The Attrition Mill Speeds Up

In one of my posts on the aftermath of 9/11, I introduced the metaphor of the Attrition Mill.  An attrition mill consists of two steel disks, rotating at high speed in opposite directions and crushing the substance to be milled between them.  Metaphorically, I see America, and western civilization in general, as being caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one rotating disk being the Islamofascist enemy and the other disk representing certain tendencies within our own societies…most notably, the focus on group identities, the growing hostility toward free speech, and the sharp decline of civilizational-self confidence.

The combination of the upper and lower disks of the metaphorical Attrition Mill is far more dangerous than either by itself would be.  For example, the student government at the University of Minnesota has rejected a resolution calling for annual commemorations of the 9/11 atrocity.  Why?  It was argued that such a resolution would make Muslim students feel “unsafe.” The “Students for Justice for Palestine” said that being reminded of 9/11 on its anniversary would lead to increased “Islamaphobia.”

It seems pretty clear that this sort of ridiculously deferential “sensitivity” does not make immigrants, or children and grandchildren of immigrants, more likely to assimilate.  Contrarily, it reinforces group identifies and intergroup hostilities.  And in doing so, it creates a social environment in which it is much more likely that actual terrorists–representing the upper disk of the Attrition Mill–will go unreported or even be actively supported in their ethnic/religious communities. And that, in turn, greatly increases the risks inherent in large-scale migration.

Hillary Clinton reacted to the Benghazi murders by blaming a video, going so far as to tell a grieving father that  he would have his revenge–not on the killers, oh, no, but rather we are going to have that filmmaker arrested Here, we see the threat and actuality of Islamist violence being used as an excuse for interfering with the free-speech rights of Americans…and you can bet that if that precedent is successfully established, it will be applied with plenty of other justifications, too.

(On a related note,  John Kerry came very close to saying that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo were in some manner justified.)

And both disks of the Attrition Mill are revolving with increasing speed. The attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the Paris kosher grocery store, and the Russian airliner were followed by the large-scale attack that just happened in Paris.  The lower disk of the Mill is turning faster as well:  Amherst students are demanding restrictions on free speech, with compulsory “reeducation” for offenders.  We have seen insane behavior at Yale, with students raging at a couple of professors who dared to suggest that people not go overboard about the issue of  Halloween costumes.  Here is Alan Dershowitz on what is happening to our colleges:  “the fog of Fascism is descending


This hostility toward free speech and open debate is not new:  read what Neo-Neocon had to say about her own experiences when returning to school in the early 1990s:

The young women in an undergraduate class I was required to take for my Master’s—a class which, being in the social sciences, consisted almost entirely of women—were virtually all in favor of a definition of actionably offensive speech that went something like this: “speech that offends any person in the subjective sense, rather than speech that is in fact objectively offensive.” In vain I stood up in front of the 100-or-so students, most of them around twenty years younger than I, to ask what the limits of this might be, to suggest that it was wrong to allow the most sensitive among us to dictate what was unacceptable, and to speak up for free speech in general. I was met with uncomprehending stares and impatient dismissal, a fossil in my own time.

I realized that something was terribly, terribly wrong. Not one person appeared to agree with me, or if they did they weren’t saying so publicly or privately. And the professor, a woman just a couple of years younger than I, was clearly on their side. I have never forgotten it, and although at the time I didn’t put it in a political left/right context (that came later), I realized it was a frightening development and it made me feel very, very uneasy and quite alone.

Twenty-five more years of marination in Leftist memes (to use Neo’s phrase) have certainly made these anti-free-speech instincts much worse, and I believe the fear inspired by Islamist terrorism is causing people to search for security in a way that devalues personal freedom.

Deeply worrisome times.

29 thoughts on “The Attrition Mill Speeds Up”

  1. Jonathan…haven’t watch the video yet….read part of transcript of an interview between Gelernter and Bill Kristol. One of the things he said was:

    “My students today are much less obnoxious. Much more likable than I and my friends used to be, but they are so ignorant that it’s hard to accept how ignorant they are. You tell yourself stories; it’s very hard to grasp that the person you’re talking to, who is bright, articulate, advisable, interested, and doesn’t know who Beethoven is. Had no view looking back at the history of the 20th century – just sees a fog. A blank. Has the vaguest idea of who Winston Churchill was or why he mattered. And maybe has no image of Teddy Roosevelt, let’s say, at all. I mean, these are people who – We have failed.”

    I wonder if maybe the degree of ignorance is overstated here…possibly, just possibly, the students Gelernter sees at Yale are hothouse plants, bred up for the particular purpose of getting into Yale or some similar institution and being allowed no bandwidth to focus on other things.

    Grasping at straws, I know…

  2. David, I think that’s a good question. I suspect that young people who go into the military (especially the service academies), or into junior college or night school while they work at adult jobs, or into trades have significantly different knowledge and worldviews. Perhaps this would be a good topic for survey research.

  3. The public schools are fulfilling the plans of John Dewey and the authoritarian state. This was the intent from the beginning of state-run schools. The implementation was taken from Germany under 1880’s socialism. The entire idea of “grades” is taken from German military tradition.

    John Dewey was a social planner and is still celebrated as a philosopher of US public education:

    “Independent self-reliant people would be a counterproductive anachronism in the collective society of the future where people will be defined by their associations (1896).”

    [ Restated: The groups you belong to or are assigned to will be much more important than what you know, in the socialist, planned world of the future. ]

    “The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society that is coming, where everyone would be interdependent (1899).”

    [ Restated: We don’t want independent thinkers. A few smart children will be needed to run the society, from the proper families and trained in the private schools. Any excess from the public schools will merely spoil social harmony by needlessly trying to change or oppose the scientific plans of the elite.]

    The public schools, are leftist, collectivist institutions of government, and have been from the start. They deliver an unvarying, socialist message starting in pre-school. They don’t teach non-socialist history or ideas. Why should they teach things which are wrong from their viewpoint?

    Schools are the “strong horse”. A child understands the absolute power of the school. That is the purpose of zero-tolerance policies. Children learn that the school is unmerciful, and they almost all assume the school must be correct. Otherwise, why would all of the other adults let them impose those harsh policies?

    This message is almost entirely unshakable by the time of college, except for the minority who had parents supporting a revolutionary, conservative viewpoint. Even those conservative students are warned not to publicly go against the tide for fear of the wrath of the school.

    Anyone who publicly expresses a conservative analysis is immediately considered a crank. He is, as a practical matter. His viewpoint has been discredited countless times in the prior 12 years by everyone having actual power. He is immediately dismissed as not worth listening to, especially because his message is seen as both gloomy and supporting the participation of evil people.

  4. According to Fox News Lord Baraq Hussein Obama has allowed only muslem refugees into the USA.

    “The Syrian civil war began in the spring of 2011 and, since that year, the U.S. has accepted more than 2,187 refugees, but only 61 Christians. The majority – 96 percent – are Muslims, mostly Sunni, while the another 25 refugees are a mix of atheist, no religion, other, Bahai, Yazidi or Zoroastrian. In 2015, the U.S. allowed in the bulk of its refugees – 1,829 – but only 30, or 1.6 percent, were Christian.”

    Christians get their heads chopped off, or they get crucified or they get eaten alive by rats or they are fiorced to eat their own children. But moslems are rewarded for the acts of terrorists.

    Only We Americans can save the Syrian Christians – no one else will.

    The Moslems will not allow Christians to register with the UN High Commission for Refugees as refugees. Registration must be done in the refugee camps but Christians are not allowed in the camp and must live elsewhere unprotected. If they leave Syria on a boat, the Christians and their children are thrown overboard.

    We need a Christian president.


  5. Our educational conglomerate is a catastrophic failure.

    It fails at the philosophical and theoretical level, it fails at the organizational level, it fails at the classroom level, and, as a result, its products fail as educated and knowledgeable adults who can lead independent, productive lives.

    The insanity we are seeing every day, from grade school kids being suspended for pretending to shoot a bow and arrow, or drawing a gun shape on some paper, to high school kids who literally cannot count, read, or write a coherent paragraph when they graduate, to these delicate flowers in our universities who get the vapors if someone dares to speak about a topic in an unapproved manner, is the net result of decades of neglect by parents and others who stood by while the schools were taken over by radical progressives who had no interest in education, only indoctrination.

    All children are naturally curious, and desire to know anything and everything they might need to get along in life. We, who should be passing on the discoveries about how to live successfully as an knowledgeable, independent, rational, productive person, have instead spent our time perfecting our own “lifestyles”, and abandoned our children to a cult of irrationality and ignorance.

    The book says, “Who among you, if your child asked for bread, would hand him a stone? If he asked for water, would give him a serpent?”

    And yet, when our children ask for the knowledge they need to live a free and independent adults, we gave them muddy moral neutrality, and a handful of gravel—disconnected bits and pieces of skewed viewpoints and pc crap.

    We will pay a heavy price for several generations who know little or nothing about their culture, the philosophical underpinnings that created it, and the major historical events that shaped it over centuries of struggle, both it’s failures and it’s blazing successes.

    We have created this perfect storm of ignorance, irrationality, and permanent victomology.

    Mene, mene, tekel upharsin.

    Read the writing on the wall.

  6. To Robert Schwartz – Yes, actual fascism is a European ideology having nothing to do with Islam. Ninety-nine percent of the time the word “fascism” is used it is just cant devoid of any serious intellectual content.

  7. Well, European Fascism was largely a rebellion against modernity. It was a collectivist ideology, subordinating the religion to the group. It was militarily aggressive and viewed violence as a positive good. And it insisted on a strictly subordinate religion for women. All of these things are also true of the strain of Islamism represented by ISIL.

    Of course, there are differences as well, most notably with the organizing principle of Islamofascism being religion rather than race/nationality/ethnicity. And the negativity towards women exceeds that seen in Nazi Germany or in Mussolini’s Italy.

  8. One of them actually reported the project as a “bias incident”

    If these people become our governing class in ten years, we deserve the hell that will descend on us.

  9. “Yes, actual fascism is a European ideology having nothing to do with Islam.”

    Well Jim, I guess all those pics of the Grand Mufti meeting with Adolf and the boys were just photoshopped.

    You are correct though, the proper term is ‘islamonazis.’

  10. “Islamo-fascism” is self-referential and redundant. Islam is more “fascist” than 1930’s Italians, 1930’s FDR, or 1930’s German National socialists, and has perfected political technique by emulating parts of the Western Control Grid found compatible or useful with the classic tenants of Islam. Also: use of phrases like “extreme Islam” or “Islamic terrorists” are indications of media being Pwn’d” or co-opted. There is only one Islam, worldwide.

  11. No, what I need is for more people to buy my books … so that I can afford certain additional necessities. And to buy my daughter a shotgun which she asked Santa to bring her for Christmas.

  12. Words, and the meaning of words, is important to a well functioning, reality based civilization, at least, one that wishes to retain the best parts of itself into the future.
    That being said, there are ‘good’ Moooslims, just like there are ‘bad’ Christians, both of them, unfortunately like to think they get a Free Ticket to Paradise… again, words.

    Unfortunately, Islam is the religion of lies and death, regardless of whether the individual accepts all the tenants of the Quran, like, the 191 ways to kill ‘The Infidel’. Mooslims, like Christians, reject whole segments of their books, depending on their ‘sect’.

    However, the original meaning of words come into play in the actual meaning of the word; ISLAM.
    We are told by our brain dead panty waist media talking heads that it means PEACE. Well, not so much. The original meaning of the word, in Arabic, is all that matters… in Arabic, the meaning of the word ISLAM is;

    “There will be PEACE, when all the world SUBMITS to the will of allah.”
    (Little ‘a’ deliberate.)

    There is only one way to interpret this, and it is further amplified by the Doctrine of Taqiyya, the Way of War is Deception. They are allowed to lie, cheat, steal, and kill ‘infidels’, whether they are cowards or not, like Christians, there are many who justify their passivity and individual cowardice.

    So my question is; With the Taqiyya, how can you tell between a lying Moooooslime, and a good Mooslim?
    You can’t.
    Mark my words, there were over 800 ‘mooslim looking’ people attacked after 911, especially in the event of using a weapon of mass destruction, the backlash, will be upon them. No logic, no reason, no nothing but pure unadulterated rage… kinda like… leftists… ;)

  13. Dear Jim:
    “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

    Replace “state” with “Islam” and you have a good summing-up of many essential characteristics of Islam.

    Also: The Muslim Brotherhood (which Obama is so fond of) was inspired by European fascism.

  14. I guess you guys don’t watch South Park. The entire season has been about Political Correctness. It starts when PC Principal takes over the school and it just gets better and better as the season progresses.

    One of the reason, perhaps, that your safe space people have to do what they do is lack of Hate Speech regulation in your country. It does not make you freer, as may, or may not be obvious.

  15. PenGun, I can’t make sense of what you’re trying to say re. “Hate Speech” (other than it’s fine example of Orwellian thought, it seems to be that “one if freer when one is not free”) But, anyway, wasn’t South Park silenced WRT to portraying Mohamed (or Islam) by intimidation from members of that peace-loving (sarc) group a year or two ago? Censored, but more free are they?
    Forgive me though if you’re just being sarcastic.

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