This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Jeremy Corbyn gets radical on Labour's Europhiles



Almost everyone knows that Jeremy Corbyn has equivocated – or contradicted himself – on the European Union and Brexit. During the election campaign, understandably, he equivocated even more. The Labour Party itself is in two minds. And was the Labour Party before Corbyn's rise to the top. Indeed it was only under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's leadership that any equivocation on this issue was effectively disallowed.

Not surprisingly, then, Corbyn has sacked three frontbenchers over this very subject. Another MP resigned because of the Brexit amendment. In terms of names, Corbyn sacked shadow housing ministers Ruth Cadbury and Andy Slaughter. After the vote, shadow Foreign Office minister Catherine West was also given the boot.

He may have sacked only two MPs; though another 49 Labour MPs refused Corbyn's orders to abstain on an amendment which was tabled by Europhile Chuka Umunna. Six of the 49 are also in Corbyn's shadow cabinet.

Umunna had previously asked the British people “to get real” and stay in the single market and customs union after Brexit. No doubt Umunna (basically, a child of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) must see his position as the middle-ground.

Corbyn's Socialist Position on the EU


To state the bleeding obvious: as an old-style socialist, Corbyn is against the EU. Again as a socialist, he sees it as a “capitalist club” which is “run on behalf of employers” and “an unelected set of bankers”. The EU would be fine, for Corbyn, if it were, say, a union of socialist republics or even a single socialist republic with “open borders”.

However, since he is a member of a political party made up of many Europhiles, Corbyn has always been in a quandary. As I said, that quandary deepened when he became leader of the Labour Party. It deepened even more in the recent election campaign.

Let's put it simply. Even some Corbynites are also hardcore Europhiles. It's simply the case that they see the EU in terms radically at odds with Corbyn's own position.

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Jeremy Corbyn's words on the European Union:

[If] Greece leaves both the eurozone and the EU its future would be uncertain, but at least it could be its own. … There is no future for a usurious Europe that turns its smaller nations into colonies of debt peonage.” - June 2015

Public opposition to the EU’s TTIP treaty is a cri de coeur for democracy and for the right of people to elect a Government who can decide what goes on in their country.” - January 2015

Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU, has no problems integrating rail services with Germany, France and Italy, and I do not think that any other country should have any problems either. What we have is the worst of all worlds.” - April 2013

It is morally wrong [to] pay farmers to over-produce… then use taxpayers’ money to buy the over-production, so it is already a double purchase, and it is then shipped at enormous public cost across the seas to be dumped as maize on African societies. … The practice is simply crazy and must be stopped.” - May 2005

I am sure that [Labour MPs] will vote against the Maastricht treaty again tonight, primarily because it takes away from national Parliaments the power to set economic policy and hands it over to an unelected set of bankers” - May 1993

[W]e are moving towards a common European defence and foreign policy. That being so, one must ask who proposes it, who controls it and what it is for? … Title V states that the objective of such a policy shall be 'to safeguard the common values, fundamental interests and independence of the Union'. What exactly does that mean?” - March 1993 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Quora warns its users to be "nice" to Islam




According to Wikipedia, “Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users”. It was founded in 2009. In early 2017, Quora was reported to have received Series D funding and given a valuation of $1.8 billion. This website “community” has about “100 million monthly unique visitors”; of whom about half are from the US and 15% are from India.

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A few of days ago I received the email you can see above from Quora.

That email was itself in response to the an answer I gave to this question:


This is my reply - the reply which brought about the Quora warning:


Like the well-known and notorious situation on Facebook, my reply would have been reported to Quora by Muslims (or possibly by Leftists/Islamophiles). This is such an easy thing to do that any reader who suffers cognitive dissonance from an unwanted reply only needs to press a link and... hey presto! The readers of this piece can also easily report an answer (or even a question) which they don't like.

The thing about this particular warning (or statement on “moderation”) from Quora is that it doesn't actually accuse me of using obscenities or of being rude. It certainly doesn't accuse me of lies or dissimulation either. It accuses me, instead, of not being “nice” to Islam. (Or, alternatively, it accuses me of not being “respectful” to Islam.) Sure, it doesn't explicitly say that I wasn't nice (or respectful) to Islam itself; though it doesn't say that I wasn't nice (or respectful) to Muslims either. In any case, I was neither unnice nor disrespectful.

All this gives the game away, really. It's not the case that abuse or swearwords offend the majority of Muslims. It's the case that any criticism whatsoever of Islam offends the majority Muslims. Don't doubt it!

Despite that, Muslims and Islamophiles/Leftists make a point of telling Islam's critics how many Muslims there are in the world. (A figure that literally changes every time you hear it.) They also tell us how long Islam has lasted. From that information alone, we're supposed to conclude that Islam must be a great thing. Or, if not exactly a great thing, then we're meant to conclude that there must be at least something positive about Islam.

Firstly, numbers and longevity alone don't prove anything that's necessarily positive. At the peak of communism, for example, there were dozens of millions of communists/Marxists worldwide.

Secondly, and more relevantly, one important reason for Islam's longevity and the number of Muslims is the fact that Islamic culture disallows any criticism of Islam, Muhammed and the Koran – again, literally! (This is something that non-Islamic Quora is now contributing to.) It's hopeless to criticise Islam in a Muslim country. Or you can if you wish; though, if you do, you'll have to face the consequences of a stoning, imprisonment, ostracism or death.

Added to all that is the fact that Islam is passed on from generation to generation; though this itself is strongly tied to Islam's culture of conformity and non-criticism.

Now these are the primary reasons why there are so many Muslims and why Islam has survived so long.

The Reply which Received a Warning

In detail, let's see why my post brought about a warning.

It was said earlier that Quora didn't accuse me of lying or dissimulation. It didn't accuse me of being abusive either. However, as many people now know, the very act of criticising Islam is indeed deemed to be “abuse” or “mockery” by most Muslims.

You'll have to forgive me quoting myself here. I wrote:

The Koran - Islam’s holy book - explicitly calls for the death of the 'infidel', 'unbeliever', etc. So do most of the hadith.”

That is correct. There are around 109 passages in the Koran which call for the death of the infidel, “unbeliever”, etc. Now, of course, these passages have been interpreted so as to show us their real “context”. They've even been interpreted to show us that such passages are, in actual fact, pacifist, liberal or even “anti-racist” in nature.

Very many unbelievers - and even some Muslims - know that these 21st century interpretations are bogus and simple examples of Islamic taqiyya.

And on the subject of taqiyya. The following is also a part of a response to my own reply (in the above image):

So to answer your question - no, Islam doesn't request to kill non-Muslims, on the contrary it asks them to protect minorities…”

I wonder if the passage in the Koran which says that Islam “asks [Muslims] to protect minorities” also requires a “context”. Or are the positive – rather than the negative - passages contextless?

Take this putative quotation from Muhammed. It was provided by a Muslim HuffPost journalist - Kashif N. Chaudhry - in a piece entitled 'Islam Requires Muslims to Protect Christians'. It reads:

Whoever kills a non-Muslim citizen under a Muslim government shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise.”

Well, for a start, there was no notion of a “citizen” in the Arab world in the time of Muhammed or even long after. Only democracies and/or nations have a notion of a citizen. This concept of a citizen can be said to date back to the ancient Greeks; or, in its modern form, to date back only a couple of hundred years. In any case, the basic fact is that citizenship is completely alien to Islam.

It's obvious (to all but this HuffPost journalist) that the quote refers to a “non-Muslim citizen” who's “under a Muslim government”. That meant, and still means, that if one were a loyal and passive Dhimmi in a Muslim or Islamic state, then usually you weren't killed by Muslims rulers. However, there was still a very strong chance that you'd be killed by any number of Muslims. And if a Dhimmi were to be disloyal or religiously active, then Muslim rulers would have probably killed or imprisoned him or her.

The other thing is that no source or hyperlink is provided for the quotation in the HuffPost. That means that it was probably doctored by either the aforesaid journalist or by another Muslim. Now isn't it also strange that when you Google this quote in full, the only sources which appear refer to this very same article? It seems to appear nowhere else.

This isn't surprising considering that Kashif N. Chaudhry has made the prophet Muhammed seem like a fellow HuffPost journalist; rather than the 7th century Arab warlord that he was. The other possibility is that this journalist simply made the quote up. 



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It's worth noting here that the many replies – bar two! - to this question - “Does Islam say to kill Muslims?” - were all from Muslims or Islamophiles (often professional experts). I wonder if the other Quora users who gave negative answers have also been reprimanded by this website. This isn't a surprise because after Americans, Indians are the biggest users of Quora. (172 million Muslims live in India.)

So, again, Quora warns its users not to be critical of - or disrespectful to - Islam. Moreover, Quora also warns us – if obliquely - not to to tell the truth about Islam either. Now isn't strange that a non-Muslim company voluntarily carries out actions which are in conformity with sharia blasphemy law?



EU Commissioner Oettinger says: The U.K shall pay!


Commissar Oettinger

We've been told that “Brexit could leave the EU much worse off and needing to restructure its spending”. And that's according to “a commissioner”.

That could mean anything. Indeed it could be the case that a monkey may one day become poet laureate.

Coulds aren't even probably wills.

In any case, “worse off” in which respect? In all respects? Obviously not. In all financial respects? Probably not. Then in which respects? In some financial respects? That's could be true.

So who is the “commissioner” who said that? His name is Guenther Oettinger and he's a German. He's a Budget Commissioner. And guess who he works for? Yes, you guessed it - the EU.

Guenther Oettinger then went on to say:

We won’t have the UK with us any more, but they were net payers despite the Thatcher rebate, so we will have a gap of 10 to 11 billion euros a year.”

Possibly it's more a case that the EU – not the U.K – will suffer the most. After all, because of Brexit, there will be a 20 billion euro (£17.5 billion) financial deficit when the U.K leaves in March 2019. In fact only Germany pays more money to the EU than the U.K. Perhaps this is the primary (or real) reason for all the EU's harsh words towards Great Britain.

Despite that, Oettinger cries out-loud about the “need to finance new tasks such as defence, internal security”. And then he finishes off by saying that “the total gap could therefore be up to twice as much”. Is this German really worried about defence and internal security? Or is he really worried about the EU as a political institution; and, ultimately, his own political power and cushty career?

Commissar Oettinger concluded:

The Brexit gap will be financed by a mix of cuts, shifting expenditure, saving, and some new sources of money.”

Not surprisingly, then, this doom and gloom from the EU has led to the possibility that the it will force the U.K to pay a 100 billion euro fee for daring to leave it.






Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Richard Seymour: Is This Prominent Writer Too Leftwing?




Richard Seymour is a writer and broadcaster who runs the blog Lenin's Tomb. He's written for the Guardian, the London Review of Books and Al Jazeera. Seymour has also written the following books: The Liberal Defence of Murder; Terror, Iraq and the Left; The Meaning of David Cameron; Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens; and, last but not least, Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics.

Seymour is a former member of the Socialist Workers Party, which he left in 2013.1

Seymour now studies at that hotbed (since the 1960s) of Leftism/Marxism - the London School of Economics. He's studying under the watchful eye of “race theorist”, Professor Paul Gilroy. 


If we bring things up to date and make them slightly more relevant. Richard Seymour now supports Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. (His support is graphically displayed here.)

Finally, what follows is a commentary on Richard Seymour's Guardian article, 'Can you be too leftwing?'.


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At the end of his piece for the Guardian, Richard Seymour comes clean about his ostensible critique of being “too leftwing”. Being too leftwing results in a situation in which “little is achieved”. Therefore, basically, it's (more or less) politically “useless”.2

Seymour's position is extremely simple. It's not really that he believes that there is such a thing as being too leftwing. It's this:

If being too leftwing “impedes you in the achievement of your goals”,
then (in terms of Marxist praxis) it's very wise to question one's too-leftwing stances and actions.

Seymour also concedes that “[t]he left often seems too tied up in dogma and inter-sect rivalries to pursue its own agenda effectively”. What's more, Seymour asks himself this question:

[W]hy, in more than five years of turmoil for the global capitalist system, has the left made such a practically negligible impact?”

This means that leftwing gaols and agendas are being thwarted because some people are being too leftwing. In order to bring about leftwing goals, it's necessary to question - and sometimes even replace - one's too-leftwing attitudes and actions. This must put Leftists in an almost paradoxical situation.

Seymour offers more criticisms of the Left. He writes:

It is all too often subculturalised, dependent on forms of sociality and on shibboleths that are exclusive and tend to repel new participants.”

It's even the case that

fragments of the left in Britain sustain a facade of ostentatious normality by consuming copious quantities of alcohol or evincing an interest in sport”.

However, just like Tony Blair, William Hague and David Cameron, these Leftists are often phoney – at least as far as their love of sport and alcohol are concerned. That is, when in a “room together” they don't talk about sport. They “talk about 'the class', and hold forth on 'the dialectic"”. So how does Seymour know all this? He says: “I know. I am one of those people.”

Here again Seymour has a problem with such people not because of what they do or what they believe: he has a problem with them because they aren't bringing about a revolution in the United Kingdom. Or in Seymour's own words:

By the time oppositional forces work out an analysis of what is happening, figure out some tactics and get their people in motion, the terrain has already been occupied by those in power.”

Seymour becomes even more explicit about wrong praxis when he says that

[w]hether one is in the Labour party or in a groupuscule of some kind, it should be evident by now that the institutional formats that worked in the 20th century no longer do”.

It's certainly the case that Seymour does have insights into the problems of the Left. Despite saying that, these problems are well-known and obvious to all those who've ever given these issues any thought. Seymour, for example, tells us that there's

a problem with a certain cliched way of being leftwing, which consists of a backwardness, a refusal to accept unyielding realities, which undermines one's ability to respond to emerging situations”.

Here again Seymour stresses that being too leftwing creates a problem for advancing – well - leftwing causes and being ready “to respond to emerging situations”. A “certain cliched way of being leftwing” and “a refusal to accept unyielding realities” work against – not for - radicalisation or the revolution. Thus, in a certain sense, Seymour is not only more-Left-than-thou, he has actually gone one step beyond that.

Neither Too Leftwing Nor Too Soft

Despite all the above, if Seymour has a problem with being too leftwing, he also has an equal problem with not being leftwing enough. He writes:

For those who were prepared to move to the right, it was easier to face some of these new realities. Advocates of the ideology of 'New Times', associated with the Communist party publication Marxism Today, considered it de rigeur to dispense with old dogmas – though this tendency arguably introduced new dogmas in their place, and fed into a great deal of what was wrong with New Labour.”

So being politically soft led to revisionism becoming “de rigeur”; as well as to “new dogmas”. Worse than that, it led to New Labour!

This ambivalent - if not contradictory - position on being too leftwing and not being leftwing enough evaporates when one sees that Seymour's position – as we've seen - is almost entirely motivated by the Left's lack of success; not by a distaste for too-leftwing ideology or values. Thus if being too leftwing is bad; not being leftwing enough is worse. The former is bad because it hasn't led to a revolution. The latter is even worse because it led to New Labour and other crimes against (revolutionary?) socialism.

That's why, in his piece, Seymour immediately makes a more-Left-than-thou comment about “Guardian or Comment is free readers”. (This is ironic in the obvious sense that Seymour's article is in the Guardian.) Guardianistas aren't “too leftwing” simply because they “reuse shopping bags”. Instead they would be if they believed in the “expropriation of [] property”. This position isn't a surprise: Seymour was a member of the SWP until 2013. Indeed nowadays it's commonplace for more-Left-than-thou Leftists to class the Guardian as “neoliberal”. (These super-radical positions usually come from very young socialists or from every Trotskyist; not from well-paid writers for the Guardian.)

To repeat: Richard Seymour is simply against being too leftwing because that hasn't worked. It hasn't brought about total power for the Left. Thus the fact that Seymour still refers to all the traditional Leftist shibboleths - and does so in a typically Leftist manner - is no surprise. He does so, for example, in the following:

By organising these changes under the ideology of 'the market', by breaking up the old modes of social solidarity and defeating the big battalions of the left and labour movement, neoliberalism forced the left either to rethink or to bunker down and defend orthodoxy.”

This passage is replete with Leftese. We have “the ideology of 'the market'”, “social solidarity” as well as the fantastical claim that neoliberalism has brought about “a profound civilisational shift” (unlike earlier capitalisms?). Seymour even refers to the “"crisis-ridden" nature of capitalism”; though he does use scare-quotes. (An entire book could be written about what Leftists take late-20th or early 21st century capitalist crises to be; as well as what they take the cliché “austerity” to mean.)

Conclusion: Seymour the Revolutionary Corbynista

There's a fairly well-known quotation which goes: “The worse things are, the better they are.” (This has been used by many writers; though Karl Popper's usage - in his The Open Society and Its Enemies - is particularly apposite.) Richard Seymour agrees with this worse-is-better statement. He says that

the 'weakness' and 'crisis-ridden' nature of capitalism and its dominant parties necessarily provide an advantage for the left”.

Despite the scare quotes, Seymour admits that all this “could do so”. (Though he doesn't say that it does do so.) This worse-is-better Leftism is again commented upon by Seymour. He talks about the “favour” the Left gets from “student protests or a major strike”. These things can “suddenly transform the situation in the left's favour”. Yet despite all that, it's still the case that although unemployment, strikes, civil conflict, racial struggle, poverty (or “austerity”), etc. are all very good - and often exciting - for the Left, it's still not enough. This (usually working-class) suffering, pain and weakness - which the posh Left both feeds on and needs - is useless if “it is unable to exploit that weakness”. And part of that exploitation, it seems, is offering a even-further-Left critique of being too leftwing.

Seymour, I believe, has another motivation to say what he says. He states, for example, that “the left is weaker than it has been for some time”. And in so doing Seymour shows us that he's a typical Trotskyist when he deliberately underplays the Left's current power.

Seymour also refers to Antonio Gramsci's theory of political hegemony. He states that the “'traditional ruling class'” and “its allies” actually

have their forces in the media, in the dominant political parties and in business, and can mobilise money, intellectuals and politicians far more quickly than their opponents”.

This completely and utterly discounts the fact that Leftists have already taken over many of Gramsci's own designated “institutions” (e.g., the universities, publishing houses, the arts, large parts of the law, NGOs, charity organisations, parts(!) of the media, the blogosphere, councils, council chambers, public libraries, “rights groups”, and even some churches). And the fact that Seymour discounts - or simply ignores – all that shows him (again) to be a typical Trotskyist.

Nonetheless, it's certainly true that the radical Left has little power in Parliament (though many MPs are socially/culturally leftwing) because that's a place in which a popular vote is - at first at least - required. And the Left – obviously - doesn't control big business either. Indeed these are some of the reasons why Seymour is a revolutionary socialist; not, say, a social democrat, Green or Lib-Dem. Historically socialist/Marxist revolutions haven't required a vote or even mass/popular support.

All this means that Richard Seymour is wilfully blind to the Left's ever-increasing power in current society. Indeed, quite remarkably, he seems to deny that the Left has any power, anywhere. This bizarre myopia is often displayed because Leftists like Richard Seymour want total power, everywhere.

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Notes

1 Seymour didn't leave the SWP for ideological, political or moral reasons: he left because of the “rape crisis” which affected this Trotskyist group at the time (in 2013). I mention this because it fits in with the theme of the commentary above. That theme was that Seymour doesn't have a problem with being “too leftwing”. He has a problem with the Left's lack of revolutionary success. Or, rather, he only has a problem with the former because of the latter. To Seymour, that must have surely meant that a rape crisis in his favoured Trotskyist sect wouldn't have contributed very much to a revolution.

2 Richard Seymour makes the obvious point that in order to be “too” anything, that position has to “relative” to something else. Thus in a country which, say, had a Corbyn government, and in which all the institutions had been completely taken over by Gramscians (if not self-described that way), being “too leftwing” would be very leftwing.


“Half of Brits” think the rich should pay more taxes?




Metro (online) gleefully tells us the following:

Almost half of Brits think that taxes should be raised. Yes, really.”

Yes, really? Perhaps this half has firmly in mind other people being taxed, not themselves. After all, most people – yes, including the rich – already think that they're taxed too highly. I doubt that most people want to be taxed more. I even doubt that “half of Brits” do. The raised taxes they have in mind, therefore, will no doubt be for the platonic Rich.

I also wonder if much of that “half of Brits” was young. Say, students or other young people who're not, as yet, earning money.

Metro doesn't offer us any clues. For example, it says:

According to a major study of social attitudes, 48% of people asked said they backed increased taxes and spending.”

Again, “backed increased taxes” for which group? The rich?

As ever with surveys and questionnaires, all this depends on the question/s asked. For example, Metro tell us that the

percentage is the highest proportion to support such measures since 2004, according to the British Social Attitudes report”.

That could be because the questions in other questionnaires/surveys “since 2004” might have been more specific. Such as:

Would you be prepared to pay higher taxes?”

Hence the lower percentages. However, as for the current survey or questionnaire, the question seems to be have been this:

Do you believe that taxes should be raised?”

Not surprisingly, the corollary of this piece of Metro vacuity is that “[j]ust 4% said they wanted to see taxes and spending on health, education and welfare cut”. No surprises there then! Not even Evil Tories would admit to wanting less spending on the NHS.

Clearly Metro has a political slant on this issue of taxes. And it will help its slant if it quotes some professional or expert saying the same thing. Thus Metro tells us:

Roger Harding, head of public attitudes at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) said: ‘People’s tolerance for austerity is drying up, even if that means higher taxes.'”

Again! Higher taxes for which group? Those who earn less than £25,000 a year? I doubt it. Marxist/leftwing professors or researchers on more than £75,000 and more a year? Again, I doubt it. For the rich? You've got it: yes!

All this is all in reaction to that leftwing scare-word - “austerity”. I talked about the political slant of Metro and I also mentioned the word “leftwing”. Here's Roger Harding backing me up on this when he said that this is a “leftwards tilt on tax and spend”.