(Video) Nazism and Communism, brothers on the Left

June 7, 2015

One of the great intellectual errors I’ve had to clear myself of in recent years was the belief that Nazism and Communism, Fascism and Bolshevism, were opposites. I’d been taught that the former was the extreme Right, while the latter was the extreme Left.

This is wrong. Both are creations of the Left, ideologies that place the State above the individual and loath free-market capitalism. Jonah Goldberg does a wonderful job explaining that in his Liberal Fascism. But, if you haven’t time to read that (1), this video from Conservative MEP Dan Hannan gives a good quick summary of why, for all their differences, at their core Nazism and Communism were very much alike.

Footnote:
(1) Do yourself a favor and make the time. This book is worth it.


Bookshelf update: Inventing Freedom — How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

August 4, 2014

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.”

 

book cover hannan inventing freedom

I’m only a few chapters into it, so far, but has been an entertaining discussion of how the unique political, legal, and cultural heritage of England and its descendants, what Hannan and others term “the Anglosphere,” have created something unique in human history: nation-states based on individual political and economic liberty; a common law that stands above all, including the rulers; respect for contracts and property rights; and representative legislatures, which have the sole power to make law. (1) Hannan is an entertaining writer, and the book is a pleasure to read. It’s available in both Kindle (2) and paperback formats.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. But I still think it’s a good book.

Footnote:
(1) You can imagine me wincing as I typed that list and thought of President Obama…
(2) I’m happy to say I’ve found no typos or formatting errors, so far. These are all too common in Kindle e-books.


(Video) Must-viewing: Daniel Hannan at CPAC 2012

February 14, 2012

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was held this last weekend in D.C. I didn’t attend, sadly  (1), so I’ve been working my way through the speeches I would have attended, looking for some to share.

Boy, have I got a good one for you.

Daniel Hannan, a Conservative member of the European Parliament from SE England, spoke to the assembled conventioneers and gave them a warning from the future: America is on the way to becoming a statist mess like the EU, but there is still time to change direction. (Unlike Europe?)

He also spoke with an outsider’s admiration for our political accomplishments and evincing a knowledge and understanding of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution that I daresay few Americans could match. And also a sadness that his own homeland, the birthplace of our common heritage, is well on the road to chucking it all away.

But, enough. Watch and enjoy:

Two final questions:

Is there any way we can kidnap Hannan, grant him citizenship, and force him to serve in the Senate? And, be honest, how many of you watched this, imagined Hannan debating President Obama and started giggling?

I did.

RELATED: Earlier posts featuring Daniel Hannan. In this video, which made him a star among US conservatives, Hannan shreds then-PM Gordon Brown.

Footnote:
(1) Generous donations for next year gladly accepted!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Fighting hate speech with hate speech

January 10, 2011

British MEP Daniel Hannan has a great article today about the Left’s grotesque tone-deafness in the wake of the Tucson massacre:

Michael Daly in the New York Daily News writes that Sarah Palin may now have “the blood of more than some poor caribou on her hands”. Jane Fonda blames Glenn Beck. Not all Lefties are taking this line, of course; perhaps not most. But it is striking that those who complain most loudly about hate speech then go on to indulge in the very phenomenon they purport to be condemning.

There is something repulsive about attacking your opponents for their intemperate language and in the same breath accusing them of complicity in murder. There is something blindly narcissistic about calling for a calmer debate while at the same time attacking Sarah Palin in terms that come close to incitement. Odium is not confined to any political faction. Spend five minutes reading the online reactions to the atrocity to see how readily Leftists resort to accusations of evil.

Six people have been murdered, for God’s sake, one of them a nine-year-old girl.

Let’s keep that in mind, shall we?


Churchill weeps

December 4, 2009

And Pitt the Younger rolls up his map. Queen Victoria is not amused. Monarchs from Alfred the Great to Richard the Lionheart and Elizabeth I, generals from Marlborough to Montgomery, all hang their heads in sorrow.

Great Britain is sovereign no more; she has surrendered to Europe:

At midnight last night, the United Kingdom ceased to be a sovereign state

We woke up in a different country today. Alright, it doesn’t look very different. The trees still seem black against the winter sun; the motorways continue to jam inexplicably; commuters carry on avoiding eye contact. But Britain is no longer a sovereign nation. At midnight last night, we ceased to be an independent state, bound by international treaties to other independent states, and became instead a subordinate unit within a European state.

This is really the culmination of a process that’s been going on for years, as more and more national “laws” originated as regulations issued by the unelected Eurocrats in Brussels. And MEP Hannan, the author of the article, is right: how it came about is a disgrace. All three major UK parties had promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the document that created the EU superstate, but when push came to shove after the failure of the referenda on the proposed EU constitution in France and elsewhere, the idea was dropped. On the question of national sovereignty, the most basic of all political questions, the elites in Great Britain couldn’t dare ask the people, for fear they might say “no.”

And that would make the leaders look foolish at Continental cocktail parties. Can’t have that, you know.

I know some friends in the UK would mock this American as a nutty right-winger, but I can’t help but be sad at this development. It was from Britain that we inherited our ideas of democracy, limited government, and the inalienable rights of freeborn citizens. And now the British government has tossed that all away, regardless of what their people might wish. Let’s be clear: the EU is not a democracy. It is a statist bureaucracy with some of the trappings of democracy: the president is chosen, not elected. The European Parliament, while it gains some new power, still remains a rump, not the democratically elected source of all laws for the EU’s citizens. And while the now-subordinate national governments retain some powers and opt-outs, the pressure for further integration under the Eurocrats of Brussels will be almost irresistible – it’s in the nature of bureaucracies to expand, and EU leaders seem anxious to accede, probably so they can have a shot at the plum EU jobs.

Adieu, Britain. It was a nice special relationship while it lasted.