Between being sick with some sort of infection and distracted with election nonsense, my productivity here has been impaired. I’ve screen captured some of the many election-related posts (mine) I find the CBC and Toronto Star disappearing. They do it very regularly. Dogs!
It doesn’t make for terribly interesting reading, but it’s revealing.
For example, The latest post I made to a Rick Salutin article in the Star (“How Justin Became Mr. Trudeau”) included the following comment by another poster, to which I responded (two attempts, same result):
my disappeared response:
In this monstrous corporatocracy that so many have so unwisely helped birth, nourish and grow, and which now devours all at different rates, People like Justin Trudeau, Tom Muclair and Stephen Harper are the norm. They are mafia capitalists, gangster politicians, professional scam artists, neoliberals and neoconservatives. They are ungodly and, which is very bad for them, quite willing to use God to win in their godless game of ‘riches for the strongest’, a game of life in which there has to be losers. I came up with the phrase ‘riches for the strongest’ many years ago. I have never seen or heard anyone else use it. But recently I had a brief introduction to the subject of neoconservatism, which happened to be talked about a bit by Donald Gutstein in his book “Harperism.”
Neoconservatism is an odd label for a philosophy. But not if it’s a philosophy of evil which employs deceit. Neoconservatives are not conservatives and they’re not modern conservatives, which isn’t to say that they can’t be. But textbook-wise, they are what neoconservatism’s founder determined they should be, namely a movement usurping another movement, conservatism, changeling-like. This stuff is so Star Wars ‘dark side’, with deceit, dishonesty and conflict being openly hailed as positives, that it makes me wonder where George Lukas got his ideas. (And not in a good way.) Leo Strauss reminds me of the Sith Lords, who rely on secrecy and don’t reveal themselves casually, which reflects Strauss’s beliefs, although not all of his followers take that approach. Like God, Strauss is used by manipulators and exploiters to get their way. Mothers aren’t safe from their sons.
And there’s the Star’s gatekeepers, out of sight, anonymous, working silently behind the scenes disappearing blog posts by no-names like me, even though I can be, and often am, simply conveying ideas that others, like Rick Salutin and Donald Gutstein, convey publicly, without (effective) opposition. Rick writes for the Toronto Star. If the Star (which isn’t automatically the same as it’s gatekeepers, but in this case happens to be) hates my posts, Is it then using Rick Salutin, whose columns it now carries? Does Rick care? We all have to make a living.
Rick did write for the Globe for some twenty years until the Globe up and fired him. His second last article was about Strauss. I believe this is it: “Is Stephen Harper A Straussian?” See the people’s champion step up and side with Rick, who speaks truth to power! Except that it’s an act. It’s like the charade we are witnessing with this sorry election. The media dramatizes the battle between the leaders and talks about how this leader may regret his actions or words, blah, blah; when in fact ‘their’ dark world is not threatened by whoever among them gets to wear the label of Prime Minister.
I was struck by how ‘riches for the strongest’ is exactly the philosophy pursued by Leo Strauss’s followers, although none of them use that language that I know of. And if every time you tweak a philosophy it becomes a whole new philosophy… But if you can’t keep track of it all, then you can still see how key figures, like Leo Strauss (neoconservatism, Straussianism) and Friedrich Hayek (neoliberalism) helped to shape the thinking of those who in turn shaped our dark world. The point is to know enough to know who to trust and how to act. Learn not in order to know, but in order to know what to think. To get an idea how getting hung up on the academic minutiae and labels isn’t good, consider Chomsky’s brilliant work (“Deterring Democracy”) holding the US proclamations of benevolence and good intentions up to the light of it’s actual record, part of which involves his comparison of US domestic population control, via a national security ideology justifying an evil, tyrannical external foe, to the Soviet domestic population control program which was identical. You just had to switch terms around. New York Times becomes Pravda.
“Liberal secular society was untenable for Strauss, because it led to the “isms” – individualism, liberalism, and relativism – traits that encourage dissent, which in turn could weaken society’s ability to cope with external threats. What the people need most, Strauss believed, are religion and perpetual war. Strauss regarded religion as a political tool intended for the masses, but not for the superior few. He agreed with Karl Marx that religion is the opiate of the masses, but, unlike Marx, believed that the people need their opium. Religion was necessary to provide society with moral order and stability. So Strauss’s neo-conservative followers allied themselves with the religious right to promote a traditional religious agenda. Neo-conservatives “encourage family values and the praise of older forms of family life, where women occupy themselves with children, cooking, and the church and men take on the burden of manliness,” ex-Straussian Anne Norton writes in her critique of Straussianism.
“Strauss taught further that a political order can be stable only if it is united an external threat. Following political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli, Strauss maintained that, if no external threat exists, one has to be manufactured. “You have to fight all the time [to survive],” explains [Shadia] Drury. “Peace leads to decadence. Perpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in.” Such a view inevitably leads to an aggressive, belligerent foreign policy,” Drury adds.” – page 232 of “Harperism – How Stephen Harper And His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada” by Donald Gutstein
Did Strauss actually work for the military industrial complex? Who knows, since he was secretive. But what other purpose could his mad, contradictory philosophy serve?
Here’s a few more of my recent disappeared Toronto Star election coverage-related posts. The top post contains a typo, which I would have been happy to edit, rather than see the entire post disappear. (I should have typed “Those aren’t plans…”) The typo isn’t the reason the post disappeared: