Saturday, January 07, 2006

Vanity Fair

Over the years I've found myself atop high hills after a hard day's hike and there found myself face to face with tourists who took a tee-lift. Or they've taken a bus. Or sometimes they tell me later they've seen such a place on television. We have different values. I value poetry and beautiful prose. Below is a bit of beauty, cut up and presented in pieces for the sake of those who haven't the time or the patience to read the whole thing. I read the whole thing because I like it and had no other pressing issue to attend to. I'm a fortunate man.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Celestial Railroad

Not a great while ago, passing through the gate of dreams, I visited that region of the earth in which lies the famous City of Destruction. It interested me much to learn that by the public spirit of some of the inhabitants a railroad has recently been established between this populous and flourishing town and the Celestial City. Having a little time upon my hands, I resolved to gratify a liberal curiosity by making a trip thither. Accordingly, one fine morning after paying my bill at the hotel, and directing the porter to stow my luggage behind a coach, I took my seat in the vehicle and set out for the station-house....

A large number of passengers were already at the station-house awaiting the departure of the cars. By the aspect and demeanor of these persons it was easy to judge that the feelings of the community had undergone a very favorable change in reference to the celestial pilgrimage. It would have done Bunyan's heart good to see it. Instead of a lonely and ragged man with a huge burden on his back, plodding along sorrowfully on foot while the whole city hooted after him, here were parties of the first gentry and most respectable people in the neighborhood setting forth towards the Celestial City as cheerfully as if the pilgrimage were merely a summer tour. Among the gentlemen were characters of deserved eminence--magistrates, politicians, and men of wealth, by whose example religion could not but be greatly recommended to their meaner brethren. In the ladies' apartment, too, I rejoiced to distinguish some of those flowers of fashionable society who are so well fitted to adorn the most elevated circles of the Celestial City. There was much pleasant conversation about the news of the day, topics of business and politics, or the lighter matters of amusement; while religion, though indubitably the main thing at heart, was thrown tastefully into the background. Even an infidel would have heard little or nothing to shock his sensibility.

One great convenience of the new method of going on pilgrimage I must not forget to mention. Our enormous burdens, instead of being carried on our shoulders as had been the custom of old, were all snugly deposited in the baggage car, and, as I was assured, would be delivered to their respective owners at the journey's end.....

It was late in the day when the train thundered into the ancient city of Vanity, where Vanity Fair is still at the height of prosperity, and exhibits an epitome of whatever is brilliant, gay, and fascinating beneath the sun. As I purposed to make a considerable stay here, it gratified me to learn that there is no longer the want of harmony between the town's-people and pilgrims, which impelled the former to such lamentably mistaken measures as the persecution of Christian and the fiery martyrdom of Faithful. On the contrary, as the new railroad brings with it great trade and a constant influx of strangers, the lord of Vanity Fair is its chief patron, and the capitalists of the city are among the largest stockholders. Many passengers stop to take their pleasure or make their profit in the Fair, instead of going onward to the Celestial City. Indeed, such are the charms of the place that people often affirm it to be the true and only heaven; stoutly contending that there is no other, that those who seek further are mere dreamers, and that, if the fabled brightness of the Celestial City lay but a bare mile beyond the gates of Vanity, they would not be fools enough to go thither. Without subscribing to these perhaps exaggerated encomiums, I can truly say that my abode in the city was mainly agreeable, and my intercourse with the inhabitants productive of much amusement and instruction.

It would fill a volume, in an age of pamphlets, were I to record all my observations in this great capital of human business and pleasure. There was an unlimited range of society--the powerful, the wise, the witty, and the famous in every walk of life; princes, presidents, poets, generals, artists, actors, and philanthropists,--all making their own market at the fair, and deeming no price too exorbitant for such commodities as hit their fancy. It was well worth one's while, even if he had no idea of buying or selling, to loiter through the bazaars and observe the various sorts of traffic that were going forward.

Some of the purchasers, I thought, made very foolish bargains. For instance, a young man having inherited a splendid fortune, laid out a considerable portion of it in the purchase of diseases, and finally spent all the rest for a heavy lot of repentance and a suit of rags. A very pretty girl bartered a heart as clear as crystal, and which seemed her most valuable possession, for another jewel of the same kind, but so worn and defaced as to be utterly worthless. In one shop there were a great many crowns of laurel and myrtle, which soldiers, authors, statesmen, and various other people pressed eagerly to buy; some purchased these paltry wreaths with their lives, others by a toilsome servitude of years, and many sacrificed whatever was most valuable, yet finally slunk away without the crown. There was a sort of stock or scrip, called Conscience, which seemed to be in great demand, and would purchase almost anything. Indeed, few rich commodities were to be obtained without paying a heavy sum in this particular stock, and a man's business was seldom very lucrative unless he knew precisely when and how to throw his hoard of conscience into the market. Yet as this stock was the only thing of permanent value, whoever parted with it was sure to find himself a loser in the long run. Several of the speculations were of a questionable character. Occasionally a member of Congress recruited his pocket by the sale of his constituents; and I was assured that public officers have often sold their country at very moderate prices. Thousands sold their happiness for a whim. Gilded chains were in great demand, and purchased with almost any sacrifice. In truth, those who desired, according to the old adage, to sell anything valuable for a song, might find customers all over the Fair; and there were innumerable messes of pottage, piping hot, for such as chose to buy them with their birthrights. A few articles, however, could not be found genuine at Vanity Fair. If a customer wished to renew his stock of youth the dealers offered him a set of false teeth and an auburn wig; if he demanded peace of mind, they recommended opium or a brandy bottle.

Day after day, as I walked the streets of Vanity, my manners and deportment became more and more like those of the inhabitants. The place began to seem like home; the idea of pursuing my travels to the Celestial City was almost obliterated from my mind. I was reminded of it, however, by the sight of the same pair of simple pilgrims at whom we had laughed so heartily when Apollyon puffed smoke and steam into their faces at the commencement of our journey. There they stood amidst the densest bustle of Vanity; the dealers offering them their purple and fine linen and jewels, the men of wit and humor gibing at them, a pair of buxom ladies ogling them askance, while the benevolent Mr. Smooth-it-away whispered some of his wisdom at their elbows, and pointed to a newly-erected temple; but there were these worthy simpletons, making the scene look wild and monstrous, merely by their sturdy repudiation of all part in its business or pleasures....

"Sir," inquired he, with a sad, yet mild and kindly voice. "do you call yourself a pilgrim?"

"Yes," I replied, "my right to that appellation is indubitable. I am merely a sojourner here in Vanity Fair, being bound to the Celestial City by the new railroad."

This incident made a considerable impression on my mind, and contributed with other circumstances to indispose me to a permanent residence in the city of Vanity; although, of course, I was not simple enough to give up my original plan of gliding along easily and commodiously by railroad. Still, I grew anxious to be gone. There was one strange thing that troubled me. Amid the occupations or amusements of the Fair, nothing was more common than for a person--whether at feast, theatre, or church, or trafficking for wealth and honors, or whatever he might be doing, to vanish like a soap bubble, and be never more seen of his fellows; and so accustomed were the latter to such little accidents that they went on with their business as quietly as if nothing had happened. But it was otherwise with me....

A steam ferry boat, the last improvement on this important route, lay at the river side, puffing, snorting, and emitting all those other disagreeable utterances which betoken the departure to be immediate. I hurried on board with the rest of the passengers, most of whom were in great perturbation: some bawling out for their baggage; some tearing their hair and exclaiming that the boat would explode or sink; some already pale with the heaving of the stream; some gazing affrighted at the ugly aspect of the steersman; and some still dizzy with the slumberous influences of the Enchanted Ground. Looking back to the shore, I was amazed to discern Mr. Smooth-it-away waving his hand in token of farewell.

"Don't you go over to the Celestial City?" exclaimed I.

"Oh, no!" answered he with a queer smile, and that same disagreeable contortion of visage which I had remarked in the inhabitants of the Dark Valley. "Oh, no! I have come thus far only for the sake of your pleasant company. Good-by! We shall meet again."

And then did my excellent friend Mr. Smooth-it-away laugh outright, in the midst of which cachinnation a smoke-wreath issued from his mouth and nostrils, while a twinkle of lurid flame darted out of either eye, proving indubitably that his heart was all of a red blaze. The impudent fiend! To deny the existence of Tophet, when he felt its fiery tortures raging within his breast. I rushed to the side of the boat, intending to fling myself on shore; but the wheels, as they began their revolutions, threw a dash of spray over me so cold--so deadly cold, with the chill that will never leave those waters until Death be drowned in his own river--that with a shiver and a heartquake I awoke. Thank Heaven it was a Dream!

I like to hike and climb and poke around in places where I don't belong. I'm going eventually to the undiscovered country, my visa awaiting. Till then, I hope you'll continue to join me and those here who wonder where we are and where we're going on this ood and often weird trip. It's a struggle to get through these things and after the sweating and the pains it seems we end up with everyone else after all; but still, it's somewhat different for us who made it on our own.

Or is it? We might ask Hamlet.

But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others we know not of.

The Missionary Position

Lord, save us from those who would save us from ourselves.

A small minority of people live in a world today that is so remarkably different from others that it is the terror of the world's larger population to witness. We who live in the world of the modern West are so different from the rest today, and so different from our ancestors, that we nearly resemble a new species of Humankind. We are not only different in our lifestyles, in our opinions, in our concepts, we are different in our nature as people: we are Revolutionaries cut off from the rest of Humanity. Thank God for it!

Until 5000 years ago man lived the life of pastoralism, of hunting and gathering, the equivalent of dumpster-divers scrounging for edibles in the garbage cans of the world. Then, a revolution in farming: men planted and sowed crops and settled and raised up cities and states. From then on Man became a farm animal, mostly the farm animal of another, owned and used.

Three revolutions have changed that condition of Man in the past 250 years, and there is hatred toward those revolutions that does not die out but grows in intensity and fury among those who reject our revolutions of Modernity.

The world of Islam is ruled by the ethos of the wild men of the 7th century dumpster-divers of the Arabian Peninsula, of roving thieves and murderers, of Mohammad and his killer thieves. These are some of the world's most primitive people, and they are enraged by the Modernity of the West, as are many Westerners. All seek to destroy Modernity, to return the world of men to slavery and violence, the roots of fascism, the Hell of savagery as it is in the natural world, but painted now with ideology and sentimentality. There are Muslims who wish to return the whole world to a time of primitive warrior culture, a time when the strong killed, enslaved, raped, and stole as a military ethos of power; and there are those who wish to return man to the land, to a time when all men were slaves not of Allah but of the landlord, the priest, the king, those being today the state, the intelligentsia, the U.N. Modernity makes men individuals, and the rage against Modernity is the rage against man as Man. The individual is not subject to the rule of the system, whatever that system might be; and thus, those who would rule are enraged.

Man is a social animal. We gather in groups, as married couples, as families, as friends, as clans, tribes, nations. We communicate. We are social and communal. The concept of privacy is a radical revolutionary concept. Privacy is an affront to the communal group and to the social group. Privacy is a shameful and dangerous thing, one that destroys the group. Those who are private, who have things, ideas, feelings of their own that they do not allow possession of to the group, those people are threatening to the group. We are those radical revolutionaries. We are the threat to the group. They mean to incorporate us into the body again or they mean to kill us. The primitive Muslims and the neo-feudalists of the West mean to destroy our revolutions of privacy and individuality, and they mean to control Man again as a farm animal-- at best.

Who are these monsters who would return us to the fold, who would destroy our privacy, who would reclaim our lives as theirs to tend? Aside from the Muslims, who are savages and hardly count except as killers and rapists, the enemies of Modernity are those Left dhimmi fascists of the West's Modernity who hate the idea of free men, free in that men own their own lives as private possessions, men who can be outside the group and outside the sphere of control of the philosopher kings who would rule all for the common good and their own. These monsters are social workers, social engineers, social planners, social managers, simply socialists, collectivists, communalists and commune ists. "We are the children of the world." "Back to the land." "Give back to the community." "The circle of life." "We are all brothers." We are not, according to the Left dhimmi fascist, men. We are children. We are all part of some huge man-farm and we must be tended like dumb beasts. We must remove ourselves from the evils of cities where we do not live within the confines of the farm, from cities where men are isolated from the tenders. We are all brothers, and our parents are the government. We must give back to the community, not being ourselves but part of the whole, and being selfish, not giving to the community, we are threatening to the whole. We have ideas, and we have privacy, the right of ownership of our own lives to live as we will. And it's all a circle of life, not a matter of progress, not a matter of Man's volition, not the choice of a man to do as he will, but the round of seasons in the eternity of rural idiocy tended by the rulers who know better than we.

The history of capitalism is one of horror. Whether one refers to Blake, to Zola, to Engels, to Henry Mayhew, to Upton Sinclair, the record is plain: capitalism was the end of life as it had been for 5,000 years, and it was worst. What benefits there were to be found in capitalist modes of production were only given to the few, and fewer than to those of the feudal era. The Human suffering caused by capitalism is enormous and the spiritual devastation remains with us today unabated. The bloodshed of the French Revolution's Terror was ghastly. And the summation of those revolutions is seen in the American Revolution today: a small number of the world's people rule the world and do much as they please, tearing up the old social relations that have been in place for 5,000 years and longer, and all for the sake of more capitalism. many in the West are horrified by the result of capitalism, and they want to destroy it and return the world's people to a time prior to capitalism, to a time of feudalism, but this time a benevolent feudalism, tenders with velvet gloves and welfare cheques in hand.

Capitalism was and is destructive of life as it had been and as it still is in most of the world. Capitalism destroys daily the life of man as he has lived it forever. There are those who would stop capitalism. Some try to do so by returning the world to Islamic fascism, and there are others who would return the world of life to the feudal past. They work together. They are the enemies of Modernity. They are my enemies. And yet, to an extent, I have sympathy for them and their quest. Still, I will destroy them at every opportunity, like I would destroy rats in the granary. Capitalism destroys the old world's social relations, and damned rightly so.

Below we see a brief outline of a missionary journalist, Henry Mayhew, who walked the length and breadth of London in the 19th century interviewing poor people. The catalogue of horrors he details will sicken the average reader. Mayhew's purpose was palliative, to tend to the poor as a social reformer, as one who could alleviate the unwarranted suffering of the working classes. Rightly so. The man is heroic. His work was completed but it still goes on, and on and on and on, and there is no end to it. It goes on. What began as a campaign to aid the poor is a campaign today to rule the poor and to infantalise the world for the sake of the rulers of men. they will not stop until every man is ruled by the man-farmers who live by social work.

Henry Mayhew (1812-1887)

Henry Mayhew was born into a wealthy London family, one of seventeen siblings. As a youth Mayhew was rebellious and ran away from boarding school, causing his father to enlist him involuntarily in the East India Company as a means of instilling discipline. After returning from this service Mayhew briefly tried a law career, but found it distasteful, quickly abandoning the profession to become a freelance journalist. Unable to support himself through this work, Mayhew moved to Paris to escape his creditors. In Paris he became part of a circle of young expatriate novelists and writers and in 1841 Mayhew collaborated with his friends to found the satirical weekly serial Punch. In 1849 Mayhew accepted the journalistic assignment that would define his career, agreeing to become the London correspondent for a large-scale survey of Britain's working poor, sponsored by the Morning Chronicle newspaper. His unflinching treatment of the life of the poor was shocking and controversial and his contributions were often censored by the editors. By 1850 Mayhew either quit or was fired from the project, but continued to publish articles on the London poor independently until 1852. These articles were later collected and published in four volumes titled London Labour and the London Poor (1861).


Mayhew approached his work on London Labour and the London Poor ethnographically, venturing directly into the poorest parts of London to interview his subjects directly. The first three volumes contain biographical sketches of the flower girls, cat and dog meat dealers, pickpockets, prostitutes, and others who struggled to eke out a living in Victorian London. His writing captured the conditions of their daily life and recorded their utterances in a form that many have described as the best oral history of the period.

So-called Palestinians are the darlings of the West's social workers. The Palestinians are the made equivalent of London's labour, London's poor; and they attract each and every missionary kindergarten minder on the planet, it seems. Palestinians wear the faces of the future of neo-feudalism. They are psychotic and murderous children, and they are made so by social workers and missionaries. Mayhew was a wonderful man, and he died, and that was his time and his place. He is replaced.

In the United States of America, leaders and scholars in the field of social work have debated the purpose and nature of the profession since its beginning in the late 1800s. Some social workers, beginning with the settlement house movement, have argued for a focus on social reform, political activism, and systemic causes of poverty. Social workers of the Settlement House Movement were primarily young women from middle-income families and chose to live in lower-income neighbourhoods to engage in community organizing. These workers sometimes received stipends from charitable organizations and sometimes worked for free. Formal training programs for these workers became available later in the movement.

In contrast to the settlement house movement, the friendly visitors were women from middle-income families who visited (but did not reside among) families in lower-income neighbourhoods. Friendly visitors emphasized conventional morality (such as thrift and abstinence from alcohol) rather than social activism.

Others have advocated an emphasis on direct practice, the pragmatic assessment of the problems of individual clients and families using targeted material assistance and psychotherapeutic intervention. While the pendulum swung in favor of direct practice in last quarter of the twentieth century, there is a growing resurgence of community practice in social work.

Community practice is the new term of art for what used to be known as "macro" social work. Community practice includes working for change at the systems level, including human services management (administration, planning, marketing, and program development); community organizing (community development, grassroots organizing, policy advocacy); social policy and politics; and international social development.

What were educated middle class women to do in the late 19th century if they were barred from the professions because of their sex? Yes, they turned to professional baby-sitting, and they baby-sat the poor. They took to their baby-sitting a religious missionary fervour that continues to this day. These childless women infantalized the poor, turned them into helpless and dependent little nothings who would forever depend on the power of the parent. Righteous? There is no end to it. And those who object to their mission? How much more evil can one be than to dismiss the concerns of professional mothers?


In the 1860s a new movement appeared that we now associate more directly with the evolution of early social work. Tagged with a variety of names: State Board of Charities, Board of Public Charities, Board of Charities and Corrections; the state board movement sought to bring some order to the management of state institutions. Many states experienced an institutional building boom, in part the direct result of Dorthea Dix's reform campaign before the Civil War.

In the 1850s and 1860s many Eastern states joined this public construction boom. They erected reformatories, prisons, mental asylums, poor-houses and orphanages. It soon became apparent that these institutions not only did not solve the problems that created them, but presented new problems in institutional management. Beginning in Massachusetts in 1863, states began appointing boards to oversee and manage the operations of their institutional structures. The idea quickly captured the imagination of early charity workers. In 1865, a convention to establish a national association was called. More than three hundred delegates attended.

The leaders of the boards turned to the then popular philosophy of science to create a new type of charity management: "scientific charity". This approach melded some of the new ideas about science with the principles of efficiency, which were being so impressively applied to business activities. In the words of historian James Leiby Scientific charity was to be:

...secular, rational and empirical as opposed to sectarian, sentimental, and dogmatic.
More interested in studying social problems and management difficulties than in developing new techniques and skills, the state board movement's direct influence was relatively brief. It was quickly eclipsed by similar advancements among private charities. However, the pioneers in the state board movement were the first charity leaders who tried to develop a more systematic and rational approach to their work and to push it away from its traditional association with religion. The state boards took the first steps in developing charity work into a distinct activity.

With the end of Christianity comes the new religion of science, or, for those who know nothing of science itself, scientism, the pseudo-science of social science. All the moralistic fervour of missionaries now combined with the new religion of science, unshakable, and righteous.

A History of Christian Missions : Second Edition (Hist of the Church)
Stephen Neill, Owen Chadwick

For those interested in the history of modern missionaries and their project of infantalizing the world's people, we suggest the title above. for those who wish to know more about the metastasis of Christian missionaries into philobarbarist, please continue here:

Christian socialism

[A] term used in Great Britain and the United States for a kind of socialism growing out of the clash between Christian ideals and the effects of competitive business. In Europe, it usually refers to a party or trade union directed by religious leaders in contrast to socialist unions and parties. The movement was begun in England in 1848, after the failure of Chartism. Influenced by Carlyle, Southey, Coleridge, and the Fourierists, rather than by Marx, such men as John Ludlow, Frederick Denison Maurice, and Charles Kingsley sought to encourage the laboring masses and the church to cooperate against capitalism. They published periodicals and tracts, promoted workingmen's associations, founded (1854) a workingmen's college, and helped achieve some general reforms. Though their experiments in producers' cooperation failed, their traditions were carried on by the Fabian Society, by adherents of guild socialism, and by several Roman Catholic groups. The movement in the United States was organized with the formation (1889) of the Society of Christian Socialists, although there had been earlier activity by Washington Gladden, Richard Theodore Ely, and others. 1
See C. E. Raven, Christian Socialism, 1848–1854 (1920, repr. 1968); J. C. Cort, Christian Socialism (1988).

Forming like groups is a natural condition of Man. We who live in the modern West form groups by choice; those who would return us to the brotherhood of man would form us as a group regardless, and they would tend us as if we were field animals. The hate our privacy, needing to know all our thoughts and deeds to ensure they can correct us or punish us for our transgressions. If we infringe, they will come to us with scientific certitude and religious fervour of missionaries who must make us right, though we can never truly be so.

We who are Modernists are rebellious. We have walked away from the farm, left the family of man and become Men. God, they hate us.

Lord, save us from those who would save us from ourselves, for otherwise we shall be Palestinians.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Metaphor, Authority, and the Moral (4)

Why Left dhimmi fascism? How did the West get itself into this bind whereby anyone with a "grievance" can claim victimhood and compensation while the West ties itself in knots of guilt and self-loathing? In past posts we've searched through history to examine the ideas of the Counter-Enlightenment thinkers who concocted the base for this idiocy, thinkers such as Herder, Fichte, Heidegger among others. Recently we've looked at the history of the Renaissance popes of the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers. We've seen the story of Sawney Beane, of morality based on the authority of one cannibal living in a cave. Here we will continue on that theme of moral authority and the metaphors that motivate us in our moral lives.

The Catholic Church has, for many in the West, lost its position as a moral authority. Whether that's right or wrong is a matter of dispute, but it is the objective reality in the West. It leaves a moral vacuum. Worse, it leaves a hatred in the collective mind of the very idea of an organised moral institution. The Protestant Reformation arose from that revulsion the Catholic Church brought upon itself and the world. Unfortunately, Protestantism isn't much better than the Catholic Church, in the eyes of many. The very idea of religion at all, and of God, is a source of hatred for many. For the past 250 years science has provided some kind of stop-gap as an authority, if amoral, but it too is discredited. We are left standing as the children of Sawney Beane, the ignorant children of a cannibal who has raised us to look upon the world as empty of meaning, as people as things to be eaten. We are the vacuous creatures of consumerism. We are assailed by Islam, a vigorous and primitive force of reaction and fascism; and Islam is aided and abetted by those among us who are atheists in a sense so deep that the world has never before experienced anything so despairing: people in the West generally have not anything at all to believe in but MTV.
The argument is that there is no authority to base our beliefs on. We ask an empty universe for answers to our moral questions, and in return we receive radio static and x-rays. It will not do. We ask each other, and we receive nothing better than one man's opinion, he possibly being Sawney Beane. The echoes from the cave of morality discourage.

Some of our more repulsively stupid fellows, usually our intelligentsia, feel that there is no universal truth, that there is only contingent truth, relative morality, and finally, that there is only astrology or tarot cards to base our morals judgements on. Some go so far as to opine that there is no such thing as truth at all, it being a social construct-- usually described as concocted by the dominant class in support of its own power, we being dupes who believe in phantasy that tricks us into acting against our own interests. The idea is originally Platonic, Plato being, as Neil Postman writes, "the first systematic fascist." That "narrative" is the dominant one in the West today. It leaves us in a state of moral stupor. I argue that the current Left dhimmi fascist moral narrative is as corrupt and disgusting as anything the Catholic Church is accused of. I argue that we today are in a state of public moral ruin. We cannot fight Islam if we do not care at all for our own lives. If we have no meaning as people, if our lives are no more worthwhile than the lives of chickens and Amazonian rain forests, then we are doomed to die out and to be overrun by Islam. Many in the West feel that that would be a good thing, the end of our revolutions of Modernity. Those who so argue are fascists. They are my enemies. What do we fight them with? What authority do we claim that proves us right in our struggle to further our revolutions?

We have written here many times on Georges Sorel and the Myth of the General Strike. Sorel is right, in our opinion, that the Myth is essential rather than the kind of myth it might be. We require a reformation of our social and therefore universal myth if we are to not only survive but triumph. I intend to win. To win, to survive at all, we must reform our Myth of what it is to be moral.

Math is a metaphor. Language is a metaphor. So too are Time, Money, Colour, Shape, Extension, and so on. And yet, Human myths, metaphors though those concepts are, they are also Human realities, and they are universal. So too must be our reformed Morality. But it must also be authoritative.

Where do we begin? I begin with the story of Lazarus from the Book of John, 11: 39-44, perhaps surprising for one self-proclaimed atheist:

39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

The verses above distinguish clearly the problem of the Moral from that of the ethical. The ethical hardly interests me, it being a matter of how to act like a decent person. I don't much care. It is the Moral that is of concern. Look at Lazarus arisen. His ethical behavior is not important to the story of his reliving. The moral of his new lease on life is what is.

Suppose, if you will, that Lazarus is a smelly and creepy guy who has no job, hangs out in the market place and gropes women, and shop lifts. He might be unethical, but to Jesus that is not important. What is? Jesus could have raised up Brad Pitt or Clark Gable. He did not do so. He chose a guy who wasn't special. He did not pick a man who had qualities the world missed and wanted back for however long the life could last. He chose a guy off the street. Ordinary nobody guy is as important as Brad Pitt for some reason. Why him?

Lazarus, if no one else, must have wondered. And perhaps Lazarus was pleased. But Lazarus must also have been anguished: What was he supposed to do now that he found himself alive again after being so comfortably dead already? He found himself back on the street, in need of the things one requires to keep body and soul together. He had to return to shoplifting and girl groping and smelling bad. His ethical problems pale in the light of what the moral of his story is. Having returned to life, what was the meaning of it? What was he supposed to live? Forget what he was supposed to do, that's obvious: he had to live. But why? Was he supposed to live because the city ran out of shoplifters and gropers who smell bad? Not likely. So what is the purpose of his life? He has it again, and aside from making a living, what is he supposed to be? What isn't trivial? And what is important? What is so important that it makes his new life worth the effort of having raised him up from the dead? Watching MTV isn't likely what Jesus had in mind for him. Being thankful and acting as Jesus's servant isn't likely either because it's not something he would have done had he been allowed to die in peace. No one would like to live again only to do something in the new life he wouldn't have felt right about in the old. Lazarus, I believe, was free to choose his own destiny-- if he could understand what it was. A clean slate. A chance to do anything at all from the beginning. What would he choose? What could be important?

That, according to me, would be the Moral. Not the what but the why. The moral would be as mythical and as real a metaphor as math and time and money.

I argue that we in the West have generally lost the authoritative moral that tells us Why. Our metaphor of Why is as corrupt as the Catholic Church in the Renaissance. We have no legitimate metaphor and no authority we can believe in. We are as lost and helpless as the children of Sawney Beane. Our moral authority could as easily be a cannibal living in a cave. How do we know if he's right or wrong, and if we hear from others, from even so many as all others, how do we know they are right? Everyone could easily be wrong about the moral, as wrong as Sawney Beane. And how would we know? Where do we turn for the answer of true authority? We turn, I suggest, to the metaphor of morality that is as solid as the metaphor of math and as universal.

We in the West do not have an agreed upon universal moral based on true authority. Without that we are like Lazarus standing in the dust wondering what to do next.

Every morning when we awake we are like Lazarus arisen from death: we are alive again and faced with what we live for. What do we live that isn't more of the same trivia? If it's more of the same trivia then why do we live at all rather than not? If it's the same trivia, we would have been better off being dead so as not to have to suffer more of it. Reliving would be no good thing. We wouldn't thank anyone for that. And yet we do wake each morning to face a new day of life. I think we in the West find that harder to do daily. I think Islam triumphs because we have lost our moral.

In coming posts we'll look at the return to irrationality as pseudo-religion and see how it fits into the pattern of Left dhimmi fascism that we go on about at such length here.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Metaphor, Authority, and the Moral (3)

Where does moral authority come from? What is it if one is raised without the guidance of a moral community with a tradition of moral precepts? What if you were raised in a cave by a cannibal? What if all you know is the result of being part of a family of killers who look upon the world of others as a food source? What if your intuitive morality doesn't quite extend so far as mine, and what if you think it's just so to eat me?

There is a limited interest all round in this blog. I have a limit to my own interests, and this is one of them, the story of Sawney Beane and his family. We first ran this back in early June as one of our first posts. It's back again. This question will not go away.

This moral story, though not strictly accurate historically, gives us a good vantage point from which to look at Islam, and other aberrant forms of religion and ideology. Who, raised to ruin from birth in an evil environment, is guilty; and at adulthood, who is culpable for the crimes they commit? What is our relationship with Muslims who are culturally insane? How do we deal with them? What do we do with a billion people raised from birth to see the rest of the Human population as little more than a food source?

The work below has far-reaching implications for all of us, of course, but to restrict ourselves to the question of how we deal with Islam is consequential in our time. We, being imperfect, have the duty to strive for better. Part of our struggle is to understand what to do with a billion Muslim people living in a moral cave. We aren't likely to eat them. What is to be done?

The Complete Newgate Calendar
Volume I

Sawney Beane


An incredible Monster who, with his Wife, lived by Murder and Cannibalism in a Cave. Executed at Leith with his whole Family in the Reign of James I

SAWNEY BEANE was born in the county of East Lothian, about eight or nine miles eastward of the city of Edinburgh, some time in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, whilst King James I. governed only in Scotland. His parents worked at hedging and ditching for their livelihood, and brought up their son to the same occupation. He got his daily bread in his youth by these means, but being very much prone to idleness, and not caring for being confined to any honest employment, he left his father and mother, and ran away into the desert part of the country, taking with him a woman as viciously inclined as himself. These two took up their habitation in a rock by the seaside, on the shore of the county of Galloway, where they lived upwards of twenty five years without going into any city, town, or village.

In this time they had a great number of children and grandchildren, whom they brought up after their own manner, without any notions of humanity or civil society. They never kept any company but among themselves, and supported themselves wholly by robbing; being, moreover, so very cruel, that they never robbed anyone whom they did not murder.

By this bloody method, and their living so retiredly from the world, they continued such a long time undiscovered, there being nobody able to guess how the people were lost that went by the place where they lived. As soon as they had robbed and murdered any man, woman or child, they used to carry off the carcass to the den, where, cutting it into quarters, they would pickle the mangled limbs, and after- wards eat it; this being their only sustenance. And, not- withstanding, they were at last so numerous, they commonly had superfluity of this their abominable food; so that in the night time they frequently threw legs and arms of the unhappy wretches they had murdered into the sea, at a great distance from their bloody habitation. The limbs were often cast up by the tide in several parts of the country, to the astonishment and terror of all the beholders, and others who heard it. Persons who had gone about their lawful occasions fell so often into their hands that it caused a general outcry in the country round about, no man knowing what was become of his friend or relation, if they were once seen by these merciless cannibals.

All the people in the adjacent parts were at last alarmed at such a common loss of their neighbours and acquaintance; for there was no travelling in safety near the den of these wretches. This occasioned the sending frequent spies into these parts, many of whom never returned again, and those who did, after the strictest search and inquiry, could not find how these melancholy matters happened. Several honest travellers were taken up on suspicion, and wrongfully hanged upon bare circumstances; several innocent inn- keepers were executed for no other reason than that persons who had been thus lost were known to have lain at their houses, which occasioned a suspicion of their being murdered by them and their bodies privately buried in obscure places to prevent a discovery. Thus an ill placed justice was executed with the greatest severity imaginable, in order to prevent these frequent atrocious deeds; so that not a few innkeepers, who lived on the Western Road of Scotland, left off their business, for fear of being made examples, and followed other employments. This on the other hand occasioned many great inconveniences to travellers, who were now in great distress for accommodation for themselves and their horses when they were dis- posed to bait, or put up for lodging at night. In a word, the whole country was almost depopulated.

Still the King's subjects were missing as much as before; so that it was the admiration of the whole kingdom how such villainies could be carried on and the villains not be found out. A great many had been executed, and not one of them all made any confession at the gallows, but stood to it at the last that they were perfectly innocent of the crimes for which they suffered. When the magistrates found all was in vain, they left off these rigorous proceedings, and trusted wholly to Providence for the bringing to light the authors of these unparalleled barbarities, when it should seem proper to the Divine wisdom.

Sawney's family was at last grown very large, and every branch of it, as soon as able, assisted in perpetrating their wicked deeds, which they still followed with impunity. Sometimes they would attack four, five or six foot men together, but never more than two if they were on horse- back. They were, moreover, so careful that not one whom they set upon should escape, that an ambuscade was placed on every side to secure them, let them fly which way they would, provided it should ever so happen that one or more got away from the first assailants. How was it possible they should be detected, when not one that saw them ever saw anybody else afterwards? The place where they inhabited was quite solitary and lonesome; and when the tide came up, the water went for near two hundred yards into their subterraneous habitation, which reached almost a mile under- ground; so that when some who had been sent armed to search all the by-places about had passed by the mouth of their cave, they had never taken any notice of it, not supposing that anything human would reside in such a place of perpetual horror and darkness.

The number of the people these savages destroyed was never exactly known, but it was generally computed that in the twenty-five years they continued their butcheries they had washed their hands in eke blood of a thousand, at least, men, women and children. The manner how they were at last discovered was as follows.

A man and.his wife behind him on the same horse coming one evening home from a fair, and falling into the ambuscade of these merciless wretches, they fell upon them in a most furious manner. The man, to save himself as well as he could, fought very bravely against them with sword and pistol, riding some of them down, by main force of his horse. In the conflict the poor woman fell from behind him, and was instantly murdered before her husband's face; for the female cannibals cut her throat and fell to sucking her blood with as great a gust as if it had been wine. This done, they ripped up her belly and pulled out all her entrails. Such a dreadful spectacle made the man make the more obstinate resistance, as expecting the same fate if he fell into their hands. It pleased Providence, while he was engaged, that twenty or thirty from the same fair came together in a body; upon which Sawney Beane and his bloodthirsty clan withdrew, and made the best of their way through a thick wood to their den.

This man, who was the first that had ever fallen in their way and came off alive, told the whole company what had happened, and showed them the horrid spectacle of his wife, whom the murderers had dragged to some distance, but had not time to carry her entirely off. They were all struck with stupefaction and amazement at what he related, took him with them to Glasgow, and told the affair to the provost of that city, who immediately sent to the King concerning it.
In about three or four days after, his Majesty himself in person, with a body of about four hundred men, set out for the place where this dismal tragedy was acted, in order to search all the rocks and thickets, that, if possible, they might apprehend this hellish cure, which had been so long pernicious to all the western parts of the kingdom.

The man who had been attacked was the guide, and care was taken to have a large number of bloodhounds with them, that no human means might be wanting towards their putting an entire end to these cruelties.

No sign of any habitation was to be found for a long time, and even when they came to the wretches' cave they took no notice of it, but were going to pursue their search along the seashore, the tide being then out. But some of the bloodhounds luckily entered this Cimmerian den, and instantly set up a most hideous barking, howling and yelping; so that the King, with his attendants, came back, and looked into it. They could not yet tell how to conceive that anything human could be concealed in a place where they saw nothing but darkness. Never the less, as the bloodhounds increased their noise, went farther in, and refused to come back again, they began to imagine there was some reason more than ordinary. Torches were now immediately sent for, and a great many men ventured in through the most intricate turnings and windings, till at last they arrived at that private recess from all the world which was the habitation of these monsters.

Now the whole body, or as many of them as could, went in, and were all so shocked at what they beheld that they were almost ready to sink into the earth. Legs, arms, thighs, hands and feet of men, women and children were hung up in rows, like dried beef. A great many limbs lay in pickle, and a great mass of money, both gold and silver, with watches, rings, swords, pistols, and a large quantity of clothes, both linen and woollen, and an infinite number of other things, which they had taken from those whom they had murdered, were thrown together in heaps, or hung up against the sides of the den.

Sawney's family at this time, besides him, consisted of his wife, eight sons, six daughters, eighteen grandsons, and fourteen granddaughters, who were all begotten in incest.
These were all seized and pinioned by his Majesty's order in the first place; then they took what human flesh they found and buried it in the sands; afterwards loading themselves with the spoils which they found, they returned to Edinburgh with their prisoners, all the country, as they passed along, flocking to see this cursed tribe. When they were come to their journey's end, the wretches were all committed to the Tolbooth, from whence they were the next day conducted under a strong guard to Leith, where they were all executed without any process, it being thought needless to try creatures who were even professed enemies to mankind.

The men had their hands and legs severed from their bodies; by which amputations they bled to death in some hours. The wife, daughters and grandchildren, having been made spectators of this just punishment inflicted on the men, were afterwards burnt to death in three several fires. They all in general died without the least signs of repentance; but continued cursing and venting the most dreadful imprecations to the very last gasp of life.

The question of the authority of the moral is one that disturbs the sensitive atheist. Many of our contemporaries find there is no answer, that all morality is relative and contingent. We could kill them. Who'd care? We could eat them. Maybe they're not really worth more than the lives of chickens after all. But even if they, the relativists, aren't worth dead birds, others likely are, and we should consider why we think so. We'll return next time to look further at this question. And we'll likely return to it again and again.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

France to end State of Emergency: Trains Run on Time.

More news on the news the French government didn't want you to know:

France accused of covering up train gang attack
By John Lichfield in Paris
Published: 05 January 2006

Opposition politicians have accused the French government of covering up a sustained attack by a gang of 20 young people on a crowded train near Nice on New Year's Day.

The group robbed and sexually assaulted passengers at knifepoint, smashed windows and slashed seats. No information on the incident was released by the authorities, who announced that he New Year festivities had passed off without a widely feared resumption of the violence seen in deprived suburbs in November.

The Socialist former education and culture minister, Jack Lang, accused the government of "disinformation", and the Socialist Party said the Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, had imposed a "stupefying silence" on the attack. Details of the incident emerged only when two people appeared in court three days later, accused of robbery and sexual assault.

It was reported yesterday that more than 100 young people from deprived districts of Marseilles and Avignon had been escorted on to the train by police at Nice early on New Year's Day. The group, some of Arab or African origin and others white, had taken advantage of an offer from the French railways, the SNCF, to travel to Riviera resorts for New Year's Eve for only €1.20 (80p) return. After SNCF security officers left the train at St-Raphael, a gang of 20 terrorised passengers, stealing their wallets and phones and sexually assaulting two women. The train, bound for Marseilles and Lyon, was stopped at Les Arcs sur Argens while gendarmerie reinforcements were called. Six people were arrested.

M. Sarkozy blamed the SNCF yesterday, saying police had not been warned the bargain fares might attract trouble-makers.

After meeting SNCF officials to discuss the incident, the Interior Minister said he hoped to create a national railway police force with 1,000-1,500 officers.

He added that he would host a meeting next week with officials from the country's train, tram and subway systems to talk about ways to better co-ordinate transport security.

Opposition politicians have accused the French government of covering up a sustained attack by a gang of 20 young people on a crowded train near Nice on New Year's Day.

The group robbed and sexually assaulted passengers at knifepoint, smashed windows and slashed seats. No information on the incident was released by the authorities, who announced that he New Year festivities had passed off without a widely feared resumption of the violence seen in deprived suburbs in November.

The Socialist former education and culture minister, Jack Lang, accused the government of "disinformation", and the Socialist Party said the Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, had imposed a "stupefying silence" on the attack. Details of the incident emerged only when two people appeared in court three days later, accused of robbery and sexual assault.

It was reported yesterday that more than 100 young people from deprived districts of Marseilles and Avignon had been escorted on to the train by police at Nice early on New Year's Day. The group, some of Arab or African origin and others white, had taken advantage of an offer from the French railways, the SNCF, to travel to Riviera resorts for New Year's Eve for only €1.20 (80p) return. After SNCF security officers left the train at St-Raphael, a gang of 20 terrorised passengers, stealing their wallets and phones and sexually assaulting two women. The train, bound for Marseilles and Lyon, was stopped at Les Arcs sur Argens while gendarmerie reinforcements were called. Six people were arrested.

M. Sarkozy blamed the SNCF yesterday, saying police had not been warned the bargain fares might attract trouble-makers.

After meeting SNCF officials to discuss the incident, the Interior Minister said he hoped to create a national railway police force with 1,000-1,500 officers.

He added that he would host a meeting next week with officials from the country's train, tram and subway systems to talk about ways to better co-ordinate transport security.


French Riviera gang terrorises passengers in two-hour train rampage
By Colin Randall
(Filed: 05/01/2006)

Hundreds of passengers were terrorised by a mob of youths rampaging through a train on the French Riviera.

One young woman was sexually assaulted, travellers were robbed of phones and cash, and carriages were wrecked in the two-hour assault, it emerged yesterday.

Up to 40 youths involved in the attacks had taken advantage of a special fare of about 80p to travel from Marseilles and Avignon to celebrate the New Year in Nice.

They were part of a larger group of 100, many drunk from their overnight festivities and escorted by police to Nice station for their return journey at dawn on Sunday.

A small police team accompanied the Lyons-bound train at first. But trouble broke out soon after their departure.

Eventually the driver stopped the train at Les Arc-sur-Argens to appeal for extra police assistance. Only three officers turned up and violence continued as they awaited reinforcements before boarding the train. The line was blocked for an hour and a half as police gained control of the train.

Passengers spoke of being warned they would be killed if they refused to hand over belongings or told police what had happened.

They said they were too frightened to intervene and several refused to lodge complaints of theft or assault.

"It was a real scene of pillage on the train," the regional prosecutor, Dominique Luiggi, said yesterday as details emerged. "Passengers were in a state of panic."

One witness said there had already been assaults and threats, including other indecent attacks on young women, on Saturday's outward journey.

He said the robbers were of Arab origin and had boasted about their plans to cause more trouble on the train.

President Jacques Chirac promised yesterday to bring the gang to justice. He said those responsible would be "found and punished".

France's Le Parisien newspaper likened the youths to the gang in the film Clockwork Orange.

More on the cover-up of the great train robbery, beatings, rape....

More here in French

Mas ici en Francais

Mas aqui en el ferrocaril banditos en Francesa

Thank you, Merci, Gracias: Pastorius from/desde Cuanas

Train Nice-Lyon: la SNCF plaide non coupable

Le directeur SNCF de la région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur a estimé mercredi ne pas avoir minimisé la gravité des incidents survenus le 1er janvier dans un train assurant la liaison entre Nice et Lyon.

LIBERATION.FR : mercredi 04 janvier 2006 - 18:21

Yoots Attack 600 French on Train.

Happy New Year from France, where a gang of 20 to 30 "yoots" swarmed a commuter train and robbed, beat, and raped civilians in what is comparable to a major terrorist attack in Spain, England, or America. There are two accounts in French below, and one in English that happens to mention at the end that three of those involved were Moroccan. The rest? Well, likely Quakers. Said one Muslim to a French girl:

"We will kill you. You will croak."

Where is the media coverage of 600 people terrorized by Muslims? On blogs. We'll update this as we can.

Chirac vows to hunt down train gang

From correspondents in Paris

January 04, 2006 FRENCH President Jacques Chirac has vowed to bring to justice a gang that terrorised hundreds of train passengers in a long rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year's Day.

The two hour criminal frenzy by between 20 and 30 youths was "totally unacceptable," he saidr.

"Those guilty will be found and punished as they deserve."

The gang boarded the train, bound from Nice on the French Riviera to Lyon, in eastern France, early on January 1, as it carried 600 passengers home from New Year's Eve partying overnight.

Once inside, they went wild, forcing passengers to hand over mobile telephones and wallets, and slashing seats and breaking windows.

A 20-year-old woman cornered by several of the marauders was sexually molested.

Train staff alerted police, and the train pulled into a station to wait.

The three officers who initially turned up had to wait for reinforcements before boarding, during which time the youths continued to cause trouble.

The train then resumed its journey with a heavy police presence aboard but, just before Marseille, the youths pulled the emergency stop and escaped by running along the tracks.

Only three - two 19-year-old Moroccans and a minor, all living in France - were arrested.

Both men were being held for robbery and one was also facing charges of sexual assault.,5744,17733327%255E1702,00.html

L'effroyable voyage des passagers du Nice-Lyon

Une bande de délinquants a terrorisé et dépouillé les passagers du train Nice-Lyon en gare des Arcs dans le Var le 1er janvier. Deux suspects ont été placés en détention provisoire à l'issue de leur comparution immédiate devant le tribunal correctionnel de Draguignan. La justice tentera de faire la lumière sur ces accusations le 6 mars prochain.

Créé le 03 janvier 2006
Mis à jour le 03 janvier 2006 à 22h08

Une vingtaine de jeunes gens au moins, dont trois seulement ont pu être interpellés, ont écumé un train Nice-Lyon en gare des Arcs (Var) le jour du Nouvel An, semant la terreur parmi les 600 passagers, dont certains ont été violentés et rançonnés.

Deux jeunes gens de 19 ans, soupçonnés d'avoir participé à cette équipée sauvage, ont été placés en détention provisoire à l'issue de leur comparution immédiate lundi devant le tribunal correctionnel de Draguignan, dans l'attente de leur procès, renvoyé au 6 mars. Les deux prévenus de nationalité marocaine devront répondre de vols en réunion et, en plus pour l'un des deux, d'atteinte sexuelle en réunion. L'un des deux serait en situation irrégulière sur le territoire, selon le parquet qui procédait à des vérifications. Un mineur, également arrêté, sera jugé séparément.

Billets à 1,20 euro

Il est 07H00 le 1er janvier: l'arrêt en gare des Arcs du train Nice-Lyon, prévu pour ne durer que quelques minutes, se transforme en scène de Far-West. A bord du train bondé, plusieurs bandes de jeunes, entre 20 et 30 personnes en tout, selon les témoins, sèment la terreur.

Selon les gendarmes, ils font partie d'un groupe d'une centaine de jeunes des Bouches-du-Rhône et du Vaucluse, descendus la veille réveillonner et faire la fête à Nice, Cannes et Fréjus, grâce au tarif spécial Nouvel An à 1,20 euro mis en place par la SNCF sur les lignes régionales.

Le lendemain, ils reprennent le premier Corail Nice-Lyon. Dès le départ de Nice, des incidents sont signalés. Des passagers sont dépouillés de leur téléphone portable. Des bousculades surviennent. Un couple de Parisiens de 25 ans est méthodiquement dépouillé de ses portefeuilles, cartes bancaires, téléphones portables. Prise à partie par tout un groupe, une jeune fille de 20 ans, domiciliée à Besançon, subit des violences sexuelles. "T'es mort. Tu vas crever!", lancent certains des agresseurs à l'encontre de passagers qui ont osé alerter des contrôleurs.

Apeurés, des voyageurs s'enferment dans les compartiments. "C'était une véritable scène de pillage du train", a raconté lundi à l'audience le procureur de Draguignan, Dominique Luiggi. Le chef contrôleur fait alors usage de son "droit de retrait", appelle les gendarmes, et prend la décision de stopper le train en gare des Arcs, estimant que la sécurité des passagers n'est plus assurée.

"Mouvements de panique"

Des gendarmes arrivent. Il ne sont que trois et doivent, de plus, attendre un dépôt de plainte formelle de la SNCF avant de monter à bord, d'où le délai de blocage en gare d'une heure et demie, explique Alain Wiart, directeur de la communication de la SNCF de la région PACA.

Pendant ce temps, les jeunes continuent leurs saccages: poubelles renversées, sièges et rideaux lacérés, vitres fendues. Des "mouvements de panique" sont observés parmi les 600 passagers du train, rapporte le procureur.

Trois jeunes, dont un mineur, sont alors interpellés en gare des Arcs. Il faudra l'intervention massive de renforts de diverses brigades de gendarmerie ainsi que de pelotons de surveillance et d'intervention de Draguignan et de Fréjus, qui montent à bord, pour que le train puisse repartir.

Peu avant l'arrivée en gare à Marseille, dans la confusion générale la plupart des jeunes toujours à bord, parviennent à s'échapper. Ils tirent le signal d'alarme et s'enfuient sur les voies, au péril de leur vie. Selon la SNCF, ce train avait bien fait l'objet d'un accompagnement par la police ferroviaire et un chien, mais seulement entre Nice et Saint-Raphaël. La SNCF a porté plainte pour vandalisme.

D'après AFP,,3276662,00.html


PARIS (Reuters) - L'affaire du train Nice-Lyon, où quelque 600 passagers ont été terrorisés par des jeunes le 1er janvier, a tourné à la polémique politique mercredi, le Parti socialiste interpellant Jacques Chirac et Nicolas Sarkozy.

Le ministre de l'Intérieur, qui devait intervenir au 20h00 de TF1, a reçu en fin d'après-midi le P-DG de la SNCF, Louis Gallois, "pour tirer les leçons de ces incidents", a indiqué la place Beauvau dans un communiqué.

Signe d'une effervescence certaine, un second communiqué du ministère de l'Intérieur a rappelé qu'après celui de Paris, trois services régionaux de sécurisation des transports en commun avaient été créés à Marseille, Lyon et Lille depuis septembre 2005.

La SNCF a de son côté fait savoir que seules deux des dix voitures du train n°17430 avaient été dégradées, avec des portes cassées et des sièges lacérés et souillés.

Deux personnes ont été dépouillées de leurs portefeuilles et téléphones portables, "menacées verbalement mais sans violence physique", et une jeune femme majeure a été victime "d'attouchements à caractère sexuel", a précisé la SNCF.

Les incidents se sont produits en moins d'une demi-heure entre les gares de Saint-Raphaël et des Arcs, où les gendarmes sont intervenus et ont procédé à trois interpellations, dont celle d'une personne mineure.

Les deux jeunes majeurs ont été écroués en attendant leur comparution, le 6 mars prochain, devant le tribunal correctionnel de Draguignan.

D'autres incidents sont survenus peu avant l'entrée du train en gare de Marseille. "Se doutant qu'ils étaient attendus par la police, des jeunes ont tiré le signal d'alarme pour faire stopper le train et descendre sur le ballast. Certains ont jeté des pierres sur les voitures", a indiqué la SNCF, qui a déposé dimanche une plainte pour les agressions et une seconde pour vandalisme.

Des responsables des forces de l'ordre ont reconnu avoir escorté dimanche matin en gare de Nice et laissé partir une centaine de jeunes Marseillais venus fêter le réveillon sur la Côte d'Azur grâce au billet à 1,20 euro offert par la SNCF et la région PACA à l'occasion du Nouvel An.


A seize mois de la présidentielle, se souvenant sans doute de la campagne de la droite sur l'insécurité, qui avait fortement déstabilisé le socialiste Lionel Jospin, contribuant à son élimination dès le premier tour en 2002, l'opposition s'est emparée de cette affaire.

Le Parti socialiste a dénoncé "le silence assourdissant" de Nicolas Sarkozy. "Pourquoi ces faits d'une extrême gravité datant de dimanche ne sont révélés que trois jours après?", a-t-il demandé dans un communiqué.

Le premier secrétaire du PS, François Hollande, a interpellé Jacques Chirac et Nicolas Sarkozy sur ces agressions "d'une exceptionnelle gravité". Il a reproché au chef de l'Etat de se contenter de "dresser des constats d'impuissance" face au "durcissement" de la délinquance depuis quatre ans en France.

"Faut-il lui rappeler que son rôle n'est pas celui d'une autorité morale faite de compassion, de dénonciation ou de regrets, mais qu'il a fait campagne en 2002 sur l'insécurité et qu'il en est aujourd'hui à dresser des constats d'impuissance", a dit le numéro un du PS.

François Hollande a dénoncé "la défaillance du gouvernement" et raillé "les déclarations d'autosatisfaction des plus hautes autorités de l'Etat" en matière de délinquance.

Il a interpellé "directement" le ministre de l'Intérieur, à qui il a reproché d'avoir "tardé à donner l'information sur les faits eux-mêmes" et de vouloir faire "reposer sur la SNCF une responsabilité qui n'est pas la sienne".

Nicolas Sarkozy a déploré le manque de communication de la SNCF avec les forces de l'ordre et affirmé qu'il n'avait cherché ni à dissimulé ni à minimiser les agressions.

"Pour des raisons que j'ignore, la sécurité propre à la SNCF s'est arrêtée à un moment donné sans que les services de gendarmerie ou de police aient été prévenus", a-t-il dit.

"Le problème c'est que les services de sécurité ne savaient pas qu'il y avait une opération de promotion tarifaire de la SNCF" sur ce train, a dit le numéro deux du gouvernement.

Jacques Chirac, qui présentait ses voeux à la presse, a jugé "totalement inacceptables" les agressions qui ont été perpétrées dans le train et affirmé que les coupables seraient "recherchés et punis comme il se doit".

"Les forces de l'ordre et la SNCF doivent évidemment assurer la sécurité des voyageurs", a-t-il souligné.