Saturday, October 22, 2005

Modern Agriculture and Left Dhimmi Fascism (3)

In this third installment on the development of modern agriculture we're continuing to provide context for our upcoming posts on ecology and fascism. Michael Moore is a fascist? What does multi-culturalism have to do with 18th century farming practices? Why is the modern West filled with urban intellectuals who base their ideologies on the way people raise crops and livestock? And why is the whole of Modernity at risk because some intellectuals hate the way the West farms? We'll explore these questions from the viewpoints of Marxist historians.

Capitalism is the enemy not only of the Left, as we all know, but it is also the enemy of the Right, which people either don't know or refuse to know. It should be obvious to all but it's not: the Right is anti-capital. The Right, dear reader, hates rational agriculture.

But, you object, Walmart is a vast Right wing conspiracy all on its own. Microsoft is a Right wing leviathan. Libbys Beans are genetically modified monsters devouring those who try to eat them. Conservative Right wing entities.

No. We have a major confusion of nomenclature here, and though we don't claim any good sense of economics we can immediately state that much of what passes for capitalism today is fascist corporatism, not capitalism.

Fasten your seat belts: Capitalism is Liberalism. Capitalists are Liberals. Capitalists are revolutionaries.

Of course, all of this is highly offensive to the average reader who knows better. The average reader knows all this is wrong because, LOL, it's not right. Everyone knows it's not right because it's wrong. LOL.

Capital, the cash nexus, wrecked 5,000 years of the idiocy of rural living. Suddenly, without warning, the Industrial Revolution began its steam-powered roll across the landscape and the mindscape equally. Behind it came the social revolutions of individualism. Man, having lived and died with his family and community from the time of creation was suddenly torn asunder from the Land and was replaced by sheep. By corn. By potatoes. By men who made money: Revolutionaries who over-turned the natural order of life itself, and who made life Hell on Earth. Man no longer had a personal relationship with the land but a cash relationship. He was no longer an integral part of the manor but was on his way to becoming a wage-slave in the dark, Satanic mills of Industry. He was moved from the land, not his but his place, to the swelling cities where he had no relationship to anything other than utter alienation from his previous life and then from the product of his labour: he couldn't even eat anything he produced. All was taken from him that he made by machines rather than with his own hands, and in exchange for his labour he was given some money to pay for other things he didn't make or have any relation to. With that in mind one might begin to understand the hatred the former peasant, now landless factory labouring proletarian, had for capitalism. For the majority of peasants in the new mode of production, capitalist, the meaning of life had gone totally rotten to the core. Life was wrong. Someone had done something to make it so. The bourgeoisie! The Capitalists!

And it's not just the poor peasant crammed into a filthy hovel with too many children working in chimneys who hated the New World Order: The former estate owners were as dispossessed as the peasants. The land owners too lost their settled relationship and ordered worldview. For them too the revolutions of Industry and French Modernity turned their mental world upside down-- if they were lucky enough to retain their physical heads.

In a rational and cash-driven economy the idiot to the manor born was out of luck if he couldn't find the needed skill to make a profit from the land he owned. And not only that: if his entitlements, his income due to him by virtue of his birth into an entitled family, were gone, so too was his status. In a modern world of the universal rights of man and fraternity, what made the penniless landowner better than his former peasant tenants? What made him superior to the burgher up-start who now was not only his social equal but who could bully and threaten him by virtue of cash in hand? The aggressive money-counter, man of science and ungodliness, of cold logic and cash, that man who had no titles passed down from antiquity from father to son could now simply buy a title.

The natural order had collapsed into chaos. The Old World Order is, as we read these lines, in flames. The Old World is still kicking in its death-throes. It's kicking me. It's kicking you. It's kicking buildings in Manhattan, tube trains in London, cafes in Bali, schools in Russia. And many of our own are cheering it on.

Most of us don't realize that we are revolutionaries. Most of us don't realize that we are hated bcause of what our world is doing daily to the fabric of traditional cultures. And those who do understand it usually hate it, thinking we're destroying a unique and precious state of innocence and beauty, a "natural" state of oneness with Mankind, of co-operation alien to the world of mere money, of a world before the men with cash came and turned everyone into a production piece for the sake of the fat cats and rich pigs and so on. Many of our own yearn for a lost paradise of purity before the life of man was reduced to the cash nexus. A time when things were organic, hand-made of natural materials, before the age of plastic. Before the revolutions of Modernity. It's among those critics of Modernity, of those who are nostalgic for the lost age, that one finds the likes of Michael Moore, Ward Churchill, and the Left dhimmi fascists we go on about daily.

In the making of this Modernist omelet we have broken a number of eggs. The forces of reaction, Left and Right, are hoping to put those eggs back together again-- or to destroy everything in the process.

Returning to Hobsbawm, he writes:

The very large number of those who now vegetated on the land to which all human history tied them, but who if it were productively exploited, would be mere surplus population, had to be torn away from their roots and allowed to move freely. Only thus would they migrate to the towns and factiories where their muscles were increasingly needed. In other words, the peasants had to lose their land together with their other bonds. (p. 187.)

"Vegetated" approaches perfection of description. Compare Hegel's tutor, G.E. Lessing, a lovely and interesting man who wrote of the cycles of existence, to Hegel, who wrote of the synthetic progress of History. What happened? To Hegel: Napoleon. To the Western world: The French and Industrial Revolutions. To the peasants and landlords: The end of the world. Progress. Machines. Capital. A complete and terrible over-turning of the natural order and life as it had been forever. And you, gentle reader, are a continuing part of it.

Had we but world enough and time we'd continue this presentation immediately; however, such is not the case, and we will return at the earliest possible time to finish this post.

As always, you are welcome to leave comments below or at our secret address:

Friday, October 21, 2005

Rational Agriculture and Left Dhimmi Fascism (2)

The People. The Land. Traditional Cultures. At one with Nature. Harmony. Spirit. Authenticity. Simplicity. Alienation.

Are we referring to the Left or to the Right cliches and catch words?

In our previous post on this topic we began our look at the roots of Left fascist dhimmitude in the counter-revolutionary struggles of the peasants and manoralists against the rationalization of agriculture. We'll continue here to show that the feudal ties of the Land and the Soil and Nature are unbroken in the hearts and minds of most of the world's populations, and that in the greater West where those ties are broken there is a nostalgia for their restoration, a struggle for neo-feudalism, for fascist communitarianism, for control of and even the destruction of privacy.

How is it that men fly aeroplanes full of civilians into crowded office towers full of civilians for the sole purpose of killing people at random? Why do some blow themselves up on buses, in trains, in cafes, and in schools full of children? Let's look at farming for a hint. Social relations. Man and man, man and soil, man and God. Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer. What is the right and natural state of man? And if that is wrong and unnatural, what is a man to do but try to destroy it by any means necessary? The man of the soil takes wings and destroys the Tower of Babel.
We have written of the natural and unsentimental bifurcation of Humanity, of the division in catastrophic ways of the split between the toilers and tillers of the world and the priests of the aether. This natural division isn't new. One sees it in earliest Babylonian societies in which the toilers and diggers provided the star-gazing priests with goods and services in exchange for practical knowledge of the universe: when to plant, when to pray. Today, the priests have no need of the diggers but for them to dig their own graves and fall into them dead. The time of the tiller is done. This is the time of the priest. Blame it on rational agriculture. You'll be right to do so. The peasants know it directly. They are the ones looking at the end of their time. They don't like it. They are more than angry. They are enraged and homicidal. They want to kill you and destroy everything you stand for. One can hardly blame them.

And in not blaming, in being sophisticated intellectuals, in understanding the relative merits of all peoples and cultures, we must still accept that there is a crux to this problem: a return to pre-industrial life or a continuation and expansion of Modernity. For all of our good will toward all peoples, of our guilt over past wrongs, of our concerns for the treatment of Third World Peoples and Traditional Cultures and the Rape of Mother Nature, and so on, we still have to take one path or the other, and only one will be successful. Humanity is bifurcating, and one group must die out.

What is the purpose of Man?

We don't seek a definitive answer here but a position, an indication of an attitude. Your answer will determine whether you are a fascist at heart or a thinking Modernist. Of course the terms are loaded, but think carefully about what they mean. Fascism in some form or another has been the lot of man for 5,000 years, since the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution. Today the world's majority live in some form of fascist relationship to the world. There must be something good about it because most people like it. It's we, the Modernist revolutionaries, we who are the tiny minority in the world. We are so because of modern farming. We stopped being farm animals and became priests of the aether. We go or we fall back. There is no alternative. One path or the other.
Why does the good man suffer while the evil man prospers? Who can say? But we ask. And the primitive asks why he, being good, is tormented by the evil who prosper greatly, who rule over him, who destroy his life as he and his have lived it from the beginning of time.

Eric J. Hobsbawm writes:

What happened to the land determined the life and death of most human beings in the years from 1789 to 1848. Consequently the impact of the dual revolution on landed property, land tenure and agriculture was the most catastrophic phenomenon of our period. (p. 184.)

Hobsbawm refers of course to the fact that peasants relied solely on agriculture for life, not on industry or commerce to survive. But more than that, the peasant relied on the feudal system of agriculture for life. In times of hardship he relied on the social network of feudalism. His was not a cash nexus. That has changed for the Modernist. The Revolutions arrived. With the revolutions came men with new ideas of how the land should be used: For profit.

[N]either the political nor the economic revolution could neglect land, which the first school of economists, the Physiocrats, considered the sole source of wealth, and whose revolutionary transformation all agreed to be the necessary precondition and consequence of bourgeoisie society, if not of all rapid economic development. The great frozen ice-cap of the world's traditional agrarian systems and rural relations lay above the fertile soil of economic growth. It had at all costs to be melted so that that soil could be ploughed by the forces of of profit-pursuing private enterprise. [L]and had to be turned into a commodity, possessed by private owners and freely purchasable and saleable by them. [Land] had to pass into the ownership of a class of men willing to develop its productive resources for the market and impelled by reason, i.e. enlightened self-interest and profit. [The] great mass of the rural population had in some way to be transformed...into freely mobile wage workers for the growing non-agricultural sector of the economy. (p184.)
Two major obstacles stood in the way: pre-capitalist landlords and the traditional peasantry. The British and the American[s]...both eliminated the peasantry and one the landlord altogether. The classical British solution produced a country in which perhaps 4,000 proprietors owned perhaps four-sevenths of the land which was a quarter of a million farmers...who employed about one and a quarter million of hired labourers and servants.... The classical American solution was that of owner-occupying commercial farmer who made up for the shortage of labour by intensive mechanization. Obed Hussey's (1833) and Cyrus McCormick's (1834) mechanical reapers were the complement to the purely commercial-minded farmers or land-speculating entrepreneurs who extended the American way of life westwards. (pp. 184-85.)

What we are witnessing here is the commercialization of agriculture for the simple sake of personal profit. Consider that in this scenario the land is simply dirt. It is no longer the ancestral homeland, the collective holding of the family, the clan, the tribe, or the volk. It's rotten and decomposed stuff that grows food. There is no sentimentalizing of The Land. It is not Mother Nature. There is no Great Spirit. It is land for profit. A commercial enterprise that succeeds or fails by dint of reason and effort. This mode of producing crops is revolutionary and disruptive of traditional life, to say the least.

If we look at the average suburban American's view of nature and farming he will likely at some point say it would be nice to get back to a simpler life on the farm, to a time before things got so hectic, and cetera. He, having no stake in such an idea, gets back into the SUV and stops at the supermarket for groceries on the way back to the house in the burbs, his own alienated space of privacy and individualism, products of Modernity, thanks to rational agriculture, and mostly unbeknownst to him. But, for the peasant in the context of movement, of transition to the modern economy of cash crops, of industrialization of agriculture and society, the view is more immediate, and it is threatening. It drives some literally insane. It drives them to suicide and murder.

Nomadic and primitive Indians were not the only people who neither understood bourgeois -individualist rationalism on the land nor wished for it. [T]he vast bulk of the rural population from the largest feudal lord down to the most poverty-stricken shepherd united in abominating it. Only a politico-legal revolution directed against both lords and traditional peasants could create the conditions in which the rational minority might be come the rational majority.
[The] first object was to turn the land into a commodity. [In] Catholic and Muslim countries... the great bloc of ecclesiastical land had to be taken out of the Gothic realm of non-economic superstition and opened to the market and rational exploitation. Secularisation and sale awaited them The equally vast blocs of collectively owned-- and therefore badly utilized-- lands of village and town communities, common fields, common pastures, woodlands, etc,. had to be made accessible to individual enterprise. Division into individual lots and 'enclosure' awaited them. That the new purchasers would be the enterprising, strong, and sober could hardly be doubted; and thus the second of the objects of the agrarian revolution would be achieved. (pp.186-87)

With just a bit of sensitivity one will see the state of the average primitive in today's world. Having lived in a community that has no concept of change, communities in which he is raised to believe himself to be an organic component rather than an individual, and which he is a subordinate component, he will see his community under threat by outside forces (capitalists, globalists, infidels, &c.,) and his reaction willl be to save the great community from change, i.e. harm, from us.

When we return to this post next day we'll continue with our look at Hobsbawm and also to Berend for more insight into the primitives of the Third World, Islam in particular, and also to see from shence comes our own nostalgia and self-defeating Left dhimmi fascism.

Islam-ole, Mon

Islam is the fascist resistance of our time. As Nazi ideology had its layers of thugs and psychopaths, some being brilliant intellectuals, others the garbage of the lumpen heap, so too does and will Islam have its layers of criminal and psychopathic thinkers and doers. Islam will attract those intellectuals who are alienated for whatever reason from Modernity, those who are by choice or accident of nature criminal, and the simple opportunists who ride on the ox-carts of fascism. Islam, like its Nazi forebearers, has and will have the whole range of scum.

Below is a closer look at criminal-fascist Islam in Trinidad. The Caribbean is a perfect place to find converts to Islam. The greater poplulations being asocial, uneducated, poor, and prone to impulsive violence, one will likely find more converts to Islam and a greater enthusiansm for it than one found among Latino and Caribs for Communism. One might well expect a conversion to Islam any time soon by Chavez. And with him a grater part of the continental population. Then what?

Al-Qaeda’s Inroads into the Caribbean

By Chris Zambelis

Security threats emanating from the Caribbean Basin typically revolve around its position as a key trans-shipment point for South American narcotics to the United States and Europe, as well as illegal immigration, money laundering, and other forms of banking and document fraud. Indeed, organized criminal networks from as far away as Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Asia, in addition to U.S. and South American organizations, have a formidable presence in the region.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, however, many observers began to look at the region’s potential as a base of operations for radical Islamist terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda to stage attacks against the U.S. and its interests in the Western Hemisphere. Upon cursory examination, the region’s geographic proximity to the U.S., porous borders, widespread poverty and endemic corruption, energy reserves, not to mention the tens of thousands of Americans and Europeans who vacation there at any given time of the year, make it an attractive target.

Islam in the Caribbean Basin

The region’s small Muslim population is comprised mostly of South and Southeast Asians with deep roots stemming back to the Colonial period, as well as Arabs. The region has also experienced an increase of migrants from the Middle East in recent decades. Some of the largest Muslim communities are found in Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Adherence to Islam varies dramatically from country to country. In general, it reflects the diverse ethnic and cultural traditions that comprise the region and is often infused with distinctly “Caribbean” features. This is best evidenced by the Shi’a Muharram rituals known locally as Hosay, (derived from the regional transliteration of Husayn) performed by East Indian Shi’a Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and Jamaica, that commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn.

Recent Arab migrants from the Middle East tend to be more pious and traditional relative to their second and third generation Arab and Muslim counterparts. Moreover, there are a growing number of locals converting to Islam, especially among impoverished minorities such as the indigenous peoples of the Mexican state of Chiapas and marginalized populations of African descent in the Caribbean islands.

[T]here is a concern that al-Qaeda is targeting these groups for recruitment due to their perceived ability to travel and blend into Western cities more effectively.

Spotlight on Trinidad and Tobago

U.S. and regional security sources point to the activities of a number of obscure organizations based in oil- and natural gas-rich Trinidad and Tobago as evidence of the Caribbean Basin’s potential to spawn homegrown radical Islamist organizations [4].

The Jammat al-Muslimeen (Muslim Group) is Trinidad and Tobago’s most notorious Muslim organization. Although Trinidad’s ethnically and religiously diverse population, split roughly between descendants of African slaves and indentured servants from India and a sizable “mixed” community, includes Sunni and Shi’a Muslim immigrants from South Asia and the Middle East, the Jammat is known almost exclusively as a Black Sunni Muslim organization comprised mainly of Afro-Trinidadian converts to Islam. The group is led by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, a former police officer who was born Lenox Philip. The Jammat is best known for its violent 1990 attempt to overthrow the Trinidadian government over grievances related to land ownership, social and economic inequality, and government corruption [5].

On July 27, 1990, Abu Bakr, along with leading Jammat figures Bilaal Abdullah and Maulana Hasan Anyabwile, led over 100 members of the group in storming Trinidad’s Red House (National Parliament), taking Prime Minister A.N.R. Robinson and most of his cabinet captive. The group also took over Trinidad and Tobago Television, then the country’s only television network, and the Trinidad Broadcasting Company, one of two radio stations. The ensuing standoff lasted for five days while rioting and looting gripped the capital, Port of Spain, leading to scores of deaths and the destruction of millions of dollars worth of property. Abu Bakr surrendered to the authorities after a period of negotiations that allowed the group to escape prosecution [6]. Significantly, many of the weapons used in the failed coup were imported from Florida through Louis Haneef, an Afro-Trinidadian Muslim convert based in the U.S. Haneef spent four years in a U.S. federal prison after being convicted for his role in smuggling the weapons to Trinidad [7].

Many observers attribute the origins of the coup attempt to Trinidad’s history of racially inspired riots and revolutionary social protest movements. Between six and eight percent of Trinidad and Tobago’s population is Muslim, with the Jammat representing a tiny fringe of the community.

U.S. and Trinidadian authorities have kept a close eye on the Jammat’s activities since the 9/11 attacks, but there is no hard evidence tying the group to international terrorism, let alone al-Qaeda. However, Abu Bakr did maintain links with Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi in the 1980s and 90s and considers him a close friend to this day. The Jammat reportedly received funds through Libya’s World Islamic Call Society (WICS) to finance the construction of its main mosque, schools, and a medical center, but there is no evidence linking Tripoli with the failed 1990 coup attempt. Abu Bakr’s most recent publicized links with controversial international figures include Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In many respects, the Jammat al-Muslimeen’s ideology and rhetoric mirror that of militant Black ethno-nationalist movements, including the most radical fringes of the Nation of Islam. Abu Bakr’s supporters see him as a hero fighting for social justice. Interestingly, although most Trinidadians did not support his 1990 coup attempt, many at the time agreed with the issues raised by the Jammat during the crisis, especially impoverished Afro-Trinidadians. At the same time, the Jammat is seen by many locally as a well organized criminal empire involved in everything from drug smuggling, money laundering, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion, with Abu Bakr running the show [8]. Abu Bakr has since been the target of a series of criminal investigations and indictments for his alleged role in ordering the murders of former Jammat members.

The Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (Islamic Front), headed by Omar Abdullah, himself a Black Muslim convert, has also been identified as a potential threat by U.S. intelligence and Trinidadian authorities. Like the Jammat al-Muslimeen, the Wajithatul Islamiyyah is comprised mostly of Afro-Trinidadian converts to Islam. Local sources allege that Abdullah harbors extremist leanings. The Waajihatul has been accused of publishing material expressing support for al-Qaeda, but Trinidadian authorities have not provided conclusive evidence of any direct links with the group. He is often outspoken in his criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the Trinidadian government’s policy towards Muslims. Trinidadian authorities also tie Abdullah to local crime and other illicit dealings [9].

The Jamaat al-Murabiteen (Almoravids, after the African Muslim dynasty that ruled Morocco and Spain in the 11th and 12th Century) and the related Jammat al-Islami al-Karibi (Caribbean Islamic Group) are associated with one time Jamaat al-Muslimeen chief of security Maulana Hasan Anyabwile, formerly Beville Marshall. He split with Abu Bakr in 2001 over what Trinidadian sources allege was a personal rift with the group’s leader. Anyabwile hosted a radio show where he was known to criticize Trinidadian Hindus, Indian Muslims, and his former Jamaat al-Muslimeen associates for their purported failure in improving the lot of Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago. Local sources also allege that he is an extremist [10].

Anyabwile was shot and critically wounded in 2002 by an unknown attacker in what many believe was part of a larger turf war between rival Muslim activists, most likely the Jammat al-Muslimeen. Now a paraplegic, Anyabwile continues to fear for his life, but remains an outspoken critic of Abu Bakr [11].


The Caribbean Basin will remain a region of concern in the war on terrorism. Despite a lack of hard evidence to date, international terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda in theory can potentially feed off of the institutional weakness, political and economic instability, poverty, and lawlessness that characterize the Caribbean Basin to further their aims. But as the case of Trinidad and Tobago demonstrates, the mere presence of Islamist activist groups (or Muslims in general) does not necessarily equate to links to al-Qaeda. Therefore, in addressing the threat (or perceived threat) of radical Islam in the region effectively, it is imperative that policymakers consider the nexus between deep-seated social, political, and economic grievances and international terrorism, and not simply settle for shortsighted solutions.

Shiva Link

Islam as it is. Shiva provides graphics one might care to avoid. Top-notch commentary.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Modern Agriculture and Left Dhimmi Fascism (1)

We Modernists own our own lives. No one else can lay that claim. The American and French Revolutions put it on paper and called it legal; the Industrial Revolution made it potential and practicable. The ground of those three revolutions of Modernity is rational agriculture.

As background and context for further inquiries into ecology and fascism we will look at the nature of social change as it grew from the changed relation of man to the land, the end of feudal ties to manorial lords and plantation owners. We will look at the beginning of the end of 'man as farm animal.' Life as livestock is still the lot of most men, but not in the world of Modernity. It might return generally if we do not continue our revolutions, if we reject our mission to further Modernity to the universal condition, if we allow the fascists to restore the ancient orders. Back to the Land. The People. The Culture. Oneness with Nature. The Great Spirit. More Feeling. The Peoples' Right to self-determination. Yes, the very stuff of fascism, and it seems so pretty on the face of it. Almost Romantic. Mystical. Authentic. No more cash relations, no more capitalism, no more globalism, but only a purer relationship with ones own community. Local. Community oriented. Pacific. Pastoral. Fascist.

All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. Marx, Engels, The Communist Manifesto. p.24

A return to the pre-industrial age of pure relations of man to man and man to nature. A time prior to Globalism that "has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors," and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than callous "cash payment."" (p. 23)

The time of the Communist is over. There will be no future workers' paradise in the glory of socialist relations. But! But! But, having witnessed the end of the future, the futility of the coming of the pure paradise of the workers ruling the world in happy harmony, what if-- rather than surpassing the capitalist means of production and social relations through socialism itself to return to the idyllic times of yore we can simply return to those happier, more authentic times directly? What if, rather than destroying the rotting frames of capitalism to erect socialism we simply move back to the pre-capitalist epoch without socialism? Let's all be Palestinians. Let's be "post" modern. Let's all be fascists.

Modernity, as Marx points out, comes from the end of feudal agriculture. The French Revolution wiped out feudal ties in much of Europe, and in its place created the conditions of capitalism, of the bourgeois revolution, the revolution of the free individual with the right to own his own life. No more community of master and man, but free men, men in competition for wages and work, man against man, man against nature, man against the state. Free men and free women. Free, according to Marx, to starve to death for the sake of making a profit for another. Free.

Free man arose from the ground itself, freed in England partly by the Black Death, that plague, by killing perhaps 25 per cent of the population, caused a labour shortage, a shortage that required competition for workers, that allowed a man to move from his tenure on the manor to a state of negotiated wage-labour on another's estate with the knowledge he would not be reclaimed by his former owner. Man, having tasted freedom, craved more.

In 1492, having finally expelled the Moors, the Spanish looked for a trade route to bypass the Muslims of Arabia on the way to the markets of India. In encountering the New World as a consolation prize, the market was flooded with new goods, and the markets grew and grew and grew, filling the guild-halls to bursting till they did burst, disgorging men into the work market, talented men, and men with access to cash to build and create and compete.

Free men, talented and clever and skilled, with new crops and new lands, created new methods of farming. The nightmare of Modernity began for the post modernists and their fascist Muslim allies: The division of labour. The need for non-agricultural labour. The expansion of cities. The move away from "The Land." The rise of The Machine.

In classical terms, "Conservatives" refers to the landed estate owners. Liberals are those who yearned for cash. The reactionary forces of the Land were from then till now in struggle against the Mercantile/ Industrial capitalists. Nothing has changed. The workers are still caught under foot. Today many of them are free to move away and do on their own what they will. But the forces of the Land are still in the fight to restore the age of feudalism, and they have never ceased in their struggle to regain their previous privileged positions. Today, even at this moment, the vast mass of men is under the foot of the Landowners of the world. Few men live in a state of Modernity. More's the pity.

Below we'll look at excerpts from Ivan T. Berend, History Derailed: Central and Eastern Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2002. Also we'll look at Eric J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution: 179-1848. London: Cardinal Press. 1962. The purpose of our look at the development of modern agriculture is to show that the world of Modernity could not have arisen without rational agriculture, and that from that came the marvels of Modern industry and the reality of individual freedom for man, a condition that is specific to Modernity. In this look at the roots and growth of Modernity we will also see the continuation of pre-modern and therefore post-modern fascism.

Please return later this evening for our continuation of this post. We apologize for the delay.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Counter-Enlightenment Fascism in Modern France

Irrationalists are not stupid per se. Irrationalists value non-rational modes of thinking and experience, eg. intuition, feeling, mystical or gnostic wisdom. We have expressed constant concern about the Irrationalist movement of the modern Left, and we have included or will include the range of Irrationalists: from those who practice astrology; worship Mother Nature; delve into rune mythology; who take seriously the prattle of C.G. Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell, among others. We must understand the nature of Irrationalists, whether they are environmentalist Green fascists, primitive Islamic fascists, White fascists (classical Nazis] such as Heidegger, David Duke, J-M Le Pen, or Left dhimmi fascists such as George Galloway and Ken Livingstone, Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill, Karen Armstrong and John Esposito. One can imagine the furor we seem to cause in exposing to the general public that many cultural icons of our time are fascists. The Jungians go psychotic, the Campbellites threaten, the animal rights people rage, and so on. The facts are indisputable, not disproven simply because those who admire the icon after a casual reading of sanitized biographies or Public Broadcasting Service specials on television take offense at something they're not familiar with, something contradictory to the norm; but the historical truth, the plain reality is that many of our iconic figures are fascists. The only legitimate problem we can have with that is our lack of knowledge of the definition of the term. Once it's clear, as it should be to long-term readers here, there is no question that Jung, for example, is not only a verifiable Nazi supporter, but that he is a fascist. These are not stupid people. They are Irrationalists. They are Right and also Left fascists. We cannot continue to be naive about their positions, and ours. Those who value non-rational approaches to life are Irrationalist. If we sit on our assumptions and stare wide-eyed and impressed by the Irrationalist poses we will continue to be lied to, manipulated by, and eventually destroyed by fascists. We must come to a clear understanding of what our enemies mean when they discourse and dialogue. We cannot afford to whinge about P.C. silliness as if that's all it is, as if that is something comprehensible in itself. We must be rational and clear in our own minds concerning the nature of fascism and its course in our time. If not, we will end up as stupefied by Irrationalism as are the French.

We will interrupt below to comment on the highlighted phrases to point out the fascist key words and concepts.

The Wacky World of French Intellectuals
by Laurent Murawiec

Whence comes the phenomenon known as fundamentalist Islam or Islamism? Some French analysts from a range of disciplines (international affairs, Orientalism, security studies, journalism) have come to an agreement: it comes from. . . the United States. Despite the inherent implausibility of viewing a movement engaged in a sustained attack on Americans as a diabolical U.S. plot, this argument has considerable persuasive power. It presents Islamism as an American attempt to retard progress in Muslim countries and divide them from their natural allies in Europe. Such ideas come at once from the Right and the Left, representing both nostalgia for the French empire and a residual "Third-Worldism." They have as their common denominator a hatred of the United States and all it stands for. Although still marginal, these ideas about Islamism have spilled over into policy-making circles and have had a skewing effect on French policies toward the Middle East.

America's War on Europe

America is "the last empire" in the view of these analysts, and that explains its aggressive policies. Paul-Marie de la Gorce, a leftist author with a Gaullist perspective on foreign affairs, believes that "the American empire is the only empire in the world today, it is an exclusive hegemony, and it is the first time that such a strange phenomenon occurs in human history."1 According to Senator Pierre Biarnès, in a 1998 book on geopolitics, it is an "unbearable America," a country dead-set on "moral and mercantile hegemony," obsessed with its own "hegemonic design."2

Worse, the United States is a "totalitarian democracy," writes Alexandre del Valle (the pen-name of Arthur Dupont, a French civil servant). It is a lone superpower intent on preventing any other power from emerging and determined to control Europe. Islamism is one whip used against Europe, but there are others:

Washington orchestrated the Asian financial crisis to bring down its dangerous rival Japan, and it uses the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to control Europe against Europe's interests. "Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the mutuality of geopolitical and ideological interests that united America and Western Europe against the Soviet bloc seems to have become partly obsolete," del Valle writes in his somewhat convoluted style. In a more straightforward way, he observes that "the United States has launched a war against the Old World."3

The theme of a war between the Old and the New Worlds recurs often. Pierre-Marie Gallois, a retired general, one of the conceptualizers of de Gaulle's doctrine of "all points" nuclear deterrence, and a well-known figure in the French defense community, holds that it is U.S. strategy to subvert European sovereignty (désouverainiser). From this alleged intent stems Washington's desire to place "Europe under German-American military control." The Germans go along with this because "the concept of Europe is an obsession for the Germans," who have always wanted to rule the continent. "In order to build that empire, the nation-states have to be destroyed," Gallois adds, which explains why the United States was set on undermining the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. France should rebuke the Germans and the Americans, and join with "our traditional allies," Russia and Serbia.

The theme of an American war on Europe has surprisingly wide appeal in elite French circles. François Mitterrand is quoted as saying in private conversation (according to his confidante Georges-Marc Benamou): "France does not know it, but we are at war with America. Yes, a permanent war, a vital war, a war without casualties, at least apparently."4 An opinion piece that appeared on the front page of the most prestigious French daily, co-authored by two members of the European Parliament, sums up the ills of a U.S.-ruled world, where "the market," a "triumphant totalitarianism" which bullies the rest of the world "way beyond the old Kremlin's wildest dreams," has confiscated the sovereignty of nations. The planet is now in the hands of "a mercantile one-worldism" which is the equal of Nazism and Bolshevism, they write. Thankfully, there are "vigorous signs" — the two authors' own exertions, for instance — of resistance to the uniformization of the world imposed by the "American Way of Life."5 They are spokesmen for a heterogeneous coalition of nationalists ranging from Populists of the left and the right to Gaullists, Socialists, and Communists, ultra-Leftists and ultra-Rightists, the whole rag-tag current going under the name of souverainisme.

What does it mean to go under the name of souverainisme? If we look to von Herder's reaction to Napoleon's entry into the German states we see a crisis of identity, and a nationalist or even a tribalist retrenchment into ethnicity, in the German case based first on language and then on soil mysticism and blood purity. German identity revolved around the German language when there was no unified German nation, and then it devolved into worship of the German soil and celebration of the irrationalism of myth, myth of Germanness, myth of German gods and glory, myth of German racial superiority and strength. So it is with the French today, under threat from Modernity, the very Enlightenment so many heroes of the Revolutions we live by created. What all the anti-American fascists have in common is irrationality and fascism, racial myths, chauvinist triumphalism, soil mysticism, and the hodge-podge of neo-fascist ideology in reaction to American Modernity.

In short, the United States is dangerous because it is the champion of capitalism and of the lifting of national borders in the interests of a commercial economy. The United States is home to the "new masters of the world," notably multinational corporations which "loot the planet," impose a "sterile uniformity" on it as well as a "streamlined mode of thinking." The influential editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, Ignacio Ramonet, purveys this line of thinking in his book Géopolitique du Chaos. Fortunately, he says, "the specter of decline lurks over "American neo-hegemony." 6 The United States is overstretching; it is destroying itself. America will collapse under the weight of its own debt, and will be unable to manage such intractable problems as race, poverty, and unemployment. It is precisely because it is threatened by decline that the United States is so intent on shoring up its hegemony.

What does "the lifting of national borders" mean to French intellectuals in the EU? It means nothing unless we couple it with the new world masters of "multi-national corporations." To make sense of the senseless, the irrational if not the contradictory, we have to look at the history of the French Revolution, if briefly. The counter-Enlightenment fascists, if one can accept the anachronistic term, were in a frenzy against the disruption of the 'Natural Order.' One of the worst offenses against the old order was urbanity, the rise of cities, the separation of the peasants from the land. In the world of reaction, the fall of the feudal agricultural order was the end of the world as it was supposed to be forever. Who did this? The rootless cosmopolitans. Those who are not "authentic" beings of the Natural soil. Those who are not vital and virile and mythologically powerful as were the gods of the lost time of the Golden Age when there were no cities, when men lived in a state of Nature, when the natural order was harmonious and the authentic people of the land were not polluted by foreign elements, the rootless, the cosmopolites, the multi-nationals.

It is those who do not belong by blood to the nation and the soil, those who are not authentic, those who are machine-like and un-natural who are the cause of the decay of the order and the cause of the decline from the former greatness of the volk. It is outsiders taking from the natives, uncaring of the soil, the mystic soil-- the looters. Friend, all of what we see here is fascism.

Rather than continue to comment on the historically clear and fully documented nature of the fascism discussed in this essay we'll leave the reader in peace to finish.

The U.S.-Islamist Alliance

"The United States. . . bears a crushing responsibility in the exacerbation of the anti-Western Islamist menace which arises here, there, and everywhere in the world," writes del Valle in a leading Parisian journal of strategic affairs.7 "The growth of Islam and Islamism in the world is inextricably connected to the cultural, political, economic, and geostrategic action of the United States since the beginning of the twentieth century," he adds in a book-length study of this subject.8

However strange this may sound to American ears, it is by no means the thinking of an isolated eccentric. To the contrary, a variety of authors reach this conclusion from radically different premises. While del Valle is essentially hostile to Muslims, François Burgat of the University of Aix-en-Provence is sympathetic to them; he sees a class war within Islam, with the United States on the side of the oppressors: "the American-Israeli strategy . . . aims everywhere to buttress the Arab political status quo and paralyze even the most legitimate opposition by means of repressive policies." The "legitimate" oppositionists Burgat refers to include, it bears noting, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Algeria and various Islamist terrorist groups in Egypt.9 He blames not these movements for violence, but U.S. policy; U.S. imperialism is at the heart of "the frightful mesh of circumstances that produces not bombs, but individuals who come to believe in the necessity of bombs, even at the expense of their own lives." In contrast, Burgat finds it legitimate for Muslims to rebel: "The long string of violence and humiliations, of media lies and vote fraud, of arrests and jailings, of tortures and lawless killings or large-scale slaughters, is what produces, in Algiers or Nablus, political monsters capable of destroying themselves for their cause."10

Richard Labévière, a French-Swiss television reporter, makes the same point in a recent book, ostensibly a work of investigative reporting.

Without seeing the CIA's hand every time history moves faster, and without falling into a paranoid interpretation of the "grand conspiracy," our investigation always ends up identifying more or less direct American responsibilities, more or less converging interests, more or less controlled instrumentalization in many Islamist theaters of operations.
Those "Islamist theaters" are Egypt, Algeria, and France; he refers also to Islamic sanctuaries in Bosnia, Chechnya, Albania, the Philippines, Madagascar, South Africa, and even Brazil.11

Gallois believes the United States, by its very nature, must be on the side of the Islamists: "Islam much resembles the capitalist conception of society that prevails in the United States," he asserts in a recent book.12 Labévière also finds a harmony between an America bent on hegemony and radical Islam:
Islamism is fully coherent with the market economy. The theological-political order required by Islam fully conforms with the requirements of American capitalism. America's imperial design feeds on a weakening of any principle of sovereignty and territorial organization of the national bodies politic. This disappearance of political sovereignty foreshadows the untrammeled rule of an uncontrollable globalization [mondialisation] run by business mafias and religious fanatics.13
Thus, a significant group of intellectuals in France firmly believes that Islamism, including its terrorist activities, is an instrument of U.S. interests and a creation of American strategists.

The American Network

"The involvement of the United States in the emergence, the expansion and the radicalization of Islamism is a fact . . . The responsibility of the United States in a number of terrorist and other criminal activities is established and incontrovertible," writes Labévière.14 His "incontrovertible" demonstration is based on three assertions:

(1) To secure control over world oil reserves, the United States has long supported the Saudi state. Since the Saudi kingdom is Wahhabi, Washington supports Wahhabi policy, and in fact, Wahhabi policy is identical with deep-seated U.S. impulses. Del Valle ascribes such policies to "the traditional 'religious-based' diplomacy of the Anglo-Saxons,"15 while Labévière finds this tendency deep in American history:
The phrase "In God We Trust" on the dollar bill — the very symbol of world capitalism — reminds us that the Founding Fathers, though they were laymen, invoked divine protection for their undertakings. U.S. diplomacy always has made use of religious movements against communism, and any other opposition to America's hegemonic designs.16
In the same spirit, Del Valle recalls that the United States supported the Saudis against Gamal Abdel Nasser's Pan-Arabist crusade, and supported Anwar as-Sadat, a "former member of the Muslim Brotherhood."17

(2) The U.S. backed the Afghan mujahidin as they battled the Soviets through the 1980s:
obsessed by their confrontation with the Soviets, the Pentagon planners banked on the Muslim religion and created a fearful war machine against the Red army: that war machine is armed Islamism.18
Del Valle adds that a faction in the U.S. government, headed by Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, conspired to pull the Soviets into a trap in Afghanistan. Aided by strife among political factions in Kabul, its plot succeeded:
The invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in December 1979 … tilted the scales in favor of Brzezinski's camp against U.S. officials who disagreed with his Islamist strategy.19
(3) The U.S. government created and runs a Saudi-backed "Wahhabi internationale" to which the Sunni terrorist movements all belong. For example, the CIA has backed the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) since 1991 because "the State Department does not share the distrust of European diplomats, especially French ones, toward Islamism." 20 This pro-Islamist policy is global:
A four-year investigation has proven that the true threat originates from elsewhere [than Iran]: from Saudi Arabia and the other petro-monarchies allied with the United States. The world's premier power knows everything about it. In fact, its intelligence services have encouraged it. In various parts of the world, the CIA and its Saudi and Pakistani opposite numbers continue to sponsor Islamism.21
The Wahhabi internationale seeks to eliminate Arab regimes that lack a religious underpinning – including what del Valle calls the "reformist and revolutionary" regimes of Iraq, Libya and (notwithstanding its Islamist leadership) Sudan.22 In contrast, the U.S. government is not as opposed to "extremist regimes, such as Iran's," as it pretends to be, observes del Valle. On the contrary, should such regimes prevail, the U.S. will be given credit for having "understood" and even "supported them financially and militarily,"23 a reference to the harebrained Iran/contra affair of the mid-1980s. Washington also supports the FIS in Algeria, and needs to "control the Mediterranean and appear as the protector of Islam." This explains why it intervened to support the Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims.

American Motives

Why are Americans so involved in a conspiracy to spreading radical Islam? Lesser reasons offered by our group of authors include: (1) Access to the Muslim market of not just "one billion consumers," but an "ideal, non-competitive market."24 (2) Compensating for America's pro-Israel policies.25 (3) Appeasing "the two great Muslim-American lobbies, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Council on American Islamic Relations"26 (which surely must come as a surprise to those organizations). (4) More seriously, keeping the world's major energy sources and reserves under its exclusive control.

(5) Promoting Israel's security. For the United States, writes Labevière, "the defense of the Jewish state remains a priority. . . [and] a majority of observers view Israel as an issue of U.S. domestic politics. It impinges on electoral campaigns and influences permanently the political and economic decisions of the world's premier power."27 In other words, U.S. policy is controlled by the Jewish lobby on behalf of Israel. And Israel, continues the fearless Swiss analyst, is a theocratic state. Therefore, it makes complete sense that Jewish leaders, pulling the strings of fundamentalist-
Protestant America, should support Islamic radicals: "Complementary enemies, Islamism and Zionism thus work for the same aims," namely, "dismantling the Arab states," destroying "the nation-states of the entire Arab Muslim world." Truth be told, "Islamism and Zionism are twin enemies of the same process which prevents a just peace in the Middle East and the beginnings of a fair settlement of the Palestinian question (the victims of an unambiguous ethnic cleansing)." This logically stems from "the theocratic foundations of the Jewish State, which has not given up on its project of Greater Israel."28

(6) Fear of Iraq and its ties to Europe. Iraq has a special place in the view of Del Valle and his colleagues:
For Tel Aviv, the Iraqi State and the nationalist Arab movements close to socialism were more dangerous than Islamist Iran. Baghdad was in the process of acquiring the Arab world's first civilian nuclear industry thanks to scientific cooperation with France, which was about to sell Iraq a 700-megawatt nuclear plant. Both countries insisted that the nuclear plant was meant for civilian use and the supplying of electricity to Baghdad, but Israel was afraid that it could be used to serve atomic bombs meant for its own destruction. Thus the Israeli army's espionage service Aman decided to break Saddam Husayn's nuclear project by brute force. . . . Americans and Israelis refused to allow lay Iraq what they tolerated from fundamentalist Pakistan.29
This benign view of Saddam's designs is complemented by a touching description of his policies:
Regardless of the dictatorial character of Saddam Husayn's regime, it is not wrong to say that this leader, through the Ba`th ideology and his partly pre-Muslim conception of the Iraqi and Arab nation, tried to create the conditions of a philosophical and scientific opening of the Arab Islamic world.30
Such support for Saddam is quite widespread in France. Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the minister of the interior (meaning he is responsible for the police and domestic security), insists that by hitting Iraq, "the Americans are paving the way for a fundamentalist rebellion that is hostile to the West … maintaining the embargo against Iraq is a shame."31 (A past president of the France-Iraq Association, Chevènement has long been a defender of Saddam's role as a modernizer and Westernizer; he resigned his position in January 1991 as minister of defense in protest against Operation Desert Storm.) Gallois shares these views and has voiced them for nearly a decade. He may slap Saddam Husayn on the wrist ("Granted, Baghdad was wrong to invade Kuwait, and also to seek ownership of weapons of mass destruction") but the Iraqi leader's foibles pale in comparison with the merits of his regime.32

(7) Crushing Europe, Russia, and Slavic Orthodoxy. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, weakening Europe has become the main concern of U.S. foreign policy. To contain the "totalitarian democracy" coming out of the United States, a mix of religious fundamentalism and capitalist greed, Europe should ally with Russia and the Orthodox world. Europeans and Muslims are natural allies, Americans invented Islamism as a means to sow disharmony between the two sides.

More, Washington supports "irredentist Islamic-nationalist guerillas that pine for the Ottoman Empire and that can be linked to international terrorists and organized criminals, and of course to the oil-rich countries that have been funding the Islamic terrorism for fifty years." It encourages these movements to "expel the 'infidel occupier': the Yugoslav, Macedonian, Greek (in Thrace and Cyprus) regimes, in the name of a policy of 'neo-containment' — against the Slav-Orthodox world and the nations that refuse American hegemony." 33 Gradually, Washington's design is unfolding: it is to create a "neo-Ottoman [military] force" through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program, which del Valle describes as composed of Azeris, Turks, Georgians, Albanians, and Macedonians.34

Fallen Empire

Fallen empires are jealous and vindictive, and from the bottom of their smallness, they resent their successors. As far as the Arab world is concerned, some in France still have what may be called "Sykes-Picot envy," and wish that France's Mediterranean and Middle Eastern turf had remained virgo intacta, free for France to lord over. This envy sometimes reaches a fever pitch. Biarnès's analysis leads him to an extraordinary rhetorical crescendo: The world today is made out of "so many nations, great and small, which are increasingly tempted to adopt, admittedly with some rhetorical excess, the famous words of Cato the Elder: 'Delenda est America!'" ("America must be destroyed!").35 In like spirit, Richard Labévière asserts in the conclusion to his book that
The intoxication of the dollar — In God We Trust — sweeps everything before it: borders, institutions, cultures, states, and nations. The future belongs to McDonald's and armed prophets.36
The reference to McDonald's is not fortuitous, for a number of (French-owned) McDonald's restaurants were trashed in 1999 by mobs of angry farmers. The arrest of one of their leaders provided an opportunity for a loose alliance of farmers, left-wing unionists, populist politicians, communists, Greens, neo-Gaullists (like Charles Pasqua), and the Catholic ultra-right (Philippe de Villiers) to unite in their rejection of "the American diktat," a phrase often used by the leading fascist politician of France, Jean-Marie Le Pen. The United States has become the metaphor for everything that is wrong, dangerous and threatening. France stands against Walt Disney cartoons, hamburgers, and, as Gallois once told this author in private conversation, the "Negrified culture" of rock and pop.

The idea of a conspiracy of cosmopolitan money to weaken the old nations of Europe is an old one: it appeared in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and in its countless imitations. This brazen anti-Semitism dovetails with a long tradition of left-wing intellectual anti-Americanism. Much of the French left and ultra-left has shared this view of a degenerate, imperialistic, capitalist United States.37 Jean-Paul Sartre in his time and Jean Baudrillard today ("Every country in the world today is caught between two enemies: its own minorities and America"38) make the same kinds of arguments.

Alexandre del Valle writes of American culture that it "is a culture of subversion conceived to uproot and weaken the peoples that are subjected to it passively. The moral and cultural disintegration of the European nations caused by the Americanization of the minds and mores"39 is the fundamental problem. On account of not being "organic," "homogenous" and "natural," the United States is a degenerate nation. The "Epicurean Occidental-American culture" is all-destructive; it fosters "the social and moral disintegration" of Europe. What can the Old World do to defend itself from "cultural Americanization and materialism?" He has specific ideas about "a renaissance of Europe's spiritual identity" that will be made possible by the fact that
the McWorld culture will sooner or later be doomed to destruction, given its inherently anti-traditional and heterogeneous, fragile nature. Its nihilism generates sterility in all meanings of the word, it appears fundamentally as a culture in decomposition, which is organically necessary to American imperialism.
It is, in short, a "culture of death."40

Hating the United States has been a consolation for France's decline. It is also a way to give some meaning to a world French intellectuals view in Manichean terms. Léon Poliakov's profound concept of the "devil's causality," the omnipotent Satanic principle that explains everything, in particular the great conspiracies that run the world but will ultimately be defeated by the righteous, 41 plainly applies to the ideas discussed here.

Is Anyone Listening?

How significant are Labévière, del Valle, Burgat, Gallois, et al.? Their books are not best-sellers; their names are not well-known. Most French people, confronting these ideas in their raw state, would find them outlandish.

But then, their views are published and reproduced. These are not isolated individuals preaching in the desert, but a genuine current. Each of them uses the others as references to buttress his credibility. These theories would be confined to the fringes of French public affairs were they not feeding into the souverainiste current which is having an indisputable impact on political thinking. Their writings are often published by the same publishing houses and journals.42 They are also spread, in softened form, in influential journals (like Le Monde diplomatique) as well as in many left-wing, right-wing and ultra-right journals of varied circulation. Some of their ideas, debated in academic and intellectual circles, find audiences in the diplomatic service and other parts of the government. Part of this inventory of ideas finds its way into the political mainstream through better known, if less extreme spokesmen, such as the leftist politician Jean-Pierre Chevènement, the critic Régis Debray, or the philosopher, communist-turned-Islamist (and violent anti-Semite) Roger Garaudy.

More important than their practical political impact, these ideas feed the upsurge of anti-American sentiment in today's France. The imaginative generalizations and outright ineptitudes described here stem largely from a resentment of American power. The United States has convincingly shown up de Gaulle's grandiose and exaggerated view of France's international role and power, which always was largely based on make-believe, but which was persuasive for some years. Rude reality — as represented by the United States — is unpleasant, and, consequently, disliked. De Gaulle at least had historical achievements to back up his claims. His putative heirs have none. He could make claims, however fanciful. They must make boasts, however fatuous. As Talleyrand observed with his characteristic sharpness: "Tout ce qui est exagéré est insignifiant" ("Everything exaggerated is insignificant").

Laurent Murawiec is a senior policy analyst with the RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C. He recently translated Carl von Clausewitz's On War into French (Librairie académique Perrin, 1999) and his forthcoming La guerre au XXIè siècle (Odile Jacob, 2000) deals with the revolution in military affairs.

The paranoid and ridiculous phantasies of the French dhimmi fascists loses it's laughter value when one realises the America middle class shares many of these idiocies, and that includes much of the politcally and socially uninvolved general poplualtion.

Reading tarot cards or doing the horoscope is not fascistic. It is irrational, but then so are many other things in the course of a normal person's average day. Going to a Wicca meeting with friends is not fascistic, but the roots of Wicca are sunk deep in Naziism, like it or not. Thinking of the nobility of the pastoral natives in Romantic terms, of the imagined harmony of the native, of the idyll of pastoral life before the arrival of the White European in the New World is a harmless if wrong opinion held by many, few of whom are fascists. Too many of our naive and unexamined assumptions and beliefs are rooted in fascism. Unless and until we understand the nature of our understanding of the time we will follow the lead of fasscists not knowing where they lead us, feeling uncomfortable with it but not knowing why.

In the interests of salvaging our Revolutions of Modernity and turning the fight against the fascists of the Counter-Enlightenment who are still waging the war against the Revolutions of Modernity we will continue this blog as tirelessly as we are able.

We welcome your comments, as always.

Eurabia Report

The Islamic world is at war, jihad. Muslims are at war with the civilian populations of every nation and in every community in which they mix: Russian, England, Thailand, Trinidad, to pick a few examples. Islam is an evil poligion, a political reeligious fascism that is made to incite its adherents to kill and conquer and dominate and assimilate others. Islam is a primitive form of Naziism. It has no place in the Modern world other than as a threat and a force of destruction.

There are many native Westerners who find the Islamic programme sympathetic. The majority of Europe's political leaders are in the Muslim tent, and they are either allowing the further influx of Islam into Europe or at best are doing nothing to stop it. But the native populations are becoming increasingly disillusioned with this flood of fascism into the heart of Modernity, and there is a building resentment against the fascist primitives destroying the fabric of Modernity. Our societies are dividing along the fault line of Modernity and philobarbarist fascism.

Our societies are divided, and increasingly we are facing the possiblity of civil war. How do we see ourselves? Are we evil spoilers of the world at large, persecutors of the nobel savages who live in harmony with Mother Nature? Is Modernity the cancer of Humanity? And what, if anything, do we really value? Might we be better off abandoning Modernity to return to the simpler life of Romance fascism?

Below we have an introduction to a report on Eurabia from the Pew Forum on Religion.

[Images above: Thomas Maltus.]

An Uncertain Road: Muslims and the Future of Europe

Download the complete report (444k .pdf)


Throughout Europe today, it is not uncommon to see women wearing headscarves and men with skull caps and beards. On many European streets, shops now sport signs in Arabic and other Near Eastern languages and sell an array of exoticlooking products from the Middle East and other parts of the Islamic world. Indeed, in the space of a few decades, whole neighborhoods in cities like Birmingham, Rotterdam and Paris have been transformed. Streets that have witnessed hundreds of years of European history are now playing host to a decidedly non-Western people and culture.

This is the new Europe, one in which a rapidly growing Muslim population is making its presence felt in societies that until recently were largely homogeneous. Muslims are still very much minorities in Western and Central European countries, making up roughly 5 percent of the European Union's total population. But a number of demographic trends point to dramatic change in the years ahead.

Islam is already the fastest-growing religion in Europe. Driven by immigration and high birthrates, the number of Muslims on the continent has tripled in the last 30 years. Most demographers forecast a similar or even higher rate of growth in the coming decades.

The social impact of this growing population is magnified by a low birthrate among native Europeans. After a post-World War II baby boom, birthrates in Europe have dropped to an average of 1.45 children per couple, far below the 2.1 needed to keep population growth at replacement levels. The continent that gave the rest of the world tens of millions of immigrants and Thomas Malthaus' dire predictions of overpopulation is now faced with a shrinking populace.

Amid these demographic shifts lies a host of social challenges. While many European Muslims have become successful in their new homes, many others do not speak their host country's language well, if at all, and are often jobless and poor. Moreover, segregation, whether by choice or necessity, is common, with large numbers of Muslims living in ghettos where the crime and poverty rates are high.

For Europeans, too, Muslim immigration poses special challenges. Unlike the United States – a land of immigrants with no dominant ethnic group – most nations in Europe are built around a population base with a common ethnicity. Moreover, these countries possess deep historical, cultural, religious and linguistic traditions. Injecting hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of people who look, speak and act differently into these settings often makes for a difficult social fit.

Tensions also have arisen over religion. The centrality of Islam in the lives of so many European Muslims is hard for increasingly secular Scandinavians, Germans and Frenchmen to comprehend. Europeans worry that Islam will make it difficult for their Muslim neighbors to accept many of the continent's core values, such as tolerance, democracy and equal rights for women.

These social pressures have been compounded by the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States and subsequent events – particularly the March 11, 2004, train bombings in Madrid, the killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and, most recently, the bombings and attempted bombings in July 2005 on the transport system in London. Terrorism and its link to radical Islam have made Europeans even more wary of Muslims, especially those living within their midst. In the case of the London attacks, the perpetrators were born and raised in Britain, a circumstance that many in the U.K. found as disturbing as the acts of violence themselves.

The growing presence of Muslims on the continent coupled with increased social tensions have provided fuel for xenophobic, nativist political parties throughout Europe, helping to propel a number of them into the political mainstream. Meanwhile, terrorism-related fears have led most European countries to pass stiffer antiterror measures. The recent attacks in London in particular have led Britain and other states to propose even tougher laws.

Into this volatile mix comes the continent-wide, decades- old debate over whether Turkey should be admitted into the European Union (EU). Some of Europe's most important leaders, including France's Jacques Chirac, Britain's Tony Blair and Spain's Jose Luis Zapatero, have publicly stated that they favor eventual EU membership for Turkey. In addition, supporters of Turkish accession have scored a number of key victories in the last year, most notably the start of formal membership talks on October 4, 2005.

But at the same time, long-term prospects for Turkish accession have dimmed considerably. In May and June 2005, voters in France and then the Netherlands rejected the proposed EU constitution. While the constitution never mentions Turkey, exit polls in both countries indicate that many people voted "no" in part to protest further EU enlargement. In particular, voters said, they were wary of the addition of Turkey.

Indeed, opinion polls in most EU countries show that despite the support of much of Europe's political elite, the continent's populace remains skeptical of the benefits of including a largely Near Eastern and Muslim country of 70 million in Europe's grand experiment. Moreover, not all political leaders support Turkish accession. For instance, Germany's new chancellor, Angela Merkel, and France's interior minister and leading presidential aspirant, Nicholas Sarkozy, both openly oppose Turkish membership.

The argument over Turkey goes beyond the geopolitical pluses and minuses of EU membership and raises the larger issue of Europe's troubled relationship with Islam. It is an old acquaintance, one stretching back more than 1,300 years. And it is marked by countless wars and occupations as well as a vibrant, steady cultural exchange. Over the last 40 or more years, though, the relationship has entered a new phase, one dominated by the largely peaceful migration of Muslims to Europe, usually in search of work or freedom.

European governments have grappled with this migration in various ways and with varying degrees of success. Some countries, such as France and Britain, have had relatively well-established policies toward immigrants for decades. And Britain, in particular, has had some success in integrating Muslim newcomers into the broader society. Other states, such as Germany, Spain and Italy, have, until recently, treated their Muslim communities as temporary phenomena – groups of "guest workers" or foreigners who would eventually return to their homelands.

But the growing size and importance of the Muslim population in most European countries is forcing the continent's governments – even those with established immigration policies – to focus more intently on trying to bring this community into the mainstream. Recent efforts have ranged from new laws aimed at hastening the pace of assimilation, such as the recent French headscarf ban, to proposals to assist in creating a more homegrown, European brand of Islam, as is happening in the Netherlands.

The successful integration of European Muslims is crucial to the future of Europe. Prognosticators may disagree on the community's ultimate demographic and social impact, but all believe that Muslims at the very least will be a significant and sizable minority that will play an important role in shaping the continent's future.

Download the complete report (444k .pdf)

Trinidad's Islamic Fascists

We get regular readers at this blog from Trinidad. Perhaps the following stories clarify the interest.

Thanks to and John B.

The 4th Bomb attack on Trinidad in recent months

Category: caribbean Dated: 18/10/2005
Trinidad has been plagued by a series of bomb attacks. Friday 14th October saw its fourth attack in recent months.

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The South Western Police Division was hard-pressed after Friday’s bombing in St. James, Trinidad. There has been a request for more police officers to be allocated to Cedro, Rio Claro, Mayaro, Sande Grande, Bliche and Manzanilla police stations.

The bombs was described as being of ‘low density’; however it was reported that 7 people were injured due to the explosion outside the popular nightspot, ‘Smokey and Bunty.’ The frequently attended nightspot was literally yards away from the St. James Police station.

The casualties were admitted into the Port of Spain general hospital, however there were no fatalities. The scene was described as extremely chaotic and spills of human blood were reportedly seen.

The police were aware of possible attacks

Detectives had received information prior to Friday’s events concerning the possible threat to the Port of Spain. Cedric Neptune, President of the Police and Welfare suggested that the police were on high security alert; however he was not at liberty to disclose any further information to the press.

There have now been five arrests in connection with Friday’s bombing, one of whom is affiliated with the local militant Muslim group, otherwise known as Jaamat-al Muslimeen.

When Patrick Manning, the prime minister of Trinidad, was interviewed concerning these attacks on Trinidad, he stated:

"What is different on this occasion is that there have been arrests," said Prime Minister Manning.

"We have not been completely in the dark about these bombings. Investigations have given us very important leads. Now the arrests have been made we will see what the interrogation will turn up."

There have been a series of bomb attacks on Trinidad. The 11th July on Frederick Street, Port of Spain saw 15 causalities, 10th August on George Street showed no casualties, and 10th September only one person suffered minor injuries.

July 27, 1990: Black Muslim Rebellion Begins
A black Muslim sect, the Jamaat Al-Muslimeen, captured the prime minister and other officials in an attempt to overthrow the government. Before the coup attempt ended on August 1 with the surrender of the rebels, the capital, Port of Spain, was heavily damaged by rioting and looting.
The World: Trinidad and Tobago
Terrorists Develop Island Operations
Posted Dec. 24, 2002
Jamaat al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr.

Al-Qaeda and two other Middle East terrorist groups have established operations and are leading a holy war against U.S. and British interests from the tiny Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Insight has learned from U.S. government sources and officials inside the government of Trinidad and Tobago. A U.S. official involved in tracking these activities says Umar Abdullah is "leading a group called the Islamic Front," believed to be "smuggling AK-47s, Tech-9s and Glocks" into the island country. According to the U.S. source, Abdullah may have fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union during the 1980s, operates "in solidarity with al-Qaeda and the Taliban" and is "maintaining relations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad."

According to the State Department, Hamas is a Palestinian-based branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Egyptian-based Islamic Jihad is a "close partner of [Osama] bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization." Both are terrorist groups.

Emergence of the Islamic Front in Trinidad has raised such concern in the United States, say sources on the island, that FBI and CIA counterterrorism experts have been dispatched to assist the government there in investigating groups with terrorist ties.

Trinidad and Tobago is a stable country, but has suffered some Muslim terrorism. In 1990 the Trinidad-based Muslim group Jamaat al-Muslimeen bombed police headquarters, attacked the parliament, shot and wounded the prime minister and held hostage members of his Cabinet in an effort to overthrow the government. According to press accounts, 24 people were killed and hundreds wounded during the attempted coup that lasted six days.

Jamaat al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr, who led the failed coup, was convicted and jailed along with other group members, but in 1992 they were released from prison on a legal technicality. According to U.S. government sources, Jamaat al-Muslimeen primarily is affiliated with Libya. A high-level source in the Trinidad prime minister's office tells Insight that Bakr is known to have traveled to Libya many times. But now, according to a U.S. counterterrorist specialist, the Islamic Front is "taking over the Libyan operations," leaving a complicated web for counterterrorism investigators to untangle.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Minister for National Security and Rehabilitation Howard Chin Lee have attempted to downplay terrorist-threat conditions in Trinidad in response to other press inquiries. Though Manning and Lee were not available to answer questions from Insight, senior staff members of the administration spoke to this magazine on condition of anonymity. One official says Manning is concerned that if reports of the Islamic Front are widely circulated, "it would adversely affect the economy," but insists that, internally, preventing "terrorism is the main concern" of the prime minister.

Some within the Manning administration openly admit there is a sense of great urgency about this. During the last year there has been "a wave of crime" in urban areas where "Islamic fundamentalists have been aggressively recruiting among the poor" and, according to a Trinidadian government source, some of the jihadist recruits "are traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan" and back.

There is concern that the omnipresence of U.S. and British petroleum companies in the oil-rich nation provide easy pickings for terrorists. Local populists say this is the reason U.S. and British counterterrorism experts are on the island. "They came in to ensure the security of the multinational corporations," a source assured. If so, it is being handled secretively, as such an operation would be; neither the FBI nor CIA would confirm presence in Trinidad and Tobago.

One official who spoke with Insight on the record is Sen. Sadiq Baksh, a Muslim who says he is concerned about the threat posed by radical Islam to the safety of the citizens of Trinidad. Baksh says there is reason for "profound alarm over the escalating crime rate in our republic over the past 11 months."

A member of the United National Congress party, which opposes the administration of the prime minister's People's National Movement (PNM), Baksh tells Insight: "Recent studies have revealed that two out of every three persons in this country live in fear for their own personal safety and the safety of their loved ones."

Baksh and other officials agree that the surge in crime is characteristic of areas in which terrorist operations are mounted. For instance, there have been repeated "kidnappings of businessmen ... more than 40 in an eight-month period," a member of the prime minister's staff tells this magazine.

Baksh cites growing concern about the Manning administration, claiming that "two out of every three persons admit that they have no confidence in the government's ability to protect them." He tells Insight: "In the past 12 months, over 155 citizens of this country have had their lives snuffed out, surpassing the murder figures of 2001. ... And the minister of national security calls on the people to thank their lucky stars because it could have been worse." But Baksh also says the Manning administration is more than just indifferent to terrorism. He points to Jamaat al-Muslimeen's support for the Manning team in the October elections.

Baksh warns, "The ruling PNM ... has been compromised by its unholy alliance with known terrorists and insurrectionists." He and other critics insist that Manning courted Jamaat al-Muslimeen in hopes of securing support from the nation's growing Muslim minority, now 15 percent of the total population. Baksh asks, "How can the PNM government solve crime when it is in bed with the extremist and known criminal elements?"

Insight obtained a Trinidad telephone number for Jamaat al-Muslimeen and attempted to speak with Bakr. After this magazine placed repeated calls and spoke with three different people, a male leader of the group who refused to identify himself answered several questions, then began shouting and abruptly slammed down the receiver. Asked about Jamaat al-Muslimeen terrorist activities in Trinidad he denied that there were any. When asked about the 1990 coup attempt staged by the group, he responded, "I don't know anything about that. I was in the U.S. at the time." Asked about the Islamic Front and Umar Abdullah, he responded: "I know very little about him; he's a little upstart."

While Insight was unable to track down Abdullah or anyone from the Islamic Front for comment, the voice speaking for Jamaat al-Muslimeen confirmed vigorous proselytizing in Trinidad, explaining, "One of the tenets of Islam is to propagate the faith." When asked if jihadists and other Muslim extremists were responsible for the spike in murder and kidnapping in Trinidad, he responded, "That crime belongs to poverty."

Baksh, the Muslim senator, says "During the holy month of Ramadan we had a significant reduction in murder and kidnapping, and it is not insignificant that after the holy month we once again saw a spike" in criminal activity.

Meanwhile, U.S. sources claim to be unclear about whether the suspected terrorist cells in Trinidad will mobilize and pose a direct threat to citizens inside the United States. In October, Trinidad immigrant Shueyb Mossa Jokhan was sentenced to "nearly five years in federal prison for a terrorist bombing plot," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The report said that Jokhan pleaded guilty to "conspiring to bomb electrical transformers and the Israeli Consulate in Miami." The plan reportedly was "hatched in a Florida mosque" and involved a Pakistani immigrant who recruited Jokhan for the attack, but law-enforcement sources tell Insight they have been unable to connect the foiled Florida attack to the Islamic Front in Trinidad.

Trinidad and Tobago is in the southern Caribbean just a few miles off the coast of troubled Venezuela [see "Chavez Plans for Terrorist Regime," in this issue]. The island nation has been independent of the British Commonwealth since 1962.

Scott L. Wheeler is a reporter for Insight.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

America of the Mind

In previous entries here and elsewhere I've written about my experiences teaching in the Third World. It is mostly a heart-breaking experience, both the teaching and the recalling, and when occasions arise, such as this below, to point out just how much worse it can get I find myself typing badly. However, for those who've followed attentively everything I've ever written you'll recall some references to mountain climbing, one of the stupidest, most dangerous, and incredible experiences open to man. And so it is with teaching in the Third World. So it is too teaching Adult Basic Education in the West. No one learns literacy in a vacuum: one must teach those who'll learn. It is a beautiful thing to see people understand that which was mysterious, to see them suddenly atop a mountain with a view of their world they'd never dreamed before. Sometimes and for some people the experience of understanding is akin to the religious experience of rapture. It's no surprise to find John Wesley at the forefront of educating the masses. Freedom: to think, to see, to speak, to know, to live ones private life.

That freedom, a curse to many, is a gift from Modernity. There are those who hate the free thinker. We must fight them with every weapon we can find. The slavers of the mind must die. Socrates and Kalashnikov. Gutenberg and Glock. Tynedale, Smith and Wesson. School teachers with guns. I march with those who march to the heights of Modernity, and I'll take as many people with me as I can, God spare those who get in the way. People the world over, they will be free, America will be of the mind, and each and every living person will be able to raise his voice in thanks from every mountain to shout "I am free to think, to know, to speak of my freedom." When that day comes, thank God Almighty, we will be free at last.

There are those who hate Modernity and individual freedom. They have legitimate points. I don't care. Below we have two stories of education on the Indian subcontinent. We'll end on a hopeful note.

Militants kill Kashmiri minister

SRINAGAR: Guerrillas shot dead Indian Kashmir’s junior education minister and three others in a daylight attack at his home in a high-security enclave in Srinagar, said authorities on Tuesday.

Two men rode a motorbike into the fortified Tulsi Bagh area, home to senior politicians and bureaucrats, without being challenged by security, said police. The attackers burst guns blazing into the house of People’s Democratic Party’s Ghulam Nabi Lone. who was pronounced dead on arrival at Soura Medical Institute, said doctors.

Two policemen and a visitor to Lone’s bungalow were also killed along with one of the attackers in a fierce gunbattle. Two civilians and three security personnel were injured, said Social Welfare Minister Gulam Hassan Khan, Lone’s neighbour.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry condemned the attack, saying, “The Pakistani government is against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.” Two groups, the Al-Mansurian and Islamic Front, both claimed responsibility in messages sent to various media. afp

Trying To Tame The Blackboard Jungle
As more Indian children flood into schools, educators struggle to boost quality

By Manjeet Kripalani

To understand the educational challenges facing India, pay a visit to Dharavi, a poor and densely populated Bombay neighborhood. Its lanes are so small and winding that no vehicles can traverse them. Open drains run outside the crudely built brick and corrugated metal homes, and garbage is piled high every few yards. The area, where 1 million of Bombay's poorer migrants live, is Asia's largest slum.

This is the home of the Dharavi Transit Camp School, one of two in the neighborhood run by the municipal corporation. Outside the high school gates, ragged, half-naked children play amid scattered garbage. Some run in and out of the gates, but nobody stops them. There is no school guard, and the teachers who pass through don't bother. The school, four stories high, is shorn of paint and looks grim under the monsoon clouds.

It's past noon, and schoolchildren are starting to straggle in for the afternoon shift of classes. The girls wear blue pinafores, the boys blue shorts and shirts. Many are barefoot. Like most state-run schools in Bombay, the Transit Camp School runs classes up to seventh grade, in two shifts, with each floor teaching classes in a different language, reflecting the regional origins of its 6,000 students. Blackboards, tables, and benches crowd the 12 classrooms on each floor. With 100 students per class, the sessions sometimes spill into the corridors.

On this day, Gautam Dandage, a cement spreader, has brought his 8-year-old daughter, Ujwala, to school. She is doing O.K. in class but his older son, he complains, has lost his motivation. "My son failed because of the class master. He never showed up for class all year," Dandage gripes. The deputy head teacher, Sampat Bhandare, tries to shush the worried father, explaining that the teacher in question was sick and the school could not find a replacement. Dandage isn't convinced.

A day at school in Dharavi is a vivid lesson in India's education gap. In a nation striving to be a global leader in brainpower, the Transit Camp School underscores the enormous scale of India's struggle to provide adequate education for its youth. India has the world's youngest, potentially most productive population. Nearly 500 million Indians are under age 19. In primary school alone, some 202 million students are taught by 5.5 million teachers in 1 million schools.

Yet while free and compulsory primary education became law in 2001, the quality of learning is poor and the failure rate is high. Even in fifth grade, some 35% of Indian children cannot read or write, according to Pratham, India's largest education nonprofit group. According to government statistics, just a quarter of students make it past eighth grade, and only 15% get to high school. Of the 202 million who start school, only about 7%, or 14 million, graduate. And without a fully literate population, India won't easily sustain the demands and aspirations of its people or become a global power. "The government is failing our youth," says Vimala Ramachandran, an education specialist and author of Getting Children Back to School.

Increasingly, Indian parents want their children educated, particularly in English and computing. That's not only critical for youth; it's the key to India's development. Education is a "ticket out of poverty," says New Delhi economist Surjit Bhalla. Parents understand that when India began to grow in the 1980s and 1990s, the educated got better jobs -- "even if it meant going to the Gulf states and achieving blue- collar success," Bhalla notes.

But India's state system just isn't meeting people's aspirations. "It's two decades behind the population's needs," says Madhav Chavan, founder and program director of Pratham. Poor-quality teachers, a politicized education department, outdated learning methods, and the pressures Indian children face at home are just some of the roots of India's education gap. Many girls drop out of school after fourth grade, for example, to do household chores while their parents work. Just half of India's girls are literate, vs. nearly three-fourths of boys.

Indians can't blame the government for not trying to improve the situation. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has thousands of schemes aimed at enhancing educational opportunities. The most ambitious is the 2001 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, or universal education incentive program. Its $2.4 billion annual budget provides students with a meal a day, free textbooks, medical care, and remedial classes. The Congress Party, which returned to power in New Delhi last year, is pushing the agenda even further. The government's spending on education has gone from 3% of gross domestic product last year to 4% this year, and is expected to rise to 6% soon.

These efforts are making an impact. Almost 90% of all children are now enrolled in school -- up from 75% in 2000. Yet the growth is a strain for some schools. In the poorer regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, class sizes are now "too large to manage," says Venita Kaul, who oversees World Bank education projects in India. The Bank is providing $500 million for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan budget over three years until 2007.

Despite increased enrollments, graduation ratios are falling -- even in top states such as Maharashtra, where Bombay is located. This year, 57% of the 10th-grade students in Maharashtra passed their final exams -- a big drop from last year when 67% cleared the exam. "We aim for a zero dropout and failure rate," says Abasaheb Jadav, who is project director for the federal government's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Bombay. Good intentions aside, the experts say India's educational system faces its most serious challenges at the classroom level.

Start with the teachers. State-employed teachers earn up to $300 a month and often four times as much as private school teachers. But they are poorly trained, unmotivated, and often commandeered for other government services like election duty or overseeing polio vaccination drives. Consequently, teacher -- and hence student -- absenteeism is high. At the same time, increased enrollments -- thanks to the midday meal now required in all schools -- have caused a teacher shortage. As a result, in many schools, teachers have to handle up to four different grades at once, another blow to the quality of schooling.

Another issue is infrastructure. The government is boosting spending on schools, books, and classroom equipment, but the funding often doesn't reach the remote rural areas. In Bihar, India's poorest state, schools are crumbling buildings lacking roofs, windows, or blackboards. In Behrampur, a village about three hours away from the capital of Patna, the broken-down single-room school serves as a playground for the village's 200 children. Locals say the schoolmaster comes by every three or four days. Devbali Rai, a 30-year-old farmer, is near despair. "We want schooling. Our children must study," he says.

Please continue reading this essay at the link below:

And as bad as it is, children do want to learn, not because they understand the nature of the work force and their places in it but because they like to know things. Adults, too, they want to know. Some of them. So we draw a line between those who want to know and those who think they know already and who are determined to kill anyone who questions further the given wisdom of the place, the time, the culture.

And to bring freedom to the minds of those who wish to know we must go to the front of that battle against the evils of slavery of the mind, and we must go there armed, ready to defend by force and blood the lives and the minds of those who cannot teach themselves the freedom of thought that is the birtht-right of Everyman. There is no price too high to pay for the freedom of the world's people to chose to know.

Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. Source: Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior, Pocket Books, NY 1968

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"