Streetwise Professor

October 11, 2009

False Premises

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 7:30 am

One sentence in the Nobel Committee’s announcement of Obama’s award stood out in my mind:

His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

Besides being nauseatingly (but predictably) pompous in its presumption to speak for humanity, the italicized phrase is almost certainly false.  To say that the world’s population indulges in the transnational progressive pieties of the Nobel Committee, or Obama, is farcical.  Even overlooking the fact that vast swathes of humanity give little thought to issues of diplomacy, having to worry instead about mere survival, billions identify themselves by tribe, caste, nation, or faith.  “Kumbaya” and “We Are the World” are not on their playlist.  Nationalism, and even more particularist allegiances, are far more potent and pervasive than transnationalist sentiments.

It would have been far more accurate for the Committee to say “on the basis of the values and attitudes that are shared by the vast majority of the people we meet at cocktail parties.”

There is a deep irony here.  No doubt the Norwegian posers of the committee would be horrified to called Neocons.  But they share with Neocons a fundamental belief in the existence of universalist values and beliefs.  More pointedly, they believe everyone in the world shares their values and beliefs.  This error has led Neocons astray, and it leads the transnational progressives astray too.  Indeed, its effect on the latter is even more perverse because it tends to empower the very ones who reject these values and beliefs–the Kim Il Jongs, the Ahmadinejads, the Putins, the Hamases, the Chavezes.  The Neocon error is to believe that overthrowing the Kims, etc., is a sufficient condition to ensure the advance of their values: The TNP error is to believe that diplomatic deference to the Kims, etc., will do so.  In fact, this is a near inversion of reality.

PS.  Reading the bloviations of the the Nobel Committee makes me thank God that some Norwegians (notably my great-great-grandparents) had the good sense to leave.

PPS.  Speaking of transnational, I will be in Spain for the next week speaking at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and Universidad Carlos III in Madrid (with a side trip to Peryperteuse in Languedoc).  As a result, posting is likely to be erratic.

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  1. Chairman of Nobel Committe named ‘Confidential Contact’ by KGB

    Then, last month, a former Soviet K.G.B. agent said in a book that Mr. Jagland, as a budding politician in the 1970’s and 1980’s, had been classified by the K.G.B. as a “confidential contact” because of his willingness to discuss political affairs with Soviet agents posing as diplomats. Mr. Jagland insisted that the conversations were innocent exchanges.

    More than 160 years ago Søren Kierkegaard declared that “truth is a power.” But it’s a power that is rarely acknowledged beforehand because it entails suffering, and most people reject suffering. Eventually, however, the truth proves victorious, and the majority accepts it. “Why?” asked Kierkegaard. Not because it is truth. “They join it,” he explained, “because everyone else is joining.”

    Twenty years ago the socialist bloc supposedly collapsed. But who is honestly celebrating this event? Some people imagined at the time, quite erroneously, that truth had proven victorious against history’s most vicious lie.

    Russian dissident and former political prisoner Vladimir Bukovsky, speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum last May 19th, said that the socialist empire of the East continues. It has somehow survived. According to Bukovsky, “Those who perpetrated all those horrible crimes in the communist countries are safely in power again. These people have never said sorry. Those and those of their accomplices in the West who were apologists and sympathizers of the Soviet oppression throughout all these decades … never said [they were] sorry, and never gave us a chance to forgive them.”

    Bukovsky also warned that totalitarian socialism is on the march. Not only has it revived in the East. It is spreading throughout Europe and Latin America. Bukovsky said that “twenty years down the road all we can do is repeat the famous phrase of Mark Twain that the rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated.” One only has to consider the situation in the United States, where socialists dominate the educational system and control the government. The idea that communism died in 1989 is farcical. “So far,” Bukovsky explained, “no former communist country has managed to transcend its experience of the past…. Democratic institutions are systematically destroyed … elections are turned into farce, political oppressions are everyday reality again, and even some new countries have joined that sad list of tyrannies and repressive societies such a Venezuela.”

    How has this happened? How could totalitarian socialism regain so much lost ground, so rapidly, without any serious resistance? How has it managed to make so much progress in the United States? “Contrary to one’s expectations,” Bukovsky lamented, “the collapse of communist regimes in the East did not bring any sobriety to the West, to a reassessment of its values. Just as we speak, a new version of the Soviet Union is forced on a silent majority of European nations: the European Union. Admittedly it is a very pale copy, a very mild copy of the Soviet Union; and yet, a copy nonetheless. We are already told there will be a Europe police, Europol, some kind of version of [the] KGB in the European Union, which will police us on 32 counts of crimes, two of which are particularly interesting because they do not exist as a crime in the penal code of any nation: that is the crime of racism, and the crime of xenophobia. And they already explained that those of us who object to the immigration policies of the European Union are going to be charged with the crime of racism, and those of us who object to the European Union are going to be charged with the crime of Xenophobia. Well, it always pays to know the article under which you are going to serve in jail.”

    Political correctness appears to be irresistible. The truth does not belong to most human beings. They are not soldiers for the truth. Instead, they are victims of the lie. Only a minority resists, by a process of suffering – as the truth itself suffers. Bukovsky told the Oslo Freedom Forum that socialism’s utopian program is a criminal enterprise. It cannot be otherwise. As such, he explained, it should have been put on trial in 1992. But there was no trial.

    According to Bukovsky, ” [In 1992] I … had access to archives of the Central Committee and Politburo; and what I discovered there explained to me why the West was so adamantly against a Nuremberg trial in Moscow. To begin with, so many of the prominent figures of the Western political, business and cultural world were in secret collaboration with Moscow that it would have been a huge shock in the West if that was revealed. And no one wanted that shock. But much more importantly, it would have been an ideological shock. Throughout the end of the Soviet Union, according to the documents I’ve seen, numerous leaders of the West, particularly of the left wing spectrum, would come to Russia, to the Soviet Union, alarmed at the prospect of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now think of that. We worked all our life to see that collapse, and in the crucial moment when it was about to collapse the entire world was trying to save it. And What was their explanation? Why were they so adamant to support this disintegrating regime? Oh, because, as they say, and I quote: ‘The collapse of socialism in the East can bring the crisis to that idea in the West.’ So what they were trying to save was their own illusion, their own utopia of socialism, by dooming our countries….”

    The KGB and the Communist Party Soviet Union were not without allies in 1992, and they are not without allies today. Soviet socialists are part of a brotherhood that includes American and West European socialists. The crime of forcing a socialist utopia on the world is still their goal. Those who “force utopia on the people are committing a crime,” Bukovsky declared. This is the legacy of socialism. If we cannot learn from this, then the gigantic tragedy of Soviet oppression “will have no meaning.”

    At the Oslo Freedom Forum Bukovsky demanded “unconditional surrender from our enemy….” And then, he said, we must put them on trial. “We were told [in 1992] that we were trying to mount a witch hunt,” said Bukovsky. “Well, today the witches have returned and they are hunting us.” The Kremlin is engaged in a massive rearmament program. At the same time, the United States is disarming. Those who would resist have been neutralized. A small minority of organizers, KGB officers, agents of influence, and fellow travelers, have effectively turned the tables on the Free World.

    The final crisis awaits, and Bukovsky tells us that we have a choice: to be soldiers against socialism, or to be its victims.

    Comment by Boris Kirillov — October 11, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

  2. In a way this is a gift to the rational and the sane, the international lefty sycophants have really jumped the shark on this one. The dumb idiots aren’t getting the meaning of cheapening their brand which is why the Nobel Peace award is a joke by every metric. Arafat wasn’t stupid enough for them. Even a fitth grader, brained washed products of public schools as they are now, would be confused on this one. Pathetic, you bet. Surprising, no.

    Our little Empty Suit merits all the awards that self-loathing lefty whites can bestow. Hey, an Oscar and the Pulitzer aren’t that far off.

    Those of us that love America and love the blessings that it has bestowed on us are in for the fight of our lives. It has gotten very personal with me as I have four little grandkids to protect from this abomination.

    The Euroweenies be damned.

    Comment by penny — October 11, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  3. Possibilities:
    * It’s a Trojan gift, engineered by his enemies (personality cult of Big O and all that).
    * It’s hard to bomb Iran with a Nobel Peace Prize around your neck.
    BTW, Gorby got his in 1990.

    Comment by So? — October 11, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

  4. As a self-loathing lefty white, I salute Obama for his Nobel Peace Prize and hope he proves worthy of it.

    Comment by poluchi fashist granatu — October 12, 2009 @ 2:57 am

  5. S.O., you hope he proves worthy of it! It’s sort of like preemptively awarding the Heisman Trophy and hoping that player can make the yardage by the end of the season.

    The Nobel Peace Prize by a committee of five Norwegian nobodies has been a joke. They jumped the shark a long time ago when Arafat who never renounced terrorism was awarded one.

    Comment by penny — October 12, 2009 @ 10:02 am

  6. No, I don’t have the audacity.

    Comment by So? — October 12, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

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