In this section (c. pages 426-573), Breivik discusses “Modern Jihad”, or how adherents of the Islamic religion fight for supremacy in the modern world. Opening with a quote of Surah 9 verse 5, in which Muslims are admonished to “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them”, this section details the existing Jihads carried out by Muslims against non-Muslims.
In his characteristic way, Breivik exhaustively catalogues the crimes committed by Muslims against non-Muslims. No offence, not even ones as prosaic as common assault, is too minor to be listed here. This is enough to give the impression that Islam is at war with every other culture that it shares a border with.
To some extent, Breivik has a point here. There are very few peaceful borders between Muslim-controlled areas and non-Muslim controlled ones, and prospects for there being more are very slim.
However, one glaring point is missed: if Islam is so ruthlessly aggressive when it comes to purging non-Muslims from Muslim lands, why are there still non-Muslims there? Nazi Germany managed to exterminate the vast bulk of European Jewry in fewer than six years of trying – how can it be that non-Muslim communities still exist in Muslim lands after what we are told has been 1,300 years of relentless extirpation?
Breivik mentions that one-sixth of the population of Egypt are Christians still. This seems like an extraordinarily high proportion for a group that has suffered 1,300 years of ethnic cleansing. The Native American population of the USA, the Aboriginal population of Australia and the Maori population of New Zealand are all much lower than this – and they were displaced over 400 years or less, meaning that the Christian exterminations of unwanted populations has been an order of magnitude more efficient and aggressive than those carried out by Muslims.
Moreover, the exhaustive list of Muslim crimes against non-Muslims is not compared to the list of non-Muslim crimes against non-Muslims, so there is no reference point against which to decide whether this list has any import. 800 Americans are shot dead by other Americans every single month – a monthly list of crimes much longer than the Muslim crimes detailed by Breivik in this document. And this is with a population one-fifth of the size of the Muslim world.
To some extent, Breivik is playing on the infamous persecution mania of Christians who see enemies everywhere and a never-ending infernal plot to drive them from the world in order to conquer it in the name of Satan. Ironically, although Breivik correctly points out that Muslims always try to cast themselves as the victims in order to gain sympathy, he does the exact same thing in this document.
There are many ways in which Breivik’s discontent with the current European situation is a consequence of the failure of European leaders. He correctly points out that part of the reason why Europeans are losing rights to increased security measures is because of the Islamic presence in Europe – had Europe never let the Muslims in, they never would have lost the freedoms that have been taken from them in the fight against extremism.
What needs to be done in response is clear. According to Breivik the terms of victory are “the total banishment of traditional Islam from a specific country. Widespread emigration/deportation and large scale conversion of Muslims in the country.”
This is necessary because “An objective analysis can never reach the conclusion that Islam is peaceful, tolerant and consistent with human rights.” Here, Breivik re-emphasises the point that Islam has never undergone a reformation of any kind. What Westerners foolishly call “moderate Muslims” are simply Muslims who are not particularly religious.
This section ends with a frightening question: “How was it possible that Immanuel Kant, who lived in a German state without liberal democracy, could criticise basic aspects of religion in the 18th century, while in the West of the 21st century there are social and legal consequences for criticising other religions and cultures?”
Have we really gone backwards since the Enlightenment?
The basic principle of the New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party is that religious superstition in the form of Puritanism is, and always has been, the single biggest threat to the happiness and well-being of individual Kiwis. Puritanism is a hangover from centuries past that New Zealand, on account of our geographical isolation and cultural anemia, has been unable to overcome. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party intends to reverse ALL religious and superstition-based restrictions on free conduct.
This sixteen-point plan establishes how, if elected to Parliament, the New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would act to restore freedom and dignity to Kiwis who face the humiliation of having 17th-century religious dogma forced upon them.
1. The Parliamentary Prayer to be abolished.
There is no reason why the representatives of a supposedly free people at the bottom of the South Pacific should have to pray to a Middle-Eastern God before they go to work. Worship of the God of Abraham belongs in the Middle East, not Polynesia. It has nothing to do with us here and we should not be supporting a foreign religious tradition. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would abolish the Parliamentary Prayer and replace it with a karakia based on the spiritual traditions that developed here in Aotearoa.
2. Male infant genital mutilation to be made illegal.
There is absolutely no justification for innocent children to be mutilated shortly after birth because of some barbaric superstition. Male infant genital mutilation is a practice that has no place in New Zealand, and New Zealand children should be protected and kept safe from it. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would make the act of male infant genital mutilation punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, both for the “doctor” who carried out the mutilation and for the parents who procured it.
3. Forcing fundamentalist religion on children to be considered child abuse.
There is clear evidence that threatening small children with the threat of eternal punishment in hell for disobedience has a massively deleterious effect on their mental health as adults. New Zealand has recently made the physical abuse of children illegal over the objections of Puritans – the New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would also make the psychological abuse of children illegal when this occurs in a religious context. It will become illegal to bring children to certain churches if the rhetoric of those churches is deemed to be abusive in nature.
4. The price of cigarettes to drop to less than $10/pack, legal age to buy tobacco dropped back to 16.
Tobacco has for centuries been one of the best psychiatric medicines for the alleviation of stress, anxiety and depression. The idea of a “Smokefree New Zealand” is more Puritanical bullshit that takes the freedom to self-medicate away from ordinary Kiwis. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would slash tobacco taxes so that it was once again easy for ordinary New Zealanders to use tobacco to alleviate psychological discomfort, and would drop the legal age to buy tobacco back down to 16.
5. Legal age to buy alcohol dropped to 16 for beer and wine in pubs, kept at 18 for hard liquor.
In several countries in Europe it is possible to buy beer and wine in a pub at the age of 16. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party believes that all the strictures and laws surrounding alcohol in New Zealand is responsible for making the substance appear to be a forbidden fruit, and that this perception is chiefly responsible for the binge drinking culture we have here. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would make it legal for 16-year olds to buy beer and wine if it was to be consumed in a supervised setting such as a licensed establishment.
6. Alcohol taxes to be slashed.
The Puritanical belief that making alcohol hard to afford leads to more responsible use has completely backfired. Even the most superficial analysis of the European experience demonstrates that making alcohol expensive leads to binge drinking because people are unable to attenuate themselves to regular responsible use of the drug. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would slash excise duty on alcohol so that it became cheap enough for ordinary Kiwis to have a few drinks with their weekday dinners, instead of saving up to get wasted on the weekends.
7. Cannabis to be made legal and sold like tobacco, but with a legal age of 18.
There is absolutely no justification for putting good Kiwi people in prison because they sell or grow a substance widely recognised in non-Puritanical jurisdictions to have great medicinal value. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would immediately legalise cannabis along the lines of the immensely successful Colorado model, but would allow for it to be sold alongside tobacco at dairies and petrol stations. A legal age of 18 would be established for purchasing the substance for the reason that cannabis, like alcohol, is a harder drug than tobacco.
8. Immigration from fundamentalist religious countries to be slashed.
If New Zealand is to keep itself free from the strictures of Puritanical religion, it is essential that the population of New Zealand be kept safe from Puritans moving here and forcing their demented morals on us. When immigrants come to New Zealand they bring with them cultural values that have the potential to lower the standard of living for the locals. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would slash immigration from all countries that are deeply religious, in particular all Middle-Eastern countries.
9. Churches to no longer be considered charities.
The promulgation of Abrahamic religion is not charitable. Brainwashing people into hating gays, hating women, hating drug users and hating atheists is not a charitable enterprise and sharply lowers the standard of living of New Zealanders, as well as creating mistrust and disunity among the people. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would strip tax-free status from all religious enterprises, thereby forcing them to compete on equal terms with secular ones.
10. Abortion to be made fully legal.
The Puritanical belief that women must be forced to carry to term a child that is not wanted and will have a terrible start to its life has caused immense suffering everywhere abortion is illegal. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would remove the barriers to abortion that currently keep women under the Puritan thumb.
11. Euthanasia to be made fully legal.
The Puritanical belief that terminally ill people must be kept alive and suffering as long as possible is simply obscene. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would take steps to ensure that people who have undeniably come to the end of their natural lives are able to die with dignity and without unnecessary misery and suffering.
12. Blasphemy laws to be abolished.
There is no place in a secular democracy for freedom of speech to be restricted just because it hurts the feelings of superstitious control freaks. The concept of blasphemy is a medieval idea that has no place in New Zealand. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would enshrine in law the right of every Kiwi to make any religious or spiritual statement they like, no matter how offensive this may be considered by Puritan fundamentalists.
13. Access to fireworks to be reliberalised.
The great joy that kids and adults of all ages once got from home fireworks displays on Guy Fawkes Night should never have been taken away from the New Zealand people. Fireworks were only banned because of Puritanical moral panic; the New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would bring back the same rights that free Kiwis used to have to buy and use fireworks leading up to Guy Fawkes Night.
14. Pornography to be liberalised.
The Puritanical obsession with sex has led to a number of anti-pornography laws that not only have no place in New Zealand but which are impossible to enforce in the Internet age. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would make it legal to depict in film or images any sexual act that takes place between consenting adults.
15. All other drugs to be made legal with attention given to real-life consequences.
Puritanism hasn’t merely taken away our rights to enjoy cannabis, alcohol and tobacco as we see fit, but also every other drug is now illegal as well. As for cannabis, there is simply no justification for putting good Kiwi people in prison because of their use of a drug. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would make every drug legal, with the exception of cases when the sale of a particular drug had a direct and clear negative effect on the health of individuals. This effect must be demonstrated through evidence – moral panic would not by itself be sufficient.
16. Eleusinian Mysteries to be reinstated and to occur at the start of every winter.
The Eleusinian Mysteries, in which participants would partake in a yearly ceremony that liberated them from the illusions of the material world and the brainwashing of culture, must be reinstated. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party would make institute a ceremony akin to the Eleusinian Mysteries in every city and town in the nation. It was such a ceremony that led to the Golden Age of Ancient Greece and there is no reason why the reinstatement of such a ceremony would not have similar benefits for New Zealand.
The Aotearoan Mysteries would take place about six weeks after the first winter frosts, which would give the priests enough time to collect the psilocybin mushrooms that are necessary to produce the kykeon. This would be drunk by the participants before they sit and watch a theatrical play that initiated them into the mysteries of life and death. Any adult who speaks English would be allowed to participate.
Full implementation of this 16-point plan would liberate New Zealand and the Kiwi people from the chains of silver and gold that Puritanical culture has enslaved us with. The New Zealand Anti-Puritan Party will thereby sharply increase the standard of living of everyday Kiwis and return to them their birthright of freedom and liberty.
The 1920s were a tumultuous time in the Western World. Rebuilding from the carnage of World War One, Westerners – especially Europeans – found themselves unable to decide on a peaceful way forward, and this absence of agreement expressed itself violently in the streets. This essay examines whether or not we’re looking at a repeat.
The German defeat in World War One saw a revolution that swept away the monarchy of Wilhelm II, replacing it with a fragile democracy known as the Weimar Republic. The well-founded fear of those who wanted peace in Central Europe was of a civil war between the socialist forces that had inspired the revolution and the reactionary conservatives representing those who held power and wealth under the Second Reich.
Communist agitation, inspired by the Russian Revolution of 1917, was eventually put down by an alliance between the ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany and right-wing paramilitaries known as the Freikorps, and peace finally reigned.
But it wasn’t to last.
The severe economic problems of the 1920s, coupled with a sense of humiliation at the restrictions imposed on Germany by the victorious Allies, alongside continued communist agitation and growing nationalist sentiment, meant that chaos would soon usurp the shaky peace.
The far left didn’t like the Weimar Republic because they considered it to be holding back a communist revolution, and the far right didn’t like it because they preferred the authoritarianism that existed under the previous monarchy.
This state of affairs is very similar to what faces the West today.
Communist agitators have made a significant impact on Western society in recent years. They have successfully destroyed belief in tradition, resulting in plummeting birthrates, mass immigration that has changed the make-up of Western nations forever, and widespread and righteous anti-white racism.
Nationalist agitators have also made significant strides recently, most notably with the election of Donald Trump to the American Presidency. Many Trump supporters are shameless authoritarians, and much of the appeal of this authoritarianism lies in the belief that they are protecting the West from degeneracy.
The surge in both groups of extremists has led to increasing levels of street violence in America, most notably at the ‘Battle of Berkeley’ and then last weekend in Charlottesville. A sense of unfinished business lingers over both of these incidents, and after a fatal terrorist attack in Charlottesville the desire for revenge is a factor predicting further bloodshed.
What is the most foreboding is that Antifa is growing in strength because of rhetoric about the need to resist Nazism, and the far-right is growing in strength because of rhetoric about the need to resist Communism.
The echoes of the 1920s come from the fact that both sides are correct in their basic fears of the other side. Both sides are growing in strength because of sharply increasing dissatisfaction with the idea of liberal democracy, in a very similar way to how increasing dissatisfaction with the Weimar Republic led to widespread street violence.
The left opposes liberal democracy because it wants to shut down free speech and free expression. The Communists believe that they need to control the narrative in order to bring about revolution, and this demands that even scientists like Richard Dawkins be denied the right to speak at a university.
The right opposes liberal democracy because it wants to shut down the free movement of people. The Nazis believe that the West is sinking into chaos, anarchy and degeneracy, and only by rallying around authoritarian figures can a sufficient degree of order be imposed upon society.
Both of these sides, therefore, have grounds to eschew dialogue and democracy in favour of raw assertions of power in the streets.
Also foreboding is the belief, shared by many commentators, that the economic hardships of the Weimar Era laid the foundations for massive German discontent with the idea of democracy, which paved the way for extremists like Adolf Hitler.
The West has not really recovered from the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Employment prospects are poor all across the West, with the dream of owing your own home now out of reach for most young Westerners, and working-class resentment at the amount of money spent on refugees risks growing into further discontent.
Perhaps all of this is building towards another climactic struggle.
Several opinion pieces have appeared in the mainstream media in recent days exhorting Kiwis to vote in next month’s election. With choice phrases like “not voting won’t solve anything”, “the 2014 result was determined by the people who turned up” and “Voting builds our political power”, all mainstream propaganda organs are doing their best to get you to consent to the status quo.
Because that is all that voting is – you giving your consent for things to carry on pretty much exactly as they already are. The political class will interpret the fact that you voted as a sign that you are content with the overall system – and therefore as a sign that nothing need be changed.
And so, your vote has a zero percent chance of changing anything. You might as well dance naked in a thunderstorm praying for the lightning gods to strike down the enemies of the nation.
How the country will be run for the next three years has already been decided by the mutual agreement of the sort of person who politicians really do listen to – rich old people, who have got together long ago with those politicians and hashed out the precise details of how things are going to be, whether the masses like it or not.
If you’re not a wealthy Baby Boomer, the politicians couldn’t give a fuck what you think. But they do want your consent for what they’re going to do to you.
If they don’t have that then they run the risk of provoking the rise of some kind of revolutionary movement that might actually make a difference to how society is run. Such as: a movement that campaigned on an expensive universal basic income, or on an equally expensive capital gains tax, or on an immigration policy that reflected the will of all Kiwis instead of just multiple property owners and those looking for cheap labour.
And this is the reason why there is all the propaganda right now to get people to vote. Voting in a democratic system is the same as you giving your consent to how the country is governed – and to the people who own both sides of the political system, the consent of the population they’re exploiting is the only thing left that they don’t already have.
If you do vote, then politicians of both the left and right wings of the ruling party tend to naturally assume that you’re more or less happy with the direction of things.
Knowing in advance that the winner of the election is going to ignore your will in favour of those who have money, your only means of protest is to not vote at all. Past a certain level of disenfranchisement, the only action one can take to affect the system is to not vote. A refusal to vote is the only way your voice can really be heard.
If the turnout rate in next month’s General Election was less than 50%, the measured degree of public discontent would be too great to just shrug off, it would then become possible for some hard questions to be asked about the direction the country was going. The mainstream media would be forced to ask whether or not the political system was really a democracy or just an oligarchy masquerading as one.
The higher it is, the more likely it becomes that political discourse is replaced with photos of spaghetti on pizzas, videos of dropping in to London for a sister’s wedding, and witch-hunts against outsider candidates.
You can help force New Zealand politicians to take the will of New Zealanders seriously by withholding your vote this September 23rd.
Every age has its evil. The last century gave us Nazism and Communism, the century before that gave us colonial genocides, the centuries before that gave us horrific religious persecutions and mass murders. This essay looks at the totalitarianism of the early 21st century: SJW culture.
Totalitarianism is defined by a striving to regulate every aspect of both public and private life wherever possible. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Benito Mussolini, one of history’s most infamous totalitarians, declared that even the spiritual life of the citizenry is to be controlled to the finest detail.
According to Hannah Arendt, the appeal of totalitarianism lies in its ideology, which, like religions, provide “a comforting, single answer to the mysteries of the past, present, and future.”
Theocracies achieve this with an ideology about the nature of God and the inevitable triumph of the followers of that God. Nazism achieved this with an ideology about race struggle and the inevitable triumph of the Aryan race, and Communism achieved this with an ideology about class struggle and the inevitable triumph of the proletariat.
The essential point that distinguishes these ideologies from free thought is that an ideology offers an easy, pre-packaged answer to any question that might arise. Because of this it is never necessary to actually think about anything, much less discuss anything with another person – all answers derive directly from reference to the ideology.
Much like a religious scripture does for a religious fanatic, an ideology forms the basis of reality for political fanatics. If a person has a powerful desire to remake the world in their image for political reasons, there will be an ideology at the bottom of it.
Social Justice Warrior culture is a form of Communism, in that it is explicitly horizontalist. Like all other horizontalist ideologies, anyone who distinguishes themselves, for any reason, is assumed to have done so by immoral means. The logic behind this lies in the ideological assumption that all are equal.
Because the belief in the equality of all people is fundamental to SJW culture, a natural corollary is that anyone who has achieved an outcome that elevates them above the masses must have necessarily done so by immoral means.
And so, the higher standard of living in the West, when compared to the Middle East and Africa, cannot be explained outside of the template of colonial oppression. All Western wealth is considered stolen; a crime that needs to be redressed by horizontalist action.
There is no room in Social Justice Warrior culture for anyone to put effort into bettering themselves – everything that betters a person is considered to be the result of unfair privilege. As this column has previously pointed out, this ideology is what Nietzsche would have called a slave morality, in that it is fundamentally based in resentment and a desire to rip everyone down to the lowest level.
Where this ideology really goes wrong – and where it is in danger of becoming a totalitarianism akin to Nazism and Communism – is its utter failure to accept that certain mentalities and cultures create poverty among their victims of their own accord.
And so, the sorry state of the Middle East cannot be explained by the legendary unwillingness of Middle Easterners to live in peace, and neither can it be explained by the extremely high rates of religious fundamentalism, nor the appalling human rights record of their rulers, nor the cultural indifference to education and free thought, nor the widespread practice of infant genital mutilation.
It’s all the fault of colonialism, or America bombing them.
Likewise, the near-infinite hatred that some disadvantaged groups have for other disadvantaged groups is all blamed on influence from the West. The utter contempt that Muslims have for homosexuals cannot be blamed on Muslims themselves, because to do so would be to imply that a disadvantaged group can be less moral than an advantaged one – and this is in direct opposition to SJW ideology.
All of this would be just another half-arsed theory were it not for the demonstrated ability and willingness of this ideology to destroy the lives of anyone who opposes it. The most striking recent example was the sacking of a Google employee for questioning the social engineering practices of his company. James Demore wrote a manifesto that made the assumption that biology trumps SJW ideology, and this was decreed to be wrongthink punishable by the destruction of his career.
Believing that biology is real is a thoughtcrime when it is considered to advance “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace” – in other words, biology is what we tell you it is, and any disagreement is grounds for retaliation.
The firing of one engineer is not comparable to the historical crimes of 20th century totalitarian states, true, but this example shows how far SJWs will go to deny reality where it conflicts with their ideology, and this bodes poorly for a peaceful 21st century.
The simmering powderkeg is the tens of millions of Muslims who now live in the West, and who can never integrate. The mass resettlement of Muslims into the West was never carried out with the consent of Westerners, and it was never carried out with reference to any study that demonstrated improved social or economic outcomes for Westerners.
This social engineering was, and continues to be, forced on Westerners by people who have adopted SJW ideology. If it leads to a civil war in Europe, then this ideology will be justifiably ranked alongside Nazism and Communism as one of humanity’s greatest mistakes.
Why does the world’s most popular female porn star get paid orders of magnitude more than the world’s most popular male one? And why does the world’s most popular male athlete get paid orders of magnitude more than the world’s most popular female one? The current fashion is to attribute all manner of prejudice behind these two facts, but the reality is that it’s just a reflection of nature.
A bird looks awesome swooping through the air, but there’s nothing graceful about a waddling duck. A shark looks awesome sliding through the water, but on the floor of a boat a fish looks ridiculous. A cat looks awesome stalking some prey, but looks much less so when licking its own arse, as cats do.
There is a reason behind all of this. We humans appear to derive some aesthetic pleasure from observing parts of nature doing what they have developed to be the best at.
A bird is a creature of the air; naturally it looks best when in the air and not on the ground. A fish is a creature of the water; naturally it looks best when in the water and not on the ground.
Every creature looks the best in the environment that they have adapted the most to thrive in. This follows naturally from an appreciation of basic principles of biology.
And this is why the world’s highest paid porn star is, and always will be, a woman, and why the world’s highest paid sportsperson is, and always will be, a man: women are made to make love and men are made to make violence.
Both of those truths are highly unfashionable at the moment, because the zeitgeist is that all are equal in every single way. The trend at the moment is to insist on equality to the point of rejecting all evidence to the contrary (which even goes as far as some suggesting that the skill levels are equal in international men’s and women’s soccer, for example).
They are true nonetheless. Females were more than capable of reproducing asexually – the point of sexual reproduction is develop a subgroup within each species that is specially adapted to violence so that they can better protect those not adapted to it.
But because women are made to make love, the demand for watching them make love is (and always will be) much greater than it is for men. A woman is in her natural element when making love, and so looks better making love than fighting, and therefore people are much more willing to pay money for a chance to watch one do so.
And because men are made to make violence, the demand for watching them fight (and play sport, which is just ritualised violence) is and always will be much greater than it is for women. A man is in his natural element when fighting, etc.
Women’s sport can only catch on to the extent that it is a contest of skill, because that is essentially a contest of brainpower and men and women are not different there. So a sport such as cricket has a much greater chance of becoming a mainstream phenomenon than one such as soccer or rugby, much less boxing or MMA.
Even so it will never be as popular as the men’s version, because the demand (among both men and women) to watch men compete at sport will always be much greater. This will be true as long as men are better at fighting than women.
It’s now 33 years since Neuromancer was published – establishing the cyberpunk timeframe as near-future – and that’s as long as either Alexander the Great or Jesus had in this world. It’s long enough for this essay to look back from the vantage point of 2017 and see how cyberpunk Planet Earth ended up becoming in this timeline.
Where Neuromancer and Snow Crash were half right was in their prediction of a matrix within cyberspace that filled the human need for societal interaction. FaceBook and the other giants of social media certainly led the ordinary citizens of meatspace to spend a lot more time in cyberspace, but we are still limited to the bulletin board model.
Advancements in virtual reality technology have been limited, to a large part, by the need for extreme amounts of processing power. A VR setup must be capable of generating a sufficient rate of frames per second to avoid latency from the perspective of the user, because this leads to simulator sickness, which decreases the level of telepresence.
So nothing really like the eponymous all-encompassing virtual environment in The Matrix, or the metaverse, has yet arisen.
Where all of the cyberpunk classics got it right was in the widespread adoption of novel classes of synthetic drugs.
Humans have always loved to experiment with consciousness – use of magic mushrooms, cannabis and alcohol all predate the use of writing. So it was fairly predictable that new advances in chemistry would lead to new frontiers in the exploration of mental space.
Although most of the chemical enhancement in cyberpunk literature has been for the purposes of increasing martial aptitude, as in Lucifer’s Dragon, most of its use in consensual reality has been psychonautic. In other words, here on Earth people mostly use the new waves of drugs to get high – but that doesn’t make for very good fiction.
Blade Runner didn’t foresee much different in the way of human drug consumption, but it did anticipate how close artificial intelligence came to passing the Turing Test. Many people chat with bots on social media without even knowing it – especially in online poker rooms and on large politics pages.
Certainly this film, based on Philip D Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, accurately captured the uneasiness of being a human and dealing with something that appears entirely human but for subtle differences.
Where the classics tended to get it wrong was politically, especially the diminished role of territorial governments. There seemed to be a glib assumption, perhaps expressed in extremis in Snow Crash, that corporations and the influence of corporations would expand to the point where 20th century-style governments no longer held any power.
In reality, hard iron laws like “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” continue to hold true, and any government capable of raising sufficient taxation to raise an army or secret police will still be a force on the world stage.
In the world of soft power, Transmetropolitan correctly predicted that the political landscape would be as shallow and insane as ever. The absurdity of the various political candidates in Spider Jerusalem’s life are an eerily accurate foretelling of the rise of the Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton circus.
Corporations have started implanting microchips in their employees, which has been a staple of cyberpunk horror for a long time. My own The Verity Key, however, predicted a different path of adoption for microchips under the skin: I figured that people, especially the technophilic, would adopt it themselves for increased access to private space.
It remains to be seen if this will happen – the expense involved in reaching a sustainable critical mass might make private adoption of RFID networks unworkable.
Things didn’t really get as dark and dystopic as cyberpunk predicted. This was always the probable outcome for a literary genre that consciously adopted elements of horror from other genres and from film noir. Things really just became weird. Perhaps the most accurate of all – predicting the current obsession with transgenderism – was Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War.
If there are new avenues of cyberpunk still to be explored, it’s possible that they will feature characters who are unrepentant rebels with regard to questions of cognitive freedom, in particular characters pushed underground by new technologies that make intrusion into the mind possible.
That’s one way in which the brilliant anime series Psycho-Pass blazes a new path: from the harder, engineering and physics based sciences towards the biological ones. Much like The Verity Key, the Psycho-Pass series raises the question of what life will look like when neuropsychological technology advances to the point where the private thoughts of every individual have become a public matter.
The controllers of the mindreading technology in Psycho-Pass are public entities (or at least government ones), which makes for an oppressive totalitarian atmosphere, as opposed to the nihilistic anarchy of The Verity Key. Probably this timeline became more nihilistic than totalitarian, but who knows what might still happen?
With news that remote-controlled drones and tank-like war machines running off AI might soon become cheap enough for terrorists or rogue states to use every day against enemy targets, the most cyberpunk elements of human history, fictional or otherwise, may be still to come.
Vince McLeod is the author of cyberpunk novel The Verity Key and of the upcoming cyberpunk novel The Man With A Thousand Fathers, to be serialised here starting from the summer of 2018.
In this section (pages c. 90-200), Breivik details the history of relations between the West and Islam. In his analysis here, there is nothing peaceful – Islam has been attempting to conquer the West since its inception, and would have succeeded already if not repelled at either Tours or Vienna, or other places.
The destruction of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War One, Breivik claims, is how the West has earned some breathing space against this relentless assault. The Caliphate was shattered after the Battle of Megido in 1917, and only because of this has Islam been unable to attack Europe in recent decades.
With sentences such as “the Islamic sources make clear that engaging in violence against non-Muslims is a central and indispensable principle to Islam,” and “Those cultures and individuals who do not submit to Islamic governance exist in an ipso facto state of rebellion with Allah and must be forcibly brought into submission,” a particular kind of Nordic bleakness shines through in this document.
It’s a kind of bleakness that has resigned itself to violence as a grim but inevitable outcome of the play of natural forces. They are attacking us is Breivik’s message. They always have been attacking us and they always will be.
Perhaps the following paragraph summarises this section of the document best:
The spectacular acts of Islamic terrorism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are but the most recent manifestation of a global war of conquest that Islam has been waging since the days of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century AD and that continues apace today. This is the simple, glaring truth that is staring the world today in the face — and which has stared it in the face numerous times in the past — but which it seems few today are willing to contemplate.
In this section Breivik continues to emphasise the point that no reformation of Islam is possible, for the reason that would-be reformers are unable to refer to any scriptural injunctions towards peace with non-believers. The example set by Muhammad himself was an example of war and of violence, so anyone with a will to reform is snookered from the beginning.
Essentially, anyone trying to move Islam away from violence has to work against the scriptures. Therefore, Islam cannot be used as a civilising force in the same way that Christianity could; no-one could discover through serendipity a message of peace and tolerance in their study of the Koran.
From reading this section there are two elements of Breivik’s reasoning that seem objectionable.
The first is that, although the list of historical atrocities by Muslims and modern apologies for these atrocities by Muslims is long, there are over a billion Muslims and Islam stretches back to the seventh century. As an inevitable consequence of existing for that long on a planet as violent as Earth, a cherry-picked list of bad things committed by or in the name of a group that large and old is going to be lengthy.
There’s no doubt, for example, that one could compile a hundred pages of grossly supremacist and chauvinistic admonitions to violence from a number of nationalities, including the Spanish, the French, the Germans, the British, the Russians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Mongols, Huns, Persians and others, not to mention every other major Abrahamic sect.
Breivik may well have a point that most Westerners are not taught a deep general historical knowledge of Islam, but this only reveals a kind of autism on his part – after all, most people couldn’t care less about history full stop, let alone someone else’s.
The second obvious point of objection is that, although Breivik is correct in many ways when he criticises the unwillingness of Western historians, historical educators, or politicians to write or speak honestly about Islam, he doesn’t say much about an alternative.
If his contentions about the warlike nature of Muhammad and of Islam are accurate, and that they intend to subjugate the entire rest of the world, then there is a very good reason to not acknowledge this: doing so would be tantamount to an immediate declaration of war.
If Western leaders chose to go on television and say that the Prophet Muhammad was a pedophile and that the history of Islam was one of bloodshed, it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy in short order.
They appear to be gambling on the idea that, if left for long enough without provocation, Islam could reform itself. In this they stand in complete opposition to Breivik.
However, a wiser head might make the claim that if faced with an apocalyptic war today, just about any alternative is preferable, and therefore if there’s any doubt about the willingness of Islam to subjugate the world we should accommodate that doubt in our conversations with them.
Dear Jacinda – there isn’t the time to go into much detail, so I’ll be brief. If you want to win next month you will have to copy Justin Trudeau and how he won in Canada. If you want to copy Justin Trudeau you’ll have to demonstrate that you’re listening where the other politicians have not been – and that means that you ought to campaign on comprehensive cannabis law reform in New Zealand.
Trudeau campaigned on several major policy planks, but one of them was that cannabis prohibition was a demonstrated failure and the law prohibiting it needed repealing as soon as possible. This was not a shock to the Canadian electorate in 2016 because there had already been four years to observe the effects of legalisation in Colorado and in other places. It will not be a shock here either.
By now even the South African High Court has ruled that cannabis use is a human right, as they did earlier this year. It’s fair to say that if a Third World country like South Africa has an intellectual tradition deep enough to understand the need for cannabis law reform, then New Zealand ought to be able to claim the same.
So with this issue you could demonstrate a clear point of difference with not only Andrew Little, but also with Bill English and Winston Peters. You can also prevent the Greens and the Opportunities Party from outflanking you.
One of the reasons Little was not successful as Labour Leader was his refusal to listen to the people. Cannabis users, all 400,000 of us, tried to tell him that we were tired of being told that our issue wasn’t important and that we’d have to keep waiting. We’ve been waiting since 1996.
All we got was talk about how cannabis users would have to keep going to prison because cannabis causes brain damage, despite us providing ample evidence that prohibition caused far more harm than cannabis itself ever could.
What is sitting before you is the easiest open goal ever offered to a Labour Party leader. Kick it in!
Introducing cannabis law reform to an electorate where up to a third of them are directly criminalised by prohibition, and over two-thirds of them support a change to the current law, will be much easier than introducing civil unions was to an electorate where barely one in a hundred people were affected.
The cannabis issue is unique in that it cuts across a wide range of demographics. The correlation between being Maori and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014 was a whopping 0.89 – strong enough that it can fairly be said the vast majority of Maoris have an interest in cannabis law reform.
Considering that there is also a strong correlation between being Maori and not voting, it’s clear that there’s a large block of cannabis-friendly Maoris who have been, up until now, reluctant to vote at all. Although the primary reason for this is general disenfranchisement and not cannabis specifically, the refusal of our political class to listen to Kiwis on cannabis law reform is a major contributor to that disenfranchisement.
This column has previously argued that cannabis prohibition is itself a racist law because of its disproportionate effect on Maoris. It has long been noted that the major losers from cannabis prohibition are the same demographics that vote Labour, so why not give your constituency a break by legalising the recreational drug that most of them prefer to alcohol?
The correlation between voting Labour in 2014 and median age was -0.70, and with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014 and median age it was -0.55, so it’s apparent that there are broad overlaps between Labour voters, cannabis users, and the disenfranchised young and Maori who don’t see enough representation in the system for it to be worth voting.
Change Labour’s stance on the cannabis issue, and you can bring enough non-voters to the polls to change the outcome of this election.
“Little isn’t listening.” That’s been the despairing conclusion drawn by the majority of the nation’s cannabis users over the past couple of years, as the total refusal of the Labour Party to take the issue seriously has caused many to switch off from politics entirely. Sentiments like these go some way to explaining why Labour is polling at their lowest level in over 20 years.
A change of Government at this stage of the electoral cycle is usually a procession for the opposition. After nine years of conservatism, which has left us with the world’s highest teen suicide rate, a completely dysfunctional mental health system and never-seen-before levels of homelessness, simply appearing competent ought to be good enough for Labour to win this year.
It’s likely that this has been Andrew Little’s strategy – appear as competent and steady as possible, and wait for the public to naturally swing to you as they start to desire an alternative.
The trouble is – and this is where Little is losing – is that his Labour Party doesn’t actually look like an alternative.
California legalised medicinal cannabis in 1996, meaning that New Zealand is already 21 years out of date on the issue, but the Labour Party website doesn’t even mention it.
The angry geriatric brigade might continue to dismiss the importance of the issue, but for the nation’s under-40s the cannabis law reform question is talismanic of the Establishment’s refusal to take their concerns seriously.
So when Andrew Little goes on television to say that cannabis causes brain damage, young Kiwis all around the nation drop their heads into their hands.
Last year’s policy change towards once again putting a high priority on the cannabis issue has attracted huge numbers of these otherwise disenfranchised demographics to the Green Party cause, and possibly even attracted some from Labour.
Young people are sick of having no recreational alternative to socialising with pissheads, and now that there’s clear evidence that cannabis can effectively serve as an alternative to alcohol there’s no reason to keep denying it to a New Zealand public that clearly understands the need for it.
And so, the Green Party has shot up to 15%, their highest ever poll result.
The hordes of morons living 20 years in the past will chalk this up to a coincidence, but the fact is this: cannabis law reform is a major issue for the under-40s, and by taking an intelligent and humane stance on it the Greens have rightfully gained some great electoral rewards.
For years, the issue has been sitting there as a soccerball before an open goal, with none of the cowards in Parliament willing to take up the issue.
The ridiculous Stephen Berry, mocked by our propaganda department for saying that ACT only cares about “the issues that matter to New Zealanders,” now finds himself a member of a party that is polling at 0.3% – lower than the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party at the last General Election.
This is the truth: no-one cares about gay rights any more. That issue is settled; it’s the politics of our grandparents. There are far greater grievances and injustices in New Zealand society, and it’s time to sort those out.
As long as the National Party refuses to consider granting respite to the nation’s 400,000 cannabis users, they will keep crying out for an alternative to the Fifth National Government.
And as long as the Labour Party refuses to listen to those crying out – and refuses to consider being that alternative – they will continue to fall in the polls.
The Labour Party ignores the need for cannabis law reform at its own cost, a cost that escalates the longer they do so.