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A young Frenchwoman says “I don’t like America that much”

Allowing for the fact that she is speaking a language foreign to her, I think she has a point.

54 comments to A young Frenchwoman says “I don’t like America that much”

  • Martin

    I do wonder if traditional popular anti-americanism in places like France, along with some remaining patriotic chauvinism, helps make the French and some other countries a bit more resistant to American woke cultural imperialism. When I was younger I’d read that in France broadcasters had limits on how much non-French music/programming/films they could show and I’d wave my head disapprovingly at such protectionism. More recently I think they were onto something.

  • John

    Not at all what I expected. I wish her well.

  • Dave Ward

    Do we know for sure that she’s French? To me she sounds more like Russian (or one of the former Soviet Republics). The mention of “Traditional Clothes” gives the game away.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    This from a country who’s capital city is renouned for rudeness? I remember reading, a few years ago, that Japanese tourists were shocked that Parisians were as rude as advertised!

  • Cesare

    I would only suggest that one not confuse a loud minority with a large sound system to the actual population.

  • Yeah, she ain’t French. Scandiwegian? Russian maybe?

  • KJP

    Reply to Martin
    I think that law still applies; radio stations have a quota of 35% of songs in French, down from 40%. So welcome to 4 hours of Serge Gainsbourg at 2 AM. But many French artistes are recording in English for greater international sales and are caught.

    Reply to Dave Ward
    Yes, no traditional clothes seen in France outside of fairs, re-enactments and the like.

  • Sam Duncan

    True enough. But is Europe really any better, or do its right-thinking people just smugly tell each other that it is?

  • GregWA

    The title of this post should be something like “(Most?) People around the world agree with most Americans that cancel culture is odious”

    That is, focusing on her being “French” (or Russian, Scandinavian or whatever) misses the point. As Perry says, she is not wrong. And I think most Americans would agree with her…maybe not publicly.

  • Steven R

    Cancel Culture is odious, but it’s hilarious when one of the Inner Party types gets cancelled by something they said or did years ago and have to engage in an e-Struggle Session.

    The Red Guard lives on in cyberspace.

  • Paul Marks

    France has many problems, many severe restrictions on liberty – however, France has rejected the Franfurt School racial obsessions and the cultural SELF HATED of the English speaking world.

    Not just the United States – but the English speaking world in general. For example, in France it is unlawful for a public body to even ask a person what their race or religion is – let alone discriminate on the basis of someone’s race or religion.

    The “anti discrimination laws” of the United States, United Kingdom (and elsewhere) are, in practice, PRO discrimination laws – with the powers that be de facto demanding “Representation” of people in various position on the basis of skin colour and so on. This is normal in France – and it should not be normal anywhere.

    It should be remembered that Frankfurt School Marxism is German in origin (it is Frankfurt Germany – not Frankfurt Kentucky) and this might be a reason why it is not as popular in France as it is in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

    Also the English speaking world (including Australia and New Zealand) seems to pride itself on NOT reading serious philosophical works – this does not mean that the English speaking world does not follow these ideas, it follows these ideas (as various “policies”) without knowing their source.

    In France it is still fashionable for people to read serious works – so when they hear of such-and-such a policy they can say to themselves “that is based on the work of such and such thinkers – and I do not agree with them”.

    The anti intellectualism of the English speaking world, ironically, means that intellectuals (bad intellectuals) are MORE (not less) powerful – as people in the United Kingdom, the United States, and so on, follow their doctrines – without even knowing it.

    It might be described as a “cult of ignorance” and the French are correct in holding that such a “cult of ignorance” is not a good thing.

    For example, when a student in the English speaking world says “expressing that opinion is literal violence against a disadvantaged group” a French person (sometimes quite an ordinary person) might well reply “you are parroting the opinion of the late Herbert Marcuse – and you have given me no reason to agree with the late Herbert Marcuse”.

    Whereas the English speaker, who is actually pushing the “Woke” doctrines of Herbert Marcuse and others, will be thinking “who is Herbert Marcuse? I am just following policy”.

  • IrisOtter49

    As an American, I can only say: Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.

  • bobby b

    I dislike that same America that she dislikes. For her sake, I hope she’s not vulnerable to abuse by the wokies.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I agree that she does not sound French.
    Just listen at the way she pronounces “thatmmuch” in her first sentence.

    Mind you, i am almost deaf to accents. Sometimes i have trouble distinguishing English from American accents.
    So, although that verbal affectation sounds familiar, i cannot place it.

    Still, i’d bet (for small stakes) that she is not French — and i’d like to know why people think that she is.

  • Snorri Godhi

    When an Italian friend (a lawyer) made fun of Trump in November 2020 (in a whatsapp message saying that Trump suggested bleach as a treatment for covid), i replied that he (my friend) has his head full of American BS.

    I followed up by writing that i say that w/o animus, it’s just a matter of fact that the Italian media do nothing more than parrot American media, and the BBC, when dealing with extra-EUropean matters.

    That shut him up.

  • Paul Marks

    You were quite correct Snorri.

    For people, to repeat these silly lies about Donald John Trump shows they have have not bothered to do five minutes independent research – and that indicates that they are intellectually lazy.

    The intellectually lazy deserve contempt – sorry if that sounds snobby (perhaps it is snobby), but it is the truth.

  • Steven R

    I don’t mind that the French have a streak of intellectualism while Americans are content to be stupid. I don’t even mind that the French love to read philosophy and watch artsy movies that make no sense while my countrymen can only name Socrates because he was in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and demand movies include gratuitous and exploitative nudity, a car chase, and a bit with a money. What I do mind is that so much of that French high-brow material is just pretentious navel-gazing at best.

    And if I had a time machine and a gun with one bullet and I can wipe out one person from history, I’m going out of my way to kill Jorge Luis Borges for inventing the basis of Postmodernism.

    Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

  • Paul Marks

    Steven R. – you miss the point.

    Americans, and British people as well, follow ideas (policies) without knowing their source.

    People here vaguely know that building in traditional styles is against “the spirit of the age” – but unlike, for example, many Germans (as well as many French people) understand that “the spirit of the age” is a doctrine from Hegel and can be REJECTED.

    That is why Nuremberg was rebuilt as it was, and Coventry was not. Because the British did not understand that these ideas do not come from “on high” (one does not just have to accept them) they come from specific thinkers – and one can REJECT them.

    Americans did not use to be ignorant – and being ignorant is not a good thing, being ignorant means that a person is without defence – that they have no idea where the attacks are coming from, or the nature of the attacks.

    Of course, yes, their is the danger of the “half educated man” someone who is taught the ideas of various thinkers but not WHY THEY ARE WRONG.

    I am reminded of the Jesuits – people who very deeply studied the works of Karl Marx and his followers (originally with the intent of defeating them), but did NOT study the works that show that Karl Marx and his followers are wrong. That led to terrible tragedy such as “Liberation Theology” (similar to the “Social Gospel” that hit some Protestant churches as the end of the 19th century) and the “hermeneutic of rupture” (strictly left Hegelian rather than Marxist – it is the idea that a new Church was created by Vatican II, a Church that worships a “God of surprises” who is not really the God of Christianity).

    Yes terrible tragedy – but it was not the study of Marxist works that was the mistake (on the contrary as these works dominate modern life people, including Big Business types, follow Marxist doctrines – whether they know it or not), the mistake was not studying the works showing that Marx and his followers were wrong.

    “Know thy enemy” is necessary, but not sufficient – “know thy enemy, and why thy enemy is wrong” is what is needed.

  • Paul Marks

    The Hegelian idea that mixing together opposing doctrines leads to new truth is wrong – mixing together opposing doctrine, at best, leads to a dreadful mess. And can quite possibly lead to a take over by evil – where the “mixing” is really evil putting on the clothes (or the dead flesh – as a husk) of good, in order to deceive.

    What happened to American liberalism is a terrible warning – in seeking the “insights” of its opposite (tyranny, collectivism) it was destroyed – the words “freedom” and “liberty” are still used, but emptied of all truthful content – and, instead, filled with tyranny. And this is not recent – many “liberals” were defending the Soviet Union as far back as the 1920s – the worst tyranny that existed at that time and they were defending it. The only “freedom” that it offered was freedom from the “moral chains of right and wrong” – the freedom to do evil, to steal, to rape, to murder, all in the name of “the people”, “freedom” from the “stuffy” or “stuffed shirt” conventions of human behaviour. The German National Socialists later offered the same false “freedom” which is really tyranny. They also appealed to the young and also to the mentally disordered.

    As for the Argentine writer Borges – Nick M. is far better qualified to write about him than I am.

    However, I will say that Borges was normally on the correct side in political and cultural disputes.

  • Steven R

    Paul, I get your point. The French are well read and the Americans aren’t. The French can tell you the lineage of those ideas and Americans think they burst forth fully formed from Zeus’ forehead. That’s all well and good except what they’re reading and what they can cite and where they can show the ideas come from doesn’t change the fact that the ideas they are reading and pondering and developing in Paris are just inane and vapid nonsense.

    Just because Americans can’t tell you where the ideas come from while their French counterparts can doesn’t negate the ideas’ structural instability. Beyond that, i am quite certain the movers in shakers in academia that are pushing the crap in the first place can tell you exactly where those ideas come from on par with your average Parisian.

    On a semi-related topic, when I was in mu Senior Seminar and Methodology course, we had to read a book called “Telling the Truth About History” by Appleby, Hunt, & Jacobs. It was about the evolution of historical writing throughout the 20th century. One of the major topics was Postmodernism and why any real “grand narrative” of Western History was doomed to failure (and according to the authors, rightfully so). I have sworn Jihad against Foucault and Derrida. That they are dead is irrelevant. That book and their ideas made that course a living hell for me. That was the longest 16 weeks of my life

  • As a native French speaker, I can confirm she is Franch

  • Snorri Godhi

    Steven: I seem to remember reading that Foucault and Derrida have actually been more influential in the US than in France … and the Frankfurt School more influential in the US than in Germany. I would not know how to quantify and measure this, but it makes sense to me: the French and the Germans have plenty of previous philosophers to look up to. (Even before Columbus.)

    Perhaps this is best understood in terms of cultural hegemony. The French and the Germans have their own mythologies that give a veneer of legitimacy to their establishments, and to the EU establishment. They do not need ‘cultural Marxism’, let alone postmodernism.

  • Paul Marks

    Steven R. – the point is as follows…

    Someone who does not the source of dominant ideas, and why they are wrong, is defenceless against them.

    The ideas become “what everyone knows” (even if they do not understand them – and even if, yes, the ideas are nonsense) and opposition to them is almost impossible.

    But once someone knows the source of the ideas, and why they wrong, they can say “that is just what so-and-so said – and he was wrong for the following reasons…”.

    Otherwise one goes naked into battle.

    And this is just as true (if not more true) of British people than of Americans.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – the United States had a lot of good philosophers as well, but they are no longer read.

    And the United States had a lot of good architects – but they got replaced.

    To see the good philosophers (James McCosh, Noah Porter and so many others) one has to read books – but to see the good architects one just has to look at old photographs and films.

    One does not have to read about the cultural collapse – one can see it, just compare what American towns and cities a century ago (or even 70 years ago) to now (look at the photographs – watch the documentary shorts).

    There has been no war or massive natural disaster – attractive towns and cities were deliberately destroyed.

    And look at the people walking on the streets – within living memory, say the 1950s, with now. Just look at ordinary street scenes – and compare them to the same places now.

    And, no, it is not just the United States – it is most of the Western world.

    The cultural decline is obvious.

    And that cultural decline is accelerating.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul: you know very well that the towns around here, and the people walking on the street, look much better now than they did 30 or even 20 years ago.

    And i know of at least one Southern-Italian town that looks better than it did before the collapse of the Italian cold-war establishment. AND you get much better service nowadays.

    It is certainly not only the Anglosphere that is in trouble; but when people realize that the French and German establishments are part of the problem, not of the solution, EUrope will be on the way to recovery.

  • Snorri Godhi

    the United States had a lot of good philosophers as well, but they are no longer read.

    You still don’t read my comments with the proper attention, Paul.
    I did not say that the US did not have “good” philosophers.
    I said that France and Germany had philosophers who provide a fig-leaf for the ruling classes, what Gaetano Mosca called “political formulas” and the Marxists call “hegemonic culture” if i am not mistaken.
    Those are not good philosophers by your own standards.

    Actually, the US had John Dewey, William James, Woodrow Wilson, et al.
    I suppose that they are still influential: Marcuse and Derrida have not displaced them, they have been added to them.

  • Martin

    Others I’m sure will have better knowledge of this than me, however, I think it’s the case most people aren’t getting inculcated by ‘woke’ ideas from directly reading (or even being told about) Foucault or Derrida. If ‘woke’ ideology has become entrenched in wider society (and not just in academia), it seems most likely the main vector has been the popular entertainment industry, and the American (and to some extent British) entertainment industry has true global reach. I’d say woke ideology is more insidious when it is communicated via Disney movies for example, rather than via Foucault books.

    I can only speak for myself, but when I studied Foucault, I came away thinking he was clearly intelligent (and perhaps more interesting that many leftists, if not necessarily in a positive way), but often difficult to comprehend and that he was likely a madman and definitely a degenerate pervert (the expose that he was a pedophile was hardly a surprise) so I treat his ideas accordingly with scepticism.

  • Steven R

    Paul, what I’m trying to get is it might be nice to know the family tree of a philosophical position, it isn’t necessary. I don’t need to know Marx to Lenin to to Lemarck to Lysenko to be able to point out where Lysenkoism falls apart.

  • Steven R

    Snorri: I can’t speak intelligently on Foucault or Derrida’s popularity among the French and Germans, but I do know they and their Postmodernist cohorts effectively destroyed how history is taught and written at the academic level in the US. Obviously there are a great many historians, both professional and popular, who simply don’t worry about the navel-gazing philosophers and political types in in history departments that think Western history boils down to dead rich white guys oppressing everyone so it must be torn down, but so much of the damage done was in how historians are supposed to treat their source materials and interpret them.

    Granted there are still true believers and they are the ones given tenure and/or promoted to chairs, but in my experience it seems that most historians just nod when necessary and then go back to doing what they’ve always done to keep their jobs without really giving the Postmodernists a second thought.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – the American philosophers you name are the bad ones, not the good ones.

    The good American philosophers used to be highly influential – but then were-not.

    An example from psychology is helpful – in the 1880s the two most influential American psychologists (who were also the two most influential philosophers) were James McCosh and Noah Porter – they wrote standard texts on the subject and carried on not just the Common Sense tradition (of Thomas Reid and so on), but also the tradition of Aristotle in relation to what a human being is.

    Then along came William James with his text on psychology published (if memory serves) in 1890 – now one would think that the first thing William James would do is carefully try and refute McCosh and Porter and show who his approach is better. But he does nothing of the kind – William James just ignores the previous standard texts and proceeds as if they had not been written.

    There were also strange contradictions in the work of William James – and here STEVEN R makes a good point (one I should have made – but I was too dumb), yes one does not have to have read previous texts to see that argument has contradictions in it (although I would argue that it is easier if one has read other works).

    For example, William James states (in his 1890) work that psychology must assume determinism – but in his philosophical work he (correctly) rejects determinism and upholds agency (free will), in short his psychology and his philosophy are in contradiction – and William James is claiming that psychology must be based on an error (a mistake).

    Previous psychologists had not made this mistake – going right back the inventor of the term psychology back in the 1600s – on the contrary they understood that if one makes an assumption of determinism (i.e. an assumption that one does not actually exist – that there is no “one”, no “I”) psychology does not exist either (because it has no subject – just objects).

    Was the 1890 work of William James rejected due to these basic contradictions and errors? No it was not – it became the standard text, partly because it was from Harvard and Harvard (even back then) was already claiming intellectual rightness by authority (being the oldest and most prestigious university in the United States) – the “argument from authority” is a basic philosophical error (it is not really an “argument” at all) if someone says “I am a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard so 1+1=16” the correct response is “no 1+1 does not = 16, your being Professor of Mathematics at Harvard is not relevant to the matter”.

    Sadly this did not stop the Harvard School of Law from the very early 1900s deciding that the Constitution of the United States does not mean what it says (and what the Founders said it meant) – and other people saying “this person was educated as Harvard – so he must know what he is talking about”.

  • Paul Marks

    Whether human beings exist or not would lead us into the conflict between Thomas Hobbes and Ralph Cudworth (Ralph Cudworth being the founder of psychology – at least in England), David Hume and Thomas Reid, and J.S. Mill (who referred to the intellectual darkness of Hume, in relation to his attack on the existence of human personhood, as “the light of Hume”) and James McCosh. My point was NOT directly about the conflict between those who hold the human person exists and those who hold that persons do not exist – but, rather, that the psychology and philosophy of William James were in contradiction.

    William James (like Kant – although using milder language) rejects both determinism and “compatibilism” (like Kant he can see that the latter is an evasion) – yet claims that psychology must be based upon an assumption of determinism – an assumption that (in his philosophy) he holds to be false. This means that his work is based (by his own admission) on a false premise (and is in contradiction). That should have made his work a non starter – but “its Harvard” and “he is a great thinker” swept everything away, although not as fast as I implied (for example the Catholic universities in the United States were quite resistant – till at least the 1960s, the Catholic universities often still including Aristotelians till modern times).

    The Oxford Realists also deserve honourable mention – people such as Harold Prichard and Sir William David Ross. As well as, of course, people outside the formal teaching of philosophy who reached a very wide audience – men such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

    Their works reflect a profound knowledge of both ethics and what used to be called “the nature of man” (human personhood – moral agency, free will, the soul – in the Aristotelian sense).

    It was horrible to watch, or rather to listen to, “The Rings of Power” with Hollywood writers trying to sound profound without any knowledge of these matters.

    People with no understanding of ethics (morality) or the nature of human beings – trying to sound profound, it was just awful.

    To see cultural decline – look around, and in Europe (not just Britain and the United States).

    But to hear cultural decline – listen to modern script writers (the actors reading their words), it is almost unbearable.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes I only watched small parts of each episode of “Rings of Power” – but many people, who watched the whole series, confirmed my impression.

    Nor is it just “Hollywood” – as Hollywood script writers sometimes did in the past have a grasp of both ethics and of the nature of human personhood, there has been a terrible decline in understanding.

    Film and television writers in the Western world used to have a basic grasp of what moral right and moral wrong are – and of the nature of human beings, our ability (with great effort) to resist the desire (the passion) to do evil, in the grim fight each of us must face every day of our lives.

    All this seems to have been lost. With evil deeds being presented, in films and television shows, as good deeds – and no grasp of what used to be called “the nature of man”, human personhood.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul: you just keep missing the point, so i won’t waste any more time trying to explain it to you.

  • Paul Marks

    How a good person is traditionally understood.

    Someone (someone not something) who understands that “this IS wrong so I OUGHT not to do it” (an “ought from an is”). Someone who uses their moral reason to restrain (control) their passions – rather than than being a “slave to their passions”.

    Like Snorri, David Hume “got the point” and, quite deliberately, reversed it. Hume’s “explaining” of the human mind is really “explaining away” the human mind (a denial of the human person), and his “ethics” is really the negation of the very possibility of ethics (morality) – i.e. the ability to, with effort, choose to do what is morally right against the desire (the passion) to do evil.

  • Michael Taylor

    Paul Marks, At the dreadful risk of setting you off, I can’t see why knowing the intellectual history of an idea is necessary to mounting a stubborn and successful defence against it. For two reasons: your implied appeal to (superior) authority is surely just as vulnerable to refutation as the original idea, and in exactly the same way. Ie, a priori there’s no reason why the book showing why the original idea was bad, might not itself also be bad. Surely at some point we all get to rely on some ‘sentimentalist’ perception of good and bad? Why do we assume this is a less adequate basis for practical judgement than rational logic chains which must, I believe ultimately rest on sentimentalist foundations?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul: do yourself a favor and make a New Year resolution not to eat any foods that cause brain damage.
    That means, at a minimum: no seed oils, no refined sugars, and no gluten.
    If you can stick to this for a couple of years, you might begin to think more clearly.
    You don’t even know what it’s like to think clearly — Maybe i don’t know it myself; but i know that i am thinking much more clearly than i used to.

    [NB: I won’t be offended if this comment is removed.]

  • Kirk

    StevenR said:

    I don’t mind that the French have a streak of intellectualism while Americans are content to be stupid.

    I parse this differently, TBH.

    All too many of our own American soi-desant “intellectual” class like to claim that there’s a distinct anti-intellectual bias in American society, and that that is why the “great unwashed” here in this country are labeled “deplorables” and derided by all “right-thinking” people.

    That’s not the way we deplorables see it, however. What we see, looking at the self-declared intelligentsia is a mass of idiots that are irreparably f*cked in the head. When you have someone that keeps telling you things that you can easily see are patently incorrect, and do not pass the common sense test, and they keep on keeping on with the insistence that they’re right, and that you are stupid and uneducated…? Why on earth wouldn’t there be a strong counter-reaction to these “intellectuals”?

    Most Americans of the “intellectual class” keep saying these things, coming up with these ideas like “no cash bail” and everything about the “homelessness problem”, and the average non-intellectual looks at the obvious failure of it all coupled with the increasingly vehement insistence that the “intellectuals” are just right, dammit, and that anyone saying differently needs to shut up.

    The old fairy tales about “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes” carry lessons that the so-called “intellectual class” ought to heed. The rest of us are out here observing them and their works, and we’re not all that impressed with their performance.

    This tends to discredit “intellectualism” and “intellectuals”. A lot.

    The funny thing is, I could easily be one of that class. I’ve got the mental faculties and the ability to process information to be able to fraud my way into that world. What I lack is the interest, the arrogance, and the lack of wisdom to do so. I know my limitations; I can work out causal factors that apparently elude most of that ilk.

    Which is why I disdain them and most of their works. Along with a lot of other Americans, who feel similarly. One day in the mid-term future, I think that’s going to have a certain… Effect. And, a lot of these useless drones are going to find out that their only future lies in manual labor.

    So, yeah… Mock Americans for being anti-intellectual all you like. But, before you convince me to join you in that amusement, I’d like you to do something for me: Point to something, anything, that these “intellectuals” have actually accomplished. Show me something they’ve actually improved. Let me see their work-product, the one that has you convinced they’re superior beings, worthy of adulation and emulation…

    ‘Cos, I ain’t seeing it. Anywhere I look.

    Intelligence is a vastly overrated thing, the way I see it. I just have to look at the current lot of idiots running things here in the US, and I have to ask that one singular question: Where the hell is the merit, in this supposed meritocracy of ours? What, exactly, did we gain by handing the levers of power over to all these self-declared genius technocrats?

    What I see, looking back over the long decades of their mis-rule is that they’ve actually managed to perform worse than the old-timey types we so blithely deride today. Tammany Hall was overtly corrupt; you knew that, they admitted to it, and you could see it going on in real time. Today’s version? Why, they clothe themselves in the legitimacy of unquestionable wisdom; they’ve got degrees, credentials… Don’t you dare question their authority, by God! If you do, we’ll cancel you and put you in jail.

    Not even Boss Tweed had the balls to do what they do routinely today. Because he wasn’t able to clothe himself in God-like virtue because of his “superior intellect”, he knew he had to perform for the majority of the people. I think that system may well have been better than what we’ve got today, after all the “merit” got put in.

    I’m suspicious of any priesthood, and what the modern intellectual movement amounts to is a self-referential self-worshipping priesthood that’s so impressed with their own endeavors that they fail to recognize that most of what they’re doing is not working.

    It’s interesting to me that all the great things these assholes have destroyed were actually built by the old-timers they deride so casually. California’s water system, the one they haven’t maintained or improved since the 1970s? Why, that was the product of the old racist white men they love to mock, totally unworthy of any respect.

    Thing is? These cretins have nothing even remotely equivalent of their own to show us. Their high-speed railway to nowhere, that is billions and billions of dollars over budget? That’s their legacy.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Kirk gets closer to the core issue than anybody else in this thread… including yours truly.

    One major issue that i have with Kirk’s comment is his use of the words: idiots and cretins.
    He fails to distinguish between idiocy and insanity.

    Much better to be an idiot than to be insane… as long as you are sane enough to realize that you might be an idiot.

  • bobby b

    “Much better to be an idiot than to be insane”

    You can recover from insanity.

  • Snorri Godhi

    You can recover from insanity.

    I know that i did.

  • JJM

    Wokery is very much an Anglosphere obsession.

    In terms of language alone, all the “gender-neutral” and “my pronouns are…” stuff isn’t actually even possible or practical in French: all nouns and pronouns must be grammatically either masculine or feminine in gender; they cannot be both and they cannot be neither.

  • Steven R

    In terms of language alone, all the “gender-neutral” and “my pronouns are…” stuff isn’t actually even possible or practical in French: all nouns and pronouns must be grammatically either masculine or feminine in gender; they cannot be both and they cannot be neither.

    At least until the Woke Army invent a new word like Latinx. We’ve seen it in other gendered languages like German, where the title Fraulein is now passé (not to mention sexist and ageist and probably something else) and all women are simply addressed as Frau, much like how in English Miss is no longer used and it is Ms. all around unless a woman specifically asks for Mrs. to be used.

  • bobby b

    I watched a guy who was using the word Latinx yesterday in Yuma, Arizona get scorched by the crowd. It was fun. (For me, not for him.)

    It’s not going to catch on with actual Latinos and Latinas, I’ll predict.

  • Kirk

    @Snorri Godhi,

    One major issue that i have with Kirk’s comment is his use of the words: idiots and cretins.

    He fails to distinguish between idiocy and insanity.

    I dunno that there’s a syndrome or disease process in the DSM that really answers the mail with regards to the specific type and variety of insanity prevalent these days. Given the prevalence, and the very definition of insanity itself, I have to wonder if they’re really describable as “insane”. There are so many of them, you see, that they’re actually the norm. So… That makes the rest of us the ones who’re insane.

    The actual problem here is that we’ve managed to warp the selection process of our institutions and social structures such that we keep putting the blind in charge of color selection.

    You stop and think about it, and you’re forced to recognize that we’ve institutionalized a form of autism as the ultimate good: Do well on the tests? You’ll get affirmation, specialized schooling catering to your test-taking ability, more help, more catering-to, and eventually, more schooling of an advanced nature that pumps you out into a position of power and authority in general society.

    All without having to ever actually demonstrate any sort of real-world performance and accomplishment. And, because the world is run by your fellows, the chances of you ever suffering the slightest repercussion for f*cking it all up by the numbers are pretty much zero; instead of criticism, firing, and joblessness, you’ll actually get promotion and move on to better and better jobs.

    Disbelieve me? Review the career of one Anthony Fauci, or the EPA bureaucrats that breached that contaminated minesite and killed a thousand miles of fragile river ecosystem.

    The problem here isn’t necessarily even that we’ve selected autistic savants to run everything, but that we’ve insulated them from consequence and accountability. Even though they’re manifestly unsuitable to be running much of anything, the fact is, they’re what they are because that’s what the system has trained them to be. The planaria, in this case, have never encountered the electrode; of course they’re not going to avoid it. Hell, they can’t even identify it…

    You could make the modern world’s processes work. But, you’d first have to change things such that failure had consequences and that failures would be immediately identified and dealt with in summary expeditious fashion. Were you to be taking the average “woke” bureaucrat out and shooting them in the back of the head in front of all their similarly “woke” peers, when their fatuous ideas didn’t work out in the real world? Why, you’d have a much different outcome than you would from what we’re trying at the moment. The chance of getting shot for failure wonderfully concentrates the mind, I’ve observed…

    I don’t think they’re crazy, in other words. They’re just “differently stupid”.

  • Snorri Godhi


    I dunno that there’s a syndrome or disease process in the DSM …

    What you fail to appreciate is that psychiatrists are themselves insane.
    If they weren’t, they’d have realized a long time ago that poor nutrition is the main factor in mental illnesses.

    Given the prevalence, and the very definition of insanity itself, I have to wonder if they’re really describable as “insane”. There are so many of them, you see, that they’re actually the norm.

    ‘Insane’ is the opposite of ‘sane’.
    It is not the opposite of ‘normal’.

  • Kirk

    @Snorri Godhi,

    Not to be argumentative, but I’ve always taken “sanity” as being entirely in the realm of the relative, and that it depends on context. If you’re living in Medieval times, and believe in magic and witches? You’re sane in that context; transposed to another, say ours? You’re clearly insane.

    In other words, if your neighbors are calling the men in white jackets to come for you with a certain style of long-sleeved jacket, then you’re basically being adjudged insane, if anyone answers their calls. If they’re the ones who get locked up, it’s them.

    Granted, that ain’t quite the dictionary definition, but the whole of it really does come down to consensus. If enough of your fellows think your behavior rational and correct, well… Who’s going to come lock you up for smearing yourself in butter and then rolling on the sidewalk while begging for others to come help you into the frying pan?

    You’re only really considered crazy if enough of your neighbors say so, sadly enough. In the grand scheme of things, as a cosmic truth? Yeah, you might be crazy as a loon, but without someone to say so, there ya go. There is something of a quantum observational effect to it all; you’re really only sane so long as your observers think you are. And, conversely, if they think you’re insane, well… Get ready for a prolonged period of time in the padded cells.

    My own opinion is that there are outside objective viewpoints to be had; the problem is, the mass of the body politic has to agree about it, before something is done. Objectively, yeah… They might be crazy. But, good luck getting anyone to recognize that fact until there’s a critical mass of opinion that they are, indeed… Crazy.

  • JJM

    “[Latinx is] not going to catch on with actual Latinos and Latinas, I’ll predict.”

    And it hasn’t.

    It is endlessly amusing to observe the constant contradictory messages of Wokery: one minute prattling on about “decolonization”, the next minute telling speakers of other languages how their languages should work.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – you remain under the delusion that your abuse is an argument, it is not an argument Sir.

    As for David Hume, and here I will deliberately “violate Goodwin’s law”, Auschwitz is his monument.

    After all “reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions” is the line the National Socialists took – to them reason was just instrumental “how do I do this?” not “should I do this?” – their passion to exterminate various groups, and indulge their sadistic passions in various other ways, was what mattered.

    And, we must remember, that Hume (like Hobbes before him) also held that we can not choose to do other than we do – in short that people have no real choice over their actions.

    If we can not choose not to do something – then there is no criminal fault (although there may be civil liability) – if we gas people, then we gas people (it was predetermined).

    And if our passions are what matter (with no moral reason) then we should rob, rape and murder “reason is and OUGHT TO BE the slave of the passions” – even if we could, with effort, not do these things.

    I realise that none of the above is original, indeed it was pointed out about the French Revolutionaries more than two centuries ago (that they were acting as if all that mattered was their passions, and they also SOMETIMES used materialist and determinist philosophy to argue that they could not have behaved differently), but it appears it needs to be said again.

    When they actually met Hume and Rousseau fell out, but there was a strong intellectual kinship – and, a few years later, different factions of French Revolutionary (all following Rousseau) were just as happy to torment and murder each other, as they were to torment and murder people opposed to the Revolution.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul: your brain is seriously sick, and i only needed to read your first paragraph to know that.
    (As if i did not know it already.)
    You have no idea of what constitutes an argument. You have never presented an argument for your views (to my knowledge and in my recollection). That is why i don’t waste time with you.

    You keep saying that you will die soon, but it could be said that you are already brain-dead.

    [Added by Natalie Solent: the only reason I have not deleted this comment is that I wanted to leave up the evidence that Paul Marks was not exaggerating when he spoke of Snorri Godhi’s “provocations”. Mr Godhi, please do not ever leave such a comment again.]

  • Paul Marks

    To return to the French lady in the post.

    The lady is, de facto, suggesting that Americans (and others) make a choice not to indulge their passion to persecute people for expressing their opinions.

    That is precisely what Hume held that people can not, and should not, do. That they can not, and should not, make a moral choice not to indulge their passions.

    People, supposedly, can not make a choice to act differently, and, even if they had that ability (free will – moral agency) they should not do so – as reason “ought to be” the “slave of the passions”.

    Very 1960s (with violence and destruction being seen as good by the 68ers – and moral self restraint being held to be a bad thing) – or very French Revolution.

    For example, if Snorri offends me I should not waste time disputing what he says – I should, from the point of view of Mr Hume, just indulge my passion by cutting Snorri’s throat.

    And if anyone charges me with murder for such an act – I am to say that my act was predetermined, that free will (moral agency) does not exist (I could not have made a moral choice to resist my passions). That it was as if a rock from outer space fell on Snorri’s head – it could not have been otherwise. One can not blame the rock for falling on his head, or the person (or rather human shaped flesh robot – not a person) for cutting Snorri’s throat.

    I am reminded of various people in the Netherlands who have been murdered for expressing opposition to Islam – it would be nice if Snorri would express some sympathy with the murdered people. With their right to express their opposition to Islam, and condemn the doctrine that holds it is correct to kill those who “mock or insult” Muhammed. Perhaps Snorri has already done this.

    “But David Hume never acted on his philosophy – it was just theory” – true enough, as far as I know.

  • Paul Marks

    I note that Snorri has replied with more personal abuse.

    And I will continue to prove Mr Hume mistaken – by choosing to take no physical action against Snorri, regardless of his many provocations.

    [Added by Natalie Solent: please see the note that I have added to the comment by Snorri Godhi to which this reply refers. Its tone was unacceptable. The only reason that I have not deleted it is that I wish to leave up the evidence that Mr Marks was not exaggerating when he spoke of “provocations”.]

  • Paul Marks

    I have missed what should have been an obvious point.

    To a great extent what the French lady condemns about the United States, the mob hounding people from their jobs for expressing non “Woke” opinions, is in European countries (yes – including France) done by the Criminal and Civil Law.

    The worst country in Europe for Freedom of Speech is, perhaps, Scotland (I am leaving aside the dictatorships of Russia and Belarus – other than to express grief that the government of Ukraine is copying some of Dictator Putin’s laws, yes I know they are at war but it is still very unfortunate), Scotland gets worse and worse in relation to Freedom of Speech all the time.

    But it is not just Scotland – for example every European Union country (Estonia was the last hold out) now has “Hate Speech” laws (by command of the European Union) that carry out much the same function as the “Woke” mob in the United States – hounding and persecuting people for expressing opinions those with power do not like. Yes it is not the same – but similar.

    I should have seen this obvious point before – and I apologise for not seeing it.

    The First Amendment is not enough (and even that will go if Mr Biden gets to appoint another Supreme Court Justice or two) – the United States must recapture the Free Speech CULTURE it once had, and that means a conscious and deliberate choice – contra F.A. Hayek liberty does NOT “evolve” or “emerge” – people need to make a conscious choice to support liberty and to sacrifice (perhaps sacrifice their own lives) to establish and maintain liberty.

    The First Amendment just prevents European style “Hate Speech” laws – it does not prevent people being hounded from the jobs and otherwise persecuted.

    As Ronald Reagan said – liberty is never more than one generation away from being destroyed, because it depends on the culture of the people (not just the written Constitution).

    And the culture of the people has been undermined by the evil (and it is evil) that is taught in the education system – and has then gone out into the media, the Corporations and-so-on.

    Perhaps the key point was the Obama Administration (mis) using Title Nine of the Civil Rights Act to (in Herbert Marcuse style) hold that Freedom of Speech in universities was Repressive Tolerance – that Freedom of Speech “harmed” “disadvantaged and marginalised groups”.

    The left had been growing in repressive power in the United States for many years – but I think it was during the Obama Administration that what was left of Freedom of Speech in universities, and so on, was ended.

    The Freedom of Speech culture (what little of it that remained) ended – and without a peep from the ACLU and other groups supposedly in support of Civil Liberties.

    The Freedom of Speech culture must be regained, in the United States and elsewhere, and that can only be done by people making a conscious choice to regain Freedom of Speech, and making the personal sacrifices needed to achieve this.

    Freedom is never free – it never just “evolves” or “emerges”, people must make a conscious choice to try and achieve it, and to accept the terrible personal sacrifices they will have to accept to have any chance of achieving it.

  • Kirk

    The problem that those who argue against full freedom of speech all miss is this: When you shut down open debate and free speech, you’re really not changing anyone’s minds, at all. Nor are you changing the facts that they based their opinions on.

    You can shut down people saying that the whole LGBTWTFBBQ gender-confused situation is hate speech, and that anyone espousing that series of mental issues is beyond reproach; what you’re not doing is addressing the underlying conditions that the people whose speech you’re shutting down are discussing.

    To put this in terms of Aesop’s fables: The fact that you’ve shut up all the little boys crying out that the Emperor is naked does nothing to address the fact that said Emperor is naked, and that he’s waving his wing-wang in everyone’s faces. That is still there.

    You can shut down “climate change deniers” all you like, but the raw fact is, you’re eventually going to have to explain why it is that none of your predictions have come true. You can bankrupt and beggar all the “little people” you like, in the name of these things, but what the hell happens when those “little people” cease with the willing suspension of disbelief, and demand your head for what you’ve done?

    This is what the idiots in charge seem to have missed: Eventually, there will come a Timosoara moment, when they’re standing in the reviewing stands in front of the crowds of people they’ve been lording it over, and you’re going to realize that they’re no longer buying into your particular line of BS any more. Shortly after, you’re going to find yourself in front of a firing squad, or torn to shreds by the mob.

    Speech isn’t what these idiots think it is; shutting it down doesn’t do a damn thing to address the reason people are speaking, and the underlying reality is going to exert itself on human affairs. When that happens, you’re going to regret it, because it’s exactly the same thing as what happens when some idiot running a boiler decides the relief valve is a pain and ties it down, while ignoring the pressure gauge.

    In American politics? The election of Trump was pretty much a warning sign to the elites from the “rest of us”. Everyone ignored the things they said about Trump and elected him anyway. The crap that’s gone on since hasn’t done a thing to address the actual underlying issues that got Trump elected, just as the smothering of the Tea Party didn’t effect anything in assuaging people’s rage and concern about where we were headed. Those sentiments and thoughts are still there, and because of what they’ve done about it all, they’re just boiling harder and harder. I would not be surprised to see violence come from all of this, and violence to a degree that would make the Romanian Securitate quail.

    Free speech isn’t some ideal thing; it’s a tool whereby the people running things can find out what’s actually in the minds of their people. You shut it down, you’re ignoring their voices, and by doing that, you’re dooming yourself.

    Depending on the nature of the population we’re talking about, that could be in years, decades, or centuries. Look how long it took for the French to get fed the hell up with their aristos… Imagine the current lot of WEF types trying to keep the lid on things through all their cut-outs. It won’t be pretty; I rather doubt that the Swiss Army is going to be willing to die in the passes when the masses decide to come a-lynching and a-burning to Davos.

    Or, London. Or, Washington DC. People are getting fed up with it all, and I don’t see it ending well for these self-declared “intellectual elites” that think they run everything. The reality is, they really, truly do not; that guy down in the sub-basement, who knows where all the valves are for the heating and cooling? He has rather more power over it all than anyone realizes, and when he figures out that he and his are getting screwed by the boys and girls up in the penthouse suite…? Do the math. I’m not gonna be one of the guys standing in the way for the inevitable and entirely predictable ugly denouement. May not happen in my lifetime, either, but it will happen.

    The geniuses that blundered us into WWI and WWII thought they were “Masters of the World”, if you remember. Events proved things out somewhat differently.