Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moving on, blogging on

Step by step I have detached myself from the site Gates of Vienna (GoV). For the last two years it's been like a home to me, but I think those times are over and that it's now time for me to move on. For a year and more I haven't been blogging much, instead I have preferred to comment at GoV. This due to a combination of reasons, mainly two: i) that I haven't considered myself having the time to maintaining a blog, and ii) that I preferred to engage in dialog, in a debate, and GoV has served this purpose well most of the time. Now, however, for a number of reasons, this situation has changed; I'm inspired to blog again, and I expect that I will continue to comment very little at GoV compared to the last two years.

This development started during the second half of last year. The changed situation was to a high degree triggered by external events, the pivotal world events of August and September. This shifted the focus quite drastically from unity about the issue of Islam, and more and more onto issues where there was a glaring antagonism among the participants. I felt more and more unease about my participation at GoV. About half of the commenters enjoyed my comments and craved for more, while about half of the commenters hated my comments and attacked me increasingly aggressively for them. Several times during the autumn I intended to bail out, but Baron Bodissey always encouraged me to continue. But by the end of last year the climate had become so hostile, regarding certain hot topics, that reasoned debate had become effectively impossible about these topics.

My criticism of the weaknesses/arrogance of America and Christianity was disdained and often attacked. But the topic that was truly too hot to handle was the one about Russia. Also the topic of anti-German hate -- and how German national identity is effectively suppressed into a total coma under the current world order -- had the potential to freak people out.

Around new year the topic of Russia became too hot for Baron Bodissey, and rather than dealing with the hostile climate which effectively made reasoned discussion impossible, he literally closed down the discussions about Russia. This was a major setback for the previous legacy of GoV and a major surrender of Baron Bodissey's excellent ambitions of having an open and open-minded debate at his blog.

A problem for GoV is that it needs to straddle the situation of being an American site and wanting to encourage a very open debate. They get quite a share of emails from Americans complaining that the atmosphere of the site is uncongenial to Americans. And as far as I understand, almost all such emails are complaints about me and my comments. My take on this is that the truth about America (as a political entity) is not a flattering one -- and this has become more glaringly obvious than ever, since the pivotal world events of August, September and November in 2008 -- but that the truth nevertheless needs to be explored and expressed. But people's reactions are more than anything else rooted in their identity -- and emotions are emotions. This is the situation that Baron Bodissey has to straddle.

So the truth needs to be explored and stated, but not necessarily at GoV (in every aspect). I have no wish to push things at GoV and for Baron Bodissey, and I never had. On the contrary, I have stated so, many times, to the Baron; I have often regretted the situation and I have periodically bailed out due to the pressure. But the Baron has always encouraged me to come back.

But it's not only my mind that has been divided about this thing. There has been this double nature of the Baron's position about me. On one hand he has lifted and encouraged comments by me; he has defended my analyses as often being right and "not mindlessly anti-American", but at the same time made a habit of describing me as abrasive and untactful, and even rude and insulting.

Before the chain of events triggered by the pivotal world events of the latter half of 2008, I had less urge to protest this sort of stereotyping of me as a person. Up until the summer of 2008 I saw the counterjihad movement as one movement, and I saw me and the Baron as two warriors side by side in this common struggle. In such a situation I do not pay too much attention to comments about my person. The common cause, the common struggle, and the duty that comes with it, was above everything else. I even volunteered as "attack dog", for the sake of the common cause, in the LGF affair. I can be nasty if I choose to be so. Maybe this has contributed to the Baron's view of my way of behaving?

I admit that in my role as a "warrior", and also under the pressure of massive attack from many directions at the same time, that I have indeed on occasion behaved more badly than I wished to. And in any case that I have failed and realized so, I have also made sure to say that I'm sorry. But these are the exceptions. The Baron's general description of me is unfair. He is confusing the animosity against my ideas, from commenters and people emailing him, with my personality. His duality in his description of me is something that given his situation, given the straddling that he has to do, might feel balanced to him, but is nevertheless unfair. Surely what I write is annoying to many people, but this is collateral. My intention is not to be annoying, even though it, of course, is meant to be thought provoking.

But the war in Georgia, the financial crisis, and the new world that it opened up -- and the antagonism that these and other things triggered, and the hostility against my views of so many commenters at GoV -- made it clear to me that there was not truly any one movement. This has several consequences. And I will have to come back to it several times in what I write here. E.g. I feel now that I have been too hard on certain people when I before saw them as being too much in breach with what should have been the one movement. Before I also felt the urge in trying to influence the direction of what I thought to be the one movement. I can see now that this was futile, and that there is no one movement. What is left is just me, and my thoughts. Which I can write down -- and which I will, here at my blog! And then there are my friends, and the people I enjoy discussing with. Suddenly it's all very simple.

The breakdown of GoV as the beacon of free debate triggered me into a hiatus that has been going on for the last three months. Effectively I have been disconnected from everything (with a few exceptions). I and the Baron were no longer warriors in a common struggle. Our relation had been "reduced" to being friends. I put "reduced" in scare quotes since this friendship has been one of the most rewarding and inspiring that I have ever had. And in return I have always tried to give back the very best of me, in every way that I could. My only "flaw" has been that my honesty has never been negotiable. But this is also something that the Baron has appreciated (most of the time). Another flaw of mine is that I have to be inspired to have anything to give, and I have not always been inspired.

And before I go on, let me just state that the breakdown, at the dawn of this year, of GoV as the beacon of free debate, is not anything I hold against Baron Bodissey. Very much to the contrary! Instead the Baron should have loads and loads of credit for going so very far in his excellent ambitions of keeping a genuinely free and open debate at his blog. But these excellent ambitions caved in due to external factors. There were too many sea-changing events during the later half of 2008. And there are limits to what a small blog can keep up with.

Now I know there are several people (several of whom I consider my friends) that think that I made too much of a big thing of something that happened recently at GoV, when a comment of mine was deleted and I was then described (I would say stereotyped) as rude, insulting, etc. (All very unfairly according to me, the details of which I will get into in a forthcoming post.) I cannot, at this point, entirely explain why I, in effect, accepted this sort of stereotyping of me before, while I react strongly against it now. But I think it has to do with how, when being a warrior on the battlefield, in the middle of a struggle, such things were insignificant details. While when off the battlefield, such comments are a complete turn off from someone you expect to be your friend.

Having given the best of myself, putting a lot of effort into my analysis, I just cannot accept from a site -- that has unfortunately become increasingly failed due to external pressure, where hostility is lurking under the surface much of the time -- to hear that I'm the bad guy. It's just not fair.

This is the "negative" factor that inspired me to start blogging again. To me discussion at GoV has become a dead end. This sort of forced me to start blogging again, since after all I need an outlet somewhere. Another negative factor -- and bear with me for a few more posts -- is that I want to get into the details of this, probably insignificant, event, that after all was the little stroke that fell the great oak. Both in trying to explain it to myself and to others.

However, among the positive factors that make me start blogging is that I have come to many new thoughts during my three months of hiatus; so there is much to write about. And not only that, I've reached a new, and more easy-going, attitude about the whole thing. I know by now better who I really am, and what my real ethnic and cultural roots really are. I'm a happy person. Also I'm essentially lonely. I'll be writing because this is what I do, and for nothing else. And mostly I won't write for people today, but for people in some future. The only pain is that I will have to moderate my blog, and deal with all the complaints from people in how I do it.

And before I end this post I want to say that before I started writing about this, with the very first post in the beginning of this week, I emailed Baron Bodissey, trying to deal with the disappointment I felt through that private channel. And he answered that he didn't mind being publicly refuted, and that he thought that was a good way to handle it. So this is what I've done.

14 comments:

latté island said...

I'm glad you're blogging again. Getting along with a coalition can be inhibiting for someone who thinks for himself. I hope you can say more about Russia and present your case against Putin being behind the suspicious deaths of dissidents. I have no opinion at all and wanted to learn more, and the charged atmosphere at GoV prevented non-partisan people from learning about that subject.

Conservative Swede said...

Hi Latte,

I feel good about blogging again, and that's good. I think the fact that I have given up many goals that I had up until last year -- goals that were hopeless -- has changed my attitude. When removing the hopeless ambitions, blogging feels good again.

And no, I do not belong in the anti-Jihad coalition, in the current wave. But yes, I fully support it since it's absolutely necessary. But there is no place in it for me. I belong in the subsequent waves that are also bound to come. In the meantime all I can do is to write down my thoughts, and just that. It's suddenly all very simple.

And of course I will get to the issue of Russia, and especially the skewed description of her in the West (especially in the media). Surely there are many problems in today's Russia, but the belligerent attitude towards Russia from many Westerners is all based on mythological images and the propaganda lies generated from them.

And already there we have a pretty little Hegelian paradox. When the (permitted) Western nationalisms grown, in the face of the threat of Jihad, the belligerence against Russia grows with it. This is of course irrational with regards to effectively fighting Islam, but it follows organically from how the deeper myths of the West are tied together.

So this phase of an anti-Jihad coalition is bound to look like this (and there are several other aspects of it which I will come to). Therefore it's just a beginning of the beginning and is bound to be replaced by subsequent phases. In the meantime we can do nothing more than watching the current phase grow partially in the wrong direction.

Any movement has to grow organically, from where it is at now, based on the deeper root system of mythology shared by the participants. An organism simply cannot skip and jump over any step of its development. During a pregnancy there is a phase where a foetus develops fish properties. And while the child is not intended to become a fish, nevertheless this step cannot be skipped.

The same applies here. And we are now in the phase of the anti-Jihad movement organism where Islam is criticized, and the West defended, based on liberal arguments, defending the current world order, intending to work within the system. This implies anti-Russian and anti-German sentiments; it even enhances it.

I think it is clear to everyone by now that GoV is not the right place to discuss these things. So I'm moving these discussions to my blog.

PRCalDude said...

Swede,

I'll never understand the level of vitriol amongst conservatives, especially on GoV. I don't see why everyone needs to agree with one another there and why the anathematization is needed.

I do direct a considerable amount of online antipathy to self-loathing whites and those who heap blame upon whites for everything, so maybe I need to pull the plank out of my own eye.

Anyways, I read your post on "Christian ethics" and I agree with a lot of what was said. If we can't put the historic Christ back into Christianity, it's not really worth following any more than any other religion. The schism between Protestants and Roman Catholics is over the very nature of what Christ actually accomplished on the cross for us, so people who actually hold to what Protestants have historically believed (even though we are a vanishingly small number of people at this point) will never join with the Catholics on theological issues. Protestants-in-name-only tend to leave for the Catholic church and be absorbed into its bloated and leviathantine architecture. But even the Roman Catholic church is a sissyfied version of what it once was since the days when it was offing Protestants by the thousands.

Conservative Swede said...

PRCalDude,

I'll never understand the level of vitriol amongst conservatives.

To better understand this phenomenon I think we first have to consider how utterly marginalized people protesting the current establishment are. These people, referred to as "far-right" by the establishment, are pushed tightly together into the same corner by this external pressure. But among this tiny group we find the starkest differences side by side, e.g. the pro-Zionists and the antisemites side by side. This is of course bound to bring a lot of inner tension. And an important source of this are the many people, referring to themselves as conservatives, who cling hard to most of the core tenets of the liberal world order, while trying to fight the very same (here the inner tension is even represented within the same individual). A unity within such an artificial group, which is a group only by the heavy weight of external pressure, is of course an illusion.

Anyways, I read your post on "Christian ethics" and I agree with a lot of what was said. If we can't put the historic Christ back into Christianity, it's not really worth following any more than any other religion.

Thanks for that comment. And so far we agree. I differ from you, however, in how I think it is passed time to reinstall Christ. But I should also qualify that statement, and so I will in coming posts. I think I should also make a post of "ConSwede for Christians", in order to make my observations about Christian ethics digestible for Christians, by not ending with my usual conclusion that we need to put an end to Christianity, but instead with suggestions for how to deal with it for people who want to continue to be Christians.

But even the Roman Catholic church is a sissyfied version of what it once was.

Oh dear indeed, ain't that true!

PRCalDude said...

but instead with suggestions for how to deal with it for people who want to continue to be Christians.You and I spoke of Christian liberalism about a week ago. I just saw this post containing words of the founder of the offshoot conservative church that left the PCUSA. It addresses much of what we discussed. The same man (Machen), also wrote "Christianity and Liberalism," which is well worth a read.

Anyways, there are only about 250,000 people in North America that hold to a historic, confessional Protestant orthodoxy. These are spread mostly between the PCA, OPC (started by Machen), and URCNA denominations. We are truly a pilgrim people at this point. Fortunately, God is in control. To paraphrase Machen, if the survival of Christianity depended on man, it would fail. Happily, it doesn't. Efforts to bring such churches to Europe are also underway. Who knows if they will succeed?

I agree with your point about conservatives. But things will get bad enough to set those differences aside, I suspect.

Natalie said...

Conservative Swede, it's good that you're blogging again (though the circumstances that led to it are kind of sad, in my opinion). I really want to see some stuff from you about Russia because you have such an interesting viewpoint that is not very well-represented in the West.

Conservative Swede said...

Natalie,

Of course the circumstances are kind of sad. But not at all as sad, and heartbreaking, as my departures from Faithfreedom International and View from the Right. I used to see GoV as my home. Now I have finally learned not to see it in that way. Sad or not, it's the proper conclusion. But unlike the other cases there are no burning of bridges here.

My blog should be my home. It's too hard to write in a place where so many people have become hostile against my views, even if it's a place where I also find the bulk of the people understanding my views. My ideas get lost if it every second time ends up in different sorts of quarrels. Also I should write longer coherent pieces, rather than snippet comments, to make my views comprehensible. What I'm saying needs a lot of background.

I should have realized this long ago, but GoV was simply in many ways too good to leave, so in practice I needed to turn around about that to "get it". The comment section of Brussels Journal I left already two years ago, because of the same sort of hostility against my ideas. It's a quality stamp for GoV that it remained civilized for so much longer.

I'm aware of how my views are highly annoying to a large number of people. And this puts pressure, through email complaints and so on, on any moderator to "deal with me". It was like that already at FFI. One reason why I have blogged little is since I always preferred dialog, so I looked or other "homes", forums for dialog. But if that doesn't work at GoV, it will work nowhere. Baron Bodissey has gone further than anyone in trying to create a good atmosphere for open debate. But external events, the pivotal world events of the autumn 2008, has changed the picture even at GoV. So we could say that GoV helped me realized that there is no place for me. If GoV is not possible, nothing will be.

Many times during the past seven years I have felt disappointment and despair. I have often felt lonely and didn't know where to turn. What has happened now finally is that I have accepted that I'm lonely and feel good about it, and the search is over. GoV is still a very good place, which I will recommend to people. But it's no longer for me, at least not like before. I should stick to my blog and I think everybody agrees that this is for the best.

And yes, I will write about Russia. I have one or two draft articles already since the autumn in store. Just give me some time.

Conservative Swede said...

PRCalDude,

Fortunately, God is in control. To paraphrase Machen, if the survival of Christianity depended on man, it would fail. Happily, it doesn't.

This is exactly the way of thinking that we need. But imagine this attitude, but based on our own ethnic gods, and how much stronger it would be! Instead of basing it on a universalist god, that can be stolen and co-opted by anyone, and for which there is no good defence. A foreign god that denies our cosmological importance as a people, and which even holds the seed for multiculturalism.

Any Christian that makes the equation go together I support. But we should bear in mind that it's our people that we want to survive, not our religion. The religion is secondary. The Catholic Church is a good example. It's no longer a European affair but a third world NGO. So it makes more sense with a religion that holds the idea of the survival of our people, and its cosmological importance, at its core. Not a religion that can easily be used for the opposite.

I agree with your point about conservatives. But things will get bad enough to set those differences aside, I suspect.

The way I see it, there are two sides of this:

On one hand, when the global civil war or some sort, is over us, we will stick together in the fighting of obvious enemies.

On the other hand, the main dividing line among conservatives is whether they want to defend the current world order or want it overthrown (the former ones being in vast majority). This difference will never be set aside. But once we have reached the global civil war, the side defending the current world order will start breaking down, since their world order has broken down. And they will gradually disappear.

CharlieB said...

Greetings Swede and PRCal. This is my first post here (I'd discovered this blog back in Jan. but it seemed to have headed south, så att säga, shortly thereafter). Fortunately I thought your blog just might have something about the recent gang clashes in Köpenhamn that was mentioned in Atlas Shrugs and Behold! you're B-a-a-ck! And not a day too early I might add. Please feel free to skriv gärna på Svenska, men för min del svarar jag helst in English.
And now here's PRCal weighing in from what looks like a Reform point of view? Possibly even conservative Presbyterian?? Too cool for words, really. I've come to a deep appreciation for the reform concept of Grace via 1st. -a charismatic fellowship 35 yrs. ago in Austin, TX; 2nd.- two Episcopal congregations, where I started becoming politicised (tack vara Carter's folly) 3rd.- Baptistic congregations for 16 yrs. 4th.- a small Messianic sort-of-synagogue to finally a PCA church where my education in Reform theology really began. All these wanderings through various expressions of the Christian faith has brought me to an unshakeable conviction that the reality evident to us now is basically a dim reflection in a dirty mirror, to paraphrase Paul.
I think we're all seeing the same continental divide but are using different sets of lables to describe it. The main thing is that the division is deep, real and profoundly irreconcilable.
I also believe we're all (here) on the same side.

Afonso Henriques said...

OMG!

Conservative Swede, it's well articulated, truth abounds, well, that's what we would all expect from you.

But. Wait. You and Baron are friends? Do you drink beers together ever once in a while? That's strange.
Anyway, who cares... I'd love to have a friend with whom I could talk about and develop issues like those.

You see, Conservative Swede, I only saw this article now, and I have to say that I entirely share your views (damn, I try to be original but you're always arriving first there).
You see, Gates of Vienna was a joy of a blog. I remember the first comment I made there. I also remember how well recieved I was. I remember the long weeks and months I did not sent comments but when I'd read all the articles and comments in the blog I could. I would never made a comment because I truly felt that it was a blog to good to touch, that maybe I should learn from the people there and never interact because me, speaking to them would lower the "vallue" and environment of the blog.
It was truly a gentlemen's club. And I am not sure I am, or ever will be, a gentlemen.
I also happen to remember exactly how I started to post comments regularly. How I started to agree with you much of the time. How I started to learn a lot from you, Baron and the many others. And how you would annoy me a lot once in a while, being that rude as Baron says.
I also noticed, and remember well, how my comments started and continued to gain in quantity and to lose much in quality. That makes me somewhat sad. I was not that much of a gentleman after all, and I also believe my comments payed a good part in the decadence of Gates of Vienna. You called it "lack of discipline", I now call it "lack of quality" :-)

But really, after all, Gates of Vienna was that joy where one would learn a lot, discuss and go to sleep with a better grasp of great things.
It was the blog that made me, at eighteen years old, a high school boy who did not want to work at school and had (way) less than spetacular grades, that blog made me know a guy ten-fifteen years older than me who thought that I (I!!) was a professor in a campus.

Now I'm almost twenty and have to struggle to maintain some friends who departed to college while I stood at high school... Not that I am that stupid, but I do lack the motivation. No car, no money no nothing... Me... a professor in a campus... That was my alter ego and explains well how precious Gates of Vienna was.

It's a pitty it is not that anymore. It really is.
I pitty it already like I pitty the times when I'd jump from the window to play football with my friends on the middle of the street and brake one window or two accidentally.

I just felt saying this. Man, it's very rare for me to feel this... "Southern Passion".

In a way, I can see me in five years sitting regularly in a bar or coffe shop, where the young stars of Portuguese XIX century literature used to aglomerate, alone by myself, smoking cigars and drinking Absinthe, while seeing the preety girls climbing up and down the streets of Chiado in Central Lisbon and the world falling into chaos.

Conservative Swede said...

Afonso,

Well, I had several beers with Baron Bodissey last weekend in Copenhagen, actually. It's just the comments section I'm staying away from. You are right about how precious GoV is. But unfortunately it is no longer possible in practice to discuss Russia, Germany and NATO there. Also Christianity has become too difficult to discuss. So I see GoV comments as a phase I have left behind me. I will move these discussions to this here blog.

The hostility and the bullying that has taken over in the GoV comments when it comes to certain issue, does not only make it an unpleasant experience, it makes serious debate impossible. Since I stopped commenting frequently after new year, no one else dared to keep these discussions up. It's the age old rule by fear. By creating an atmosphere of hostility, this group of commenters has managed to silence dissenting voices. People do not want to become the object of bullying. I thought for some time that I had a responsibility to keep it up, since it all depended on me. But I can see now that it was all a waste of time. If the moderators are not interested in stopping the hostility and the bullying, there's no way that forum can be used for serious debate on these issues.

Afonso Henriques said...

"The Catholic Church is a good example. It's no longer a European affair but a third world NGO."

Yeah!!! Really, I feel the same but I had no way to say this. Now I can say that the Catholic Church abdicated of being one of the main factors of European Civilisation to become just a NGO in defense of the Third World.
Indeed. Thank's a lot. True a lot.

You're right. And, I am remaking my thinking of NATO since the admission of Albania. Turkey entered NATO during the logistics of the Cold War. Albania did when the Cold War was long over.
I got very disapointed.
As I think I've mentioned earlier I'd prefer Argentina, Uruguay or Australia... or even Brazil and Chile in NATO than Albania and NATO-only-to-poke-Russia Georgia and Ukraine. (I continue wanting to see Ukraine out of the map, really. Or at least, a substantial part of it.)

Interesting as well will be when the Baltic States are relatively rich and are composed ~50% of Russians and, simultaneously, NATO members. Nato is becoming more and more ridiculous and it is becoming more and more America's private force. I think they don't invite Mexico in just because Americans don't actually like Indians or something. But really, under the current criteria, why should not Mexico join NATO?

Conservative Swede said...

Afonso,

Read my posts about Catholicism here:

Catholicism—Vatican II embracing Islam.
Catholicism—the open borders lobby.
Catholicism—birth control and birth rates (part I)....
Catholicism—birth control and birth rates (part II....
Catholicism—anecdotal conservatism.

I'll write about NATO in the near future.

Conservative Swede said...

Afonso,

And how you would annoy me a lot once in a while, being that rude as Baron says.

It's rather funny you should say so.

I was thinking of letting go of the Robohobo case study part 2 after the Copenhagen meeting. But maybe I should spend my time on it anyway. Faulty perceptions stick with people (especially when their ego is involved). But it's easily proven wrong.