Friday, May 26, 2006

Insh'allah Turkeys

Islam is a lot like sex: if one has never done it it'll be hard to read about it and believe that sane people actually do those things. OK, sex isn't that weird. At worse you might lose an eye. Islam might kill you flat out. We pick up part of a story on Turkey below from Western Resistence.

Turkey: Islamist Driving Manual Sends Secularists Around The Bend

The issue of road safety in Turkey is a political hot potato. Turkey has a poor record for bad driving, and last year, 3,000 people died on Turkish roads. Last Friday, May 19, a crash in southern Turkey made international news when two trucks collided, and 40 people were killed (pictured). The Turkish Daily News states that most of the dead were illegal immigrants, mostly from Afghanistan, trying to enter Europe. They had been standing upright in a tarpaullin-covered truck when their vehicle collided with a truck near Osmaniye. The illegals were thrown out onto the road.

According to the World Bank Group, Turkeys rates of road accidents are 3 to 5 times the levels of countries in the European Union. A report by a Turkish government agency states that normally 7,000 people a year die on Turkey's roads. The cost in injuries and property damage are costing Turkey about 2% of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

The hazards of Turkish driver's habits are such that the United States State Department has issued a set of guidelines, warning American tourists of how to cope with the locals' bad driving and when to avoid the roads.

In light of Turkey's appalling record of road safety, a new safety manual for drivers has been produced, according to AKI which implies that road safety matters less about skills, and more about the will of Allah.

The 66-page manual, entitled: "Traffic Education and Information for Students" has an introduction by Ahmet Misbah Demircan, the mayor of Beyoglu, a city within the conurbation of Istanbul. This man is a member of Erdogan's Islamist-based AKP or Justice and Development party. Demircan has stated in the introduction that there is little a person can do to avoid road accidents.

Demircan states that "even a leaf cannot move" without God granting it permission, and says that traffic accidents are a part of a person's fate. Ultimately, he says nothing can be done to prevent traffic accidents.

Amongst the main text of the manual, there are numerous islamic quotations. 10,000 copies of this manual have gone to print, and its Islamist disdain for actual road safety has invoked the wrath of the firecely secular opposition party, the People's Party (CHP).

Two politicians from the CHP (Ozlem Cerioglu and Nail Kamaci) have submitted a motion in Turkey's parliament for all copies of the manual to be withdrawn.

More at:

Maybe Turkish Muslims should restrict their activities to the back seats of cars rather than to the front. Or maybe not. The honor killiings would likely kill more people than bad driving of other sorts.

Recently, the Cardinal of L.A. claimed to be above the law in America. I accuse him of antinomianism. I might have also suggested he be excoriated by clam-shells and that his cardinal number be covered in pitch to illuminate Wiltshire Blvd. That's me and my sense of humor. I asked for responses less amusing if more sensible.

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Archdiocese will ignore a proposed federal law that would require churches to ask immigrants for residency documents before administering help, Cardinal Roger Mahony said last week.

"The church is not in a position of negotiating the spiritual and the corporal works of mercy," Mahony said during a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels marking the start of the 40-day season of Lent.

I cannot understand how a cardinal can claim to be above the civil law in civil society. I am not qualified to express an opinion of worth on this topic. My mind turned to an anecdote from Digby C. Anderson (Editor), Peter Mullen , (Editor), Faking It: Sentimentalization of Modern Society. Two social workers look at the Good Samaritan lying beaten and bloody on the roadside. Says one to the other: "The person who did this really should seek counselling."

Our friend Hugh responded from an informed Christian postion.

The good Samaritan was himself part of a group despised by the Jews, but did not withhold his good help for a fellow human being truly in need. So far as we are told, the victim was law abiding, and his plight was clearly not of his own making. Christian charity should not be perverted as extending to aid and abet criminal activity. Taking a destitute man off the street, giving him food and temporary shelter is being something of a good Samaritan, but the man helped in the Biblical account was a victim of highway robbers, and had not broken the laws of the land himself. The good Samaritan did not expedite criminal activity, but carried the victim to an inn where he was legally entitled to be.

Even if the victim had committed crimes, the good Samaritan would likely still give his help, which was to attend to his wounds and need of immediate food and shelter, but nothing in the story suggests that the help given would preclude both of them otherwise complying with the law, so far as the Samaritan was involved. Contrary to the Cardinal's suggestion, there is no scripture which says we are to extend "unlimited" charity and generosity to strangers. The extent of the good Samaritan's help was not beyond a reasonable recovery time, and certainly did not countenance effective assistance in breaking and/or evading the law of the land. As I understand it, the US immigration law requires the church to ask for citizenship ID only if they wish to offer someone assistance or help. In that case, they must ALSO report, should the individual not produce adequate proof of citizenship. None of this prevents giving food, shelter, or other reasonable assistance AFTER the question/s have been asked and the INS notified if necessary, regardless of whether the individual is an illegal alien or not.

Both Romans 13:1 and Titus 3:1 tell us to be subject to the law of the land, unless ONLY they expressly contradict God's law, as per Acts 4:19. The Lord has never commanded laws of immigration to be ignored or otherwise bypassed, anytime, anywhere. A bowl of soup, a sandwich, a simple bed for the night, and an immediate phone call to the INS where there has not been proper ID would be the appropriate, actually Biblical response for anyone who truly wishes to comply with the Spirit of the entire scripture.

The Cardinal seems to, perhaps deliberately, confuse the issues of agency and simple law abiding compliance. To comply with the law of the land by requiring ID for someone who looks under age trying to purchase alcohol is not making the retailer an agent of the government, or administrator of judgment, even though the retailer will rightly be fined or otherwise punished for ignoring the law's requirements for ID check.

If there is any doubt, first the ID to show entitlement to even be in the land, then the service or assistance. None of this violates scripture. Tacitly concealing criminal activity, under the erroneous excuse that it would somehow preclude offering assistance, certainly does violate God's laws.

When our Western intelligentsia, particularly our moral leaders, regardless of our religious affliation or lack thereof, are gnositc and antinomian, then it seems we are in deeper trouble than we can rightly tolerate.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Some anecdotes for a fine evening.

I'm feeling anecdotal recently.

I was chatting one evening at a diner about my hated ex-wife. When I paused for breath I distinctly hear my neighbour say: "She seems like a real bitch."

"Huh? Excuse me?" I must have looked a bit scary. I said: "Who the fuck are you to talk about my ex-wife like that?You can say what you like about your ex-wife but don't you go thinking you can get away with that with me, not with my ex-wife. You don't know the girl. You don't know that I love her deeply and that most of the crap I speak about her is my own nastiness coming out. She's nothing to do with you regardless, and if I hear anything like it again I'll...."

Well, I can't recall the details of the rest of that short conversation.

There is a point here.

In a long life-time of wandering around I haven't often been back home. I miss it sometimes, and sometimes I don't. Still, I had one home, and that was it. I never found or really ever wanted another after that. I might complain about the place, it not being Arcadia, but that's me more than my home. If I complain about my home it gives no one else the right to do so. In fact, it offends me so deeply that I lose my lovely temper. My home is mine even if I don't live there anymore. If others want to butt in and slag my home, I take it personally.

Imagine my relative going to my neighbour and telling him that my lovely temper is terrible. That I cause my neighbour too much trouble undeserved, and that he's going to help my neighbour get back at me because I make the family look bad in the neighbourhood. My relative is superior to me in most ways, I'll admit, that being obvious to those who know me. But do I care? Not a bit of it. I do what I do and that's an end of it. My neighbour can live with it right up to the time my relative has worked the fool into a rage about my behaviour to the point that my neighbour demands I pay him for this and that, and till my neighbour decides he's going to send his children over to explode on my doorstep and kill my own. I say not only is my neighbour scum and deserves to die but my relative has a certain date with a rope and a lamp post. So what if my relative is morally superior to me? And maybe he isn't, given that he's worked up my retarded neighbour to commit murder and to murder his own children.

Which brings me to Omar, a fat and stupid slob from California who returned to Syria to get in touch with his Arabic roots. Omar could see nothing but wonder and joy in his old homeland that he hadn't seen since he was a child. Everything Arabic was good in his eyes, and I, nasty bastard that I must be, was critical of those I simply did not understand.

I didn't understand the guys Omar decided were his friends. After a shouting match between me and one of those I didn't understand, off comes the other's shirt as he jumped into the water and came to attack me. As he got into the boat I saw his torso covered with knife-slash scars. According to Omar I am to blame for causing trouble and offending his friends. Omar apologised to the others for the day. He took them for dinner, bought then clothes, smoked pot with them. He was as offended by my remarks about his friends as they were. "Those guys are snakes, Omar. You're out of your depth."

Omar hung out with the guys more and more. I told Omar: "Those guys are going to fuck you, mate." Omar got angry.

I saw Omar the last time as he sat at a cafe, his back to the wall, wedged between two of his buddies, a table in front of them pulled close. Omar's friends didn't look at me. They couldn't have cared less about my presence, their eyes dull and stupid. "Come on, Omar, let's get out of here."

Omar's eyes widened and he grinned. No, he wasn't having fun. He was scared to death.

Omar's friends knew they couldn't keep him. Omar knew it too. All he had to do was push away the table and stand up to break the spell.

That's as anecdotal as I'll be today. Maybe later I'll try being allegorical. There's a fine chance I'll be anechoic. I will be at VPL this evening from 7-9:00 pm in the atrium. I'll be there with others who stand up by sitting down. You'll know us because we wear blue scarves and I wear a baseball cap with an Israeli flag patch on the crown. I'm lovely. Join us.

The Price to Pay.

Rationality is attitude. One is not born rational, it comes only through training and effort and diligence. It stays because the possessor finds it beneficial-- or is perhaps too lazy too consider something else. Regardless, rationality is a choice one makes. As well, Left fascist dhimmitude is a choice one makes. It's an attitude backed up by fashion statements. I have gone on many times, and perhaps too many times, about the filth weasel Stewart, the Presbyterian pastor from Tarantum, Penn. He and his disguting friends dress up and act as cheer-leaders for murderers, costuming themselves in p.c. tatters and sanctimony. I have often offered to dress them in nooses and to hang them from lamp posts to decorate our cities and nations. I make a fashion statement in so doing. I have an attitude. One sees it in the post from last day, that Che is not a fashionable icon of Progress. One of my favorite writers of these times, Theo. Dalrymple writes below of the same attitude I have. No wonder I like his copy.

Fashionable Guerrillas

By Theodore Dalrymple

City Journal | May 25, 2006

Notwithstanding the political catastrophes of the twentieth century, the notion of the noble guerrilla persists on the left. According to this notion, a man or woman who takes to the hills, gun in hand, must be fighting for a good cause, and bringing about a better and more just world. The Guardian, Britain's left-liberal newspaper, which (alas) is also its most serious paper, can't get enough of the noble guerrilla.

The Guardian's latest glossy weekend supplement carried a photographic essay about PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) guerrillas on the Turkish-Iraqi border. Romanticizing them could hardly go further: in rugged landscapes, we see fresh-faced young men and women in gray-green fatigues either in pensive, poetic mood or happily singing revolutionary songs.

How purposefully authentic their existence seems compared with ours, who live in large, comfortable, and wealthy cities, selfishly enjoying the rotten fruits of a decadent civilization. One almost wishes one could shed the veneer of sophistication and join up, to breathe the crystalline, unpolluted air of Kurdistan.

How many times in the twentieth century did we see the same photographic essays about noble guerrilla movements!

In the brief commentary that accompanied the pictures, not a single word appeared about the PKK's history of hard-line Marxism or its alliance with the Shining Path, the monstrous Peruvian guerrilla movement of the Pol Pot tendency. Nor was there a word about the 30,000 people who have died as a result of its insurgency. All we get are the words of "a female fighter." "We don't want a utopia," she said. "Like all people around the world, we simply want the right to enjoy our culture and use our language."

Perhaps the best gauge of the depth and sincerity of the average Guardian reader's interest in and commitment to the Kurdish liberation struggle—a struggle that, if successful, would almost certainly result in the establishment of a nasty little totalitarianism—is the article on the following pages about fashion, with the legend "Elegant drapery with metallic details[—]take inspiration from ancient Greece this summer." The article invites female supporters of Kurdish liberation to buy a blue, one-shoulder Lanvin dress for just over $2,900, together with a wide silver belt for $280 and a silver charm chain (worn around the shoulder) at $500, or alternatively a black dress with metallic detail by Marios Schwab for just over $3,000, together with gold sandals for $640.

Could solidarity with the Kurdish people go any further? The PKK are a fashion accessory: bought, of course, at the expense of others.
At the expense of others? They are you. Those who pay for their vicarious thrill at the expence of others have a price to pay.

Hello, I'm the cashier.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

No Dhimmitude: Year One.

Not everything that the Wrights did was a success. Of the seven aircraft that they built from 1899 to 1905, only two worked well enough to be flown any length of time -- the 1902 glider and the 1905 Flyer 3. Some, like the 1901 glider (above) were dismal failures. But the Wrights had the ability to learn from their failures as well as their successes, and so made steady progress toward creating a practical airplane.

This is a re-reun of the first post. In the year past we've come a long way toward making our world more aware of the threat posed by fascist Islam and Left dhimmi fascism. I also write a little more fluidly than before.

Hope to see you here next year.

No Dhimmitude

Dhimmitude, the subjugation of non-Muslims as second-class people within Dar al-Islam, the House of Peace, according to Islamic fascist thought, is reserved for those monotheists of Christianity and Judaism who accept submission to Islamic rule by acknowledging Islamic superiority in terms of political rule by paying jizya, a tax paid in humiliation and fear for the sake of continued existence as semi-subjects, protected from death at the hands of Islam by virtue of their willingness to obey the over-lords of Islam.

In today's modern world we in the non-Islamic world are experiencing a state of encroaching self-imposed dhimmitude, a turning toward slavery by the appeasement of Islamic demands of conformity to the norms and manners of Islam even in contravention of the written laws of our sovereign states.

Our societies, from the United States to Russia to Australia to Sweden, from Thailand to India, are giving way to Islamic privilege at the expense of the settled and traditional laws of our revolutionary modernity in favor of the reactionary barbarism of Islam. Our political and cultural leaders, from senators and judges to movie stars and journalists are promoting Islamic tenets directly opposed to the nature of our post-Enlightenment cultures. All this in the name of tolerance and correction of past injustices of colonialism and Western imperialism.

This site is dedicated to a counter-correction of such philobarbarist romanticism.

Our project is the promotion of Socratic dialectic and Walkerian colonialism world-wide--in direct confrontation to Islamic fascism.

In coming installments we will outline the project at hand and provide space for contributions to the debate. We look forward to your insights and contributions.

Yalla, Dag

Viva la Revolucion!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Let them eat truffles. Trifles. Troubles.

Giscard demands second chance for EU constitution in France

23.05.2006 - 09:47 CET

By Mark Beunderman

The architect of the EU constitution and former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing has called for the charter to be ratified in France through a new referendum or a parliamentary vote.

Mr Giscard d'Estaing was the chairman of the European Convention, a body of EU politicians which presented the draft EU constitution in 2003, and has since been lobbying for his text despite "no" votes on the charter in France and the Netherlands last year.

The French politician again strongly defended the constitution in an interview with the FT on Tuesday (23 May).

"It is not France that has said no. It is 55 percent of the French people - 45 percent of the French people said yes ," he said.

"I wish that we will have a new chance, a second chance, for the constitutional project."

Mr Giscard d'Estaing indicated that the treaty could be put to French voters in a second referendum, or be ratified by the French parliament.

"People have the right to change their opinion. The people might consider they made a mistake ," he said on a possible new referendum.

Giscard demands second chance for EU constitution in France

If people vote for a dictatorship, is it a legitimate state? What if 45 percent vote for a dictatorship? What if parliament passes a law instating a dictatorship? How far are the French willing to go before they rise up and hang the elites? Will they? Or will they simply stop having children to live with the mess till the Muslims take over, ruin the world they live in, and die of starvation because there's no one left to supply them with the material goods they require to survive? Should we care?

Cardinal descries "criminalising illegality."

There is a fair distinction between criminality and illegality. In America we have legitimate courts with codified law to sort that out. It's our legal system. It's not perfect, and it is evolving daily, wrongs being righted, injustices being committed, travesties being carried out that one expects will in time be corrected and perhaps in some ways compensated for. We live with legal wrongs and injustice simply because we have to accept that ours is a system of all rather than of the few, that our law is a system rather than the domain of the special and the privilged. Yes, there is injustice. We must at times willingly accept that we might suffer from it personally, and we will do so knowing that in so doing we will be concretely a part of the bettering of our laws in the future. No, I do not want to be part of the case. Yes, I would accept a wrong judgement against my person in the knowledge that I would be a case for later revision and correction, little good it doing me.

Not being a lawyer or a theologian I leave it to the reader to decide the case of what I call antinomianism on the part of the cardinal below. I see the man as a heretic and a criminal. My view is perhaps naive and uninformed.

Mahony: L.A. Church Won't Enforce Immigration Laws

News Report, Virginia Gaglianone,
Wave Newspapers, Mar 10, 2006

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Archdiocese will ignore a proposed federal law that would require churches to ask immigrants for residency documents before administering help, Cardinal Roger Mahony said last week.

"The church is not in a position of negotiating the spiritual and the corporal works of mercy," Mahony said during a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels marking the start of the 40-day season of Lent.

"We must be able to minister to people regardless of how they got here," he said.

Mahony was addressing an immigration bill being debated this week in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

The House of Representatives passed the border security bill in December that requires all personnel of churches and nonprofit organizations to verify the legal immigration status of every person served.

"If the law passes in its current form, it would criminalize people who are here illegally," Mahony spokesman Tod Tamberg said. "Anybody who would knowingly assist [illegal immigrants] could be guilty of human trafficking. That's insulting to any charity, especially the church.

"This bill is saying 'here church, you fix [the immigration problem]. We'll criminalize these things and you are the ones who will have to figure out how to deal with them,'" Tamberg added. "This is not our problem, this problem was created by poor policy to begin with and we want to see that changed."

Mahony supports the Justice For Immigrants Campaign, a national Catholic public awareness effort that provides education on immigration reform and supports proposals for a guest worker program, legalization of undocumented immigrants and more visas for migrants' families and refugees in this country.

"The Catholic Church is not in favor of open borders," Tamberg said. "What we are simply saying is that any kind of immigration or border security policy should reflect the basic values of Americans. We are a generous and humane people and we are asking that our best qualities be present in any legislation."

The campaign, launched by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other church organizations, challenges the bill.

"Our job is to try to lay out the moral foundation for immigration reform, like we would for any other social policy proposal," Tamberg said.

Some of the critics of the cardinal's position said that there is a limit to being charitable.

"Jesus Christ is very clear in the gospel, including the parable of the Good Samaritan," Tamberg said in response. "Charity and generosity to the stranger is to be unlimited. That may annoy some people, including some Catholics, but the gospel had always been annoying at different times of history.

"It is staggering for the federal government to stifle our spiritual and pastoral outreach to the poor, and to impose penalties for doing what our faith demands of us," Mahony said in a letter he sent to President George W. Bush.

Mahony also wrote a letter to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Senate Judiciary Committee member. Feinstein had spoken against a worker's program that went beyond agricultural workers.

Mahony said the guest worker program should be expanded beyond agricultural workers and that there should be some opportunity for those workers to become citizens without having to go back to their own country and wait for a decade or more.

"The whole concept of punishing people who serve immigrants is un-American," Mahony said in earlier interviews. "If you take this to its logical, ludicrous extreme, every single person who comes up to receive Holy Communion, you have to ask them to show papers. It becomes absurd and the church is not about to get into that. The church is here to serve people. We're not about to become immigration agents."

"It all starts with the dignity of the human person for us," Tamberg said.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese is the largest archdiocese in the country with 288 parishes and five million members.

"The underlying basis for our service to others, especially the poor, is the example, words, and actions of Jesus Christ in the Gospels," Mahony said in his letter to the president. "St. Matthew's Gospel does not simply invite us to serve others in the name of Jesus, but offers such service as a requisite to belonging to the Kingdom of God."

Is there a law for Catholic cardinals that supercedes the law for me? Is our nation illegitimate? If so, then I should join the cardinal and take up arms to destroy it. If not, then I feel that the cardinal should pack his tooth-brush and vasoline and prepare himself for some penitential time with Rocco and Vinnie. But I might be naive and uninformed.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Queen's Birthday

It's the Queen's birthday. That calls for this very short and over-due post to keep us till morning.


Queen Victoria

AKA Alexandrina Victoria Hanover

Born: 24-May-1819
Birthplace: Kensington Palace, Kensington, London, England
Died: 22-Jan-1901
Location of death: Osborne House, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Cause of death: Cerebral Hemorrhage
Remains: Buried, The Mausoleum, Frogmore, Windsor Castle, England

Gender: Female
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Royalty

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Longest-reigning British monarch

Father: Prince Edward Augustus (son of King George III, b. 2-Nov-1767, m. 29-May-1818, d. 23-Jan-1820)
Mother: Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (b. 17-Aug-1786, d. 16-Mar-1861)
Husband: Albert Augustus Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (cousin, m. 10 February 1840)
Daughter: Princess Victoria (b. 21-Nov-1840, d. 5-Aug-1901)
Son: King Edward VII (b. 9-Nov-1841, d. 6-May-1910)
Daughter: Princess Alice (b. 25-Apr-1843, d. 14-Dec-1878)
Son: Prince Alfred (b. 6-Aug-1844, d. 31-Jul-1900)
Daughter: Princess Helena (b. 25-May-1846, d. 9-Jun-1923)
Daughter: Princess Louise (b. 18-Mar-1848, d. 3-Dec-1939)
Son: Prince Arthur (b. 1-May-1850, d. 16-Jan-1942)
Son: Prince Leopold (b. 7-Apr-1853, d. 28-Mar-1884)
Daughter: Princess Beatrice (b. 14-Apr-1857, d. 26-Oct-1944)

U.K. Monarch 1837-1901

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Freedom and Pain

I hope I'm recovering from an injury I suffered a few weeks ago. At this time there is almost nothing I would like more than to escape from pain. I can hardly think, I can hardly sit still without wanting to stand up or lie down or roll around. Regardless of what position I find myself in I hurt. But it's not that big a deal, not that horrible thing that pain can be in real life when the pain is life of itself. I hurt, but I'll get over it or come to terms with it and go on with it and cope. There is pain far worse than anything I'm feeling now, and, trivial as it might seem, it's in the soul. I grit my teeth, bang my head, and moan. It's nothing compared to the life of pain most people on Earth are suffering today. Most people are dying. They are dying of fear and the agony of self-torment and from loss of meaning. Not only are they dying, they hope to kill as many others as they can while they go. They hope to kill you and your children. They want to kill everyone. My pain is rational. It had a beginning, a cause, a treatment, and perhaps someday an end. For the others, the end is the end of life.

We'll see below a couple of short extracts on Eric Fromm, Escape from Freedom. In part he writes about the psychic pain that is driving the world's greater population to madness, murder, and suicide. If we can recognise the root causes of fascist Islam's madness and the self-destruction of the Left dhimmi fascists who lead them off the cliff, we might find it within ourselves to act rationally and humanely to prevent the slaughter of the innocents that will come in the near future if we do nothing about the pain of others.

Fromm's theory is a rather unique blend of Freud and Marx. Freud, of course, emphasized the unconscious, biological drives, repression, and so on. In other words, Freud postulated that our characters were determined by biology. Marx, on the other hand, saw people as determined by their society, and most especially by their economic systems.

He added to this mix of two deterministic systems something quite foreign to them: The idea of freedom. He allows people to transcend the determinisms that Freud and Marx attribute to them. In fact, Fromm makes freedom the central characteristic of human nature!

There are, Fromm points out, examples where determinism alone operates. A good example of nearly pure biological determinism, ala Freud, is animals (at least simple ones). Animals don't worry about freedom -- their instincts take care of everything. Woodchucks, for example, don't need career counseling to decide what they are going to be when they grow up: They are going to be woodchucks!

A good example of socioeconomic determinism, ala Marx, is the traditional society of the Middle Ages. Just like woodchucks, few people in the Middle Ages needed career counseling: They had fate, the Great Chain of Being, to tell them what to do. Basically, if your father was a peasant, you'd be a peasant. If your father was a king, that's what you'd become. And if you were a woman, well, there was only one role for women.

Today, we might look at life in the Middle Ages, or life as an animal, and cringe. But the fact is that the lack of freedom represented by biological or social determinism is easy. Your life has structure, meaning, there are no doubts, no cause for soul-searching, you fit in and never suffered an identity crisis.

Historically speaking, this simple, if hard, life began to get shaken up with the Renaissance. In the Renaissance, people started to see humanity as the center of the universe, instead of God. In other words, we didn't just look to the church (and other traditional establishments) for the path we were to take. Then came the Reformation, which introduced the idea of each of us being individually responsible for our own soul's salvation. And then came democratic revolutions such as the American and the French revolutions. Now all of a sudden we were supposed to govern ourselves! And then came the industrial revolution, and instead of tilling the soil or making things with our hands, we had to sell our labor in exchange for money. All of a sudden, we became employees and consumers! Then came socialist revolutions such as the Russian and the Chinese, which introduced the idea of participatory economics. You were no longer responsible only for your own well-being, but for fellow workers as well!

So, over a mere 500 years, the idea of the individual, with individual thoughts, feelings, moral conscience, freedom, and responsibility, came into being. but with individuality came isolation, alienation, and bewilderment. Freedom is a difficult thing to have, and when we can we tend to flee from it.

Fromm describes three ways in which we escape from freedom:

1. Authoritarianism. We seek to avoid freedom by fusing ourselves with others, by becoming a part of an authoritarian system like the society of the Middle Ages. There are two ways to approach this. One is to submit to the power of others, becoming passive and compliant. The other is to become an authority yourself, a person who applies structure to others. Either way, you escape your separate identity.

Fromm referred to the extreme version of authoritarianism as masochism and sadism, and points our that both feel compelled to play their separate roles, so that even the sadist, with all his apparent power over the masochist, is not free to choose his actions. But milder versions of authoritarianism are everywhere. In many classes, for example, there is an implicit contract between students and professors: Students demand structure, and the professor sticks to his notes. It seems innocuous and even natural, but this way the students avoid taking any responsibility for their learning, and the professor can avoid taking on the real issues of his field.

2. Destructiveness. Authoritarians respond to a painful existence by, in a sense, eliminating themselves: If there is no me, how can anything hurt me? But others respond to pain by striking out against the world: If I destroy the world, how can it hurt me? It is this escape from freedom that accounts for much of the indiscriminate nastiness of life -- brutality, vandalism, humiliation, vandalism, crime, terrorism....

Fromm adds that, if a person's desire to destroy is blocked by circumstances, he or she may redirect it inward. The most obvious kind of self-destructiveness is, of course, suicide. But we can also include many illnesses, drug addiction, alcoholism, even the joys of passive entertainment. He turns Freud's death instinct upside down: Self-destructiveness is frustrated destructiveness, not the other way around.

3. Automaton conformity. Authoritarians escape by hiding within an authoritarian hierarchy. But our society emphasizes equality! There is less hierarchy to hide in (though plenty remains for anyone who wants it, and some who don't). When we need to hide, we hide in our mass culture instead. When I get dressed in the morning, there are so many decisions! But I only need to look at what you are wearing, and my frustrations disappear. Or I can look at the television, which, like a horoscope, will tell me quickly and effectively what to do. If I look like, talk like, think like, feel like... everyone else in my society, then I disappear into the crowd, and I don't need to acknowledge my freedom or take responsibility. It is the horizontal counterpart to authoritarianism.

The person who uses automaton conformity is like a social chameleon: He takes on the coloring of his surroundings. Since he looks like a million other people, he no longer feels alone. He isn't alone, perhaps, but he's not himself either. The automaton conformist experiences a split between his genuine feelings and the colors he shows the world, very much along the lines of Horney's theory.

In fact, since humanity's "true nature" is freedom, any of these escapes from freedom alienates us from ourselves. Here's what Fromm had to say:

    Man is born as a freak of nature, being within nature and yet transcending it. He has to find principles of action and decision making which replace the principles of instincts. He has to have a frame of orientation which permits him to organize a consistent picture of the world as a condition for consistent actions. He has to fight not only against the dangers of dying, starving, and being hurt, but also against another anger which is specifically human: that of becoming insane. In other words, he has to protect himself not only against the danger of losing his life but also against the danger of losing his mind. (Fromm, 1968, p. 61)
I should add here that freedom is in fact a complex idea, and that Fromm is talking about "true" personal freedom, rather than just political freedom (often called liberty): Most of us, whether they are free or not, tend to like the idea of political freedom, because it means that we can do what we want. A good example is the sexual sadist (or masochist) who has a psychological problem that drives his behavior. He is not free in the personal sense, but he will welcome the politically free society that says that what consenting adults do among themselves is not the state's business! Another example involves most of us today: We may well fight for freedom (of the political sort), and yet when we have it, we tend to be conformist and often rather irresponsible. We have the vote, but we fail to use it! Fromm is very much for political freedom -- but he is especially eager that we make use of that freedom and take the responsibility that goes with it.

The conformist

But the most occurring mechanism to escape freedom is, being everywhere in vogue, conformism. Man dares not to stand alone. He dares not to have a strong divergent opinion. He lets his feelings be determined by the emotions he sees all around him. It is better to adapt to the world around you. Then your surroundings will accept you. You will no longer stand alone.

But with adapting himself to the outside world, man runs the risk to lose his own unique individuality. Sometimes the thinking, the willing or the feeling of an individual is much more pure than society thinks, wills or feels. An individual who lets his own conscience speak and dares to resist the pressure of a collective, that forces him to act wrongly, is much more valuable to society than an always conforming citizen. Through conscious acts and the independent and creative thinking of individuals cultures have been brought to a higher level. Therefore culture needs members with a highly developed and independent self.

Not only in social life can we see the tendency of humans to surrender themselves to the will and views of others. Also in personal life are humans so anxious and so isolated that they completely lose themselves in relationships of dependence that take away their freedom. They surrender themselves to the requirements, expectations and images of someone else, that limit their growth and freedom. They exchange their own self against the pseudo-self of a temporarily made up feeling of 'we'. In this strong dependence and this loss of freedom the self feels hatred rather than love for the partner. The deeply anchored craving for freedom is pushed aside in the daily routine of compromises. In this grumpy repression hatred finds an excellent breeding ground. Where there once was love, now hatred and frustration grows of not being a self anymore. And with hatred and frustration despair grows. One becomes tense and more afraid. Because of this tension and fear we become more afraid of our own isolation and aloneness. Thus once more we want to surrender to the mercy of someone else who needs to help us and deliver us from all painful thoughts and desperate feelings. On the search again for the Magic Helper.

We've written on this theme over 300 times in the course of this blog. The question arises daily in one form or another: are we to live lives of free-minded people or are we to become farm animals again?

Freedom is a frightening and dangerous thing for most people. The Left hates Human freedom as much as does Islam. It is not even a matter of Left and Right anymore, if ever it were, it is a matter of freedom of mind and a reaction against freedom. Those who suffer from freedom wish to extinguish it from the Human experience. As freedom grows and engulfs further shores the reactionaries of the feudal and prior ages become more inflamed in their fears and hatreds, even unto collective suicide, as we witness daily in the Muslim world and see plainly in the Left hatred of Modernity and their support of fascist Islam and anything else that will destroy the individual's freedom to be alone and the sole owner of the person's life as his own property.

I deal with my pain as one man with pain. How do we deal with a world's pain when they will not, perhaps cannot deal with it themselves? Will they, in a fit of madness and rage and anguish, demand that we kill them? And if we do kill the world's primitives who cannot cope with the pain of freedom, what pain will that cause us?