A couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans.
As noted many times, the left’s self-imagined radicals have little to gain from successful, independent people. Because success and independence – independence of them – makes you the enemy.
Free college of course has an appeal to the young, especially those who have never studied economics. But college cannot possibly be free. It would not be free even if there was no such thing as money… Those young people who understand this, whether clearly or vaguely, are not likely to be deterred from wanting socialism. Because what they really want is for somebody else to pay for their decision to go to college.
British readers may recall the student rioting of 2010, during which students took thuggish umbrage at the thought of being expected to pay for their own choices, like adults, albeit with generous credit, and while depicting themselves as “slaves.” A bold choice of words for people so engorged with entitlement that they assume an unassailable right to other people’s earnings. Stripped of its threats and theatrical pretensions, the students’ message was: “I don’t think the degree course I’ve chosen is worth paying for and yet I refuse to do without, therefore someone else should be forced to pay for it instead.”
And by happy coincidence, these little clownlings are currently ‘occupying’ a lecture hall at Sheffield University and demanding a “free, non-hierarchical” university education. Because choosing to take a degree course that they don’t want to pay for, and don’t think is worth paying for, is apparently “a radical act,” and because, being so fabulous, so incredibly radical, they have a “right” to the money that other people had to earn by doing something of value. According to the occupiers and their supporters, learning useful skills and thereby becoming employable “is exactly what education shouldn’t be [about].” Which suggests they probably aren’t the engineers and biochemists of tomorrow.
Feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.
Venezuela’s opposition legislature has declared a “nutritional emergency,” proclaiming that the country simply does not have enough food to feed its population. The move comes after years of socialist rationing and shortages that forced millions to wait on lines lasting as long as six hours for a pint of milk, a bag of flour, or carton of cooking oil.
However, a plan has been devised by the nation’s intellectuals:
Last month, President Maduro insisted that those struggling to find basic foods should develop urban farming skills, claiming that all the eggs eaten in his household come from chickens he and First Lady Cilia Flores own.
Douglas Murray on mass immigration and Simon Schama’s Question Time slip-up:
In that use of [the intended put-down] ‘suburban’, Schama showed something a lot of us had suspected – which is that for a certain type of globe-trotting international celebrity, any concern for borders, national identity and cultural continuity are not just beneath them, but actively ‘common’. Of course, like so many other advocates of mass immigration, Simon Schama can live pretty much where he wants. And if the area around him goes somewhat downhill because the neighbours all start to come from the rougher corners of Eritrea then Simon Schama can move. And he will probably move to a very nice area. But not everybody has that choice. And one thing we can all be certain of is that Simon Schama will never choose to live in Bradford, Malmo or any of the (dare I say it) ‘suburbs’ outside Paris. Yet all the time he will urge other peoples’ neighbourhoods to more closely resemble those great success stories, and look down at people from an ever-loftier height when they dare to object.
In Norway, the Aftenposten newspaper once notoriously changed a headline from “Foreigners over-represented in rape statistics” to “New sexual culture shapes attacks.” And when Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, dared to note Muslims’ over-representation in rape statistics, he was convicted of “hate speech” under Denmark’s penal code rather than being cheered by the country’s rape-obsessed feminists.
Citizens of all the tiny countries that lie between the Middle East and Germany were witnessing a migration far too big for Germany to handle. They knew Germany would eventually realise this, too. Once Germany lost its nerve, the huge human chain of testosterone and poverty would be stuck where it was. And if your country was smaller than Germany — Austria, for instance, is a tenth Germany’s size — you could wind up in a situation where the majority of fighting-age men in your country were foreigners with a grievance.
Hm. I hadn’t planned one, but it seems there’s a theme of sorts. Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.
The Guardian’s Aisha Mirza bemoans the “psychic burden” of living among white people, which is worse than being mugged.
The more I think about it, the more this may exemplify a near-perfect Guardian article, the ideal to which all other Guardian columnists should aspire. It’s haughty and obnoxious, is ignorant of relevant subject matter, is frequently question-begging, and its imagined piety is premised on a rather obvious double standard. Specifically, Ms Mirza’s belief that people who leave London do so, secretly, because they don’t feel comfortable living among people with skin of a darker hue, which is racist and therefore bad, and her own simultaneous preference not to live among people whose skin is paler than hers, which is somehow not racist at all, and is in fact aired as the last word in righteousness.
Brace yourselves for some taxpayer-funded cultural improvement.
Those with a taste for even more daring and challenging work may prefer the theatrical stylings of Mr Ivo Dimchev, a “radical performer” acclaimed for his “gripping sensitivity” and whose performance piece I-ON “explores” the “provoking functionlessness” of various objects, before showing us “how to make contact with something that has no function.” Readers are advised that the aforementioned contact-making, which was performed as part of the 2011 Vienna International Dance Festival and is shown below, inevitably includes vigorous self-pleasure with what appears to be a wig.
To seize on The Good Life as an affirmation of eco-noodling and a “non-greedy alternative” to modern life is unconvincing to say the least. The Goods only survive, and then just barely, because of their genuinelyself-supporting neighbours – the use of Jerry’s car and chequebook being a running gag, along with convenient access to Margo’s social contacts and expensive possessions. And insofar as the series has a feel-good tone, it has little to do with championing ‘green’ lifestyles or “self-sufficiency.” It’s much more about the fact that, despite Tom and Barbara’s dramas and continual mooching, and despite Margo’s imperious snobbery, on which so much of the comedy hinges, the neighbours remain friends. If anything, the terribly bourgeois Margo and Jerry are the more plausible moral heroes, given all that they have to put up with and how often they, not Tom’s principles, save the day.
Living in London, the Guardian’s Aisha Mirza is, naturally, unhappy:
I understand there is a psychic toll of living in a place where you have to fight, for space, time, money. But what these Why I am Leaving London articles are missing is that, while the psychic burden of living in the city with the highest living costs in the developed world is very real,
Wait for it.
for a brown person, the cost of living surrounded only by white people is worse.
“Please, no more white people writing smug articles about leaving London,” writes our Guardianista, smugly, before claiming that “the world will validate your beautiful white children,” wherever they are, “forever.”
I feel the comfort of London peel away whenever my train pulls out of King’s Cross and the threat of overt racism is increased...Outside London, I am put immediately into a position of defence. This is something my white counterpart will never understand.
On August 21, the world’s first official, naked public performance art festival will occur in the streets of Biel, Switzerland, featuring projects from 18 international artists.
Local artist Thomas Zollinger has organised a two-day display of self-imagined transgression, during which he and his fellow artists will “increase beyond gallery walls the presence of the naked body as an artistic medium,” and will “explore the possibilities of the naked body in the urban space.” But sadly, not in the way that people with particular tastes might actually want to pay for. Instead, “nakedness is employed as a sculptural element in dialogue with the architectural environment, ground structures and pedestrian traffic.”
Be still my girlish heart.
Given the lack of pornographic appeal, and with it a lack of public interest, it’s perhaps unsurprising that some funding issues have arisen:
Although Biel’s culture office and other institutions helped fund over half the festival’s cost, the organisers are seeking donations online to cover artists’ lodgings, security measures, and other expenses. Incentives to contribute include options to participate in a nude performance of one’s choosing: for 111.55 CHF (~$127 USD), one may partake in “Naked Audience,” which involves stripping and sitting on a chair on a sidewalk while watching pedestrians; 280 CHF (~$290 USD) earns one an invitation to a “Naked Lunch” during which a series of “creative activities” will unfold.
Oh don’t pretend you’re not tempted.
Mr Zollinger’s earlier forays into Incredibly Daring Nude Performance Art™ can be beheld at length here. Where, for instance, you’ll find a seven-minute piece titled Naked UFO, also staged in Biel, in which members of the public cope quite well with the Incredibly Daring Nude Performance Art™ - a composure that rather deflates the ostentatious claims of transgression and taboo, and the alleged “challenge and confrontation of the naked body.” A handful of people wait around looking slightly puzzled, possibly hoping that something interesting will happen, eventually. Two children look amused before wandering off to be amused by something else. And for the most part passers-by pass on by, their minds somehow unshattered by the Incredibly Daring Nudeness™ of it all.
Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedov just erected a 69-foot statue of himself in the centre of Ashgabat, the capital [of Turkmenistan]. He’s up there on a golden horse atop an enormous slab of marble that looks like an iceberg. He’s compensating. Two years ago he fell off a horse at an official race. The only reason we even know this is because a brave person in the audience captured it on amateur video and uploaded it to the internet. All the other riders rode past him as he lay flat on his back in the dirt, but he was declared the winner regardless and awarded an 11 million dollar prize for his “performance.” This clown follows President Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in 2006 of heart failure. He renamed months of the year after himself and his family. He built a 60-foot statue of himself that slowly rotated so that his face was always in sunlight.