Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Will the Penny Ever Drop?

The following article was published today in Aftenposten, and has been kindly translated by our Norwegian correspondent NA. The translator includes this note:

I read this article in Aftenposten which I hope every Norwegian — and every Westerner, for that matter — will read. I thought it was so good I just had to translate it.

Fjordman sends a reference to an article in about the same author, noting:

The Marxist writer Jørgen Sandemose published an essay in the Danish weekly Weekendavis this November where he very severely criticized the Left for their excessively positive attitudes towards Islam.

The author is a long-time Communist who teaches at the University of Oslo. His name is well known in Norway because of his father, who defined the so-called jantelov, the “pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Scandinavian communities, which negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.”

Today’s article continues Mr. Sandemose’s earlier line of criticism, and is particularly notable for its Marxist viewpoint:

[This translation has been removed at the request of the author and the editors of Aftenposten.]


Chiu said...

"The author is a long-time Communist who teaches at the University of Oslo. His name is well known in Norway because of his father, who defined the so-called jantelov, the “pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Scandinavian communities, which negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.”"

Rather ironic, that. After all, the entire purpose of communism in the most doctrinaire sense is exactly that, the obviation of individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.

However, the thrust of Sandemose's argument that the unaccountable elite are in the wrong is cogent and forceful even as it exposes the fundamental contradiction of Marxism. The evolution of communism through socialism necessarily entails the concentration of all power over property, life, and freedom into the hands of a very select group of persons whose interests and perception of their own importance in society will necessarily diverge from that of the common folk in proportion to the difference in status and power between the two groups.

Socialism, the supposed road to the perfect (and never once attained) equality of true communism, is a state of disparity far greater than possible under the most unrestrained exercise of capitalism that can be maintained in a market of any kind (let alone a genuinely free-market).

If criticized from the perspective of the values that make the end result of communism appear attractive, the socialist government that must precede it in Marx's theory cannot be justified in the least.

I do not hold a communist perspective. I have no wish for total equalization of all individuals (to my mind, the reduction of all individuals to become identical with some standard is not morally preferable to the simple elimination of all who fail to conform to that standard). I criticize the elite because they decline to suffer the predictable consequences of their own actions and instead cause the common people to receive the wages of the elites' misgovernment.

Put bluntly, I feel that if they really wish to live in an Islamic nation they have the means to move to any of several such nations immediately rather than imposing one on a great many people who do not want it.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

You New said...

Yes, good, the failure of the elite and all. Don't get too excited: his type, not Islam, is the greater danger.

Commie doesn't translate well into Americanese. "Common man" bounces hard off my eardrums--who is not one? I don't understand where this guy is coming from or going to.

If Islam was eradicated from the earth, the left would need to reinvent it.

There is no "Elite" silly Euro-commies. But there sure are a lot of elitists, and they love their politics and their power.

I'm also struggling with the world's first communist Bible quote. "The people" equals God? Wow, now that is really lame.

Thanks for the article though, it was, uh, amusing.

Nemesis said...

Hmmmm. A wake up call? Maybe, but don't hold your breath that the writer of this article is even vaguely aware that his own Marxist views are what leads to the so called 'elites' doing what they continue to do. Failure to admit to mistakes is a monumental hallmark of the Left.

If he went on to remonstrate against his own political views and cry out his stupidity to all and sundry, I would probably have had more inclination to believe what he has written is from thought brought about by logical thinking rather than him feeling a need to point his finger at others for what he has also been complicit in. Hypocrisy knows no bounds amongst the Left.

The Twentieth Century was a century where Socialism was tested in its many forms and found to be wanting, yet we still have fools such as the writer of this article who insist that their view of how the world should operate is not open for negotiation and that their version of Socialism will be the one that succeeds.

I can only shake my head at the childish mentality that fosters such a belief.

Yes, the writer has raised the alarm that Islam is a problem that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. But he has done this only because Islam has become so obvious a problem. It is also a pity that the writer did not include himself as part of the reason for the problem instead of pointing his finger at others for why he has had to raise the alarm in the first place. Failure to include oneself in the learning process makes for dim witted Socialists.

Sagunto said...

You New -

Like yourself, I'm struggling to place all of these leftist opinions in some sort of perspective that at least makes some sense. This is the second article in what looks like a leftist PoV-series, I've read here recently at GoV. And I must confess that I have some difficulty discerning the value of all of this, beyond the mildly interesting level of object lessons in leftist infighting.

With regard to the problem of Islam and PC, the author lays claim to novel understandings that are "dawning" (you know, morning redness in the skies and all, let's march towards a new red anti-Islam worker's paradise).
I can see pennies dropping, but certainly not left and right, for I wouldn't give a penny or even a nickle for this author's communist thoughts, which vis-a-vis Islam would amount to driving out the devil with Beelzebub.
Of course there's nothing new at all about the "dawning insight" and the way this author is trying to co-opt "the dawn," it's just Socialism 1.1 against Socialism 2.0, old school elitist rhetoric about "the working class," yada yada.. against globalist visions of the uprooted progressivist(TM) elitists.

I wouldn't say, like @Nemesis opines, that this author in some way shares the "elitists" worldview. For one, I don't think the ideological roots of the progressivists trace back to Marxist doctrine, the way this is obviously true for the old dogmatism espoused by this Norwegian Communist. Therefore, I don't think he's necessarily a hypocrite, but a 100% genuine yesteryear Commie.

And his position is probably even a logical one, for, like Paul Gottfried (2002) indicated, it is possible to propagate "workers rights" and even accept a welfare state, without the added PC/MC feature of today's anti-traditionalism (gay/women/minority "rights"). Old school commies weren't that interested in multiculturalism and though some factions attacked the family unit, most of their so-called constituency, the working class, weren't that keen to dissolve the family. We had a far-left party here in Holland, that back in the 70's/80's was fervently anti-MC and against mass immigration.

Back to the article, where right off the bat, this claim by Mr Sandemose really make my hairs stand on end. It's a typical one about Breivik and collectivist Norwegian responsibility:

"What we are all responsible for — some to a greater extent, others less — is bringing a person to the point where he does one thing or another."


Before quoting more of these red flags in a follow-up post, I'd like to try and put some of the confusing mess, produced by this leftist infighting in some sort of general perspective.

(To be continued..)

Anonymous said...

Lotsa verbiage here--but it seems to boil down to a simple process: My analogy of which is Watt's experiment with the steam kettle; that he stopped up and then burst on him.
Teutonic Norwegian exclusion of any opposition to their immigration policy builds social pressure. Where and how it comes out is anybody's guess (22nd comes to mind)but will likely be more serious than a shattered teapot over the fire.
The remnants of the 1st ammendment may shield us here in the US
for now, but Europe is another story.
Remember: "That which is unsustainable will come to an end."
What kind of an end is up in the air.


Sagunto said...

(continued.. x-cuse the "verbiage", Flintlock ;)

For some literal form of "perspective", imagine a 3-D space divided into distinct houses of affiliation, by the three axes of political good and evil ;)

The x, from left to right features statism (including superstate-ism) on the one end, and anti-statism on the other. The y, from below the black hole in the centre, 'till up through the roof, displays the spectrum that falls between downright collectivism and total individual freedom (as a natural right). The z, from front to back, is about (strictly economic) dirigism versus laissez faire. These dimensions overlap, but for argument's sake, I'll treat them as independent.

This Norwegian author is most definitely a collectivist and probably a statist as well (in the latter sense, he wouldn't count as a doctrinary Marxist purist, for those rare types were as much against the Prussian style, Bismarckian welfare state as the free market, classical liberals were). Let's forget for the moment about ideas this communist might possibly entertain about economic freedom.

Now the party he sheds his criticism upon with his new dawn, where would these progressivists end up in my graph? Hmm, let's see.. I'd consider them to be statists, in the sense of NWO superstatist, and less collectivist than the Norwegian author (whose conservative Marxism reminds one of tribal sentiments). Let's also not complicate matters regarding this group's strong advocacy for transnational economic dirigism (IMF, World Bank).

So what do we have here? Old Left, Marxist conservatism versus New left, Progessivist Wilsonianism. Red Dawn against the Brave New World.

That's great, just great..

Anonymous said...

It seems like I was a bit rash in praising this article as a "must read".

There's a tendency to see only that which one wants to see, and in blissfull ignorance read between the lines to have ones own ideas confirmed.

A post is worth nothing without comments, and good ones at that. Listening to opinions which differ from ones own is a good idea, the Left and the PC/MCs should try it, shouldn't hold our breath though.

MRiggs said...

This is a very good article - commie or not. It is an important article as well. When enough leftist realize the truth like this one has, then the battle is won.

Chiu said...

The essential problem with Marxism is that it suggests that some final state of perfect equality can be achieved through the concentration of all power and control of all wealth in a small class of elites who will control society "for its own good" but for some reason are expected to eventually see that their power and privileges are no longer "necessary" and thus will give them up voluntarily.

Which raises the question of why Capitalist businessmen could not be expected to give up their position once the wealth of society had reached some point where nobody could reasonably want more than a "fair" share of it.

After all, the Capitalist in a free-market has made his gains in controlling more wealth by providing goods and services more efficiently than others. Whereas the Socialist has made much larger gains relative to the total amount of society's wealth by means of theft and 'liquidation' of opposition. Who seems more morally likely to generously give up all their control of society's wealth?

I think that it is vital to see how theoretical communists (who only ever look at the final goal of perfect equality) respond to the actual implementation of the socialism that Marx asserts will somehow lead to this idealized communism. If Marxism is ever to be expunged, it must be by exposing its fundamental contradictions. And those that actually want a world in which there is no individuality or distinction between one person and another are best able to tell us what other people like them will hate about the Socialism that Marxism posits as an essential step.

For myself, I am satisfied with the assumption that people start out equal, that we can only tell the difference between the merit of two individuals based on what they have actually done. This type of equality has produced all the actual protections of rights (including "worker's rights") that really matter.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Pascal Fervor said...

Without adding a comment to the thread stream, this post was considerably shortened.

Here is the missing text's placeholder. "[This translation has been removed at the request of the author and the editors of Aftenposten.]"

I wish now I'd kept a copy of the translation. Curiosities such as this may soon become as rare as hen's teeth as the apparatchiks learn what's good for them.

Consider what it is that controls the memory hole and make adequate preparations.