by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog
With all this Great Lockdown time off it’s easy to use it poorly, but I did make one good decision: to not write a multi-part series critiquing the nonsense which is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.
It’s nonsense not because de Tocqueville was a segregationist, rabid anti-socialist and even recognised by his peers as the quintessential fake-leftist of his era, but because his analysis was based on a mere nine months of residence in the US. Had I written a book on France after my first nine months here it would have been glowing, full of the thrill of novelty… and a totally superficial fairy tale full of in-theory-but-not-practice.
De Tocqueville loved liberty because he studied prisons, not because he loved humanity – his “love” was fear-based.
I was reminded of this last month when de Tocqueville was extensively quoted in an anti-coronavirus hysteria article titled, Panic Will End But Tyranny Will Not:
“By this system (as he writes earlier, the combination “of the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty”) the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master, and then relapse into it again. A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.” (emphasis mine)
De Tocqueville supporters self-flatteringly focus on how they heroically refuse any “extorted obedience”, but the bolded part reveals how his argument is based on fundamentally anti-social tendencies:
For de Tocqueville there is no such thing as a “good public servant” because in a centralised, popular bureaucracy they are all despotic thieves of the individual privileges (freedoms) he enjoyed as a part of the aristocratic 1%. Even if that pubic servant was Jesus son of Mary it would be no matter – everyone’s “nature” is irrelevant in a popular (i.e. necessarily anti-aristocratic) and strong (i.e. necessarily large and centralised) style of government. Typically of Westerners, de Tocqueville appears to assume that all natures are the same (motivated solely by Western “universal values”, of course) – nasty, brutish and tyrannical.
It’s a view which is hysterical, indeed.
A man whose only tool is a hammer sees nothing but nails – a man who studied prisons saw only potential cages which could limit his exceptional 1%er privileges.
De Tocqueville did not realise, because he was definitely not truly familiar with the US, that he was expressing a political view similar to Yosemite Sam, of the Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes. Yosemite Sam incarnates the political perspective of that historically-real 17-19th century American persona: the half-madman, all-uncontainable, über-pioneer/colonist who insisted on pushing west of the military fort all alone. This person single-handedly invaded the territories of bewildered Indians, only to weep for his lost frontier gains when his fellow Americans inevitably joined him a few years later thanks to the construction of yet another new military fort.
There is such Yosemite Sam-ism across the West – which is full of colonists, after all – that I’m sure many readers were “trigged” by my headline: “This stupid Muslim can’t know about freedom like we do. They’re a bunch of stupid nomads!”
Yosemite Sam, US libertarians/conservatives and French pied-noirs are often not just reactionaries but dangers to social harmony because they resolutely refuse to believe in the possibility of collective progress: For them, the individual hearth/cave was the apex of advances in political science.
We can argue if Yosemite Sam-ism is a “universal value” among Westerners, but it’s definitely not an Asian value, as evidenced by the corona responses in China, Iran and South Korea. We see undeniably superior responses in those nations, and lower death rates than in the West, in large part because of the collective progress they have made via their conviction that collective progress must often trump individual progress.
Michigan protesters – not the Yellow Vests, but not wrong, either
Of course the fake-leftist media looked with horror at the recent automatic weapon-toting, anti-Great Lockdown protests in Michigan. Given my self-proclaimed consent for big government you may think I’d oppose the increasing wave of anti-Lockdown protests?
Not hardly. I thought it was great.
Firstly, the unwritten “Amendment 0.5” in the US Bill of Rights is (and de Tocqueville did not grasp this): “The right of the People (excepting women, Blacks and Indians) to be stupid shall not be infringed upon.”
Americans treasure this right dearly.
It’s not a stupid right, either! Much is learned by making mistakes. Life would be rather dull if we all had to be Confucian-correct all the time (unless we are public servants working on the taxpayer dime, of course).
But I support those Michiganders because “natures” of political systems do indeed matter – to disagree is “political nihilism”. I know that the nature of the system Michiganders are told to obey is not at all similar to that of socialist-inspired nations.
Michiganders should NOT have faith that their civil servants are self-sacrificing, tireless and upholding a system which has bettered the average Michigander’s life within their own lifetime – it is simply not true. Merely look at Flint, Michigan, and their appalling, still-unresolved water crisis. Flint has committed the sin of becoming majority-Black, so of course they are totally ignored by all state and federal government policy, but since 1980 even for their White citizens neoliberalism has forced down Michiganders woefully far even though they remain the nation’s auto capital by almost double.
In a time where food shortages are being widely predicted, Michigan’s “Big Mother” civil servants were so sweeping they banned (but perhaps only accidentally) the selling of garden seeds. In a state so dominated by water that it is the only state named after a Great Lake, their governor effectively banned fishing, perhaps the most socially-distancing activity one can find. Why should Michiganders accept this when a stunning, unthinkable 25% of Michigan’s workforce has become jobless in just 29 days? And with just terrible future prospects, as well?
But De Tocqueville failed to realise that not every centralised civil servant handed power turns into a tyrannical prison warden – only some do. Such persons should be publicly shamed and resisted.
On a macro level, systems which do not adhere to the anti-Tocquevellian, modern standards of socialist democracy and socialist rights (no one can censor the fact that socialism is a system which is based ENTIRELY on an attempt to democratically and individually empower the AVERAGE humble citizen) should absolutely be resisted because they are certain to produce poor governance for everyone but their aristocratic 1%.
If you are reading this then you are not a socially-isolated Yosemite Sam, so you must naturally concede some rights for society’s well-being
Of course you must.
Only madmen think they can live a life of pure Western, Nietzschean, no-consequences individualism.
I have routinely written that the Great Lockdown is “stupid” because the West is employing quarantining and control methods used by Asian nations but without having similar cultures of government economic intervention nor widespread trust in their governments.
Iran can mobilise 300,000 people to talk with citizens door-to-door, but Americans cannot risk volunteering because they’d be ruined by health care costs. You are fantastically inculcated with Western propaganda to imagine that the Chinese don’t largely feel that their Communist Party has adequately fulfilled their cultural concept of good governance described in their ancient “Heavenly Mandate”. South Korea is a country with no natural resources but which has become so technologically advanced that widespread coronavirus testing looked like a snap for them… but don’t think they got there via neoliberalism: South Korea used to be compared to Iran for its staunch protectionism and government control of their economy.
Conversely, the West – which was already in a double-bubble economic crisis – has, suicidally for their lower classes, added an economic crisis on top of a health crisis.
Most of the protesting Michiganders look to be drawn from the lower classes, but I was not there; but I have spent truly a year of Saturdays at Yellow Vest demonstrations and I can tell you that they are mostly drawn from France’s lower classes. In what is entirely the point here: In China, Iran, cobblers-turned-congressmen in Cuba and a few other places it is the lower-classes who now compose their civil service class from the bottom all the way to the top – in Michigan it is surely just the bottom. America’s elite government employees remain – as de Tocqueville wanted – elite and out of touch.
The pity is that many Michiganders are likely so alienated, mistrustful and inculcated with de Tocquevillian nonsense that they view everyone as a potential tyrant – thus the assault rifles. France’s Yellow Vests are brave enough to get beaten and tear gassed after starting each demonstration with Christian ideals of non-violence – violence is always initiated by French riot cops. And the reality is the Michigan gun-wavers were just a small fringe group – the overwhelming majority of protesters stayed in their car in a “car protest”, just as the Yellow Vests initially discussed doing. Furthermore, in any mass group the whole political spectrum will be represented therefore there will be some right-wing nuts, but painting all Western lower-class dissidents as right-wing neo-fascists is completely inaccurate, yet completely commonplace.
But non-violence never won a revolution. Yet a “de Tocquevillian revolution” is an oxymoron – he openly supported a freedom-ending state of siege in order to thwart the revolutions of 1848. It’s not that he was just a hypocrite, but a people-fearing elitist. However, Michiganders likely believe such an oxymoron is the best they can do, because neoliberalism has beat into them the political nihilism that all governments are bad by nature. Of course, when they get bad government, as in Michigan and Washington DC, such people are only confirmed in their mistaken, unmodern political conceptions.
This poor political education is a pre-corona problem, much like widespread Western mistrust of their government, much like the aristocratic individualism which pervades their cultures, much like their insistence on competition over mutually-beneficial cooperation, much like their system which represses lower class involvement in policy-making.
Over-enforcing a Great Lockdown which they had not earned the leeway to install is certain to not just annoy fisherman but to impoverish them as well: that is the dangerous corona brew Westerners have mixed.
Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!
Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020
Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020
A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020
MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020
Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020
If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020
Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020
Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020
(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020
Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020
Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020
‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020
Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020
No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020
Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020
No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020
Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone & not the US will kick off Western chaos – April 18, 2020
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.
Excellent post, Ramin — hats off.
”Typically of Westerners, de Tocqueville appears to assume that all natures are the same (motivated solely by Western ’universal values’, of course) – nasty, brutish and tyrannical.
It’s a view which is hysterical, indeed.”
There you have it: the credo of our Western ’anti-authoritarians’ forever finding common ground with Western imperialist reaction when it comes to peoples, countries, and leaders that need to be cowed. If this crotte de merde Alexis de Tocqueville was a 1%:er fake leftist as you say, the Western Left has a very ”proud heritage” indeed.
”It’s not that he was just a hypocrite, but a people-fearing elitist. However, Michiganders likely believe such an oxymoron is the best they can do, because neoliberalism has beat into them the political nihilism that all governments are bad by nature.”
But some governments are more rotten than orhers. Michiganders just like any other Pindos will be very pleased trying to sue the Chinese government (good luck with that), guilty of whatever an average Pindo’s level of inanity can imagine.
Bottom line: It’s just not de Tocqueville. The entire concept of ’Western individualism’ is total fakery from ’left’ (anti-authoritarianism) to ’right’ (Ayn Rand-cultism). Scratch a Western ’individualist’ and marvel at the little invertebrate that peeps out beneath.
I love that last sentence of yours! I’m afraid I’ll steal it at the next opportunity.
My pleasure, Patricia.
On second thought, the exceptional Pindos are indeed a — yes — exception to my above judgment. Scratch a Pindo and marvel at the glucose and cholesterol levels!
”You are fantastically inculcated with Western propaganda to imagine that the Chinese don’t largely feel that their Communist Party has adequately fulfilled their cultural concept of good governance described in their ancient ’Heavenly Mandate’.”
Actually — and this applies with equal force to Putin’s Russia — the reaction of die-hard Western chauvinists gets split into two fairly equal ”camps”. One is that of the denialists, who flat-out refuse to admit that adversarial governments could ever have a mass base, relying 100% on fear and coercion. The other is that of the realists who can see the facts on the ground (strong domestic approval of Russia’s and China’s governments), but this only serves to fuel their hatred of the citizenry in addition to the government elected by it. What matters is that denialists and realists alike perceive the successes of Russia and China as total anathema to them.
Nussiminen and Ramin; Hello again and thank you; Totally right and delightfully articulated both of you. All I can do to support you both is to repeat the wisdom you both state in my own words.
Western Patriarchy, which came into real power in ancient Rome, generated a powerful hierarchy of power based on aristocratic class domination. It encased us in a rigid prison of materialist acquisitive individuality wherein the State served only the interests of private accumulation. Early capitalism. The patriarchal rigidity was severe to the point of demonizing the feminine and banished divinity from beyond the human into a far off god image lost in the clouds. That was Hegel’s way of putting it. For the Romans nothing mattered more than one’s family which was seen as above the collective.
This was alienated mass domination was all perpetuated in religious ideology by Roman Catholicism and brought to Europe as a theory of law and government. The rise of the European bourgeoisie and Protestantism only served to further cement the ideology of the supremacy of “individual” liberty. Psychologically it is the apotheosis of mental egoism which is really a form of internal totalitarianism. All held in place by a nihilistic Cartesian cosmology which is insane enough to hold that only material things can be measured and hence only matter and the mind’s focus on it can be deemed too exist. This is mad denial for the purpose of buttressing the totalitarian supremacy of individualized ego – alienated from connectedness with the collective. Socialists have a short hand term for this which works well. “Bourgeois individualism.” It holds that all government is by definition tyranny. (Yosemite Sam indeed) That is of course excepting the government that they privately and secretly control.
Socialism on the other hand started out with an emphasis on the emancipation of the feminine principle from confinement under the cold hand of patriarchy. No real woman can be trusted to support the madness we are describing. It is but a variant of patriarchal oppression. Socialism is committed to the liberation of the masses from patriarchal oppression. It is deeply rooted in the rebirth of the feminine principle. In so doing it is in the process of liberating our concept of “liberation” from its patriarchal lock in which is insanely fixated on a psychological fantasy that all collectivity is by definition oppressive. As I see it a need is to balance the principles of individuality and collectivity at a higher more integrated level. That is an ongoing task of socialist culture. All of which is a partial explanation for why the bourgeois individualistic West is so desperately fearful of Socialism.
My heartfelt appreciation to both of you for so well understanding the point. This all helps me.
I learn so much from this blog and the comments.
That’s a huge concept you’re introducing, namely that socialism is the true emancipation of the feminine.
I hope so. It would make a very powerful argument to present to modern feminist thought.
I can see it. But I don’t have the socialist doctrinal basis to proclaim it for sure. I need to study that a bit more.
I do know that the concept of replacing patriarchy with any other kind of hierarchy is not the feminine principle at work. Trying to join the patriarchy was the cardinal error of feminism, and simply subjected women in society to the same bondage as men.
What happens under a truly matrilineal view is the end of all hierarchy. All persons are then equal, but the male principle of action is subordinated to – or perhaps in union with – the female principle of wisdom. Finally, society tames itself to cohabit with the Earth.
If socialism includes all these momentous principles – IF – then one knows very clearly the way forward.
Many thanks – to Ramin for a penetrating essay, and to Nussiminen and you for equally penetrating observations. This helps us all.
Greetings again Grieved.
The initial function of Socialism as it blossomed in Paris in the 1830’s and 1840’s was, according to the researcher George Lichtheim, a religious movement for the emancipation of the feminine. And it took Paris by storm. The early French socialist’s pioneered recognition of the returning divine mother. This is all outlined in Lichteim’s “The Origins of Socialism.” This has a lot to do with Paris becoming “the City of Lights”, and a magnet for all romantic women. This was all prior to Karl Marx stepping in to redefine the whole movement as a struggle against capitalism. Originally socialism was a multi-dimension cultural movement for liberating the entirety of oppressed groups, with a primary emphasis on the working class and women. The very concept of the modern proletariat itself was invented by a really hot French women. Her name was Flora Tristan.
I have researched this issue at great length and am confident that the principle of the rebirth of the feminine principle is a core defining feature of socialism. I argue that the point can now be actually proved by the application of Jungian depth psychology to an analysis of socialist culture. For example feminine Goddess priestesses, and the Jungian school in general, now accept as established fact that around the year 1800 the divine feminine principle began its return from the unconscious and re-emergence in European culture. A major initial manifestation of this cosmic movement was the birth of socialism. In socialism the Universal Feminine moves to take cultural possession of the European Enlightenment.
There is an enormous variety of proofs of this if one is trained to see them. Take Carl Jung for example. He commented that the cold-war between Socialism-Communism and the patriarchal capitalist West was what he called “an argument within the family.” What he meant was that the struggle between capitalism and socialism had a psychologically identifiable cosmic dimension which was its real inner driver. That was a struggle within “the divine family.” Culturally speaking God was at war with the rising Goddess, and she is what color? Red – Red is, according to Carl Jung, the color of the core feminine principle. The deeper secret is that Socialism is actually erotic and it is hilarious to see how prominent women are in this movement. How deeply does patriarchal religion fear the rise of erotic spiritual culture as a political movement? If we can get a measure of that we can sense just how deeply male patriarchy is frightened by what it would call a “midnight terror.” That was exactly how the English spy Riley, who was the real precursor of James Bond, characterized Russia’s red revolution. An unholy terror from the night. The patriarchal Sun rules daylight and the feminine Moon the power of night. If we ask why is Marxism-Leninsm so popular in Latin America for example? A big piece of the answer is that their culture has never lost its deep emotional connection to the Goddess principle. They “feel” it.
Carl Jung also argued that it is the feminine principle that must restore humanity to sanity, after 5,000 years of patriarchy. Patriarchal Christianity being, in the words of Joseph Campbell, “a religion of exile.” And it longs for its return from a lonely exile. The feminine divine is the key to that return from exile. Humanity is to be saved and liberated into functional unity with the earth by opening to the feminine face of God. We can even find this in the Book of Revelations if we know how to look.. The trick is to be able to recognize this dimension after having millennia of patriarchal religion disqualifying us from the ability to even recognize what Judaism used to call Shekenah, the wife of God. There is even hope for the North Americans here as in the United States feminism is in the process of assuming something of the status of a national religion. Albeit not mentally and culturally organized of course. But it is in the atmosphere here. Early days yet for all this but it is real and can be trusted.
Thank you Snow Leopard. That is very important information, which one can work with – as well as a lovely way of understanding this world and age we live in.
Interestingly, in the principles of the subtle body, the red bindu is the feminine essence and the white bindu is the male essence.
I was struck by the color, of course, in the light of what you’re saying. We live in an ancient and ever-present choreography, it seems.
Grieved: Thank you for your comments about the red and the white. Can you say a little more of what you mean by the Bindu as I am not schooled in that language? I sense we are in harmony here. What immediately jumps out at me from your comment is two things. Carl Jung observing that, psychologically, one of the major challenges is to combine the white (consciousness) with the red (feeling). I sense this refers to integrating the masculine with the feminine. Which all leads into the need for a cosmic understanding of the collective struggle between the red and the white. In other words the cold war between the United States (white star) and Sino-Soviet Communism (red star) is actually sacred spirituality, albeit not recognized as such. Hence it operates on an unconscious mythic level. Carl Jung teaches that the pathway to wholeness of Self (i.e, liberation) is lit by conflict. Hence the conflict between the political red and the political white is a sacred pathway we are all on, with the goal being to share a collective wholeness of Self. Liberation through the union of masculine and feminine. Anyway that is Carl Jung’s reading of the Cold War. All of which was symbolically initiated by “Mother” Russia in 1919 as it acted out a national drama between the Whites (patriarchal spiritual consciousness) and the Reds (body based feminine feeling), all in the form of a vicious civil war that sacrificed a great nation to the necessary drama.
It is so telling that the nations that have stabilized socialism are cultures that have never been divorced from the universal feminine principle, and the nations that hate socialism the most are so divorced. However it is the role of the universal feminine to restore the union of the masculine and feminine, just as it was the role of the universal masculine to initiate the original differentiation. This being so then socialism (anchored within spiritual awakening) is the evolutionary key to our future. Let’s not doubt that China has its own way of stabilizing this understanding within its own culture.
You are so right about the ancient and ever present choreography which encases this great drama. I have found Rudolph Steiner to be enormously helpful in understanding that side of things. Regards to you
“Please take any further discussion on this matter to the MFC.
I ‘m sorry but I do not recognise Toqueville at all, the way you describe him.
I have a feeling, Ramin, that the only reason you dislike him is because he was a French aristocrat.
Also, Toqueville hated the violent ultra left-wing expansionist Jacobins and Napoleon.
Many liken the neo-conservative movement in the US to the French Jacobin movement of Toqueville’s time.
For those who don’t have the book, here is Alexis de Toqueville in his own words: (Democracy in America)
On the US prison and legislative system:
“American civil and criminal law recognises only two courses of action: prison or bail. Clearly such a legislative procedure disadvantages the poor and favours the wealthy.”
On Americans: ” they like books which are easily available, quick to read and demand no learned research for their understanding. Accustomed to the monotony of practical life, they crave lively and rapid emotions, to plunge them almost violently into the subject”.
On American Indians:
” They were gentle and hospitable in times of peace, pitiless in war. Europeans made but little impression when they landed upon the North American shore; their presence evoked neither envy not fear.”
“The Indian is the most philosophical of men. He has few needs and consequently few desires…He smiles bitterly on seeing us tormenting our lives in the acquisition of useless wealth. What we call industry he calls shameful servitude”.
On industrial aristocrats:
“…having impoverished and brutalised men they exploit, leave to public charity to feed them in times of crisis.”
“Catholicism with its frightening immutability, it’s absolute dogmas, it’s awful curses, and huge rewards, the religious anarchy of reform and ancient paganism find their representatives in this place. Already, the sole and eternal Being, who has created all men in his own image, is worshipped in six different ways. The heaven which each one claims exclusively as his inheritance is a subject of zealous quarreling.”
Serbian Girl; I take your point about Toqueville. Good information that you offer. Everyone is multi-faceted and I see you both as speaking truthfully about different aspects of a complex person. The point I would add is that for Ramin criticizing Toqueville is not really about him at all but simply using an image of him to make a larger point about the culture we are stuck in now. That Frenchman is not the point, just a means Ramin employs to make a larger point. Do you have an opinion about that larger point he is attempting to make?
Hi Serbian Girl,
Always a pleasure to read your comments.
Isn’t being an aristocrat – i.e. a defender of unfair privileges – enough, LOL?
The de Tocqueville of Democracy in America is simply a fairy tale de Tocqueville. Google Translate this article from Le Monde Diplomatique if you like: “When de Tocqueville legitimised butchery”. It’s about his devoted support of not just Algerian colonisation but total domination and segregation – i.e., what the US did for Blacks and Indians. How can this be compatible with someone whose conception is truly enlightened and not limited to only the privileged classes?
The article notes how in France his reactionary writings on Algeria are ignored to preserve his image too, – in the Anglophone/US sphere the white-washing of de Tocqueville is far, far more total. Democracy in America HAS TO stand alone, because if we dig deeper and question his legitimacy – he crumbles. Democracy in America is a public relations report – it is terrible journalism.
Admiring the American system is to admire a fundamentally aristocratic system – their revolution was not at all a popular nor modern one, but an elitist one.
I opened with my main complaint – how can we claim to have a deep analytical knowledge of a country after just 9 months? If I lived in Serbia for 9 months would I be considered an expert?
FYI, I would consider myself quite lucky to spend 9 months in Serbia! A few years ago I considered a move to lovely Belgrade (which seemed to me to be for Europe what they recently said Berlin used to be) but it was not in the cards. Oh well, Paris still has some charms (but check out my next article, LOL).
I am so glad to hear from you.
I just spent the entire night reading up on the 1848 French revolution because of you!
Let us look at the timeline on Tocqueville:
1835 he writes Democracy in America (a rather unflattering account of American society, their materialism, their political and social organisation- his magnum opus)
1839 he writes report on Abolition of Slavery
1841 he is inducted into the Academie Francaise
1840 – 1850 he embarks on his political career.
This is when he writes his piece on Algeria, which I agree is entirely un-enlightened, racist and colonialist. He becomes a minor political figure who actively supports laws restricting political freedoms which is in direct contradiction to his previous writing!!
He is definitely an ambivalent character… I do not mean to excuse his post-1840 writing on Algeria. My point is that there are surely better examples of elitist out-of-touch politicians than Tocqueville?
I hope you go to Serbia one day. I would be interested to read your analyses. Length of your stay does not matter in my opinion. Sometimes even someone who has just arrived has a “fresher pair of eyes” than those who live there.
Btw, I never did respond to your article on owning property. I am a property-less person just like you. Not being a debt slave is a good thing. Consider yourself lucky!
“Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast.
It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye” (Khalil Gibran)
‘Be well Ramin! Thanks for this nuit blanche!
Even stranger information is coming out.—In California, two things are recently being mentioned.
1) Of persons showing presumed coronavirus symptoms who are tested only some 10-11% show results positive for actual coronavirus infection.
2) When persons are tested for antiviral antibodies proving past infection with coronavirus, it is showing that huge numbers of persons have in fact been infected but have never shown any symptoms of illness.
That all leads to one suspicion that coronavirus might not be the real and only cause of this spreading sickness.
Maybe the commotion about “coronavirus” is fake and false. The real cause of the sickness is something else.
Ramin, please don’t make the same dumb mistake that every fake left anti-gun idiot in the US or west in general makes. You wrote: “automatic weapon-toting” which is an error. The right terminology is semi-automatic weapon and there is quite a difference between (full) automatic and semi-automatic fire arms. It’s the government toting the automatic weapons, as in general civilians do not easily obtain a license for an automatic weapon if at all.
Please look it up and inform yourself.
Did you forget to buy your bump stock?
Indeed JC – a careless mistake of mine.
FYI I am not an anti-gun idiot: Anyone pushing drastic gun regulations in most of the Western hemisphere is idiotically wasting a huge amount of political capital. Reversing gun culture in the US, for example, is a lost cause, a useless political distraction and certainly not necessary in the form that many urbanites insist upon and foolishly imagine to be even remotely possible.
Happy hunting, and send me some venison jerky when you’re done.
Ramin, I’m in France, like you. For the time being no hunting for me over here so no venison but you’re always welcome for a drink or a bite, just drop by. I know very well that you’re not an anti-gun idiot and didn’t write that either. You just made the same mistake that such people mostly do. ;-)
If I had anything to say I would definitely change gun legislation in the USA into something more logical resulting in less weapons in the wrong hands. The fake left does have a totally different agenda with their anti-gun blabber.
The gun-toting (whatever the god-forsaken kind of weapon) which is characteristic of the moronic US majority population serves as a most convincing measure of Pindo ”individualiaty”, LOL. It has never kept any tyranny (real or imagined) in check except, of course, the unbearable ”tyranny” of not being first in line or not being able to assert yourself at the expense of others. Bourgeois individualism as mental illness in general and serious paranoia in particular.
As Ramin correctly points out, the so-called ”American Revolution” was reactionary and elitist. Its legacy of firearm fetishism stems from its core mission of land-grabbing and genocide. Try and dole out firearms to all and sundry in a real revolution and see what happens — instant counterrevolutionary triumph. This totally insane national trait of the Pindos resonates very well indeed with strong pride in their ”glorious” US Army enforcing US parasitism across the planet. Oppressor nation ideology at its finest.
Moreover, private firearms as a sine qua non for the success of revolution is absolutely laughable, as the following two observations will make clear:
a) In Russia (1917) and China (1949) — real revolutions, mind you — there were no popular forces running around with private firearms shooting all and sundry in a state of utter madness. If anything, private firearms were in the possession of the forces of reaction; yet the latter botched it.
b) The success of revolution in Russia and China has not left any legacy of firearn worship, nor of violence addiction.
Bottom line: Down with the US and all of its ”heroes” and the mental insanity they represent.
Ramin is a bit hard on de Toqueville, who correctly prophesied that the 20th would be “the American century”, and was well aware of Ramin’s Amendment 0.5 in the US Bill of Rights: “The right of the People to be stupid shall not be infringed upon.”
But I agree as usual with Ramin’s thesis, which is at least as old as Plato’s Republic: the prime task of politics is to select the right Leaders to govern the majority of the population. The Guardians of Plato’s Republic are analogous to the Guardians of the Islamic Socialist Republic. The ideals of justice and social responsibility in today’s politics seem to me embodied in the Leaderships of Russia, China, Iran and Syria; but I would welcome more suggestions to support Ramin’s thesis: that the moral character of the Leadership is paramount. Just as the moral character of the Parents is paramount for the welfare of their children.
And Plato added, the most prominent and persuasive intellectuals are not always the most trustworthy.
“Pericles who filled Athens with marble, gold and ivory when he should have been filling it with justice, temperance and truth”. — Plato
If the feminists are anything like Thatcher, Clinton, Albright, May or Rice, then God help us.
If the socialists insist on rules from above, then God help us.
Because Love cannot be written into law or made compulsory, we are doomed to keep repeating our bloody history.
Our sense of the Spiritual, Life if you like, has flown the coop.
Thanks Ramin and the many astute commentators!
The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.
William F. Buckley, Jr.
An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
― Patrick Henry
“But non-violence never won a revolution.”
It does seem to have worked in India.
I guess there it was basically a General Strike, or a series of them.
Or, perhaps what resulted was not a “revolution.” It was a big change, however.
However, the extreme violence of Partition did kind of ruin the whole thing.
Non-violence, never worked anywhere. In the face of oppression, non-violence is cowardness and a sign of death. One simply do not let a mosquito suck blood without reaction. Resistance and response is a natural attitude.
Check Wikipedia page on China that has 1billion plus population divided in 56 ethnicities. Go to the page of Subcontinent India, with close to same number population but you will not find any information on different ethnicities and nationalities. When a nation’s foundation is shaken and uprooted, from their language, arts, culture and erasing their memories of who they are, they lose direction and become unconscious of themselves. Their environment is reference to their view of life. When that reference is destroyed, they lose the meaning of life. A nation that lacks values and principles, stands for nothing and falls for everything. And that’s who the Europeans were able to succeed in their theft and loot.
When the looting and plundering was almost done and looters sought a smooth exit also because many powerful armed resistance organizations emerged and were very close to hit British forces. How many get to know or read about Azad Indian Army led by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Khaksar Movement led by Inayatullah Mashraqi, the two powerful resistance movement to expell European looters from the Subcontinent? That’s where Mr. Gandhi comes to scene. He was not a mass leader but represented a very tiny minority to whom the subcontinent was supposed to handover instead to rightful owners.
Well written critique! I’m enjoying your articles a lot.