Or perhaps we could not march in lockstep.
Yesterday I might sort of have started a fight on facebook. For those of you who are rolling their eyes, no, this is not normal for me.
You see, I actually don’t like to fight. Once the fight is swinging, yeah, I pretty much fit that thing that Foxfier posts about the men of England and all their fights being merry, but that’s not how I look at it before it starts.
There are two factors going into how I’m reacting to thing these days, though. The first – fair warning – is that I seem, at long last to have started the process of menopause. So far no behavioral wobbles, perhaps because I’m used to policing myself the whole time. (You have to, when you feel all drama-y because of something going on in your head pretty much all the time. And that’s called being a writer. And I’ve been one for years. So I have checks on my behavior and how it fits reality.) The only thing I’ve noticed is that my give-a-d*mn is busted.
In my twenties you could make me cringe and fall in line by saying “you’re acting like a ‘negative stereotype’” and I’d get so scared of being stigmatized as that thing that I’d fall into line immediately. That has been sloughing off a little at a time, and now it’s thoroughly gone.
[This, btw, should serve as warning to the “ladies” in twitterfront (They’re sort of like stormfr*nt upside down, sideways and – somehow even more ignorant. — Trust me, it takes effort, I once followed a troll from here back to his lair and what those people don’t know of history could fill several very large archives. Note I’m asterisking their name because I’m writing and I don’t need trolls). Anyway ladies – oh, wait, offensive – females – oh, wait, recently considered offensive too, Sluts (it is), take note calling me a fascist will only get me to roll my eyes at you, while calling me a Nazi is roll-on-the-floor funny. Why? Because my political philosophy requires almost no control by the state, beyond the very minimum to ensure the force of contracts and to prevent outright war of all against all. If you think that’s fascism, you really need to study up on fascism. As for Nazi, let’s just say that anyone who poked into my genetic antecedents (with a stick. And acid resistant gloves. Some of my ancestors were not… peaceable precisely) would know any theories of race purity would consider me an abomination.
Why the warning? Well, I haven’t bothered with twitter. I have kids still in the house, four cats, a demanding job. But as I get older and pissier, who knows, I might need another outlet. And you really can’t cage me with epithets because – get this, I know it will be hard for you fluttertwatters – I don’t care what you call me, anymore.]
So, that’s where we stand vis a vis givead*mns.
On top of this for a month now I’ve had eczema all over my arms. It was already pretty bad at Ravencon, but – picture the worst you’ve seen my eczema (and some of you have seen it at cons.) Now make it ten times worse and project it from my shoulders through the end of my fingers. I couldn’t take it anymore, the cream alone wasn’t fighting it, and I found that Benadryl oral does stop it for however many hours. This is allowing the topical cream to get the upper hand so that today I’m proud to announce only one small open wound on my right arm. The whole area is still covered in scales and still itches like hell, but hey, no wounds. Progress.
The price is to spend the whole day in a state of semi-zonk. Which means I’m working on Through Fire, but it’s going VERY slowly.
For some reason “zonk” removes my already lax “giveadamn” barriers.
So yesterday, on FB, finding a meme about the veteran of WWII who escaped a nursing home with his medals, after they told him he couldn’t attend D-Day celebrations, and who, somehow, managed to make it to France in time for the celebrations, I decided to echo it.
A quick click on the picture revealed that it was originally posted by Britain First. There was much handwringing in the comments about how he fought against fascism and now these people were defending fascism and using his picture.
The handwringing was so universal it made me curious. Look, I’ll admit right away I know nothing about British parties. At this point I know next to nothing about Portuguese parties. ONE thing I know, sort of, and that is that in either country there is no equivalent of a small government party. Or the idea that you shouldn’t stick your nose in people’s business. What there are are various flavors of socialist, whose program, depending on how aggressive they are at nationalizing things vs. just making private enterprise do what they want (as our current administration does) spread out on the pink/red/black spectrum from international socialist to national socialist. This doesn’t make them classical left and right so much as it makes them “uh?” To the extent that Britain First is LIKELY TO BE (note that I haven’t studied them beyond a tramp through wicki and some things my fans found) Nationalistic and promote a socialist agenda, they’re probably… unclassifiable. Since I suspect their nationalism is more of the confiscation than the “control private enterprise” form. But if we go on name, they might very well be national and socialist. Does this make them the equivalent of the Nazis?
Oh, hell, no. Nowhere could I find intent to invade Poland, and besides, Putin might get upset, since he has that planned for Wednesday.
Okay – I’ll be serious – nowhere did I find anti-semitism. Their entire program, first and last seems to hinge on getting Islam out of Britain and Islamic influence out of the British manner of life. They don’t even seem to be particularly against Arabs or Immigrants (there’s another party that is that in Britain), they’re just against he culture and the religion. Oh, and they’re very rude and uncouth and say nasty things about Islam and Muslims in public, and also walked in a mosque without taking off their shoes and try to give bibles to Muslims.
This is the stuff of horror, right?
I’ll confess to you that I’d have cringed from the association if I’d been twenty, and if I weren’t completely, fresh, all out of giveadamns.
At fifty one, I thought “Screw that. I like their meme which is about a WWII veteran. They’re not doing anything bad here. And no one is going to donate to them/become committed because they saw this meme.” So I echoed it.
Like clock work, someone half an hour later came to yell at me that I was echoing a meme from a white-supremacist party, and please stop doing that.
At which point I posted what I posted above about Britain First. I also pointed out culture is not race. Being against a culture, or a religion does not make you racist.
She then came back to – I swear I’m not lying – inform me that while okay they might not be racist, but they were a “hate group.”
I hate that designation which seems to mean “anything vile progs don’t like.” I used to post at a libertarian blog (I haven’t for a couple of years due to lack of time, not because I left it) where we were so strongly dedicated to overthinking everything we once got tied up in knots over whether adult incest should be forbidden by law. All of us agreed there were problems with it on the moral front, mind, but did it justify a law.
If you can picture that, you know that such a group not only couldn’t make the trains run on time, it couldn’t even decide whom it should hate, or even mildly dislike.
Well, we got labeled an “hate site” when we said stuff critical of terrorists, and it took us forever to slough it off.
So those words annoyed me. Particularly since what they seem to hate is a philosophy (again, on a very cursory search. I’m not that interested.)
So I started to answer back asking whom did they want killed or interned. Only my fingers have a life of their own. So what I posted was “Do they wish to stone gays? Kill women who marry outside their faith? Kill people not of their religion?”
After which the Huns took over and got delightfully in your face and graphic.
The girl who’d come to scold me didn’t come back. And you sort of have to realize after my answer she ran screaming into the night, sure she’d found a true bonna fide “right wing” and “fascist” nest. Because I was dissing Islam.
Let’s lean back and take a deep breath, shall we? This is what’s technically known as insane.
Words like “racist” and “hate group” and even “fascist” are not discussions. They’re a way to stop discussion and make the opposition run away. And the reason they want us to run away is that – of course – they don’t have a leg to stand on.
Yes, I’m going to be the first to say there are Muslims who never did harm to anyone. To the extent these people are decent, though, they’re not GOOD Muslims. And they know it, and in their heart they feel they should support the Jihad (which is not a spiritual fight, but a very physical one against infidels. You see, when I was fourteen an religiously seeking, I read the Koran. You cannot blow smoke up my orifices.) They might even give money to Jihadi groups.
And the religion itself, which is both religion and civil law, combined, is a horror. Killing anyone who converts out of the faith? Check. Covering women in upholstery better used for sofas? Check (and the first idiot who tells me this means respect for women is going to get punted from on high. It’s one thing for women to cover their hair out of religious belief, another to have it forced on them by civil laws. And it’s another entirely to cover women in a garment that makes it difficult for them to function in public in an industrial society, all in the name of making all women look like blobs, so men who can’t control their lusts won’t be tempted.) Mutilating little girls? Check. Child marriage with older men already with multiple wives? Check. The list goes on and on and on. Anything they don’t specifically approve of seems to be on the list to be stoned.
Look, I’m the first to say one man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh, (well, the second. Heinlein said it first.) and I have friends of a lot of religions I find dotty. But not one of them advocates killing that many people/subgroups. In fact, none of them, presently, advocates killing anyone.
Islam is, if anything, the living definition of hate group. So, why is it that anyone condemning them is a “hate group” – shouldn’t we fight hate with hate?
Shouldn’t we at least listen to why they object to this group of believers and this group of beliefs? Or is the fact that this religion, in England, is represented by people-who-can-tan an immediate get out of jail free card? And if it is, why? You do realize throughout history brown skinned people have committed just as many abominations as blond, blue eyed bastards, right?
Take Portugal (please. I sell it cheeeeep.) The North was raided by Vikings, the South by Moorish Pirates. I don’t recall either side receiving loving kindness.
But no, the screams of “hate group” and “nazi” and “fascist” makes people skiv off running, for fear they’ll be called that next.
Yes, I’m rolling my eyes.
Let’s peel back a bit of the wrapping around the words. Not all, because that would take forever.
As I said before I know nothing about Britain First. For all I know they paint Hitler mustaches under their noses and goosestep around their local pub saluting every Friday night, before setting fire to a mosque or two.
This is not about them. This is about being called a “fascist” or a “nazi”
Believe it or not “fascist” doesn’t mean anti-communist. Oh, sure communists and fascists squared it off in the Long war of Europe, for who would get supremacy.
The communists won. In words if not on the battle field, which is what’s causing the confusion.
First, communists, like the devil, managed to convince people they don’t exist. “True communism” cannot ever be achieved, and even its lighter form “socialism” is only really socialism if you take over the means of production.
I call it bullshit, and I call it damnable.
It’s true that “true communism” can’t exist in this our present plane, because it would require humans to transform into something different. (The communists in Russia actually expected this. Freed from the pressures of Capitalism, humans would evolve into Homo Sovieticus, who would work perfectly well within communism, and be happy too.) It doesn’t work that way, because it is, really, just a painted-up-version of the ancient tyrannies man has known since it became man. Taken to its final conclusion it generates not the Homo Sovieticus, but an hereditary monarchy. See Cuba, or North Korea.
BUT that’s not how they mean it doesn’t exist. They excuse the 100 million corpses generated by this regime by saying that “this time we’ll do it right.”
As for socialism – national or international – there isn’t a penny difference between outright nationalizing enterprises (what used to be undisguisedly socialism-on-the-way-to-communism. Yes, they called it that) and just controlling them with regulations and government money (which also goes to the cronies of the government, generally, not the “better enterprises.”)
To the extent it is sort of kind of different, it is the difference between China, which is now, in organization, fascist and Cuba which is the closest to a “perfect socialism” we have.
If I had to choose between living in one of them, I’d prefer China. It’s a thin preference, because both regimes are brutal, repressive, capable of dealing death on anyone who has a non-approved thought.
Both are also economically rotten. “Economic fascism” leaves just enough freedom to companies that it decays SLOWER than “economic socialism” but that’s it. I know. I was born in a country that practiced economic fascism (no, they were not Nazis. No, they never allied with Hitler. They were neutral because they were near bankrupt and also because if they’d declared for the Fascists, Franco would have annexed them. If they declared for the Allies, Franco would have invaded them. There really wasn’t any choice but being neutral in WWII, for them.) We weren’t as poor as Cuba, but by the time I came along, we were probably 50 years and perhaps more behind the rest of Europe. And there was no relief in sight.
It’s just fascism goes down the drain SLOWER than socialism/communism (the caveat being dose matters. the more socialism, the faster the down-the-drain-going.)
So, on that axis, if you take “fascism” as “right” and “socialism” as left, America managed to somehow lose WWII, because there is nowhere in the world a regime that believes in free enterprise and the rights of the individual. Our political idea of “leave us the heck alone to conduct our economic and social life as we please” has no room on that axis. We stand outside it and scratch our heads and go “why would you want either of those?”
The other defining factor in the axis is the one from Nationalism to Internationalism. I’m not going to explain why “Internationalism” is crazy. I know most Europeans grew up being taught nationalism leads to “fascism” and “war.”
This is bullshit and a scar from the time of WWI. Yeah, arguably, the lead up to the war was dressed in nationalism. And anyone who says “We should attack Elbonia because they’re not Kneeans like us” should be told to shut up and go home.
But there is a great difference between that and love and pride for your country. Look at it this way, guys, if you don’t love your country, what country do you love? Your country is the only one you’ll truly know – warts and all – and because it’s the only one you know, and you see the warts, you project onto other countries a level of perfect wonderfulness that doesn’t exist anywhere in the human condition.
This comes prettily from an immigrant, doesn’t it?
Yeah, but guess what? I loved the other country better, so I moved there. I didn’t sit in Portugal running Portugal down and cringing every time someone unfurled the flag. And the reason I moved here was not because I thought America had no warts. (I was raised in Europe, remember? Trust me, they tell us all of America’s warts in history.) It was that the philosophical alignment here suited me better. We might not have free enterprise or individual rights, but we still have the concepts.
It doesn’t in large part, because four generations have been told that nationalism is the root of all evil, and so they have dopily embraced the “internationalism” that was peddled by… Russia. The thing is if you dig into that “internationalism” it’s not so much that as “Russian Nationalism” where the world becomes one nation and that nation is Russia. (Yes, I say Russia, not the Soviet Union, because in the end, Russia was the motor of that, and Putin is about to rev it up again.)
There is – there can be – no such thing as internationalism. Look, guys, regions of the US are too different to form a “perfect union” despite the same (more or less) language and a shared history to a point. The nations of Europe… Eh. We’re seeing how that is working out. And the nations of the world… well! There isn’t enough in common there to form an international anything.
You really can’t make common cause with a hate group who stones homosexuals, upholsters women, forbids interest rate, and mutilates little girls. It’s not possible. And saying so doesn’t make you a hater, it makes you sane.
So – brings Benadryl addled mind back – refuse to be intimidated by name calling. They can call you “fascist” or “Nazi” or “hater” but that doesn’t change who you are.
If we are to make our way out of this mess we need to discuss what is really behind the words and behind the regimes. For instance, socialism, right or left, hasn’t worked all that well. Maybe we should give free-enterprise a spin. And dopey multiculturalism where we give equal acceptance to every CULTURE for fear of being called “racist” doesn’t work very well, either. For one, it’s bringing back true racism, which is the assumption culture and behavior are genetically inherited.
Perhaps we should go back to the idea that there are things people just SHOULDN’T do, like stoning people for changing their religion. Perhaps we should go back to the idea that even if Islam screams the loudest, and threatens our physical integrity, it really isn’t exempt from the market place of ideas. Distributing bibles to them is not a crime, and not hate. It’s normal in a free society. They distribute pamphlets promoting their religion. (They do it downtown where I live) and no one wants them banned or calls them “haters” for that. (For some of the loony stuff in the pamphlets, like the crazed hatred of gays and uncovered women, sure.)
If they want to live in the west, they have to accept the west’s give and take of ideas. And if they don’t want to do that they can go back whence they came. The west does NOT have the duty to wrap them in cotton wool. They come here, they live like us.
And that, readers, is the sum total of my hating hatey hatred. I think immigrants should adapt to the receiving culture. I’m one. I should know.
And I think we should stop talking in terms of “left” and “right” and instead examine the various economic and social systems and finds what works and what doesn’t.
Yes, I know this makes me a terrible person. Who is now going to load up on caffeine and finish her book, despite Benadryl.