Subscriber Commentary & Review Thread (#14)
Kenneth Clark: Terrorist; the politics of crisis; globalization and the Taliban; TikTok accelerationism and Wang Huning
Hello everyone, welcome to the 14th subscriber thread. For newcomers, I use these threads to share a wide assortment of the more interesting things I can remember reading over the last month. Usually they have a connection to the general themes explored here at The Upheaval. Sometimes they’re just entertaining. But in any case the comments are for the community (you) to discuss whatever you want. I do want to hear from you, and aim to be as engaged in the comments section of these threads as I can be.
First a quick heads up: Substack Inc. is currently testing some new features for international users, and I’m included in the Substack features test group, so these may show up for you over the next few months. These include pricing in local currencies (rather than USD), potential price adjustments based on local purchasing power, and alternative payment options beyond credit cards. I will have no control over this, but I want to make you aware in advance so that you aren’t surprised by any changes. Overall I’m pleased with this direction that Substack is exploring, as I think it could be quite helpful for some readers outside of the United States who have wanted to subscribe but have had trouble doing so.
Now, let’s get right into it…
1. The Global Politics of Fear and Crisis
Douglass Murray, “Can you really be radicalised by Great British Railway Journeys?” (The Spectator)
The British government is among the most dedicated in the world when it comes to keeping its people safe… from thinking the wrong thoughts. Which is why it runs “Prevent,” a program to prevent terrorism by encouraging people to rat out their neighbors to counter-terrorism police for wrong-think, as well as using behavioral analysis to pre-identify dangerous extremists to monitor. Recently some documents from Prevent became public as part of an official review, and, as Douglass Murray reports here, the factors designated evidence of “extremism” are rather interesting…
When I first saw these documents I felt a sort of white-hot anger. But then I read on and saw that these same taxpayer-funded fools provide lists of other books shared by people who have sympathies with the ‘far-right and Brexit’. Key signs that people have fallen into this abyss include watching the Kenneth Clark TV series Civilisation, The Thick of It and Great British Railway Journeys. I need to stress again that I am not making this up. This has all been done on your dime and mine in order to stop ‘extremism’ in these islands.
There is also a reading list of historical texts which produce red flags to RICU. These include Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, as well as works by Thomas Carlyle and Adam Smith. Elsewhere RICU warns that radicalisation could occur from books by authors including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Aldous Huxley and Joseph Conrad. I kid you not, though it seems that all satire is dead, but the list of suspect books also includes 1984 by George Orwell.
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