The Things That We Are Asked To Give Up

So, as I am devoting all my energy and time to finishing the first draft of another book, I have been following – with lashings of sorrow, pity, dread and the merest splash of schadenfreude – developments in Europe. Germany, which seems to be cracking under the weight of a full load of so-called refugees, Sweden, ditto, Brussels, where the concerned citizens appear to be too frightened to continue with a protest march against fear, and the governing authorities appear to be more concerned about the legendary anti-Muslim backlash than the certainty of Islamic terror unleashed in some European or English city.

The transnational progressive ruling elites have their concerns; you see … not the safety or well-being of their own native tribes, who appear to have been bulldozed by political correctitude into assuming the supine and unresisting position. Every bit of national pride and cultural confidence looks to have been kicked out of the native European tribes over the last half-century. Whether this cultural demoralization was calculated or unwitting is still up for grabs, I guess – but there you are; the enduring image is of powerless serfs, savagely disciplined by their overlords for any breach of discipline or expression of objection or dissent, only now the overlords don’t bear patents of nobility as did the old Ruling Class. The new Ruling Class may not boast of noble titles in the old sense and noblesse hasn’t obliged to anything but veiled contempt directed at those of their own countrymen lower down on the ladder than themselves.(The sense of towering entitlement and vicious social snobbery has carried on, so there is that tradition being maintained.)

So once that national pride and cultural confidence has been destroyed, what is to be next? Such qualities are intangible things, even if they were once powerful motivators of the native European national tribes. They lead to nasty things such as wars, which the transnational progressives can’t stomach, and which ordinary people aren’t that wild about anyway, and after two particularly nasty wars rubbished cities and gutted two generations of their best and brightest, why not set them aside and give peace a chance?  Or so I presume the reasoning goes.

The worrying aspect of the recent tidal flood of Muslim refugees into Western Europe is that in order to keep the peace between the migrants and the local German, or French, Danish, English or Swedish citizens, some things must be given up. In times before, it would have been the incoming refugees who would have been asked to give up; customs incompatible with the host nation for a start. In this topsy-turvy world of the new transnational Ruling Class, though – it appears so far to be the native Europeans who are being asked to give up; a sense of being safe in their own streets for a start, especially when it comes to unaccompanied women. In France and in Belgium, whole urban neighborhoods have already been given up to the rule of sharia. The matter of the Danish cartoons and Charlie Hebdo have pretty well proven to anyone paying attention that freedom of speech, or at least the right to poke fun at Mohammed and Muslims in general is being limited.  There is a plan on already for female-only railway coaches on German trains, and for woman-only hours or spaces at public pools. It has been spottily reported that groups like Sharia4Belgium actively campaigned at a street level for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to begin conforming to Islamic custom. Other sharia4 organizing groups appear to have something more than just an internet presence, in demanding that secular law be set aside in favor of sharia – religious law.

A few years ago, I read of traditional folk street festivals in the Lowlands, being broken up and participants attacked by Muslim men. I can’t find any trace of those particular stories now – they have sunk without a trace, but they all track in the same direction. Folk and religious custom, civil law, safety in the streets and on transport, freedom of expression … what next will Europeans and Americans be asked by the Ruling Class to put limits on, or to give up? And what will be the one thing which will finally set off an explosion of rebellion among ordinary Europeans? Forbidding the consumption of pork sausages, or public beer drinking in deference to Muslims, would be my bet, although your mileage may vary. Discuss.

23 thoughts on “The Things That We Are Asked To Give Up”

  1. And what will be the one thing which will finally set off an explosion of rebellion among ordinary Europeans? Forbidding the consumption of pork sausages, or public beer drinking in deference to Muslims, would be my bet, although your mileage may vary. Discuss.

    The choice favoring rebellion will always comes down to cost of rebellion versus gain from rebellion. The cost of rebellion is often quite high and this means that the gains have to match or the inspiration to rebel has to be very significant. Most people will buckle under and submit because they want to keep paying the mortgage, they want their kids to keep going to an orderly school, they want to keep their jobs, their reputations. You can pile indignity upon indignity on people and they will keep submitting. Of course there will always be people on the margin who reach the transition point in terms of their own calculus and when they rebel the margin will move slightly inwards. Over time those who are rebelling will increase in numbers. So too will the sympathy for them.

    The people who have something to lose will be the least likely to rebel even though they have the most to protect and rebellion would likely help them protect what they have. This means, I suspect, that it will be those who have the least to protect who will be most open to rebel and they’ll have the least to gain from rebelling. Their rebellion will be predicated upon principle, not material gain/loss issues. This pool of people will be young, the losers of society, the one’s seeking adventure and confrontation. Almost totally men.

    The trick that needs to be mastered is to use the consent of the silent majority to protect those on the frontlines who are engaged in rebellion for the benefit of the silent majority. I’m not yet sure how that can be brought about.

  2. Here’s a video of Wilders speaking in Brussels I saw a week ago or so. It’s subtitled in English. The speech itself isn’t that drastically different than his usual (although each time it’s delivered it’s relevance and urgency are amplified) but what caught my eye were the people in attendance. Many are young, well dressed, seemingly professional and educated. Surely, on a Sunday evening in Brussels there are any number of things to do, events to attend, why listen to this?

  3. Sgt. Mom
    I read of traditional folk street festivals in the Lowlands, being broken up and participants attacked by Muslim men. I can’t find any trace of those particular stories now –

    Before and after Iraq invasion there are a lot of books stories and games showing “the Lowlands, being broken up and participants attacked by” western army solders etc…… Isn’t same Sgt. Mom?

    Did you question your merits how 25 million Iraqis were till today get killed and get flee their land because of fear that came with the invader?

    Yes there were Tyrant there there was fear there but that not caused millions to flea their “Lowlands” and coming to Europe. Germany, which seems to be cracking under the weight of a full load of so-called refugees, Sweden, ditto, Brussels,

    All this madam its a backslash of your behaviors in the region not because of Islam, your writing some sort of Phobia, well there are western in Kuwait, in Dubai, in Saudi kingdom, how many of you went to ME countries and your fear high to be killed because you are western or Christian or Jews?

    You been in ME did you had the level of fear while now seating in your comfort zone sparading your phobia

  4. The population of Iraq is around 30 million, genius. You’re telling us five sixths of the population got killed off by the big bad infidel?

    Not because of Islam? Balls. I’ve read the user’s guide to your death cult — I approached it in a spirit of curiosity and even sympathy after 9/11 — and now I know it for what it is. Something like 80% of you people in Gallup and Pew polls routinely advocate the death penalty for apostasy and/or sex out of wedlock. You are a civilization of religious fascists and I don’t want you here. Full stop.

    The rest of your cognitive-impaired blather isn’t even worth responding to.

  5. Tango, I have no idea of what issue will kick up serious resistance in Europe; it’s hard to judge from this distance, especially when news reports about what has been happening are censored, or self-censored.

    Dearie, that awful story was on some of the news blogs over here, and it rather reemphasized the point that if the ruling class doesn’t stand foursquare for their own national and cultural values – then why any should any Muslim moderate risk speaking up? (As I understand it, the murder victim was an Ahmedi, which the hard-line Muslims don’t believe are true Muslims anyway.)

    Will, I would guess that the young, professional and prosperous may be very close to a tipping point – as they at least might have the means to bail out of Belgium, if things get too rough for them.

    Jhoover, put down the crack pipe and back away slowly. What Phil said.

  6. Always difficult to judge how deep and dangerous the disaffection runs with groups that don’t take to the streets, burn their housing down, etc. I attended a meetup last month sponsored by Breitbart. The-place-was-jumping, our table was like a therapy group, people were full, and had to get it out. The disgust and loathing for the current state of affairs right on the very tip of everyone’s tongue.

    I can only imagine what it’s like in Western Europe. Disarmed, taxed and regulated to the hilt, coupled with the aggressive police response to any group that dare speak out against it, well…the sense of betrayal and anger must be outwardly obvious. It reminds me in some way of the busing game that was deployed back home in the seventies. Engineer a situation, and then sit back (safely in your unaffected area) and watch the fireworks. When the non-favored group reacts poorly (as planned), you pounce with the full force of the laws.

  7. Will, it’s probably somewhat like a pressure cooker with a deliberately-jammed release valve. At some point – if the situation in Europe is anything like how ordinary citizens are feeling here (always a bit of a reach, Europeans are not Americans) the pressure cooker will explode, catastrophically. Even if the full forces of the law pounce on nativist protesters, the odds are at least even that it will make the situation even worse by drawing more nativists in. As always – YMMV.

  8. The disgust and loathing for the current state of affairs right on the very tip of everyone’s tongue.

    I don’t doubt it. How many though are willing to chuck it all and fight to change the situation? Probably none.

    Spartacus led a slave revolt and the risks were very high for the revolting slaves but there where far more slaves who didn’t revolt and continued to submit.

    That ranch stand-off in Oregon and the Bundy boys going to prison shows that some people are committed and will sacrifice for their beliefs. Right now they are too few, too isolated across time and space, too disorganized, and too divergent in positions and issues. This simply means that they get picked off eventually. The Feds stood down when Bundy protested at his ranch in Nevada but they got the Bundy’s in Oregon. The Feds could afford to do this. They know that they eventually win.

    Charles Murray had a good idea, fund people who are suing the government and clog up the system with legal cases. That though only addresses the issue of over-regulation. This means, as above, that the gov’t can bide its time, wear down its enemies, and then return to business as usual.

    A bunch of guys complaining at a meet-up doesn’t amount to squat. Complaining is as old as history.

  9. “A bunch of guys complaining at a meet-up doesn’t amount to squat. Complaining is as old as history.”

    Ah, but that is how things start. Complaining at a meet-up … and then, things move beyond complaining, only because it doesn’t move straight to rioting and burning the neighborhood down – what is going on can go undetected, unsuspected for quite awhile.

    And then things explode. Consider how fast things fell apart in Romania … a rally of citizens who became outraged, and a week or so later, the Ceaușescus had an encounter with a brick wall and a firing squad.

  10. I agree to a point. Conspiracy can’t be public.

    Romania doesn’t work so well as an example. The locus of power was very concentrated. Take out a dictator and you take out a regime. It’s much more complicated when you have 1 million points of control that have to be taken out simultaneously. Take out a hundred and the organism recuperates and continues on as before.

    The Civil War was much easier to conceptualize because there were two sides and they were mostly separate from each other. This coming battle more like like how blue cheese is formed. Good luck trying to excise the mold from the rest of the cheese, meaning that enemies are everywhere, there is no safe ground, there is no rear theater. This isn’t North versus South.

  11. A “bunch of guys” is what I figured it to be. An interesting mix of gender, age and race. I made some new friends and will gladly save you a place at the table when we get together this month. Armed insurrection?, hardly. Although I know that a number of the attendee’s do choose the self-defense option we are so fortunate to have.

    Not something Frank Timmermans is overly concerned with as he lays down Europe’s options:

  12. “A bunch of guys complaining at a meet-up doesn’t amount to squat. Complaining is as old as history.”

    Complaining is as old as history, but it is a mistake to think that “doesn’t amount to squat” describes the runup to the Reformation, or to the runup to the collapse of the younger Cromwell’s regime, or the runup to the Glorous Revolution, or runup to the American Revolution, or the runup to the fall of the Soviet empire just because almost all regime opponents continued to avoid openly illegal escalation until very late in the game.

    The runup process is a dance with more participants than the regime opponents, of course. Part of the reason that “doesn’t amount to squat” is mistaken is not because the complaining is an important causal action, but how it is a symptom of how the dance is going. The techies and businessmen, especially in communication tech and communication businesses, are important players in the dance not so much by dancing but by changing the way that fashions play out. (Major schisms were about as old as the Catholic Church, and then it turned out that the kind of fire started by nailing theses to a door burns faster and harder when there are printing presses than it did earlier in history.) And the regime itself is a vitally important dancer, duh. It tends to contribute in various ways, but notably by liquidating its sources of legitimacy (sometimes more-or-less intentionally as in letting embarrassments like indulgences grow without limit, sometimes unintentionally by e.g. conspicuously falling behind international rivals).

    The comm tech that even proles can purchase on impulse is interestingly powerful these days. I am not smart enough to reliably predict the implications, merely smart enough to know I can’t reliably predict them.

    Liquidating legitimacy is always a temptation as regimes get fatter and lazier. And too-effectively liquidating legitimacy is a natural sort of accidental temptation as regimes get more inbred and out of touch. Macaulay remarked on the stability of the elder Cromwell’s rule that “it had moderation enough to abstain from those oppressions which drive men mad; and it had a force and energy which none but men driven mad by oppression would venture to encounter.” Our current regimes don’t have as much energy but for several generations they have enjoyed such enormous scale that they have been rationally emboldened to economize on legitimacy in many ways, e.g. financial corruption and incumbent protection. But it’s dubiously rational for even a powerful regime to succumb to temptation to mess with things that drive men mad.

    In most modern nation states (or perhaps all modern nation states), immigration policy is a promising way to drive men mad. In both Europe and the Anglosphere, policies of selectively importing an alien underclass by de facto policy while maintaining a contradictory official policy… well.

    Then in the Anglosphere in particular, it was historically very effective to loudly formally ground the legitimacy of the regime in ancient rule of law, in ancient constitution-with-or-without-capitalization, and in early modern equality under the law … but now it creates an interesting buy-your-indulgences-here tension with the ancien regime naturally choosing to reinvent 19th century city machine faction politics on a national scale. It is justified in terms of living Constitutions and of animals outside the ruling coalition not being equal in the least. Yay, that seems about as serviceable as indulgences must’ve looked back in the day. And I don’t have a good handle on how it is received in the security services in particular (and maybe no one really does until push comes to shove) but I think it is significant that both for traditional reasons and for natural spontaneous reasons effective security organizations tend to arrive at an ethic of taking commitments seriously, and that makes for an interesting tension with the norm in the political class of using the most solemn public oaths as the basis for increasingly surreal goofy improvisational kabuki theater.

  13. “a bunch of guys complaining at a meet-up”….well, things always start with writing and talking. Someone described Karl Marx’s books as “sort of a civics essay that got out of hand”

  14. Sgt. Mom Says:
    Let read how Muslims and Non Muslim lived & living

    Contrary to the dominant narrative of Yemeni-Israeli Jews, Eden says the family’s relations with their Arab neighbors were warm.

    “We had good relations with the Arabs,” she says. “No problems at all. They never did anything wrong to us. On the contrary, they always battled to protect and defend the Jews.

    “For example, when my grandmother was widowed with four young kids, she worried that they would ‘Islamize’ her kids,” Eden remembers. “But everywhere she went she asked her neighbors to protect her kids and they did.”

    Eden says that for most of her childhood, going to the Land of Israel was a distant dream.


    In 2001, Eden testified before one of three national commissions of inquiry into the disappearance of Yemenite children during the early years of the state. The commission, which worked for almost seven years, determined that there was not “an all-inclusive establishment plot” to kidnap Yemenite immigrants’ babies and pass them on to other families.


    Eden says there are pluses and minuses to life in Israel.

    “It’s good in Israel economically but socially it has been hard,” she begins. “Especially for the kids in school because they wanted to separate the Ashkenazi kids from the Yemenite kids.

    “It wasn’t so bad in Yemen,” Eden says. “Every evening we would all eat together, sing and dance. It was a wedding every night and our relations with Arabs was good.

    “The Arabs cried when we left,” she remembers. “I loved our neighbors and if there had been telephones I would have been in contact with them every day.

    ‘We were not fleeing Yemen’

    Sgt. Mom, keep your Theophobia mind and breath to you,You just holding mind like Nazi ideology no difference with different religion

  15. William Newman Says:
    April 1st, 2016 at 10:38 am

    In the long run, governmental legitimacy consists of a number of psychological factors [including societal inertia] combined with the ability of the ruling class to use deadly force. The psychological factors buffer the need of the ruling class to use that deadly force. And in fact, if and when a ruling class is forced by a lack of those psychological factors to resort more to compulsion backed by the threat of deadly force; it is a marker that there will be a new ruling class in the near future.

    Based on their actions, what psychological factors are operating to reinforce the legitimacy of ruling classes throughout the West?

  16. Jhoover, it’s a little early in the day to be stoned and incoherent, isn’t it? And remaining in the close neighborhood of the topic being discussed on this thread would be appreciated, thank you.

  17. or runup to the American Revolution, or the runup to the fall of the Soviet empire

    The British footprint in Colonial America, in terms of gov’t, was pretty small compared to the vast reach of government in today’s society. A few nodes versus multiple nodes. The Soviet Union was run by the Communist Party, so if you destroy that entity you create chaos in the many arms of the state.

    A citizen insurrection is going to be vastly more difficult to pull off than a coup d’etat.

    With an insurrection I can see order emerging from disorder but I’m having trouble seeing order replacing order. A society destroyed can have order restored, or imposed, by local leaders and then standardized as numerous islands of order link together. What I’m having troubling seeing is independent uprisings being able to get to the point where they can replace the existing order. I think those Bundy stand-offs were instructive – the existing order can bide its time and it will get you eventually. It’s kind of like cops and robbers. To remain free a robber must be lucky every time he pulls a caper, while the cops can make mistakes frequently and in the end they will win so long as the robber makes that one mistake. Cops can learn from their mistakes. Robbers are locked up after their first mistake.

    Maybe it’s my lack of imagination but I can’t see a way forward without there first being a collapse from which we rebuild. What kind of scenario do you think is plausible with respect to a citizen uprising which leads to a drastic reorganization of the society of the United States?

  18. TangoMan, I can’t tell you what particular going-out-of-business scenario is likely, and extrapolating from several of the historical examples that I gave, I doubt that anyone can. Who, a few years before the event, could have anticipated how the Glorious Revolution or the collapse of the Soviet empire were going to play out? And other than the simple very-general guess (chaos! there could be chaos! lots and lots of chaos!) who could have anticipated how the collapse of the Catholic domination of Europe was going to play out? I have opinions about why various historical regimes turned out to be surprisingly fragile, and why the pre-Reformation Catholic Church reminds me somewhat of the current situation, and how the regime of James II especially reminds me of the current situation, but that doesn’t mean I can give you a useful forecast for how the consequences of that fragility might play out.

    Also, even if I’m amazingly insightfully correct about the fragility that I think I see, forecasting would be hard because the half life to clear political breakdown is likely more than a decade, which leaves time for other possible shocks (e.g. superstrong AI) to preempt it or at least to change the rules enough that my old analysis starts to fall apart. E.g., how might the availability of pretty-strong AI interact with our existing communications technology to change the way that political public opinion behaves? Damfino.

  19. Jhoover appears to have limited English language skills. I think what he/she is trying to say is that western involvement destroyed civil society in the Near East, and that Jews and Muslims used to live harmoniously. However, note this from the linked JPost article:

    An estimated 82 Jews were killed, 106 of the 170 Jewish shops in the city were robbed, four synagogues were burnt to the ground and more than 200 Jewish homes were burned or looted.

    This kind of thing happened to Jewish communities from time to time, not only in Yemen, and had little to do with westerners. That’s why the Jews left. The JPost article is a red herring: it’s mainly about mistreatment of Yemeni Jews by the Israeli establishment.

    On the topic at hand, western European society appears much more effete and degraded than does US society. Maybe that’s us in ten or twenty years if present trends continue. However, trends usually don’t continue indefinitely, and our society has always been different than theirs in important ways. I’m guessing that parts of western Europe (and “Europe” is an abstraction anyway, since European cultures and countries differ greatly among themselves) are going to change course sooner or later, perhaps dramatically.

  20. I’m guessing that parts of western Europe (and “Europe” is an abstraction anyway, since European cultures and countries differ greatly among themselves) are going to change course sooner or later, perhaps dramatically.

    I think you are correct. They are softer. They’re selling out their patrimony in order to stabilize their welfare systems. I don’t think a Syrian goatherder is going to be able to produce enough taxes from the economic value he contributes to German society to make any contribution to stabilizing the welfare system, in fact, he’ll probably be a net consumer of welfare, thereby accelerating the crisis.

    The young of Europe, I mean the real Europeans not the fake ones, are going to rebel but unlike times past, this time they’re going to have large segments of their society siding with the invaders and against them.

    The Etruscans can probably tell us something about not all civilizations surviving.

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