War over Minds

Military hostilities used to be the last argument of sovereigns. The barrels of canons would bear the inscription ultima ratio regum (in France) or ultima ratio regis (in Prussia). This has changed a little bit. Since warfare has become a very costly venture and especially since a number of states possess nuclear weapons whose possible use might wreak unimaginable havoc and render large swathes of territory useless for the victorious power, present-day sovereigns have resorted more and more to soft tactics, which are – despite their name – as efficient or even more efficient than firearms. Did not the Soviet Union collapse due to the soft penetration, infiltration and subversion applied by the West? The collective mind of the Soviet leadership was in the cross hairs of the financial, philosophical, political and cultural impact directed against it by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and smaller players. The result was more than impressive: neither Charles XII of Sweden in the 18th century, nor Napoleon Bonaparte in the 19th, nor Adolf Hitler in the 20th succeed in weakening Russia to anything remotely comparable with what happened with the Soviet Union in 1991 and thereafter. The territory of the superpower was significantly reduced, new independent states were carved out of it, and Russia herself was plunged into a decade of economic chaos and political turmoil in their magnitude surpassed only by the civil war of the early twenties of the 20th century if one only considers modern history. The battle for the minds is certainly not as spectacular as the clash between tanks or dogfights of aircraft, and it certainly is fought over a much extended period, but nonetheless its outcome is more than satisfactory.

The Chinese leadership drew its lessons from the disintegration of the Soviet Union and they have held a tight grip on the state matters before and especially since the 1989 Tiananmen Square riot. Beijing is well aware of the psychological infiltration, penetration and subversion targeting China’s population from abroad and so it has cut off the national internet from the global web and recently has cracked down on the entertainment industry, took control of the computer games and TV programmes to which the Chinese youth is exposed. That’s another instance of the battles for the minds. The European Union is not lagging behind in matters concerning psychological war.

In 2015, the EU’s East StratCom Task Force rolled out its flagship project – as they call it themselves – named EUvsDisinfo, a body that “identifies, compiles, and exposes disinformation cases originating in pro-Kremlin media that are spread across the EU and Eastern Partnership countries.” Within this project, in one of the tabs, news items originating from the sources just mentioned are quoted – white on black – and a disproof is presented: black on orange. In other places a whole analysis is offered, an analysis that devastatingly critiques a text recognised as the Kremlin’s propaganda. Surveying the hundreds of allegedly debunked pieces of information and their sources, one can see almost immediately that EUvsDisinfo has been targeting Sputnik most of the time. Anything that is written against the Post-West, the European Union, the United States, even individuals like George Soros in the media associated with Moscow or regarded as close to Russia comes under attack from EUvsDisinfo, which – naturally! – acts as an absolutely objective source of truth. Consider the following example. Continue reading

Ursula von der Leyen’s evangelism

On March 21st, President of the European Commission (read prime minister of the European Superstate Government) Ursula von der Leyen saw it fit to impress on Europeans – in a patronising, chaperon-like manner – the ugliness of racism that some of them display and indulge in. In a tweet, she is recorded to say that racism is ubiquitous, pervading our streets, and our workplaces and also penetrating institutions, which is the reason why the European Commission (government) has adopted the first ever EU Anti-Racist Action Plan. An ardent apostle of diversity, Ursula von der Leyen said that the Commission members were inspired upon seeing many Europeans taking to the street and shouting the slogan Black Lives Matter. She expressed her pride at the EU organizing the first ever European Anti-Racism Summit on 21st March and then went on to engage in threats aimed at racists all cross the Union, levelling at them (existing and not yet existing) criminal law provisions because – she explained as if in anticipation of possible accusations – racism could not be subsumed under the concept of free speech in – “our” as she put it – union. Who does she mean by our? Never mind. These anti-racist measures – continued the head of the EU – must be adopted by all the provinces (commonly referred to as member-states) because anti-racism is a founding principle of – again – our union, which is a red threat (obviously she meant thread) running through seventy years of history. Then, on a positive note (a piece of carrot after the stick) she waxed lyrical recalling the late eighties when eighty thousand young people had been asked to come up with a motto for “our” union and – surprise, surprise – they had chosen “Unity and Diversity”, surely without anybody prompting them to do so. At this point, Ursula von der Leyen spread her arms out, approvingly, as if she wanted to embrace the European Red Guards and she lavished praise on the politically savvy young people. What they had done was perfect, she said, what they had chosen reflected – as she put it – raison d’etre of the Union and its greatest aspiration: the Union’s starting point and the Union’s destination. Amen.
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The University of Amsterdam wants to get rid of a research report on the cost of immigration

When social peace is based on people’s ability to believe in something they don’t actually believe in, paradoxical thinking prevails. In 2006, above an article in the Financial Times, the following curious headline read: “The troubled cosmopolitan: how migrants enrich an increasingly concerned host.” While there is high unemployment among non-Western immigrants in Western countries, Western intellectuals still believe that overall non Western immigration is economically beneficial to white European countries. Probably it was because of this conviction that the University of Amsterdam agreed to contribute to an extensive research on the cost or benefits of immigration.

After 3 years of extensive data analysis the researchers published their results in a report called: “Boundless Welfare State”. The report examined the public cost, like social security and public income such as taxes collected from immigrants. It turned out that especially non-Western immigration is a huge burden for Dutch society. Immigrants have cost the Dutch people 400 billion euro over the last few decades. If the Dutch state continues to accept more immigrants, the expenditure will only go up further. The report not only estimated the enormous burden of mass-immigration for the Dutch population, it also did away with the belief that education could elevate poor immigrants from Africa and Central Asia.

It came as no surprise that the academic community of Amsterdam was unhappy with the outcome. Facts are only facts whether or not they are in line with the current political and religious convictions. That was as much the case in Galileo’s day as it is now. The report was produced with the full cooperation of the University of Amsterdam, which demanded that the researchers remove the university’s name and logo from the report and all references to the sponsor of the survey.
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