Good Articles That Don't Deserve Their Own Threads

Fwiffo

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English women are rather stoic sexually.

Good to know you have your priorities there mate.

The article was only talking about the where the "get on with it" mentality came from and whether it still exists.
 

Dropbear

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Good to know you have your priorities there mate.

The article was only talking about the where the "get on with it" mentality came from and whether it still exists.

yeh, that’s why they are all wearing women’s underwear and getting whipped by nanny - bullshit repressed emotions.
 

Journeyman

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Interesting article from the NY Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/opinion/sunday/global-cabal-conspiracy-theories.html

Opinion
When the World Seems Like One Big Conspiracy
Understanding the structure of global cabal theories can shed light on their allure — and their inherent falsehood.
By Yuval Noah Harari
Mr. Harari is a historian and author.
· Nov. 20, 2020

Conspiracy theories come in all shapes and sizes, but perhaps the most common form is the global cabal theory. A recent survey of 26,000 people in 25 countries asked respondents whether they believe there is “a single group of people who secretly control events and rule the world together.”

Thirty-seven percent of Americans replied that this is “definitely or probably true.” So did 45 percent of Italians, 55 percent of Spaniards and 78 percent of Nigerians.

Conspiracy theories, of course, weren’t invented by QAnon; they’ve been around for thousands of years. Some of them have even had a huge impact on history. Take Nazism, for example. We normally don’t think about Nazism as a conspiracy theory. Since it managed to take over an entire country and launch World War II, we usually consider Nazism an “ideology,” albeit an evil one.

But at its heart, Nazism was a global cabal theory based on this anti-Semitic lie: “A cabal of Jewish financiers secretly dominates the world and are plotting to destroy the Aryan race. They engineered the Bolshevik Revolution, run Western democracies, and control the media and the banks. Only Hitler has managed to see through all their nefarious tricks — and only he can stop them and save humanity.”

Understanding the common structure of such global cabal theories can explain both their attractiveness — and their inherent falsehood.

The Structure

Global cabal theories argue that underneath the myriad events we see on the surface of the world lurks a single sinister group. The identity of this group may change: Some believe the world is secretly ruled by Freemasons, witches or Satanists; others think it’s aliens, reptilian lizard people or sundry other cliques.

But the basic structure remains the same: The group controls almost everything that happens, while simultaneously concealing this control.

Global cabal theories take particular delight in uniting opposites. Thus the Nazi conspiracy theory said that on the surface, communism and capitalism look like irreconcilable enemies, right? Wrong! That’s exactly what the Jewish cabal wants you to think! And you might think that the Bush family and the Clinton family are sworn rivals, but they’re just putting on a show — behind closed doors, they all go to the same Tupperware parties.

From these premises, a working theory of the world emerges. Events in the news are a cunningly designed smoke screen aimed at deceiving us, and the famous leaders that distract our attention are mere puppets in the hands of the real rulers.

The Lure

Global cabal theories are able to attract large followings in part because they offer a single, straightforward explanation to countless complicated processes. Our lives are repeatedly rocked by wars, revolutions, crises and pandemics. But if I believe some kind of global cabal theory, I enjoy the comforting feeling that I do understand everything.

The war in Syria? I don’t need to study Middle Eastern history to comprehend what’s happening there. It’s part of the big conspiracy. The development of 5G technology? I don’t need to do any research on the physics of radio waves. It’s the conspiracy. The Covid-19 pandemic? It has nothing to do with ecosystems, bats and viruses. It’s obviously part of the conspiracy.

The skeleton key of global cabal theory unlocks all the world’s mysteries and offers me entree into an exclusive circle — the group of people who understand. It makes me smarter and wiser than the average person and even elevates me above the intellectual elite and the ruling class: professors, journalists, politicians. I see what they overlook — or what they try to conceal.

The Flaw

Global cabal theories suffer from the same basic flaw: They assume that history is very simple. The key premise of global cabal theories is that it is relatively easy to manipulate the world. A small group of people can understand, predict and control everything, from wars to technological revolutions to pandemics.

Particularly remarkable is this group’s ability to see 10 moves ahead on the global board game. When they release a virus somewhere, they can predict not only how it will spread through the world, but also how it will affect the global economy a year later. When they unleash a political revolution, they can control its course. When they start a war, they know how it will end.

But of course, the world is much more complicated. Consider the American invasion of Iraq, for example. In 2003, the world’s sole superpower invaded a medium-size Middle Eastern country, claiming it wanted to eliminate the country’s weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam Hussein’s regime. Some suspected that it also wouldn’t have minded the chance to gain hegemony over the region and dominate the vital Iraqi oil fields. In pursuit of its goals, the United States deployed the best army in the world and spent trillions of dollars.

Fast forward a few years, and what were the results of this tremendous effort? A complete debacle. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and the country was plunged into chaos. The big winner of the war was actually Iran, which became the dominant power in the region.

So should we conclude that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld were actually undercover Iranian moles, executing a devilishly clever Iranian plot? Not at all. Instead, the conclusion is that it is incredibly difficult to predict and control human affairs.

You don’t need to invade a Middle Eastern country to learn this lesson. Whether you’ve served on a school board or local council, or merely tried to organize a surprise birthday party for your mom, you probably know how difficult it is to control humans. You make a plan, and it backfires. You try to keep something a secret, and the next day everybody is talking about it. You conspire with a trusted friend, and at the crucial moment he stabs you in the back.

Global cabal theories ask us to believe that while it is very difficult to predict and control the actions of 1,000 or even 100 humans, it is surprisingly easy to puppet master nearly eight billion.

The Reality

There are, of course, many real conspiracies in the world. Individuals, corporations, organizations, churches, factions and governments are constantly hatching and pursuing various plots. But that is precisely what makes it so hard to predict and control the world in its entirety.

In the 1930s, the Soviet Union really was conspiring to ignite communist revolutions throughout the world; capitalist banks were employing all kinds of dodgy strategies; the Roosevelt administration was planning to re-engineer American society in the New Deal; and the Zionist movement pursued its plan to establish a homeland in Palestine. But these and countless other plans often collided, and there wasn’t a single group of people running the whole show.

Today, too, you are probably the target of many conspiracies. Your co-workers may be plotting to turn the boss against you. A big pharmaceutical corporation may be bribing your doctor to give you harmful opioids. Another big corporation may be pressuring politicians to block environmental regulations and allow it to pollute the air you breathe. Some tech giant may be busy hacking your private data. A political party may be gerrymandering election districts in your state. A foreign government may be trying to foment extremism in your country. These could all be real conspiracies, but they are not part of a single global plot.

Sometimes a corporation, a political party or a dictatorship does manage to gather a significant part of all the world’s power into its hands. But when such a thing happens, it’s almost impossible to keep it hush-hush. With great power comes great publicity.

Indeed, in many cases great publicity is a prerequisite for gaining great power. Lenin, for example, would never have won power in Russia by avoiding the public gaze. And Stalin at first was much fonder of scheming behind closed doors, but by the time he monopolized power in the Soviet Union, his portrait was hanging in every office, school and home from the Baltic to the Pacific. Stalin’s power depended on this personality cult. The idea that Lenin and Stalin were just a front for the real behind-the-scenes rulers contradicts all historical evidence.

Realizing that no single cabal can secretly control the entire world is not just accurate — it is also empowering. It means that you can identify the competing factions in our world, and ally yourself with some groups against others. That’s what real politics is all about.

Yuval Noah Harari is a historian and the author of “Sapiens: A Graphic History.”
 

Sammy Ambrose

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202
Islamism is increasingly held not to be a deviant from Islam, but an orthodox aim of the “religion of peace”

Increasingly held by whom? By the ignorant Islamaphobic writer of this article.
 

Sammy Ambrose

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Messages
202
Interesting article from the NY Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/opinion/sunday/global-cabal-conspiracy-theories.html

Opinion
When the World Seems Like One Big Conspiracy
Understanding the structure of global cabal theories can shed light on their allure — and their inherent falsehood.
By Yuval Noah Harari
Mr. Harari is a historian and author.
· Nov. 20, 2020

Conspiracy theories come in all shapes and sizes, but perhaps the most common form is the global cabal theory. A recent survey of 26,000 people in 25 countries asked respondents whether they believe there is “a single group of people who secretly control events and rule the world together.”

Thirty-seven percent of Americans replied that this is “definitely or probably true.” So did 45 percent of Italians, 55 percent of Spaniards and 78 percent of Nigerians.

Conspiracy theories, of course, weren’t invented by QAnon; they’ve been around for thousands of years. Some of them have even had a huge impact on history. Take Nazism, for example. We normally don’t think about Nazism as a conspiracy theory. Since it managed to take over an entire country and launch World War II, we usually consider Nazism an “ideology,” albeit an evil one.

But at its heart, Nazism was a global cabal theory based on this anti-Semitic lie: “A cabal of Jewish financiers secretly dominates the world and are plotting to destroy the Aryan race. They engineered the Bolshevik Revolution, run Western democracies, and control the media and the banks. Only Hitler has managed to see through all their nefarious tricks — and only he can stop them and save humanity.”

Understanding the common structure of such global cabal theories can explain both their attractiveness — and their inherent falsehood.

The Structure

Global cabal theories argue that underneath the myriad events we see on the surface of the world lurks a single sinister group. The identity of this group may change: Some believe the world is secretly ruled by Freemasons, witches or Satanists; others think it’s aliens, reptilian lizard people or sundry other cliques.

But the basic structure remains the same: The group controls almost everything that happens, while simultaneously concealing this control.

Global cabal theories take particular delight in uniting opposites. Thus the Nazi conspiracy theory said that on the surface, communism and capitalism look like irreconcilable enemies, right? Wrong! That’s exactly what the Jewish cabal wants you to think! And you might think that the Bush family and the Clinton family are sworn rivals, but they’re just putting on a show — behind closed doors, they all go to the same Tupperware parties.

From these premises, a working theory of the world emerges. Events in the news are a cunningly designed smoke screen aimed at deceiving us, and the famous leaders that distract our attention are mere puppets in the hands of the real rulers.

The Lure

Global cabal theories are able to attract large followings in part because they offer a single, straightforward explanation to countless complicated processes. Our lives are repeatedly rocked by wars, revolutions, crises and pandemics. But if I believe some kind of global cabal theory, I enjoy the comforting feeling that I do understand everything.

The war in Syria? I don’t need to study Middle Eastern history to comprehend what’s happening there. It’s part of the big conspiracy. The development of 5G technology? I don’t need to do any research on the physics of radio waves. It’s the conspiracy. The Covid-19 pandemic? It has nothing to do with ecosystems, bats and viruses. It’s obviously part of the conspiracy.

The skeleton key of global cabal theory unlocks all the world’s mysteries and offers me entree into an exclusive circle — the group of people who understand. It makes me smarter and wiser than the average person and even elevates me above the intellectual elite and the ruling class: professors, journalists, politicians. I see what they overlook — or what they try to conceal.

The Flaw

Global cabal theories suffer from the same basic flaw: They assume that history is very simple. The key premise of global cabal theories is that it is relatively easy to manipulate the world. A small group of people can understand, predict and control everything, from wars to technological revolutions to pandemics.

Particularly remarkable is this group’s ability to see 10 moves ahead on the global board game. When they release a virus somewhere, they can predict not only how it will spread through the world, but also how it will affect the global economy a year later. When they unleash a political revolution, they can control its course. When they start a war, they know how it will end.

But of course, the world is much more complicated. Consider the American invasion of Iraq, for example. In 2003, the world’s sole superpower invaded a medium-size Middle Eastern country, claiming it wanted to eliminate the country’s weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam Hussein’s regime. Some suspected that it also wouldn’t have minded the chance to gain hegemony over the region and dominate the vital Iraqi oil fields. In pursuit of its goals, the United States deployed the best army in the world and spent trillions of dollars.

Fast forward a few years, and what were the results of this tremendous effort? A complete debacle. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and the country was plunged into chaos. The big winner of the war was actually Iran, which became the dominant power in the region.

So should we conclude that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld were actually undercover Iranian moles, executing a devilishly clever Iranian plot? Not at all. Instead, the conclusion is that it is incredibly difficult to predict and control human affairs.

You don’t need to invade a Middle Eastern country to learn this lesson. Whether you’ve served on a school board or local council, or merely tried to organize a surprise birthday party for your mom, you probably know how difficult it is to control humans. You make a plan, and it backfires. You try to keep something a secret, and the next day everybody is talking about it. You conspire with a trusted friend, and at the crucial moment he stabs you in the back.

Global cabal theories ask us to believe that while it is very difficult to predict and control the actions of 1,000 or even 100 humans, it is surprisingly easy to puppet master nearly eight billion.

The Reality

There are, of course, many real conspiracies in the world. Individuals, corporations, organizations, churches, factions and governments are constantly hatching and pursuing various plots. But that is precisely what makes it so hard to predict and control the world in its entirety.

In the 1930s, the Soviet Union really was conspiring to ignite communist revolutions throughout the world; capitalist banks were employing all kinds of dodgy strategies; the Roosevelt administration was planning to re-engineer American society in the New Deal; and the Zionist movement pursued its plan to establish a homeland in Palestine. But these and countless other plans often collided, and there wasn’t a single group of people running the whole show.

Today, too, you are probably the target of many conspiracies. Your co-workers may be plotting to turn the boss against you. A big pharmaceutical corporation may be bribing your doctor to give you harmful opioids. Another big corporation may be pressuring politicians to block environmental regulations and allow it to pollute the air you breathe. Some tech giant may be busy hacking your private data. A political party may be gerrymandering election districts in your state. A foreign government may be trying to foment extremism in your country. These could all be real conspiracies, but they are not part of a single global plot.

Sometimes a corporation, a political party or a dictatorship does manage to gather a significant part of all the world’s power into its hands. But when such a thing happens, it’s almost impossible to keep it hush-hush. With great power comes great publicity.

Indeed, in many cases great publicity is a prerequisite for gaining great power. Lenin, for example, would never have won power in Russia by avoiding the public gaze. And Stalin at first was much fonder of scheming behind closed doors, but by the time he monopolized power in the Soviet Union, his portrait was hanging in every office, school and home from the Baltic to the Pacific. Stalin’s power depended on this personality cult. The idea that Lenin and Stalin were just a front for the real behind-the-scenes rulers contradicts all historical evidence.

Realizing that no single cabal can secretly control the entire world is not just accurate — it is also empowering. It means that you can identify the competing factions in our world, and ally yourself with some groups against others. That’s what real politics is all about.

Yuval Noah Harari is a historian and the author of “Sapiens: A Graphic History.”
Were you able to read 'Sapiens ' in its entirety? I only managed half of it. Mind you, I'm like that with a lot of non-fiction.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Increasingly held by whom? By the ignorant Islamaphobic writer of this article.

We've been here before, haven't we Sammy? You deliberately forgot me, but not I you.

'Tis true though, it's hard to find Islamist-lickers on the Left these days, everywhere except the USA and some cul-de-sac's in the UK. The French Left are sussed and patriotic to the core.

So I get what you're saying, increasingly held by whom?

The core demographic of course, along with Trudeau who is overt in his support and the dhimmi political class in the west, including Boris who daren't say anything less they shit their pants.

The rest aren't falling for the sordid reality of France: the 100s of people killed with Kalashnikov's and the constant attacks on Freedom and the Republic and in the UK the terrorist killing of kids at a stadium pop concert.

Islamist-lickers are increasingly in short supply.
 

Kingstonian

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doghouse

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I think this article highlights somewhat of a difference in the current self immolation of the UK vis a vis the one in the US. Whilst by and large the UK is driven by the unwashed wallowing in histrionics, there is a legitimate subset that practices some form of traditional British culture (though both of these groups completely miss the bedrock of British culture which is unfettered freedom of expression and constant mutibility with a tinge of eccentricity), whereas the drivers of the debasing of the right and the country are universally the antithesis of traditional US culture.
 

formby002

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I think this article highlights somewhat of a difference in the current self immolation of the UK vis a vis the one in the US. Whilst by and large the UK is driven by the unwashed wallowing in histrionics, there is a legitimate subset that practices some form of traditional British culture (though both of these groups completely miss the bedrock of British culture which is unfettered freedom of expression and constant mutibility with a tinge of eccentricity), whereas the drivers of the debasing of the right and the country are universally the antithesis of traditional US culture.

The great British 'unwashed' as you...er...put it aren't histrionic, the cultural elites/gatekeepers most certainly are as evidenced by their continuing behaviour over Brexit.

As the old Russian saying goes: A fish rots from the head down.
 

doghouse

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The great British 'unwashed' as you...er...put it aren't histrionic, the cultural elites/gatekeepers most certainly are as evidenced by their continuing behaviour over Brexit.

As the old Russian saying goes: A fish rots from the head down.
Have you seen any Pinpernel Smith post ever?
 

doghouse

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You may want to reconsider the concept you are trying to evoke with that math.
 

formby002

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You may want to reconsider the concept you are trying to evoke with that math.

The mathematical expression is highlighting the logical fallacy you are committing.

Or in non-mathematical terms. What is true for 1 person, isn't necessarily true of 67 million people.

Do you understand that?
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Have you seen any Pinpernel Smith post ever?

Started-off well in that original post. The point I was making though, I follow the language, it's past the date when you can get away with calling individuals Islamophobes for drawing attention to the sordid dark nature of political Islam and terrorist wings. Hug an Islamist is out. You don't see many third-wave feminists for Hezbollah now and the likes here in mainland Europe.

The Left in France is nationalistic and anti-Islamist and vehemently so. Quite right too after they've been through/are constantly at risk of.

The Left in the UK and USA is the opposite and hence Macron's attack on the American Left was right over target and commendable.

Anyone who starts using the tired worn Islamophobia trope is going to get a blast from me. It's become yawningly over used and is ineffectual now.

I speak for myself, I'm not a herd man and never have been. The MSM herd doesn't interest me. Being NPC watching CNN and the BBC, taking instructions on how to think and be, has never appealed to me.
 

formby002

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Started-off well in that original post. The point I was making though, I follow the language, it's past the date when you can get away with calling individuals Islamophobes for drawing attention to the sordid dark nature of political Islam and terrorist wings. Hug an Islamist is out. You don't see many third-wave feminists for Hezbollah now and the likes here in mainland Europe.

The Left in France is nationalistic and anti-Islamist and vehemently so. Quite right too after they've been through/are constantly at risk of.

The Left in the UK and USA is the opposite and hence Macron's attack on the American Left was right over target and commendable.

Anyone who starts using the tired worn Islamophobia trope is going to get a blast from me. It's become yawningly over used and is ineffectual now.

I speak for myself, I'm not a herd man and never have been. The MSM herd doesn't interest me. Being NPC watching CNN and the BBC, taking instructions on how to think and be, has never appealed to me.

Meades is a humanist and takes a dim view of all religions. He thinks its superstitious hocus pocus, and causes more harm than good. He's in the same company as Hitchens (deceased), Dawkins, Dennett and Harris.

I enjoy his writing, as he has great style but I don't necessarily agree with his conclusions.

His defence of Modernist architecture comes to mind...
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Meades is a humanist and takes a dim view of all religions. He thinks its superstitious hocus pocus, and causes more harm than good. He's in the same company as Hitchens (deceased), Dawkins, Dennett and Harris.

I enjoy his writing, as he has great style but I don't necessarily agree with his conclusions.

His defence of Modernist architecture comes to mind...

Hitchens was the man, a great drinker too, but that may have been one of his problems. His brother by comparison is bit of a miserable old sod. Still good reading in The Daily Mail.

I like Harris, but I find he can be overlong and takes too long to get to the point. I like long Joe Rogan style interviews, but Harris develops his ideas too slow. The meeting of him and Jordan Peterson was pretty good, they didn't hit it off too well.

A lot of Modernist architecture is too brutal and cold for my liking. We we're thinking of moving to the harbor or near the beach in one of the new developments. There's too many of them for starters and a lot of them are very clinical with no meaty brick work and very glass and concrete box style, almost like a hamster cage. For the missus being close to the beach was the attraction, me I like a room with a view, looking over the sea to the west at sunset.

Too romantic really, when you're used to living in a house with a big garden with no-one overlooking you, that's a big thing to give away. It's also a view and big buffer between you and the outside world. Sure, apartments have their balcony's but when do people really use them? If it's a hot summer and they're concrete ones, they'll be nearly 45C here in the Netherlands and rarely see people using them. And with apartments there's nothing between you in the city around you, it's immediate and in your face. Ultimately not for us.

So we're going to buy second place in Odessa in the Ukraine.
 

formby002

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Hitchens was the man, a great drinker too, but that may have been one of his problems. His brother by comparison is bit of a miserable old sod. Still good reading in The Daily Mail.

I like Harris, but I find he can be overlong and takes too long to get to the point. I like long Joe Rogan style interviews, but Harris develops his ideas too slow. The meeting of him and Jordan Peterson was pretty good, they didn't hit it off too well.

A lot of Modernist architecture is too brutal and cold for my liking. We we're thinking of moving to the harbor or near the beach in one of the new developments. There's too many of them for starters and a lot of them are very clinical with no meaty brick work and very glass and concrete box style, almost like a hamster cage. For the missus being close to the beach was the attraction, me I like a room with a view, looking over the sea to the west at sunset.

Too romantic really, when you're used to living in a house with a big garden with no-one overlooking you, that's a big thing to give away. It's also a view and big buffer between you and the outside world. Sure, apartments have their balcony's but when do people really use them? If it's a hot summer and they're concrete ones, they'll be nearly 45C here in the Netherlands and rarely see people using them. And with apartments there's nothing between you in the city around you, it's immediate and in your face. Ultimately not for us.

So we're going to buy second place in Odessa in the Ukraine.

Didn't like Hitchens, couldn't stand his writing style as I found it too mannered and he was an awful name-dropper. His star seems to have fallen since his death.

I've read Dawkins but only the stuff he writes about in his own field of expertise.

Never read anything by Harris (except the odd tweet) nor Dennett. So I can't comment.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Didn't like Hitchens, couldn't stand his writing style as I found it too mannered and he was an awful name-dropper. His star seems to have fallen since his death.

I've read Dawkins but only the stuff he writes about in his own field of expertise.

Never read anything by Harris (except the odd tweet) nor Dennett. So I can't comment.

Hitchens was right on the barbarians at the gate...but he was very much a product of his education. If you read the subtext, I think it was Portillo he had a relationship with.

I like name dropping, Taki is a great one for that in The Spectator. What are the old style filthy rich jet-set up to?

I dig it, and would like a sweet taste.
 

formby002

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A lot of Modernist architecture is too brutal and cold for my liking. We we're thinking of moving to the harbor or near the beach in one of the new developments. There's too many of them for starters and a lot of them are very clinical with no meaty brick work and very glass and concrete box style, almost like a hamster cage. For the missus being close to the beach was the attraction, me I like a room with a view, looking over the sea to the west at sunset.

Too romantic really, when you're used to living in a house with a big garden with no-one overlooking you, that's a big thing to give away. It's also a view and big buffer between you and the outside world. Sure, apartments have their balcony's but when do people really use them? If it's a hot summer and they're concrete ones, they'll be nearly 45C here in the Netherlands and rarely see people using them. And with apartments there's nothing between you in the city around you, it's immediate and in your face. Ultimately not for us.

So we're going to buy second place in Odessa in the Ukraine.

Interestingly, a similar argument to that put by David Starkey in the essay I linked to was put forward by Tom Wolfe in his book on the art world: The Painted Word (The clue is in the title) he returned to this theme later with his book on architecture: From Bauhaus to Our House.
 

formby002

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Hitchens was right on the barbarians at the gate...but he was very much a product of his education. If you read the subtext, I think it was Portillo he had a relationship with.

I like name dropping, Taki is a great one for that in The Spectator. What are the old style filthy rich jet-set up to?

I dig it, and would like a sweet taste.

Not really a fan of that gossipy style.. You have to be careful with Taki, he something of a wind-up merchant.
 

Sammy Ambrose

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We've been here before, haven't we Sammy? You deliberately forgot me, but not I you.

'Tis true though, it's hard to find Islamist-lickers on the Left these days, everywhere except the USA and some cul-de-sac's in the UK. The French Left are sussed and patriotic to the core.

So I get what you're saying, increasingly held by whom?

The core demographic of course, along with Trudeau who is overt in his support and the dhimmi political class in the west, including Boris who daren't say anything less they shit their pants.

The rest aren't falling for the sordid reality of France: the 100s of people killed with Kalashnikov's and the constant attacks on Freedom and the Republic and in the UK the terrorist killing of kids at a stadium pop concert.

Islamist-lickers are increasingly in short supply.
I'll maybe get back to on this when I have time.
But you sound so overwrought that I'll let you settle down first.

Sorry: I don't recall any Pimpernel Smith. Who were you on FNB? If I knew you on there, stay well.
 

Rambo

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I'll maybe get back to on this when I have time.
But you sound so overwrought that I'll let you settle down first.

Sorry: I don't recall any Pimpernel Smith. Who were you on FNB? If I knew you on there, stay well.
you're going to be a welcome addition to the gang
 

fxh

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doghouse doghouse Calling Pimpernel, formby and KingstonIan the Great British Unwashed is a bit provocative and uncalled for.

you might at least drop the great.
 

doghouse

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The mathematical expression is highlighting the logical fallacy you are committing.

Or in non-mathematical terms. What is true for 1 person, isn't necessarily true of 67 million people.

Do you understand that?
You are still not making the point you think you are. I didn't commit any logical fallacy, I posited Pimpernel is representative of the species I describe, not that he is the same as 67 million people. You are positing he is unique among 67 people, which is quite the claim.

At any rate, my post was about the US.

Relatededly, I always get a giggle out of people dropping "cultural elite" as a negative descriptor. Practically everyone on this site is the cultural elite.
 

Kingstonian

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Interesting article from the NY Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/opinion/sunday/global-cabal-conspiracy-theories.html

Opinion
When the World Seems Like One Big Conspiracy
Understanding the structure of global cabal theories can shed light on their allure — and their inherent falsehood.
By Yuval Noah Harari
Mr. Harari is a historian and author.
· Nov. 20, 2020

Conspiracy theories come in all shapes and sizes, but perhaps the most common form is the global cabal theory. A recent survey of 26,000 people in 25 countries asked respondents whether they believe there is “a single group of people who secretly control events and rule the world together.”

Thirty-seven percent of Americans replied that this is “definitely or probably true.” So did 45 percent of Italians, 55 percent of Spaniards and 78 percent of Nigerians.

Conspiracy theories, of course, weren’t invented by QAnon; they’ve been around for thousands of years. Some of them have even had a huge impact on history. Take Nazism, for example. We normally don’t think about Nazism as a conspiracy theory. Since it managed to take over an entire country and launch World War II, we usually consider Nazism an “ideology,” albeit an evil one.

But at its heart, Nazism was a global cabal theory based on this anti-Semitic lie: “A cabal of Jewish financiers secretly dominates the world and are plotting to destroy the Aryan race. They engineered the Bolshevik Revolution, run Western democracies, and control the media and the banks. Only Hitler has managed to see through all their nefarious tricks — and only he can stop them and save humanity.”

Understanding the common structure of such global cabal theories can explain both their attractiveness — and their inherent falsehood.

The Structure

Global cabal theories argue that underneath the myriad events we see on the surface of the world lurks a single sinister group. The identity of this group may change: Some believe the world is secretly ruled by Freemasons, witches or Satanists; others think it’s aliens, reptilian lizard people or sundry other cliques.

But the basic structure remains the same: The group controls almost everything that happens, while simultaneously concealing this control.

Global cabal theories take particular delight in uniting opposites. Thus the Nazi conspiracy theory said that on the surface, communism and capitalism look like irreconcilable enemies, right? Wrong! That’s exactly what the Jewish cabal wants you to think! And you might think that the Bush family and the Clinton family are sworn rivals, but they’re just putting on a show — behind closed doors, they all go to the same Tupperware parties.

From these premises, a working theory of the world emerges. Events in the news are a cunningly designed smoke screen aimed at deceiving us, and the famous leaders that distract our attention are mere puppets in the hands of the real rulers.

The Lure

Global cabal theories are able to attract large followings in part because they offer a single, straightforward explanation to countless complicated processes. Our lives are repeatedly rocked by wars, revolutions, crises and pandemics. But if I believe some kind of global cabal theory, I enjoy the comforting feeling that I do understand everything.

The war in Syria? I don’t need to study Middle Eastern history to comprehend what’s happening there. It’s part of the big conspiracy. The development of 5G technology? I don’t need to do any research on the physics of radio waves. It’s the conspiracy. The Covid-19 pandemic? It has nothing to do with ecosystems, bats and viruses. It’s obviously part of the conspiracy.

The skeleton key of global cabal theory unlocks all the world’s mysteries and offers me entree into an exclusive circle — the group of people who understand. It makes me smarter and wiser than the average person and even elevates me above the intellectual elite and the ruling class: professors, journalists, politicians. I see what they overlook — or what they try to conceal.

The Flaw

Global cabal theories suffer from the same basic flaw: They assume that history is very simple. The key premise of global cabal theories is that it is relatively easy to manipulate the world. A small group of people can understand, predict and control everything, from wars to technological revolutions to pandemics.

Particularly remarkable is this group’s ability to see 10 moves ahead on the global board game. When they release a virus somewhere, they can predict not only how it will spread through the world, but also how it will affect the global economy a year later. When they unleash a political revolution, they can control its course. When they start a war, they know how it will end.

But of course, the world is much more complicated. Consider the American invasion of Iraq, for example. In 2003, the world’s sole superpower invaded a medium-size Middle Eastern country, claiming it wanted to eliminate the country’s weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam Hussein’s regime. Some suspected that it also wouldn’t have minded the chance to gain hegemony over the region and dominate the vital Iraqi oil fields. In pursuit of its goals, the United States deployed the best army in the world and spent trillions of dollars.

Fast forward a few years, and what were the results of this tremendous effort? A complete debacle. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and the country was plunged into chaos. The big winner of the war was actually Iran, which became the dominant power in the region.

So should we conclude that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld were actually undercover Iranian moles, executing a devilishly clever Iranian plot? Not at all. Instead, the conclusion is that it is incredibly difficult to predict and control human affairs.

You don’t need to invade a Middle Eastern country to learn this lesson. Whether you’ve served on a school board or local council, or merely tried to organize a surprise birthday party for your mom, you probably know how difficult it is to control humans. You make a plan, and it backfires. You try to keep something a secret, and the next day everybody is talking about it. You conspire with a trusted friend, and at the crucial moment he stabs you in the back.

Global cabal theories ask us to believe that while it is very difficult to predict and control the actions of 1,000 or even 100 humans, it is surprisingly easy to puppet master nearly eight billion.

The Reality

There are, of course, many real conspiracies in the world. Individuals, corporations, organizations, churches, factions and governments are constantly hatching and pursuing various plots. But that is precisely what makes it so hard to predict and control the world in its entirety.

In the 1930s, the Soviet Union really was conspiring to ignite communist revolutions throughout the world; capitalist banks were employing all kinds of dodgy strategies; the Roosevelt administration was planning to re-engineer American society in the New Deal; and the Zionist movement pursued its plan to establish a homeland in Palestine. But these and countless other plans often collided, and there wasn’t a single group of people running the whole show.

Today, too, you are probably the target of many conspiracies. Your co-workers may be plotting to turn the boss against you. A big pharmaceutical corporation may be bribing your doctor to give you harmful opioids. Another big corporation may be pressuring politicians to block environmental regulations and allow it to pollute the air you breathe. Some tech giant may be busy hacking your private data. A political party may be gerrymandering election districts in your state. A foreign government may be trying to foment extremism in your country. These could all be real conspiracies, but they are not part of a single global plot.

Sometimes a corporation, a political party or a dictatorship does manage to gather a significant part of all the world’s power into its hands. But when such a thing happens, it’s almost impossible to keep it hush-hush. With great power comes great publicity.

Indeed, in many cases great publicity is a prerequisite for gaining great power. Lenin, for example, would never have won power in Russia by avoiding the public gaze. And Stalin at first was much fonder of scheming behind closed doors, but by the time he monopolized power in the Soviet Union, his portrait was hanging in every office, school and home from the Baltic to the Pacific. Stalin’s power depended on this personality cult. The idea that Lenin and Stalin were just a front for the real behind-the-scenes rulers contradicts all historical evidence.

Realizing that no single cabal can secretly control the entire world is not just accurate — it is also empowering. It means that you can identify the competing factions in our world, and ally yourself with some groups against others. That’s what real politics is all about.

Yuval Noah Harari is a historian and the author of “Sapiens: A Graphic History.”
Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian.

In the words of Mandy Rice Davies :-

‘Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?’
 

formby002

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1,103
You are still not making the point you think you are. I didn't commit any logical fallacy, I posited Pimpernel is representative of the species I describe, not that he is the same as 67 million people. You are positing he is unique among 67 people, which is quite the claim.

At any rate, my post was about the US.

Relatededly, I always get a giggle out of people dropping "cultural elite" as a negative descriptor. Practically everyone on this site is the cultural elite.

You made the claim that 67,000,000 people are histrionic by using the representative sample of....er....just 1 person.

Doesn't exactly scream Rigour with a capital R, now does it...?

As for the term cultural elite, I refer to the opinion formers, leaders of institutions, journalists, politicians (questionable).

A good example of this is the continuing prevails of a journalist in the UK called Carole Cadwalldr, who has continually banging on about Russian collusion in the Brexit vote (sound familiar?) she has just lost a legal case related to this, where the judges said she has no evidence. This person has been given journalistic awards (Orwell prize/ Pulitzer nomination) fated(sp?) by her colleagues, encouraged to write her conspiratorial bullshit. And. they. have. lapped. it. up.

If you want examples of histrionics and bat-shittery in British society, then it is here where you'll find it...not in the unwashed great or otherwise.
 

doghouse

King Of The Elite Idiots
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In regards to what exactly?

Organized religion as a net negative influence. Especially true in America.

If we are going to humor religious fantasies, I tend to side with Satan's viewpoint anyhow.
 

formby002

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1,103
Organized religion as a net negative influence. Especially true in America.

If we are going to humor religious fantasies, I tend to side with Satan's viewpoint anyhow.

Right. In regards to that I don't agree with him. The problem generally isn't religion, its people. Western notions of justice and freedom, the good life, come directly from the Judeo-Christian tradition. We cannot, in the West escape this, we are all in a sense, Christians whether we like it or not, in that are world view is so soaked in it that we can't escape it

Of course other areas of the world have their own traditions, their own notions of the good life informed by their own religions and belief systems. Humans it seems, cannot escape religious thinking they just rename their gods.

Good book:

 
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