Complicity



The general situation in France is a constant distraction, which is another reason why Viewfinder is being neglected. One harbours illusions that by writing comments on articles published by French Web journals, one might be contributing effectively towards opposing counterproductive socialist politics. Naturally we are referring once more to the most ill-inspired choice of French Presidents, and his incompetent government.

Almost every day there is something else criticable, and sometimes even critical, to the point of being dangerous. Yet no matter how harsh the criticism, Monsieur Hollande continues regardlessly, as if totally immune, like an oblivious, podgy robot.
To have succeeded in winning the French presidential elections, must have been far beyond F. Holland's wildest dream, therefore whatever flak that comes with the responsibility (if we can use the word in his particular case) seems relatively unimportant. He has achieved the inconceivable, therefore for him the rest, the desolate ruins he is leaving in his wake, are apparently of no particular consequence. However, certain decisions, or incoherent contradictions, may be far more consequential than he and his government are capable of imagining.

For example, with his usual superficial pomp, he recently decreed that all public demonstrations in support of the Palestinians will be prohibited. The reason for this, he said, was his refusal to allow the possibility of any show of antisemitism, for France should never be used as a racist platform against Israel. Despite this interdiction, on the 19th July there were demonstrations in support of the Palestinians, and the usual rioters, 'casseurs', also made their presence felt. Consequently police were injured, forty four arrests were made, and considerable damage was caused.

One would have thought that the President and his government would be totally intolerant towards any attempt to repeat the exercise. But no, on the contrary, due to the pressure from the extreme left, from certain socialist ministers, plus the socialist logic of not wishing to miss out too much on the Muslim vote, the second demonstration in support of the Palestinians was in fact legalised.
Yet, curiously enough, following what was in fact a peaceful procession, the demonstration for the Palestinians scheduled for Saturday the 26th, was once again prohibited.
One plausible reason of it being outlawed was the fear that it would be 'incompatible' with the recent Air Algeria catastrophe that included fifty-four French victims. The possibility that the airliner could have been targeted by Malian jihadists, would obviously accentuate this 'incompatibility'.

Nevertheless, prohibiting a third demonstration after allowing a second, after having prohibited the first is totally incoherent as well as inviting trouble. But incoherence, incompetence and lack of foresight has characterised F. Hollande's reign since his election.
Sure enough, despite the ban, the demonstration took place the 26th July, and there were more riots, more vandalsm, and more arrests.

Of course the demonstrations in support of the Palestinians are not only limited to France. They are international. A global bleeding hearts club. Hamas thrives and prospers from them all because they bring in a great deal of money from thousands of sympathisers if not Israeliphobes. No doubt the money will be used as thought fit. As the elected representative of the Palestinians of Gaza, Hamas will make sure of that. No question of using it to build effective bomb shelters comparable to those in Israel to protect civilians, for without the martyrs, the aged, the innocent women and children, the human shield victims Hamas hides behind, there would be no more cause, and thus no more conscience easing money.

Yet strangely, these demonstrations are supposed to promote peace. Does vandalism and racism promote peace? Does one promote peace by sympathising with the Palestinians of Gaza who choose (assuming they have a choice) to be represented by a terrorist organisation? Is one demonstrating with integrity by never alluding to Hamas, the essential cause of the endless misery and hopelessness of the people whose interests the movement cynically pretends to be defending?

Here's a couple of extracts of published comments in French on the same epic subject:

Lorsque les romains eurent expulsé les Israelites de la Terre d'Israel après la révolte de Bar Kokhba (132-135), on substitua l'ancien nom pour 'Palestrina'. N'empêche que personne n'eut pris au sérieux ce nom romain car depuis deux mille ans rien n'a été fait pour établir quoi que ce soit sous cette appellation.

Par contre à travers toute l'histoire les israéliens ont toujours eu l'aspiration de retourner chez eux. Pendant le 14° et 15°, par exemple, beaucoup sont partis d'Espagne. Pendant certaines périodes des communautés entières sont retournées là bas, et ceci n'a jamais suscité de la surprise ou de la polémique comme celle fabriquée depuis 1948.

Depuis cette date fatidique les 'palestiniens' ont été utilisés continuellement comme prétexte pour que les pays arabes puissent réclamer la Terre Sainte comme la leur.
Mais historiquement cette Terre est aussi celle d'Abraham qui représentait la père des religions monothéistes. C'est à dire qu'en fonction de ce principe historique et biblique, cette Terre est celle des Israéliens, Chrétiens et Musulmans. Voilà aussi pourquoi les accords de 1947 de l'ONU acceptés par les autorités juives mais catégoriquement rejetés par la Ligue Arabe, étaient des accords valables et assez bien conçus.

Hamas a une quasi légitimité démocratique à Gaza, comme si les Gazaouis avaient un choix, mais cette soi-disant 'légitimité' valide son statut et donc l'objectif établi. Mais comme déjà suggéré auparavant, au moins jusqu'à maintenant, la co-existence de Hamas et les autorités israéliennes semble être devenue presque un arrangement réciproquement convenable, à condition que le mouvement terroriste ne va jamais outre mesure. En somme il paraît s'agir d'une sorte de tragi-comédie. Tragique évidemment car ce sont les Palestiniens de Gaza et parfois quelques victimes Israéliennes qui paient les frais fatals.

L'avantage de cet arrangement pour Israël est l'assurance que Hamas, dont le statut est l'islamisation de toute la Terre Sainte (même si en réalité aujourd'hui ce serait contre ses intérêts) ne veut point qu'un Etat palestinien soit établi. Pourquoi ? Car un tel Etat serait interprété comme une acceptation de la part des palestiniens de l'Etat d'Israël. Aussi cet État ôterait pour la postérité la raison essentielle d'être et la cause sacrée (mais aujourd'hui chimérique) de l'organisation.
Israël sait pertinemment que l'idée d'un Etat palestinien est devenue totalement irréaliste démographiquement. C'est trop tard. On (La Ligue Arabe) aurait dû y penser avec davantage de lucidité et de prévisions en 1947, mais alors on voulait tout ou rien. Ce principe demeure officiellement chez les palestiniens de Gaza, même si- même aujourd'hui- Hamas n'irait jamais trop loin pour essayer de l'obtenir car ainsi l'organisation serait carrément éliminée.

Donc on lance des roquettes, Israël réagit, il y a malheureusement mais naturellement des victimes dans une zone limitée et surpeuplée. Les sympathisants pour les palestiniens font leurs manifestations dans le monde entier. On ramasse encore de l'argent pour la bonne cause, et Hamas prospère. Voilà le vieux scénario répétitif, hypocrite et tragiquement fatidique que l'altruisme du monde entier aide à perpétuer.
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Text © Mirino. Top image from 'la tuerie d'Itamar et le double discours palestinien' 
With thanks. July, 2014

Abus




















Une partie du discours fameux de Robespierre, celui qui a décidé le sort irrévocable de Louis XVI est le suivant :
'Louis ne peut donc être jugé, il est déjà condamné; il est condamné, ou la République n'est point absoute. Proposer de faire le procès de Louis XVI, de quelque manière que ce puisse être, c'est rétrograder vers le despotisme royal et constitutionnel; c'est une idée contre-révolutionnaire car c'est mettre la révolution elle-même en litige. En effet, si Louis peut être encore l'objet d'un procès, Louis peut être absous; il peut être innocent; que dis-je! il est présumé l'être jusqu'à ce qu'il soit jugé. Mais si Louis peut être présumé innocent, que devient la révolution? N'est-elle pas encore incertaine et douteuse?'

Ne peut on pas faire un parallèle entre cette manière de congédier les principes fondamentaux de la justice pour la cause idéologique de la Révolution Française, avec l'abus de la justice française aujourd'hui en ce qui concerne l'ancien Président de la République, Nicolas Sarkozy, aussi pour défendre les intérêts d'une cause, celle du socialisme français?
Car lorsque les idéologues sont convaincus du bien fondé de leur idéologie, ceux qui à leurs yeux pourraient représenter une menace sérieuse, devraient être sinon décapités, certainement éliminés politiquement, et tous moyens deviennent donc bons pour essayer
de le faire.

Après la nomination de Manuel Valls comme premier ministre, on a
été persuadé, pour cause, que la ministre de la Justice, Mme Taubira, serait remplacée. Curieusement, après avoir clairement menti
aux français, ce qui est inacceptable pour une personne censée représenter la justice qui doit forcément incarner la vérité, elle a néanmoins pu garder sa fonction ministérielle. Si on pose la question pourquoi, ne serait-il pas raisonnable d'arriver à la conclusion que Mme Taubira est trop au courant de certaines procédures judiciaires douteuses pour que l'on puisse se priver de son 'expertise' dans la matière de la justice?

Depuis l'élection par défaut de F. Hollande, aussi grâce à une marge de victoire de 1.67%, ceux qui prétendent représenter la justice se sont acharnés à trouver de quoi pour incriminer l'ancien Président. Parfois leur zèle semble avoir eu un effet négatif sur leur sens de jugement, car il y a un manque de logique et de cohérence à l'égard de certaines accusations. Au moins une (parmi trop) a été congédiée legalement en tant que non-lieu, mais curieusement elle revient comme si on n'accorde aucune importance aux décisions judiciaires préalables.

Avant la plus récente mise en scène prétendue judiciaire mais honteusement injustifiée, (garde à vue de quatorze heures suivie par une convocation de deux juges à 2 heures du matin qui ont mis en examen Monsieur Sarkozy sans aucune autre formalité, et sans lui accorder aucun recours légal) l'ancien Président lui-même a souligné de manière convaincante l'absurdité de cet acharnement, l'incohérence et le vide du contenu des charges prétendues contre lui, grâce à la publication d'une Tribune assez brève.

Après cette toute dernière épreuve l'ancien Président a eu l'occasion de répondre aux questions des journalistes sur TF1 le 3 juillet, 2014. Encore une fois il a critiqué la partialité évidente de ceux qui prétendent représenter la justice, et le manque d'application des principes essentiels de la justice.

Par la suite le premier ministre Manuel Valls a déclaré qu'il veillera à que le principe de la présomption d'innocence soit respecté mais que 'les faits sont très graves'. Il y a deux contradictions évidentes dans cette déclaration. Si la justice française fonctionnait correctement, elle n'aurait aucun besoin que le premier ministre veille sur quoi que ce soit à son égard. Et un premier ministre n'applique aucunement le principe de la présomption d'innocence en évoquant la gravité des 'faits'. De quels 'faits' le premier ministre fait-il donc allusion?

Les uniques faits qui apparaissent évidents sont ceux de l'abus et la manipulation de la justice. Où est le respect du principe de la présomption d'innocence, le respect de la vie privée, et le respect de la confidentialité des conversations entre un client et son avocat lorsqu'on met sur écoute pour des mois durant un ancien Président de la République ainsi que son avocat? Où est l'impartialité de la justice lorsqu'on s'acharne à trouver de quoi pour le culpabiliser, tout en ignorant ou congédiant les délits et des mensonges pratiqués par ceux de son propre camp?

Si les principes essentiels de la justice sont ainsi bafoués, il n y a plus de justice. Personne ne peut se fier à elle, et par conséquent la démocratie française elle-aussi est sérieusement minée et menacée.
L'ironie c'est que si le chef de l'Etat avait assez de stature pour laisser tranquille l'ancien Président, ce dernier aurait moins ressenti le besoin de retourner sur la scène politique.
Par contre de subir un tel traitement et de voir ce qui se passe en France, la nation à laquelle il avait tant donné, et pour laquelle il était prêt à donner encore davantage, malgré l'opinion de ses détracteurs et ceux dont les ambitions personnelles les incitent sans aucun état d'âme de le trahir, revenir pour Nicolas Sarkozy est devenu un devoir obligatoire.
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Text and image © Mirino. July, 2014

Mist


















Non, ceci ne sera pas une tentative d'écrire des pensées poétiques ou philosophiques pour exalter les phénomènes naturels qui parfois nous enchantent et inspirent. Mist fait partie d'une trilogie de constatations beaucoup moins inspirantes, mais elles aussi sont les phénomènes du temps.

L'ironie de notre époque où grâce aux moyens de communications de plus en plus sophistiqués rien ne devrait nous échapper dans l'immédiat, l'information est néanmoins assujettie à la partialité de certains média. Alors elle est politiquement manipulée, souvent floue ou voilée.

On remarque même chez nos propres enfants, ceux nés dans les années quatre-vingt, par exemple, une nette tendance à se méfier du mot "capitalisme", devenu  lourd de connotations néfastes par formatage des politiquement corrects. Ils se méfient des entreprises multinationales et de ce que l'on appelle "la mondialisation" que l'on présent comme monstrueuse, à moins qu'il ne s'agisse pas de football.
C'est vrai que la divinité considérée la plus puissante, surtout selon ceux qui l'adorent, a toujours été l'argent. Mais jamais on n'a été mieux protégé contre l'abus de ce pouvoir que par les lois aujourd'hui.

N'empêche que c'est toujours quasi naturel, sans doute aussi à cause du matraquage systématique des média intéressés, que trop de monde suive l'école de la pensée unique, et de même croire dans l'Utopie de demain vendue par les illuminés irrationnels et bornés.

Ceux mieux avisés sont déjà passés par là. On les traite de "réac" si jamais ils osent mettre en garde les nouvelles générations de crédules qui manifestement ignorent l'histoire ou feintent de l'ignorer. Car la vérité est autre, et les joueurs de flûte qui promettent l'Utopie aux acolytes naïfs, les amènent invariablement au pays de la Dystopie. Actuellement les français sont en train d'assister à ce voyage fatidique, transportés aux bas fonds hadèsiens par les socialistes aussi myopes qu'insouciants.

Les idées et les philosophies des économistes bien plus éclairés et voyants comme Adam Smith, par exemple, ne peuvent jamais être considérées idéologiques. Elles sont fondées sur la réalité qui inclue forcément celle de la nature humaine. Elles sont donc aussi valables et applicables aujourd'hui et seront sans doute aussi demain, qu'elles l'étaient au 18° siècle. D'ailleurs on voit très clairement aujourd'hui à quel point elles sont toujours valables.

Le principe fondamental est d'une logique ultra simple. Si on accorde la liberté à celui capable de réussir, sa réussite ne peut qu'engendrer positivement et de manière générale le bien être de tous ceux qui s'en intéressent directement. Elle contribue donc au progrès et à l'évolution positive de la société dans tous les égards.
Pour commencer avec un exemple modeste, tous les clients d'un boulanger local, artisan capable de faire du pain de qualité excellente à un prix moyen, bénéficient directement de sa réussite, comme tous ceux dans le monde entier qui ont acheté un iPad Apple ou un ordinateur Apple bénéficient directement de la technologie de l'œuvre géniale initiée par un autre individu qui s'appelait Steve Jobs, etc.

En termes d'éducation donc, si on freine les uns par égard mal fondé pour les autres, on arrive seulement à établir un niveau d'éducation médiocre. A la longue cette politique diminue systématiquement même le niveau de la médiocrité. Dans les pays totalitaires un tel freinage calculé de l'éducation est pratiqué surtout pour perpétuer l'autocratie du gouvernement en maintenant le peuple dans une quasi ignorance brumeuse. Les socialistes le pratiquent aussi, pour la cause fausse d'égalité, et voilée par une prétendue compassion, une volonté soi-disant moralisatrice de ne pas trop taxer ou décourager les jeunes élèves, ce qui veut dire de ne jamais encourager les capables au soi-disant détriment des incapables.

Rare est-il que les enfants des ministres socialistes soient aussi sujets à une telle éducation forcément médiocre sinon pire. Car au fond ces idéologues ont un esprit élitiste bien plus important que ceux qu'ils accusent toujours d'élitisme. Puis c'est bien plus politiquement acceptable de ramasser une fortune personnelle, si on étale de manière convaincante son appartenance au club social, mais ceci à condition que l'on dissimule de manière irréprochable son hypocrisie, autrement elle risque de ternir "la bonne réputation" du club, comme on a trop bien vu depuis l'élection incroyable d'un tartuffe.
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Text and image © Mirino. July, 2014

'Ideological truths'





















Today one can assume an ideological liberty to argue that black is white and that two and two do not make four. What is essential is that any gained result of the argument supports one's ideology. The 'truth' is therefore an ideological interpretation. Or rather the 'truth' is essentially the ideology. To defend and perpetuate an ideology, the end always justifies the means. Unsupportive truth in this case would be just as inadmissible as historic facts that go against the grain of the ideology.

In the light of this, all ideologues would be akin to sectarian idolaters, and all ideologies can only survive by eventually being autocratically imposed. Democratically they cannot otherwise sustain themselves, which is just as well.

As an example of an 'ideological truth', it has been theoretically established in France according to such 'ideologic', that by imposing a 35 hour working week in both the public and private sectors, this will contribute towards remedying unemployment. For the convinced ideologue the categorical fact that it has had an inverse and adverse effect does not alter what is, and will be maintained as an 'ideological truth'.
Another more recent 'ideological truth' is that if you recruit enough teachers to boost the ranks of the National Education institution, (and for some cabalistic reason multiples of six seem to have been favoured) it will undoubtedly improve education. Thus whether the full amount of say 66,666.666 (recurring) teachers have all been squeezed in yet or not, the forty two thousand or so already recruited, (to add to the burden of the French tax payer) have had no positive effect whatsoever. In fact one could affirm that the situation regarding French National Education is even worse. Yet this cannot possibly be allowed to challenge the established 'ideological truth'.

Such are the examples of the application of 'ideologic'. With regard to the ideologue's capacity of stimulating private enterprise however, this has failed miserably. But as words such as 'competitive' and 'individual initiative' cannot possibly figure in the thin, ideological, ABC book of politically correct words, this would come as no surprise.
Private companies in France that by miracle have somehow managed to survive the long ordeal, may have been able to flee the country in time. In the public sector there are the usual dark clouds rumbling, and one has to contend with tiresome strikes organised by the disillusioned Marxist trade unions. Nevertheless, the endless concoction of formulas such as 'le pacte de responsabilité' are exemplary as improvised inventions of 'ideological truths'.

'Le pacte de responsabilité' is a theoretical agreement consisting of the State's decreasing excessive charges and perhaps a percentage of tax that cripple private companies, providing that they will employ more wage earners. Naturally each private company is required to take on enough new employees to absorb the full amount of the State's magnanimous reduction in charges, to thereby contribute 'responsibly' towards reducing the unemployment figures.
Logically the situation of any private company that signs such a 'pact' would be made worse, but 'ideologically' the pacte de responsabilité must be regarded as a 'truth'.

After all, if there's no pact forthcoming, it doesn't necessarily imply that it's the fault of the head of State who invented it. On the contrary, the responsibility (the key word) must be assumed by the private companies who cannot apply it without making their already critical situation worse. For the ideologue this refusal would amount to an irresponsible dismissal of another 'ideological truth'.

Despite the nomination of Monsieur Valls whose authoritative PM air might appear to lend temporary credence to French socialism, we are witnessing a curious immobility. Nothing of any positive economic consequence has happened, nothing is happening, and it would be reasonable to believe that nothing will happen. The long summer holidays are soon to begin, which in a way means it's holiday time for everyone. Once more the Parisians will migrate south like lemmings, and the media will probably try to charm these carefree holiday makers with TV film reports of portly Monsieur Normal and his latest flame nonchalantly paddling in the sea.

The status quo of immobility will renew itself once more for la rentré in September with a superficial show of much ado about nothing. But before the government has time to plan how to continue their fraudulent pantomime and come up with a new set of absurd pat phrase formulas for the gullible, another year will be over, and there will be only two more years to go for Monsieur Hollande.

The last public announcement commitment (if one can call it such) that François made this year, was to say that he will not stand for a second mandate as presidential candidate if there's no improvement regarding the unemployment figures. This gives him a considerably wide margin, but he shouldn't delude himself. Even if the unemployment figures improve by 0.000006% by May, 2017, the French aren't likely to repeat a monumental error... or are they..? For it's not as though they never repeat monumental errors. It's already apparent that France learnt nothing from the long drawn-out, stagnant years of F. Mitterrand. If the majority can be so easily manipulated by certain media intent on having a round of socialism for their own lucrative benefit in 2012, there's no reason to believe that it won't be possible to repeat the exercise in 2017. This would have the effect of making sure that France will continue its inexorable descent into abysmal, long lasting Mediocre Land in all respects.

Without any real restraint to the government's immigration laxity, it's possible that the rising courbe in unemployment will continue in any case. One suspects that any tacit encouragement to allow immoderate immigration, including clandestine immigration, also qualifies as an 'ideological truth'. Ideologues might reason that if you are kind enough to immigrants and legalise the situation of clandestine immigrants, they in turn will vote for you when you additionally grant them the right to vote. Ideologues always reason in terms of numbers, but their vanity prevents them from appreciating the real logic (not 'ideologic') that democracy defeats itself when the accumulated majority either repudiates this freedom, or takes advantage of its superiority of numbers by electing one of its own community's favourite fundamentalists.

This could be illustrated by the Paquebot France foundering in a heavy swell, the crew taxed to the point of exhaustion, whilst the podgy captain, oblivious of reality, and ever intent on boosting his failing popularity, generously allows an unlimited amount of voyagers the right to desert their own vessel to board the already overloaded Paquebot, thus ensuring the inevitable acceleration of its tragic fate.


Text and illustrations (top image c. 1980) © Mirino. June, 2014

Conservative concerns



A good friend of mine has just completed an interesting and opportune book: 'Being Conservative from A to Z. An Anthology and Guide for Busy Conservative-Minded People' (Amazon).
No matter one's political sympathies, intellectual honesty is essential, and history always eventually ends up as an undeniable record of facts. 

Thanks to years of being subjected to the hypocritical circus of political correctness, or as the French also say 'la pensée unique' (the only admitted way of thinking) the word 'conservatism' has been systematically demeaned by disparaging connotations.
In fact when one seeks synonyms of 'conservatism' via Internet, one is swamped with a panoply of pejorative words that underline this phenomenon. Here are a few, mostly American examples:

blimpish, buttoned-up, fusty, standpat (prenominal), unprogressive, nonprogressive, hidebound, traditionalist, tending to favour established ideas, conditions, or institutions, eg. (conservative baseball fans consider the new ballpark too modern-looking and plain ugly), brassbound, button-down (or buttoned-down), die-hard, hidebound, mossbacked, old-fashioned, old-line, old-school, orthodox, paleoconservative, reactionary, traditional, traditionalistic, ultraconservative, unprogressive, etc.

One might therefore be led to imagine a tweedy, cynical, absent minded, shortsighted, elderly, back bench minister or member of the House of Lords snoring during a séance. A hoary old Tory has-been, belonging to another age with one gouty foot already in the grave.

If such is conservatism, how can one apply any of the above synonyms or such a quaint caricature to Abraham Lincoln, for one example? "Unprogressive"? The man who abolished slavery in the USA? And if George Washington had any tendency "to favour established ideas" then perhaps there would never have been the American war of Independence. He would have favoured the established idea of America continuing to be ruled by mad King George III of England.
As for Margaret Thatcher, she would have favoured the established idea of continuing to allow miners the right to dig for coal that no one wanted. Or maybe she would have respected another interpretation of traditionalism by allowing Argentina the right to reclaim the Falkland Islands despite the majority wish of the island's inhabitants. And what about Winston Churchill? If he was so attached to tradition he would have dismissed radar as worthless, modern junk and opted for tactics and technology worthy of the First World War, if not the Napoleonic Wars. (It's to be noted that Napoleon, who has been ousted from the politically correct French social club and is no longer spoken of, understandably caused such an impact in his day and age that the French army's main military tactics manual still faithfully adhered to up until, and even during, the First World War, was uniquely Napoleonic. To some extent this might account for why the French soldiers were issued with bright red trousers at the outset of WW1 to wear for going into battle to dazzle and put fear into the hearts of the German machine gunners.

It's true that conservatives refer to history. But they do so out of sincere interest, respect and in order to advance positively by steering clear of the obstacle of repeating past errors, whereas if ideologists refer to history at all, they do so either selectively, or with the intention of negating or deforming it. In their view history has to comply with the requirements of their ideology. Indeed the French revolutionists went as far as to try to cancel out or decapitate all pre-revolutionary French history in order to vainly try to start over anew. Their absurd, short-lived attempt to reestablish a new calendar and even new seasons, with oblivious women frolicking around wearing back to nature, revamped, traditional antique Greek costumes, seems to reveal how ridiculously unrealistic and pretentious their doctrine was. Yet even today, for the sake of the Republic, one continues to extol the French Revolution, this in spite of the rife havoc and murderous destruction it caused.
Ironically many of the French like to identify with the Royal family of Great Britain. They avidly follow royal events, as much, it seems, if not more so than the British themselves. Couldn't this be regarded as a natural way of trying to compensate for having irrevocably eliminated their own monarchy?

The Taliban's attempt to demolish the Buddhas of Bamiyan is a similar example of brainless vanity in trying to make history conform to what are considered ideological requirements. Religion doesn't really come into it, for in principle there's no difference between the blind action of destroying a sacred, ancient monument hued out of solid rock, or rabidly burning down Catholic Churches for whatever ideological cause.

Are we thus to take it that those who accuse conservatism as being unprogressive and old fashioned would approve of relentless, destructive, ideological madness?
But what is ideology? It is an established creed, doctrine or religion that is anchored or imprisoned to the past, to its original source. This is why we use the word fundamentalism. It is so fixed that it cannot evolve or readapt in any natural way, and is never required to do so. Socialism can also be regarded as a form of fundamentalism because there is no possibility of it evolving without virtually cancelling itself out.

Most apolitical thinkers and philosophers would agree that an ideology is established when the ideologue stops thinking. In this case how can anyone who defends an ideology pretend to represent progress? In any case an ideologue denies any form of progress that would challenge or even question his ideology.

Conservatives defend traditional values not because of vague sentiments of nostalgia or any old fashioned quirks, but simply out of respect for custom and identity. They are aware that such values have withstood the rigours of time. There is a very good reason for this which could also be considered as being preciously essential if not mystic. These values are deeply embedded. They are our historic foundations. They represent a nucleus or source of national identity.

We therefore arrive at the logical conclusion that if man is capable of reaching the stars, of creating and continually improving upon fabulous means of communication, of finding remedies to cure the most serious illnesses and diseases, of devising means to solve the world's many problems in all aspects, and of continually creating art throughout history since the fabulous Lascaux renderings, it is not due to ideologues or to any ideology. It is due to those who would never allow themselves to be restricted by dogma. Call them what you will, or better still, take time out to trace the progress of civilisation in thought and deed throughout history.

History is forged positively by free individuals and not by fettered ideologues. If history has been effected by the latter, it has only been so in a relatively temporary, always negative and often destructive way.
The greatest leaders the world has known have always been free individuals who defend liberty and individuality. If they ever needed to pigeonhole themselves, more often than not they would consider themselves as being conservative. But in the final analysis, 'conservative' is only a word, with no strings attached.
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Text and illustration © Mirino. June, 2014

The Lobster-Quadrille



'Will you walk a little faster?' said a whiting to the snail,
'There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle -- will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?

'You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!'
But the snail replied 'Too far, too far!' and gave a look askance --
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.

'What matters it how far we go?' his scaly friend replied.
'There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France --
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?'


The above Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) parody is a substitute of his first choice parodying a negro minstrel song. It's from The Mock Turtle's Song from The Lobster-Quadrille (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland). It parodies Mary Botham Howitt's 'The Spider and the Fly' which follows.

'Will you walk into my parlour?' said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there.'

'Oh no, no,' said the little Fly, 'to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
  -can ne'er come down again.'  
              
(1829)

The original poem, a 'cautionary tale', can be interpreted as a warning to avoid those who use flattery and deceit for evil intent or personal gain. Unlike other more moralistic poems of the Victorian epoch that Lewis Carroll also parodied, the first line of Howitt's poem lives on, although misquoted, as an aphorism of false friendship used to dissimulate a trap: 'Step into my parlour'. It has often been used by writers, although today it might be considered as hackneyed.
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Text and illustrations © Mirino (PW). Parody from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Original poem by Mary Botham Howitt, with thanks.   June, 2014