Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Rejecting Armageddon

Members of the thuggish and fascistic English Defence League?

I’m a longtime admirer of Theodore Dalrymple, the pen name of the retired English psychiatrist Anthony Daniels. I read his reports regularly in National Review and other periodicals, and have also read two of his books.

Theodore DalrympleIn his writings Mr. Dalrymple chronicles his extensive experience with the most dysfunctional members of the English working class, whom he encountered regularly in a professional capacity while working in major British hospitals. His view of the underclass in the UK is understandably quite jaundiced. He does not see any hope for Britain — based on his observations, his country has systematically destroyed its essential social capital in the lower and lower middle classes.

So it was no surprise to read his take on the English Defence League, as posted earlier today at The Corner. His post, entitled “Luton’s Muddy Message”, is mostly directed at Prime Minister David Cameron, whose recent disappointment with Multiculturalism has been in the news for the last few days. Mr. Dalrymple’s descriptions of the society now administered by Mr. Cameron are apropos:

  • “Britain has the highest crime rate in Western Europe, despite having a third of all the closed-circuit television cameras in the world to oversee the population”
  • “state-sponsored social pathology”
  • “the British state is a swamp of corruption”

And so on. But then comes this somewhat offhand reference:

  • “…members of the thuggish and fascistic English Defence League marched through Luton…”

Before I discuss Mr. Dalrymple’s lamentable recycling of the standard MSM caricature of the EDL: in the interests of full disclosure, I am in personal contact with various leaders and members of the EDL, and have a high regard for them. So I am not impartial.

Mr. Dalrymple, like Mark Steyn, is a professional doom-sayer. Both men make their living announcing the imminence of Götterdämmerung. As such, they are committed to the “brand”, and anything which alleviates the apocalyptic gloom is automatically rejected.

The very formation of the English Defence League refutes some of Mr. Dalrymple’s most cherished basic beliefs — the main one being that the English working class is an irredeemable sinkhole of depravity.

In reality, of course, anyone who works closely with the EDL discovers that they are by and large kind, generous, decent, hard-working, patriotic people who uphold old-fashioned values.

Yes, they’re sometimes a rough sort — they are working-class, after all. And they have their share of problems — no one in our degraded postmodern world can avoid such difficulties — but EDL members are startling in their open and cheerful determination to escape the hell to which fifty years of politically correct socialist Multiculturalism has consigned them.

This fact violates the central doom-tenet devised for England by the Dalrymple worldview. Hence, the EDL must be fascistic street thugs. What else could they be?

In this he is in agreement with the Communists, the Anarchists, Labour, the Lib-Dems, the Tories, the BNP, and the Muslims, all of whom say much the same thing.

Strange bedfellows indeed.

I haven’t encountered Mark Steyn’s take on the issue, so I don’t know if he arrives at the same conclusions. But one would expect all professional doom-sellers to be forced into a similar position, because hope, optimism, and the possibility of real change for the better are threats to the brand.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

A person who habitually predicts a doomsday scenario may find it hard to let go of it. If his livelihood depends on the genre, then one may expect him to be even more insistent in defending and reinforcing this viewpoint. Evidence that seems to contradict the forecast will be discounted or explained away so that the dire future that awaits us all may remain undisturbed.

I, too, am a forecaster of doom, but a more general type of doom, without a particular form or time frame. Thus I can afford to be flexible when new data arrive, and incorporate them into my worldview without much damage to my previous positions — or my pride.

The end is near, in the sense that the Western welfare state will collapse soon. There’s no telling exactly when it will happen, nor what the exact process will be, but collapse it must — the entire structure is the largest Ponzi scheme in history, and its demise within a generation or so is a mathematical certainty.

As Fjordman likes to say, this will not be the end of the world, but it will be the end of the world as we know it. The process will in all likelihood involve massive suffering and loss of life on a scale to make the Great Leap Forward look like a rugby scrum.

Yet something new, some progeny of Western civilization, will emerge from the ashes. No one can say exactly what it will look like, but it won’t be based on the great schemes and scholarly constructions devised by our current academics and political thinkers. Virtually no one who now holds a position of power or influence will be a part of the rebirth — and many of them will be lucky to survive the general reckoning when the system finally implodes.

What comes after will be built by the struggle and sacrifice of ordinary people whose decency and grit form the basis for my optimism. Their virtues — honor, loyalty, courage, self-sacrifice, and humility — are notably absent from our current political and cultural leaders, but they are routine among the general citizenry. I find them in the Tea Parties, in ACT for America, in the various European and Australian Counterjihad groups — and in the EDL.

I work with such people every day, and they are a constant source of inspiration. They’re one of the main reasons I keep doing this job. And they will form the backbone of the new culture when its time eventually comes.

Writers like Theodore Dalrymple and Mark Steyn may be out of work when the great change arrives. After all, when Doom has come and gone — and not quite the doom one expected — what’s a professional doom-sayer to do?


Hat tip: Diana West.

46 comments:

Vasarahammer said...

I am by no means an expert concerning British working class. I have, however, encountered members of them in some occasions and found them to be decent blokes for the most part, even though their "football hooligan outlook" may seem intimidating to some people.

People like Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn write like this:

"And as a consequence, decent people found themselves smeared as extremists and a minority regrettably sought refuge in the arms of the BNP.

Some of those same people are now ­flirting with the street thugs of the English Defence League. It’s because they feel they have nowhere else to go."

Littlejohn writes common sense columns in Daily Mail, but he's also a partisan Tory, which means that he treats EDL with contempt that they do not necessarily deserve. He also gives David Cameron a break that he most certainly doesn't deserve.

Coming from a more egalitarian culture I find the British class divisions alien to me.

What I've seen about EDL through this blog, does not provide a cause for concern. These people are sincere and react to a justifiable problem in the British society.

It is possible to ask a question, if the methods used by EDL are effective or not or if they should have a more middle class person to represent their views in public. That is, however, not something that I should get into.

ib said...

The "intellectuals" amongst us seem to forget that uneducated does not mean unintelligent.

bewick said...

I cannot but agree Baron
Like Dalrymple I am of the middle class "professional" league (retired now) yet I started my life in the "working class". That particular ladder was pulled up when the Grammar Schools, much admired by America, were largely abolished and "merit" ceased to have merit.

Although not (yet)a member I have watched the EDL. Initially they did indeed have many football hooligans who caused trouble, and ex members of the BNP (actually ex National Front skinheads)who did the same.
More recently the violence has come from Unite Against Fascism. A group endorsed and supported by all 3 main political parties. A group which is ironically named since it attempts, largely through violence, to suppress any group disagreeing with its own beliefs. The classic definition of Fascism.
The speakers at EDL rallies, including Tommy Robinson, have impressed me with their generally articulate presentations. NOT what one would expect from people who admit to having failed at school.
I met many such during my time dealing with Unions in a public Authority. Some were, like Tommy Robinson, time served tradesmen (
"artisans" as one union rep inserted into every sentence) and some were labourers. (I did also deal with professionals such as teachers). Hardly one ever reached the articulateness of Tommy Robinson and others.
Tommy (Stephen Lennon) clearly believes everything he says and is committed. So am I.
If I would criticise then on two points only. Expletives aren't necessary and detract from the message.Even drive potential supporters away. The nom de guerre of Tommy Robinson, an infamous football hooligan, also detracts - but only to those who know and few do.
Far Right? Well that is what the MSM and Dalrymple say. POPPYCOCK. What exactly is "far right" about defending one's basic values. Nothing whatever.Apolitical and neutral would be better descriptors.
Dalrymple? A Psychiatrist with much self importance who opted NOT to use his medical training to save lives. Why should I bother listening to HIS opinion?

Sagunto said...

Baron -

I also liked many of his writings, and still do, especially about "the Man who predicted the Race Riots" (not at Silverstone, for sure). He also had a great piece about the "other" Orwell, the militant socialist.
And he would know, because in another essay he wrote a little more about his personal background, and the family he grew up in.

My impression was that he had been raised as an old fashioned socialist, with all of the high hopes for the cultural "betterment" of the worker. They were expected to participate in high culture, read literature, visit classical concerts and so on. Very laudable aims, no doubt.

But many old school leftists who have worked themselves up while amassing uh.. "cultural capital" (excusez les mots), are now looking at working class people and see that many of them refuse to follow their lead. They don't dig Mozart nowadays and read books that people like Mr. Dalrymple probably avoid like the plague.

And they do have a tendency to behave a bit like gurus now and then, don't they, these doom-and-gloom sayers. Almost like self-styled prophets if I dare say so ;-)

Therefore, I submit [sic!] a complementary explanation concerning Mr. Dalrymple's attitudes towards British working class people.
His reaction is akin to that of "the" prophet (YKW) in the early stages of his career, when he tried to convince the Jews and others to follow his lead (analogy: working man, listen to Mozart!). The chosen ones didn't comply and stuck to their old ways, much to the dislike of Mohammed who got really mad about the rejection.
I see some similarities here. Dalrymple looks down upon today's working class in Britain, because by now, they all should be citing Byron and stuff, singing parts and bits from "die Entführung aus dem Serail", but all he hears is "Anarchy in the UK!".
So logically, being the doomsday-prophet that he is, he acts like the rejected lead and curses them.

How about that?

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces

Baron,

That is not a very encouriging landscape you have painted almost discordian in vision have you gone back to your hippy days?

If the assertion is for the abyss of chaos then what is the point in delaying that outcome what is the point of the counter-jihad?

Baron Bodissey said...

Sagunto,

You could be quite right. No prophet likes to be disregarded -- the most important thing about a prophecy is that people must pay attention to it.

And I agree with you that Mr. Dalrymple is right in much of what he says. That's why I still have respect for him.

But what I can't fathom is how virtually everyone in Britain -- from the lowliest pot-boy to the Queen on her throne -- buys the line that the EDL are "fascist thugs".

How is it that they know with such certainty a thing that is so plainly untrue?

It baffles the mind.

Zenster said...

Both men make their living announcing the imminence of Götterdämmerung.

It is impossible to let pass such a rare and golden opportunity without mentioning just how disappointed Mark Twain was when he found out that "Götterdämmerung" only meant "twilight of the gods".

As to Dalrymple and his ilk:

Writers like Theodore Dalrymple and Mark Steyn may be out of work when the great change arrives.

Having based their careers upon mischaracterizing groups and events that are pivotal to the continuance of civilization (e.g., Islam is a religion of peace, EDL are thugs, etc.), I find "out of work" to be a rather overly generous assessment.

Virtually no one who now holds a position of power or influence will be a part of the rebirth — and many of them will be lucky to survive the general reckoning when the system finally implodes.

Again, Dalrymple and his ilk, too, shall have to consider themselves fortunate if they manage to survive the very meltdown their squealed misrepresentations are helping to bring about.

Those stalwart souls who are left to sweep up the shards of Western civilization will have a rather short fuse when these two-bit Cassandras stumble up and triumphantly announce, "I told you so!"

In light of how these professional doomsayers are so busy rigging the game such that its outcome conforms with their predictions (talk about changing the data to fit your equations!), I'd wager on them being left outside the village gates when winter comes.

That will give them ample time to become intimately acquainted with the wolves they have so uncomplainingly allowed to be set amongst us.

Sagunto said...

Dear Baron -

This is so funny and Dalrymple would certainly love what you said:

"How is it that they know with such certainty a thing that is so plainly untrue?"

You just almost literally quoted Dalrymple's own definition of political correctness: saying or believing things that you know ain't, (pardon..) aren't true.

Sag.

Baron Bodissey said...

4symbols,

The welfare state is going to collapse. It has to happen. There is no way around it. It is mathematically certain that the system will fail, given our current demographics, which cannot be changed quickly enough to help.

It can either collapse slowly -- an extended, controlled deflation would cause the least dislocation and suffering -- or the end can be sudden. All indications so far are that it will be the latter, because it is politically impossible for any politician who wishes to retain his office to scale back the welfare state to even a tiny fraction of what would be needed to save it.

We are in for hard times. They will be here in 25-30 years at the outside, but it's far more likely that the time frame will be 5-10 years.

EscapeVelocity said...

Yes, I think the EDL represents people that are doers and active, not those that are consigned to depravity.

Those that are fighting injustice and seeking to promote values, not those who are depraved themselves, and wallowing in it.

In fact this could turn lower class Englishmen around, a positive affirmation of their culture and values....a new confidence in promoting them.

EscapeVelocity said...

These folks from what I can see are not the depraved underclass that Dalrymple describes in his Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass. These folks are Working have functional families where the father is present and cares for his children.

Certainly there are some dole bludgers and others in a movement as large as this, but that isnt what this movement is comprised of, from what I can see.

These are the people that Dalrymple himself praises from the past, working class whites. As Baron says, that a group large as this suffers from some of the general depravity that has infected society as a whole is without question...as every group has.

Zenster said...

bewick: If I would criticise them [it would be] on two points only. Expletives aren't necessary and detract from the message. Even drive potential supporters away. The nom de guerre of Tommy Robinson, an infamous football hooligan, also detracts - but only to those who know and few do.

Both of these are very important points. Foul language only serves to confirm the low opinions of those who mischaracterize or misperceive the EDL as thugs and hooligans. A well-articulated message will get through to all just fine without the expletives.

Also, intentionally evoking the memory of a celebrated football hooligan represents a calculated display of menace regardless of what anyone else says. It is entirely counterproductive if, indeed, the EDL's projected image is supposedly peaceful and nonviolent.

The only ones against whom such menace could be constructively directed are British Muslims that, most likely, remain totally unaware of who Tommy Robinson is.

Sagunto said...

Baron -

Point of notice: Dalrymple obviously wasn't very consistent in applying his PC definition to himself and apperciate its full implications.

But then again, prophets never really are that self-critical of course.

About the situation in England: I'd like to add a personal observation by proxy. A close friend of mine is a lecturer and researcher at a well known university in England. He is Dutch and so he's tolerated, but just barely (many bad memories of English defeats at the hands of the Dutch in naval battles and so on, the usual..). He is not completely brain whashed by the Beeb yet, but when asked about the EDL there's a gut reaction. Though he clearly sympathises, it is just as if it's a matter of taste. He will curb his nose slightly and say something to the effect that "their methods are counter-productive, confirm stereotypes etcetera". But if I ask him whether he'd do the same, he immediately agrees and adopts the EDL viewpoint. Anyway, I'm glad he doesn't consider them to be any kind of "fascists" whatsoever.
So there you have it; even an outsider who is fully aware of and very outspoken about the dangers of Islam, is still influenced by this contagious disdain for working class English blokes (m/f) who just want to defend their homes, their families and neighbourhoods.

I say to all who think it is "counter-productive" to simply defend their own keep: then step aside and submit. I am convinced that it will prove to be the only way to reconquer our cities (like Amsterdam-West). It is "no way" or "the EDL way", block by block, street by street, family by family. The bureaucrats might not like it, but Islam will ultimately put them to the test as well, in their own gated "communities". Then they'll learn a hard lesson about their most beloved catch-phrase, "social cohesion", or, most probably, the lack thereof.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.

Robert said...

Mr "Dalrymple" or Mr. "Daniels" has no ethnic reason for feeling akin to English people.

Sagunto said...

Bewick, Zenster -

I guess the EDL don't care too much about the opinions of those seeking to mischaracterize them and their cause. That only heightens my respect for their authenticity. They don't need soft-spoken representatives; they can speak (and act) for themselves.

People who don't like their style can of course form their own groups and argue politely for the defence of their families. The only thing is, that on average, the ones arguing for less foul language are more likely to have shared in the mixed blessings of the ongoing atomization of the Western populace.

Sag.

Zenster said...

Baron Bodissey: How is it that they know with such certainty a thing that is so plainly untrue?

That tidy little question gave me pause as well.

One can only suppose how the alternative, that is … admitting the truth, entails an irrecoverable loss of so much moral or political capital that it would remove the underpinnings of most self-deluded PC MC types.

Also, quite the tasty little comparison there, Sagunto, between these latter day prophets and "the" prophet (YKW). Your further prediction bears repeating as well:

Sagunto: I am convinced that it will prove to be the only way to reconquer our cities (like Amsterdam-West). It is "no way" or "the EDL way", block by block, street by street, family by family. The bureaucrats might not like it, but Islam will ultimately put them to the test as well, in their own gated "communities". Then they'll learn a hard lesson about their most beloved catch-phrase, "social cohesion", or, most probably, the lack thereof.

I, too, have predicted how it will likely require that the elite see their gated "communities" breached along with physical assaults upon them or their kin before the light finally comes on.

All that remains to be seen is which crowd breaches those gates. The Muslims or enraged and out-of-patience European natives.

4Symbols said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zenster said...

Sagunto: People who don't like their style can of course form their own groups and argue politely for the defence of their families.

But that is the entire problem. Namely, one of constant splintering within the counter-jihad movement. Would it represent such a monumental sacrifice to go a bit more mainstream with the language being delivered in order to obtain an even wider and electorally cohesive following? I don't see how.

Islam enjoys so much momentum precisely because its splinterings, however violent, are relatively small by comparison to the overall body of Muslims.

The internal divisions that currently beset whatever various counter-jihad movements are literally stifling them. There has to be some middle ground and it needs to be found damn soon.

Sagunto said...

Zenster -

I see you point very clearly, but for the problem you describe. For sure, Islam acts and works like one gigantic take-over machine. But their cohesion is based on coercion and intimidation.

We don't need that of course, but I'd say we don't even need uniformity in action or outlook. As long as the ones I share a foxhole with are shooting in the right direction, I don't mind their language or habits. And I don't give a rat's *[behind]ss about how thing reflect in the mainstream gutter media. Can anyone please write a Nietzschean book, proclaiming that The Media are Dead? I wouldn't even bury them.

My point is rather that the other ones, whose lives are not an integral part of football (real football that is ;-) don't necessarily have a problem of conviction or suffering from apathy. Their one single problem is: lack of a natural sense of community, structured and internalized by daily/weekly praxis. That's why it was to be expected to see the EDL crowd blaze the trail, because they have a completely natural way of meeting each other: at the football game, which is more than just a game.
For others, the football temple would have been the Church no so long ago (or in my country, all 147 different protestant and 1 catholic church, still the biggest though). Without any sense of community, the non-EDL crowd has to find ways to arrange or, re-arrange a somewhat habitual way of rallying and coming together. That's their main issue.

Any suggestions?

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.

Sagunto said...

ughh.. "you point"

Well, at least I didn't direct it @Zentster ;-)

Zenster said...

Sagunto: … I'd say we don't even need uniformity in action or outlook. As long as the ones I share a foxhole with are shooting in the right direction, I don't mind their language or habits. And I don't give a rat's *[behind]ss about how thing reflect in the mainstream gutter media.

Neither am I particularly sensitive to language so long as the message and aim is clear.

That said, a lot of this is carried forward by Hesperado's concept that, at day's end, many of those who subscribe to Politically Correct Multiculturalism are decent folk. They prefer to think well of themselves even if doing so requires taking positions or actions that don't necessarily set well with them at heart.

Recruiting these relatively soft spoken types is critical to the cause as they are the "fence-sitters" and undecided voters who are vital when it comes to unseating the Islamophilic elite.

Hooliganism, much less even just the hooligan image (skinheads included), isn't going to fly particularly well with this huge voting block.

The counter-jihad's rhetoric must be palliated in a way whereby Islam's violence and deceit come to the fore and overshadow any such behavior (or even perceived behavior), within EDL ranks. This will polarize the issue favorably and help to remove a lot of the media-generated stigma currently plaguing many of the European Defense Leagues.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces

Baron,

"The experiences and situations described are largely anecdotal, but Dalrymple explains that he interviewed over 10,000 people who attempted suicide and had them tell stories about "the lives of four or five other people", resulting in a sample base of around 50,000 individuals"

The evidence from 10,000 anecdotal subjects who were emotionally unstable and hearsay evidence of 50,000 of their imaginery friends, you can not be serious in taken this charlatan's words seriously this is as close as it gets to a blood libel of the working class/underclass.

No wonder he could not find a British publisher, all he is writing is what conservatives want to hear soothing their fears and reinforcing their comfort zone a nice money spinning little psychological trick.

Sagunto said...

Zenster -

"Hooliganism, much less even just the hooligan image (skinheads included), isn't going to fly particularly well with this huge voting block."

The EDL is not a political party (ok that's a bit cheap, but still..) and the voters you describe will look in another direction. Wilders will be the obvious focal point for adapting the message to this audience. I think a lot of what you bring to bear has significant meaning for the political landscape he inhabits. So in that regard, I second your views.

On the other hand, I maintain that precisely because of the points you raise, one could also make a strong case for not presenting the CJ initiative as one single entity, because that would indeed necessitate the Higginsian exercises in unfouling the language and redressing (literally) the hooligan garb. I wonder if the EDL crowd would like that anyway.

Instead of spending time revamping grass roots initiatives like the EDL, my recommendation would be for everyone to look more closely around them and think of really creative ways to restore some sense of community, as a precursor for later action.

I don't mind a little splintering at all, because firstly, this isn't an army. Splintering would be deadly during combat missions, but there are many different combats and over a range of missions. If I were in the EDL, I would maintain discipline as if we were in combat. But that's because you never ever let your buddies down and stand alone.
Secondly, I think that within the CJ initiative* there really is "Strength in diversity" if I may approbate a slogan from the enemy.
And lastly, perhaps I don't see splintering as the biggest of our problems because it's kind of "the Dutch way", and we always managed to get by pretty well when it really mattered ;-)

It's getting late over here, spelling and phrasing of posts indicate that I must turn in now.. Thnx Zen, for the exchange; always a pleasure

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.

(* I like "initiative" better than "movement", the only ones moving are the EDL at the moment)

You New said...

Very provocative column, Baron.

As we watch the international house of cards quiver I would dare say we are all craning our necks to envision something of the future here.

Dalrymple and Steyn don't discuss beyond the transitional point when it all is supposed to shake down. They just bitch (quite skillfully) about the road there. I'm thinking that they are timid about discussing the endgame.

Good point, Baron, that their style leaves their readers with too much finality, tending to hopelessness. Thanks for helping me to see that.
Of course, that ain't the end.

Maybe what comes next, "After The Fall" should be of primary importance in terms of discussion and even planning. Do you agree?

If this is coming down the pike, we sure better start coming up with some ideas for a new people and land. Because, we probably won't be thinking so clearly when dozens of countries simultaneously enter an Egyptian-like chaos.

If I were generate a ready to go, nation in a box, it would be a new USA-type nation, where circumvention of the Constitution and freedoms are tersely punished, and militias are kept up to date, traditional merit-based schools, individual responsibility basis...

Just one idea and I'm open to others but it's doable. But we had better start building a ready-to-go, emergency, on-the-spot, "build yourself a new country kit."
Not available in stores.

Zenster said...

Fear not, Sagunto. As is so often the case, we are largely in racuous, violent agreement.

Zenster said...

You New: … we had better start building a ready-to-go, emergency, on-the-spot, "build yourself a new country kit."

Congratulations, yours is one of the most succinct and pertinent observations regarding "Plan B" that I have seen in a very long time.

Permit me to venture how that "kit" probably is going to contain a lot of "iron".

Hesperado said...

I ask myself sometimes if I am not hypercritical; if I may not almost neurotically engage in the "devil's advocate" position; if I may not tend to quibble about non-essential things; and if, as part of all the aforementioned, I may not tend to indulge in complexity needlessly.

If I am not summarily guilt of all of the above, I don't know what it is, but I keep finding myself in disagreement with most people in the anti-Islam movement -- in terms of this, that, or the other thing they pronounce and/or promote. For example, Baron's post here, and nearly all the comments, are riddled with various points I disagree with strongly, and most of these points are raveled together in a complex mesh with otherwise good observations.

I am thus faced with the choice of either delving, once again for the umpteenth time after years of doing this, into the unpleasant tedium of the unraveling required to make clear my strong disagreements; or just throwing my hands up and giving up (at least in terms of forsaking critical analysis).

In one way, it would be nice if I were guilty of those faults in my first paragraph: then I would have an excellent excuse to forego the labors of adverting to the complex skein of errors my fellow anti-jihadists tend to articulate and promote.

You New said...

Hi Hesperado.

Maybe oversensitive about certain things and undersensitive about others. I don't think your philosophies clash. Why should your discussions? There is a misuse or misunderstanding of words.

The wise are self-critical.
You have a lot to contribute and a good mind. Once, when I read your comment you seemed to miss specific word potential meanings, if I recall correctly, so that might be some of the problem, if it's a habit.

My idea to you is: instead of speaking in an argumentative, assumptive manner, why don't you use your own words to paraphrase a sentence of the Baron's, one that you seem to be in conflict with. Just one sentence at a time, the first one only, and forget about the complex "mesh." One sentence, first conflict first.

ex. Hey Baron, When you said "XXXXXX". Did you mean "ZZZZZ?"

Hope that helps.

Zenster said...

Hesperado: I am thus faced with the choice of either delving, once again for the umpteenth time after years of doing this, into the unpleasant tedium of the unraveling required to make clear my strong disagreements; or just throwing my hands up and giving up (at least in terms of forsaking critical analysis).

Suck it up and quite the crybaby routine or demonstrate the courage of your convictions by making your point clear. Either way, your pissing and moaning comes across as truly condescending and, therefore, rather offensive.

It's obvious that you have the expository skills to clarify any misperceptions. So, pardon me if I really don't have the time to put up with any whining. Fer cripes sake, I can hear the loud sighs from here. Get with it or don't but please don't come in here lamenting how us, the great unwashed, do not perfectly perceive your, oh so, complicated theories.

I gave you credit where credit is due and you can return the favor or not. If your ideas are so high falutin', then write an essay detailing them and ask the Baron to post it here. That way we can see if your work has some real substance.

Steve said...

As an American, I know almost nothing about the EDL. As a Dalrymple admirer, promoter and acquaintance, I know for a fact that his opinion of the EDL (which could be mistaken) is not based on a desire to protect his livelihood. He is a retired doctor, married to another doctor. He has a very genuine interest in truth, is positively generous in considering the dissents of others, and doesn't form his opinions lightly. He isn't perfect, of course. Sometimes I wonder whether his orientation as an intellectual prodigy makes it difficult for him to connect with the less-intellectually-inclined average person. We can't all walk around quoting Hume and Dr. Johnson. But an acquaintance with his biography makes it clear that he has never had any interest in his livelihood.

By the way, I have read your blog for some time, like it a lot, and think you, Dalrymple and I agree on almost everything.

Steve
blog.skepticaldoctor.com

Baron Bodissey said...

Steve --

Yes, I do agree with almost everything Mr. Dalrymple says. As I said, I'm a great admirer of his work.

But not concerning the EDL. He's wrong, and since I see the EDL as the last great hope for England, that's important to me, and I have to call him on it.

The problem may lie in the limited slice of the English working class that he has actually been in contact with. His work put him in touch with some of the worst-case examples.

I don't know how much contact he had with the working class when he was young. But I went to school for four years with working-class kids in Yorkshire (a bit after his own time in school). So I may well be prejudiced, because I developed a deep affection for ordinary English people based on that experience.

Hesperado said...

Zenster,

Your points might be more persuasive if I did this all the time; in fact, this is the first time I've expressed this, after having posted thousands of comments (often long and detailed ones) on discussion forums about this issue over the years, where I have labored at teasing out the complexity of my disagreement -- among them, dozens here at GOV.

Included in those have been numerous occasions where comments mushroomed into sometimes long back-and-forth debates with this, that or the other commenter at one or another discussion forum.

And aside from the thousands of comments I have written over the years, there are the hundreds of essays -- some of them exceedingly detailed and long -- on my two blogs.

Not all of those thousands of comments over the years, of course, were labors of tedious unraveling; but enough of them have been to make me feel tired of doing it.

Feeling tired, and voicing one's weariness, don't necessarily mean that the labor will be abandoned. But a guy has at least the right to them -- if only once or twice -- after faithfully doing for years what often is quite tedious and wearying.

Hesperado said...

You New,

That might be useful advice (though not necessarily all the time). It resembles the "Quaker Rules of Debate" whereby each person first paraphrases his opponent's point, asks if it is correct, then if it is, moves on to his counterpoint.

That said, the usefulness of your suggestion depends on the other person, if in their response to my paraphrase, they can resist the temptation to mushroom and to stray from the sub-point which the paraphrase would address. I would thus be willing to try it only with people who can keep their replies about my paraphrase brief and to the point: e.g., "Yes, you paraphrased it correctly", or "No, you got it wrong, and here is how: bam-bam-bam, 1-2-3" -- without any extraneous appendages or peripheral tangents (let alone any new herrings, red or otherwise).

xlbrl said...

I, too, an a great admirer of Dalrymple. That I am often enlightened and amused by his writing does not require me to seek he approval, or his understanding. George Orwell died still a man of the left. Oh well! But thank you, George.

We easily expect that men who understand a problem will equally understand a solution. It just is not often so. Understanding a solution, like understanding a bankrupty, generally begins after the fact.

Hesperado said...

When I examine my emotions with regard to various types of people revolving this whole issue of the problem of Islam, I find I feel the following:

1) fellow anti-jihadists with whom I disagree on important points: irritation and annoyance

2) PC MCs who obtusely persist in defending Muslims: anger, often leading to fury

3) Muslims: no real emotion at all (not even "hate"), just a continuing resolve to try to do my part to wake up my fellow Westerners to the danger of Muslims.

I guess I don't feel emotion against Muslims because I simply don't consider them to be part of the fellow community of humans. The only emotion I can think of that I feel is fear and revulsion, but those could just as easily be aroused by a pack of wild jackals attacking my home, or a nest of scorpions, or a hurricane perhaps. As I once remarked half facetiously on a JW thread, "hate" is a special emotion, to be reserved for one's boss, one's mother-in-law, or the IRS.

imnokuffar said...

According to one daily red-top rag in Britain the EDL may decide to field candidates in local and national elections. I don't know if this is true. If it is then they will be standing in direct contradiction to the BNP and will aim to split its vote and could indirectly favour the other 3 parties or provoke even more apathy than exists already.

Thus we have the two anti-Islam parties squaring up electorally to each other is this any good for the anti-Jihad cause ? I think not. Amongst the BNP supporters there has always been a suspicion that this was why the EDL was formed - in order to spread confusion, undermine the cause of Nationalism thus splitting the anti-islam vote.

However, I can just see the leadership of the EDL answering questions on the economy, immigration, foriegn policy, the wars, social policy etc it should prove interesting reading.

We have steered well clear of the EDL because they are politically inept and sooner or later will cause a great deal of violence and mayhem on the streets that will backfire onto us electorally and physically.

The EDL are not anti-multicultural in the same way that the BNP are, we would scrap the whole enterprise.

The EDL however seem to say that apart from the Muslims everything else is rosy in the multicult garden(I think). A vision that says variously, that they don't like Muslims or that they don't like extremist Muslims. Thier criticisms of the Koran as an evil book seem to indicate that they don't like Muslims as a whole as you cannot seperate the Koran from Islam. This is confusing to me and no doubt to a lot of other people.

Put simply, I admire the courage of quite a lot of the EDL supporters but have suspicions as to the motives of others.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces

Dalrymple acknowledges that the vast majority of the people interviewed, remembered, and discussed about are white. According to social critic Thomas Sowell, this allows a look at the underclass "without fear of being called 'racist'."

BIRMINGHAM and this man can only remember white working class patients, he then takes his dubious memory as a cultural template and applies it to immigrant culture (e.g. muslim) to scientifically conclude that the white working class are culturally no different from the muslim working class. From that quite ridiculous nonsense you would have to assume that scientifically and culturally the EDL is in fact a muslim movement.

In an African slum you will find among the very poor, living in dreadful circumstances, dignity and decency in abundance, which are painfully lacking in an average English suburb, although its inhabitants are much wealthier

A pure example of middle class PC/MC self-loathing projected on to the white working class. Mr. Dalrymple in modern Britain when did this brutalisation of the working class become so prolific?

4Symbols - Untermenschen. love me or loath me!

bewick said...

Sagunto: … I'd say we don't even need uniformity in action or outlook. As long as the ones I share a foxhole with are shooting in the right direction, I don't mind their language or habits. And I don't give a rat's *[behind]ss about how thing reflect in the mainstream gutter media.

Well I think Zenster answered that one better than I could manage.
I too can cuss with the best but the gratuitous use of such words stops even those who might sometimes use the words themselves from hearing the main message.
They likely take the Dalrymple view that maybe this is just a bunch of working class thugs.
In his now many TV interviews Stephen Lennon has shown that he can get his message across more clearly without resorting to such language.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I'm one of the baby boomers and there are rather a lot of us.
Getting my contemporaries onside should be an aim of EDL

Kevin Stroup said...

The EDL is at least smart enough to know a mortal threat when they see one. Ted is an overeducated lunatic who leads a very insular life. Ted would not know a threat if one bit him in the ass.

Steve said...

Baron,

Nothing wrong with disagreement. I just think one should be a little more careful about assigning motives to others.

Kevin Stroup,

Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Dalrymple's biography knows that he has probably lead one of the least insular lives in human history.

Steve
blog.skepticaldoctor.com

Baron Bodissey said...

Steve,

Actually, if you look closely, you'll see that I didn't assign any motives. The closest I came is when I described him as "committed to the 'brand'."

I deduce that assertion from the evidence at hand: the fact that he never, ever veers from absolute pessimism about his topic. Not the slightest ray of optimism is allowed to impinge on the unalleviated gloom about the English working class. This is a distinct indication of commitment to the brand.

Other than that, everything I say about possible motives is pure speculation. You'll notice that I use the conditional tense and subjunctive mood in my descriptions -- I don't know his motives for his single-minded pessimism about the working class.

On other matters -- such as socialism, or corrupt governance -- he is unsurpassed. From my point of view, he is generally right on target.

But not about the working class. In that regard, his commitment to the brand is amply attested by his writings, especially when he fails to yield to obvious countervailing evidence.

Hesperado said...

The strangely nicknamed "imnokuffar" wrote:

Their [EDL's] criticisms of the Koran as an evil book seem to indicate that they don't like Muslims as a whole as you cannot seperate the Koran from Islam. This is confusing to me and no doubt to a lot of other people.

Confusing? What could be clearer?

Egghead said...

Seeing as how Dalrymple now lives in France, his Muslim wake-up call must certainly be on his way....

As Islam surely shows everyone to the LAST man, there are thugs and then there are MUSLIM THUGS....

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces

What could be a greater retribution than the death penalty, possibly the realisation on the deviants soul of compassion and forgiveness those scribes of old were indeed wise old men.

scherado said...

... And I agree with you that Mr. Dalrymple is right in much of what he says. That's why I still have respect for him. ...

How is it that they know with such certainty a thing that is so plainly untrue? ... It baffles the mind.


You may have over-estimated Mr. Dalrymple's intellectual conscience.

When I encounter a poisoning or betrayal of my intellectual standard from a person in whom I allowed myself to trust substantively that person's intellectual currency, I remove immediately that person from his high position as Trusted Informer. Any subsequent information or material by that person is consumed with hightened caution. By example, to name a few--

Formerly high-placed informers:
Limbaugh (1999 - related to impeachment)
Buckley (Sr.)
Bob Grant
Gingrich
Dr. Dean Edell
Hitchens

Currently perched highly:
Scalia
Levin (on 'probation')
Coulter
Spencer (on 'probation')
Sabaditsch-Wolff
Bachmann

Never made it:
Hannity
Beck
O'Reilly
Savage

Could have been contenders:
Geller
Malzberg

Jury is still out (cautious optimism with points for sheer guts):
Palin
Boehner

Johnny Rottenborough said...

Hence, the EDL must be fascistic street thugs. … In this he is in agreement with the … BNP

Simon Darby, the former deputy leader of the BNP and now a spokesman for party, writes rather sympathetically about the EDL on his blog:

❛Watching the coverage of the EDL march in Luton today I witnessed many thousands of young English men demonstrating against the Islamification of their country. Normally their energies would have been diverted to a less political Saturday menu of perhaps football, alcohol and pursuing creatures that Muslims would have covered in black sacking.

Whilst I have my very severe doubts about the motives of this organisation I am most grateful for two things. Tens of thousands of previously unreachable young British men have now become aware of the carcinogenic effect of radical Islam. Not only that, but they have seen for themselves the very real hatred for the white working class demonstrated by the state-sponsored extreme left. Two lessons in life that will not be forgotten.❜