Friday, October 30, 2015


I used to love everyone because I loved her. I saw in her what was best in me, and in everyone else. Now that she's dead, I see how little we are like her. I dislike the person I am without her, but I despise everyone else.   

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Chuang Tzu didn’t know whether he was a man who had dreamed he was a butterfly, or a butterfly who was now dreaming he was a man. When life is a dream, it doesn’t matter who is doing the dreaming. It matters only when life becomes a nightmare, as it has now.

Monday, October 19, 2015


History always repeats itself, but in an ever-widening spiral. As empires fall the dark age returns, and people are on the move again.   

The latest issue of every magazine I read contains at least one article about the ME wars and the resulting flight of refugees to the EU. It also contains at least one article about the two world wars and the resulting flight of European refugees. Is this because the resemblance between these two Völkerwanderungen is as obvious to everyone else as it is to me? But none of the articles compare Germany’s role in initiating the first Völkerwanderung to the USA’s role in initiating the second.

All the articles about the two world wars say most Germans still don’t accept Germany’s responsibility for the wars. Germans see themselves as the real victims of the wars, because of the vengeance which their victims inflicted on them when the tide of battle turned. 

Germans complain most about the savagery of the Soviet Army, because Americans, now their patrons, like to hear their own prejudices confirmed. This is one way in which Germans resemble Americans, who see themselves as the real victims of their own imperialist wars in SE Asia and the ME. 

They’re right, of course. Ordinary people aren’t responsible for the crimes of their rulers. But they are complicit in those crimes. It’s disingenuous to claim that Hitler was an evil genius who hypnotized people into following him, as Cipolla does in Mann's Mario and the Magician. The Germans followed Hitler willingly as long as he was leading them to victory, and would do so again.

One of the articles, based on interviews with ordinary Germans, said they see themselves as having been as much victims of Hitler as the Jews and Slavs were. This may be what they told the article's gullible writer, but I suspect most Germans of my generation (probably the only ones for whom this still matters), don’t condemn Hitler but on the contrary defend him, if only in private, as Walter did to me. 

He told me Hitler was not an anti-Semite. The Final Solution was devised by his underlings, without his knowledge. Walter said ordinary Germans, like him and his family, weren’t anti-Semitic either – after all, their tailor was Jewish! Walter deceived himself, but at least he had the decency to be a hypocrite instead of embracing his bigotry, as Justin does.

I suspect most Germans, to the extent they’re political, still see Russia as their hereditary rival for mastery of the world-island just as most Russians, to the extent they’re political, still see Germany as their hereditary enemy. Bigotry is what passes for politics with most people, which is why war never ends. Peace is merely a temporary truce while another generation of soldiers grows to maturity.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


After I told Justin I was ending our conversation, he sent me three long emails in a row. I opened them, to see if he’d come to his senses, but each was just another Islamophobic rant. Does he imagine he can persuade me if he repeats himself often enough? 

I reread Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, preparing myself to debate Justin, but he said nothing I could refute because his Islamophobia is emotional, not rational. So, to clear my head of his nonsense, I read about the migration of Muslims from the ME into the EU.

These refugees are not the poor, who suffer the most, but well-to-do educated people who can afford to leave. I should have known this from my own family’s escape from Stalin’s USSR. 

This is merely the latest phase of the migrations that began with the two world wars. The would-be Caliphate is this century’s equivalent of the last century’s would-be thousand-year Reich (but no one condemned all Europeans for the barbarism of the fascists, as Islamophobes like Justin now condemn all Muslims for the barbarism of the jihadists).

The history of our species consists of migrations. People leave the empire in which they live when its decline becomes obvious, because empires in decline always go to war, preying on other empires in order to delay their own collapse. But all empires are in decline, whether or not their decline is obvious. The empire we used to call Western civilization has always sustained itself by war because it began to decline the moment it was established.

Every revolution was an attempt to overthrow the empire and restore the lost Golden Age, that ideal egalitarian society we imagine but have never been able to make real. And every revolution was followed by a counter-revolution, in which the empire’s rulers tried to undo the revolution and ensure another never happened. 

The history of the last century, of which the two world wars were merely a phase, consisted of the empire’s reaction to the Russian revolution. That revolution destroyed many of the old multilingual, multicultural monarchies. The monolingual, monocultural nation-states which arose from their ruins, calling themselves republics, are merely their fragments, and therefore equally imperialist. Only the ideology of empire was discredited. Every dictatorship calls itself a republic now. 

Stalin gave up the dream of spreading the revolution throughout the world, the goal which supposedly legitimized the USSR's ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, for ‘socialism in one country’. Hitler’s National Socialism was, by definition, socialism in one country. Hitler plundered the Jews to enrich ‘real’ Germans just as Stalin plundered the kulaks, and the USA’s rulers plundered and enslaved native Americans and Africans in their quest to become the world's last and greatest empire. Every ruling class dreams of restoring its own lost Golden Age, an ideal society in which slaves always obey their masters.

But we no longer believe in imperialism or socialism or any other ideology. We no longer believe in the old gods or the new, however much we pretend to. Our species seems to have reached an intellectual limit beyond which we cannot evolve, cannot come up with new ideas, so we will make no more revolutions. We'll just keep thinking the same things, doing the same things over and over again until we and our world die.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Everyone wants to believe in something, even people who call themselves atheists. Those who call themselves religious are right to say that, for most people, atheism is just another religion.

Everyone is an atheist now, even those who call themselves religious, because no one believes in the old gods. But everyone is afraid of a world without gods, so some pretend they still believe in the old gods while others invent new gods.

Justin, like most people who call themselves atheists, has invented new gods and devils for himself without admitting what they are. He worships Israel and demonizes Islam as though they're living beings instead of groups of people.

Am I the world’s only real atheist?


I suspected, from his uncritical support for Israel, that Justin was probably Islamophobic - the two logically go together - but he'd never said anything overtly Islamophobic until now. He'd never said anything overtly misogynistic until now, either. I told him his 'feminazi' comment was ridiculous, but he apparently took the fact that I didn't condemn it as license to spew even worse stuff. I was shocked by its virulence, and told him our conversation was over.

The better I know other people, the less I like them. I've done terrible things, but at least I'm ashamed of them. Most people take pride in things I'd be ashamed of.