Monday, December 22, 2003

Note the new address for Aaron's Rantblog. His old address has gone to that great blogspot in the sky where blogspot sites do sometimes go. Warning: Aaron puts up lots of good graphics so his site is slow-loading unless you have a high-speed connection. Aaron's current project is to get Hillary Clinton rather than George Bush as the No. 1 link returned by Google in response to the search-term "Miserable Failure". A fun project, it seems to me. He has got an amusing photo of her up on his "failure" site.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Reason to believe - by Michael Jacobs


Over the last quarter of a century something very large, and not entirely understood, has happened to politics in western Europe. It is a commonplace that labour and social democratic parties - not least New Labour - have become more moderate, and more accommodating to capitalism. But a change much deeper than merely one of policy has occurred. It's a cultural, indeed a psychological, shift. A kind of spirit has been extinguished writes Michael Jacobs.


When Max Weber analysed the way in which the post-Enlightenment processes of rational thought gradually permeated European consciousness in the 18th and 19th centuries, he described the world as becoming 'disenchanted.' The religious world view which the Enlightenment largely destroyed had made the world an enchanted place, filled with the magic and mystery of gods and God. But cold, hard rationality killed them off. Even for those who remained religious, Weber observed, the world ceased to be magical. It was subject to physical laws which were knowable through science. God did not die, but he no longer inhabited the everyday world.

In the last 20 years, something similar has happened to left-of-centre politics in European societies. Up to the 1980s, politics on the left was enchanted-not by spirits, but by radical idealism; the belief that the world could be fundamentally different. But cold, hard political realism has now done for radical idealism what rationality did for pre-Enlightenment spirituality. Politics has been disenchanted.

There are many who welcome this process. But it is equally possible to argue that it has been profoundly damaging, not just for the causes of progressive politics but for a wider sense of public engagement with the political process.

It is true that the British Labour party was always pragmatic in office. But there is something that Labour has lost, which it used to have-an ideology of social transformation. Until at least the mid-1980s most members of the Labour party, in common with its sister parties throughout Europe, believed in a different kind of social and economic order, with institutions and social relationships founded on morally superior values. This was socialism, and belief in it infused the whole of left-of-centre politics.

Socialism was not merely the end-point towards which those on the left believed themselves to be working. For large numbers of activists and politicians, it was an animating force in their lives. People were socialists in the way that others (sometimes the same people) were Catholics or Jews: it was part of their identity. 'Socialist' did not just describe a set of views you had. It was something you were.

This was true of the moderates as much as the revolutionaries. It is easy to forget this now, so accustomed are we to politicians who aim for nothing more than their pragmatic policy positions. Prior to the mid-1980s, the most mainstream Labour politicians talked often and without embarrassment about socialism. Here is Tony Crosland, Labour's principal revisionist of the 1950s and 1960s, writing about the central socialist value of equality in a 1975 Fabian pamphlet: 'By equality we mean more than a meritocratic society of equal opportunities... we also mean more than a simple redistribution of income. We want a wider social equality embracing the distribution of property, the educational system, social class relationships, power and privilege in industry.'

The Fabian tradition is often thought of as the moderate end of socialism, but Fabian pamphlets from the Webbs through to the 1980s were full of statements such as this. This was how all Labour people thought. There were deep divisions between those believing in rapid change and those favouring a more gradual approach. But the transformative ideals of this ideology ran right through the party.

Today all this has gone. No one speaks about socialism: the word sounds quaint. But it is more than semantic. New Labour no longer seeks to transform society, even as an ideal. Of course Labour wants change; it sees many things wrong in society and wants to improve them. Two of its goals, if achieved, would be genuinely far-reaching: the eradication of child poverty and the target of 50 per cent of young people entering higher education. But Labour politicians no longer claim that it is possible to change the structures which perpetuate inequality. We hear no visions of moral improvement, personal liberation, or the ability of humans to live more fulfilling lives than those offered by consumer capitalism. Even in its rhetoric-where most of this used to lie-New Labour's aims have become managerial, about the better administration of society, rather than about its transformation.

Tony Blair emphasises the continuity of his values with Labour's past. But the values are vague: "equal worth, opportunity for all, responsibility, community." They are not translated into concrete ends, a vision of different kinds of institutions and relationships in society. Indeed, as Robert Skidelsky has pointed out in Prospect, Blair's mantra of 'eternal values, modern means’ is not true. Labour values-equality and the favouring of the public/collective over the private/individual-have been abandoned. The idea that one might have principles about means, or that different kinds of social institutions might be ends in themselves, is rejected as dogma. The third way is not an ideology. It provides neither a guide to policy-making, nor a vision of the society towards which social democrats aim. New Labour is left with no more than piecemeal social reform.

Electorally, of course, this has been very successful. But within the Labour party it has had a devastating effect. This has gone largely unnoticed by those outside. But inside the party it is visible and widespread. It is not that the government's policies are too moderate-party members are used to this. Some of the policies in fact command widespread support, particularly now that they come with higher spending and taxation. It is the loss of ideology which creates the sense of alienation. It is the abandonment of the party's historic commitments to equality and to radical social change. Talk with any group of longstanding party members, especially those over 40, and this sense of alienation will come up, and not only among leftists. If anything it is the old moderates of the party, the people who would once have been called right-wingers, who feel most confused. It was they who won the fight to reclaim the party after the aberrations of the 1980s. Now they find that the party's rhetoric has carried on marching right past them.

Membership figures tell a tale: down by 130,000, nearly one third, in five years. For some, there's a moment which tips them over the edge-vouchers for asylum seekers, the promotion of selective schools, the prospect of war with Iraq. For others, it is a dull sense that there is no longer much point. When Labour wanted to change society, it was, at heart, a campaign: it needed members. But if it just wants to manage things better, why bother?

And for every member who leaves, there are many more who cannot bring themselves to do so, but whose commitment to the party barely rises above the payment of a membership fee. Look at the rates of activism: the attendance at meetings, the numbers of canvassers. The party is not quite in crisis, because for many the bonds of loyalty remain strong, and there are newer members who are not disillusioned because they never had illusions in the first place. But there can be little doubt that something profoundly corrosive has been happening to it.

In fact, the trauma runs deeper than this. It is not just about the party leadership. The truth is that most people on the left no longer know what they believe. They still think that gross inequality is immoral, they dislike competitive individualism and argue that capitalism generates social evils. What they don't know is what to replace it with. Once it was socialism. The trauma of left-wing politics is that the third way is not enough-but it is not clear what else there could be.

What happened to radical idealism? What was the political equivalent of Weber's Enlightenment rationality? The answer, in part, is the fall of the Berlin wall. There had been signs of ideological collapse from the early 1980s. But it was after 1989 that socialism as an animating spirit began properly to disintegrate. In many ways this was paradoxical, because the vast majority of people on the left welcomed the end of communism. They had always felt that the Soviet system was a burden, an actually-existing version of socialism used to discredit them. What they hadn't realised was its powerful symbolic effect. Communism was hateful, but it did prove that capitalism was not inevitable.

Then into this new world stepped Francis Fukuyama. His 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man was rubbished by left-wing critics at the time (more rubbished than read). Socialists above all were at pains to deny that liberal capitalism was the end-point of history. Yet it was among the left that Fukuyama's thesis planted itself most deeply. Almost imperceptibly, they felt their self-confidence draining away. People who were once convinced of their prescription for change suddenly found their idealism disappearing.

It wasn't only the resurgence of global capitalism in the 1980s and 1990s which had this effect. Socialists had lived through previous eras of capitalist triumph before, secure in the knowledge that they wouldn't last. What happened in the 1990s was at an intellectual level. As the last dregs of actual alternatives-from building societies to Vietnam's resistance to American multinationals; from worker co-ops to the control of international finance capital-were sluiced out of sight by the onrushing tide of liberal capitalism, the idea that all this could be turned back came to feel more and more unrealistic. The insidious thought developed: maybe this is it. Maybe there is nothing more now than piecemeal social reform.

For the strategists of New Labour, this new political realism was a liberation. No longer did they have to pretend to believe in something which they were patently not aiming to achieve. For most of the rest of the party, it was a traumatic shift.

The debate over Clause IV in 1994-95 revealed this starkly. For the leadership and their younger followers, Labour's old commitment to 'common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange' was self-evidently absurd. For their opponents on the left, it was just as obviously fundamental. But for the huge majority of party members it was neither. The words of Clause IV were old, but they symbolised the party's commitment to a different kind of society. Everyone knew that the party was not trying to achieve such a society in practice. But the words kept the spirit alive. They affirmed the party's radical idealism. This was why there was such reluctance among the members to give them up. The New Labourites won, of course, because exposed to the cold light of day the mystery of socialist ideology could no longer be supported. But the effect on the party - and on the whole of progressive politics - was more profound than was realised at the time.

People outside progressive politics might shrug and say 'so what?' What does it matter if some people have grown up and realised that they cannot change the world, something everyone else accepted long ago? Socialism had not been a realistic political alternative in the west since the 1930s; its final intellectual demise was belated and is not to be mourned. Many others from within progressive politics will also say 'good riddance'. There is a strong case to be made that socialist ideology was a profoundly damaging force for the decent politics of reform.

There are many things wrong with today's capitalism, this argument runs, but the alternatives are worse. Fukuyama was right. Market democracy is the best system of ordering social and economic institutions, not only producing the most happiness, but also the most liberty, and possibly the most equality, for the greatest number. Naturally it is not perfect; but that is why modern social democracy exists. Capitalist societies need ameliorating, but they do not need replacing by some other system which social democrats can no longer identify.

This makes politics dull, but that is how it is. New Labour looks technocratic and uninspiring because that is what politics is now like-incremental, managerial amelioration. We should be grateful to live in such uneventful times, not resentful. In any case real politics is increasingly about negotiating dilemmas between competing values which are no longer expressed as simple conflicts between good and bad or elites and masses.

One of the reasons that socialist ideology flourished in the past was that it fitted the tribalism of a class society. Ideologies which came as whole packages of belief attached themselves easily to fixed, collective identities. But people's identities today are more fragmented, looser, more malleable; and by and large this is a welcome form of personal liberation. It is unsurprising then if belief systems are also not taken on as a whole, if people pick and choose their political views as they try to create their sense of self.

This is why New Labour abandoned socialist ideology. The voters didn't believe in it. Moreover, it created a gap between the party's rhetoric and the realities of its policies which led to constant conflict between leadership and activists. The ideology also put off many voters who might otherwise have supported it. By abandoning the ideological pretence, New Labour has at last buried the lie at the heart of the old Labour party and has been able to achieve some historic goals: a minimum wage, devolution, huge investment in the NHS, among others.

The arguments against ideology are powerful. In these circumstances, can there be a defence of radical idealism? I think there can. Indeed, without a renewal of radical conviction the Labour party, and possibly modern politics as a whole, is in serious danger of atrophy.

Such conviction cannot be a return to socialism. There is now no alternative "system" which is imaginable as a replacement for liberal capitalism. But there does not need to be. Radical idealism does not require a belief that modern economies and societies could be run under fundamentally different principles, merely that the present system could be made to generate fundamentally different outcomes. For its root is a very simple impulse. It is the feeling that many people must surely have when looking at the world: that too much in the present order is morally wrong. A billion people living in absolute poverty, species and habitats being wiped out, many groups subject to systematic violence and discrimination, some people consuming vast amounts while others starve. The impulse is not complex, nor does it carry self-evident prescriptions. It simply says: the world does not need to be like this.

As such, today's transformative ideal stands between two opposite but equally debilitating claims. On the one hand, it escapes the comforting complacency of belief in wholesale system change, where real-world problems did not need addressing because all would be different 'under socialism.' On the other, it rejects the paralysing (and almost always self-serving) assertion that significant change is impossible because the present order of things is the only one available. It is not an argument against liberal capitalism per se, but is an argument against the fatalism of political action that now generally accompanies it.

This is why it is inevitably ideological in form. Idealism envisages a better kind of world and makes this its political goal. It does not seek a simple leap from here to there: it must engage with the present order and seek a feasible path of change. But it does allow political vision to extend beyond present constraints. It permits the politician to say, 'this is all we can do now, but here is what we are aiming for in the future.'

And this is just the objection that many have to it. For New Labour strategists, it was the gap between rhetoric and policy which damaged the party in the past, frightening voters with radical aims which were not even on the agenda. Why go back to that?

There are three different answers. The first, perhaps surprisingly, is pragmatic. It is that without a clear ideology, political parties are electorally vulnerable. Their support may grow wide but remains shallow, and may be swept away. Ideology gives a government roots. In providing voters with a strong sense of a government's purpose, it gives them something to grip on. Policies are often weak instruments for attracting public support. They are complex; they must be designed to satisfy different, even conflicting, interests; they can take a long time to have visible effect; they sometimes fail. A clearly articulated philosophy can not only explain the aim of policy to the public, it reassures them that the government has a purpose and direction when its policies are not making this evident. This was why Margaret Thatcher placed so much emphasis on ideology in her speeches. As the slow pace of Labour's improvements in the public services becomes plainer, a clearer sense of vision-of what it is trying to do, even if it is not yet doing it-may help this government similarly.

Paradoxically, this role for public philosophy in underpinning electoral support may become more necessary as society becomes more fragmented and less tribal. When people are no longer voting according to class tradition, they need more reasons to choose one party over another. Most people's understanding of specific policies is small, and often people don't know exactly what they think. In these circumstances, as opinion polling shows, leadership becomes highly prized. Voters want leaders with a clear sense of purpose and direction. Values alone do not provide this: they sound too vacuous. What does is a vision of a better society: a description of how things will work-how people will be-in the world the politician is striving to create. Ideological clarity inevitably reduces the breadth of public support. But it makes that support deeper and more reliable. New Labour has not yet been tested by this thesis, since it has faced no serious Tory challenge since 1997. But the way in which the opinion polls swung so rapidly against it during the only period when it faced concerted opposition-the fuel protests-suggests that it does apply. The great lack of enthusiasm for the government revealed in qualitative surveys reinforces the sense that its support is weaker than poll numbers indicate.

But this argument goes beyond New Labour. The second case for political ideology is that it can help to fire interest in politics more generally. The bigger problem of the managerial form of politics is its failure to capture the public's attention. There are many reasons for the decline in election turnouts over the last decade. But one of them may well be that politics isn't interesting enough. If all that the parties are offering are alternative management prospectuses, it is perhaps not surprising that public engagement with politics has fallen.

Does this matter? On one account of modern politics, no. If contemporary capitalism is genuinely the best sort of society there can be, then as long as it is not managed too badly, we should neither expect nor want politics to be that important to the public.
But here we arrive at the real issue. The third argument for political ideology stems from deeper questions about the role of politics in human nature. The "managerial" view of politics sees it as instrumental. Politics is not an end in itself but a means to the good administration of society. The less politics required to achieve that administration, the better. But there is another view. It stems from Aristotle's claim that "man is a political animal." Today that claim is often interpreted negatively: that human nature is argumentative and power-seeking. But for Aristotle it was a claim of virtue. Humans are political because they are sociable. Politics is an expression of our inescapable involvement with the strangers amongst whom we live.

From this perspective, an interest and involvement in politics is part of what it means to live a good life, to be a fully developed human being. This cannot be just any involvement in politics.

Political activism designed only to benefit oneself and one's narrow social group carries no particular ethical value. What gives politics its claim to virtue is its orientation towards others. It is when we care enough about the wellbeing of other people to want to make the world a better place-for them and ourselves-that politics finds its proper moral expression.

We have particular reason to value that expression today. As western societies have become more individualistic, people's sense of social connectedness has declined. This is difficult to measure, but reductions in rates of voluntary activity and charitable giving appear to indicate a reduction in people's orientation towards others. Sociologists note the decline in "social capital": the bonds of trust and collective activity that bind communities together. A kind of hedonism pervades popular culture. Most young people don't seem interested in political causes; most of them seem barely interested in the world. It is hard to escape the sense, however inchoate, that we are more selfish, more self-oriented, than we were.

This is why radical idealism is still important. Belief in the possibility that the world could be different, and the desire to act politically to make it so, is a vital expression of an outward orientation. We should want more people to feel their identity and purpose in life bound up with the wellbeing of others. Of course this can be overdone. A rounded person also needs self-awareness, self-deprecation, a sense of fun. But it is good to feel inspired to act, to want to change the world. We need that sense of magic, the enchantment of belief.

This is why so many people have felt sympathy for anti-globalisation protestors, even without necessarily agreeing with their aims. In the summer of 2001, when thousands of protestors surrounded the G8 summit in Genoa, Tony Blair dismissed them as a rabble circus. But to the astonishment of the mainstream media, public opinion was on the side of the protest. The public saw young people who cared enough about the world to want to do something.

Throughout history it has been the pressure of a critical mass of people expressing radical idealism of this kind which has pushed mainstream politics, including that of the Labour party, towards reform. Without it the lobby for the status quo is too strong.
It is difficult to look at the world today and not feel that such idealism is needed. It may be harder to find the great causes in domestic politics than it once was: the result of the successful idealism of an earlier generation of welfare state socialists. Enlarging the consumption of the already comfortable is not a goal to make the political heart beat faster. Yet it does not take much understanding of British society to feel motivated by the cause of eradicating poverty or of giving deprived young people the chance to realise themselves-or even by the desire to improve the quality of life of those caught on the treadmill of overwork, stress and meaningless consumption.

And once one's gaze extends to the world as a whole the causes are plain. It is not surprising that the real energy in British politics today comes from the environmental and global justice movements. Here is genuine inspiration to be found: the hope of profound change to large wrongs. Reading about the present and likely future suffering highlighted at the sustainable development summit in Johannesburg, who can say we do not need radical idealism today?

Labour's ministers came back from the summit claiming to be pleased with the final agreement. In doing so, they illustrated what is wrong with the present state of social democracy. It presents a fatalistic resignation about what is achievable which robs politics of its moral ambition. The idea that "there is no alternative" has long been a powerful weapon of conservatives. It is the infection of left-of-centre thought by this idea that has been the most damaging consequence of the post-1989 order. And it is why politics needs re-enchanting now. Of course politics is the art of the possible. But only by pushing at them will we discover where the boundaries of the possible lie.

In this sense, the re-enchantment of politics today will be the reverse of the Enlightenment. Then humanism-the belief in the capacity of human societies to determine their own destiny-was the agent of disenchantment. Now political humanism is on the side of the spirits. In the face of both the terrible material conditions still affecting so much of the world, and of those voices arguing that they cannot be fundamentally changed, the spirit of moral idealism is no less than a reassertion of human will. Without it, it is difficult to see how politics today will inspire a new generation to make a difference.

Michael Jacobs is General Secretary of the Fabian Society. This article first appeared in the September 2002 issue of Prospect Magazine

Monday, November 24, 2003


By Ann Leslie

SO IT'S all George W. Bush's fault. President Bush is responsible for the death of British Consul General in Istanbul Roger Short, leaving his wife and three children utterly bereft. Bush killed Mr Short's secretary Lisa Hallworth who, like the consul, was blown to pieces by Thursday-'s bomb.

Bush is the reason why a busy shopping street was suddenly drenched in blood, scattered with severed hands and heads and the limbs of innocent passers
Bush is the reason why Muslin: mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are still desperately scanning hospital lists to see if their loved ones have been slaughtered like sacrificial cattle by fellow Muslims, who acted in the name of a bizarre and mutant version of Islam.

The world would obviously be much safer if Bush didn't exist; 60 per cent apparently consider him to be a danger to world peace.

Are we now so unhinged by global terror that we're actually going slightly mad? We have long ago abandoned the idea that each and every rape victim somehow "asked for it"; we regard as deeply uncivilised the idea, prevalent in some societies, that, by being raped, a woman has brought "dishonour" on her family, and therefore that she - rather than the rapist - must be punished for the crime committed against her.

Yet we say that we, and especially President Bush, because of our "provocative" actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, have "asked for" the carnage in Istanbul.

And that Muslim Turkey with a moderate Islamic government has, by being an ally of the West, also somehow "asked for" this carnage.

Frankly when I, as a Londoner, heard "my" Mayor Ken Livingstone declaring before the president arrived that Bush "is the greatest threat to life on this planet that the world has probably ever known", I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or simply be deeply embarrassed

One young woman, carrying a mass-produced placard with a portrait of Bush beneath the slogan ''The World's No. 1 Terrorist". was asked how she could accuse Bush of "terrorism" when it was bin Laden's disciples who were causing innocent people to die in the streets of Istanbul. She replied confidently: 'They're dying because of him!"

No, dear lady. they're dying, not because of Bush. but because a small and highly organised group of Islamic fascists chose to kill them. Islamic fascists have been murdering fellow Muslims for decades, long before Bush came to power.

Newspaper columns, written by journalists much younger than me, describe Bush as "the most vilified US president in history". Sorry, boys and girls, but most of you were still at school when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. He, too, was denounced as an affable but dangerous nincompoop.

(About 37 per cent of the British apparently believe "Dubya" Bush is "unintelligent" - but then they, unlike myself and others who have actually spent time with Bush one-on-one, have been deluded by the lazy media caricatures.)

You young things don't remember the uproar occasioned by Reagan's frank description of the Soviet Union as the "evil empire" (which, of course, it was).
You don't remember how, in the British House of Commons in 1982, he also gave a speech whose sentiments almost exactly mirror the speech given by President Bush on Wednesday.

Reagan said then: "I've often wondered about the shyness of some of us in the West about standing for those ideals that have done so much to ease the plight of man and the hardships of our imperfect world."

He was accused of "cultural imperialism" by stating that so-called Western values were, in fact, basic human values, and that people - whatever their culture or history - did actually want freedom whenever they were offered it: ''it would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy."

Today, similar "experts" denounce Bush for his refusal to believe that the Arab Muslim world is not culturally, or genetically, suited to freedom, democracy or the rule of law.

When Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher decided there was no 'moral equivalence" between the Soviet empire and Western democracy and that Western democracy had to be defended, they were denounced as warmongers, just as Bush is now.

To this week's protesters, Bush's "crimes" were, by implication, equivalent to those committed by Saddam Hussein. Bush, indeed, has his faults but, as far as I know,
America does not contain the mass graves of 300,000 innocent people who oppose the president; he does not cut out the tongues of those who criticise him; he does not order his army to massacre whole families, including small children who are tossed into their graves still clutching their toys; he has not gassed his own people; he has not caused the deaths of about a million of his co-religionists in order to remain in power.

Bush's vision will be vindicated in the long run, as Reagan's has been.
This vindication by history will not -- as Bush admits, and as Reagan did before him - come about easily or overnight. And yes, even in these dark and terrifying days, there is already a slim glimmer of hope.

China's Chairman Mao once declared that "the guerilla fighter is like a fish in water; and the water is the people". The more that the mass of ordinary people in the Muslim world (even those who resent the power and wealth of the West) realise that they - as much as we - are victims of Islamic fascism, the more they will turn against the "guerilla fighters" who pretend that they speak and act in their name.

We cannot, as the 'peacemongers" insist, negotiate our way to a quiet life.
The demands of those who slaughtered the innocents in Istanbul are utterly non-negotiable - because their stated aim is to destroy Western civilisation itself.
Taking refuge in trivial, self-regarding, self-deluding stunts like pulling down the effigy of Bush in Trafalgar Square will simply play into the terrorists' hands.

Excerpts from Page 64 of “THE SUNDAY MAIL” (Brisbane, Australia) of November 23, 2003


Pledge of Allegiance, Looking Backward

By Rex Curry

The dogma behind the Pledge of Allegiance included bigotry and racism. Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance, was a bigot.  His cousin and cohort Edward Bellamy was also a bigot.

The pledge itself was inspired by xenophobia and bigotry toward immigrants.  The United States had long been a melting pot, but the 1880s brought increased immigration, especially from countries in eastern and southern Europe. Bellamy, whose family was not native American-Indians, joined similar Americans who feared that these "new" immigrants did not have the same education and skills of those from northern European countries.  They also worried about another difference: Most of the new immigrants were Roman Catholic and Jewish.

"The hard, inescapable fact is that men are not born equal. Neither are they born free, but all in bonds to their ancestors and their environments...," Francis wrote .

As editor of the magazine "The Illustrated American," he wrote editorials denouncing immigrants from southern Europe. "A democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world," he wrote in 1897. "Where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth. Where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another every alien immigrant of inferior race may bring corruption to the stock ... there are other races (e.g Irish, Jews, Italians, Latins) which we cannot assimilate without a lowering of our racial standard."

Other Bellamy quotes: "The leaders of the negroes have been unendurable, more than the negro voters themselves ... So ... (all parties) make common cause ... for the disenfranchisement of the negro"

"peon ... a shiftless and unreliable kind. The native Mexican works only that he may ... live for a month on the rewards of a week's work."

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by people who belonged to fraternal organizations that were racist and were segregated by race and sex. Francis Bellamy was a Mason in Little Falls Lodge No. 181, in Little Falls, NY.

Francis Bellamy was assisted in writing the pledge by James Bailey Upham, a Mason in the Converse Lodge in Malden Massachusetts.  Within the Masonic order, Upham was a Knights Templar, the most esteemed and discriminating order.  The word “discriminating” is a double entendre in that the Knights Templar is the only Masonic order that excluded (and still excludes) non-Christians (people they classify as Jews, Muslims and atheists) according to the book “To the Flag” by Richard J. Ellis.  The Masons also exclude women and there is a separate “auxiliary” organization for women called the “Order of the Eastern Star.”

Francis Bellamy promoted a government take over of schools, in an effort to eliminate all of the better alternatives, and the government schools imposed racism and segregation through WWII and even the 1960's.  It was the same segregation described in the book "Equality" by Edward Bellamy (Francis' cousin) where blacks are allowed to participate in Edward Bellamy's "industrial army" but kept separate from whites.

Here is a quote from Edward Bellamy's book "Looking Backward," a fantasy of totalitarian socialism "....the great nations of Europe as well as Australia, Mexico, and parts of South America, are now organized industrially like the United States, which was the pioneer of the evolution. The peaceful relations of these nations are assured by a loose form of federal union of world-wide extent. An international council regulates the mutual intercourse and commerce of the members of the union and their joint policy toward the more backward races, which are gradually being educated up to civilized institutions."

Here is another quote from "Looking Backward" by Edward Bellamy "Perhaps more important than any of the causes I mentioned then as tending to race purification has been the effect of untrammeled sexual selection upon the quality of two or three successive generations. I believe that when you have made a fuller study of our people you will find in them not only a physical, but a mental and mortal improvement. It would be strange if it were not so, for not only is one of the great laws of nature now freely working out the salvation of the race but a profound moral sentiment has come to it's support. Individualism, which in your day was the animating idea of society, not only was fatal to any vital sentiment of brotherhood and common interest among living men, but equally to any realization of the responsibility of the living for the generation to follow. To-day this sense of responsibility, practically unrecognized in all previous ages, has become one of the great ethical ideas of the race, reinforcing, with an intense conviction and duty, the natural impulse to seek in marriage the best and noblest of the other sex."

The bigotry of the Bellamys explains their desire for socialism, government schools and a collective robotic recitation of the same "Pledge of Allegiance" every day upon the government's cue.  Socialism and Government schools are inherently racist and bigoted in that they are used to destroy individuality, individual liberty, and are used for regimentation, and to create a homogenous society where people are taught the same things in order to think, dress and behave the same.

As in all socialist dogma, the spokesmen were terrified of "foreigners stealing or destroying local jobs" either in person by immigration or by international free trade. Under socialism, the state is obligated to prevent family fathers and mothers from becoming unemployed because 'Fremdarbeiter' (German for "foreign workers") are taking away their jobs by working for "low wages."

Of course, the only way socialists try to achieve "equality" is by making everyone equally poor, bringing everyone down to the lowest level, and even that won't work. Ultimately they have to make everyone equally dead.

"Equality" was/is a euphemistic excuse for socialism's hate-spewing radical paramilitary "industrial army" in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (62 million killed), the Peoples' Republic of China (35 million killed) and the National Socialist German Workers' Party (21 million killed) etc.  Those socialists achieved "equality" for 62 million, 35 million, 21 million people respectively.   It explains the military-socialism complex.  

Other motivations for the pledge of allegiance included anxiety about creeping materialism, which is a form of bigotry based on envy and jealousy toward anyone who is perceived as being "better off."  At that time the Bellamys and the Knights Templar and Masons in general lamented what they called capitalism’s crass commercialism, selfish materialism, and excessive individualism.

When a socialist says he wants "equality" he is saying that he doesn't like you and doesn't like the way you are, and wants to change you and he wants to use government force to do it.  He is saying that he dislikes all people because they are "different" and have different possessions, incomes, clothes, cars, property, families, ideas, educations, successes, cultures,  languages, interests, entertainment, etc.  He is saying he wants you to believe that changing everyone is a good idea.

That is why he supports government schools, as a way to use government to force change and stop differences and make everyone a cog in an "industrial army."

It is all spelled out in the novel "Looking Backward" and its description of the totalitarianism that Francis Bellamy promoted.

Francis Bellamy wrote in ways hauntingly similar to Hitler, as evidenced by Bellamy’s words in the Illustrated American in 1897:

"The hard inescapable fact is that men are not born equal. Neither are they born free, but all in bonds to their ancestors and their environments . . . . The success of government by the people will depend upon the stuff that people are made of. The people must realize their responsibility to themselves. They must guard, more jealously even than their liberties, the quality of their blood. . . . A democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world. Where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth. Where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another every alien immigrant of inferior race may bring corruption to the stock. . . . There are races, more or less akin to our own, whom we may admit freely, and get nothing but advantage from the infusion of their wholesome blood. But there are other races which we cannot assimilate without a lowering of our racial standard, which should be as sacred to us as the sanctity of our homes."

Some people make a to do about Francis Bellamy's remark that he wanted to include "equality" with "liberty and justice for all" but that Bellamy believed that "equality" was too much of an advanced concept for society. That is because Bellamy's concept of "equality" was backward socialism. Undermining Bellamy is the proper concept of non-socialist equality that was already an established part of American history. How different would our society be today if, instead of the Pledge of Allegiance, schoolchildren (in private or home schools, of course) were required, each day, to read or recite this paragraph from the Declaration of Independence:”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”What if, instead of starting every day being marinated in the language of submission (to pledge “allegiance,” after all, is to proclaim one’s status as a vassal bound in service to a feudal lord, or “liege”), youngsters were taught, on a daily basis, the principles of self-responsibility, individual liberty, and principled rebellion? If that kind of thing were to become common, politicians and other Bellamy-supporters would simply criminalize the Declaration. They’ve done it before, and they would be more than happy to do so permanently.The sobering truth is that, due to the cultivated docility of the American populace, Jefferson’s document, much like the Constitution created eleven years later, poses no threat to the designs of socialists today.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Controversial study gives food for thought

Excerpts from an article in “The Times” [London] of 10 November, 2003


ONLY the bravest academics dare to embark on the study of comparative intelligence, a field fraught with social, racial and sexual sensitivities. Professor Richard Lynn, a fellow of the British Psychological Society and a member of the editorial boards of the journals Intelligence and Personality & Individual Differences, has often provoked controversy. Despite being described by colleagues such as Oliver James as “kindly and unbigoted”, his findings have led some students to boycott his lectures.

In 1996 he annoyed feminists by concluding that more men were winning first-class degrees because their brains were about 80 cu cm (5 cu in) larger than women's, so that more men had IQs above 130 (which he calculated was needed for such degrees). He believes that males are innately more intelligent than females by about five IQ points from the age of 21 onwards.

Two years later he enraged social reformers by arguing that the tendency for intelligent people in good careers to delay having children and to have fewer of them — compared with the average — will knock half an IQ point off the average score in each generation.

His co-author, Tatu Vanhanen, the father of Matti Vanhanen, the Prime Minister of Finland, specialises in the study of democracy, in particular the social and economic preconditions necessary for its existence.

The longest shadow hanging over psychometrics — the measurement of intelligence — comes from The Bell Curve, the 1994 book on genetic influences written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray. It claimed that blacks in Western countries scored on average 15 points below the average white IQ of 100, and that a "cognitive elite", led by Ashkenazi Jews with an average IQ of 115, would come to lead developed societies. Opponents said the statistics were flawed and called the book racist.

IQ tests are nearly a century old. They were first used in France in 1904 to identify intelligent children, but adapted in the First World War to decide who should be promoted and who would remain in the ranks

IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is not a measure of general knowledge but instead how your mind thinks. It measures different aspects of the brain's skills, including verbal and non-verbal reasoning, visual abilities and mental arithmetic

The link to the full article from which this excerpt was taken is here

Thursday, October 30, 2003


Brazilian blogger Luis Afonso blogs in Portuguese so he has sent me this English language summary of his present concerns about Latin America:

Some worrying news from Latin America... The events in Bolivia have flashed an alarm...

We didn’t notice that while we were worried about Brazil-Venezuela-Cuba connection, a newer link arose: Bolivia and its future cocaine-planters-defender president Evo Morales.

Morales is not yet the president, but the way he manipulated the poor population (of the poorest country of Latin America) to remove Lozada from the presidency suggests that the same thing will happen with the vice-president, until Evo himself reaches the presidency...

What was terrible was the international silence about this "coup détat". Here in Brazil all newspapers claimed that "peace" returned to the country...

Other bad news for us is that the accusations about connection between Cuba and Brazil (which Lula da Silva denied during the election race last year) are true: Brazil is sending money from our National Investment Fund to Cuba... I think Brazil (despite our poor situation) is going to be Cuba´s savior (like USSR once was..)

It´s depressing... I hope we may be better some day but I think Latin America is drowning....

Saturday, October 25, 2003

A Rose on the Crematorium

By Arlene Peck

Describe Krakow? That's easy. It's a city full of cobblestone streets, interesting yet dismal buildings and a feeling that time stopped in 1955. Walking down the narrow streets, it's easy to get a feeling of deja vu. Krakow reminds you of the back lot from a Hollywood set, as your mind goes back to all those old movies on the television.

The same feelings were felt from the train that I caught from Warsaw to Krakow, where I sat with five others in a private compartment watching the countryside move swiftly by. My hotel, the Copernicus was a 15th century building with huge rooms that was truly amazing. President Bush had stayed there recently; my suite was large enough to land a plane in!

However, on the last night I moved to the Eden Hotel, which is located in the heart of the Old Jewish Quarter, and it is the only hotel with kosher food in Krakow. What I found interesting about this place is that while it is a kosher assessable hotel and most of the guests were orthodox from New York, there is another side to the hotel, which was absolutely fantastic. In the evenings, in another section of the hotel is a karaoke bar, held two or three times a week, where the local kids congregated.

The owner, Allen Haberberg was probably the most informative and helpful person who informed me about the Jewish community or, what's left of it. A community that once consisted of 75,000 Jews has been reduced to a community of only 120 Jews. Sadly enough from what I can see, there is not much leadership or education or much of anything from the ones that are left. At least in Warsaw I saw a slight resemblance of a typical Jewish community, although very slight.

Not so in Krakow, where I traveled to Casmir which was once the heart of the Jewish community. I traveled to three of the seven of the synagogues that are still remaining, but they are being used for museums now. Some have been rebuilt while the others are closed. I observed some of the Jewish restaurants that were on many of the street corners; deceptively called "Jewish style", but in fact, they were not really Jewish or kosher. They were all filled with Jewish art, mostly depicting Jewish scenes and I couldn't help but wonder where they acquired the paintings. Alan took me to several of these Jewish restaurants. None were owned or operated by anyone slightly Jewish. At one, which was named "Noah's Ark," I spoke with the owner and asked him why he opened up such an establishment and was told that he admired Jewish traditions and food.

This was virtually the same answer that I received from nearly all of the Jewish stores that were catering to the non- Jewish clientele. I had to restrain myself from shouting out to the German group that was eating in there how they sickened me. But I was totally appalled when I went to the Center for Jewish Culture, and again, there was nobody Jewish present with whom I could speak. The man working there he told me that before the war one out of every four residents in the town was Jewish. When I asked why they even had such a building he answered, "To protect the Jewish culture" Too bad they didn't think of that before their mass slaughters.

Next, I was taken to the "Seat of Jewish Community Center" and yet again, the same story. It was close to lunchtime and I was told about a Jewish 'soup kitchen' which was supposed to serve the elderly in Krakow. I was hoping to finally meet someone there who was Jewish and spoke English. I was wrong on both counts. Several Polish employees were working there but none of them were Jewish. In addition, they were incredibly rude. I then began to wonder if the Jewish community paid their salaries and, if so, why?

These people were starving. Not for soup kitchens or a lack of food, but for assistance from the outside. In fact, where is the aid from the Polish government? When I went to Auschwitz, I was told that they had four guides who spoke English for a fee of $50.00 which included a tour of the camp. This is incredibly expensive for Poland. I stopped for lunch and had a delicious lunch of soup, salad, fish potatoes, vegetables, desert and tea for a mere $3.00.

When I mentioned to the woman working at Auschwitz that the government should supply funding for such things she seemed truly surprised at my statement. I commented had it not been for many of her countrymen there wouldn't have been an Auschwitz.

I spoke with Rabbi Edgar Gluck, who is a member of the Presidents Commission for the Preservation of America Heritage, and I told him that he had his hands full. Starting with Poland. Rabbi Gluck told me "This is my 19th year of serving the Jewish community of Poland. Most of which were spent in Krakow during the High Holy days. I have also traveled almost the width and length of the former Jewish Poland reconstructing grave sites and 'ohels' which are small houses built at the site of a father grand rabbi tomb. Many of which have been burned and desecrated."

As bad as I found the situation in Warsaw, it seemed to me even worse in Krakow. The few Jews that are there, as in Warsaw are in dire need. I had a marvelous dinner with the rabbi, and even attended his Shabbat service at the only functioning synagogue, which was situated near the Eden Hotel. The service was Orthodox, however, they had no books, onag Shabbat or any of the 'perks' that we Jews typically take for granted. And, despite my liking of the man, we still differ in our attitude as to what should be the fate of the Jews of Poland. He is against conversion and feels most of the people who are looking to find their Jewish roots are not 'really Jewish" Perhaps he is right. However, in a situation like the present one in Krakow, or, even Poland, this is not the time for "us vs. them." The fledging resurgence of Jewish civilization should be helped in their efforts.

The rabbi is proud that he just spent his 19th year serving the Krakow Jewish community. He is getting assistance and was telling me how LOT airlines had helped him so much in cooperating in helping to bring kosher food to the entire community for the Jewish holidays. However, there is so much more that is needed. We discussed how he must get on the case of the Polish government and working with the American Embassy in rebuilding the desecrated synagogues and cemeteries on Polish ground. So much more needs to be done. The Jews of Warsaw and Krakow are Jews who should be salvaged.

Mostly I find a mixed crowd with many who were young and held the desire to be "Jewish." Sevyron Askonizy in Warsaw has taken over an enormous job of rebuilding the Jewish community of Warsaw. However, it cannot be a one-man show. Where is the outside help in giving them the organization that they need? The Progressive synagogue has no rabbi. The Orthodox rabbi, from what I gathered, travels to New York twice a year and raises funds for his salary. It would be a better situation if there were a combined effort to help the Jewish community as a whole. Both communities appeared to be in dire need of books, and many more of the necessities that we in the States take for granted.

The community, in my opinion, should be run as a business. There should be a governing board with outside checks on where the money ultimately ends up. Under this, their duties should be delegated. These duties should include education, membership and fund raising, directors assigned with committees under that, such as classes in Jewish history, political heritage, Hebrew language, Israeli dance, etc. This should include anything that comes under the realm of education. And, that includes the badly needed books in both English and Hebrew that are now missing. The same sort of committees should come under the director of membership, fundraising etc. And finally, the Rabbi and cantor should be paid a salary along with the outside employees who have been brought in to operate and manage the synagogue and surrounding grounds.

Fundraising for salaries has no place being done representing a group. At this point in time, the issue should be to realize that the Jews of Poland haven't left as a whole and probably will not. These are for the most part young people who are looking for leadership, managerial skills and education. Thank G-d for the Ronald Lauders and Sevyron Ashkenazi's but that's not enough. Who is going to send the Rabbis who not only make them feel accepted but also have personalities and knowledge to keep them interested within the fold? If there are going to be Jewish restaurants, clubs, Cultural committees, bookstores, synagogues, and Jewish community centers, better they should be manned by Jews and not Polish employees, as is the case now. Money must be raised to pay their salaries.

I wanted to buy a Kiddush cup, Shabbat Candlesticks... anything in the synagogue in Krakow and found absolutely nothing available to purchase. Worse, nobody working there even knew what I was talking about. At Auschwitz I was appalled to learn that there were only four guides who spoke English and there was not one on the premises who spoke Hebrew. Why is the Polish government not picking up the slack in simple remedies like this? When I mentioned this to the guide I had arranged, she responded, "Why should the Polish government pay anything? They had nothing to do with it." I answered, "Maybe they should take some of the billions of dollars that they stole from the homes they confiscated?" She seemed truly surprised and said "Oh no, that was the communist. The Poles had no choice. They were assigned where to live."

The Germans in their maniacal efficacy were so devious in the building of these death camps that I remember thinking while traveling through Majandak Concentration Camp in Lublin a few days earlier how in another place, or another time those peaceful looking wooden barracks could have been Camp Barney Meditz where I went to summer camp outside of Atlanta, Georgia as a child. Driving into the camp I passed lovely scenery and picturesque houses. I couldn't help wonder what memories or better yet, nightmares the residents living in them have. Nothing can prepare one for the rare barbarianism and cruelty, which these people have done. I will never be able to look at a German or even some Poles without feelings of contempt and disgust.

And finally, speaking of Auschwitz. I can describe Krakow but Auschwitz is beyond description. As much as the mind can envision, the life under these animals, the Nazis, was unspeakable. However, after traveling to Prague and Lubin and also visiting places such as Thereseinstadt, Birkenau, Majdanek, and Treblinka by the time I got to Auschwitz I thought I had become desensitized. That is, until I walked inside a lone barracks building looked in the semi darkness and looked down the long rows of shelves where these poor souls slept and saw one long stem red rose lying there. Shortly after, I walked down the path to the crematorium and saw two more of the long stem roses placed gently on top of the oven. That's about the time I lost it.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


Some excerpts from an article by Andrew M. Canepa published in “Patterns of Prejudice” 1979, 13 (6), 18-27.

The Fascist racial laws of 1938 surprised and shocked Jewish and non-Jewish Italians alike. Even after the so-called "Manifesto of the Race" of 14 July, Italian Jews still thought that the storm of government-inspired antisemitic rhetoric would pass, as in the past, without leaving traces in the legislation of the Kingdom or in the basic attitude of the Regime. This, at least, was the impression gathered on the spot by the distinguished American-Jewish journalist Martin Agronsky, shortly after the fond hopes of his Italian coreligionists were belied by the racialist decrees of September and October. According to another contemporary foreign observer, Sir Andrew McFadyean, the 50,000 Jews of the peninsula were struck dumbfounded by the unexpected laws, "like people stupefied by a bad dream from which they had not yet awakened." The reaction of Gentile Italians, most Fascists included, was not dissimilar. The secret reports of local Fascist Party officials testify to widespread dissent and opposition throughout the Kingdom, and, according to the historian D. A. Binchy, the majority of the population greeted the antisemitic campaign with "resentful shame." Indeed, students of the period now argue that the racial laws of 1938 marked the first major break between the Italian people and the Regime, ended the so-called "years of consensus," and sounded the death-knell of Fascism.

Given the context of modern Italian history, the feelings of perplexity and resentment shared by Jews and Gentiles were natural. Emancipation in Italy, extended to the whole of the peninsula in 1870, had been a unique success, in both its positive and its negative aspects: in the security, opportunities and acceptance accorded Italian Jews, and in the progressive erosion of their Jewish identity. The genuineness of Jewish equality in Italy has been attested to by informed and not uncritical sources such as Cecil Roth, Max Nordau, Chaim Weizmann and the late Italian Zionist leader Dante Lattes. Jews were fully integrated into Italian society and politics and had access to careers in diplomacy and the military, careers generally closed to them elsewhere in the West. In this light, it is no mere coincidence that both the first Jewish minister of war and the first Jewish prime minister in Europe, respectively, Giuseppe Ottolenghi (1902-03) and Luigi Luzzattt (1910-11), were Italians. Until at least 1936, antisemitism on the peninsula was a marginal phenomenon isolated from the mainstream of Italian life. To be sure, after unification, there had been fleeting instances of anti-Jewish polemics in anarcho-syndicalist, in nationalist, and even in liberal circles. However, even the only consistent current of antisemitism in pre-Fascist Italy, the clerical campaign from the early 1880s to the turn of the century, was an exception which proved the rule. That is, far from being an asset, the Judeophobia of Catholics served only to further isolate them from the politics of the Kingdom, and as clerical forces finally became integrated into the Italian political system under Giovanni Giolitti, they concurrently muffled their anti-Jewish polemics. Nor did the favourable situation of Italian Jewry change with the transition from the Liberal to the Fascist State. Indeed, as we shall have occasion to discuss, during the first fourteen years of the Regime - the "honeymoon period," as Meir Michaelis calls it - a symbiosis developed between Fascism and the Italian Jews, and in certain respects (though not in others) their legal status was actually enhanced.

The Jews of Italy, for their part, were more than grateful to the beloved patria for the equality and opportunities accorded them and were anxious to express this gratitude......

During the "honeymoon period" - which, as far as the Regime's official attitude is concerned, could be extended to 1936 - not only were relations between Mussolini and the Jews (both Italian and foreign) cordial, but to some extent an actual symbiosis developed between Fascism and Italian Jewry. In the decade following the March on Rome, the religious and civil rights of Italian Jews were respected and safeguarded; the Duce issued a series of antiracialist and warmly philo-Semitic statements; the government even encouraged (up to a certain point) the activities of the Italian Zionist Federation. Italian Jewry, for its part, because of the favourable attitude of the Regime and because of its own largely middle class makeup, on the whole accepted Fascism and the Fascist State. By 1933, 7,300 Jews had enrolled in the PNF (Partito Nazionale Fascista); and, though there were numerous Jews in the anti-Fascist camp, until 1938 there was no specifically Jewish opposition to the Regime. The symbolic highwater mark of cordial relations was reached in the spring and summer of 1932, when Mussolini made his most noted denunciation of antisemitic racialism in an interview with Emil Ludwig and, as a confirmation of his convictions, appointed Guido Jung as Minister of Finance.....

Similarly, the facilitated entry to Italian universities (reduced rail fares, cancellation of fees, scholarships), accorded in the 1920s and '30s to thousands of Jewish students from Central and Eastern Europe hit by the numerus clausus at home, was granted with an eye to creating a generation of professionals who would presumably spread admiration for Italian culture and Fascist institutions abroad. As late as 1942, Fascist officials still viewed Italian citizens of Jewish "race" residing in Tunisia and Rumania as the vanguard of Italian economic penetration in those areas, and accordingly sought to protect them against the German forces of occupation....

....the basic elements of the Duce's thought in relation to the Jewish question. One of these constants was Mussolini's personal rejection of the doctrine of biological racialism, an unfeigned conviction which he repeated to intimates and family members even after the promulgation of racialist legislation. Paradoxical as this may seem, it only serves to underscore the dictator's cynical opportunism (an attitude not limited, of course, to his policy vis-a-vis the Jews)....

The beginnings of a reorientation in Fascist policy towards the Jews coincided with the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. For the following three years, until the summer of 1936, Mussolini performed a "balancing act" between Hitler and the West, antisemitism and philo-Semitism. It was during this transitional phase that the evolution of the Jewish policy of the Regime became intimately linked to Italian foreign policy in general and to German-Italian relations in particular.....

After the assassination of the Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss by pro-Nazis in July 1934, the Italian dictator temporarily switched back to his previous tactic of exploiting the Jewish issue (and Jewish grievances against Germany) for political and propagandistic gains. Thus, for example, in a September 1934 article for the official Party organ, Il Popolo d'Italia, Mussolini ridiculed the "Aryan" myth and contended that the vaunted racial purity of the Germans led only to congenital idiocy, citing as evidence the statistics of mental illness in the Reich. A month later, in the course of a meeting with Nahum Goldmann, the Duce called Hitler an idiot and a good-for-nothing and declared himself a Zionist ready to back the formation of a true Jewish State, "not the ridiculous National Home that the British have offered you." What's more, in this case, Mussolini's sympathetic declarations were accompanied by promises of diplomatic action which he in fact honoured: Italian support for the evacuation of Jews from the Saar in the face of impending German occupation, and opposition to the revision of the minority rights guarantees of the peace treaties, with specific reference to the status of the Jews in Poland.

The growing Italo-German rapprochement, though, did not prevent Mussolini from keeping his options open and issuing statements which were as much bridges to the West as they were reassuring overtures to the Jews. Thus, in autumn of 1935, the Duce reaffirmed the equality enjoyed by Italian Jews and even claimed that "Italian and Jewish ideals are fully merged into one. It should be noted that, indeed, during the entire transitional period surveyed above, irrespective of the attitude of the Fascist press (for which the dictator was fully responsible), no alteration in the favourable legal status of Italian Jewry was either effected or contemplated, and no anti-Jewish measures, official or unofficial, were taken by the Regime.

Ironically, the Duce's final break with the Jews was to some extent conditioned by Fascism's earlier, diametrically opposed policy towards them. For, as Michaelis incisively argues, the existence of Jewish generals and admirals, of Jewish government and party functionaries, which the Duce's previous stand had encouraged (or at least facilitated), was now inadmissible in light of Italy's new alignment in world politics. On the one hand, even convinced Fascist Jews could not be expected to maintain wholehearted loyalty to an alliance with the Reich; while, for his part, Hitler would never agree to collaborate with his ally's Jewish servants. The way out of this dilemma Mussolini found in the adoption of a discriminatory criterion which would eliminat the embarrassment and inconvenience posed even by "exception Jews":

In these circumstances the Fascist dictator felt the need for an ideology which would allow him to rid himself not only of the "disloyal Italian Jews" (who were being eliminated anyhow), but also of the "loyal Jewish Italians" (who had hitherto been regarded as a definite asset). This ideology was racialism. However, though side by side, the two allies never marched in step, and this was again reflected during the course of the war in the field of Fascist Jewish policy. Because Mussolini remained committed to the Axis until the bitter end, and because of Italian military dependence on the Germans, the Duce would not back away from his antisemtic legislation, nor could he mitigate the official racialist ideology of the Regime. On the other hand, the Jewish question outside Italy served the Fascist authorities as a means of asserting what little freedom of action from their Nazi senior partners they were able to maintain. Together with genuine expressions of spontaneous humanitarianism, this eminently political consideration explains why the zones of Italian military occupation in France and the Balkans became havens of refuge where Jews were unmolested.....

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Mr. Kristof,

In your subject column titled "God On Our Side" you wrote

"Mention the words "evangelical missionary," and many Americans conjure up an image of redneck zealots'

Tell me Mr. Kristof what is a "redneck ?" Perhaps you can provide a concise definition. Is it a perjorative term - similar to the words "Wop" or "Mick" or " Spic" or " Nigger?"

Does it negatively describe a group of people not because of their ethnicity or race rather because of their social or geographical origins?

Should a Harvard and Oxford educated NY Times columnist use such a term in his column? Or do you believe it permissible simply because you are a Harvard/Oxford educated New Yorker and as you make it a point of saying:

"I disagree strongly with most evangelical Christians, theologically and politically"

The American Heritage dictionary provides two definitions for "redneck." It says the term is Offensive Slang :

"1. Used as a disparaging term for a member of the white rural laboring class, especially in the southern United States."

2." A white person regarded as having a provincial, bigoted attitude."

I would say - using definition #2 - Mr. Kristof you qualify as a redneck.
For an organization like the NY Times that claims to be sensitive to diversity and prejudice, to use such a term reveals its hypocrisy.

Michael P. Tremoglie

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Personality and Individual Differences, 30 (7), 2001, Pages 1147-1160

Age changes in personality traits and their heritabilities during the adult years: evidence from Australian twin registry samples

J. C. Loehlin [a] and N. G. Martin [b]

a University of Texas, Department of Psychology, Austin, TX 78712, USA
b Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia


Short versions of four Eysenck personality scales had been included in questionnaires given to several adult samples from the Australian Twin Registry, comprising altogether some 5400 pairs. Means and regressions with age are compared for three samples at average ages of 23, 37, and 61 years, and for two samples of retested individuals, one tested twice at average ages of 29 and 37 years, and one tested three times at average ages of 48, 56, and 62 years. For both males and females the trends for Psychoticism (P), Extraversion (E), and Neuroticism (N) were generally downward with age, and for Lie (L), upward. However, in the longitudinal sample between ages 56 and 62 the trends for P, E, and L stopped or reversed, although N continued downward. Heritabilities were reasonably stable across age for P, E, and N, and the effects of shared environments negligible, but L showed some influence of shared environment as well as genes in all but the oldest age group.

Author Keywords: Eysenck scales; Heritability; Age trends; Twins

Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-512-475-7008; fax: +1-512-471-6175; email:

I have posted this abstract here because it seems to be impossible to link to it at its original source. If you are patient enough, however, you can find it via:

Friday, September 26, 2003

Personality and Individual Differences In Press

Primary personality trait correlates of religious practice and orientation

Peter Hills [a] Leslie J. Francis [b], Michael Argyle [a], and Chris J. Jackson [c]

a School of Psychology, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BA, UK
b Welsh National Centre for Religious Education, University of Wales, Bangor LL57 2PX, UK
c School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane Q4072, Australia


The aim of the study was to examine the relationships between Eysenck's primary personality factors and various aspects of religious orientation and practice. Some 400 UK undergraduates completed questionnaires constructed from the Batson and Schoenrade Religious Life Inventory (Batson & Schoenrade, 1991) and the Eysenck Personality Profiler (Eysenck, Barrett, Wilson, & Jackson, 1992). As is generally found, all the religious variables correlated negatively with the higher order personality factor of psychoticism. In contrast, among the primary factors, those associated with neuroticism appeared to be the strongest indicators of religiosity. In particular, all the primary traits classically linked to neuroticism correlate positively with the quest orientation. However, fewer primary traits predict religious behaviour in regression and of these, a sense of guilt is the greatest and a common predictor of extrinsic, intrinsic and quest religiosities. Upon factor analysis of the significant personality predictors together with the three religious orientations, the orientations formed a single discrete factor, which implies that extrinsic, intrinsic and quest religiosities have more in common with one another than with any of the personality traits included in the study. This suggests that religious awareness may itself be an important individual difference that is distinct from those generally associated with models of personality.

Author Keywords: Religiosity; Eysenck Personality Profiler; Religious Life Inventory; Neuroticism; Guilt; Psychoticism

Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-1235-521-077; fax +44-1235-520-067

I have posted this abstract here because it seems to be impossible to link to it at its original source. If you are patient enough, however, you can find it via:

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Personality and Individual Differences Article in Press

The intelligence of American Jews

Richard Lynn

(University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA, UK)


This paper provides new data on the theory that Jews have a higher average level of verbal intelligence than non-Jewish whites. The theory is considered by examining the vocabulary scores of Jews, non-Jewish whites, blacks and others obtained in the American General Social Surveys carried out by the National Opinion Research Centre in the years 1990-1996. Vocabulary size is a good measure of verbal intelligence. Jews obtained a significantly higher mean vocabulary score than non-Jewish whites, equivalent to an IQ advantage of 7.5 IQ points. The results confirm previous reports that the verbal IQ of American Jews is higher than that of non-Jewish whites.

Author Keywords: Jews; Intelligence

Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-117-303-9058

Personality and Individual Differences Volume 32, Issue 8 , June 2002, Pages 1391-1411

Relationships between ability and personality: does intelligence contribute positively to personal and social adjustment?

Elizabeth J. Austin [a], Ian J. Deary [a], Martha C. Whiteman [a], F. G. R. Fowkes [b], Nancy L. Pedersen [c], Patrick Rabbitt [d], Nuala Bent [d] and Lynn McInnes [e]

a Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, UK
b Wolfson Unit for Prevention of Peripheral Vascular Disease, Department of Community Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK
c Department of Medical Epidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
d Age and Cognitive Performance Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK
e Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK


Intelligence/personality associations were studied in four large datasets. Correlations between general ability (g) and major personality traits were generally consistent with previous findings. For other traits, an interpretation of the correlation patterning is that traits classifiable as adaptive in terms of personal and social adjustment have positive correlations with g, whilst maladaptive traits have negative correlations. Regression modelling confirmed these associations and structural equation modelling of selected traits showed that Neuroticism acts as a mediator of g on the outcome. Non-linear relationships between intelligence and personality were not found. In two of the datasets the correlation between Neuroticism and Psychoticism decreased with ability level, and the correlation between fluid and crystallised ability increased with level of Neuroticism.
Author Keywords: Intelligence; Personality; Adjustment

Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-131-651-1305; fax: +44-131-650-3461; email:

I have posted the abstracts above here because it seems to be impossible to link to them at their original source. If you are patient enough, however, you can find them via:

Monday, September 22, 2003

What Arab Civilization?

This letter was sent to Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard Corporation, in response to a speech given by her on September 26, 2001.

November 7, 2001

Carly Fiorina
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185

Dear Madame Fiorina:

It is with great interest that I read your speech delivered on September 26, 2001, titled "Technology, Business and Our way of Life: What's Next" [sic]. I was particularly interested in the story you told at the end of your speech, about the Arab/Muslim civilization. As an Assyrian, a non-Arab, Christian native of the Middle East, whose ancestors reach back to 5000 B.C., I wish to clarify some points you made in this little story, and to alert you to the dangers of unwittingly being drawn into the Arabist/Islamist ideology, which seeks to assimilate all cultures and religions into the Arab/Islamic fold.

I know you are a very busy woman, but please find ten minutes to read what follows, as it is a perspective that you will not likely get from anywhere else. I will answer some of the specific points you made in your speech, then conclude with a brief perspective on this Arabist/Islamist ideology.

Arabs and Muslims appeared on the world scene in 630 A.D., when the armies of Muhammad began their conquest of the Middle East. We should be very clear that this was a military conquest, not a missionary enterprise, and through the use of force, authorized by a declaration of a Jihad against infidels, Arabs/Muslims were able to forcibly convert and assimilate non-Arabs and non-Mulsims into their fold. Very few indigenous communities of the Middle East survived this -- primarily Assyrians, Jews, Armenians and Coptics (of Egypt).

Having conquered the Middle East, Arabs placed these communities under a Dhimmi (see the book Dhimmi, by Bat Ye'Or) system of governance, where the communities were allowed to rule themselves as religious minorities (Christians, Jews and Zoroastrian). These communities had to pay a tax (called a Jizzya in Arabic) that was, in effect, a penalty for being non-Muslim, and that was typically 80% in times of tolerance and up to 150% in times of oppression. This tax forced many of these communities to convert to Islam, as it was designed to do.

You state, "its architects designed buildings that defied gravity." I am not sure what you are referring to, but if you are referring to domes and arches, the fundamental architectural breakthrough of using a parabolic shape instead of a spherical shape for these structures was made by the Assyrians more than 1300 years earlier, as evidenced by their archaeological record.

You state, "its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption." The fundamental basis of modern mathematics had been laid down not hundreds but thousands of years before by Assyrians and Babylonians, who already knew of the concept of zero, of the Pythagorean Theorem, and of many, many other developments expropriated by Arabs/Muslims (see History of Babylonian Mathematics, Neugebauer).

You state, "its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease." The overwhelming majority of these doctors (99%) were Assyrians. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries Assyrians began a systematic translation of the Greek body of knowledge into Assyrian. At first they concentrated on the religious works but then quickly moved to science, philosophy and medicine. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and many others were translated into Assyrian, and from Assyrian into Arabic. It is these Arabic translations which the Moors brought with them into Spain, and which the Spaniards translated into Latin and spread throughout Europe, thus igniting the European Renaissance.

By the sixth century A.D., Assyrians had begun exporting back to Byzantia their own works on science, philosophy and medicine. In the field of medicine, the Bakhteesho Assyrian family produced nine generations of physicians, and founded the great medical school at Gundeshapur (Iran). Also in the area of medicine, (the Assyrian) Hunayn ibn-Ishaq's textbook on ophthalmology, written in 950 A.D., remained the authoritative source on the subject until 1800 A.D.

In the area of philosophy, the Assyrian philosopher Job of Edessa developed a physical theory of the universe, in the Assyrian language, that rivaled Aristotle's theory, and that sought to replace matter with forces (a theory that anticipated some ideas in quantum mechanics, such as the spontaneous creation and destruction of matter that occurs in the quantum vacuum).

One of the greatest Assyrian achievements of the fourth century was the founding of the first university in the world, the School of Nisibis, which had three departments, theology, philosophy and medicine, and which became a magnet and center of intellectual development in the Middle East. The statutes of the School of Nisibis, which have been preserved, later became the model upon which the first Italian university was based (see The Statutes of the School of Nisibis, by Arthur Voobus).

When Arabs and Islam swept through the Middle East in 630 A.D., they encountered 600 years of Assyrian Christian civilization, with a rich heritage, a highly developed culture, and advanced learning institutions. It is this civilization that became the foundation of the Arab civilization.

You state, "Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration." This is a bit melodramatic. In fact, the astronomers you refer to were not Arabs but Chaldeans and Babylonians (of present day south-Iraq), who for millennia were known as astronomers and astrologers, and who were forcibly Arabized and Islamized -- so rapidly that by 750 A.D. they had disappeared completely.

You state, "its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things." There is very little literature in the Arabic language that comes from this period you are referring to (the Koran is the only significant piece of literature), whereas the literary output of the Assyrians and Jews was vast. The third largest corpus of Christian writing, after Latin and Greek, is by the Assyrians in the Assyrian language (also called Syriac; see here.)

You state, "when other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others." This is a very important issue you raise, and it goes to the heart of the matter of what Arab/Islamic civilization represents. I reviewed a book titled How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs, in which the author lists the significant translators and interpreters of Greek science. Of the 22 scholars listed, 20 were Assyrians, 1 was Persian and 1 an Arab. I state at the end of my review: "The salient conclusion which can be drawn from O'Leary's book is that Assyrians played a significant role in the shaping of the Islamic world via the Greek corpus of knowledge. If this is so, one must then ask the question, what happened to the Christian communities which made them lose this great intellectual enterprise which they had established. One can ask this same question of the Arabs. Sadly, O'Leary's book does not answer this question, and we must look elsewhere for the answer." I did not answer this question I posed in the review because it was not the place to answer it, but the answer is very clear, the Christian Assyrian community was drained of its population through forced conversion to Islam (by the Jizzya), and once the community had dwindled below a critical threshold, it ceased producing the scholars that were the intellectual driving force of the Islamic civilization, and that is when the so called "Golden Age of Islam" came to an end (about 850 A.D.).

Islam the religion itself was significantly molded by Assyrians and Jews (see Nestorian Influence on Islam and Hagarism: the Making of the Islamic World).

Arab/Islamic civilization is not a progressive force, it is a regressive force; it does not give impetus, it retards. The great civilization you describe was not an Arab/Muslim accomplishment, it was an Assyrian accomplishment that Arabs expropriated and subsequently lost when they drained, through the forced conversion of Assyrians to Islam, the source of the intellectual vitality that propelled it. What other Arab/Muslim civilization has risen since? What other Arab/Muslim successes can we cite?

You state, "and perhaps we can learn a lesson from his [Suleiman] example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions." In fact, the Ottomans were extremely oppressive to non-Muslims. For example, young Christian boys were forcefully taken from their families, usually at the age of 8-10, and inducted into the Janissaries, (yeniceri in Turkish) where they were Islamized and made to fight for the Ottoman state. What literary, artistic or scientific achievements of the Ottomans can we point to? We can, on the other hand, point to the genocide of 750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians and 400,000 Greeks in World War One by the Kemalist "Young Turk" government. This is the true face of Islam.

Arabs/Muslims are engaged in an explicit campaign of destruction and expropriation of cultures and communities, identities and ideas. Wherever Arab/Muslim civilization encounters a non-Arab/Muslim one, it attempts to destroy it (as the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan were destroyed, as Persepolis was destroyed by the Ayotollah Khomeini). This is a pattern that has been recurring since the advent of Islam, 1400 years ago, and is amply substantiated by the historical record. If the "foreign" culture cannot be destroyed, then it is expropriated, and revisionist historians claim that it is and was Arab, as is the case of most of the Arab "accomplishments" you cited in your speech. For example, Arab history texts in the Middle East teach that Assyrians were Arabs, a fact that no reputable scholar would assert, and that no living Assyrian would accept. Assyrians first settled Nineveh, one of the major Assyrian cities, in 5000 B.C., which is 5630 years before Arabs came into that area. Even the word 'Arab' is an Assyrian word, meaning "Westerner" (the first written reference to Arabs was by the Assyrian King Sennacherib, 800 B.C., in which he tells of conquering the "ma'rabayeh" -- Westerners. See The Might That Was Assyria, by H. W. F. Saggs).

Even in America this Arabization policy continues. On October 27th a coalition of seven Assyrian and Maronite organizations sent an official letter to the Arab American Institute asking it to stop identifying Assyrians and Maronites as Arabs, which it had been deliberately doing.

There are minorities and nations struggling for survival in the Arab/Muslim ocean of the Middle East and Africa (Assyrians, Armenians, Coptics, Jews, southern Sudanese, Ethiopians, Nigerians...), and we must be very sensitive not to unwittingly and inadvertently support Islamic fascism and Arab Imperialism, with their attempts to wipe out all other cultures, religions and civilizations. It is incumbent upon each one of us to do our homework and research when making statements and speeches about these sensitive matters.

I hope you found this information enlightening. For more information, refer to the web links below. You may contact me at for further questions.

Thank you for your consideration.

Peter BetBasoo

Hitler at Home on the Internet

The predominant color scheme of Hitler's "bright, airy chalet" was "a light jade green." Chairs and tables of braided cane graced the sun parlor, and the Führer, "a droll raconteur," decorated his entrance hall with "cactus plants in majolica pots."

Such are the precious and chilling observations in an irony-free 1938 article in Homes & Gardens, a British magazine, on Hitler's mountain retreat in the Bavarian Alps. A bit of arcana, to be sure, but one that has dropped squarely into the current debate over the Internet and intellectual property. This file, too, is being shared.

The resurrection of the article can be traced to Simon Waldman, the director of digital publishing at Guardian Newspapers in Britain, who says he was given a vintage issue of the magazine by his father-in-law. Noticing the Hitler spread, which doted on the compound's high-mountain beauty ("the fairest view in all Europe") at a time when the Nazis had already gobbled up Austria, Mr. Waldman scanned the three pages and posted them on his personal Web site last May. They sat largely unnoticed until about three weeks ago, when Mr. Waldman made them more prominent on his site and sent an e-mail message to the current editor of Homes & Gardens, Isobel McKenzie-Price, pointing up the article as a historical curiosity.

Ms. McKenzie-Price, citing copyright rules, politely requested that he remove the pages. Mr. Waldman did so, but not before other Web users had turned the pages into communal property, like so many songs and photographs and movies and words that have been illegally traded for more than a decade in the Internet's back alleys.

Still, there was a question of whether the magazine's position was a stance against property theft or a bit of red-faced persnicketiness.

It was 65 years ago last week that the British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, arrived at Hitler's mountain lair to discuss the Nazis' planned annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland — a meeting that would lead, two weeks later, to the Munich agreement and Chamberlain's announcement that he had secured "peace for our time."

The seeds of Chamberlain's conclusion may have been planted in the cozy confines of Hitler's "pine-paneled study" — perhaps with the prime minister seated in a striking armchair upholstered in a dainty floral pattern. This we learn from Homes & Gardens. The article appeared in the November issue — the same month as Kristallnacht, the the Nazis' pogrom against the Jews.

For its part, IPC Media, which owns Homes & Gardens, was unwilling to comment on the topic. "We have already made our feelings known to the person who originally posted the article," a spokeswoman for the company said, though she added that even IPC was unclear on the exact status of the copyright.

By the end of last week, links that once pointed to Mr. Waldman's scans were dead but others were springing to life. The pages turned up, for instance, on the Web site of David Irving, the historian who two years ago lost his appeal in a libel case against an American academic who labeled him a Holocaust denier. He plans on keeping the article up on his site. "If I suspect that an attempt is being made to suppress an awkward item, which I suspect may be behind the Homes & Gardens effort, then I would dig my heels in rather more, and hold out as long as I could," Mr. Irving said.

The episode is an object lesson in the topsy-turvy world of copyright and "fair use" — an area made far murkier by the distributive power of the Internet and the subsequent crisscrossing of international legal codes. In the United States, the posting would most likely be considered fair use, said Wendy Seltzer, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. "Reprinting the article now, 65 years after its original publication, strikes me as more like reporting or commenting on a news story, or fair use, than photocopying a current scientific article to save the cost of buying more magazines," she said.

Britain's Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988 considers use of "reasonable portions" of some copyrighted material to be "fair dealing," provided they are used in private study, criticism and review, or news reporting. Simply posting an article on the Web might not qualify.

Indeed, the Internet has ensured that copyright can never be just about one nation's laws. "All copyright issues are international copyright issues," said Edwin Komen, an intellectual property lawyer in Washington. On the Web, he added, "you become vulnerable to just about any jurisdiction in the world."

For all of that, though, IPC Media's unwillingness to discuss even the content of the Hitler article is puzzling to Mr. Waldman. This skeleton was abruptly yanked from the Homes & Gardens closet, yes, but the article reflects more about the mind of aristocratic Britain in 1938 — well known to have given Hitler the benefit of the doubt — than it does about the magazine itself. Even the American press noted the beauty of Hitler's compound, including The New York Times , which on Sept. 18, 1938, wrote that the chalet was "simple in its appointments" and that it commanded "a magnificent highland panorama."

Posting these pages online "doesn't damage Homes & Garden's reputation," Mr. Waldman said. "In fact, putting them up, along with a letter from the editor explaining a bit about them, could be a very positive thing for them to do."

Friday, September 19, 2003

Study Shows Monkeys May Resent Unfairness

Wed Sep 17, 1:01 PM ET, 2003

By ALEX DOMINGUEZ, Associated Press Writer

Humans aren't the only ones who hate a bum deal, it turns out.

In a recent study, brown capuchin monkeys trained to exchange a granite token for a cucumber treat often refused the swap if they saw another monkey get a better payoff -- a grape.

Instead, they often threw the token, refused to eat the piece of cucumber, or even gave it to the other capuchin after viewing the lopsided deal, said Emory University researcher Sarah Brosnan.

She said the results indicate man and monkey may have inherited a sense of fairness from an evolutionary ancestor.

"This implies we evolved this way," said Brosnan, whose work with colleague Frans B.M. de Waal is reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. The trait may have helped species cooperate and survive, Brosnan said.

However, Charles Janson, who studies capuchins at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and was not involved in the research, suggested the monkeys' behavior may have been learned in captivity, rather than inherited as an evolutionary adaptation.

Brosnan said she doubted the behavior was learned, saying most animals "cannot learn things which they do not naturally do in the wild."

"More importantly, however, learning behavior requires that individuals get rewarded for performing a specific behavior," Brosnan said. "In our test, the subject actually received less reward for refusing to exchange."

The researchers, at Emory's Yerkes National Primate Research Center, studied five female monkeys, testing them two at a time.

When both monkeys were given a cucumber slice after handing over the token, they completed the trade 95 percent of the time.

But when one was given the tastier grape for the same amount of work, the rate of cooperation from the other monkey fell to 60 percent, with the cheated primate sometimes throwing the token, refusing the cucumber or giving the cucumber to the other monkey. And when one didn't have to do anything to get a grape, the other made the trade for the cucumber only 20 percent of the time.

The refusal to make the exchange increased as the experiment went on, the researchers reported.

"They were not happy with me," Brosnan said, although she later added that she couldn't really know what the monkeys' emotions were.

The scientists concluded that capuchins apparently measure rewards in relative terms, comparing their rewards to those available, as well as their efforts to those of others.

Small and highly animated with faces that resemble wizened old men, the tropical forest-dwelling capuchins were chosen for the experiment because they often share food.

Brosnan, who said she is now conducting similar studies with chimpanzees, noted that the capuchin that got the grape didn't react at all to the unjustness of the situation. That "probably implies there is still a lot of difference between their sense of fairness and ours," she said.

This story appeared originally on Yahoo News here but stories there do not stay up for long so I have reposted it here for its interest in showing that monkeys behave like Leftists!