Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Are the Schlock We’ve Been Waiting For

A year passes like nothing, and much of the bloom is off the romance between the American people and President Barack Hussein Obama. More Americans disapprove of the president than approve of him, and his Hope ’n’ Change agenda is largely in tatters.

But not in Europe! The Apostle of Light is still beloved in the Old World, and opinion polls in most Western European countries show that a huge majority of the populace support our president and believe that the best hope for world peace and prosperity lies in Barack Obama.

Yesterday our Swedish correspondent LN opened the Culture News section of the Svenska Dagbladet and read this:

Snart ett år efter att Barack Obama svor presidenteden har en musikal om honom premiär. “Hope — the Obama musical story” får världspremiär i Frankfurt nu på.

Which translates approximately to:

Nearly a year after Barack Obama was sworn in, a musical about him is opening. “Hope — the Obama musical story” makes its world premiere in Frankfurt.

Obamas onstage

LN was so moved by the occasion that he collected some additional material and sent it to us. First, from Der Spiegel:

Wearing a knitted cardigan and crooning into his microphone, Barack Obama paces around the stage, wooing Michelle with a love song. In another number, now clad in a suit, Jimmie Wilson who plays Obama, struts up and down, clasping his mike and leading a euphoric gospel chorus of “Yes We Can.”

And from the blog Afro-Europe:
- - - - - - - - -
HOPE — Obama musical story — celebrates its world premiere in Frankfurt/Main on 17 January 2010!

The venue Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt (Germany) will experience a sound it has never heard before: formed to a huge percussion ensemble, the audience accompanies US president Barack Obama on his successful way into the White House. The event organizer MOVE GmbH promises a double world premiere: at the premiere of “HOPE — the Obama Musical Story” on Sunday, 17 January at 8:00 pm, the audience will rhythmically participate on specially developed percussion chairs — for the first time ever worldwide. “Hope is the first interactive musical of a new generation”, says musical producer Roberto Emmanuele, CEO and creative director of Move GmbH based in Bad Soden. “This is an enormous sound and a great musical experience for the audience.”

We live a long way from Manhattan, so if this toe-tapping extravaganza ever comes to Broadway, we will probably miss it.

But even if it makes its way to downtown Keysville or Lovingston, I think I’ll give it a pass. I need to cling bitterly to my meager funds so that I can afford more guns and religion.


Ex-Dissident said...

Be sure to avoid the woodwind section of the seats.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Ignorance is Strength...

costin said...

Europe never totally left the feudal ages. europans still need a king they can worship and that solves all their problems. Obama is just that. with all that pretense of a progresive, modern europe, the more advanced/modern Europe claims to be, the more it goes bacl into the past, to society rulled by nobles and kings (the elites) that always know best what is good for the simple minded worker, that finances all their utopias.

actually.. europe never completely left the dark ages, with ocasional returns into something that was hugely more primitive and barbaric than the middle ages (communism and nazism), and now the aristocracy in Brussels is doing just that: taking the power from the hand of the individual. progressives always want and do the exact oposite of what they actually pretend to do. we're in for a new dark ages, probably darker than the last one.

Fjordman said...

Costin: If you imply that the EU represents a throwback to feudalism then you are right. But United States has plenty of problems of its own, especially the Messiah Syndrome where the USA should "save" the entire world by converting it to the American way of life. You can see Obama as the personification of this syndrome. This worship is where Christianity and Marxism overlap. Marxism is a political religion.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Marxism is a political religion.

And they're doing quite well on some points. Take item 5 of their Manifesto:

Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

Fjordman said...

Yes, unfortunately they are doing quite well. In less than a century the various strands of Marxism have all but destroyed the most creative civilization in human history from within, ironically with a little help from deranged capitalism.

Exile said...

I dont usually comment on American politics. I don't fully understand the internal machinations of it, but I must admit, the present Democrat thing going on "over there" is getting to look like a song and dance show.

Poor lyrics, predictable dancing round in circles and sporadic applause.

It wouldn't be so bad but the price of a ticket for the show was a bit more than most expected, despite everybody getting a front row seat.

What do you know? I just became a critic....

OMMAG said...

Exile ... critic?


Anyway .... what's to be surprised about?

Empty rhetoric is the sine qua non of European intellect.

Henrik R Clausen said...

ironically with a little help from deranged capitalism.

Fjordman, while I usually largely follow your analysis without major disagreement, I take issue with this. I don't consider our current system to be 'Capitalism'. It upholds the pretense of Capitalism exactly in order to discredit Capitalism.

What we have now is more appropriately called 'Centralbankism', in line with the 5th item of the 10-point plan of Marx. It isn't Capitalism.

Capitalism is an economical system based on:

- Productive work
- Saving from the surplus of this.
- Investing saved wealth in capital goods.

This has been replaced by a system based on:

- Consumption
- Easy credit
- Stimulus

This is not sustainable. We need to return to Capitalism.

Anonymous said...

The Baron wrote: "I need ... my meager funds so that I can afford more guns ..."

I was reading today that on your 2010 Income Tax Return (or whatever you call it), you will have to declare each one of those guns, and pay a $50 tax on each. You know what's coming next!

Leos Tomicek said...

I am European and I have not registered any special love for Obama.

Anonymous said...

Afro-Europe is an insane blog. They are claiming that a great number of European nobility in history were black or mulatto. Europe was never truly white, according to them, but brown. Riiggghhhttttt...

And of course, if we whites dare get outraged at this smearing of our history, we are "supremacists."

dienw said...

@ Fjordman
But United States has plenty of problems of its own, especially the Messiah Syndrome where the USA should "save" the entire world by converting it to the American way of life.

Up until the late 19th Century Americans despised Europe: I recall reading an article wherein the creator of on of the modern machine guns declared that the Europeans could not wipe themselves out in greater numbers. I'm paraphrasing; but that was his main thought.

Dymphna said...


actually.. europe never completely left the dark ages...

That's what my mother used to say. She often told me that stepping off the boat from Ireland engendered a powerful sense of spaciousness. It was as though she was leaving a harsh culture full of ghosts to live where you could succeed on your own merits. You weren't judged by your address.

She was right: Ireland was a shame-based place; it could be cruel. Her family was middle class, too, so it wasn't poverty.

Henrik R Clausen, congratulations!

That is the most succinct definition of capitalism I've read in a long time. You might enjoy The Acton Institute.

Especially read the essay on Frédéric Bastiat’s work. He was a French economic philosopher (~1800 to 1850) who died way too young. French history might have been less bloody had he an opportunity to influence events.

His best known phrase:

The state is the great fiction by which everybody tries to live at the expense of everybody else.

He is best known for an essay called “The Law”. Acton offers it in a small book for five dollars(I can't link to it because that part of the site is secure and blooger says 'no'. Just do a search on his name). He also wrote "The Parable of the Broken Window" (iirc).

It’s ironic that the Institute is located in Detroit, a city that is quickly becoming feral due to massive destruction by corrupt local government in league with vastly more corrupt unions.

But even worse is the obscene detachment of the post-ironic left, who find this picture of the decrepit, ruined Detroit Book Depository “moving” (the top picture in the set).

One commenter’s reaction to this horrible image makes you realize that some people are so far gone into the active destruction of our cities that they find the evidence “calm and peaceful”:

…pic is so calm and peaceful, the books are like the floor of a forest and there is rebirth Mother Nature has taken back what once was hers.

Obviously the commenter has in common with Islam a love of death. No wonder this murderous political movement is making such inroads.

Capitalism didn’t do this. Crony capitalism and statism did the job so thoroughly that Detroit doesn’t even have the money to tear down the ten thousand+ structures that need to go.

Conservative Swede said...


We need to return to Capitalism.

Yes indeed. Well, as long as it is not the 20th century style internationalist capitalism. Which has too much in common with liberalism and multiculturalism, and is a natural ally and promoter of them.

For any good idea which is given a internationalist and universalist garb, this will eat it up from the inside, and take it over (like pod people). Capitalism is most certainly no exception, as we have seen so clearly.

A return to universalist/internationalist capitalism is thus just a way to return to the same old cultural suicide. In fact, today's deranged capitalism degenerated into being deranged (starting proudly from the ideals stated by Henrik above) exactly because of its universalist format.

A capitalism that is not explicitly non-internationalist and non-universalist thus cannot be trusted.

Dymphna said...

@Agent Chameleon...

Think of them as an object lesson in delusion based on boundless insecurity. The Soviets were a laughing stock when they claimed tthey were the source of most, if not all, the creative inventions from the 20th century.


America may have gotten that strange idea because so much of what was done here was copied by others. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and there was certainly a lot of "imitation American" energy out there. Not to mention the millions of people beating the doors down to get in.

Will we see an emigration out of here any time soon? If that happens, then what you're saying about us has merit. If not, then perhaps the boisterous American character is simply not to your taste?

Sometimes I despair for my country. I wish all our troops in Europe could come home and let Europe be Europe without our ugly American presence spoiling the landscape.

I'm tired of being despised AND used. Being bashed is so old, so very 20th century.

All the evil which seemed so peculiar to us, like racism, has proved to be more universal a character flaw now that other countries have to figure out what to do with their brown people.

Good luck with that. Let's see if y'all do any better.

Fjordman said...

njartist said: "Up until the late 19th Century Americans despised Europe."

Americans have always wanted to "fix" Europe and still do. Actually, these days you want to "fix" the entire world, and not only believe that it is your duty to do so but that you have the ability to do so. Both assumptions are wrong. The American "can do"-spirit has become a form of hubris, as the "exporting democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan" fallacy proves. This Messiah Syndrome is literally going to ruin you and in part already has.

The problem is that you now believe that your country is "universal" and that your culture is "universal," too. From this follows logically the dictum "invade the world, invite the world" which is now killing the USA. Your leaders believe that democracy, just like gravity, is universal. If somebody had discovered intelligent life on the planet Zog tomorrow, the first reaction of American neocons would be "Do they have democracy?" After all, if they have universal gravity they must also have universal democracy, right? It's no longer about "E.T. phone home," it's about getting E.T to embrace a universal way of life. But what if the people you encounter are just too alien to embrace your way of life? What do you do then?

Fjordman said...

Dymphna: I don't hate that USA, as you are probably aware of. On the contrary, I hate seeing what the USA is currently doing to itself. The United States was founded as a European-derived nation with strong British influences. It used to be conceived of as an extension of Europe overseas but with greater social mobility than the Old Continent. As long as that was the starting point you did fine. When you abandoned that you essentially signed your own death warrant as a nation.

There is no such thing as a "universal nation." It is a contradiction in terms. You will either abandon that fallacy or your once-great nation will inevitably die, either by being split into several countries or by gradually morphing into just another dysfunctional region of Latin America, as is currently happening.

Cobra said...

I do not think the EU will survive the centrifugal forces within.
It will take some time for the game to play out, but it will disintegrate.
the question is what follows...
And where East Europe ends up.

Conservative Swede said...

Well, American "conservatives" will never realize that they are archetypal progressives. These issues will never be resolved by discussion. It will be resolved by i) dollar crash, and ii) ensuing disintegration of the USA. Then these voices will fall into silence. Yes, the USA is about to die. Europe of course died (spiritually) half a century ago.

Americans can never be anything but progressives. They lack the historical wonders of the Dark Ages etc. as we carry in our historical baggage here in Europe. As we often see in forum comments, they even despise it (this is btw one thing that defines them as progressives to the bone). As we always find, American "conservatives" dislike (or even hate) more the traditional Europe of before WWI than the bloodless liberal zombie that Europe is today (imitation of Americanism as it is).

Under our surface we carry the mud and particularism of our long history here in Europe. This is to our great advantage. In America under the liberal surface there is the settlers' spirit. This will be to great advantage when the SHTF. But the polity of the Americans is built so much on universalism and Enlightenment lies that it is programmed to fall apart like a house of cards. France, in spite of being an ethic nation originally, is close to this position too.

So in order to tie together my two comments here: We'd need to return to the Dark Ages before we'd return to Capitalism.

Americans would need a similar cure, however I expect they'd protest violently against such an idea. So I'll rather let reality discuss this with them. Reality will fall upon them as a ton of bricks, well it will fall upon all of us. But for Europeans it will more mean that we can slip back into our old comfy suit. While Americans are more at risk to end up in disarray and identity crisis. For Europe it will be an awakening, a return from the undead into a living creature. While this development, already in its first step, will mean healing for Europe, it will mean utter mental devastation for Americans. But this is also necessary devastation. From its ashes Americans can start building good things again by merit of her history of settler mentality.

Conservative Swede said...

One thing I'm hinting at here is that the USA is not a nation, only a state. The American people were never properly molded together into a nation. Not enough time elapsed, and most of the time was spent in inventing and promoting multiculturalism, and the idea of a universalist and forever conceptually expanding demos.

If the state falls apart in Europe, the people of the nation still know who they are. This has already happened many time in our history. People remember for centuries or more, as we can see from several historical examples.

How well will the American demos be able to survive without its state? Americans are less tied together by common ethnicity and culture and more by federation and constitution. And with that gone, what would they identify with? Will they reconnect to their history as their prime identifier, and see themselves more as Europeans then Americans? (the dominant part of their history is from Europe after all)

I'm sure the Americans will find a good way out of this. Another thing that is for sure is that within a decade or two we will never again have to hear again the tiresome progressivist rants from American right-wingers. Their identity will already have been reshaped.

Henrik R Clausen said...

That is the most succinct definition of capitalism I've read in a long time.

Thanks :)

Note the distinction between money and capital. Capital - capital goods to be exact - are the buildings, machines, staff etc. needed to do business. Money is useful to aquire that, of course, but the kind of capital that matters most is not money.

Except in finance, of course, but that's a different can of worms.

Especially read the essay on Frédéric Bastiat’s work.

I didn't read any Bastiat, but I read his successors of the Austrian School (book collection here - free for the taking. The broken window fallacy lies at the heart of most stimulus policy - not good - and has been throughoutly debunked by Henry Hazlitt and others.

I'm also 'moved' by the sight of abandoned industrial buildings, book depositories and other structures that used to have value and train or feed people. That value is going from more and more places, as value is being replaced by an ever-growing avalance of dollar bills, neglect and ignorance. That value doesn't return easily. We're not aware just how extensively we're devouring our capital assets.

Imperialistu' said...

I have to disagree.

I wouldn't say Europe is still living in the dark ages. the name "dark ages" is a myth of the Enlightment. It wasn't dark, it just in believed in God and had a respect for hierarchy which the "enlightened" philosophers despised as barbaric and stupid.

As for feudalism, it is anything but centralized-government. On the contrary, feudalism has a lot more to do with freedom from the all-powerful state than anything else. Capitalism has developed in Europe because only the Europeans had the Feudal Age when the centralized power rarely had the means to control all its subjects. Japan had a Feudal Age as well, but somehow there it didn't work out the way it din on the Old Continent.

Cobra said...

Conservative Swede is right about the state of US "nation".
The American population is very divided by race, ethnicity, religion, class, education, in every way possible.
The left is doing its best to exploit and widen the divisions, thus weakening and already weak American conscience.
The right is not doing nearly enough to counter that.
I say that with deep sorrow, as a proud American.
But I am fully aware of that because I was born in Europe and I know what a strong glue a common conscience, culture, language and borders is.
That is exactly what the "progressives"/commies attack.

Henrik R Clausen said...

the name "dark ages" is a myth of the Enlightment.

I largely agree - though not in every detail. The Dark Ages were really started by Islamic Invasions of North Africa (and Spain), which disrupted a lot of stuff that was otherwise working fine after the collapse of the (useless) Roman Empire.

The High Middle Ages was the reversal of the Dark Ages. 12th, 13th centuries were times of great progress in Europe. It lapsed again afterwards (Spanish Inquisition and the like), but the 2nd Renaissance had a grandiose talent for overestimating its own significance.

The 1st Renaissance, which really started with the conquest of Toledo and its library, made a huge impact throughout Europe.

Anonymous said...

Fjordman, I love your metaphor for neocons and planet Zog, utterly brilliant! And Dymphna, you are very correct about the USSR. Helps me in taking those fools over at Afro-Europe much less seriously. I just hope that mainstream academic institutions don't start examining portraits of European nobility for signs of African lineage. Kind of reminds me of the neo-Nazi obsession with "Aryans" ruling India.

And ConservativeSwede, you raise a lot of good points on the problems of identity in America. I identity with American white nationalism because I feel that there is an actual American white identity that formed from the merging of ethnic groups from all across Europe, from Portugal to Russia, and it all assimilated under a culture derived from the British colonists who established this country.

Now I've always been troubled with the problem that even though I'm a white American, I'm not descended from the British colonists who built this country, and thus can I call myself a white American? But I feel that white American is an identity that started as a consequence of Anglo-Americans choosing to open the borders to non-British whites and incorporating them into the Anglo-American identity. Hence the American white was born. I'm a prime example of this, being of Irish, Polish, Italian, French-Canadian, and Russian heritage.

And yet I fear that liberals will use the white Americans who are of mixed European heritage and assimilated into Anglo-American culture as justification for pushing the "universal" human identity. For if white American can be forged from the synthesis of different ethnic groups (albeit of similar racial and cultural characteristics), then why can't all human ethnic groups be melded into one human identity?

That's my problem. I love my heritage, and I'm proud to be an American white, and yet I fear that my existence legitimizes universalism.