Category Archives: Europe

Europe, Liberty, and Danser Encore flashmobs

Maybe I’m beating Danser Encore to death, but I think it’s time Americans look to Europe for a way to break free from COVID restrictions.

There’s a rising phenomenon in Europe: the Danser Encore flashmob. I’ve written about the phenomenon twice at American Thinker, so you can go here and here for the details. I’ll try not to repeat most of what I said in those posts. Still, here’s a little background.

In December, a French group called HK & Saltimbank recorded a song, the lyrics of which state in relevant part

We come to break the silence
And when in the evening on TV
The good king has spoken
Come to announce the sentence
We show irreverence
But always with elegance


Every measure of authority
Every whiff of security
Sees our confidence vanish
They show so much insistence
To confine our conscience
Let’s not be impressed
By all these unreasonable people
Sellers of fear in abundance
Harrowing to the point of indecency
Let’s keep them at bay
For our mental health
Our social and environmental well-being
Our smiles, our intelligence
Let’s not be without resistance
The instruments of their insanity.

Somewhere along the line, the song captured French people’s imaginations and they started doing flashmobs to celebrate and demand freedom. Being French, they frame the issue as one of “culture.” Nevertheless, it’s clear what they mean. They’re not demanding that museums re-open or that there’s more opera. Instead, they are insisting upon the return of France’s day-to-day culture of getting out of the house to dance, dine, shop, and generally be free to live their lives.

Flashmobs are a much better idea than protests. Protests have to be planned in advance, they’re angry, they’re political, and they attract attention from police forces.

Unlike a protest, flashmobs must be planned in advance only as to the core people involved for singing, playing instruments, and dancing. Their spontaneity also means that counterprotesters (e.g., Antifa, BLM, or other dangerous groups) won’t be there.

Flashmobs aren’t angry. This is super important. The flashmob doesn’t yell about injustice from the Neo-Puritans who have set themselves above us with their crazy, contradictory, liberty-limiting edicts. Instead, flashmobs are about joy. If this were still high school, the masked crowd would be the uptight teachers’ pets whom everyone hates. The flashmob crowd is the one with the cool kids. They’re partying and having fun. Joy is much more attractive than anger and punitive discipline.

Flashmobs aren’t political. A protest in America about masks is inherently political. Republicans are anti-mask; Democrats are pro-mask. Independents stay away because they have become disgusted by American politics and because they’re concerned about being attacked by Antifa or arrested by the police. A flashmob, on the other hand, is apolitical. It’s about music and joy. Again, it draws people in.

The European anti-maskers, who are less constrained by the political straightjacket strangling public life in America, intuitively understood these things. The flashmobs seem to have really started in March in France, but they’re moving across Europe: Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Holland, and maybe other places I’ve missed.

If you do a YouTube search for “Danser Encore,” you will get several dozen videos of flashmobs. Today — May 1 — has generated a whole new batch. Maybe May Day is significant. Perhaps the Europeans are shaking off the grim communist takeover of May 1 and returning to that date’s exuberant roots as a celebration of freedom from a long, dark winter.

If you’re wondering why I don’t go out there myself and start a flashmob there are a few reasons. First, my forte is writing. Second, I moved into my community a year ago, in the midst of the first phase of the lockdowns, and know only ten people. Third, I’m decidedly unmusical. Consider me the idea person.

And for those of you who are idea persons and do want to spark a rebellion of joy against the neo-Puritans, the song you choose has to be (a) relatively well-known, (b) apolitical, (c) easy for ordinary people to sing along with, (d) about liberty, and (e) joyous. Those are your marching orders. Armed with that, you can go forth and raise the banner of joy and freedom.

The following are the most popular flashmob videos from various European countries, along with videos from Le Huffington Post and the Journal l’Humanité:

For the following video, I made a rough translation of the singer’s explanation about the song. You can find that translation here.

And here’s a sampling of the videos that popped up just today, a chilly May Day in Europe (with more being loaded by the minute as best I can tell):

In America, in 1776, we started a revolution dedicated to replacing an increasingly repressive monarchy with individual liberty. In France, in 1789, they started a revolution dedicated to overturning a repressive monarchy and replacing it with a socialist state.

In 2021, the tables have turned. While Americans weren’t looking, socialists stole their liberty, a revolution they’re trying to lock into place with the Biden administration. Meanwhile, the Europeans are taking it to the streets to express their yearning to breathe free.

Bookworm Beat 10/16/19: debates, impeachment theater, and European attitudes

In this Bookworm Beat, I admit I skipped the Democrat candidate debate, and instead focus on anti-democratic impeachment and snotty European attitudes.

(This is a companion post to the No. 25 Bookworm Podcast which I uploaded yesterday. The content is mostly the same, although not identical. It won’t matter much, I think, whether you prefer to read or listen.)

Ignoring the candidates debate. As a rather silly aside, am I the only one who, whenever I hear or see the phrase “candidates debate,” suddenly has a switch turn in my mind, followed by the lilting harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson?

I actually skipped last night’s candidates debate. After struggling through the first two Democrat candidates debate, I decided that I didn’t have the stomach for a third.

CNN is manipulating things to push the station’s preferred candidate (as we long suspected, but Project Veritas confirms); each of the candidates’ statements is heavily scripted, and they’re all pushing one form or another of socialism, from Warren’s and Biden’s hardcore desires to the socialism “lite” from Buttigieg and Gabbard. At this point, Democrat voters may still be deciding between six of one versus half a dozen of the other, but I know that it will be a cold day in Hell before I vote for any one of them.

The profoundly anti-democratic nature of impeachment. Although we don’t have completely direct democracy, thanks to the tempering qualities of the Electoral College, the president is still the People’s elected representative. That is, our Congress members or state governors do not get together behind closed doors and select a president. We, the People, get to go to the polls and tell our state electors whom they should vote for. We, the People, choose the President.

Impeachment means that Congress moves to kick out the People’s choice. View this way, impeachment is a very un-democratic process. This is especially true for the real Clinton impeachment and this most recent faux-Trump impeachment process: Neither is the result of a genuine groundswell of popular concern about a corrupt presidency; instead, each process represented the minority party’s effort to remove a sitting president. It’s true that Clinton committed a multitude of nasty, corrupt acts, but ultimately the impeachment was about perjury in a matter unrelated to his presidency, and that did not impress the voters at the time. In Trump’s case, it’s manifest that impeachment is simply an existential Democrat attack on Trump’s policies.

The Founders understood that impeachment counters the voters’ will, so they wrote into the Constitution that the House of Representatives — the branch of government that requires its members to go back to the voters every two years — must be the front line for impeachment. It’s the House that votes to initiate the process and it’s the House that, after the inquiry, votes on whether to refer the “trial” to the Senate (whose members only have to face voters every six years).

Under the system the Founders’ devised, the cord binding impeachment to democracy (and again, we’re taking small “d” democracy) is for the people’s representatives to be open about their conduct so that they can face the voters’ approval or wrath at the next election. Any other process, such as refusing to stand before the People and be counted or insisting that all proceedings take place in secret, amounts to nothing more than a government coup.

Mind you, I’m not speaking here about rules, textual analysis, or precedent. I’m simply talking about the difference between a government coup and the essence of representative government. Right now, we’re seeing the former and that should make everyone who is not gripped by severe Trump Derangement Syndrome very unhappy.

European attitudes tend to the snobbish. As long-time readers know, I’m a first generation American, for both my parents were European born. My Dad’s side of the family was a mixed bag: a poor Romanian Jew married the daughter of an exceedingly rich German Jewish industrialist; the daughter was cut loose without a penny; and my Dad grew up in a slum, then in an orphanage, and then made aliyah to British-mandate Palestine. He really couldn’t boast about his pedigree.

My Mom’s family, though . . . there was a whole lot of boasting going on there. On her father’s side, she came from an extremely distinguished Austro-Hungarian Jewish family, so much so that her grandfather received the Hungarian equivalent of a knighthood for his contributions to international patent law. On her mother’s side, she came from an old Hanseatic trading family that allied with an up-and-coming banking family. While everything vanished thanks to divorce and war, my mother’s background was, in its own way, pedigreed. My father, despite his communist youth, basked in that upscale feeling.

I therefore grew up in a household that was European in orientation and snobbish in outlook. I was reminded of both when I spoke yesterday with a relative on my Mom’s side. She was bemoaning the way in which one of my mother’s peers in the family raised her own children: The values were about “fine family,” “fine college,” “fine job.” In other words, superficial, but boast-worthy values. This was, my relative and I agreed, a very European idea. It was certainly the way I was raised.

America’s self-styled blue state elite has completely internalized those European values. The measure of a person is “fine college” and “fine job” (although, as Hunter Biden shows, lineage matters too). That’s true as well for soft-conservatives such as the Bushes. Their values strike me as more European than American. It’s a very superficial way of looking at people’s worth.

I internalized those values for most of my life. I was impressed by Ivy League credentials or big-monied, high prestige jobs.

Thankfully, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize how shallow and limiting those superficial European attitudes are. Although the Leftists are doing their best to kill the true democratic principles that long existed in America, that only makes me embrace them harder. I love being here in the Southeast where the people I meet don’t seem to be as obsessed with credentials. They seem to be more concerned with core values. You know, that “content of character” thing that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about.

Admittedly, I’ve lived something of a hermit life for my first few months here in Tennessee, but I’ve been venturing out more and more and, thankfully, am meeting lots of new people. For example, one of the things I’ve done to help my podcasting is to join the local Toastmasters. It’s a great group of people and they really exemplify what I consider the true American attitude: friendly; supportive; great sense of humor, both outwardly directed and self-deprecating; and dedicated to self-improvement, which is a decidedly American concept.

I may be a late-to-the-table proud American, but I’m happy to say that these are my people!

The post Bookworm Beat 10/16/19: debates, impeachment theater, and European attitudes appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Why Buttigieg’s and Biden’s healthcare plan is a bad thing (No. 17 Bookworm Podcast)

Socialized medicine is bad and the “moderate” plan to have a public/private hybrid healthcare system only draws out the agony on the road to single payer.

(If you prefer listening over reading, the companion podcast to this post is embedded below, or you can listen to it at Libsyn or at Apple podcasts. I’m trying to make a go of my podcasting so, if you like the podcasts, please share them with your friends and on social media. Giving my podcast good ratings helps too.)

In Scott Adams’ Friday podcast, he noted that, while he’s aware of many attacks on Bernie’s and Warren’s “Medicare for All” plan (aka socialized medicine in an already debt-burdened society), he hasn’t heard challenges to a slightly different plan coming from others, most notably Biden and Buttigieg. This alternative Democrat healthcare plan promises “free Medicare for everyone who wants it,” while allowing those who prefer private insurance to opt-out and buy their own insurance.

To Adams, this second plan sounded kind of like the free market, with insurers competing with the government for customers. If the government could squeeze a low price out of drug manufacturers, Adams posited, wouldn’t that mean insurance companies could do so too? He hastened to add that he was just thinking out loud, rather than advocating for this “Medicare for All Lite.”

I’m glad Adams was just advocating and not thinking. When you start thinking about it, you realize that this is a recipe for worse care than we have now, plus increasing health care inequality for the American people.

Before going further, I should begin with my two strong biases against socialized medicine, because these biases inform my belief that even a hybrid system is a bad system: My first bias is that I don’t believe medical care is a right. I think it’s a wonderful thing. I’m tremendously grateful I live in modern times because I didn’t die from a massive cyst in my 20s or during childbirth. I’m also not consigned to a wheelchair or in perpetual pain from joint problems, nor am I rendered dysfunctional by chronic migraine syndrome, nor am I legally blind. Modern medicine has been very good to me.

Just because it’s good, though, doesn’t make it a right. Instead, the blessings of modern medicine are a product of the free market system. In America, the medical field has been given room to grow in extraordinary ways, both in terms of medical and scientific breakthroughs (which overlap, but aren’t always the same) and in terms of ease-of-access. That’s why those who say we have lousy medical care in America are talking through their hats.

On the subject of the quality of care in America, as Scott Atlas wrote in an article that should be required reading in every American high school and college, America has the best medical outcomes in the world. To conclude the opposite, you have to game the statistics in one of two ways. The first is to give a high value to factors other than a good medical outcome. This means arguing that the best medical care means seeing a doctor for free, even if it’s after an interminable wait and even if you die unnecessarily, are euthanized, live in constant pain, or otherwise never get any meaningful treatment. The second is to lie about the economic cost, as Elizabeth Warren did with her faulty, shoddy study that grossly overestimated medical bankruptcies.

But back to the point about healthcare being “a right.” Traditionally, in America, rights are freedoms inherent in all people and have nothing to do with government. Rights aren’t given by government; they need to be protected from government.

The only way to protect an inherent right is to amend the Constitution to state explicitly that “X” is a right inherent in all people, separate from government. Progressives talking about “rights” should therefore agitate for a 28th Amendment saying, simply, “Americans have a right to healthcare.”

The problem is that this amendment wouldn’t achieve Progressive goals. Enshrining the “right” to medical care in the Constitution means only that state and federal governments cannot prevent Americans from seeking healthcare. The Amendment, if it existed, could not impose on the taxpayer the obligation to pay for everyone else’s healthcare in a government-run system.

Put another way, Progressives aren’t demanding a right — that is, an inviolate area of human activity into which the government cannot intrude or can intrude only minimally. Instead, they are demanding a raw exercise of government power, beginning with the police power to take our money and extending to the financial and institutional power to control our bodies through a government managed medical system.

So that’s my primary bias. My secondary bias is that, aside from the poorer outcomes normative under socialized medicine (see a doctor; don’t get better), Europeans have another problem; namely, that the care they’re getting today is nothing like the glowingly wonderful healthcare they crowed about thirty or forty years ago. Back in the day, my parents, who had fantastic insurance through my Dad’s teachers union (awful salaries, great benefits), still envied their friends in Europe who told them about private hospital rooms, good hospital food, and free old age homes.

What my parents didn’t understand was that post-WWII socialized medicine in Europe succeeded for as long as it did thanks to us. We Americans funded Europe’s socialized medicine. After the war, America paid for much of Europe’s rebuilding, sparing the continent the cost of infrastructure costs. Additionally, throughout the Cold War, America absorbed Europe’s defense costs, leaving Europeans with more money to use for “healthcare for all.” (We still see this today, with Europe’s unwillingness to pony up NATO money, even though it’s in the geographic front lines of the benefits NATO confers.)

In other words, Americans worked like dogs and paid for their own healthcare, either out of pocket or through insurance, so that Europeans could enjoy “free” medical care. Of course, we didn’t pay for all of the costs associated with socialized medicine, which leads me to my second point about the decades’ long success of the European socialized medical system.

Up until the last 20 years or so, there was a strong social contract in once homogeneous European countries that everyone should pay high taxes when young and able, so that the government would care for them when they were old and sick. The social contract became very fragile when Europeans stopped having babies. By the 1970s, the post-war baby boom in Europe had vanished, and the European birthrate plummeted.

That’s why, also starting in the 1970s, the Europeans began importing cheap, young labor from Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East. It seemed like a great idea at the time. Europeans would get their free healthcare, 35-hour work weeks, eight weeks of paid vacation, year-long maternity leaves, etc., while all those nice, brown-skinned people would do all the jobs Europeans didn’t want to (and could no longer) do.

What Europeans hadn’t accounted for was that the nice brown-skinned people didn’t think this was a good social compact — especially if they were Muslims. Muslims, after all, believe that the kafir (nonbelievers) should be working for them, rather than vice versa. So it was that more and more poured into Europe seeking, not work, but Europe’s extraordinarily generous welfare benefits (made possible in part by America funding their defense costs).

Even before the disastrous summer of 2015, when Angela Merkel extended an open invitation to military-aged men from all over the Muslim Middle East and Africa to come to Europe and taste its welfare sweets, the system was beginning to fall apart. That, not concern for the sick, was why Europe began embracing euthanasia as a sophisticated, humane approach to medical treatment.

As Dan Bongino repeatedly explains, everything is finite, including potable water. The only way to allocate finite things is through the free market (pricing) or through rationing.

One of the beauties of the free market is that it encourages creativity and invention, thereby making things somewhat less finite and therefore cheaper. I remember when my husband first brought a flash drive home. It was 512K and was a clever substitute for a 3 1/4″ floppy — only it cost several hundred dollars. Today, you can get ten 2GB flash drives for less than $25.

The same is true for Fuji apples. They appeared on the scene in the 1980s as a high priced luxury fruit for the Japanese market. When apple growers realized there was gold in them thar’ apples, competition increased, quantities expanded, and prices dropped.

Under rationing, the people in power of the product determine who gets what and how much they get. When there’s lots of money (as was true in Europe with U.S. capital investment and Cold War funding), those in charge can afford to be generous. As the money dries up, which inevitably happens in a non-market based economy, the people in charge of the product start rationing. They never ration themselves, of course. They just ration other people.

Twenty-five years ago, Europe moved to euthanasia, ostensibly to spare terminally ill people from suffering. They recently extended euthanasia to depressed children. A doctor in Holland was acquitted just the other day for killing a demented 74-year-old woman as she fought to stay alive:

A Dutch doctor has been acquitted of breaking euthanasia laws in a landmark case over ending the life of a 74-year-old woman.

The unnamed doctor had been accused by prosecutors of failing to consult the woman who had Alzheimer’s.

But a judge today ruled that a declaration written by the patient four years earlier had sufficed.

The Hague District Court heard that the patient had to be held down by her family after a lethal dose of a drug was administered by the doctor.

This reminded me of Terri Schiavo’s case. She was the young woman in a coma whose husband wanted to remarry, but could not divorce her because Florida’s law required her consent . . . which she could not give. Her parents, who cared for physical needs, didn’t want her to die. The matter went to court and the judge said, “pull the plug.” At that time, I wrote the following, which I still stand by:

Many years ago, when Holland first enacted its euthanasia law, NPR ran an interview with a Dutchman who explained why euthanasia was a good idea in Holland, while it would be a terrible idea in America. The secret to Holland’s euthanasia, he said, was socialized medicine. The man explained that, in America, where medical costs could bankrupt families, those with terminal illnesses could be actively or passively coerced into turning to euthanasia in order to save their family’s finances.

Put another way, this man and the NPR host who interviewed him were both certain that Americans, when given the choice, would cheerfully throw Grandma from the train in order to save some money. Europeans, the Dutchman explained, with their cradle to grave care, would never be pressured into killing themselves. The beneficent state would pay all the medical bills, so money would not be an issue when it came to life and death decisions. The only thing that would matter in Europe, said this Dutchman, was the terminally ill person’s wishes.


History has revealed that this Dutchman was absolutely and completely wrong. In America, people have willingly bankrupted themselves to save beloved family members.  Mammon becomes meaningless when an extra treatment might give your child or a young mother a few more days, weeks, or years of life.  People have hearts and souls.  They connect to others, especially to those in their families.

It’s very different in socialist states, where euthanasia is the name of the game, often without the patient’s, or her family’s, agreement.  England had the scandal of the Liverpool Care Pathway.  It was meant to be a national hospice program that provided palliative care to the terminally ill in their final days.  What ended up happening, of course, when the National Health Service started running out of money is that thousands (even tens of thousands) of elderly patients who were terminally ill, but weren’t anywhere near death’s door, were hastened to their deaths.  They had become too expensive or just too difficult to manage.

It turns out that, twenty-odd years ago, when I heard that Dutchman speak, he had failed to consider two pertinent facts:  First, socialist states invariably run out of money once they finally destroy their productive class; and second, the state has neither heart nor soul.  To you, Patient X is your beloved mother, or brother, or child.  To the state, Patient X is an unnecessary cost to an already strained system.

Another problem with rationing is that it’s a downward spiral, creating more shortages. As the money runs out, innovation dries up, and doctors find that there is less they can do and that they’re getting paid very poorly, all for the same long hours and stress as before. With those disincentives, they drop out of the practice and fewer go to medical school. Four years in college, four years in medical school, one year as an intern, two years as a resident and then, for specialties, another one to eight years of study — all of that just isn’t worth it for a mediocre wage in a demoralizing workplace with increasingly limited resources and a bureaucrat looking over your shoulder saying, “She’s old; let her die.” The same holds true for nurses who have one of the most brutal undergraduate curricula in college.

Put simply, socialized medicine is as system in which finite resources eventually vanish — hospital beds, available space, treatments, new medicines . . . they all goes away. And then, suddenly, you’re in a Cuban-style hospital with 18 dirty beds in a single open room, and a doctor saying in a tired voice, “Take him home so he can die with his family around him.”

So my bias is that socialized medicine cannot and does not work. Once it burns through whatever money is initially lying around, it reduces medical care and destroys good outcomes.

But back to Scott Adams’ query: Even if we accept that socialized medicine is a bad thing, won’t we alleviate many of those problems if we allow private insurance to co-exist with it? After all, if the government can bully drug companies into giving low prices, why can’t private insurance do the same?

To answer the last question about pharmaceuticals first, the reason it won’t work is that, if the government is going to force (yes, because of its size it will force) drug companies to give it low prices, that doesn’t mean the drug companies will negotiate those same low prices with insurance companies. Instead, the drug companies will try to recoup from private insurance the money they’re losing to the government. This will force insurance companies either to raise premiums to impossible heights or to stop covering all but the most basic generic meds. Eventually, those people paying for private insurance will be forced by ridiculous premiums or impossibly expensive meds to ditch their insurance and turn to the public option. The same analysis holds true for medical devices such as stents or sutures.

The next domino to fall will be the insurance companies themselves, for they will have to close shop once too many customers are priced out and reluctantly turn to the public option. Once everyone is back in the government’s belly, things won’t get better. Without insurance companies and/or privately insured people to subsidize drugs and other medical supplies, the companies that make them will either end innovation (bad) or go out of business altogether (really bad).

It takes time, of course, for the collapse I described to happen. What will happen first will play out like a medical version of public versus private schools — because when you think about it, what the so-called moderate candidates are calling for is the equivalent of public school, with a right (if you have the money) to opt out for private school.

America’s public schools are not healthy. They are modeled on Henry Ford’s assembly line because Progressives in days of yore admired that efficiency. Except the assembly line is broken and our schools do not turn out new, shiny, educated students. Instead, they turn out kids who are remarkably ill-informed and incapable. Moreover, while public schools were meant to be places free from political indoctrination, the militant, unionized, college-educated teachers in way too many schools look on those sweet young faces before them and think, “They’re so easy to indoctrinate when they’re young and malleable.”

In theory, people can opt out of public school. In fact, that’s not so easy. We’ve all paid for public schools through our taxes (property taxes for local schools, state taxes for school boards, and federal taxes to the Department of Education). If you’re not rich, having spent once for your child’s education, you’re not about to spend twice — so you end up sending your children to public schools, no matter that they’re gang ridden, that the teachers are incompetent, or that the facilities are broken down. As a product of San Francisco public schools, I know whereof I speak.

Even my kids’ affluent Marin County schools left a lot to be desired. I would have preferred sending them to Montessori, but having already paid many thousands in property taxes . . . well, my kids got factory educated. I’ve written reams about the fundamental problems with traditional public school education, so I won’t repeat it here. I’ll simply say that uneducated teachers (and that’s what so many are, even at the best public schools) and lousy teaching methods produce uneducated students.

What happens is inevitable: those with enough money put their kids in private school. In essence, they can afford to pay twice for their kids’ education — once through taxes, once through tuition. Pulling these kids out makes public education worse because the kids being pulled out are the ones whose parents are most committed to education, which means these are the students most likely to work hard and contribute to a classroom. It’s a brain drain. The inequality continues into college, as the private school children do better on tests on and essays, making them more attractive to colleges.

We’ll inevitably see the same thing with a hybrid medical system. The rich will get fancy private insurance and be in nice hospitals. Everyone else, having already been taxed up to here and beyond, will get Cuban-style medical care. Eventually, though, as I described above, there won’t be enough rich to enable insurance companies to compete with the government behemoth and its marketplace bullying. They’ll fall by the wayside and we’ll be right where Bernie wanted us to be all along: Socialized medicine in America, with all of the rationing problems I described above, not to mention the death of freedom over the most important thing we possess: our own bodies.

Image credit: I found the collage of Cuban hospital care at PoliNation.

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America’s Fabian revolution: Prelude to a Second American Revolution

We are in the 7th decade of a slo-mo socialist revolution in America, but there are signs it will be followed by a successful Second American Revolution.

One of my favorite books is Daddy-Long-Legs, an epistolary novel that Jean Webster wrote in 1912. The letter writer is Judy Abbott, a young woman who was raised in an orphanage but who ends up at a college much like Vassar (Webster’s own alma mater) thanks to an anonymous benefactor. The benefactor has only one request for Judy in exchange for her four years at an elite women’s college: She must send him letters describing her college experience. It’s a sweet book and stands the test of time very well.

Jean Webster herself was a very Progressive woman in the Woodrow Wilson mode. Indeed, true to the whole Wilson/Margaret Sanger political and social ethos in which she lived, her sequel to Daddy-Long-Legs, another epistolary novel called Dear Enemy, Webster argues strongly in favor of eugenics. The book never mentions abortion, but it makes a vigorous case that “defectives” — alcoholics and people with family histories of insanity or just not being very bright — should not be allowed to breed. Poor Webster might have done better herself had she chosen not to breed, for she died in 1916 from childbirth fever.

But back to Daddy Long Legs…. At one point in the novel, Webster has her heroine announce that she is a revolutionary, but not the nasty violent kind. Instead, she is a nice revolutionary:

Dear Comrade,

Hooray! I’m a Fabian.

That’s a Socialist who’s willing to wait. We don’t want the social revolution to come to-morrow morning; it would be too upsetting. We want it to come very gradually in the distant future, when we shall all be prepared and able to sustain the shock. In the meantime we must be getting ready, by instituting industrial, educational and orphan asylum reforms.

Webster’s was a pithy and accurate definition of Fabian socialism.

Thinking about it, a Fabian revolution is precisely what we’ve seen taking place in America since the years after World War II. Other countries’ revolutions — or even America’s own 18th century revolution — have been violent, abrupt upheavals. Societal institutions resisted the revolutionary ideas until guns and blood effected a change.

In America, the middle class sought freedom from overweening government power and corruption. In France, the intellectual class sought to switch to itself the power that the monarch had long held. The same was true with the Russian revolution. In China, rather unusually, it was the workers and the students who overthrew, not just the corrupt government, but the intellectual class as well, a model Pol Pot followed in Cambodia. You can mentally page through other revolutions around the world and see that they’re bloody affairs.

To date, though, our second American revolution has not been an abrupt, bloody, convulsion. Instead, it has been exactly what Judy Abbott envisioned: a revolution that came “very gradually,” with Leftists slowly but steadily working their way through every American institution. Sure, there’s been a bit of violence in the streets, both during the Vietnam and Iraq Wars and during the first two years of the Trump presidency, but it’s been street theater rather than the mass bloodshed and formal armed warfare that has attended past revolutions at home and abroad.

The real changes in America have been in colleges, in news media, in the entertainment world, in the publishing world, in high schools and elementary schools, and even in libraries, where men dressed up as women read to toddlers who, judging by pictures, appear both fascinated and horrified by the bizarre spectacles before them. Oh, and of course our corporations have also been moved to the Left by the Fabian revolution as college grads have successfully moved into mid- and upper-level managerial positions that were once held by people who weren’t educated in the Fabian socialist tradition. The social media and other tech giants are populated entirely by college grads or people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who were in college long enough to absorb its hard Left ethos.

I happen not to like this socialist revolution, soft though it’s been. My preferred theory is “that government is best which governs least.” As I tried to demonstrate in this old post supporting the Second Amendment, there is no killer in the world more cruel and efficient than government. No individual or corporation comes even close.

As the increased rationing of care in Britain shows, government does not love its citizens. Cradle to grave care works only as long as there’s some residual money left over from the free market system. Once that money’s gone, government almost gleefully decides who lives and who dies. Your family, meanwhile, is very likely to impoverish itself to keep you alive.

Government is also a miserable money manager — and you need look no further than Venezuela to see what I mean. Within less than twenty years, it went from one of the richest (the richest?) countries in Latin America to being a complete economic basket case, with people dying in barren hospitals and starving on the streets. That is, they’re starving and dying of disease when they’re not being gunned done by their own government.

I could go on but I think most people already have their minds made up about whether they want to live in a country defined by individual liberty or a country that’s a dystopian cross between the world’s worst Department of Motor Vehicles and an abattoir. I mentioned a few paragraphs ago that I want the world of individual liberty and have seen enough of world history, along with current news, to know that nothing worse can happen to a country’s citizens than to fall prey to socialism.

My understanding of socialism based on two centuries of real world examples is why I don’t think Bernie is a sweet, but gaga old man; I think he’s a genuinely evil tyrant wanna be. I have a few essays on the subject that I wrote in 2016, which you can find here. Given that Bernie is currently having a hard time staying to the left of the other whacked out Democrat Party clown-show candidates, I may have to update and revamp that blog to accommodate all the new, evil craziness coming down the pike.

Since I dread socialism, I look for hope. Today, I’ve seen one sparkling sign of hope and had one hopeful thought.

The sparkling sign of hope is the Oberlin verdict. It was wonderful when the jury awarded Gibson Bakery $11,000,000 in its lawsuit against Oberlin based upon Oberlin’s deliberate effort to destroy the fifth generation family bakery because the bakery dared to call out a student shoplifter (who then joined with two others to commit assault). Things went from wonderful to glorious when, today, the jury piled on another $22,000,000 in punitive damages.

My joy doesn’t arise merely because Oberlin deserves to be destroyed, which it does because it’s one of the most pernicious influencers in the Fabian revolution that surrounds us. It also comes from the fact that the verdict proves that there are still Americans who believe in the American way and who will take a stand against the Social Justice Warriors who are at the forefront of America’s Fabian revolution.

Speaking of the “forefront of America’s Fabian revolution,” that forefront, the Ground Zero of the revolution, is America’s colleges and universities or, as I call them, Americans institutions of higher indoctrination. It is these institutions that seed everything. If Fabian Socialism is an infected boil, spreading its toxins through every American institution, the colleges and universities are the pus lying at the center of that boil. Lance the boil and expel the pus . . . and you might have a chance to help the rest of the body recover. One way to lance the boil is to withhold every penny of federal funds, whether in the form of grants or student loans or anything else, from all colleges and universities. If they can’t survive in the free market, they deserve to go down.

But as so often, I digress. I wanted to get back to happy thoughts. The Oberlin verdict led me to another nice thought, the hopeful one I mentioned. You see, sooner or later, no matter how gradual and Fabian a revolution, revolutions will turn violent. Most revolutions are violent in the initial phases and, with the exception of the American revolution, they remain violent for decades and generations after. As Jesus presciently and wisely said, “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” There are purges and overthrows and more purges and mini-revolutions that are squashed and praetorian guards and it just goes from ugly to really ugly, with death always attendant on the revolutionaries and their progeny.

But slow-moving revolutions can turn violent too. Take the Muslim revolution in Europe. For several decades, Muslims have slowly been moving onto the Western European continent, whether as Turks in Germany, Algerians in France, or Pakistanis in England. Most were peaceful enough, although many were addicted to welfare. Now, though, they’ve reached critical mass in those countries, with help from the recent flood that Obama trigger and Merkel welcomed. This critical mass has seen violence become endemic in Europe and I predict that it will soon become epidemic. Then — poof! — no more Christian, Enlightenment Europe, and no more post-Enlightenment socialist-bureaucracy EU. Instead, it’s the Islamic Continent of Europe.

Slow, Fabian-style revolutions can also turn violent, not because of critical mass, but because the revolutionaries fear that victory is being snatched from their grasp. The perfect example is the mass hysteria following Trump’s election. For the Fabians, Bush was tolerable, although just barely. When Trump came along, Bush Derangement Syndrome looked like the common cold compared to the Black Death that is Trump Derangement Syndrome. Antifa went mad. Others went mad. Violence happened.

But here’s where the hope comes in: The socialist leaders in their incubators in America’s colleges and universities were so invested in the success of their Praetorian revolution than they never even considered that they might need a military branch. They haven’t trained fighters; they’ve trained snowflakes. The snowflakes periodically get screechy and vicious, and some will gather in dangerous mobs, as happened at Berkeley both when Milo and Ben Shapiro came to speak, but they’re not warriors. The vast majority have been trained for decades to fear guns and to run for help to the academic mentors when the going gets tough.

It’s the real Americans — the ones who believe in the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, and who believe in individual rights and self-reliance — who still know how to fight. I devoutly hope that the true Second American Revolution, the one that is a push-back against the socialist Fabian revolution that slowly occurred right before our un-heeding eyes, never needs to go outside the voting booths and courtrooms. However, if the Social Justice Warriors decide to continue their revolution on the streets, I’m pretty sure they’re going to lose quickly and efficiently.

The post America’s Fabian revolution: Prelude to a Second American Revolution appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘The Difference’ Edition

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Read more:

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘The Difference’ Edition

Article written by: Tom White

Welcome to ALL the New Sandy Twitter Followers – Some from the UK! YES I am for Brexit!

I just realized that I might have more Twitter followers in the United Kingdom than in the US!  (I have somewhat aggressively been seeking out UKIP members and regional/local UKIP chapters and others for Brexit – the leaving of the UK from the EU.)  I thank all those who follow me and I will encourage them to read the blog.

YES I am for Brexit.  I am for a new union of European states that would respect sovereignty and use such things as uniform national laws to integrate Europe into a useful whole.  But each nation would have a veto and foreign/European courts would have no power (other than persuasive) over the nations.

Here’s some highlights for the new readers and the veteran ones too:

Well you get the idea.  Just search for UKIP and EU and you will find lots of great articles.  Also consider searching for Nigel Farage, too.

The question I have and that the leave EU folks must insist is:  If Brexit wins that the pols will respect the decision and not try to repeat the vote until the EU gets what they want:  Yes for the EU.

But thanks for tuning in the new UK followers and keep spreading the news about Virginia Right and Brexit and UKIP!

Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Sue Long: Save our Jobs in Services

Although we hear little about it, we should be concerned about pending legislation that could  destroy our sovereignty as a free and independent nation.

We already have NAFTA which is responsible for the loss of many jobs to outsourcing.  Then there is the pending TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) which would merge our country into a regional government in the Pacific.  Sold as a means of beating out China in trade agreements, we are not told how China could join TPP later on in spite of our objections. In addition, TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) would merge us with the EU which is now comprised of what were once sovereign nations in Europe, having been sold on it that it would help their economy.

Now, there is yet another to add to the mix, TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement). As if it isn’t enough that much of American manufacturing production has already been shipped out, leaving services as the main stay of the American economy, now services are on the chopping block. The TiSA would give the UN’s World Trade Organization (WTO) unprecedented control over the service sector, including jobs in banking, finance, courier and postal services, delivery and freight services, energy distribution, health care, insurance, maritime, professional services, legal services, licensing, real estate, telecommunications, transportation, tourism, and much more.

We need to insist that our legislators vote against this threat to our country.

Sue Long

Article written by: Tom White