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The Obsession With Sweeping Away The Past Is Highly Destructive For Civilization

The Obsession With Sweeping Away The Past Is Highly Destructive For Civilization

Authored by Michael Bonner via The Epoch Times,

The following…



The Obsession With Sweeping Away The Past Is Highly Destructive For Civilization

Authored by Michael Bonner via The Epoch Times,

The following is a commentary by Michael Bonner on his new book, “In Defense of Civilization: How Our Past Can Renew Our Present.”

Do we live in a civilization?

When I was growing up in the 1990s, amidst all the exuberance of the American unipolar moment, I certainly thought I lived in a civilization, and an advanced one at that.

The mood of the time was captured in the near-universal misunderstanding of Francis Fukuyama’s thesis about the “end of history,” as well as in the Disney cartoon “Aladdin.” Both “Aladdin” and Fukuyama invited us to imagine “a whole new world,” and both did so coincidentally in 1992. Nothing, it seemed, could halt the steady progress of a new age of peace, stability, wealth, and freedom.

But, in the West, so much seems to have gone wrong since that moment.

Disaster in Iraq, Rwanda, and the Balkans should have disturbed western complacency, but didn’t. Neither did the damage done by neoliberal economics, hyper-globalization, outsourcing, and the de-industrialization of the West.

The 1990s also saw the rise of the Taliban, and the following century opened with the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan and the attacks of 9/11 in America. Since then we seem to have lurched from one crisis to another: warfare and humiliation in the Middle East, the failure to export liberal democracy abroad, financial collapse, terrorism, and latterly the pandemic, supply chain problems, inflation, and renewed warfare in Europe.

All this is to say that the “whole new world” we were promised in the ’90s is much like the old one, only worse. And the theory of irreversible progress seems increasingly implausible in the face of steady decline.

But this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing we can do.

Decline isn’t irreversible either. If that were true, then human civilization would never have recovered from its first collapse thousands of years ago. Renewal is possible even after a long interval, as is shown, for example, by the revival of Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire, or the ebb and flow of civilization in Egypt, Mesopotamia, or China despite repeated foreign conquest. So no matter how bad things may seem, civilization can recover.

But how would we bring about this renewal? The modern answer centres on innovation: doing something revolutionary and starting over again. Most of us now living in the West are used to thinking of practically all aspects of life in the same way that we think of technology. One technological change supersedes another, and each change rapidly ushers in another one. The same process supposedly governs social and moral development. This mode of thought passes without question now. But it would have seemed very disagreeable to a peasant who lived through the French Revolution, a Ukrainian farmer enduring Stalin’s five-year plans, or an indigenous inhabitant of the New World whose life was upended after the arrival of Europeans.

The Western obsession with sweeping away the past is highly peculiar, of course, and it is also highly destructive.

In contrast, all the great recoveries—whether successive Egyptian or Chinese dynasties, the European Renaissance, or the Islamic Golden Age—were inspired by imitating older cultural models. Even the so-called Scientific Revolution involved Copernicus and Galileo revisiting Byzantine and Perso-Arabic theories of physics and astronomy. Greek philosophy and mathematics owed a huge debt to far older Near-Eastern models salvaged from the Late Bronze Age Collapse around 1177 BC. And Confucius claimed to be a mere transmitter of the customs and values of the ancient Zhou state founded in 1046 BC.

The Western obsession with revolutionary change and novelty grew out of the Age of Discovery, matured throughout the Reformation and Enlightenment, and ossified into an ideology in the early 20th century. The ideological part was the work of Italian poet and art critic Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, whose “Futurist Manifesto” appeared in 1909.

(L-R) Italian futurists Luigi Russolo, Carlo Carrà, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, and Gino Severini in front of Le Figaro, Paris, on Feb. 9 1912. Marinetti, author of the “Futurist Manifesto,” urged the total repudiation and destruction of the past. (Public Domain)

Marinetti urged the total repudiation of the past and the rapid acceleration of technological and social changes. He worshiped the alleged beauty of speed. He hated museums, praised war as a form of hygiene, and wanted to see ancient cities utterly destroyed.

The “Futurist Manifesto” crystallized trends that are still with us. The informal motto of Silicon Valley is “move fast and break things.” Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos, for instance, could be considered Futurist prophets of fast cars, trains, rocket ships, high-speed downloads, and near-instantaneous deliveries. Tech companies and CEOs still speak of accelerating change, and the constant action and insomnia favoured by Marinetti are the virtues of the modern office worker.

Futurism could be considered the Mother of All Ideologies.

In Italy, the Futurists turned Fascist. They were Bolsheviks in Russia, and Nazis elsewhere. They all agreed with Marinetti’s vision: progress meant repudiating and destroying the past. In the fascist utopia, the state would serve only the strong. Communism would usher in the dictatorship of the proletariat. Nazism reimagined the Marxist class struggle as a conflict among races, and envisioned the end point of history as the thousand-year Reich. These Golden Ages all lay ahead, owing nothing to history. And, as Marinetti seemed to foresee, they would take shape amidst obscene destruction and murder.

Thus the most horrific disasters in human history have a common origin not in the veneration of the past, as some believe, but in utopian visions of the future. So why, we might ask, is future-orientation still such a powerful idea? And if looking to the future is so bad, what should we do instead?

This is what my book “In Defense of Civilization: How Our Past Can Renew Our Present” is about. It attempts to explain what makes human civilization what it is. It shows what we are in danger of losing through decline or collapse, and points the way toward renewal. The book argues that civilized life itself arose because our ancient ancestors developed a connection with the past and felt that they had a place in history—a feeling that we are now very close to losing. And it asserts that every former renewal of civilization has been inspired by memory of the past and a deliberate effort to imitate it.

Despite the uncertainties and tensions of contemporary life, and the perception of decline, we should remind ourselves that the future we think we want is never the future we actually get. But, if we want it to, civilization will outlast our failures.

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/04/2023 - 00:10

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Zelenskyy, Trudeau Honor Actual 3rd Reich Nazi With Standing Ovation

Zelenskyy, Trudeau Honor Actual 3rd Reich Nazi With Standing Ovation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodomyr…



Zelenskyy, Trudeau Honor Actual 3rd Reich Nazi With Standing Ovation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy - who commands a battalion of neo-Nazis - honored an actual WWII Nazi with a standing ovation on Friday.

Yaroslav Hunka, 98, fought in a Third Reich military formation accused of war crimes.

On Friday, he was honored during a session of Canadian parliament in which Zelenskyy addressed the lawmakers to thank them for their support since Russia invaded Ukraine, saying that Canada has always been on "the bright side of history."

Hunka stood for standing ovation and saluted, according to Canadian television.

According to the Associated Press, Hunka "fought with the First Ukrainian Division in World War II before later immigrating to Canada," another name for the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, the Nazi party's military wing, also known as the SS Galichina.


Formed in 1943, SS Galichina was comprised of Ukrainians from the Galicia region in the western part of the country. It was armed and trained by Hitler's Nazis and commanded by German officers. The next year, the division received a visit from SS head Heinrich Himmler, who had high praise for the unit's effectiveness at slaughtering Poles.

The SS Galichina subunits were responsible for the Huta Pieniacka massacre, in which they burned 500 to 1,000 Polish villagers alive.

One of several photos on a blog by an SS Galichina veterans’ group that shows Yaroslav Hunka, the Ukrainian immigrant honored by the Canadian Parliament during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Hunka is in the front row, middle.

In fact, during the Nuremberg Trials, the Waffen-SS was declared to be a criminal organization responsible for mass atrocities.

Following the war, thousands of SS Galichina veterans were allowed to leave Germany and resettle in the West - with around 2,000 moving to Canada. By that time, they were known as the First Ukrainian Division.

A blog by an association of its veterans, called “Combatant News” in Ukrainian, includes an autobiographical entry by a Yaroslav Hunka that says he volunteered to join the division in 1943 and several photographs of him during the war. The captions say the pictures show Hunka during SS artillery training in Munich in December 1943 and in Neuhammer (now Świętoszów), Poland, the site of Himmler’s visit. 

In posts to the blog dated 2011 and 2010, Hunka describes 1941 to 1943 as the happiest years of his life and compares the veterans of his unit, who were scattered across the world, to Jews. -Forward

So, the same leftists who called Trump supporters Nazis for years are now honoring an actual Nazi - while Germany has notably locked up several concentration camp guards in their 90s for their involvement in Nazi activities.

University of Ottawa Political Scientist Ivan Katchanovski lays it out...

Meanwhile, here's Ukraine's Azov Battalion of neo-Nazis that everyone with a Ukraine flag in their bio is supporting...

Odd, they don't look like Trump supporters.

Maybe these Nazis can shed some light? Careful, "X" thinks this is sensitive material (that might redpill people?).


Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 14:25

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Kerry Acknowledges Need For Nuclear Power As Climate Diplomacy Dominates New York City

Kerry Acknowledges Need For Nuclear Power As Climate Diplomacy Dominates New York City

Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times,




Kerry Acknowledges Need For Nuclear Power As Climate Diplomacy Dominates New York City

Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times,

While addressing an Atlantic Council meeting on nuclear energy, U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry made it clear he doesn't think wind and solar alone will be sufficient to meet global energy needs while achieving policy plans to rapidly scale back the use of hydrocarbons in the name of addressing climate change risks as outlined by the United Nations.

"You will have to have some component of nuclear—yet to be determined how big or where it'll go. That's going to be a market-based reaction," said Mr. Kerry, who served as a Democratic senator from Massachusetts before serving as Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama.

The 2004 Democratic candidate for president said that "most scientists will tell you" the goal of Net Zero 2050 cannot be achieved "unless we have a pot, a mixture of energy approaches."

"Clearly, we're going to need nuclear to be a part of that," he said on Monday.

Mr. Kerry's pro-nuclear remarks come as climate-related diplomacy and other climate-themed events overtake New York City.

Over the weekend, protesters demonstrated against fossil fuels in the streets of New York City, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) among the participants.

Mr. Kerry voiced support for those demonstrators in his speech to the Atlantic Council.

In addition, the U.N. will hold its inaugural Climate Ambition Summit on Sept. 20.

U.N. statement on the event states it "will showcase leaders who are 'first movers and doers' from government, business, finance, local authorities, and civil society who have credible actions, policies and plans to keep the 1.5°C degree goal of the Paris Agreement alive and deliver climate justice to those on the front lines of the climate crisis."

The Climate Ambition Summit comes ahead of the next annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will begin in late November. It's taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Even as he praised climate protesters, Mr. Kerry noted that a previous generation of environmental activists had fought hard against nuclear power, now seen as a pragmatic solution by many climate hawks.

"In my state of Massachusetts, where there was a huge fight over Seabrook Nuclear Plant in New Hampshire, we now happily get about 20 percent of all our energy from Seabrook, and nobody's complaining—maybe about the prices a little bit, because that's normal in today's world," he said.

A view of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in Seabrook, N.H., on March 21, 2011. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)

"The United States is now therefore committed, based on experience and based on reality, to trying to accelerate the deployment of nuclear energy, as part of the Biden program," he added.

The diplomat, who came under fire from Republicans earlier this summer for his unwillingness to share details of his staff at a Congressional hearing, commented positively on Bill Gates' TerraPower, which plans to build the next-generation Natrium nuclear reactor in Wyoming.

He also drew attention to his recent trip to Romania, where he visited a control room simulator for a small modular reactor developed by the American firm NuScale.

Mr. Kerry took issue with the continued construction of unabated coal-fired power plants and with the existence of subsidies for fossil fuels.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) study identified $1.3 trillion in "explicit" subsidies for fossil fuels in 2022, a stark increase from $500 billion in 2020. Such subsidies are ascribed to fossil fuel prices when they are lower than they would otherwise be if producers fully bore supply costs. The IMF authors attributed a substantial proportion of the increase to "temporary price support measures," in line with surging fossil fuel prices during that period.

Whitehouse Touts ADVANCE Act

Mr. Kerry wasn't the only high-level Democratic politician who addressed the Atlanticist forum on Monday.

In pre-recorded remarks, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) touted the bipartisan, nuclear power-related ADVANCE Act, which passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in July. The bill has not moved ahead in the House.

"Our legislation would strengthen the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's ability to safely and efficiently review the expected influx of applications and prepare them to license HALEU [high-assay low-enriched uranium] fuels," the lawmaker said.

Russia currently dominates the production of HALEU fuels, which are key for most next-generation nuclear reactors. Uncertainty about Russian supplies of HALEU has been a worry for TerraPower and a central motivation for the Nuclear Fuel Security Act, another successful NDAA amendment.

"We spend nearly $1 billion each year on Russian uranium. Russia uses these revenues to fund its invasion of Ukraine," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in the Senate as the measure was under consideration.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in Washington on Dec. 1, 2020. (Bill O'Leary-Pool/Getty Images)

'Decarbonize Beyond Electricity'

Other speakers at the event expanded on how nuclear energy could be used to cut carbon emissions.

"We need to decarbonize beyond electricity," said John Wagner, director of the Idaho National Laboratory. He cited industrial heating and hydrogen production as examples of such applications for nuclear energy.

Sama Bilbao y León, director general of the World Nuclear Association, concurred.

"Yes, we need to electrify as much as we can of our economy, but it is not going to be possible to electrify everything," she said.

Ben Pickett of Nucor Corporation, which operates mills that recycle scrap steel using electric arc furnaces, explained that his company's operations require "billions and billions of kilowatt hours per year."

Earlier this year, Nucor signed a memorandum of understanding with NuScale Power. The latter could potentially develop small modular reactors for use in conjunction with Nucor's steel production facilities.

"We've got customers now that are demanding much cleaner steels," Mr. Pickett said.

He conceded that the idea of running steel production on advanced nuclear has met with a "mixed" reaction in his industry.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 15:00

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Zelenskyy Asks Spirit Cooker Marina Abramovic To Be Ambassador For Ukraine, Help ‘Rebuild Schools’

Zelenskyy Asks Spirit Cooker Marina Abramovic To Be Ambassador For Ukraine, Help ‘Rebuild Schools’

Authored by Chris Menahan via Information…



Zelenskyy Asks Spirit Cooker Marina Abramovic To Be Ambassador For Ukraine, Help 'Rebuild Schools'

Authored by Chris Menahan via Information Liberation (emphasis ours),

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is recruiting spirit cooker Marina Abramovic to serve as an ambassador for Ukraine and help "rebuild schools."

From The Telegraph, "Zelensky asks Marina Abramovic to be ambassador for Ukraine":

Volodymyr Zelensky has asked Marina Abramovic, the performance artist, to be an ambassador for Ukraine.

‌Ms Abramovic, a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin's illegal invasion, said the Ukrainian president had asked for her help in rebuilding schools.

[...] ‌"I have been invited by Zelensky to be an ambassador of Ukraine, to help the children affected by rebuilding schools and such."

‌She added: "I have also been invited to be a board member of the Babyn Yar organisation to continue to protect the memorial."

‌The Holocaust memorial centre to Jews murdered by Nazis in Ukraine was damaged by Russian missile attacks in March last year.

The "bombing" of the Babyn Yar memorial was confirmed to be a lie last year.

‌Ms Abramovic installed her work Crystal Wall of Crying at the memorial centre in Kyiv four months before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

‌The wall, 40 metres long and three metres high, is made of coal and has large quartz crystals sticking out of it. Visitors can touch the installation, which mirrors the western wall in Jerusalem.

Zelensky said last year his goal is to turn Ukraine into a "Greater Israel."

In Dec 2022, Zelensky made a deal with BlackRock's Larry Fink to help "rebuild" Ukraine after the war and just last week the Biden regime announced Penny Pritzker would become their Special Representative for "rebuilding" Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Abramovic's pals, the Clintons, are also salivating over helping to 'rebuild' Ukraine.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 16:10

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