Nietzsche’s foreboding insight

From the outset, it must be said that German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a troubled individual who suffered a wide range of afflictions during his relatively short life.   Having said that, in the preface to his work ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’, Nietzsche wrote:

What if a regressive trait lurked in “the good man,” likewise a danger, an enticement, a poison, a narcotic, so that the present lived at the expense of the future? Perhaps in more comfort and less danger, but also in a smaller-minded, meaner manner?

Considering Nietzsche wrote that in 1887, it was a foreboding insight into our modern world and the decline of the West’s morality.   Nietzsche considered it “the danger of dangers” – namely, that all individuals, even those with the potential to rise above the mediocre mass, are pressured into becoming a ‘herd animal’ whose only apparent goal was to please or acquiesce to the rest of the herd.    

This is most evident in today’s social media platforms, often with enthusiastic reinforcement by the MSM, where critical thinkers are hounded when their conclusions don’t match the groupthink.  Globally, Governments have harnessed this phenomenon to keep those individuals in check who dare to question the approved narrative.   Within our small community at the Cat for example, there are numerous individuals who have been subjected to a variety of punitive responses on social media or by government for daring to question the official orthodoxy during Covid. 

Where an individual is independent and questioning the orthodoxy, that person is deemed by the herd to be ‘bad’ and must be hounded into silence.  Alternatively, those who belong to the herd and conform, are deemed to be ‘good’.   Social media, government and the MSM can combine to judge the outspoken individual and on many occasions, the pile-on can be vicious.  At a minimum, the person’s social standing is damaged and for some, their professional standing is destroyed.  Yet this herd behaviour can overturn society’s growth and evolution.  

So, is this a new phenomenon? 

For millennia, humans have gathered together to form societies (whether tribes, clans, villages and so on) and those societies must have rules for peaceful and productive cohabitation.  As many humans were naturally inquisitive and, necessity being the mother of invention, humankind flourished.  

Of course, assorted rumours, speculation and vendettas arose every now and then with terrible consequences for those deemed outside the accepted orthodoxy.   There are near endless examples in our human history of the persecution of minorities for some alleged or even actual ‘slight’ against the established status quo.  But there is also a veritable conga line of independent thinkers from before Aristotle to after Isacc Newton that made vital contributions to society’s evolution, yet many were initially ridiculed or persecuted.    

Whilst we consider ourselves far more civilised today, is the persecution of the outspoken independent thinker via social media really much different to the baying mob armed with pitchforks advancing on the hapless individual?   Those events usually happened with the consent of the local Chief (who may even lead the attack) – why is this different to our government inciting, and in some cases orchestrating, a vengeful mob? 

Social media has a lot to answer for in our modern society with its insidious and destructive impact on our society being fanned and encouraged by every Western government on the planet.  Government recognised the opportunity to frame the narrative in a social media context and apply (un)official enforcement via the mob.   The rate of transformation, and ferociousness of self-imposed enforcement, must exceed their wildest dreams.   

The MSM, for their part, have long recognised their dependence on government largesse via advertising (or ownership) and that their very existence is governed by legislation.  Every one of us can point to numerous examples where journalists have utterly failed to challenge the government’s statements or actions.   The hand inside the media glove unquestionably belongs to the government.    

Will things change?  The malevolence of the vested interests, and sometimes outright contempt for the people they are supposed to govern, would suggest that the voice of those who question the official pathway will continue to be threatened.  Only sites such as the Cat offer refuge.

Although Nietzsche couldn’t have imagined our society, the principle of silencing questioning thinkers remains – in our time it is a cohort of anonymous social media assailants, MSM and government who persecute those who would rise above the dim-witted and complaint masses; how often have we seen a call to correct some perceived inequality coupled with implied allegations of an anti-social phobia for the non-compliant?

Of course, the desire for control extends far deeper and includes the covering up of government excess (even criminality) or collective censorship of legitimate news or opinion.   If it challenges, embarrasses or confronts the official narrative, the attack dogs of social media and the MSM will do their master’s bidding.  

Finally, Nietzsche’s pertinent warning:

Our highest insights must – and should – sound like follies and sometimes like crimes when they are heard without permission.  Why has an anti-natural morality – a poison which has spread through the entire body of mankind – gained dominion over Western civilization?

I doubt that Nietzsche could have imagined, even in his wildest dreams, the extent to which our social structure has deviated nor the depths to which our morality has descended.  Indeed, many of those who contributed greatly to our developing society over the millennia would struggle to be heard in our enlightened ‘modern age’.     

Battle on Cats, battle on.   

Roundup Feb 26

Jo Nova honoured to be awarded the Dauntless Purveyor of Climate Truth Award for 2023.  Previous winners include NASA Astronaut Walter Cunningham (Apollo 7), Dr Jay Lehr, Marc Morano, Christopher Monckton and Prof Fred Singer

The Energy Realists of Australia Jo Nova Quadrant on line

IPA         Climate and energy program  CIS          The Sydney Institute

Menzies Research Centre  Mannkal Economics Education Foundation          

Advance Australia  Taxpayers Alliance  Australian Inst for Progress

The Conservative Vagabond The Rathouse and The Site of Kilmeny 

The Indigenous Voice as National Group Therapy

Should we cancel vile artists?

No. Admire their talent and let the person without sin cast the first stone.

Another NO from Caroline Overington

On a lighter note. In praise of stoats

Who will speak for the unfairly misunderstood and maligned stoat?

Come on, admit it, they are cute as kittens!

Well what about baby stoats then?

Bettina Arndt on the Brittany Higgins case

No such thing as Russia…

The backroom conversations and classified files of Foreign Ministries and Departments of State must be a wonderland of speculations and conditionals, of grand schemes and short-term crises. But, judging by the utterances of two former Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Poland’s Ministry is up there with the best of them.

Take Radoslaw (Radek) Sikorski, Minister from 2007 to 2014. Before that he was Minister of Defence, and for a year afterwards, Speaker of Parliament. According to the Center for Strategic & International Studies,

[H]e negotiated and signed the Poland-Russia regional visa-free regime, Poland-U.S. missile defense agreement, and—together with foreign ministers of Germany and France—the accord between the pro-EU opposition and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2013.

Unfortunately, the latter accord was rendered meaningless by the Maidan coup of 2014. Before this small hiccup, Foreign Policy had ranked him in its top 100 “global thinkers” for “telling the truth even when it’s not diplomatic.” High praise indeed, and Mr Sikorski continues to live up to it. When the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged, and in disregard of the official narrative that “the Russians did it,” Mr Sikorski told the inconvenient truth by tweeting a photo of the gas bubbling up in the Baltic, with the caption, “Thank you, USA.” Only a week ago, Sikorski was asked during a radio interview, whether he thought that “ the government of PiS [Poland’s ruling ‘Law and Justice’ party] at some point thought about partition” of Ukraine. He responded, “I think there was a moment of hesitation in the first ten days of the war, when we all did not know how it would go, and perhaps Ukraine would collapse.” It was but a moment though, which was how long it took for the Polish Prime Minister to condemn his comments as “no different from Russian propaganda.”

Continue reading “No such thing as Russia…”

On The Home Front

I go to my club’s gym in the city (Sydney) three times a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Set off between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm. My bus is supposed to come each ten minutes. Whether it does or doesn’t, it is always crowded. I always have to stand and often complain to the driver urging him to inform his superiors that more buses are needed. Last Friday, the first bus to arrive took no one even though a couple of people got off. Too full, the driver explains. Don’t want to be awful or anything but it seems to me that most passengers are not that long off the boat.

Fine, I know we had a recent plebiscite and overwhelming agreed that we need another 200,000 migrants per year; but where are the extra buses is what I want to know. We didn’t have a plebiscite you say. Hmm? Well, anyway, we have to put our trust in the government and federal treasury who know what’s best for us.

Call into the supermarket when returning home. Want just three oranges to make three screwdrivers. One orange per drink means that you can taste each double vodka. Sadly, and forlornly, now living alone, I fend for myself. Do the shopping and such. Mind you, still wouldn’t be able to answer the gotcha question reporters ask of budding prime ministers; to wit, what’s the price of a bottle of milk, or loaf of bread, or a dozen eggs. Usually buy a number of items and take no notice.

This time, however, it takes me by surprise; $6.55 for three oranges. That’s steep, I think, forgetting about the ravages of inflation, and query the charge. The Indian girl at the checkout is very nice but I can’t understand a word she says. I apologise to those who I’m holding up. One chap agrees with me that the price seems high. Another impatiently looks for another checkout. Good luck, self service is the go these days. Finally, I shrug, and agree to pay the “exorbitant” price, while yet again voicing my surprise. A woman says, sympathetically, “welcome to Australia.” Maybe my Liverpool – England accent fools her into thinking I’m a recent arrival; though judging by her likely age (early forties?), I’ve lived here much longer than she has.

Each orange cost me $2.18. Checked on the price in the U.S., you can check on anything these days. Came to about $1.15; nevertheless, I bet they complain about that.

WolfmanOz at the Movies #59

All About Me !

Is the memoir of Melvin James Kaminsky better known as Mel Brooks.

Born on June 28th, 1926, Mel Brooks has had a career that has spanned over seven decades incorporating TV, movies and theatre in which as a writer and director of comedy he has had many successes with broad farces and parodies.

It is an indictment of our miserable times that his humour would be now be deemed as unsafe and therefore would be cancelled. I’m sure TV stations now would have trigger warnings for a number of his films if they dared to screen them, and yet, his humour, for all intents and purposes, was simply very funny.

During his teens he changed his name to Melvin Brooks and like Lee Marvin, from an earlier post, saw active service in World War II, mostly as a combat engineer and he participated in the Battle of The Bulge.

After WWII, he became a comedy writer for TV, where he was hired by his friend Sid Caesar to write jokes for his TV series. He would continue to be a prolific comedy writer in TV for the next 15 years culminating in him creating the iconic and classic TV comedy show Get Smart in 1965, although his involvement in it was largely limited to just the first season.

For several years, Brooks toyed with a bizarre and unconventional idea about a musical comedy of Adolf Hitler. He explored the idea as a novel and a play before finally writing a script. He eventually found two backers to fund it, and made his first feature film, The Producers (1968).

The film was quite outrageous in its satire in that all the major studios refused to distribute it but he finally found an independent distributor where it became an underground hit. Brooks also won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

The film is about a theatre producer (Zero Mostel) and his accountant (Gene Wilder) who, as part of a scam, decide to stage the worst stage musical they can create. They find a script celebrating Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and bring it to the stage.

In a 2001 interview, Brooks explained – “I was never crazy about Hitler . . . If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win . . . That’s what they do so well: they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can’t win. You show how crazy they are.”

He followed up The Producers with The Twelve Chairs in 1970 which largely went unnoticed. But then in 1974 he directed and co-wrote, in the same year, two of the best and funniest American comedies ever made.

The first was Blazing Saddles a riotous send-up of the western genre, where a new sheriff is appointed to the town of Rock Ridge – it just so happens he is black !

It is just one of those films where belly laughs are continually hitting the audience non-stop amidst a pool of obscenities whilst at the same time western movie conventions are being parodied outrageously.

It also allows me to show the greatest farting scene in cinematic history !

Brooks immediately followed it up with Young Frankenstein which is arguably his best film, albeit it may not be his funniest; but in terms of narrative, technique employed plus it is all gloriously photographed in black and white, the film is a loving homage to the three Universal Frankenstein films of the 1930s starring Boris Karloff.

Brooks even managed to entice Gene Hackman to make a hilarious uncredited cameo in the delightful sendup of the original scene from The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935).

After Young Frankenstein came Silent Movie (1976) where Brooks also starred as a once-great Hollywood film director planning to make a comeback by making a silent film.

The film starts well for the first half although the second half peters out, but Brooks showed he could deliver on visual comedy.

Hitchcock was the next target of Brooks in the wildly uneven High Anxiety (1977) but it was still funnier than most comedies released in the late 70s.

Brooks output slowed down in the 1980s and 1990s with History Of The World, Part 1, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men In Tights and Dracula: Dead And Loving It. His films were increasingly become more and more uneven but even in the poorer ones he could still generate laughs.

He could even annoy Kevin Costner who didn’t take too kindly to Robin Hood: Men In Tights sending up Costner’s own serious and mediocre film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. For me it this was Brooks best comedy film since the 70s.

Mel Brooks will be 97 later this year – long may he live on.


and the tease for next weeks post (should be easy for calli to know what it is) . . . Not that it matters, but most of what follows is true

Perversity under liberalism

This is a rather good thread on the pseudo-medicalization of psychological conditions that are often, in other instances, nothing more than perverse sexual fetishes and I recommend it to you. One of the interesting aspects here is the status of perversion under liberalism. To put it bluntly, liberalism not only lacks the philosophical and moral framework and vocabulary to distinguish and elaborate the perverse from the good/ natural, it is actually and increasingly hostile to any such architecture and vocabulary.

The framework and vocabulary that distinguishes and elaborates the perverse from the good/natural is one that is able to identify what certain things are as well as what they are for. The problem for liberalism is that it abandoned this framework from its inception and overtime the remnant vocabulary was purged as it ceased to make any sense within the framework of liberalism. Now, whenever we are confronted with what was formerly understood as perverse conduct, within the framework of liberalism, only the ideas of consent and harm are our guides. While these ideas are serviceable within their limited range, as guides they in no way exhaust the legal or the moral, and they certainly provide no assistance in identifying or dealing with perversity.

And it’s precisely because of this absence and hostility that our understanding of perversity follows a pattern of first being psychologized, medicalized, and finally normalized via a program of de-stigmatization. We now see the reverse occurring; that is, people that maintain an understanding of this or that conduct as perverse are, firstly, stigmatized as extremists, bigots, and the like, and, finally, psychologized as suffering from irrational fear (homo/ trans/ –phobia). Many such cases, indeed.