“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?” And the man was speechless.
“Then the king said to the servants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
— Matthew 22:11-14 (New American Standard Bible)
Well, the other shoe has finally dropped.
Do you notice anything different about this post? For example, how quickly the page loads in your browser?
That’s because there are no more advertisements. As of today, April 27, 2008, Gates of Vienna is no longer a member blog at Pajamas Media.
I received a phone call this afternoon from Roger Simon, the CEO of PJM, announcing that our relationship was terminated, and that we should remove anything connected with PJM from our blog’s template. The specific reason given was our publication of Surrender, Genocide… or What?, the guest-essay by El Inglés that has caused so much argument for the last few days. Roger informed me with regret that the PJM Board had decided to cancel our contract.
Every since the recent unpleasantness started last October, I’ve been expecting it. And now the footwear has hit the floor at last.
Our association with Pajamas Media started almost exactly three years ago. When the venture was announced, we were in the very first group of “little blogs” that signed up. Not long afterwards we were listed on their blogroll and started running PJM ads.
It was a very exciting moment. Pajamas Media’s avowed intention was to leverage the unfettered free speech of the blogosphere into something larger, a business model that would draw on the traffic of blog visitors to pull in ad revenue, and simultaneously help increase that traffic by networking us all together and publicizing our efforts.
The idea was an excellent one: scoop up the tired, the poor, and the hungry bloggers yearning to be free, give them a place to hang out, and encourage a combination of first-hand reporting and cutting-edge opinion.
No holds would be barred, because PJM was to be different from the MSM, a place where voices could be heard that would otherwise remain silent.
Unfortunately, idealism doesn’t always make for a good business model. When the principle of open debate conflicts with hard-nosed commonsense business interests, it’s no contest. PJM has moved up into the big time now, and, like the mainstream media, it has to run its operation like a business.
I respect and support that. We’re not good for business, so they’ll get no argument from me: of course we had to go.
Dick: “We have the freedom of speech in America.”
Tom: “And you’d better say what you’re supposed to say!”
— the Smothers Brothers (not sure which album)
In a skype discussion prior to my writing this post, one of my good friends mentioned that PJM had “censored” us.
But I object to this formulation. Only a government body can censor us. This was a contractual arrangement between Dymphna and me on the one hand, and a corporation on the other. A clause in our contract specifically allowed PJM to do what it did. We freely entered into the contract, and this event has nothing to do with censorship.
Business is business.
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But now we come to a dilemma. For a long time many readers have complained that our blog is slow to load, and the embedded advertisements were the major cause of the problem. Now the problem has been solved, but it creates a new one: how to make up for the lost ad revenue?
Our traffic is large enough that we have standing offers from several other advertisers for our banner and skyscraper ad slots. But we’d rather be ad-free, because the blog is more visually appealing, and we enjoy the rapid page load as much as you do.
So here’s what I propose: based on our traffic figures, and making a guess as to how many of those people are serious return visitors who like our blog, I estimate that $20 from every regular reader would make up the shortfall we’re facing for the rest of the year. Come January, we can review the situation again and see how it looks.
You can use the tip cup on our left sidebar; and when the PayPal form comes up, you’ll see “Natural Intelligence of Central Virginia” — that’s our business name.
For those countries which make up the largest portion of our readership: as of today, US $20 = UK £10.08 = €12.81 = CA $20.27 = 95.59 Danish kroner. For other currencies, see the XE universal currency converter.
You might call this the “Keep Gates of Vienna Ad-Free” campaign.
So why have we been cast into the Outer Darkness?
As most of you know, El Inglés took a hard-eyed look at the situation in Europe, and his careful analysis concluded that if present trends continue, a breakdown of civil authority is likely to occur, resulting in what he called a discontinuity.
In mathematical terms, a discontinuity is a point on a curve at which all the derivatives (differentials taken to the nth level) cannot be defined. The curve is termed “discontinuous” at that point, and any further behavior in that direction is unpredictable, since the differential equations that describe the curve cannot be solved. An asymptote to a hyperbolic curve is one of the simplest examples of a discontinuity.
“Curve” is used loosely here, and a function in more than two dimensions can exhibit the same characteristics. When a three- or four-dimensional surface is involved, the discontinuity is often called a “singularity”, especially by physicists. A black hole is an actual physical expression of a spatial singularity.
El Inglés’ analysis led to the conclusion that much of Europe is inevitably facing a socio-political singularity due to the soft totalitarian superstate known as the EU, the dangerous ideology of Multiculturalism, and the presence of large numbers of unassimilated Muslim immigrants.
On the other side of that singularity, events are inherently unpredictable — none of us knows what the outcome will be, only that the singularity is on its way.
In order to prepare for a worst-case scenario, El Inglés looked at the distinct possibility that there will be a breakdown of central political authority in one or more European countries within the next five to twenty years. When that occurs, various scenarios can be imagined:
- Violent gangs morph into armed militias, as elements of the police and armed forces “flip” to the side of rebellious mobs, while the official and ineffectual government attempts to suppress them;
- Revolution arrives, followed by the installation of one or another kind of violent militaristic tyranny;
- Confrontations arise between the existing violent Muslim gangs and newly-aroused mobs of aboriginal Europeans; and
- Combinations of and variations on the above scenarios.
So many variables are involved that the final outcome cannot possibly be known. Governments may respond with violent repression while they still have obedient police forces. Intervention by the United States, Russia, or other external powers may occur. A recently-acquired nuclear weapon or dirty bomb may be used against a European city. A brutal and charismatic leader may arise and organize his countrymen on the basis of left-wing, right-wing, or nationalist ideology.
Any or all of the above has the potential to lead to a genocidal situation, either at the hands of loosely organized paramilitaries, or a newly-installed totalitarian dictator, or an intervening outside power, or combinations of these.
What seems more likely to me is the Lebanization of Europe, a gradual slide into a Balkanized patchwork of warring factions existing in a state of chronic low-level warfare, with all its attendant horrors: assassinations, massacres, rapes, atrocities, destruction of property, and so on.
This scenario would avoid an outright apocalypse, but lead to a diminished and impoverished Europe, a continent that no longer acts a beacon of civilization and is a mere shell of its former self.
All of the above speculation is called “war-gaming”, and anyone who reads it as an advocacy of genocide or dictatorship is illiterate, skimming the text too fast, or is disingenuously misreading it in order to pursue an agenda.
We (and by “we”, I mean not just bloggers or writers, but also our duly constituted civil and military authorities) would be failing in our duty if we did not look ahead to try to foresee all possibilities. We need to war-game what might lie ahead in the best case, worst case, and all other scenarios in between.
A look at a worst-case alarmist from the past is instructive. The quote below is from an essay entitled “Supporting Germany’s Rearmament; and the Steady Slide to WWII” (pdf format) by an Australian writer named Ian Kenneth Buckley:
The failure to institute universal arms limitation which led to the ultimate breakdown of the First World Disarmament Conference 1932-1933, together with the rise of Hitler, was to make the rearmament of Germany a certainty. And tragically it was not only Hitler and his Nazi supporters who wanted Germany’s rearmament, but many influential figures in Britain and elsewhere, as we shall shortly see. One prominent exception, however, was Winston Churchill who, from the early 1930s never ceased to warn his Conservative colleagues and others of the danger, the inevitable consequence of war if Germany, especially under Hitler, was allowed to rearm. He likewise warned of the dangers of encouraging Hitler by acceding to his demands on other nations.
Returning to the present, we’re not the only ones war-gaming the current situation in a less-than-sanguine fashion. Daniel Pipes has recently written in similar terms, referring to an op-ed by Ralph Peters:
American author Ralph Peters sketches a scenario in which “U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe’s Muslims.” Peters concludes that because of European’s “ineradicable viciousness,” its Muslims “are living on borrowed time” As Europeans have “perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing,” Muslims, he predicts, “will be lucky just to be deported,” rather than killed. Indeed, Muslims worry about just such a fate; since the 1980s, they have spoken overtly about Muslims being sent to gas chambers.
Violence by indigenous Europeans cannot be precluded but nationalist efforts will more likely take place less violently; if any one is likely to initiate violence, it is the Muslims. They have already engaged in many acts of violence and seem to be spoiling for more. Surveys indicate, for instance, that about 5 percent of British Muslims endorse the 7/7 transport bombings. In brief, a European reassertion will likely lead to on-going civil strife, perhaps a more lethal version of the fall 2005 riots in France.
One can virtually dismiss from consideration the prospect of Muslims accepting historic Europe and integrating within it. U.S. columnist Dennis Prager agrees: “It is difficult to imagine any other future scenario for Western Europe than its becoming Islamicized or having a civil war.”
But which of those two remaining paths will the continent take? Forecasting is difficult because crisis has not yet struck. But it may not be far off. Within a decade perhaps, the continent’s evolution will become clear as the Europe-Muslim relationship takes shape. [emphasis added]
So why do Daniel Pipes, a respected anti-jihad scholar and expert on Islam, and Ralph Peters, a well-known opinion journalist, get to use the g-word without being branded “Nazi sympathizers” or “crypto-fascists”?
They’re using the word in the same way that we are, as a speculation about possible scenarios that lie ahead if Europe does not institute a drastic change of policy. All three of us are being descriptive and not normative about the topic.
It could be that we’re all “alarmists”, but being an alarmist is part of the job description for any war-gamer who wants to be effective.
A more stringent standard has been applied to us for several reasons:
|1.||We’re mere uncredentialed bloggers, lacking the requisite letters after our names that guarantee polite respect from journalists and academics. We are thus automatically regarded as potentially dangerous ideologues from the loose-cannon lunatic fringe.|
|2.||We have been under continuous verbal attack for six months by several blogs and writers who have more power and influence than we can ever hope to achieve.|
|3.||We have expressed a prominent and public skepticism about the existence of a “moderate” Islam, or at least whether such putative moderation is likely to have any effect on the events that will unfold over the next generation.|
|4.||We have allowed any and all commenters, provided they abide by our discursive rules, to speak freely under our umbrella, even when they use intolerant, ill-chosen, and provocative language.|
So those are the ground rules, and that’s just the way it is. If we say the same things that Daniel Pipes does, a ton of bricks comes down on us.
But we’re used to it. We didn’t pull any punches to try to protect our PJM franchise, and we won’t do so in the future.
We’ll continue to post guest-essays by people we may not always agree with, but whose work is insightful and thoughtful and deserves to be aired.
And we’ll continue to let our readers mouth off in the comments.
I really do believe in free speech, and not the namby-pamby watered-down “let’s not offend anyone” version. I believe in the tough kind, the kind that includes views that I personally consider wrong and misguided.
But out of some combination of all this will come the “line of best fit” that will help save the West.
It’s an ugly batch of sausage that’s being prepared here. You’re all well-advised to avert your eyes.
Not all good things come to an end
Now it is only a chosen few
— Elvis Costello, from “Almost Blue”
So long, Pajamas Media. It was good to know you.
I’m sure you will continue to do great things without us. With any kind of luck, jettisoning the questionable passengers from your sled will help you attract more investment capital, and allow you to build an effective and innovative model for the New Media.
I wish you nothing but the best. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!