaton has provided us with a helpful guide

Thankfully, in my country, it's still mainstream to use all these there phrases or observations or memes and those who would like to ban them are generally considered extremists. But can we preserve our sovereignty and common sense in the ocean of Europe where most nations are completely losing their mind?

"Soros Empire" is just the collection of people who are connected to George Soros' money, power, organizations, and agenda. It's a rather big empire because he's been deliberately building such an empire – more than any other or almost any other billionaire. But you may see how totally unfair it is to demonize the very expression. How? There is a totally analogous phrase "Murdoch Empire" that is being used all the time and no one ever complains. "Murdoch Empire" has some 500,000 Google hits while "Soros Empire" has 50,000 hits. I think that this discrepancy is already largely due to Soros' greater rights and the censorship he's capable of enforcing, not because of a much greater "imperial character" of the Murdoch Empire. Note that Murdoch and Soros are worth 19 and 8 billion dollars, respectively (and Murdoch owns standard media while Soros prefers NGOs and other less standard structures), but Soros undoubtedly intervenes into the political character of his empire more than Murdoch does.

Fine, Scruton has been labeled an anti-Semite just because he dared to use the term "Soros Empire" and he generally described the presence of some Jewish folks in Budapest. The idea that that Scruton is an "anti-Semite" is obviously untrue. He isn't really anti-Soros in any clear sense. After all, Scruton was the only intellectual who personally asked Viktor Orbán to preserve the Soros university in Budapest! And even in this very latest interview, Scruton basically expressed his understanding for the Hungarian Jews' proximity to Soros and their disagreement with the Hungarian nationalism! So if you look at it, the blasphemy – according to Eaton – really was that he dared to mention George Soros in any way that differed from "the prescribed pure worshiping". Scruton has been framed as an "anti-Semite" by the current radical writers – and this process was completely analogous and equally fraudulent as the communist press' description of Václav Havel as a Nazi.

In another comment, Scruton mentioned that the Chinese communist officials were very similar to each other – so Eaton is already heavily distorting what was said. But even if Scruton had talked about the Chinese people in general, it would have good reasons. First of all, it's a general subjective feeling that almost everyone has, the cross-race effect, that makes it easier for familiar things to be distinguished more easily than the unfamiliar ones. So people of foreign races "look alike" while our race "seems to have tons of diversity". This illusion has a simple reason – we're just trained to see the finer patterns well in the things and people that we observe often!

On top of that, there are demonstrable objective metrics showing that the Chinese are less variable or "diverse" in many respects. In particular, China is the least diverse country in the world by the percentage of migrants, just 0.07%. Does someone want to outlaw the talk about any similar facts and data? How does it differ from banning the talk about anything and everything?

Eaton's distortions are actually worse than that because Scruton hasn't talked about the "low intrinsic variability" of the Chinese at all. Instead, as the context shows (and Eaton has completely hidden the context), Scruton was simply saying that the Chinese regime is trying to make all people be the same (like other similar or worse regimes, what a surprise):
They’re creating robots out of their own people by so constraining what can be done. Each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that is a very frightening thing.
You simply shouldn't allow the likes of Eaton to "create summaries and interpretations" because people like Eaton are malicious and completely dishonest.

Finally, Islamophobia is unquestionably a propaganda word. As the Wikipedia page tells us, the term was rarely used in the early 20th century (in French, 1925) but it exploded in the 1970s when organizations tried to fight against "anti-Muslim prejudices". The very purpose of this word is to make any opposition to Islam look like a "disease". In this sense, the usage of the "Islamophobia" is completely analogous to the treatment of "homosexuality as a disease". A society can categorize things in this way or not. Both options have some advantages.

But what is a fact is that since the very birth of Islam some 1400 years ago, the Western civilization has had a serious trouble – manifested in numerous bloody wars but not only in the wars – with Islam and its expansionism. It's been normal for tens of generations of Westerners to fight against Islam and its expansion. In this sense, the opposition to Islam or the fear of Islam – e.g. things that should be called "Islamophobia" – have been utterly normal in the West throughout the Islam's history. What is actually bizarre and artificially created is the notion that the Western people afraid of Islam are abnormal or evil in any way.

Roger Scruton is a 75-year-old philosopher who knows these things and he knows them more than I do. He can think for himself and he's not just a product of indoctrination, a replica coming from the increasingly dysfunctional education systems in the West that are turning into indoctrination and radicalization centers.

In the normal times, the ideas and interpretations that Scruton has presented in the interview for the New Statesman would be the reason why he would be considered a thinker – and as a professional thinker, he would be earning money, perhaps millions of pounds, as a consequence. In recent years or decades, the Western societies have been switching to a new mode in which the actual, independent, deep, and rational thinking of Scruton's type is no longer appreciated. You can't really systematically make living by producing wisdom outside of the narrow ideological slogans favored by radicals such as Eaton. And we're arguably entering the epoch in which the likes of Scruton are becoming heretics who are being systematically punished for their honest, deep, penetrating, informed, rational thought and reason.

This simply must stop. People who have only done 0.01% of what Scruton (or I) have done to delay this new dark epoch simply must realize that it's no laughing business. You need to do at least 1% of what we do. Otherwise you will see the terrible consequences of the "new regime" in your own life, too.

As I mentioned, I do believe that the degree of political censorship and harassment is already worse in the contemporary Western Europe than it was in the communist Europe of the 1980s. I believe that we didn't have any polite phrases analogous to "Soros Empire" that would be considered blasphemous by themselves. You really had to use some really impolite words about the really powerful people; or complete at least one full polite sentence, if you wanted to be in trouble! Now, because of the people with the brain – a euphemism – of Mr Eaton's caliber, a celebrated Briton may be sacked just for using the common phrase "Soros Empire". Disturbing.

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