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Posts Tagged ‘Culture War’

The culture war is real and it’s getting worse – spiked

Posted by M. C. on June 16, 2021

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/06/15/the-culture-war-is-real-and-its-getting-worse/

Frank Furedi

Ignore the culture war denialists – we really are in the midst of an existential struggle over the future of society.

Unlike the German Kulturkampf of the 19th century – the cultural conflict between Bismarck’s Kingdom of Prussia and the Roman Catholic Church – today’s cultural battles seem small and almost non-political. They often revolve around differences of opinion on the nature of family life, how children should be raised, and what words we should use – and not use – when communicating with others.

The contemporary culture war is also different because the main protagonists do not express their beliefs systematically. They do not promote an explicit philosophy or ideology. That is why the different sides struggle to work out what to call their opponents. In this sense, today’s culture war is very different to the Kulturkampf and to other, more vicious struggles between Protestants and Catholics in Europe’s bloody wars of religion in the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries.

Unlike today, everyone involved in the wars of religion knew what was at stake. The situation is very different in 2021, where often the very existence of a conflict over cultural values is denied. Media commentators insist there is no such thing as a free-speech crisis and that cancel culture is a myth. The culture war is the invention of groups of bitter, out-of-touch white reactionaries who fear the loss of their privilege, they claim.

This is culture war denialism. The principal premise of this denialism is that campaigns against heteronormativity, whiteness, ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminists’, cultural appropriation and so on are just struggles for social justice. Even though these campaigns target – sometimes violently – many of society’s long-established cultural norms, apparently they do not add up to a culture war. Instead, this crusade against Western culture is dressed up in words like ‘inclusion’ and ‘diversity’. It is those on the other side – those who want to preserve the values of their community and who resist woke campaigners’ attempts to take control of language – who are accused of waging a culture war.

Culture war denialism is an attempt to normalise and legitimise the crusade against the historical gains of the Enlightenment and Western culture. At the same time, the culture war denialists try to frame the desire to defend the norms and customs of the enlightened, modern democratic society as a dangerous threat to the wellbeing and identity of certain individuals and groups.

See the rest here

Frank Furedi’s latest book Democracy Under Siege: Don’t let Them Lock It Down is published by Zer0 Books.

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How Facebook Turned its Market Success Into a Culture War on America | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2021

Those who dislike these companies don’t like to hear it, but this is the reality: Google, MLB, Facebook, et al. are powerful companies not simply because they are big and enjoy some regulatory advantages. They’re winning mostly because the general public either actively likes them or at least can’t be bothered with finding alternatives. 

https://mises.org/wire/how-facebook-turned-its-market-success-culture-war-america

Ryan McMaken

In twenty-first-century America, millions of Americans—Christians and social conservatives especially—are finding that the nation’s most influential institutions appear to be implacably hostile toward them.

These institutions include universities, public schools, the news media, and government bureaucracies. Moreover, corporate America has increasingly embraced a posture of hostility toward groups considered to be “right wing” or conservative.

Recent examples are numerous, to say the least. Major League Baseball, for instance, recently moved its all-star game out of the state of Georgia with the explicit purpose of punishing voters and policymakers who supported policies MLB didn’t like. These “objectionable” policies were mostly supported by conservatives. Meanwhile, YouTube—owned by Google—bans content creators who express opinions Google’s employees and leaders disagree with. These opinions are usually ones we would consider to be “conservative” or at least “anti-Leftist.” Twitter and Facebook employ a similar bias when actively intervening to ban users and opinions deemed unacceptable by corporate personnel.

In other words, corporate power is being used to wage ideological battles far beyond the usual issues of minimizing the firm’s tax burden or avoiding regulatory compliance costs. Corporate America has chosen a side in the culture war.

This evolution from market entrepreneur to exploitive plutocrat illustrates a problem with the interventionist state in a mixed economy: economic power tends to be converted into political power. Moreover, so long as consumers continue to pour resources into powerful firms through the marketplace, these firms’ exploitation of competitors, taxpayers, and ideological adversaries is likely to continue. 

Market Democracy: How Firms Get Rich in the Marketplace

Ludwig von Mises understood that in a market economy, the firms that are most successful are those that succeed in the “democracy” of the marketplace. Mises describes this “consumers’ democracy” in Socialism:

When we call a capitalist society a consumers’ democracy we mean that the power to dispose of the means of production, which belongs to the entrepreneurs and capitalists, can only be acquired by means of the consumers’ ballot, held daily in the marketplace.

In other words, the money goes where the consumers want it to go, as directed in their daily spending decisions in the marketplace. Those business owners who convince consumers to willingly hand over their money are the business owners who end up controlling the most resources.

This is a frequent theme in Mises’s writing. If we imagine the market economy as an immense seafaring ship, Mises notes, the capitalists are only the “steersmen” of the ship. If they wish to succeed, the capitalists must ultimately take orders from the consumers, who are the real captains of the ship.

This is generally the case with most of the firms which we today find are increasingly and openly political and ideological. Firms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the like became megacompanies by delivering a product or service that a large number of people freely chose to use.

This doesn’t make these firms superior on a moral or philosophical level, of course. Just because a firm is good at delivering what the consumers want doesn’t mean it is spiritually edifying, or morally upright. These firms’ success merely means people like to use their products. The end. That’s it.

After all, we can point to plenty of successful enterprises that aren’t exactly laying the foundation for a virtuous and prosperous commonwealth. Pornographers, for instance, make boatloads of money. They’re very popular with consumers. At least with male ones. This doesn’t make pornographers national treasures. 

Corporate Welfare Is Only Part of the Picture

But it is hard to deny that firms like Google and Facebook got to where they are by winning “votes” in the “consumers’ democracy.” Nonetheless, some critics of today’s corporate jihad against ideological adversaries insist that these firms are only successful because they are “monopolies” or that they only gained so much market share by dirty tricks and corporate welfare schemes.

These claims are generally unconvincing. Certainly, these firms are today able to gain some advantages by manipulating the policy environment through lobbying and other political efforts. Yes, these firms have likely managed to increase profits and diminish competition through intellectual property laws, through tax breaks, and through regulations that favor large firms over small firms. These are bad things, and these firms increase the profitability of their companies at the expense of both competitors and taxpayers. 

[Read More: “The Plutocrats of Wall Street and Silicon Valley Are Scamming America“ by Ryan McMaken]

But the primary and most fundamental reasons that these firms became large and powerful in the first place is the fact they were skilled at the game of market democracy. Direct competitors to Google, Facebook, and Twitter exist. Few people choose to use them. There are plenty of things to watch on television other than Major League Baseball—many of which are a lot less boring than baseball. Yet countless consumers continue to watch MLB games anyway. 

Those who dislike these companies don’t like to hear it, but this is the reality: Google, MLB, Facebook, et al. are powerful companies not simply because they are big and enjoy some regulatory advantages. They’re winning mostly because the general public either actively likes them or at least can’t be bothered with finding alternatives. 

If we are upset with the fact that these companies command immense amounts of resources and can use these resources for political purposes, it’s easy to find who is most to blame: the American consumer. 

The Losing Side of Market Democracy

In a system of market democracy, the consumers chose the winners. But since we live in a mixed economy and under an interventionist regime, those winners are now using their resources to crush their ideological opponents. 

This is very frustrating to those on the receiving end of this corporate political aggression, of course. Perhaps even more discouraging is the fact that everywhere they look, conservatives and Christians see relatives and neighbors continue to voluntarily pour their own money and resources into the firms that are avowed enemies of anyone skeptical of today’s corporate ideological zeitgeist. No matter how hostile or condescending these firms and their leaders get, hundreds of millions of consumers of all ideological bents just keep slavishly logging in to Facebook and watching many hours of videos on YouTube.

What Can Be Done?

For those who keep losing to their ideological opponents in the marketplace, this raises a question: If a large number of consumers insist on supporting firms and CEOs who are openly hostile to a certain segment of the population, what can be done?

There are three possibilities:

  1. Use the regime’s coercive power punitively against one’s ideological opponents.
  2. Use regime power to strip opponents of any advantages they may enjoy in terms of monopoly power, regulatory favors, tax advantages, and political influence.
  3. Deprive these ideological opponents of resources by successfully competing against them in the democracy of the marketplace.

The first option is the most attractive to the average American playing a shortsighted game. It’s the usual political “solution”: I see a problem, so let’s pass new government regulations to “fix” things! In this case, we might envision laws designed to make social media companies be “fair.” Of course, we’ve seen attempts at making media be “fair” before. Federal regulators spent much of the twentieth century regulating “fairness” in media. To see the success of that effort, we need only look at most TV news. Regulation fails again and again. Moreover, it only paves the way for larger amounts of bureaucratic control over the lives of ordinary Americans. When the other side again gains control of the regime, these regulatory powers are then used against those who naïvely thought the regulations would fix anything.

The second option is more promising. It is always a good idea to seek out and destroy any regulations, statutes, or taxes that favor large firms over smaller firms and potential competitors. This means abolishing any tax “incentives” that can be accessed by large firms, but not by smaller firms. It means slashing the duration of patents and other forms of intellectual property. It means ending any special legal protections enjoyed by these firms—such as those in so-called Section 230

But even with all those legal advantages and tricks removed, these firms may continue to be successful and influential firms for many years to come. So long as these firms enjoy the votes of consumers in the “consumers’ democracy” the firms are likely to be profitable. The firms will consequently have access to immense amounts of resources, with which they can buy political influence and promote their own vision for American society. 

Only when these firms face real competition from successful competitors—or when consumers change their buying habits in other ways—will the situation change. That’s bound to happen eventually. But for those who fear the political clout of these corporate behemoths, it’s imperative to speed up the process. Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power&Market, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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Disarming the deplorables – spiked

Posted by M. C. on March 2, 2021

Nothing frightened Southern segregationists as much as the sight of armed African Americans. It was a powerful symbol as well as an actual threat to the Ku Klux Klan and others bent on frustrating the aspirations of black Americans.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/03/01/disarming-the-deplorables/

Kevin Yuill

The new culture war on guns has nothing to do with saving lives.

In racially segregated Monroe, North Carolina, in 1961, a crowd of some 2,000 people gathered to prevent a picket by the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter, which aimed to desegregate the local swimming pool. Robert F Williams, the head of the chapter, was forced off the road as he neared the pool, as another car backed into his. As the crowd advanced on his car, Williams pulled out a pistol and pointed it at a man moving towards him with a baseball bat. Williams then stepped out of the car and waved a carbine before the crowd, which went silent. Williams recalled:

‘There was a very old man, an old white man out in the crowd, and he started screaming and crying like a baby, and he kept crying, and he said, “God damn, God damn, what is this God damn country coming to that the niggers have got guns, the niggers are armed and the police can’t even arrest them!” He kept crying and somebody led him away through the crowd.’

Nothing frightened Southern segregationists as much as the sight of armed African Americans. It was a powerful symbol as well as an actual threat to the Ku Klux Klan and others bent on frustrating the aspirations of black Americans.

But today, much of the media appear to be just as disturbed at the prospect of white guys with guns. The ‘assault weapon’ has become the avatar for the white militia man, just like the ‘Saturday night special’ (a cheap, small-calibre handgun) used to symbolise African-American rioters.

Open season on ‘white extremists’ has been declared. ‘White extremists’ means any person who appears in public with an assault weapon (essentially, a semi-automatic rifle with a pistol grip or other military-style parts). The disturbing scenes at the Capitol building in January have provoked a new phase in the battle against what Joe Biden has called ‘weapons of war’ – even though none of the Capitol invaders carried assault weapons. Now anyone defending gun rights – and even guns themselves – is branded a danger to democracy, and a racist.

‘More than ever, assault weapons are an undeniable threat to representative government’, charged the Chicago Sun Times earlier this month. Last week, a writer in the Washington Post wrote of the ‘extremism of the gun imperialists [which] is directed against democracy itself’ (my italics).

In the New York Times, in January, another writer spelt out what he saw as the connection between guns and the threat to democracy, saying people use ‘the implicit threat of [toting a gun] as a means of asserting the privilege of walking away from the table of representative democracy when the outcome doesn’t suit you. Possessing a gun doesn’t protect free speech, as gun-rights activists often claim. The gun is the speech.’ Commenting on a pro-Trump rally in 2020, the same writer also noted that the ‘military-style rifles paraded alongside banners for Donald Trump… suggested that one of America’s two major parties was, in effect, acquiring an armed adjunct, like Hezbollah or the old Sinn Fein’.

In the Atlantic last month, one writer said that ‘men with assault rifles slung over camouflaged shoulders are the avatar of lawlessness’. He continued: ‘We must ban assault rifles and open carry. Their legality is premised on ideas that are inimical to democracy itself.’ And this month, an article in the Boston Globe claimed ‘white identity politics’ is ‘at the heart of the gun-rights movement’.

Do they have a point? Certainly, the 6 January riot targeted a legitimate election result. But it had no connection with assault weapons. And assault weapons are no more deadly than are ordinary rifles. According to Statista, the number of people murdered with any rifle in 2019 – including assault weapons – was 364, which is far smaller than the number of Americans who drown in swimming pools or baths annually. Rifle deaths have remained at the same rate year on year, despite a constant increase in the supply of guns. This war on guns is not about saving lives.

As for the charges of racism, if anything it is the gun-control laws that these pundits call for that are racist. Racial disparities in convictions for existing gun laws are even more shocking than in other elements of criminal justice. In 2016, black people accounted for more than half of offenders convicted of firearms offences carrying mandatory minimum sentences.

Given that nearly half of all Americans live in a home with guns, and that most Americans deplored the violence at the Capitol, it is unfair to call gun owners hostile to democracy. They may be worried about it after last year’s Black Lives Matter riots. According to the Small Arms Survey, Americans rapidly increased their purchases of guns last year to 393million. Sales to black Americans – who were also frightened by the widespread rioting – rose by 58 per cent last year.

The majority of Americans do not want further gun controls. Instead, this is a dispute over an emblem and over the history of the country. The gun is a symbol of power, self-reliance and equality in the USA, which is why black leaders from Frederick Douglass to WEB DuBois to the Black Panthers praised black gun ownership. Those who attack guns and gun-owners indict this American tradition along with the American Constitution and the American Revolution. This is a country that formed itself and remained free because of widespread possession of guns.

The battle over gun controls looks set to become a major part of the culture war. Sixty years ago, segregationists hated the idea that blacks had some access to power – votes and weapons – and did their best to take them away in the name of defending democracy. Today’s elite wants to disarm the deplorables.

Kevin Yuill teaches American studies at the University of Sunderland.

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Being an Enemy of the State

Posted by M. C. on January 20, 2021

We lost the culture war that Pat Buchanan warned us about. I mean, we were slaughtered. Shut out. And so we watch helplessly as the “educators” who have such influence over our kids devise ideas like transgender story hour in elementary schools. Or “gender reveal” parties where parents often manipulate their very, very young children into “identifying” as the opposite sex. If that’s not child abuse, what is?

https://donaldjeffries.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/being-an-enemy-of-the-state/

Posted by donaldjeffries

It isn’t easy being a contrarian, to instinctively go against the grain. It certainly isn’t financially rewarding. I would love to support something about our society, or someone who has a hand in running it. But I just can’t. The corruption is so immense, and so prevalent even at the local level, that it cannot be confronted by anything less than hundreds of thousands of coordinated opponents.

This situation has always existed. Think of the very accurate old canard “You can’t fight city hall.” The difference is that now the tyranny has grown well beyond crass political rivalries or even feuds between organized crime families. The mafia and more recent offshoot intercity gangs at least have some kind of twisted code, and lines they won’t cross. The elite that rule us appear to have no such lines.

The entire world was basically shut down in March of this year, over an alleged deadly virus. There were no overt signs that something dangerous was afoot. No bodies being carted away, and death visiting every family, ala the Great Plague that wiped out so many in Europe centuries ago. Most of us personally knew no victims. And yet all were quarantined to some degree. As a few critics pointed out, you don’t quarantine healthy people. Well, not until now. Sports, movies, churches, and schools were cancelled. Millions lost their jobs. The public donned ridiculous masks and followed “social distancing” rules that have no scientific basis.

And all of this was accomplished without any country needing their police to enforce it. No troops in the streets. Without a single shot being fired. The opposition to such unprecedented state control was confined to “conspiracy theorists” on the internet. Like me. Those of us who pointed out the emperor was stark naked lost many friends, and angered close family members. Our skepticism made us second-class citizens. I was called “dangerous,” and it certainly didn’t help any potential career opportunities. My own niece deleted me on Facebook. So did some of my celebrity friends, like Candy Clark of American Graffiti and Barry Livingston from My Three Sons. Oh well, at least I know they were reading.

It’s always easier to second a popular motion, to be a well-paid “Yes” man. After all, if you’re saying the president, Congress, the Supreme Court, state and local officials, corporate America, the medical profession, the insurance profession, the educational system, the legal system, the media, and the entertainment world are all hopelessly corrupt, you’ve alienated yourself from a lot of people. You’re no fun at parties. Most people used to enjoy it when I pontificated and ranted in social gatherings, or at work. If we still had social gatherings, I wouldn’t be invited. And I would be fired pretty quickly from any job, if I simply conducted myself the way I did for 44 years, until experiencing one of the most unjust terminations imaginable. Which I am helpless to do anything about, because of that corrupt system.

Reason hasn’t prevailed in any battle since perhaps the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established the forty hour work week, overtime, and other employee benefits Baby Boomers like me took for granted. Every war pushed for, since JFK stood up against the Military Industrial Complex during the Cuban missile crisis, has been given the green light. Well, I guess we should count that as a victory for reason as well. So sanity hasn’t won the debate since 1962. The list of losses for the people is lengthy. NAFTA, open borders immigration, coverups of every important state crime from the JFK assassination to 9/11, the Patriot Act, the NDAA, the Supreme Court upholding tyrannical asset forfeiture laws, and many others.

We are left now to fight a forced vaccination we don’t remotely need, perhaps even being forcibly chipped. Or to try to counter the creeping sprawl of “hate speech” and “hate crime” laws. To meekly mutter “I’m not a White Supremacist.” To argue for schools, businesses, churches, and cultural events to be reopened. But only with proper precautions, of course. Must keep up that “social distancing.”

We lost the culture war that Pat Buchanan warned us about. I mean, we were slaughtered. Shut out. And so we watch helplessly as the “educators” who have such influence over our kids devise ideas like transgender story hour in elementary schools. Or “gender reveal” parties where parents often manipulate their very, very young children into “identifying” as the opposite sex. If that’s not child abuse, what is?

For years, I argued that this casino economy of ours had to inevitably collapse. In my youthful idealism, I imagined something better emerging from the ruins. Now I’m much older, and have no such expectations. They appear to be able to keep this mess afloat on life support, no matter what. The fact that it hasn’t collapsed after thousands of businesses were forced to close, millions were thrown out of work, and huge parts of the economy like sports and movies were effectively cancelled, is very telling. They will just keep creating money out of thin air under their counterfeit banking system. Maybe we’ll get another $1200 check.

Our “representatives” in the Senate just voted unanimously to eliminate the cap on foreign Visa workers. That’s quite a strange thing to do during a deadly “pandemic,” and when millions of American citizens have lost their jobs due to the unconstitutional lockdown. Don’t expect a veto from Donald Trump, who of course pledged to eliminate the unnecessary foreign worker programs. Maybe we’ll get an exasperated tweet.

The people have actually been losing ever since the tyrant Lincoln crushed that whole “consent of the governed” thing. You know, the main premise behind the War for Independence. We lost every time when their laughable false flags, from “Remember the Maine” in 1898 to the “weapons of mass destruction” lie was believed by a gullible majority of the public. That’s our problem- that gullible majority. They’re the ones phoning the authorities to report “social distancing” violations, or screaming “there’s no evidence!” of voting fraud, and they will be first in line for the mandatory vaccine. They have been trained, like Pavlovian dogs, to be skeptical of the “conspiracy theorists,” not any authority figure or institution. Except Donald Trump. They have been brainwashed to hate him, like Orwell’s fake opposition leader Goldstein in 1984.

Speaking of Orwell, his dystopian world is here. What exactly is the distinction between his Thought Crime and the “woke” Left’s “hate crime?” That gullible majority again parrots the phrase “hate speech” without understanding how such a concept is incompatible with free speech. The majority of Americans now don’t believe in free speech for those they disagree with. Since that is the significance of the First Amendment, they really don’t believe in free speech. Period. And since they don’t consider a thousand or more witnesses signing sworn affidavits about electoral fraud, to be “evidence,” they don’t appear to believe in free and secure elections, either. But they hate “racism.” And they support every war.

If the Founders could see what a shocking Banana Republic we’ve become, they would be heartbroken. They didn’t secede from British rule so that society could celebrate 57 different genders. Or claim that even the poorest residents of Appalachia have some kind of “White Privilege” that Black billionaires don’t. Or permit our militarized police to abuse their authority and confiscate the property of those who haven’t even been charged with a crime. Or give benefits, public schooling, job preferences, and legal favoritism to noncitizens, including those who entered the country illegally. Or spend most of the federal budget on a centralized permanent armed forces, and shadowy intelligence agencies with secret budgets.

Our “representatives” still swear allegiance to a Constitution they don’t believe in, or pay attention to. The gargantuan federal government is as far removed from what the Founding Fathers intended as a One Percenter is from a timeclock and a demanding boss. And yet, while it’s taken on a power and scope it’s not supposed to constitutionally have, it provides virtually no services in return. It just takes. And mandates.

We are like a boxer, who’s been beaten relentlessly for fourteen rounds. We’re in the fifteenth and last round, trying desperately to hold on to the ropes. The referee is openly against us, and the judges are not scoring the rounds fairly. The fans, who stand to lose if we do, are wildly cheering on our (and their) opponent. Our only hope is if those fans storm the ring and save us (and themselves).

As Orwell stated in 1984, “If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be overthrown from within.” We are the Proles, and we outnumber our corrupt and incompetent leaders by the millions. But if we don’t come together, that’s irrelevant.

As we enter the holiday season, that same gullible majority is embracing even more tyrannical restrictions. Cases are surging- we must cancel Christmas! It’s like we’ve gone through the looking glass- where the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge is being celebrated.

We’re all in this together. Take your vaccines. Trust the “science.” Listen to the “fact checkers.” Embrace the “great reset” and the “new normal.” Yes, Virginia, there is a conspiracy. God bless us, everyone.

About donaldjeffries

Author of the critically acclaimed best sellers “Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover Ups in American Politics,””Survival of the Richest: How the Corruption of the Marketplace and the Disparity of Wealth Created the Greatest Conspiracy of All,” and the newly released “Crimes and Cover Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963.” Author of the 2007 sci-fi/fantasy novel “The Unreals,” which has been described as a cross between The Wizard of Oz and The Twilight Zone, and compared to A Confederacy of Dunces and classic Russian literature. A second edition of “The Unreals” was published in February 2015 by Pocol Press. Long time JFK assassination researcher. Seeker of truth, proponent of justice and fairness. Enemy of corruption. Sender of as many “tiny ripples of hope” as possible. View all posts by donaldjeffries »

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Doug Casey on The Culture War – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2020

Culture is what ties groups and countries together. When a cultural split develops—such as the one we now have in the US—a country cannot, and, more importantly, should not stay together.

It’s poisonous to keep different cultures together in the same political unit. Politics is all about deciding who decides who gets what, how, and at whose expense. It can be fairly cordial if everybody shares the same culture. If they don’t, it’s a formula for disaster.

Politicians talk about “bringing us together.” But that’s nonsense. Politics only brings people together by force—the way a pressure cooker brings things together.

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-the-culture-war/

“Culture” is composed of the customs, traditions, and beliefs of a group of people. It’s a way of seeing the world and interpreting reality. It determines what’s right and wrong and good and evil. Culture is what ties people together or divides them. It’s a composite of religion, politics, economics, philosophy, and language—but the composite is more important than any one component.

Culture is what ties groups and countries together. When a cultural split develops—such as the one we now have in the US—a country cannot, and, more importantly, should not stay together.

It’s poisonous to keep different cultures together in the same political unit. Politics is all about deciding who decides who gets what, how, and at whose expense. It can be fairly cordial if everybody shares the same culture. If they don’t, it’s a formula for disaster.

In the US, politics has become a contest of who gets to impose their will on the rest of the country. When that’s the case, a country is best off dividing. It shouldn’t be held together artificially or by force, but voluntarily. Freedom of association is necessary for a civil society. People generally prefer to associate with those with whom they share a culture. Birds of a feather do, in fact, flock together.

The alternative is chaos or even civil war. I suspect what we’ve seen in the last few months is only an overture to what’s coming. The US is no longer a country that is united by language, ideas, ethnicity, or anything else. It has become a multicultural domestic empire. The essence of an empire is coercion. The divide between the components of the US is growing and solidifying.

Politicians talk about “bringing us together.” But that’s nonsense. Politics only brings people together by force—the way a pressure cooker brings things together. It may look like it’s succeeding for a while, but when the pressure builds enough, there’s an explosion. Cultures develop organically; political coercion can’t make disparate people like each other.

Apart from that, I’d argue the US has become too large, too complex, and too diverse to be governable. It’s very different from what it was at its founding—or even fifty years ago. For one thing, its central government is already totally bankrupt. Productive parts of the country will increasingly resent a corrupt Washington that supports itself, its cronies, and hordes of welfare recipients at their expense.

Perhaps the US should break up peacefully before the situation gets completely out of control.

But how? The last time the US tried to divide, the result was the (incorrectly named) Civil War. The unpleasantness of 1861–1865 was not, in fact, a civil war, but a war of secession. The South simply wanted to go its own way, much as the colonies did in 1776. A civil war, by contrast, is one in which two or more parties try to take over the same government. That’s very different from wanting to part company.

The South should have been allowed to break off, in much the same way that Slovakia and the Czech Republic separated or the way that Yugoslavia divided into six republics—or, for that matter, the way that the Soviet Union broke up into 15 republics.

Abraham Lincoln created the poisonous meme that the states should be held together by force. Most people now think it’s some type of crime to even intimate that the US could—or should—break up. Interestingly, there are groups in California, Oregon, and Washington that are talking about it, not to mention millions of Hispanics that see the Southwest as the object of a Reconquista.

The coming election is certainly going to be the most important one since that of 1860, which installed Lincoln and after which Lincoln precipitated the War Between the States. Americans in blue counties and red counties have come to dislike one another on a visceral level. At this point, families can’t even get together for a Thanksgiving or Christmas without acrimony. The situation is quite serious, and the hysteria over COVID-19 combined with a collapsing economy has made it much worse. As outrageous as it sounds, the US should divide into at least two smaller units. Americans can then peacefully choose which version of America suits them.

As it stands, the election will be contested no matter which side wins, simply because the country has become totally polarized. No matter who wins, the other side is going to be terminally unhappy with the result. Last week, I spelled out the six reasons Biden (or at least the Democrats) are likely to win. No matter who wins, however, about half the country is going to be very unhappy. There’s likely to be some serious violence as the winning side tries to impose its values on the losing side.

We know the Republican candidate will be Mr. Trump. But it doesn’t make much difference who the Democratic candidate is at this point. The fact that Biden is borderline senile is irrelevant. They could probably run a chimpanzee in Biden’s place and expect the same result because this election is about cultural values in general, and hating Trump in particular. It has little to do with what Trump does or doesn’t believe; he has no philosophical center, no real core beliefs. But he’s a traditionalist, a cultural conservative. And he is very outspoken. That’s why he serves as an excellent lightning rod for the building storm.

Unfortunately, he’s also an authoritarian and a jingoist at heart. His supporters equate that with strength. Unfortunately, Americans from both parties will want an authoritarian to keep some semblance of order as things get wild and woolly. I still think the Dems will win for the reasons I spelled out last week, despite their probably having overplayed their hand with their support of Black Lives Matter and even Antifa—things which could still tip the balance in Trump’s favor. When it comes to a choice between order and ideology, the average guy prefers order.

The election is still close to an even odds bet for that reason, even though the polls (and my own reasoning, for what it’s worth) say the Democrats will win. But after the election, we’re going to see some major fireworks.

Next week, I’ll discuss what things will be like under both the Harris Regency and the Trump Regime. Either way, what’s going on signals a new era. It’s a catalyst, dividing “before” and “after,” much the way the Kennedy assassination drew a line between the conservative 50s and the radical 60s.

Editor’s Note: As these trends continue to accelerate, what you do right now can mean the difference between coming out ahead or suffering crippling losses.

That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse.

It will help you understand what is unfolding right before our eyes and what you should do so you don’t get caught in the crosshairs.

Click here to download the PDF now.

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The humiliation of Western history – spiked

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2020

From this distorted vantage point, the American Revolution is presented not so much as a War of Independence, but as a selfish attempt to preserve the exploitative and oppressive legacy of 1619. The famous founding assertion that ‘all men are created equal’, and are entitled to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’, is denigrated as mere cover for the practices of a group of unprincipled and dishonest slave-owners.

Clearly for Hannah-Jones, the objective of the project is to alter America’s historical memory in order to gain control of the national narrative.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/08/05/the-humiliation-of-western-history/

From the NYT to British schools, powerful institutions are waging war on the past.

Frank Furedi

The most important issue at stake in the culture war is who controls the narrative through which society understands itself. At present, those controlling the narrative appear to be committed to reorganising society’s historical memory, and disputing and delegitimising its ideals, from liberty to equality. Take Netflix, for example. It is dominated by programmes, like Dear White People and Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap, that recast the Western way of life and Western history as irredeemably malevolent.

The humiliation and demonisation of the past and its ideals is now enacted at every important cultural event. Prize-giving ceremonies, be they the Oscars, the Tonys or the Pulitzers, invariably include speeches boasting of the bravery of the recipient for daring to ‘speak truth to power’. Ironically, this supposedly rebellious rhetoric is espoused by those who actually wield cultural power. These cultural elites see it as their raison d’être to denounce the culture into which they were born. Moreover, they do so for the public’s benefit, in order to ‘raise awareness’.

Back in the 1960s, raising awareness was a form of consciousness-raising. It was something one did to change one’s own outlook on the world. But in recent years, especially on social media, it has become a means to raise the awareness of others. As such, many use ‘awareness-raising’ as a way to distinguish themselves from those, who, to use the smug language of the day, ‘don’t get it’.

One powerful proponent of the dogma of awareness-raising is The New York Times, the most influential newspaper in the US. In August 2019, it decided ‘to speak truth to power’ by launching the 1619 Project, an ongoing initiative, featuring essays and other contributions, which maintains that the year 1619, and not 1776, is the true origin of the US. This, the project argues, is because the US was founded for the purpose of entrenching slavery, and 1619 was the year African slaves first arrived in Jamestown. All subsequent US history is therefore shaped by this founding, enslaving moment.

From this distorted vantage point, the American Revolution is presented not so much as a War of Independence, but as a selfish attempt to preserve the exploitative and oppressive legacy of 1619. The famous founding assertion that ‘all men are created equal’, and are entitled to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’, is denigrated as mere cover for the practices of a group of unprincipled and dishonest slave-owners.

 

Unlike previous initiatives designed to encourage people to look critically at uncomfortable truths about their past, the 1619 Project offers a ‘take it or leave it’ version of history. Its aim is not to criticise existing historical narratives about the US. It is to negate and even morally annihilate the very foundation on which the US was built. As the NYT put it: ‘Our founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written. Black Americans fought to make them true. Without this struggle, America would have no democracy at all.’

In rejecting the founding ideals of liberty and equality as false, the 1619 Project strips America’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, of every shred of moral authority. It also erases the profound contribution the American Revolution made to the development of the Western ideal of freedom.

The 1619 Project does not offer any new insights into the past. Rather, it seeks to contaminate the past and render it toxic. Indeed, one of the main contributors to the project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, admits that its principal objective is not to shed light on the past, but to undermine the moral authority of the present. ‘I’ve always said that the 1619 Project is not history’, she writes. ‘It is a work of journalism that explicitly seeks to challenge the national narrative and therefore national memory. The project has always been as much about the present as it is about the past.’

Clearly for Hannah-Jones, the objective of the project is to alter America’s historical memory in order to gain control of the national narrative.

 

‘The protests were whiter than the police department’

Recommended

‘The protests were whiter than the police department’

Tom Slater

Through this control over the national narrative, the NYT, like most other leading educational and cultural institutions in the US, is attempting to reinforce its cultural hegemony. The NYT’s webpage on the project even declares that ‘a re-education is necessary’. It is a chilling exhortation, more like something you would hear in a prison camp rather than a news organisation.

Not that influential public- and private-sector supporters of the project are too concerned by the grim totalitarian spectre invoked by the idea of ‘re-education’. On the contrary, they seem to be all for it. For example, to demonstrate its support for the project, the Pulitzer Center awarded Hannah-Jones one of its prestigious prizes, and launched a 1619 Project curriculum to promote its narrative in schools. Several US school districts have now adopted the NYT’s re-education project, presumably in order to teach children to regard the founders of their nation with shame.

Read the rest of this entry »

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A Culture War Battle Trump Can Win – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2020

Trump’s stand for tradition and against mob rule is the only stand the president can take. And it is a necessary stand. For this culture war is going to last long after this presidency. And it is going to determine what kind of country we shall become.

Will it be the great and glorious republic of the past or the social and cultural Marxist hellhole that is the promise of the mobs?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/07/patrick-j-buchanan/a-culture-war-battle-trump-can-win/

By

Speaking at Mount Rushmore on Friday, and from the White House lawn on Saturday, July 4, Donald Trump recast the presidential race.

He seized upon an issue that can turn his fortunes around, and the wounded howls of the media testify to the power of his message.

Standing beneath the mammoth carved images of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, Trump declared: “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

These mobs are made up of Marxists, criminals and anarchists. Their cause is a cultural revolution. “Their goal is not a better America. Their goal is the end of America.”

After reciting the achievements of his four predecessors, Trump added: “No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart.”

Then he put it right into the basement hideaway of Joe Biden: “No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future.”

Trump is calling out Biden’s silence in the face of an onslaught against our heroes and history as manifest political cowardice that makes Biden a moral accomplice of the mobs.

One day, Basement Boy is going to have to speak out.

Where was Biden when Trump was standing up for America on Independence Day?

As his Party tweeted that Trump’s trip to Mount Rushmore was aimed at “glorifying white supremacy,” Biden was wailing about the need “to rip the roots of systemic racism” out of America.

Does that sound like Harry Truman or JFK?

So the lines are drawn for 2020.

On one side are those who believe America is a good country, the greatest the world has ever seen, and that the men who created this miracle should be respected, revered and remembered.

That is not the view of the left wing of the Democratic Party.

For even as the fireworks were exploding on the Mall, a Baltimore mob was tearing down, smashing up and dumping into the Inner Harbor a landmark statue of Christopher Columbus.

That statue stood next to the Baltimore neighborhood of Little Italy and had been dedicated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.

Do the haters of Columbus think that destroying Columbus’ statues across America will not anger and alienate Americans of Italian descent who revere the explorer? Does Biden think Italian-Americans will reward a candidate and party that will not renounce the mob that did this?

As the left wing of the Democratic Party embraces the “defund the police” movement, how long will it hold onto voters who are today watching murder rates climb to new records?

During Independence Day weekend in Chicago, 80 people were shot, and 17 of them killed.

In New York City, the number of shooting victims has risen this year by 50%. In June, there were 250 shootings, an increase of 150 over June 2019. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s response: cutting $1 billion from the NYPD budget.

Over July 4, an armed Black militia arrived at the reopening of the Stone Mountain monument in Georgia, which features huge carved images of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. They want its destruction.

Trump is charged with “dividing the nation.”

But it is not Trump trashing cops or providing cover for “protests” marked by looting and arson. Nor is it Trump tearing down memorials and monuments to the great Americans of the past.

Where the Democratic Party has been a portrait in indecisiveness, Trump has been clear. He stands with the cops who have gone through a hellish six weeks. He stands against defacing statues and destroying monuments. He has denounced the rioting, looting and arson that have accompanied protests the media never cease to describe as “peaceful.”

It is not Trump who is dividing America. He has pledged to resist the rampages with all the weapons in his presidential arsenal.

There are four months until November’s election, 18 weeks until America decides: Do we want to continue an era of protests that revert to rioting, looting and arson? Do we want to see police departments further constricted and trashed as neo-fascist?

Do we wish to see statues of presidents from Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant to Teddy Roosevelt trashed by mobs that hate America, hate her heroes and hate her history?

Trump’s stand for tradition and against mob rule is the only stand the president can take. And it is a necessary stand. For this culture war is going to last long after this presidency. And it is going to determine what kind of country we shall become.

Will it be the great and glorious republic of the past or the social and cultural Marxist hellhole that is the promise of the mobs?

Trump just played the patriotism card, the correct card to play, and it may just work for his reelection.

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The ceaseless culture war against Hungary – spiked

Posted by M. C. on May 28, 2020

According to the narrative, Hungary’s enactment of emergency measures meant that the normal process of parliamentary democracy had disappeared forever. It is worth noting that other governments that enacted emergency powers in response to the Covid pandemic were not accused of such malevolent intent. Why was Hungary held to a different standard? The answer was devastatingly simple. ‘Orban cannot be trusted’, Western observers implied. It was really another way of saying: ‘We don’t like him.’

What comes of not grabbing your ankles for the EU.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/27/the-ceaseless-culture-war-against-hungary/

Frank Furedi

 

If you listen to the Western media, you might think that in the weeks following the outbreak of Covid-19 the government of Hungary had transformed itself into a brutal dictatorship. There was a constant stream of articles claiming that democracy had died in Hungary. Opinion pieces insisted that the Hungarian government had exploited people’s concerns about the pandemic to impose a 1930s-style authoritarian dictatorship.

The Covid pandemic has reinvigorated the Culture Wars in various different ways. And these alarmist accounts of democratic backsliding in Hungary were a key theme in these Culture Wars. On the anti-sovereigntist wing of the cultural conflict, Hungary was held up as symbolic of an ideology of evil.

In early May, the mistakenly titled US-based advocacy group Freedom House offered up an obituary on Hungarian democracy. In a report it asserted that, because of the emergency laws it passed in relation to Covid-19, Hungary should not be considered a democracy anymore. Given Freedom House’s longstanding hostility to the Hungarian government, its verdict was hardly surprising. The problem was that this verdict was uncritically repeated in the media. At times it seemed that almost the entire Western media were ganging up against this supposed new dictatorship.

The Economist responded to Hungary’s enactment of a state of emergency by claiming that Viktor Orban, the prime minister, ‘has in effect become a dictator – in the heart of Europe’. The Guardian declared that the ‘world must not let Hungary get away with this power grab’. Writing in the EUobserver, Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, claimed that Hungary was now a dictatorship and therefore the EU had ceased to be a bloc of democratic states.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ben Kelly ranted that ‘if the EU cannot rein in Hungary’s dictator Viktor Orban, it will rot from the inside’.

 

‘Nothing can justify this destruction of people’s lives’

According to the narrative, Hungary’s enactment of emergency measures meant that the normal process of parliamentary democracy had disappeared forever. It is worth noting that other governments that enacted emergency powers in response to the Covid pandemic were not accused of such malevolent intent. Why was Hungary held to a different standard? The answer was devastatingly simple. ‘Orban cannot be trusted’, Western observers implied. It was really another way of saying: ‘We don’t like him.’

Strikingly, these opinions did not change when, in late April, Die Welt reported that legal experts in the European Commission had said that they saw no reason to act against the supposedly authoritarian powers the Hungarian parliament granted to the Hungarian government. Inconvenient truths about Hungary are always met with a wall of silence in most of the Western press. If, on the other hand, these experts had said the opposite, there would have been wall-to-wall opinion articles praising their judgment and condemning Hungary.

And now there has been a development. This week, the Hungarian government initiated procedures to end the state of emergency. It will end on 20 June. This means Hungary has acted more speedily than many other governments to bring to a close its Covid measures. Will those who spread the idea that Hungary had become a dictatorship acknowledge that they were wrong? Will they apologise for their slanderous statements about Hungary? Don’t hold your breath. It really doesn’t matter what the Hungarian government does; its adversaries in the West will always portray it as a dangerous dictatorship threatening European values.

No doubt, some might argue that Hungary is rescinding these laws precisely because of the international pressure they put on it. But of course, supposedly authoritarian dictatorships are not known for giving up their powers just because of some criticism in the foreign press. ‘Hungary still isn’t a democracy’, others will no doubt cry. In which case, why did it need the emergency powers in the first place? Why didn’t it just carry on being the dictatorship it already was, in the Hungary-haters’ eyes?

 

Why the people must take back control

In the current Culture Wars, Hungary has become a kind of lightning rod through which the negative sentiments of the Western cultural establishment – especially their anti-sovereigntist views – can be expressed. Throughout most of Europe and the Anglo-American world, the hegemony of the cultural elite remains intact. It is rarely questioned. Though millions of people resent the values of these elites, very few have the voice or the courage openly to question them. When they do – for example, in the vote for Brexit – they are bombarded with immense pressure to shut up and know their place. That is the case even in Trump’s America, where millions feel they have to mind what they say.

In Hungary, support for the Hollywood, Netflix, Big Tech globalist value system is quite weak. Of course, given its broad influence, the global media does have some influence in Hungary. But it is not hegemonic. Consequently, the people and their representatives are able to express opinions and values that are vilified in many parts of the Western world. In the eyes of the Western media, the refusal of the Hungarian government to accept the moral authority of the leaders of the EU or of the Hollywood woke consensus is a kind of cultural heresy. Like the Stalinist heresy-hunters of the 20th century, the globalist culture warriors will use everything in their power to humiliate their opponents and force them to fall in line with the ‘right’ way of thinking.

The cultural elites’ obsession with Hungary is not entirely about Hungary. Whenever a British, German or American newspaper editor or observer denounces the ‘dictatorship’ in Hungary, they are also indirectly attacking movements and politicians in their own countries who oppose the prevailing cultural norms. That is why those of us who supported Brexit in the UK, and who call for the valuation of national sovereignty in countries around the world, have a real interest in supporting Hungary against its Western detractors.

Frank Furedi’s How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First Century is published by Bloomsbury Press.

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My Corner by Boyd Cathey Culture War

Posted by M. C. on October 2, 2019

It has been a great accomplishment of cultural Marxism and its adepts in the arts to separate in large measure our population from its heritage—a major step in the conquest of our culture and the transformation of our civilization.

http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/

by Boyd Cathey

Who Wins the Culture War, Wins Everything!

Friends,

Most installments in the MY CORNER series, in addition to a stated concentration on the South, address deeper cultural issues: questions about what is happening in our educational system, how Western culture is being transformed before our very eyes, the attacks on the visible symbols of our past, and, perhaps more insidiously, examining assaults on our history, on our memory and on our very language, that is, how we communicate with each other.

For up-to-the-moment, blow-by-blow accounts of the latest attempt—indeed, conspiracy—by the Deep State to take down and impeach President Trump, there are such voices as Rush Limbaugh, John Solomon, and others. From time to time, I can provide such information, or a certain slant or focus, but given the nature of what is transpiring and the headlong rush, my attention is drawn to what I consider more basic, more fundamental questions that underpin and shape our current conversations and debates.

I have heard it said that it was the great English prelate and author, Cardinal John Henry Newman, who declared that “all political issues involve basic religious questions.” But while studying in Spain I read something very similar written by the Spanish traditionalist, Juan Donoso Cortes (d. 1853): “The momentous political questions of our time, when examined closely, reveal deeply philosophical and religious roots. Unless these foundations are understood, debate will be like fighting the symptoms of a disease but not the cause.”

Knowing how to fight our enemies, knowing how to react and what to say and what, finally, to do, involves as the late Southern writer Mel Bradford used to say,  first, “knowing who we are,” that is, knowing that we are creatures made and given life by a Creator, that we are given stewardship over this planet, that there are both Natural and Divine Positive Laws that govern us and our existence; and that to transgress them will bring disastrous consequences, perhaps not at once, but certainly eventually.

And that is why the cultural and essentially religious battles—the conflict over who we are and our place in Creation—are so critical. It is why I have a very poor view of much of what passes for “modern kulchur,” including much of the architecture, the so-called literature, the cinematic excrescence, the painting and sculpture, and the music that is spewed forth by our contemporary society.

Certainly such products reflect our current dominant culture, for art follows and is inspired by reigning beliefs and standards in any society, while at the same time helps to shape that society’s future vision and conception of itself. And, no doubt, most of the artists in our society today fancy themselves just like artists of the past, using their creative intelligence to create works of art. Has this not been the self-appointed role of such persons throughout history?

The arts, in their major role, reflect a society’s beliefs and aspirations—think here architecturally of the Acropolis in Athens, the incredible monuments in Rome, the great cathedrals of Chartres and Rheims in France, representing the aspirations and thought of those foundations of our own civilization. Think of the great artwork of a Giotto, a Michelangelo, a Rubens, a Gainsborough; and in music, of Gregorian Chant, plainsong and polyphony, the great symphonic and liturgical works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Bruckner.

Some of you may recall the great BBC series, “Civilization,” hosted by the late Sir Kenneth Clark and then shown in American theaters (circa 1970) and later on television. Lord Clark attempted, quite successfully, to connect the dots and illustrate both the complexity and the unity of our cultural inheritance and its organic development. As Bernard of Chartres declared nearly 900 years ago, “we are as dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants.” Our ancestors built upon and added to what was vouchsafed to and inherited by them, as a trust, as a precious legacy. And traditionally, this was thought to be the essential role of the artist: to create based on what he had received, to make it finer if possible, to enhance it, but never to disparage it or destroy it, and always to preserve it.

But since at least the early twentieth century artists have more significantly emphasized the radically transformative, even revolutionary, at times highly political element. Of course, artists throughout history have used their talent to advance new ideas with social and political import; that’s always been the case.

But, I would suggest, not with the same demonic fervor or determination, not with the same ideological commitment and involvement that we have witnessed in our time. And not with the same type of influential dominance by the Marxist Frankfurt School and its votaries in almost every field of knowledge, a dominance which fully comprehends the role of culture in the success of the revolutionary activity it advocates…

At the very base of our conflict today is this imperative: to recover those bonds which unite us to our heritage, for it is in retrieving that inheritance (and the faith which accompanies it) that we gain strength and renewal for the battles that lie ahead of us.

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Flo from Progressive by twistedcortex on DeviantArt

 

 

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