Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘cold war’

How The West Beat The Soviets: Consumerism

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

At this point, the Cold War has been mostly forgotten in the West thanks to Leftist teachers who preferred to teach social justice to actual history. However, its lessons remain with us because the order from which we are currently emerging was formed at the moment the Cold War ended, and as the larger Age of Ideology fails, we can see how the two ideas were linked.

From roughly the end of WW2 through the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the West and East (Eurasia and Asia) were engaged in a “Cold War,” or conflict which refused to go fully military but still resembled a military struggle. Ultimately, the Soviets could not make their economy work, overspent on weapons, and found themselves subverted by the Western lifestyle.

We will see, perhaps, the long lines outside the first McDonald’s in Moscow, or note how Russians saved up months of income for a precious pair of blue jeans, and perhaps also recall how scarce a commodity Western pop music was in Communist countries before the fall. But the real story was one of breadlines versus abundance in American grocery stores.

As the Houston Chronicle recalls, a visit by Boris Yeltsin to a Clear Lake grocery store may have set the stage for the collapse of Soviet confidence in their own system:

According to Houston Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, it wasn’t all the screens, dials, and wonder at NASA that blew up his skirt, it was the unscheduled trip inside a nearby Randall’s location.

Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”

…About a year after the Russian leader left office, a Yeltsin biographer later wrote that on the plane ride to Yeltsin’s next destination, Miami, he was despondent. He couldn’t stop thinking about the plentiful food at the grocery store and what his countrymen had to subsist on in Russia.

In Yeltsin’s own autobiography, he wrote about the experience at Randall’s, which shattered his view of communism, according to pundits. Two years later, he left the Communist Party and began making reforms to turn the economic tide in Russia.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Left regrouped around an idea: it could hybridize consumerism with ideology, and use the fires of capitalism to drive its cultural revolution and ultimate takeover of the West. David Brooks chronicles this in his book about the new elites, BOBOS in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There.

Interestingly, as this new consumerism-communism hybrid rises, people are seeing the appeal in something much older: a touch of the Stalin era, maybe some overtones of Hitler, but mostly, a longing for the world before WW1, when there was still social order, a sense of purpose to the West, and democracy had not yet infested everything with a zombie-like obsession with furthering “equality.”

Perhaps our modern Clear Lake Randall’s is when we visit the countryside, or a society outside the West, and see that people are living with a sense of purpose and belief, and therefore, are a great deal happier than we can be. Somewhere, the good life is meaningful, and it is not found in consumerism, globalism, diversity or any other aspect of the toxic brew brought by egalitarianism.

Fallen Angels

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

My generation inherited not a world ablaze, but the smoking embers. We knew from as soon as we could walk that we were doomed.

The first clue was the fear and trembling. Adults lived in fear of death and each other. It was obvious that the weak ate the strong, because the smartest and wisest people were always in hiding somewhere, not in positions of authority which seemed to always be filled with round-headed people who were both idiotic and very, very careful to flatter their audience.

Next was the fact that we were living in upside-down world. Nothing meant what it should.

We were the ones who went to church with atheist parents, bought sale items at the price the item should have been, saw peace demonstrations get violent, witnessed kids get awards for having the average time of those running a race instead of winning it, watched unions and minority groups always get their way, and saw the old ways of our communities — small stores, independent businesses, elegant architecture, moral standards, a sense of decency — give way to a new culture of t-shirts and television, big corporations and endless laws that seemed to benefit whoever was in the wrong, not the normal person trying to do right.

We observed the Great Retreat as normal middle class people fled the cities and gave up on public life, allowing it to go to the new group of bearded and long-haired angry people. We were subjected to the first generation of children’s books to always have a political message, just like children’s television, in which Sesame Street characters told us that what was true were the same ideas that came from political speeches on one side of the screen.

We knew we were doomed when a country on the other side of the globe was threatening us with nuclear weapons, and all we saw was internal division among the people speaking in public. Every person had to have a unique opinion that seemed to also serve as their reason for existing, and so there was no agreement, only many different directions pulling the center apart.

Our time coincided with the replacement of home cooking with fast food, the death of the family through divorce, the cheapening of products into disposable junk with expensive advertising, the single mother and the latch-key kid, the rise of casual drug use, the flight from churches which seemed to favor emotional statements over realistic ones, the erasure of the countryside through factory farms and the constant expansion of suburbs, the end of a national culture and the rise of commonplace immigration.

Before we were born, Communism won, but it won a slow victory instead of an immediate one. We could tell because when we went to school, the emphasis was on sharing at all costs, not allowing students to be free from the interruptions of others. If you were playing with something, and another student wanted it, you had to give it up right then, or the teacher would send you to the school psychologist. You had to give other students your paper or pencils when they asked. The kids who got praise were the ones who did a mediocre job but made it look professional, and then involved others in their mediocrity.

As children, we could see what adults could not, which was that the same propaganda that was blatant in the Soviet Union — painted on walls, splashed out in parades, broadcast by their news services — was here as well, just in a subtler and more professional way. Television news had a nasty witch-hunt feel to it, as if they were out to squash anyone who disagreed with the sacred cow of equality. Politicians always talked about equality. We knew we could get out of any trouble by donating our allowances to the poor, just like we could make any room full of adults get misty-eyed by mentioning that we believed in freedom or wealth for all people. You had to emphasis the word “all,” like you were saying the name of God, and then no one could oppose you.

We intuited the role of equality. It had two parts. First, it defended the individual against the world, something we exploited. We had a right to do anything we wanted, and if it was against the rules, then we could prove the rules were unfair if we found some reason that they favored one group over the others. Second, equality reduced humanity to an easily controlled mass, like a strong leader might do if he got sick of the bickering, lack of cooperation and constant attention-getting. A group of equal humans is a fungible, controllable herd. Like plastic explosive, you just squeeze off as much as you need and shape it to whatever the task requires.

On some level, we also realized that we had lost both tribal rights and any sense of working together in a group. It was only a generation past the Second World War, and we still heard constantly how bad Hitler was, yet to every child his sense of tribal unity and desire to push back against the fungible herd was appealing. In history classes, we heard about the Civil War and how it was about slavery and the horrible racism of the South, with no other reason. The meaning behind this was clear to us: in this society, those who want a group larger than the family but less artificial than government would be taboo, and so we kept our mouths shut. We learned that “fighting racism” was like “fighting poverty” or “all,” a magic phrase that made adults do whatever we wanted.

It also became clear that we had no future. Jobs, which were once a way for people to earn a living without losing their souls, had become the primary method of losing souls. Our dads all worked too long and drank too much afterwards. Most of our moms worked too, which meant that we came home to empty houses, TV dinners and later, a frustrated and angry parent or parents. We were accustomed to being scarce after parents got home from their jobs, because after tolerating the bad behavior of other people all day, they were liable to take it out on us. It was better to stay in our rooms and amuse ourselves as we could, a pattern that later manifested in the “drop out” and “slacker” nature of our generation.

No adult thought that government was doing anything good. No person thought their job was really good, although they used pleasant words about the job to praise themselves to others. No one believed that social security would be there for us, that the country would hold together, or that things would improve. The only reason we won the Cold War was because the other side was even more shocking incompetent, and it seemed that once we won, all the Communists came here and got famous. The news was baffling, equal parts distraction and lies.

We knew from shortly after birth that our civilization had crashed and that there would be nothing left for us. Our parents and grandparents were greedily sucking up whatever they could, as if based on a knowledge that there would not be more and if they did not do so, “some other guy” who was probably an idiot who had nothing in common with them would suck it all up. It was a race to a finish line that ended in apocalypse, and yet, the apocalypse never seemed to fully come. Just a long slow descent into a state where nothing would ever change or improve, just re-arrange itself slightly, devoid of energy and hope.

Culture Is The New US Foreign Policy

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Over millennia mankind has adopted military conflict as a means of ending negotiation through extortion: “Hands up or I shoot.” The problem with this method is that it succeeds and thus, like a virus, replicates itself. Extortion becomes the norm.

The second world war, for example, was caused by the lack of extorted success after the first war. Nowadays people talk excitedly about WWIII because the winner wants more; it is hard to reject a method that has been successful in the past, and even harder to defend having done so when governments are bankrupt, the middle class hovers on the precipice of doom, and our citizens are disunified and adrift.

With the advent of the cold war, strategic efforts by the Pentagon to “win” included an article written by the Pentagon’s “Mr. X.” Apparently it was successful but while the end of the cold war caused the breakup of the Soviet Union, America also suffered because they did not know how to be the world leader, a position to which their status as the unitary superpower elected them.

Again the Pentagon came to the rescue with an article written by a duo calling themselves “Mr Y.” It proposed a competitive environment based on business instead of military superiority through technology. Instead, it leveraged technology to achieve business superiority, much as the Japanese had successfully accomplished their delayed invasion of the United States by making inexpensive, reliable cars in the 1980s.

This idea was probably the basis for the “new world order” announced by G.H.W. Bush in 1991: the US and its allies would form an economic bloc, dominate the world with financial power, and thus achieve indirect rule much like Havel’s concept of soft totalitarianism: people would want to be part of the regime for fear of being excluded, not from fear of extortion.

However, the Leftists intruded and bungled this as they do with everything they touch because their “ideology” is based on reality-denial disguised as reality-correction. This became the de facto policy of the Left from Clinton onward. Under recent Democrat leadership, America has inverted the old formula, and now is using war as a means of business.

Clearly the saying “business is war by other means” has unintended consequences. If business fails, it goes bankrupt. If military fails, people die. However, if the people who are dying are not of statistical concern to voters, this does not matter. This creates an American foreign policy biased toward war — in Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria — because this enables a “circular Ponzi scheme.”

In this circular Ponzi scheme, government dumps money on the military and more importantly, its contractors, who then generate economic activity with that money and cause the currency to be in greater demand (a classic Leftist demand-side economic concept) which then enables the government to borrow more to keep the cycle going. It is “Keynesian Socialism” by any other name, and the government does the same thing with welfare.

Having a foreign policy that defaults to war affects American society because it covertly structures that society towards supporting war. The economy, political system and social order all become dependent on having a war and people orient themselves relative to that war. Apparently this is a sensitive issue because when Donald Trump questioned it by asking “who is paying for it?” the Establishment panicked.

Trump backpedaled from the Democrat strategy to something more resembling the Mr. Y approach: by making the US into an economic powerhouse, he could induce cooperation rather than compel it. The difference for Trump is that he has detached foreign policy from ideological concerns, making it a practical issue and not a quest to spread certain ideas worldwide, so it can serve the cause of stability alone and thus aid business.

The Trump doctrine while have a massive influence not just on geopolitics, but on how government is organized and thus, the functions around which American society is structured. This means that economics will influence military functions and in turn influence politics and culture, creating a feedback loop with the idea of pragmatism at its center.

Defense and Economics are essentially single disciplinary functions in Government, but culture is a multi-disciplinary function for which there can be no single Secretary of Culture. Years ago managers were arguing about organizational structures being either project or line oriented.  But functional structures were overall quite effective.

However, discussions with Boeing revealed that value was added when an “integrative management function” was added.  Different words to describe this “function” could be “Systems or Function Integration” where the responsibility would be to test the combined team effort against a multidisciplinary framework.

This would be performed within the Organization’s defined framework, but in a Government, this framework will change to National Culture. The foreign policy ramifications are anticipated to strengthen cultural ties with France and Russia during the first phase based on this motivation as follows:

In order to stabilize cultures towards a new trading world as opposed to the new world order (NWO) directive, the cultures of the major players will be briefly assessed herewith. But first, the dimensions used to measure cultures require clarification as follows:

  • Power Distance: This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal; it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power Distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.
  • Individualism: The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people’s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We.” In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In collectivist societies people belong to in-groups (like cults, gangs or families) that take care of them in exchange for loyalty.
  • Masculinity: A high score (Masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner/best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational life. A low score (Feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A Feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (Masculine) or liking what you do (Feminine).
  • Uncertainty Avoidance: The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the score on Uncertainty Avoidance.
  • Long Term Orientation: This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future, and societies prioritize these two existential goals differently. Normative societies. which score low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time-honored traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion. Those with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future.
  • Indulgence: One challenge that confronts humanity, now and in the past, is the degree to which small children are socialized. Without socialization we do not become “human”. This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Relatively weak control is called “Indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “Restraint.” Cultures can, therefore, be described as Indulgent or Restrained.

The current major Atlantic players (and supporters of Admiralty Law), is America and Britain while on the Europe mainland it is Germany. According to Geert Hofstede, their cultures are (briefly) compared herewith as follows (with all detail on the website available to the public):

Using America as the leading example, it is clear that for practical purposes its dimensions are similar to those of the United Kingdom. However, Germany deviates in the last three dimensions, meaning that they are more risk averse. This may explain their insistence on maintaining the EU monetary union, because if they don’t mitigate those risks, who (in Europe) will? America’s hold over Germany’s strong trade relations with China can be fruitfully used to the benefit of Atlanticists. The disadvantage of an Anglicized Germany is creeping Sharia and their resultant inability to even understand such a “minor external” threat.

The alternative French cultural comparison is as follows:

The difference with the French is that they find authority more acceptable, perhaps due to the influential longevity of their royal bloodlines. This allows easier relations with countries where Dictators operate. The French will as a result also be more pragmatic in their world view even encouraging criticisms of Islam as well as the resurgence of nationalist politics. They see themselves as speaking French and “being” different, which advances natural disruptive activity within the English NWO. These disruptions now include the idea that Islam is better engaged using the combined capacity of America and Russia. In other words, where Russia is sensationalized as the (military) World Enemy, France finds Islam (on a cultural basis), an existential threat. The question is which is the better American fit, Germany or France?

Using this line of thinking, the next comparison should be to determine Russia’s better fit. Herewith Germany:

Where Germany deviated in the last three dimensions with America, it now deviates in the first three dimensions (not by much, but still). The Russian acceptance of authority almost dwarfs the other dimensions. The surprising Russian collectivism points to German incompatibility despite being equally risk averse.

Here is France and Russia:

There is no question that France is a better cultural fit for Russia than (current) Germany in my opinion. However, it does not have the same trade benefit with China, but then Russia might be able to fill that gap (for America).

In order to address the Islam question, it would require of America to develop positive relations with Russia and France because it is not a question of firepower, it is a question of culture. That China may prefer such an arrangement is obvious.

A US – France – Russia cultural agreement could replace the militarized New World Order. The benefit will be a stable society better placed to improve relations with (other) cultures.

The Spy Who Went Into The Cold (2014)

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

kim_philby_grave

For those among us who are not old enough to remember the Cold War, it is nearly impossible to relate how tense of a time it was. The West felt a real threat from the Soviets, who were perceived as the only force as deadly as Hitler but one that had more men and materiel to expend, as well as nuclear weapons.

During that era, people in the West expected nuclear war at any minute, were used to daily reports of Communist expansion and the ensuing murders that are the trademark of the Left, and feared Soviet spies and fifth columnists (sleeper guerillas) concealed among us. In that time, Kim Philby stands large.

Philby is generally credited with destroying the gentleman’s network of intelligence services in the UK, since he was one of their own and betrayed them without detection. On a larger level, however, he showed the West its weakness: open societies reward contrarian behavior because it makes equal individuals feel as important as they think they should be, when not rewarded by life itself.

Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby believed he should have been bigger than he was. Growing up in the shadow of a liberal father, Kim was never expected to make a mark on history like his father did, and was never as much of a success as he felt he deserved. As a result, starting at an early age, like the Baby Boomers to follow him, he got his revenge by one-upping his father and heading toward even more extreme liberalism.

The Spy Who Went Into The Cold — which is, quite surprisingly, a BBC production — gives a quick rundown of the Philby story and shows how devastating the revelation of his betrayal was. It does not give much biographical information, nor does it describe specific secrets, but instead focuses on the man and his behaviors, showing the personality that enabled deception.

In doing so, this film points two fingers: first, it finally says the “i” word (incompetence) about the efforts of not one but two British secret services in trying to trap this man, and shows where Herbert Hoover was right about him; second, it hints that the reason for his longevity as a double agent may have been the presence of someone else helping him, either Dick White or Nicholas Elliott, if one follows the hints of the film.

Every great film has a flaw, and for this film it is the focus on Philby’s later life, other than to point out that he drank himself to death in misery among the ruins of his idealized Socialist system, and skims over his early life. However, it is remarkably un-PC in that it shows the intersection of homosexuals, working class agitators, Jewish feminists and degenerate aristocrats who made this tragedy possible, and is unflinching in pointing out the horrors of Philby, the Soviets, and his fellow liberal traitors.

That aside, this film presents in an hour the basics of the intrigue behind the Philby affair, points out what a dysfunctional wreck of a human being Philby was, and identifies how by incompetence or treason the intelligence services allowed him to fly free. For an important but rarely referenced chapter of history, this is a great contribution that punches above its weight for its hour length.

In The Light Of A Man-Made Sun…

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Current generations have no concept of what it was like to live during the Cold War, when fear of nuclear annihilation kept people in a constant state of fear.

We read all about nuclear winter, radiation sickness, cancers and warhead counts. We knew that this war would be the end of life on earth, and that we would have seven minutes to say goodbye to all that we loved. We were also aware of the possibility of it being triggered by error or bad politics.

Recommended Reading