As the liberal media is pushed onto the defensive, its talking heads get more and more desperate to prop up their illusions. They are like magicians whose tricks are exposed, or ventriloquists who can no longer keep their mouths shut. It is easy to see them merely as cynical liars. They are certainly not interested in objective facts. But is there something deeper going on here? Something worse than garden variety political dishonesty?
Since at least the beginning of the Obama administration, both politicians and what pass for journalists have been using the word “narrative” more commonly -- and with less reservation. “We have to get the narrative right” or “terrorism is a problem of competing narratives.” Similarly, progressives seem to have acquired an unshakeable faith in sending diplomats to simply talk to our enemies -- like Iran or North Korea -- as though they could be persuaded by pure eloquence to give up on their national agendas. Obama himself began his presidency with the odd notion that he could control the world with a series of speeches -- not speeches announcing particular policies, but speeches constructed entirely of grand dreams and virtue-signaling tropes. Not to be ignored is the left’s confidence in flinging the word “racist” like a voodoo curse. To be fair, the tactic of shaming their opponents has worked well for them for decades -- withering weak Republicans in place like Christ’s fig tree. We drown in the perennial mantras of “diversity,” “social justice,” and “white privilege” -- vague ideas that are moldable enough to suit whatever magic incantation the circumstance requires. All of it nonsense. All of it just so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Progressives love their words. Educated elocution is the public emblem of their self-declared superiority. They sneered at Bush with his Texas drawl, and they despise Donald Trump who -- let me tell ya people -- is never going to speak like JFK. But at some point, the left’s longstanding literary fixation became something more than a badge of identity. It quietly crossed over the line from affectation into the territory of full-blown delusion. The progressive mind has come to believe that reality itself is merely the invention of words. Leftist academics have long been fond of saying -- (fill-in-the-blank) “is a social construct.” What is a “social construct” other than an edifice of words? The left believes that words have direct, causal powers of their own. In a sense they are right -- and we agree. Consider the words of the apostle John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The problem for today’s Progressives is that only God is God. Politicians, pundits, and opinion makers are not. Lies are not the Logos. The elastic and malleable narratives of the left are only powerful enough to fool the minds of human beings -- they lack the power to make falsehoods into facts or work miracles on matter. Detroit is still a ghetto transitioning slowly into scrub forest -- no matter what narrative one invents to describe it. Subtitling the Koran “the religion of peace” does nothing to alter the violent conquest ideology outlined on its pages. Gender is not determined by one’s choice of pronouns. Conservatives know these things; postmodern relativists apparently do not. A generation of Americans has lost the capacity to know anything. When truth is invented and reinvented on-the-fly, the very notion of truth is destroyed. Language not only loses what power it does have -- it becomes psychotic gibberish. Perhaps eloquent psychotic gibberish. A predictable discourse of group howls.
Human beings have always been adept inventors of mythology -- at persuading others, then being seduced by our own persuasive powers. Such is the usual grotesque offspring of human pride and human language. It has never been very difficult to persuade people to worship their own desires. There is nothing particularly contemporary about today’s left except the technological means by which it spreads its narcissistic ideology around the globe. Far from progress, the trajectory of progressives toward indolence, malice, violence, and unrestrained sexuality is as old as society. It is just paganism with cell phones added. Under the mantle of “social justice” it champions the overpowering interests of the eternal “me.” In the name of “tolerance” it burns and brutalizes everything that was accomplished by our ancestors -- everything, in short, that made Western civilization a historical success. In the name of “privacy” it butchers even its own children. Should we be surprised, having turned the bulk of Western churches into mere community centers for the morally indifferent, that we have brought Moloch back in practice if not quite yet in name?
Man has never been able to figure out on his own what course is truly good for him. All we are seeing now is his latest and most preposterous attempt.
Two weeks after Italy reacted with anger to Austria's deployment of troops and armored vehicles to the border between the two nations, while reactivating border controls at the Brenner Pass over concerns that Italy will be unable to handle the roughly 85,000 migrants and refugees who have entered the country so far in 2017, the Italian government has threatened to retaliate in way that assures an imminent migrant crisis as well as an escalation of tensions between the two EU nations.
According to The Times, an Italian minister and a senator have threatened to issue temporary EU visas to thousands of migrants in an effort to "resolve" Italy's escalating migrant and refugee crisis, which would then allow the refugees to travel north. The move, which has been described as a 'nuclear option,' would allow the nearly 200,000 migrants currently stranded in Italy, to travel across Europe using a Brussels directive loophole.
Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister, is livid that the rest of Europe has refused to take its fair share of migrants and that they have closed ports to rescue ships as the number of refugees attempting the treacherous crossing from Libya to the Continent has surged.
Italy previously called on its EU neighbors to help with the escalating humanitarian crisis but it has been disappointed by their complete lack of action. The face off prompted former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to shock the European liberal establishment, when last Friday he released excerpts from a new book in which he said that "we need to free ourselves from a sense of guilt. We do not have the moral duty to welcome into Italy people who are worse off than ourselves" adding that "we need to escape from our 'do gooder' mentality."
Renzi also warned last Friday that Rome would look to curb funding to EU nations that had refused to offer help. "They are shutting their doors. We will block their funds," he said, sounding suspiciously like Turkey's Erdogan who has so far prevented a new refugee crisis in Europe by gating some 2 million migrants inside Turkey's borders.
One week later, not even Renzi's dramatic reversal has prompted a reaction from the EU, leaving Italy in the same place as before, which as a reminder is that due to its geographic location, Italy has been one of the first entry points for people fleeing from the south to reach Europe. More than 86,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy already this year, leaving the nation scrambling - and struggling - to cope with the huge increase of people fleeing north Africa.
Italy's deputy foreign minister, and Luigi Manconi, a senator with the ruling Democratic Party, told The Times that issuing migrants with temporary visas was under discussion. Giro believes that Italy can exploit European Council Directive 2001/55, developed after the Balkans conflict to give temporary European entry permits to a large number of displaced people.
Needless to say, if Italy pursues this course of action, and ultimately activates the "nuclear option", support for the Schengen scheme, which allows all EU citizens to travel freely across the Continent, may be in jeopardy. Worse, since for most of the migrants the final destination will be Germany, it may rekindle the same migrant crisis which at the end of 2015 saw Angela Merkel's approval rating plummet as her countrymen slammed her "Open Door" (since shut) policy.
The move will also drastically escalate tensions with not only Austria, but neighboring Frace, which have used dogs and the threat of armoured vehicles to push back migrants who try to enter through Italy's northern border. France 24 reports that perhaps in anticipation of such a move, vast white tents erected in a former military zone on the outskirts of the tiny village of Conetta, house some 1,400 men from across Africa, packed onto endless rows of bunks.
"I used to call this place a modern lager," Cona mayor Albero Panfilio told AFP, referring to concentration camps. The commune of Cona includes the little village of Conetta. "After two years this is (still) a place where human beings are squashed in together, with no hope for the future."
"Now I call it a human warehouse. The migrants arrive, they don't know where to put them, they have a warehouse, they dump them here." He added that the asylum seekers were treated "like garbage."
Meanwhile, 10 kilometers away, in Bagnoli di Sopra, 700 migrants are crowded into another former military base surrounded by barbed wire fences with no access to journalists.
Finally, a question emerges: with Europe helpless to prevent Italy from pursuing this path should Rome choose to do so, will Brussels activate its own "nuclear response" in retaliation. Recall that in 2011, a "united Europe" and the ECB removed then-PM Sylvio Berlusconi almost overnight when the former premier threatened to exit the Eurozone, by sending yields on Italian bonds soaring above 10%. While this time Italy's economy is (relatively) sound, should Rome proceed to dump 200,000 unwanted migrants in Europe's lap, the one certain response would be a financial one, with Mario Draghi sending a very clear message if not to his native country, then certainly the current government, which will immediately be blacklisted by Europe, with any and all measures taken to remove it.
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