Roundup and time for the Coalition to get serious about school education

On the news this morning, from 2014 it will be mandatory for school in NSW (Australia?) to teach pupils about the horrors of the Holocaust, following moves in the US and Europe. As if it was a secret that has to be revealed.

What about making sure all the pupils know about the horrors of the various communist regimes? In Geography in class in the 1960s I recall a textbook with a chapter on Soviet agriculture which seemed to suggest that the collectivism of the small farms was a great success. It certainly did not mention the forced starvation of millions of people to clear the way for the collectives.

With the looming possibility of wall to wall Coalition governments (forget about my home state) it is time to get serious about stopping the flow of misinformation and propaganda through the school education system. The NSW experience under Terry Metherill in the Greiner government of the 1990s was instructive, demonstrating the bitterness of resistance from the trade union and the way that worthwhile change was obtained by a determined minister. (A pity he turned rancid afterwards but that is another story).

Parallel with the efforts of the politicians, the parents need to get involved at the P&C level to support necessary changes. That will be difficult as well, as I found at the local P&C at the time of the Metherill reforms.

OTHER ITEMS

On the Holocaust theme, the late Roger Sandall’s piece on the Soviet attack, almost genocide in the Baltic states.

Great stuff on BoltA this morning, especially this piece.

In keeping with the finding of Justice Bromberg in the racial discrimination case brought against Bolt, I did indeed feel humiliated and intimidated by the implications of Bolt’s article: I felt hurt, shamed and vulnerable.

But rather than simply complain about how the article made me feel, I understood I could only resolve my discomfort through first examining why it made me feel that way.

I realised I felt vulnerable because there was no way I could defend my own position if it were to be challenged; it was indefensible that I should occupy an Aboriginal identified position when I knew that race-based preferential treatment was misguided and unjust policy. I felt shamed because my position was shameful, and my choices were shameful; I knew I was a party to something very wrong, yet I chose to continue because complying was easier than walking away from my chosen career. I felt hurt because the truth hurts, and my comforting rationalisations about myself and my place in the world were already painfully dissolving.

And Moncko strikes again.

That mischevious Moncko, it was all his fault that I fell out with the Troppo guys. Posting a pro-Moncko piece caused a thread of doom with 1000 comments and my exit from the list. On top of that, at the meeting in Perth where I was the speaker, Moncko took the floor and the footage went viral courtesy of Getup so I was off side with all my lifelong leftie friends. It was quite a good talk too, Moncko and Jo Nova enjoyed it (she brought him along because it was the start of his 2011 Australian tour). The one in Texas was better and I got to meet Barry Smith as well, equally impressive as Monckton. The talk was only 20 minutes with rough notes, this is the expanded version, strictly for nerds (and soil scientists).

Gerard Henderson’s column in case you missed it.

And Watts news always has good climate stuff.

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106 Responses to Roundup and time for the Coalition to get serious about school education

  1. Robert C

    In this case I would have to agree that school children should be taught about the holocaust. A friend was watching the History Channel with her 15 year old daughter last year, and was shocked when she asked “Mum, who’s that Hitler bloke they keep talking about?”. The Holocaust is not a “secret to be revealed”, but it still needs to be taught at an age-appropriate level.

  2. Rafe

    I think you have missed the point. If you are going to start mandating certain course contents, why pick out the Holocaust and leave out the truth about the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, which incidentally included the rise of Hitler? Or do think that the Russian experiment was ok in principle but they screwed up the implementation?

  3. Sinclair Davidson

    What is age-appropriate? I took my kids into the Berlin Holocaust memorial museum even though the people said they didn’t recommend kids under 15 see it.

  4. m0nty

    Really Rafe, you strode into your local P&C and started demanding classes be taught to denounce communism, and you found it difficult? Whodathunkit.

  5. Rafe

    Just in case you are interested Monty, I did nothing of the sort. My wife and I edited the P&C newsletter and she did some time reading to kids who didn’t get much reading at home (strange in the Sydney suburb of Mosman but there you are).

    We happened to be there at the time that Metherill set about some sensible reforms but the mood at one P&C meeting was so savavely opposed (stirred by the teachers) that you would have thought he wanted to drive nails into the kiddies heads.

    Remember that this was the teachers union that actively participated in the anti-uranium mining movement that morphed into the climate fraud. They had a flying squad of activists who followed Metherill everywhere he went on official business to disupt the proceedings.

  6. Rafe

    A serious question Monty, do you think that there should be “age appropriate” teaching about the Soviet regime and Maoism? Do you have a problem with denouncing communism?

  7. .

    Really Rafe, you strode into your local P&C and started demanding classes be taught to denounce communism, and you found it difficult? Whodathunkit.

    It would be shocking if that were difficult, as communism is as evil as Nazism.

  8. .

    A serious question Monty, do you think that there should be “age appropriate” teaching about the Soviet regime and Maoism? Do you have a problem with denouncing communism?

    Of course he does.

  9. .

    A friend was watching the History Channel with her 15 year old daughter last year, and was shocked when she asked “Mum, who’s that Hitler bloke they keep talking about?”.

    Sorry, but that kid needs a clip over the ears.

    “That Hitler bloke”

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF……

  10. Brett

    My daughter has just finished Year 8 in NSW; and the History course has left me stunned. The curriculum might well be a problem however the quality of the teachers is a greater one.

    Highlight of the year; a history teacher who did not know the date of the Allied invasion of Europe in WWII (she had heard of D-Day but told the class she thought it occurred in the WWI) and who could not name Winston Churchill as the British prime Minister for much of WWII.

  11. m0nty

    A serious question Monty, do you think that there should be “age appropriate” teaching about the Soviet regime and Maoism? Do you have a problem with denouncing communism?

    History is not taught enough at school, it’s true. It gets sidelined for more vocational subjects. This is a more distinct problem when you come to these “age appropriate” topics, because by the time it is appropriate to teach them, the curriculum has already begun to be tailored to deliver a specialised worker with vocational skills (and little else).

    In the priority list of topics to cover in a year 8/9 history curriculum, which I would guess is the latest you could get it done for all students, studying the Soviet regime and Mao would seem to me to be important enough to merit inclusion. It would probably get short shrift, but it should be there.

    As for whether this should be in the form of “denouncing communism” – don’t be so silly Rafe, that’s not what history class is for. Teachers are there to present the facts and historical context, not harangue teenagers about reds under the bed. The facts should allow the students to make the connections themselves, without it turning into a propaganda exercise. No wonder you got howled down at the P&C if that was the agenda you took in.

  12. After a change of principals at our local primary school, there has been a lurch into Multikultilefti Land. This year there will be a “Food From Around The World” end of year function. (This will be the 3rd celebration of food from different parts of the planet this year.)

    Last year it was a ‘beach party’ with one christmassy song.

    In the latest newsletter from the school, the only mention of christmas is a snippet about the giving tree and then the regular christmas hamper.

    One day, it would have been nice to see Australian culture celebrated, and I’d like the school choir to sing carols for a change. In english would also be nice. I’m tired of hearing songs in every other bloody language of the world.

    *cue screams and accusations of “Waaaayyyycist!!!”

    Since it’s a primary school, the Holocaust shouldn’t be taught.

  13. Jim Rose

    the internet makes learning about such events rather ease. cable TV is another source. cannot move for world war 2 documentaries.

    stalin and mao are the other two members of the I killed 30 million club.

    what about making it mandatory for schools to teach about the lethal dangers of utopian experiments. famine and mass murder are par for the course.

  14. .

    monty flailing wildly explaining why kids shouldn’t learn Mao was a fuckwit of immense, genocidal proportions.

    Who’d thunk it?

  15. Monty you can’t teach about communism without denouncing it, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Coming Out of the Ice by Victor Herman should be essential reading for one of those first person experiences of communism.

    Let’s see, for viewing, the doco Soviet Story is good, and for the older kids learning about Hitler’s Germany, let’s go for Shoah, all 9-plus hours of Claude Lanzmann’s epic.

  16. m0nty

    monty flailing wildly explaining why kids shouldn’t learn Mao

    studying the Soviet regime and Mao would seem to me to be important enough to merit inclusion

    Do you and CL have a competition to see how consistently wrong you can be, Dot?

  17. .

    You’re not a serious person monty.

  18. Andrew

    Coalition are never going to reform the education system enough to take away any bias. The left-wing, political correctness is embedded in teachers, the curriculum and students.

  19. Pedro

    The topic taught should be totalitarianism, the idealogical underpinnings for it and the abuses associated with it. That should help kids understand where some of the loopier greens are heading.

  20. Rafe-the timing on this cannot be coincidental. I just did a story on this after looking into the “Facing History” curriculum being pushed and discovering it was false lessons about the reasons for the Holocaust. It turns into a changing values/ politicization curriculum.

    http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/changing-the-filtering-perception-the-way-we-see-the-world-is-key/ is the story I did after Ed Week in the US did a story this week using Facing History as the example curriculum on a multiple perspectives classroom. So I started looking into Facing History as a history major.

    I have ordered the textbooks but it also appears the same group takes the horrific Eugenics Movement and misattributes the causes of that as well.

    Events like the Holocaust and Eugenics allow emotions free rein since everyone can relate to atrocities. If you misattribute the causes, then never again becomes the basis for political action for Change. Transformational Change.

    Sound familiar?

  21. Poor Old Rafe

    Thanks Robin, you just have to join the dots and you see the picture. Like the worldwide push to ban uranium mining (I wont post the link again people will get bored).

  22. m0nty

    You’re not a serious person monty.

    That’s your answer to your deliberate lie being laid out in full? You lack integrity, Dot.

  23. Pedro-

    As I wrote in the linked post misattributing the reasons for Totalitarianism and mispotraying it are especially dangerous.

    Plus the typical parent will not know this is not a history class in the traditional sense and is intended to changes values attitudes, beliefs, and then behaviors.

    What used to go by the name Outcomes Based Education and now gets called the Orwellian name of “learning.”

    That’s what learning now means all over the world. Anywhere UNESCO and the OECD influence education. That’s actually what PISA is all about. Changing education all over the world to fit with DeSeCo–Definition and Selection of desired Competences. It’s a word masking a blend of generic skills with attitudes.

    Another synonym for Outcomes.

  24. Rabz

    My dad used to convene the entire family to watch the Ustinov narrated doco on the Holocaust in the early seventies. I would have been about seven or eight at the time.

    It was truly horrifying.

    It was also fresh in the memories of many as it was less than thirty years in the past.

    My great fear is that holocaust denialism will only increase once the last survivors have gone.

    Already there are moves afoot in that notorious cesspit the UK to abolish teaching about the Holocaust ’cause moozlies won’t accept that it happened.

    If there is an upsurge in Holocaust denialism it will be driven by those filthy stupid medieval degenerates.

    BTW, does anyone know what the Ustinov documentary was called? A cursory google search hasn’t helped.

  25. lotocoti

    Digging around, it seems only those who choose History in year eight and stick with it get to the Holocaust in year 10.
    If memory serves, back in the seventies there was no choice before 9.
    Everyone did History, as with Maths, English and Science.
    As to “age appropriate” THE television programmes for grade 3 boys at Mater Dei, circa 1969, were The Rat Patrol and Combatwithvicmorrow. Everything WWII related was age appropriate.

  26. Rabz do you have a link to that doco please? I’m building up my own library here.

  27. Rabz

    No Nilk – as I said I can’t seem to track it down and I can’t remember what it was called.

    Unless it was the world at war episodes that covered the Holocaust, but this seemed to be a different documentary. Ustinov frequently delivered pieces to camera throughout it.

  28. Is this it? This site has a filmography that is incredibly extensive.

    I also recommend Ustinov’s autobiography for hysterically funny reading. I might need to get that as an audio book for the car.

  29. Gab, great minds truly do think alike lol.

  30. Leon Uris’s book– qb vii–is a great read to learn about the Holocaust. Read it as a teenager.

    Rabz–years ago our next door neighbor was an Auschwitz survivor. We had some vivid conversations in the back yard.

    Never forget but remember the right lessons. Otherwise the offered solutions are frequently what actually part of what created the problem in the first place.

  31. .

    That’s your answer to your deliberate lie being laid out in full? You lack integrity, Dot.

    My deliberate lie – what the fuck are you talking about? You cannot even admit you are a lefty and wonder why people are suspect when you wax lyrical with paragraphs of nonsense and drivel about why we shouldn’t teach kids about Stalin and Mao.

    FFS you have the temerity to lecture others about integrity.

    Fuck off you fat idiot.

  32. Gab

    The audio book is a great idea, Nilk and it is read by the author! Pity it’s not available in MP3 format.

  33. m0nty

    My deliberate lie – what the fuck are you talking about?

    Are you dense, Dot? You claimed I said “kids shouldn’t learn Mao”. I quoted my own words that “studying the Soviet regime and Mao would seem to me to be important enough to merit inclusion” in the school curriculum. You lied.

    Perhaps I was hasty in assuming you were doing it deliberately, maybe you’re just too dumb or lazy to have read or understood what I said. I probably gave you too much credit.

  34. .

    As for whether this should be in the form of “denouncing communism” – don’t be so silly Rafe, that’s not what history class is for.

    But of course. The Holodomor was just one of those things that happened. Killing five million Ukrainians doesn’t deserve condemnation, but our mistreatment of Aborigines does.

    Are you on crack you fucking twit?

    Your problem you arseclown is that you are too fucking ignorant to pass judgement. Like calling Gillard a hero in the memory of William Bligh.

  35. roger

    What about making sure all the pupils know about the horrors of the various communist regimes?

    While I do agree that Lefties do push a hidden anti-Conservative agenda when banging on and on about the Holocaust, there are two points to remember: 1. As opposed to what our dear Leftie friends would have poeple believe, Hitler was NOT a conservative: check out his views about Capitalism. 2. The nature of the Holocaust DOES make it unique amongst genocides. It a historical fact that Communism murdered more innocent civilians than Nazism. Yet, the Holocaust stands unique.

  36. .

    As opposed to what our dear Leftie friends would have poeple believe, Hitler was NOT a conservative

    Clearly. He fucked over the Prussians, the officer class and the nobility.

    He believed in massive wealth redistribution and wide scale intervention in the economy, even in a peacetime setting.

    He invented MEFO bills to fraudulently pay his way to rearming Germany.

    These are all, for the lack of a better term “left wing” ideas. Show me a right wing party, moderate to extreme, that has also replicated these policies. They will be very rare and in all likelihood they will be a paramilitary junta.

  37. lotocoti

    The facts should allow the students to make the connections themselves, without it turning into a propaganda exercise.

    Absolutely, mØnty.
    Let’s hope there’s no “Fighting the spies, wreckers, counter revolutionary deviationist Trotskyite hyenas, lickspittle running dogs of the petit bourgeoisie, capitalists and crafty Jew bankers, mistakes were made.” propaganda either.

  38. .

    monty do you think children should be taught an unredacted account of Lenin’s Hanging Order?

  39. Woolfe

    Through researching my family history (Ancestry.com) I discovered that over 60 of my relatives from Holland were murdered in the holocaust.

    Just a number, but they were people like you and I. Horrific.

  40. Robert C

    Rafe, I totally agree that the horrors born from 19th and 20th century progressiveism should be taught to all students. I was trying to point out that none of this is really taught in our schools (even 25 years ago it wasn’t taught here in SA), so including the horrors of Nazi Germany in the curriculum would be a good start. By age-appropriate, I just mean that death-camps, starvation, and anti-semitism are things that primary school children could cope with learning about, but mass-rape, human lamp-shades, etc, should probably be left until high school when the poor dears are better equipped to understand the depth of the depravity.

  41. Schools are for teaching Read’n ‘right’n and ‘rithmatic…

    Parents are responsible for Religious and Moral education, including the evils of Socialism.

    You should take your voucher to whatever charter school you choose; socialist revolutionary, Finnish, Catholic, Isam, Home School or Entrepreneur.

    You could drop the voucher and bring back income splitting…

  42. Bruce

    a thread of doom

    Mr Monckton has that effect. Very efficient he is. He can detonate a greenie head at 200 paces. Even his name is sufficient to cause pyrotechnics. Especially if the four letter adjective starting with “L” is used.

    The one abiding and all encompassing trait of the green progressive is no sense of humour whatsoever. Ok…and tofu.

  43. stackja

    Newspapers in the 1950s told stories that today would not be printed on events in the 1940s.

  44. m0nty

    By age-appropriate, I just mean that death-camps, starvation, and anti-semitism are things that primary school children could cope with learning about

    … no.

  45. Gab

    I’m certain they’ve seen worse on TV, cinema, internet…

  46. cohenite

    At the end of the day Christopher Monckton represents a set of values which have been tested and proven to be the best, while the greens represent values which have also been proven to be abominable and oppressive.

    Thus fortified and possessing formidable intellectual vigour and acumen Christopher is indeed the leading sceptic in the world today.

    It is unforgivable that the 2SM and Fairfax media treated him so insultingly the last time he was in Newcastle.

  47. m0nty

    monty do you think children should be taught an unredacted account of Lenin’s Hanging Order?

    As per your usual tactic, Dot, you try to change the subject when you have been comprehensively beaten in the previous exchange. I will treat this as an abject submission on your part on the last point.

    I doubt a year 8 history class in Australia would have enough time to spend on the topic of Soviet history to go through a whole unredacted account of a single civil war incident.

  48. Greg P.

    I doubt a year 8 history class in Australia would have enough time to spend on the topic of Soviet history to go through a whole unredacted account of a single civil war incident.

    …when they are far too busy digesting the Cultural Marxist curriculum via learning about the dreadful colonialist history of EVIL(!) European man.

  49. Podsnap

    There are real lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust.

    The most interesting is an examination of the causes as to how the Germans got to where they ended up.

    This could be dealt with in a variety of ways -

    Option 1 – an examination of the quite real sense of betrayal ordinary Germans felt against the upper classes (and the Jews) for being ‘betrayed’ in WW1, the absolute carnage that WW1 did to the value systems of all the countries of the West, the radicalisation caused by the failures of democracy in the 20′s, the perceived unfairness of the Treaty of Versailles etc.

    Or

    Option 2. Hitler was crazy and by far the worst human being that has ever lived.

    I (don’t) wonder which path the Education Department will take ?

  50. AJ

    Is it not already taught now? Stalin’s gulags, show trials and liquidation of the kulaks, and Mao’s cultural revolution and mass starvation were part of senior high school modern history, when I did it over a decade ago.

  51. Podsnap

    I did the ‘Revolutions’ syllabus many years when I went to high school – France, Russia, China, Cuba.

    We were taught all the atrocities (tho’ none of the leftist atrocities in Cuba). The general tone was that revolutions were good – but they often went too far.

  52. Greg P.

    Is their any truth to the Jewish ‘stab in the back’ story that went around Germany post-WWI?

    I mean this in the sense that Jews are predominant on Wall Street but some run with this and claim they have complete control of the economy.

    If that makes sense.

  53. Greg P.

    There not their.

    Switched to the Shiraz too early.

  54. Podsnap

    Is their any truth to the Jewish ‘stab in the back’ story that went around Germany post-WWI?

    Right – good question – I have no idea. This is the sort of question that just isn’t explored.

    Most German soldiers at the end of the war were flabbergasted that unconditional surrender occurred so quickly. They thought they were winning (the generals etc told them) and then suddenly – BANG.

    As a consequence the German monarchy was removed with so little fanfare – they were partly blamed.

    There were a lot of Jewish bankers,industrialists etc so with the revulsion against the upper classes they were probably scapegoated.

    There have been plenty of genocides – but all in what I would call ‘uncivilised’ places. I am intrigued by what went wrong with the Germans.

  55. Ellen of Tasmania

    … don’t be so silly Rafe, that’s not what history class is for. Teachers are there to present the facts and historical context,…

    He’s dreamin’.

    My dream is vouchers for parents while we slowly but steadily phase out public education. And let schools decide who they want to hire to teach the kids – no government accreditation stuff.

  56. one old bruce

    Since people will bring up the Versailles treaty and claim it was unfair for Germany to have to give up the Alsace-Lorraine area and pay ‘excessive’ reparations:

    Note that the Treaty of Frankfurt (1871), which ended the Franco-Prussian War (1870 – 1871) stipulated France had to pay Germany 5 billion francs in reparation payments, while Germany claimed the Alsace-Lorraine area from France, with French people required to leave. German troops occupied parts of France until the entire 5 billion francs was paid, in 3 years.

    And a book I recently read, ‘The Heidelberg Myth’ by Steven P. Remy (2003), looks at one case of how the German ‘victimhood’ narrative was used to conceal sinister truths.

  57. Podsnap

    Good point Bruce. What was the theme of the book ? (I must admit I really haven’t read much in this area).

    I have to say that I probably shouldn’t have included the Treaty of Versailles as one of the ‘verboten’ subjects that wouldn’t be raised in a high school class. It was raised as a reason for WW2 when I went to High School.

    The unfairness of ‘victor’s justice’ is an idea that conforms pretty well with the soft left narrative that I was spoon fed at High School.

  58. Greg P.

    There have been plenty of genocides – but all in what I would call ‘uncivilised’ places

    True, but the majority of genocides probably don’t know about. The victors in these cases choosing not to write history.

    The only reason we know about the German slaughter of the Jews is because the Allies won and many Jews escaped to the US and also the holocausts role in the foundation of Israel.

  59. Louis Hissink

    Given the political left’s proclivity in fabricating history, whether recently as in the Tony Abbott wall punching event, the fabrication of aboriginal history as documented by Windschuttle, or that of climate change, you start to wonder what else has been fabricated.

  60. Podsnap

    Not sure if there are any mass slaughters in the modern era that we don’t know about because the victors covered it up.

    It seems to me that all the mass slaughters we have seen in the modern era were either genocidal (Rwanda, Armenians in Turkey (if that counts), the Holocaust) or the product of communist states (Russia, China, Cambodia).

    When I was in Cambodia years ago I read a book by a Western academic highlighting the racial basis of the Cambodian slaughter (basically anti-Vietnamese sentiment). I took it on board, and incorporated that viewpoint into my thinking. It was only a few years later that I checked the background of the author and realised he was big time Commie who had been a fan of the KR before the Viets turned against them. It wasn’t hard to see that the whole purpose of the book was to undercut the influence of left wing ideology on the whole thing.

    Lots of little things like this are what turns you into a raging hater of the left.

    This one -
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Pol-Pot-Regime-Genocide/dp/0300096496

  61. Greg P.

    There have been plenty of genocides – but all in what I would call ‘uncivilised’ places

    Upon further reflection that comment strikes me as wrong Podsnap. The Holodomor and Armenian Genocide both occurred in civilised places. Maybe you meant modern Western? Even then some may point to the Irish famine.

    I think you’re drawing a long bow to suggest that the German national psyche underwent a historically unique transformation during WWII in order for the holocaust to occur. Particularly as only a tiny minority knew what was occurring.

  62. Greg P.

    Pol Pot is an interesting one. I was reading about him a few years ago and apparently he spent a bit of time in Paris as a young man.

    When he was there he listened to a lot of French commies, opining in Parisian cafes about every topic under the sun. They’d be going on about “crushing the family” and all the typical trendy Western far-left bs.

    Young Pol Pot (POLitical POTential) didn’t see through their status bs however. He took them at their word.

    With disastrous fucking results.

  63. Podsnap

    I don’t count Turkey and USSR in the 20s as civilised. Obviously it depends on where you draw the line and that is subjective. However I don’t think there can be any debate that Germany was orders of magnitude more civilised than either.

    I believe that the Germans (and French and English among others) were existentially transformed by WW1. It led the Germans to the Holocaust, it led the rest of the West to the crisis of confidence that will lead to its demise in the next 100 years (by this I don’t mean that the west will be literally destroyed but rather that its culture will cease to exist we are well along to that point already).

    In 500 years time when people look back – WW1 will be seen as the inflection point for Western civilisation.

  64. Greg P.

    I don’t count Turkey and USSR in the 20s as civilised.

    Oh come on, just because you may not like a regime/nation/empire doesn’t mean it isn’t civilised.

    Not Western, but they were civilised. I don’t think that’s even arguable.

  65. Podsnap

    I agree with you on Pol Pot. Deng Xiaoping also went to France as a young guy – he seems to have learnt much better things.

    Khieu Samphan was also a Francophile. He was apparently a great guy as a young man – he gave his money to the poor etc.

  66. Jim Rose

    see http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPol/EnviroPhilo/WhyNotEnviro.pdf for Why I Am Not An Environmentalist by by Steven Landsburg

    at his 4 year old daughter’s kindie graduation ceremony titled Friends of the Earth, he was lectured by four- and five year-olds on the importance of safe energy sources, mass transportation, and recycling

    this is fromthe letter he sent to his daughter’s kindergarten teacher:

    We are not environmentalists. We ardently oppose environmentalists.

    We consider environmentalism a form of mass hysteria akin to Islamic fundamentalism or the War on Drugs.

    We do not recycle. We teach our daughter not to recycle.

    We teach her that people who try to convince her to recycle, or who try to force her to recycle, are intruding on her rights

  67. Podsnap

    Depends on your definitions and where you draw the line. I don’t think there are any rules on this so disagreement is possible.

    I draw a high line – I need rule of law, scientific achievement, cultural achievement (nice old buildings don’t count), near democracy, modern economy, stable politics etc.

    No-one considered Turkey in the 20s to be anything much. They are certainly civilised now on my measure. USSR in the 20s was a monstrous police state busy killing its own citizens. Having Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky in your recent past and Shostakovich in your present doesn’t change that.

  68. Jim Rose

    Moncko says a few wild things, but so was saying that climate change was the great moral issue of our time.

  69. Jim Rose

    back in the day, I remember Cambodian classmates referring to the 1980s as when they were a Vietnamese colony.

    Vietnamese friends when sick of a particular unpleasant Cambodian classmate of ours would say to him “remember 1979!” This would send him bat-crazy with nationalism – objecting to the Vietnamese invasion that deposed Pol Pot.

    Cambodia would have benefited from an invasion from hell in 1979. At least, Satan waits patiently for you to die before tormenting you.

    more than a few of my Cambodian classmates came from important families that always seemed to land on a winning side of cambodian politics!?

  70. Greg P.

    The Ottomans and Soviets are considered civilised.

    Not quite sure why you equate civilisation with democracy either. That would rule out the Third Reich and hence make your questioning of how the ‘civilised’ Germans could undertake an industrial genocide seem rather trite.

    Did the Germans suddenly become uncivilised when they switched from the democratic Weimar republic to the totalitarian Nazis?

    Not to get too legalistic on you.

  71. Rabz

    Nilk and Gab – thanks, but I can’t load that linkie!

    What was it called?

  72. Rabz

    Europe the Mighty Continent

    Can’t find any footage of it.

  73. Podsnap

    Greg P – way too legalistic.

    There is no objective standard as to civilised. Certainly the statement you make – “The Ottomans and Soviets are considered civilised.” is wrong – there is no unanimity on the subject. The question rarely gets asked. I don’t really know why we are debating it. The salient point is ‘Germany was an outlier as being a very advanced, civilised society which organised a mass slaughter’. That point is made all the time. That point is not made about Turkey or the Soviet Union. No-one is that surprised that those societies killed a lot of their own people. Everyone is surprised that the Germans did.

    As far as the other point goes. As is frequently stated the Nazis got into power using democratic processes. But in any event we are looking at the general background. Germany had a general background of being basically democratic – Turkey and the USSR didn’t.

  74. .

    Usual tactic – monty refuses to denounce Lenin’s Hanging Order.

  75. hzhousewife

    Geography and History are sadly neglected in the “modern” curriculum. Apparently a SATNAV replaces Geography, but nothing replaces history.

    Interesting link, Jim Rose, thank you.

  76. Poor Old Rafe

    Dot please stop feeding the troll.

    Nice point Podsnap, Pol Pot sat at the feed of Sartre in Paris, one of the most loathsome pieces of garbage in modern times. He had an easy time during the occupation and then pretended he was part of the Resistance and was a leading persecutor of collaborators. He took on board every kind of irrationalism and political correctness, refused to talk about the gulags in case the communists would be discouraged. And about 50,000 people marched in his funeral procession.

  77. Podsnap

    Right Rafe – hard for me to think of someone I despise more than Sartre.

    All of what you say and more – plus one of the ugliest pricks you were ever likely to meet.

  78. DaveF

    Hi Pod.

    Looks like the US has gotten ahead of the NSW curriculum.

    Books such as JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird will be replaced by “informational texts” approved by the Common Core State Standards.

    Suggested non-fiction texts include Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Invasive Plant Inventory, by California’s Invasive Plant Council.

    The new educational standards have the backing of the influential National Governors’ Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and are being part-funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Apparently these tracts will prepare kids for the world of work.

    On the plus side sidelining Catcher in the Rye will reduce assassinations.

  79. Podsnap

    Hi Dave F.

    I always thought ‘Catcher’ was destined for demise – as the denouement relates to a closeted gay groping the hero (implied).

    ‘Mockingbird’ on the other hand is quite literally the foundation text for modern soft left, SWPL thought. It should have been part of the Voyager Golden Record

  80. DaveF

    I’d never heard of the Voyager Golden Record, only that it had something along those lines aboard.

    Carl Sagan was the Chair, huh.

    Written messages from Jimmy Carter and Kurt Waldheim, huh.

    Australian music was a couple of Aboriginal First Nations songs, not Skyhooks, huh.

    Informative.

  81. sdfc

    Is their any truth to the Jewish ‘stab in the back’ story that went around Germany post-WWI?

    I thought the Germans capitulated because they Germans were getting smashed on the western front and food shortages at home.

  82. DaveF

    Mockingbird is a good novel for younger – 14/15 – readers. Scout is close to their age.

    The message is don’t judge people just on their colour. I can go with that.

  83. JC

    The message is don’t judge people just on their colour. I can go with that.

    I always thought there were two stories going on. The other message is don’t judge people by vicious gossip.

  84. DaveF

    Ok, sure I’ll go with both of those JC.

  85. Louis Hissink

    And about 50,000 people marched in his funeral procession.

    Presumably to make sure he was actually dead?

  86. JC

    Wasn’t correcting you DaveF just basically adding to the story.

  87. DaveF

    No, JC I just had to refresh my memory of the book.

    And I do think its a good read for the age group I mentioned. I forget how old Scout is but maybe 12? Just young enough to have innocent eyes.

  88. JC

    Presumably to make sure he was actually dead?

    That reminds me of a quote in the wall street journal in the 90′s.

    A hated Hollywood mogul died and a large number of people attended his funeral.

    One dude was quoted as saying that people will always come to the show , in this case the funeral, if you give them what they really want.

  89. Jim Rose

    Mocko’s stunt counts as robust but non-violent direct action.

  90. Jim Rose

    I should add that Bob Brown had no speaking rights when he walked up and interrupted Bush 43 when he was addressing parliament.

    When Obama addressed Parliament – drone strikes and all – the Greens were all smiles and acted as they were getting autographs from a celebrity or sporting hero.

  91. Podsnap

    I thought the Germans capitulated because they Germans were getting smashed on the western front and food shortages at home.

    I think we (as the victors) always have the idea that the Germans had no chance and were always going to lose (at least after the Yanks came in).

    It appears however that the Germans themselves were very surprised when the surrender came. There was no real consultation and it happened very suddenly.

    Because of this there was a lot of anger against the upper classes on the basis that they had put their won commercial interest over nationalism.

    This was a huge factor in Hitler’s ideas. In many ways he was sympathetic character in his early life. He was considered a very brave oddball by his fellow troops.

  92. Jim Rose

    In many ways he was sympathetic character in his early life

    the Austrian tramp was bad right from the start. Ranting at the homeless shelter in 1911.

    sociopaths deny blame. they blame others even for acts they obviously committed.

  93. Jim Rose

    podsnap, recall the Reichstag Peace Resolution passed on 19 July 1917 favouring a “peace with no annexations”. the process started with a papal note by Pope Benedict XV. why do you think the pope elected to be named Benedict XVI?

    the papal peace note caused panic among Allied governments because it could lead to a public debate on war aims. The Central Powers failed to make a clear reply to put the Allies under pressure to negotiate on the Pope’s proposals.

    Later in 1917 there were two secret peace feelers – one from each side.

    getting out of wars is hard. the ceasefire and military disengagements must resolve issues rather that just allow the parties to regroup to fight a few years later.

  94. nilk

    I read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school, and never felt anything overt about it. Still don’t actually, but I’ve not read it in decades.

    On the subject of indoctrinating the little tackers, I hate hate hate that dreadful story about the rainbow fish.

    Last night I was talking with other parents at an end of year function when what the kids read and watch came up. Rainbow Fish got mentioned and I said I loathed it. The other parents were aghast – “But it’s such a nice story!”

    Um, no it’s not. It’s all about shaming one fish into giving everything away.

    There’s nothing nice about that at all.

    Needless to say, conversation stalled yet again.

  95. Rabz

    The other parents were aghast – “But it’s such a nice story!”

    marxist Dirtbags.

  96. nilk

    No, Rabz, they just don’t see anything beneath the words. They are very nice people, and also very uneducated people.

    These are the kind of people who can visit parts of ‘cosmopolitan’ suburbia and think it’s great how so many different kinds of people can congregate in the same marketplace and get along – they just don’t know the 14yo white kid who got beaten up by the islander gang after school last week in that vicinity.

    The sorts of things that get discussed here at the Cat and on other blogs such as Bolta’s and TimB’s do not cross the average aussie’s line of sight.

    They are just getting on with their lives and it’s too difficult for them to confront. We can call them cowards or ignoramuses, but how do you explain that the nice family down the road subscribe to a belief system that wants you converted or enslaved? The cognitive dissonance is too loud for them.

    It’s not saying that that particular family feels that way; just that they prefer to believe that NAMALT.

    Plus it’s difficult to counter the indoctrination in schools when you don’t see it yourself. You’re too busy working, too busy worrying about the mortgage and come the weekend the last thing you want to do is engage in a bit of deprogramming.

    I’m cutting back on my pc time (good thing, too) so that I can spend more face to face time with my girl, for example. The price is too high for me not to, but then again, on my bookshelves are books by Dr. Miriam Grossman, Lee Harris, Robert Spencer, William Shirer and the ever entertaining Saul Alinsky.

    The majority of my friends have never heard of them.

  97. wreckage

    the ceasefire and military disengagements must resolve issues rather that just allow the parties to regroup to fight a few years later.

    This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Foch

  98. Podsnap

    Yes – WW2 in Europe was just round 2 of WW1. Future historians will see this more clearly than we do.

  99. Rafe

    Interesting to see a suggestion from Karl Popper on the way Germany could have been treated after WW1 to minimise damage to the people while preventing or minimising the capacity of Germany to become dangerous again. Same approach could have been used in occupied territories in the first Gulf War.

    This example shows that it is not impossible to treat a state harshly and its citizens leniently.

    The prejudice that we cannot distinguish between the treatment of a state and of its individual citizens is also very dangerous, for when it comes to the problem of dealing with an aggressor country, it necessarily creates two factions in the victorious countries, viz., the faction of those who demand harsh treatment and those who demand leniency. As a rule, both overlook the possibility of treating a state harshly, and, at the same time, its citizens leniently.

    But if this possibility is overlooked, then the following is likely to happen. Immediately after the victory the aggressor state and its citizens will be treated comparatively harshly. But the state, the power-organization, will probably not be treated as harshly as might be reasonable because of a reluctance to treat innocent individuals harshly, that is to say, because the influence of the faction for leniency will make itself felt somehow. In spite of this reluctance, it is likely that individuals will suffer beyond what they deserve. After a short time, therefore, a reaction is likely to occur in the victorious countries. Equalitarian and humanitarian tendencies are likely to strengthen the faction for leniency until the harsh policy is reversed. But this development is not only likely to give the aggressor state a chance for a new aggression; it will also provide it with the weapon of the moral indignation of one who has been wronged, while the victorious countries are likely to become afflicted with the diffidence of those who feel that they may have done wrong.

    This very undesirable development must in the end lead to a new aggression. It can be avoided if, and only if, from the start, a clear distinction is made between the aggressor state (and those responsible for its acts) on the one hand, and its citizens on the other hand. Harshness towards the aggressor state, and even the radical destruction of its power apparatus, will not produce this moral reaction of humanitarian feelings in the victorious countries if it is combined with a policy of fairness towards the individual citizens.

    But is it possible to break the political power of a state without injuring its citizens indiscriminately? In order to prove that this is possible I shall construct an example of a policy which breaks the political and military power of an aggressor state without violating the interests of its individual citizens.

    The fringe of the aggressor country, including its sea-coast and its main (not all) sources of water power, coal, and steel, could be severed from the state, and administered as an international territory, never to be returned. Harbours as well as the raw materials could be made accessible to the citizens of the state for their legitimate economic activities, without imposing any economic disadvantages on them, on the condition that they invite international commissions to control the proper use of these facilities. Any use which may help to build up a new war potential is forbidden, and if there is reason for suspicion that the internationalized facilities and raw materials may be so used, their use has at once to be stopped. It then rests with the suspect party to invite and to facilitate a thorough investigation, and to offer satisfactory guarantees for a proper use of its resources.

    Such a procedure would not eliminate the possibility of a new attack but it would force the aggressor state to make its attack on the internationalized territories previous to building up a new war potential. Thus such an attack would be hopeless provided the other countries have retained and developed their war potential. Faced with this situation the former aggressor state would be forced to change its attitude radically, and adopt one of co-operation. It would be forced to invite the international control of its industry and to facilitate the investigation of the international controlling authority (instead of obstructing them) because only such an attitude would guarantee its use of the facilities needed by its industries; and such a development would be likely to take place without any further interference with the internal politics of the state.

    The danger that the internationalization of these facilities might be misused for the purpose of exploiting or of humiliating the population of the defeated country can be counter-acted by international legal measures that provide for courts of appeal, etc.

    From a massive note to chapter 9 in The Open Society and its Enemies.

  100. Rafe

    To test the proposal, compare the treatment of Germany after WW1 and Japan after WW2.

  101. .

    Call me a complete and utter bastard but I would have, as a hypothetical allied head of Government demanded that Japan and Germany (and their allies in part that participated in the holocaust or Japanese war crimes) be split up and annexed by their neighbours, including setting aside part of Germany for Israel.

    The holocaust and the war crimes in the Pacific would have seen me call not only for the execution of their leaders and agents, but the destruction of the countries that gave rise to their rule.

    Italy gets out because they surrendered etc.

  102. one old bruce

    Hmm, well Rafe, why don’t you also compare the response of the French to the rather brutal Treaty of Frankfurt 1871, to the alleged German response to the Versailles Treaty?

    The French bounce right back with generosity, the Germans develop an evil grudge…

  103. one old bruce

    Sorry I missed your question yesterday Podsnap. You can read much of the book here, and summarised here.

  104. one old bruce

    Do you think Karl Popper might also have been taken in by the ‘Heidelberg Myth’? Have a look at the link anyway Rafe, it sheds some light on the topic, perhaps only tangentially.

  105. m0nty

    The fringe of the aggressor country, including its sea-coast and its main (not all) sources of water power, coal, and steel, could be severed from the state, and administered as an international territory, never to be returned. Harbours as well as the raw materials could be made accessible to the citizens of the state for their legitimate economic activities, without imposing any economic disadvantages on them, on the condition that they invite international commissions to control the proper use of these facilities. Any use which may help to build up a new war potential is forbidden, and if there is reason for suspicion that the internationalized facilities and raw materials may be so used, their use has at once to be stopped. It then rests with the suspect party to invite and to facilitate a thorough investigation, and to offer satisfactory guarantees for a proper use of its resources.

    Three problems with this:
    1) This presupposes, in the German post-WWI instance, that the League of Nations would enforce the deal. It would have had to develop its own army, its own supranational bureaucracy to handle the territories… all fraught with problems. The modern UN would find it extremely difficult to pull this off now, I don’t see how the LoN in its first years could have.
    2) Who would populate these territories? Wouldn’t it have to be mainly the ethnic mix of the beaten country? Wouldn’t that create a massive disconnection between the prosperous inhabitants of the new Singapore-like mercantile territories and the moribund old country with its bombed-out industrial wasteland? Would there have to be a Berlin-style wall at the border? Sounds like a disaster to me.
    3) Doesn’t this sound like one world government paternalism writ large, in airy fairy writing that would not survive in the real world without dissolving into further conflict?

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