Category Archives: Political Correctness

Brahms & Democracy

kyril-kondrashin-brahms-symphony-1-2012

In November of 1876, one hundred and forty years ago, Johannes Brahms’ monumental First Symphony was first heard, performed in Karlsruhe, Germany.  The much anticipated work – which took Brahms over 20 years to complete – has become part of the canon of Western music.  Ironically, the premiere of The Ring by Brahms’ supposed rival and fellow musical genius, Richard Wagner, was performed for the first time in the same year.

While one critic initially called Brahms’ First Symphony “Beethoven’s Tenth,” it has surpassed that unjust description and now stands on its own merit as a distinct masterpiece.  The First Symphony, the three that followed, and the rest of Brahms’ works makes him more than Beethoven’s successor, a unique musical figure in his own right.

In one of his best newspaper articles, H.L. Mencken wrote the following about a Brahms’ performance:

My excuse for writing of the above gentleman is simply

that I can think of nothing else.  A week or so ago, . . . I

heard his sextet for strings, opus 18, and ever since then it

has been sliding and pirouetting through my head.  I have

gone to bed with it and I have got up with it.  Not, of course,

with the whole sextet, nor even with any principal tune of it,

but with the modest and fragile little episode at the end of

the first section of the first movement – a lowly thing of eight

measures, thrown off like a perfume, so to speak, from the

second subject.*

The Sage of Baltimore continued on what made Brahms so special:

In music, as in all the other arts, the dignity of the work is simply

a reflection of the dignity of the man.  The notion that shallow

and trivial men can write great masterpieces is one of the follies

that flow out of the common human taste for scandalous

anecdote. . . .  More than any other art, perhaps, music demands

brains.  It is full of technical complexities.  It calls for a capacity to

do a dozen things at once.  But most of all it is revelatory of what

is called character.  When a trashy man writes it, it is trashy music.

 

Here is where the immense superiority of such a man as

Brahms becomes manifest.  There is less trashiness in his music

than there is in the music of any other man ever heard of, with

the sole exception, perhaps of Johann Sebastian Bach. . . .

Hearing Brahms, one never gets any sense of being entertained

by a clever mountebank.  One is facing a superior man, and the

fact is evident from the first note.

While Brahms was born in Hamburg, he eventually found his way to the musical capital of the world, Vienna, which, at the time, was part of the Austro- Hungarian Empire.  Vienna was more than the musical center of Europe, but a cultural one as well which was rivaled by few in Brahms’ time.

Although mostly forgotten under an avalanche of pro-democracy historiography, the Vienna where Brahms spent most of his adult life was “ruled” by a monarch.  The rich cultural life which flourished in that political atmosphere was admitted even by those who were, no doubt, hostile and envious of it as the philosopher and economist, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, describes in his seminal book, Democracy: The God That Failed:

Even democratic intellectuals and artists from any field of

intellectual and cultural endeavor could not ignore the

enormous level of productivity of Austro-Hungarian and in

particular Viennese culture.  Indeed, the list of great names

associated with late nineteenth and early twentieth century

Vienna is seemingly endless.**

As Professor Hoppe insightfully shows, the incredible accomplishments of the likes of Brahms came in the pre-democratic era which tragically ended with WWI.

. . . rarely has this enormous intellectual and cultural

productivity been brought in a systematic connection with

the pre-democratic tradition of the Habsburg monarchy.

Instead, if it has not been considered a mere coincidence, the

productivity of Austrian-Viennese culture has been presented

‘politically correctly’ as proof of the positive synergistic effects

of a multiethnic society and of multiculturalism.

Whether the accomplishments were in the arts, music, scientific breakthrough, invention, or entrepreneurial wealth creation, all were the result of individual initiative, skill, tenacity, foresight and intelligence within a society that recognized, praised, and promoted such achievements.  There was no affirmative action or policies that promoted artists based on their skin color or gender.  When Brahms came to Vienna, he did not receive an Austro-Hungarian version of a National Endowment of Arts subsidy!

Just as important, and what is ignored by the Left and many race-denying realists on the respectable Right, is that all of these civilization-enhancing accomplishments in Vienna were made, for the most part, by white men.  No other culture or people have ever produced music comparable to Brahms and his fellow Western musical masters.

The democratic age which followed has been praised by scholars as an advancement of the human condition on all fronts.  In his book and in other places, however, Professor Hoppe has shown that just the opposite has occurred under democratic conditions with a trend toward de-civilization.  Taking the US as an example, he writes:

. . . less than a century of full-blown democracy has resulted in

steadily increasing moral degeneration, family and social

disintegration, and cultural decay in the form of continually rising

rates of divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and crime.  As a result

of an ever-expanding list of nondiscrimination –

‘affirmative action’ – laws and nondiscriminatory, multicultural ,

egalitarian immigration policies, every nook and cranny of American

society is affected by government management and forced integration;

accordingly, social strife and racial, ethnic, and moral –cultural

tension and hostility have increased dramatically.

As Professor Hoppe notes, the latest phase in the democratic era has been  immigration policies which have been deliberately planned to destroy the various Western cultures with Germany being the most devastated.  Yet, as Mencken wrote of him, Brahms was a product of Germanic blood not that of multiculturalism.  The German people who continue to support and allow those to wantonly destroy the culture that produced a Brahms should consult Mencken:

I give you his Deutsches Requiem as an example. . . .   The thing is

irresistibly moving.  It is moving because a man of the highest

intellectual dignity, a man of exalted feelings, a man of brains,

put into it his love and pride in his country.  That country is

lucky which produces such men.

While Brahms’ music will always be listened to and played for its brilliance, it should always be remembered in what culture his genius was allowed to flourish.  How fortunate for mankind that Brahms lived in the pre-democratic era and what a loss it would have been if the First Symphony would have never been composed.

 

*Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, ed. The Impossible H.L. Mencken: A Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories.  With a Foreword by Gore Vidal.  New York: Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1991, pp. 465-468.

**Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order.  New Brunswick (U.S.A.): Transaction Publishers, 2001, pp. xii-xiii.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

 

 

It’s Still the Media, Stupid!

media-womd-lies

The US Presidential campaign has demonstrated once again that the mainstream mass media is still the dominant force and arbitrator of political events and if it is successful in pushing the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua past the finish line this November, it may have achieved its greatest triumph.  During the campaign’s stretch run, the mainstream media has used every form and variety of spin, distortion, half truth, calumny, and lies in its diabolical effort to make Killary Rotten Clinton President of the USSA.

The mass media – television, newspapers, movies, the Entertainment industry, book publishing, advertising, and now sports – is part of society’s opinion molding movers and shakers which form part of what Noble Prize winning economist F.A. Hayek called “intellectuals.”  This all important group are not simply nerdy academic professors with patches on their sleeves, but are those who have the ability to shape public opinion, as Hayek describes:

It is the intellectuals in this sense who decide what views and

opinions are to reach us, which facts are important enough

to be told us, and in what form and from what angle they are

to be presented.  Whether we shall ever learn of the results of the

work of the expert and the original thinker depends mainly on their

decision. *

Since at least the 1960s, the dominant opinion-molding sector of the mass media has been the electronic media, which has far outpaced newsprint and academia in influence.  While its power may be on the wane in the Internet Age, it is still the most powerful and important tool in the political elites arsenal for imparting their agenda.

The electronic media, through its use of pictures and images, has been able to manipulate political outcomes and shape public policy discussions at almost every turn.  As every media realist has long understood, the mainstream media has long been controlled by the Left which has used this power to counter any opposition to its narrative.

The major media outlets are controlled by five corporate giants – Time Warner, Disney, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom – the largest purveyors of crony capitalism and cultural Marxism the world has ever witnessed.  No dissent is allowed to be heard on these outlets nor is there any hope of career advancement for journalists or writers if the Leftist paradigm is not trumpeted.

A free society does not exist because of a free press.  In fact, every society which has naively allowed a free press to exist, invariably finds that the press will seek to undermine it, especially its most innovative and successful individuals.  The reason, as Hayek so brilliantly explains, is that the press, and in this age the electronic media, is part of the intelligentsia which by its nature is envy ridden since it has little to offer the world in the production of actual goods and services.  Its members, therefore, are constantly denigrating their betters.

Such a mindset and sociological disposition will naturally lead members of the mass media to support politicians who will regulate, tax, and control the productive members of society.  This explains, in part, their vile and hysterical opposition to Donald Trump.  For Trump, unlike his crazed and corrupt opponent, has largely gained his wealth and position through his own intelligence, foresight, and hard work.

Offsetting media bias is a Herculean task and can only be done by one who is savvy and financially independent enough.  This is why Donald Trump has gotten as far has he has and has used his leverage to heroically call out the manipulations of the mainstream media.

It is surprising, therefore, that Trump agreed to the Presidential “debates” in a forum orchestrated by the media with “moderators” who would be gunning to undermine him at every turn.  Better to have chosen a neutral environment with an honest third party participant such as Brian Lamb of C-Span.  Agreeing to the same rigged debate format was a tactical mistake.

For anyone to seriously challenge the American Leviathan, it must be understood that the mainstream media is a part of that despotic structure and it too must be neutered.  Donald Trump has done more than any Presidential candidate to expose the treachery of the mainstream media, now others must take up the cause.

*F.A. Hayek, “The Intellectuals and Socialism.”  https://www.mises.org/sites/default/files/Intellectuals%20and%20Socialism_4.pdf

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

 

Donald’s Electoral Struggle

trump-map

After touting her pro-labor union record, the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua rhetorically asked, “why am I not 50 points ahead?”  Her chief rival bluntly responded: “because you’re terrible.”* No truer words have been uttered by any of the candidates about one of their opponents since the start of this extraordinary presidential campaign!

That Hillary Clinton is even remotely competitive in the race despite her flagrant and undeniable corruption, numerous breaches of national security, a long incompetent and bungling political career, and the utter lack of any personal charm or charisma, points to ominous trends within the American electorate that if not checked will mean political futility for future challengers of the status quo and continued economic deterioration.

Simply put: Killary is in contention despite a mountain of negatives because the “dependency class” of the electorate has mushroomed to such an extent that anyone who seeks its reform is automatically at a disadvantage, while candidates, no matter how vile, who promise to keep the gravy train rolling or expand it, will remain viable.  This is the dilemma that Donald Trump faces.

Most of the data in this regard is quite telling.  To show how far the US has fallen as an economic power, government workers outnumber manufacturing workers by 9,932,000!  The three levels of government – federal, state, local – employ some 22,213,000 people while the manufacturing sector employs 12,281,000.**   Parasitical bureaucrats outnumber those who actually create wealth by almost double.  Not only is this a recipe for economic stagnation and decline, but it creates an entrenched voting bloc and contingency for government-friendly office seeking politicians.  There have been few if any more government-friendly figures over the past century than Hillary Rotten Clinton!

Those who are dependent on the State goes far beyond mere government employees: 46 million receive food assistance, 66 million people are “Social Security” recipients, 8 million people receive “unemployment insurance.”  Federal government spending on for-profit firms comes to some $500 billion, which Charles Murray has estimated is about 22% of the workforce or about 36 million people.  Non-profit organizations and NGOs with income of $2 trillion and 12 million employees receive about one third of their funding from the government which accounts for another 3 million dependents.  This brings the total American State-dependency class to a staggering 181 million members!***

Summing up this disturbing data, the eminent economist and philosopher, Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote:

                   . . . only 79 million people or about one third

of the adult (above 18) US population of 260 million

(or about 25 percent of the total population of 320

million) can be said to be financially wholly or largely

independent of the State, whereas close to 70 percent of

the US adult population and 57% of the total population

are to be counted as State-dependents.****

These trends will be accentuated, to say the least, if Donald Trump is defeated, which will give Hillary and the Republican-amnesty crowd free reign.  After grants of amnesty for the millions of illegals already in the country are given and opening of the nation’s borders to even more, any hope of true reform of the welfare state will be extinguished.  Moreover, it will further burden those of the productive, non-dependency sectors of society who will have to support even larger groups of parasites and free loaders.

The Left clearly understands what is at stake, which is why they see Trump’s anti-immigration stance, his talk of closing agencies (Department of Education), and grappling with federal spending as a direct threat to their power base.  This is why they are apoplectic in their opposition to the billionaire businessman turned presidential contender.  He and his constituency are, for the most part, outside of the dependency class.

A population that is increasingly tied to government largesse is obviously not conducive for economic growth.  For Donald Trump to make America great again, the nation’s burgeoning dependency class must be halted.  Not only will this mean that the “Trump Movement” will not be a passing political fad, but will have a necessary and lasting impact.

That Hillary Clinton is not significantly ahead despite her enormous advantages must be cause for a lot of sleepless nights among the power elite.  A Clinton Presidency would secure the Left’s electoral dominance for years to come.

One man stands in their way.

* Guy Benson, “Question From Hilary Clinton” ‘Why Aren’t I 50 Points Ahead?'”  Townhall.  22 September 2016.  http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2016/09/22/question-from-hillary-clinton-why-arent-i-ahead-by-50-points-n2222202

**Terence P. Jeffrey.  “Government Workers Now Outnumber Manufacturing Workers by 9,932,000.  CNS News.  2 September 2016.  http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/government-workers-now-outnumber-manufacturing-workers-9932000#disqus_thread

***Hans-Hermann Hoppe.  “Democracy, De-Civilization , and Counterculture.”  HansHoppe.com.  26 September 2015.  http://www.hanshoppe.com/2015/09/democracy-de-civilization-and-counterculture-pfs-2015/

****Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Live the Flags of Dixie!

Confederat Flag

On May 19, the House of Reprehensibles passed a proposal that would essentially ban the display of Confederate flags from national cemeteries.  The amendment was added to a Veteran Affairs spending bill.

Not surprisingly, House Speaker Paul Ryan allowed the measure to be voted upon in hopes of not disrupting the appropriations process.  Yes, by all means Paul, the redistribution of taxpayers’ confiscated wealth should take precedent over a draconian attempt to eradicate a heroic symbol of the country’s past.  Hopefully, Ryan will be ousted this November as both Speaker and Congressman for not only his consistent sell out to Obummer and the Democrats on the budget, but his lack of understanding and appreciation of what is arguably the most important period of American history.

In a certain sense, the Confederate flag should not be displayed in national cemeteries or for that matter flown alongside those of the Union.  The two are representations of dramatically opposed political ideologies.  Liberals and political opportunists of all sorts have deliberately smeared the South’s attempt at secession as being entirely over the issue of slavery.  The “Civil War” (which that struggle has become known by) is now seen through Politically Correct hindsight.

A civil war, in the truest sense, is a conflict between factions attempting to gain control of a government typically for their own aggrandizement.  The bloody conflict between the North and South was not that, nor was it solely over slavery although the institution played a role in it.

The Confederacy wanted no part of the Washington establishment at the time, which it believed had become too tyrannical, and attempted to secede from it.  The remaining states of the North, under the “leadership” of Abraham Lincoln, prevented this at the cost of more than 600,000 lives, the vast destruction of property, and the impoverishment of a people who simply sought to rule themselves.

The South’s action was nearly identical to what the colonies, North and South, did some 80 years previously in breaking away from the British Empire and becoming free and independent states under the benign rule of the Articles of Confederation.

As America’s Founding Fathers saw their liberties violated by King and Parliament, Southerners witnessed similar tyrannies and wisely anticipated more federal oppression with the election of Lincoln.

This interpretation has been ably supported by scholarship, though the view is rarely acknowledged in academia or in the mainstream media.  In an essay from an insightful collection titled Secession, State and Liberty, Donald Livingston persuasively describes the ideological content of the Declaration of Independence, the revolution it inspired, and its influence on the South’s leadership.

He writes: “Overall, the Declaration is an argument designed to justify the secession of the new self-proclaimed American states from the British state. . .  [It] is a document justifying the territorial dismemberment of a modern state in the name of the moral right of a people to self-government.”*

The South, imbued with such logic and the example of the Revolutionary generation’s break with Great Britain, attempted to separate from the Union on similar grounds and, in Livingston’s view, had a much stronger claim than the Founding Fathers had for independence:

[T]he colonies were not and never had been recognized as sovereign states, either by others or even by themselves.  At the time of the Civil War, however, the southern states had been and still were sovereign states, and so they could mount not only a moral argument but a legal one as well.  And it was the legal argument they primarily insisted upon.  Each state used the same legal form to secede from the Union that it has used to enter, namely, ratification in a convention of people.**

Although slavery was a part of the South’s final break with the North, the Confederacy could never have been built on such a narrow foundation.  Those who seek to paint Southern secession as a movement solely designed to protect their “peculiar institution” have either misunderstood the genesis of that struggle or do so for political gain.

While Southern secession is mercilessly condemned by the Establishment, scholars like Professor Livingston see it and the War for Southern Independence in a much different and far nobler light: “With the orderly, legal secession of the southern states, the American genius for self-government reached its highest moral expression.”***

The Northern and Southern flags which fly in national cemeteries across the land are indeed representative of different traditions, but not what the Politically Correct crowd would have everyone to believe.

The defenders of Dixie and the flags that commemorate their courageous actions have long since been morally justified.  The Union flag, on the other hand, has been one of aggression and domination, at first, brutally directed at its fellow countrymen who simply sought self-determination, and afterwards against millions of peoples from Vietnam to Iraq.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future as economic conditions worsen and American hegemony can no longer be maintained, the Union flag and the empire in which it represents will receive greater vitriol than the Confederate flag has gotten for its innumerable mass murders, destruction, crimes, and chaos which it has wantonly brought to every corner of the planet.

*David Gordon, ed., Secession, State & Liberty. Donald W. Livingston, “The Secession Tradition in America.” New Brunswick (U.S.A.), Transaction Publishers, 1997, p. 7

** Ibid., 18.

*** Ibid., 19.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/