Search Results for ‘Hoffer’
A Few Extremists
The Milligan psychological experiment is the one in which ordinary people were willing to torture to death someone on instructions form an authoritative scientific figure. But recent commentary claims many participants knew it was faked. Accounting for this reduces the proportion of people willing to torture someone to death to about a third.  While this is a reduction, there still appears to be a significant minority willing to kill people for the greater good.
The results overshadowed the ethical standards. It appeared that sixty-five percent of people would torture someone to death, if pressured to do so. The results made their way into both psychology and cocktail party conversation. But were they correct? At least one woman doesn't think so. Gina Perry, for her book, Behind the Shock Machine, traced as many participants in the Milgram experiment as she could, and re-examined the notes of the experiment. Milgram claimed that seventy-five percent of the participants believed in the reality of the experiment, but Perry puts the number at about half. The change makes a big difference in the results. The people who didn't buy that they were actually shocking people were far more willing to increase the intensity of the shocks. They wanted to know how far the experimenters would go in the ruse, while the experimenters were wondering the same thing about them. Those that believed that they were shocking people were much more likely to keep the shocks down low. While Perry still thinks about a third of the people would crank up the shocks even if they believed, that's a big drop in overall percentage.
That the majority of participants in the experiment were not willing to murder for the greater good is not as protective of society as it might appear. The reason why is clear in this op ed by Paul E. Marek:
I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.” We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behea The fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. d, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians - most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”? History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
Erik Hoffer's Hoffer - The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer" target="_blank">The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements outlines the reasons why people to join Hoffer’ in Love Freedom Truth" href="http://lovefreedomtruth.com/?s=Hoffer&task=search" target="_blank">extremist groups. In tough economic times, the number may increase. Tough economic times, such as those which are or will be experienced in much of the West, will undermine the legitimacy of existing institutions. The erosion of our cultural capital makes society less resistant to toxic ideologies and their resulting behaviors. Corporate and other psychos form a component of any society. In the West in normal times their influence is constrained or even made to benefit society. If the path for power hungry maniacs to get power and wealth is through giving people what they want for less than they are willing to pay for it, we all benefit. But when they get wealthy through manipulating government regulations to stop competition, and expropriating the wealth of others through executive fiat then we all suffer. Much of the green energy "revolution" has simply been extortion and a transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthy. Ditto with the post 2007 bailouts around the world. These measures make us poorer Measures  which make us poorer reduce our standard of living. The reduction can be delayed through increasing debt. But given the debt is created to fund consumption or inappropriate investment, a drop in living standards is inevitable. It is simply a question of when and who experiences it, not whether there will be any such reduction. Graphic courtesy of Orphans of Liberty
 
Rule of law no more
One of the bedrocks of our affluent way of life is the rule of law. Absent that I suspect we would not have had  the massive increase in living standards and length of life over the last couple of hundred years. Without it we will not maintain our current lifestyle or average length of life, let alone improve it. Make no mistake, our actual life as well as way of life is threatened whenever the rule of law is abrogated. When a cavalier attitude to the removal of rights becomes established, we will soon have no rights. Having no rights we will soon have nothing. Not even our health. Our rights and the rule of law are being undermined as never before, at least without armed conquest. There is an international tide to the affairs of man. No nation is an island, just as no man stands truly alone. We are all embedded within a world, within geographic, social and economic systems. There is a physical reality to our existence. Changes in one area flow to others. To know what may come to be in your country look at what as and is happening elsewhere. A Russian aware of the French Revolution may not have been so surprised at the blood baths entailed in his own progressive revolution. Similarly someone in China aware of the millions killed in the Russian revolution may have had an inkling of that millions could be killed in their own great leap forward. Similarly a Cambodian knowing what happened under Mao could have guessed at the possibility of Cambodian killing fields under Pol Pot. Be aware of what has and is happening around you. It may not just save your wealth, but your life. Do not be insular in your outlook. Even in liberal Western democracies the tides of socialism, fascism and political correctness flow across countries. Activist judges cite international precedent. Governments sign international treaties and then legislate for them without adequate consultation. Vested interests bribe, flatter or otherwise charm politicians into removing some of your rights to increase their wealth and power. It has always been thus. Accept it, so you can fight it. It's time for some of that eternal vigilance to come into play. That's why this type of report from the US is so alarming:

Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.... What transpired next was surreal. The (Muslim) Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death.

The linked report also notes that the judge refused to allow the video to be admitted and that a Police Officer who was at the scene also testified on Mr. Perce’s behalf, which the Judge also dismissed. With precedents like that, can we be so sure this chap in the UK is wrong:
Extremist Mohammed Abdin Jailed for Eight Months Over Threat to Machine Gun Police “In 10 or 15 years time when we rule, I’m going to hunt you down and then I’m going to kill you. “I’m going to burn you to death ....... you are going to die”.
This is not a post on the demographic death spiral of much of the Western world. Everyone can extrapolate what happens if one cultural population segment has lots of children and the others do not. At least in a multicultural rather than assimilation framework. Multiculturalism being one of those ideologies that flowed across much of the Western world.   The results have been fairly consistent. Areas where non-Muslims go at their peril, where firemen and ambulance officers are stoned. As for the rule of law, what was once inconceivable and would have been viewed with horror becomes commonplace:
  • Sharia courts operating in Britain: Five sharia courts have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester and Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The government has quietly sanctioned that their rulings are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.
  • EU judges want Sharia law applied in British courts: Judges could be forced to bow to Sharia law in some divorce cases heard in Britain. An EU plan calls for family courts across Europe to hear cases using the laws of whichever country the couple involved have close links to.
The law like the police can switch from protecting our way of life to persecuting it. That's one of the reasons to prefer conservative to progressive judges. A glance at history is more than enough to demonstrate this:
While the part played by the Ministry of Justice in the extermination of Poles and Jews was small compared to the mass extermination of millions by the SS and Gestapo in concentration camps, nevertheless the courts contributed greatly to the “final solution” of the problem.
Posner is a wise man:
Perhaps in the fullness of time the growing of marijuana plants, the "manipulation" of financial markets, the bribery of foreign government officials, the facilitating of the suicide by the terminally ill, and the violation of arcane regulations governing the financing of political campaigns will come to be no more appropriate objects of criminal punishment than "dishonoring the race." Perhaps not; but [the story of the German judges] can in any event help us to see that judges should not be eager enlisters in popular movements of the day, or allow themselves to become so immersed in a professional culture that they are oblivious to the human consequences of their decisions."
Well if prosecutions are anything to go by "manipulating" the markets is already not viewed as an appropriate object of criminal punishment. But selective application of the law is a tool of tyranny. The little person, who is not sufficiently well connected or has not hired the right lobbyists or donated to the right campaigns gets prosecuted. The too big to fail banks get government backstops while its executives reap their bonuses and salaries vastly in excess of their contribution to the economies value-add. What will this do for our commonweal? What will it do for our national wealth is a silly question. Perhaps I should ask if you are feeling wealthy? Are you confident you can look after yourself and your loved ones? Or are you now dependent on noblesse oblige by our political masters? What will happen to you when reality intrudes and your government is forced to live within its means, perhaps cutting expenditure in half? This may happen before or after an inflationary episode. It may happen while financial repression is in full force  - mandating returns on savings at less than the rate of inflation. We have seen how strongly our governments will fight to maintain the fiction that they are solvent, that their citizens will get what they have been promised. They are lying. The only way this will happen is if there are technological black swans. We will post more on the potential of 3D printing, biotechnology and nanotechnology to radically change our and our governments finances. The Singularity may happen. But it is not sensible to bet the farm on a hope and a prayer. Especially not while undermining the core components of capitalism. Capitalism being our only hope of maintaining the exponential rate of technological progress necessary to generate the productivity increases required to maintain our lifestyles while reducing total debt. Overriding established rights through bailouts, be they of General Motors or Greece is inimical to capitalism. Bond holders should wear the risks, for both good and ill. It is illegitimate to create a special class of bondholder, just because you can. The European central bank is undermining the very markets it needs if Europe is to prosper. The people of Greece will experience an unpleasant enough time as reality punctuates the great lie, without also being looted by international financiers first. European banks made bad investments in Greek bonds. They should suffer the associated losses. These losses can flow through to bondholders and shareholders in those banks. They should wear the cost before taxpayers and those living off their more prudently invested savings. Only in this way can the legitimacy of our system be demonstrated. The unintended consequence of all the quantitative easing and interventions is to strip our system of its legitimacy. This will be used to attack the legitimacy of capitalism. Desperate times will make people more susceptible to the siren song of the potential despot. Frustration will create more Hoffer: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movement" href="http://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Thoughts-Movements-Perennial/product-reviews/0060505915" target="_blank">true believers. Many of us will suffer and die as a consequence. It must be stopped. We must return a more truthful, free way of life. We must do it with love and compassion, but without the compulsion of the socialist state. Only that way can we reap the way of life we want.
 
The Left are Scum
Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death contains some profound insights:
“Mother Nature is a brutal bitch, red in tooth and claw, who destroys what she creates. We live, he says, in a creation in which the routine activity for organisms is “tearing others apart with teeth of all types – biting, grinding flesh, plant stalks, bones between molars, pushing the pulp greedily down the gullet with delight, incorporating its essence into one’s own organization, and then excreting with foul stench and gasses the residue”.
I’ve never seen it better put. It makes clear just how deluded the politically correct view of the world is. Not everyone wants to be friends. Some want to hurt us and wipe our civilisation from the face of the earth:
"The subject of this book (Civilization and its Enemies) ," says Harris on the opening page, "is forgetfulness." Modern civilization has forgotten how it became civilized in the first place; it isn't knowledgeable of the long period of cultural evolution involved; and it doesn't remember the tremendous amount of labor, cultural and intellectual, that went into the development of civil society. Moreover, modern civilization has forgotten about a category called "the enemy." This concept of the enemy -- someone who is willing to die to kill another -- had been discarded from our moral and political discourse. And that fact, according to Harris, has left modern civilization vulnerable to attack by those who are the enemy of civilized society". (Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty, Customer Review)
Reality always wins, usually on the battle field. Our elites will discover that there are worse things in the world than Sarah Palin, conservatives and libertarians. Hopefully the rest of us will not suffer too much when reality punctures their perception bubble, just as it punctured that of Joseph Goebbels:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”.
Goebbels found out that reality always wins. Rudd in Australia also discovered that a sycophantic press and relentless rhetoric can only maintain the lie for so long. A lesson Obama is in the process of discovering. Gillard with her multiple faux programs may discover this fact in record time. The Labour Party sultans of spin were thrown out in the UK. The Australian Labor Party will also come a cropper in multiple state elections. Hopefully their replacements will be reality based, or at least sufficiently based in reality as to make things better rather than worse. But back to Becker, he truly has a way with words:
“It is our altruistic motives that turn the world into a charnel house – our desire to merge with a larger whole, to dedicate our lives to a higher cause, to serve cosmic powers”
Eric Hoffer’s Hoffer The True Believer on Amazon" href="http://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Thoughts-Movements-Perennial/dp/0060505915" target="_blank">The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements effectively makes a similar point. The evil outcomes that will flow from environmentalists gaining power must not be underestimated. Socialist “altruists” always end up creating a charnel house. The next quote is not for the faint hearted:
“The shocking details of humiliation and suffering in these personal accounts makes the book a more difficult read than the aforementioned Black Book, which for the most part is written in a fairly dry, scholarly tone as it recounts the numbers repressed and killed in various Communist dictatorships. Clearly numbers alone, and we're talking tens of millions, don't tell the full story. We learn firsthand that Khmer Rouge soldiers occasionally sliced open the bellies of pregnant women, in front of terrified spectators, and ripped the fetuses from them. In Castro's Cuba dissidents are subjected to horrific abuse in psychiatric prisons (similar abuse happened in the USSR, China and Romania). In Mengistu's Ethiopia during the "Red Terror," bullet-ridden bodies of men, women and even high school students were left lying in the streets or publicly displayed. In Enver Hoxha's Albania prisoners at the Nizhaveci camp were tormented and ultimately drowned in muddy swamps filled with leeches. In Nicaragua under the Sandinistas prisoners were subjected to brutal beatings during interrogation, mock executions, believable death threats against family members, food and water deprivation and extremely harsh conditions of confinement. And in North Korea's prison camps public executions by hanging and firing squad (often of inmates attempting to escape) are commonplace. Clearly these selections from victims all over the world prove that repression and terror, with varying degrees of severity, were common practices in all Communist states.” (C.J. Griffin, Customer Review)
Never forget. The left are scum.