Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The wisdom of the Vikings can help an America in today's crises

Can the distant past offer answers to the crises plaguing modern-day Americans? Even if it did, would those Americans listen? The answer to both questions is yes.

Twenty years after 9/11, Americans find are wondering what’s ahead after COVID and our debacle in Afghanistan.

In September 2001 I published a book called "How The Scots Invented The Modern World." It showed how a small ethnic group – the Scots of Scotland – became the carriers of the seeds of modernization.

The book revealed how the key thinkers of Scotland’s 18th century, including Adam Smith, laid down the basic assumptions about capitalism, self-government and the power of individual enterprise that spread around the world, including to America, with transformative results – one of which was the U.S. Constitution.

Published in the shadow of 9/11, my publisher and I thought the book would be all but forgotten in the tumultuous and chaotic weeks afterward. America had real enemies, and real issues to face. Who was going to care about what Adam Smith said or did 200 years ago, or how Scots like James Wilson and David Hume influenced the U.S. Constitution?

It turned out, lots of people did. The book became a New York Times bestseller, and a bestseller in the U.K. and Canada.

The Scottish experience in shaping the modern world and America suddenly had tremendous resonance with post-9/11 readers. Right or left, liberal or conservative, they recognized in the themes of the book a message about the importance of civilized values and freedom, and the self-confidence we were going to need in the face of barbarism and terror.

My new book, "The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World," is about much more than the fearsome Norsemen who ranged around the world 1,200 years ago and laid the foundations for globalization– or their Scandinavian descendants who settled in America and became part of the American Dream.

It’s also about the links between freedom and community, and how a polarized nation can become one again.

The answer lies in the cultural skill set the Vikings forged in a harsh and unforgiving homeland and passed on to their descendants – and then to the immigrants coming to America.

The first component of that set was a robust commitment to family and community. The Danes have a word for it: Samfundssind or social mindedness (samfund meaning ‘society’ and sind ‘mind’). For the Vikings at peace or war, there was no survival without communal survival.

The Vikings’ willingness to venture into the unknown for the sake of community and family has universal value.

That necessary cooperation built a framework of solidarity and trust that permeated all aspects of life, whether it was digging out a new field for planting from bog and forest or fishing off a rocky windswept coast, doing battle with rivals and strangers or sailing across the Atlantic to the shores of North America – or centuries later making a new life on the American frontier.

The second component is a belief in the value of individual hard work, what the Norwegian American sociologist Thorstein Veblen called the instinct of workmanship, a "disposition to do the next thing and do it as well as may be."

You can see this work ethic in the building a long ship or the writing a symphony like the Danish composer Neils Gade or creating a disease-free strain of wheat as Norwegian American biologist Norman Borlaug did – or in the creation of a quantum computer. It’s an instinct that doesn’t just look for ways to benefit ourselves, but also the community – maybe as much, if not more than ourselves.

Side by side with that belief in hard work, however, was the willingness to allow individuals to take extreme risks, for the same reason: for the benefit of the whole. That was as much the case with Viking adventurers crossing the Atlantic, or later polar explorers like Roland Amundson or today’s Liv Arnesen, or Norwegian resistance fighters venturing into the frozen North to take out Germany’s nuclear program during World War II.

Swedish American Charles Lindbergh took the same extreme risk with his solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, knowing his achievement wouldn’t just make him famous but change people’s understanding of the importance of air travel – and eventually of air power for America in the Second World War.

Today we recognize that the Vikings’ willingness to venture into the unknown for the sake of community and family has universal value. We can see that theirs was a freedom that rested on the foundations of a shared culture built on mutual trust, which their descendants then brought to America and made part of their new homeland.

It’s those same values that I believe are now waiting to save us from the storm and even lift the shadows of 9/11, two decades later. They are the antidote to the toxins of critical race theory and wokeness; they are the tonic that will restore America’s faith in itself.

These values will make American leadership a beacon of light in the world again, and make American power a force to be respected – a force infused with the spirit of the Viking heart.


U.K. Exports With the EU Again Above Pre-Brexit Levels

One in the eye for the prophets of doom

U.K. exports of goods to the European Union were above pre-Brexit levels for a second month in June, half a year after the country severed trade ties with the bloc.

Exports to the EU rose to £14.3 billion and imports increased to £19.1 billion, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Thursday. Still, that widened the U.K. merchandise deficit with the 27-member group by 7.4% compared to May.

Total exports of goods, excluding precious metals, fell 2.2% in June, driven by a 5.6% slump in exports to non-EU countries, mainly because of declines in medicinal and pharmaceutical products and cars.

All trade flows recorded double-digit growth compared with a year ago, with imports from non-EU countries (35%) and exports to the EU (29%) rising at the fastest rate.

Exports of live animals, meat and dairy products to the EU grew 14% in June compared to a year before. U.K. producers in the food and agriculture industries have been facing the burden of checks and regulations the bloc put forth. Exports of fish and shellfish, another key exporting industry, increased 17%, while exports of iron and steel jumped 61% from the year before.

Monitoring the shifting composition of U.K. trade with the EU and the rest of the world will be key to gauging the success of the government’s “Global Britain” project. The total trade deficit more than doubled to £5.2 billion in the second quarter.

Brexit’s impact on the U.K. economy will take a long time to materialize fully.

Despite a torrid start to the year, U.K. exports to Europe have largely recovered, but are still lagging the wider rebound in global trade, according to James Smith, an economist at ING, before the release. This suggests “businesses are adapting to the new processes,” he said.


The Democrats War on Blacks Keeps Growing in the Pandemic

Roger L. Simon

One of the key reasons I left the Democratic Party years ago was the atrocious way they treated black people.

I’m not just talking about “Jim Crow” or LBJ’s well-known patriarchal and racist use of the “n-word” to celebrate blacks voting Democratic forever in gratitude for his ultimately useless early “virtue signaling” called the “War on Poverty.”

Since then, it’s only gotten worse. Democrats calling Republicans “racist,” as they do on a ritual basis, is literally one of the more nauseating examples of projection in human history.

But before I go into the egregious details of today’s malfeasances, it should be noted that Larry Elder—the estimable black conservative talk show host who makes videos for The Epoch Times—is in a near-tie with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the percentage of votes garnered in the California gubernatorial recall election. Schwarzenegger got 48.5 percent and Elder, so far, 47 percent. And they’re still counting. (In both instances, they were competing against dozens of candidates.)

Elder won the latter in a landslide. But just who were the people (along with the predictable corruption) who blocked his way from the governor’s office by voting to preserve Newsom?

I submit that many of them were what we used to call “limousine liberals” and might today be called “Tesla-crats.” They are the rich, often mega-rich, almost always white, people who drive by the myriad horrific homeless encampments of California, trying not to look, as they head for the next trendy restaurant or their magnificent home.

And what is the largest group on a percentage basis in those homeless encampments? Well, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s blacks.

How can we not have contempt for the hypocritical (to say the least) “Tesla-crats”? But they’re only the plutocratic tip of the Democratic war on blacks we’re watching at this very moment.

Let’s start with the border.

At the moment, there is a crisis of crises at a place called Del Rio, Texas. The left-leaning New York Times is reporting:

“The U.S. Border Patrol said that more than 9,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, were being held in a temporary staging area under the Del Rio International Bridge as agents worked as quickly as they could to process them.

“The temporary camp has grown with staggering speed in recent days, from just a few hundred people earlier in the week. The authorities and city officials said they expected thousands more to cross the ankle-deep river between Mexico and Del Rio in coming days.”

How many of these people will ultimately enter our country we don’t know. Probably a lot. (It’s reported the numbers under the bridge have swelled to 12,000 now.) How many carry COVID? Again, we don’t know, but probably a lot. What we do know is that since they are, mostly, Haitian, they will likely end up in black communities, bringing their infections with them.

Where is there already the most COVID-19 on a percentage basis? Black communities.

War on blacks?

Okay, consider the next—if anything more horrible because more deliberate—example.

In their alacrity to punish Southern red states, our federal government is restricting the monoclonal antibody treatments given those states. Who suffers the most from this? Who may well die from this?

Again, the black community—where these treatments are most needed. Joel Pollak puts it succinctly over on Breitbart.com:

“President Joe Biden’s decision to cut deliveries of monoclonal antibodies to southeastern states, in what critics have called a politically-motivated effort to punish Republican states, could end up sentencing black people to death from coronavirus.”

Is this sadism or stupidity on the part of our president? An argument can be made for both.

Thankfully, Larry Elder is far from alone in standing up for the rights of his people.

Notable lately is rapper Nicki Minaj who has courageously stood up for the truth on Twitter by casting justifiable aspersions—or should I say “throwing shade”—on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Naturally she got a lot of pushback from the usual crowd who don’t know what pathetic conformists they are. Someone named “hasanabi” wrote after the rapper appeared on Tucker Carlson, “You know he’s a white nationalist right?”

Minaj responded: “Right. I can’t speak to, agree with, even look at someone from a particular political party. [People] aren’t human any more… If another party [than the Democrat Party] tells u to look out for that bus, stand there & get hit.”

So far, no one has said it better.


Julianne Hough's Blackface Scandal Resurfaces Amid Backlash Over New 'Activist' Show

Actress Julianne Hough is eating crow...again.

About eight years ago, she dressed up as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren from the Netflix show "Orange is the New Black" for Halloween. In doing so, she also tried to make her skin look darker, like the African-American character she was playing.

Hough received some serious backlash for it. However, it appears the woke crowd is not prepared to let her live it down, nearly a decade later.

The scandal has resurfaced amid backlash for her role - alongside Usher and Priyanka Chopra Jones - in a new reality competition series called "The Activist," which is set to premier next month. In the show, she will judge six activists competing to bring awareness to their cause.

She said, "Wearing black face was a poor choice based on my own white privilege and my own white body bias that hurt people and is something I regret doing to this day."


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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