Thursday, 24 March 2016

BRUSSELS AND THE KETTLING OF LOGIC



Governments have worked hard to control the stories told about the status quo – that is, about them.

Martin Gurri, The Revolt of the Public


It is sometimes hard to refrain from writing a satire.

Juvenal

 

The procedure is familiar now. A slaughter in a European city is followed by a full-scale crackdown. Not on the perpetrators, their ideology or their facilitators, however, but against any citizens foolish enough to voice their opinion as to the cause of these attacks. The media goes into lockdown and falls into lockstep, uniting to keep the narrative running smoothly, a narrative that runs in a curious parallel to Freud’s famous example of ‘kettle logic’.

In Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams and Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, Freud discusses a series of fallacious arguments presented by a man who has returned a neighbour’s kettle in a damaged condition. The man argues in his defence as follows;

1.     The kettle was returned undamaged.

2.     It was already damaged when I borrowed it.

3.     I didn’t borrow the kettle in the first place.

Of course, the fit is not exact – Freud is more concerned with the fractured logic of the dreamwork and the id - but the Western media response to something like the Brussels bombings is roughly as follows;

1.     The attack has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims.

2.     Even if it did, not all Muslims hate us.

3.     Even if Muslims hate us, it is justified because of our faults and actions.

What happens next is, of course, what concerns the authorities. But these are authorities who failed to apprehend a known terrorist who had been expelled twice from Turkey – with the appropriate level of warning accompanying him – and yet who managed in England to arrest a man who had sent a rather sneering Tweet concerning his challenging a random Muslim woman over the Brussels attacks. They are not interested in preventing terrorism, but they are obsessive when it comes to closing down freedom of speech regarding that terrorism. Being a known bomb-maker does not seem to attract the attention of the authorities; having the wrong tone on social media does.

What genuinely concerns the authorities is when the tipping-point will be reached. Even the rigged democracy of the EU is failing to prevent the rise of the Right in the polls. Voters in France, for example, are well aware that it is only an unprincipled coalition of feeble, neo-Vichy apologists that is stopping Marine Le Pen’s route to power. It is as though – no, it is the case that – democracy is being re-engineered so that the will of the people becomes something decorative, a hood ornament as opposed to a vital part of the engine.

Once the legal, democratic paths have been closed or so manipulated as to be unpassable, the people (a phrase which disgusts EU leaders such as Merkel, Juncker and Schulz) will search for other routes, and this is what keeps the security chiefs up at night. As I have said many times, radicalised mosques do not bother the British government; radicalised pubs do.

By coincidence, ‘kettling’ is a slang term for a British police tactic intended to isolate groups of demonstrators from the possibility of contact with their fellows. Simplistically, it is an authoritarian technique intended to prevent a simple freedom in the name of the authority it represents. Similarly, Freud’s kettle logic – or the version of it I have kidnapped for my purpose – is intended to restrict freedom of expression. But governments are playing a dangerous game on two fronts.

Firstly, if they believe they can ride the Islamic tiger, they may have to think again. History demonstrates that Islam has tried and only just failed to conquer the West on numerous occasions. You can’t suddenly appease a hatred with such duration, a millennial animus. Welfare checks, camp beds, mobile phones and segregated swimming pools are not going to placate warriors. The West has made the mistake of thinking that if you just explain concepts like liberalism, respect for women and homosexuals, the age of consent and so on, the grateful and enlightened Mohammedans will simply pack away their Korans and use their mosques purely ritually, or perhaps for farmers’ markets at the weekend,  as most Christians do in the West.

Secondly, the gauleiters of the West – many unelected as democracy becomes as ritualistic and symbolic as the Christian belief mentioned above – are relying on their provisional wings to enforce their programme of rapid and unassimilable Islamisation. The media present no problem. They have long been outriders for Islam, this season’s version of the Black Panthers for bored liberals to patronise and flutter around with an almost erotic yearning. The media will always shill for whatever ruinous, self-serving cause their paymasters require. But the police and the armed forces may not be quite so loyal to the Progressive cause once their colleagues start dying, or they see too much in the way of evisceration and death at railway stations and coffee shops familiar to them. Or, of course, they may stray into that off-limits area of free thought that will whisper to them that the values of Islam are not their values. The continued loyalty of the forces has been partly effected by weakening them, and even recruiting them as a partial fifth column. This explains, for example, why there is now deep foreboding about Islamic infiltration in the French police force, as well as the fact that Obama has described a clearly Islamist slaying at a US military base as ‘workplace violence’.

Freud’s logic of the kettle exists because it confounds reality, repelling the truth even under its fiercest onslaught. Western elites and their media waterboys are carrying out exactly the same exercise. The assumption is that we are all still happy with our garden centres and boxed sets of slickly produced televisual rubbish. Come a bad economic recession, however – and it can scarcely be denied that this looks likely – and things will change, as they have a habit of doing. The elites rely on their technocratic acumen to carry the ship of state through choppy waters. Reality, as it so often does, may have other ideas.

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