Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Some Link Love VI

It has been nearly a year since I gave out any Link Love!

Whats amazing is I have a list of links to great articles going back years, but instead of sharing them I keep writing my own. But this week I am sick so it's time to spread some of that love.

I thought there were some great insights here for men in long term relationships.
http://www.returnofkings.com/121982/how-to-reduce-drama-in-your-long-term-relationships


This article is entitled "Financialization", The Z Man talks about the three different currencies used throughout history, precious metals, banknotes and our current currency, credit. And why this is why older ideas about economics aren't working in quite the same way.
http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=10351


Anti-Dem writes long articles but they normally have a number of good ideas, here he has at least three.
https://antidem.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/means-and-ends/


Here is a short view into how the Market really works and how it does the real economy.
http://raedwald.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/is-it-surprising-that-were-anti.html

Another one from The Z Man, "The Blinkered Class"
http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=10275

"This Explains A Lot", yes it does.
http://pvewood.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/this-explains-lot.html

Enjoy!

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
The Principle Of Prudence

Friday, 19 May 2017

Why Is Western Art So Bad?

A few months ago I saw an article on the CIA and it's involvement in Classical Music. During the Cold War the CIA was heavily involved in trying to counter Communist influence within the Arts. The Author of this particular case made the argument that the CIA had destroyed Classical Music. I wrote a comment saying that Classical Music was already a spent force by the 1940's, that Bolero by Maurice Ravel was the last piece of Classical Music to be regarded as a Classic and that nothing since has come even close. The death of Western Art was well under way even a century ago.

People like to put the blame upon the CIA or the Frankfort School or some other such entity, but the rot set in long ago, long before these things existed. As did our political and social rot, in fact things like the Frankfort School are symptoms of the disease not the disease itself.

In regards to the Arts I believe there are two reasons for the decline.

1. Cameras, &

2. Originality

Cameras
This is more to do with the Visual Arts, but the loss of confidence in this area, often regarded as the pinnacle of Western Art was to have a decisive effect. A Camera is a means of creating an exact image from the real world. At once you can see that that is quite revolutionary. But we often don't think about the next step, we see the advantages of being able to create an exact image of the real world, but that also came at a cost. Before the invention of camera's the primary way to create an image of the real world was through drawing or painting. Both required years of training as well as natural talent. But there were real reasons to invest in such training and to nurture such talent. For example a King wants to know if a Princess is attractive, a wealthy Noble or Merchant wants to show off their possessions, or a Mother wants a momento of her children. Only talented and skilled Artists could satisfy that desire. Painting and drawings were also important in a society were most people could not read, the Arts served a real world purpose.

The camera took many of those real world benefits away from Art. Why sit for hours or days for a portrait when I can get a photograph in 15 minutes? Why look at a painting of the Alps when I can see a photograph of the actual Alps? You can see this affecting the Art's from as early as the 1860's with Impressionism, when you look at the paintings you can see two things happening at once. Firstly you can see the classical training and talent on display, but secondly you see the paintings become less and less distinct. You begin to see as time goes on less skill and more enthusiasm. In 1850 Western Art was as good as it ever was, by 1900 that is no longer true, Art was still prestigious but it was no longer a real world skill. The only advantage it had over a photograph was that it could recreate the imagination, so that is what began to happen.

Originality
Art traditions in the Eastern and Western worlds are vastly different and it is this difference that I wish to highlight and to demonstrate how it lead to the greatness of Western Art and to it's downfall.

In Western Art originality is extremely important, let's imagine for a moment that I could paint as well as Rembrandt, and by "as well" I mean I could paint an exact copy of any of Rembrandt's works. I sign them with my own name and I announce that these are exact copies of his art, so there is no fraud or deception involved. Now an original Rembrandt is way beyond all but the very rich or Art Institutions, so why not provide people with a cheaper version?

But people would tell me that I obviously have talent why don't I create my own art instead of simply copying? Why be unoriginal and copy the work of a better man?

But if I can paint as well as Rembrandt aren't we equals?

Most people would say no.

That is the exact oppose of the opinion that is held in the East, or at least was held in the East. Traditionally Art in the East was about obtaining mastery of a subject, once mastery has been obtained then the task is complete. Mastery is perfection, how can you improve upon perfection?

Well of course you can't, so once it has been decided that mastery has been obtained, the best that any future student can hope for is to be as good as a past Master. Copying is not seen as cheating as it is in the West, that attitude is ridiculous. To reproduce the work of a Master shows you are a good and loyal student and it shows that you are a Master. Mastery is as much about character as it is about training or natural talent.

In the East originality was welcome in a new field of Art, but once Mastery had been obtained then originality showed a lack of character. This attitude meant that Eastern Art reached a certain level and stopped.

In the West where originality is prized it lead to some of the greatest Art seen in the history of the world. And that lasted for centuries, but how long can it really exist for?

When each year you have to outdo what you did last year and every other Artist is trying to achieve the exact same thing. But here's the trap, it's much easier to be original than it is to produce good Art, let alone great Art. and if originality is prized above all else and it is, then why not give them what they want? They don't want good Art, they want original Art. In the past century we have seen the effects of such thinking. Less and less good Art and more and more original Art.

This attitude can be seen in nearly every category of Art you wish. Not just in the visual Arts, but in Classical Music, Literature, Poetry, you get this same problem of originality. It's easier to be original than it is to be good. Because of this attitude Art has become a Ghetto, where it was once regarded as one of the most prestigious fields in Western Civilization. Artist's know this and they resent it, they resent being rejected for providing the very thing they have been told to create, originality. So in their resentment they have gone deeper into the pit, if you want original, I'll give you original!

If Western Art is to return to it's pinnacle it needs something new to aim for. We the viewers of Art need to encourage the Art we would really like to see, instead of the Art that is being created.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
Ideology Before Reality

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Scarlet Pimpernel - A Book Review

Like most people I had heard of this book but I had never read it. It was published in 1905 and it was written by a Hungarian, Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

What I found unexpected was that nearly the entire story is told from a women's point of view, now of course the Scarlet Pimpernel is not a women. It would be like writing a book about Batman but not showing it from his perspective, but strangely it works. The Baroness wanted to tell a particular story but she still wrote it to her strengths. She was a women so she wrote from a women's perspective.

The story in brief and without revealing too much of the plot, is set during the French Revolution. The Scarlet Pimpernel is rescuing the condemned from the clutches of the revolution and certain death upon the guillotine. An agent of the French Government has been sent to England to find out who he is and trap him.

Why should Conservatives read it?

It is a story of good versus evil, a fantasy of fighting back against the terror of the French Revolution and it is strongly Monarchical in outlook. More a thriller than a swashbuckler but entertaining non the less. The most disappointing part of the book is that it is fiction!


We seek him here, we seek him there,

Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.

Is he in heaven? - Is he in hell?

That demmed, elusive Pimpernel?


Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
Islam And The West

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Problem With Conservatives

Being a Conservative can be quite frustrating, seeing how bad things have become, trying to hold off the tide of Liberalism. And by Conservative, I don't mean Liberals who call themselves Conservatives, I mean real Conservatives. People who believe in TraditionOrderFamily not people who believe in Free Trade and that Liberal rubbish.

But another thing that is frustrating is Conservatives themselves, so often we have standards that we keep even though to keep them is both stupid and wrong. I mean that we can see they do not work but keep them anyway. We can see that they disadvantage us but we seem to be too stubborn to change. Maybe our biggest problem is that we do not take into account our enemies, we expect them to behave as we do. However we do have other problems:

Giving people the benefit of the doubt
Why do we do this? Why do we assume that others will be as fair minded as we are? Why do we so often fail to spot the others sides deviousness? We seem to always give our enemies the benefit of the doubt, "sure I oppose this but they only want something small". They never want something small, they always want everything, but today they will accept something small. We need to stop being reasonable, our enemies are not!

Believe in meritocracy
Here is an idea we picked up from Liberalism, the best man for the job, now the best person for the job. The Left does not play this game, they pick the person who agrees with them the most, why don't we play it that way as well? "Ohhh that would make us just as bad"....you mean winning? I would love to be winning, how about we can be a meritocracy AFTER we win? Before that it's a luxury we cannot afford.

Uses Leftist language
It can be hard to not use Leftist language, but it is not impossible. I do not say "gay" I say homosexual, it's not gay marriage because that is their language, it is homosexual marriage. Plants and Romance languages have genders, people have a sex, they are either of the male sex or of the female sex. Stop using Leftist language!

Impatient
Here is something that on first glance you would not expect. Liberalism is basically saying to the entire world "you're not my Dad you can't tell me what to do!". It is all very immature and you would expect that would make them impatient, but you would be wrong. The patience of Liberalism is truly one of the wonders of our age. Instead it is Conservatives who are impatient. I understand, I want it all fixed instantly if not sooner just as much as you do. We need to learn patience, we will not turn things around this year or in five years, we will be fighting this battle our entire lives....yes really. And we need to learn patience.

Honesty
We are so freaking honest, Liberals lie through their teeth, but we are just so honest. They are always saying one thing and doing another, why? Because it works. Should we be less honest? I'm too bloody honest to say yes!......I am as infuriating as every other Conservative!

But if we keep being honest, it must be part of our armour and not another one of our problems. We give honest council and they do not. But if we do intend to travel that road we need to be as straight as an arrow and to give hard advice, but just comforting advice.

Living within the rules
We want Order, we want things to make sense and we want to believe in fair play, however our enemies do not believe in any of these things. Thats one of the basic reasons that they are our enemies. Can we live inside the rules and win? I don't think we can, we need to start doing what they do and start breaking rules. If they win everyone will lose, we cannot allow that to happen, we must win!

Easily intimidated
We are so easy to intimidate, "your not honest!", "you broke the rules!", "you didn't use our language!". I can hear the apologies already. We need to get tougher, we need to stop being intimidated. How long has the word "racist" held us back? It's pathetic and you can be certain that that never held our enemies back.

We need to win because Liberalism will destroy everything, including itself, if it wins. This is not a game, it is not an intellectual exercise, it's real life and we are losing. I am not saying you are all bad and I'm good, I am guilty of a number of these myself. We all need to get better at this, the stakes are high and they aren't getting any smaller.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
Customs, Conventions and Permanence

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Fiftieth Month

Fifty months!

That's how long I have been writing this blog and this will be my 397th post, wow!

April was my fifth best month ever, it slowly down near the end of the month as I wasn't writing as much. However this month is on track to becoming my best ever. In April I had 4265 visitors, so far in May I have had 3585. I'm not sure how much notice I should take of these statistics sometimes, my American visitors are up but for about a week I received visitors every few hours and then nothing, regular as clockwork. Are these real visitors? I really don't know, then I get more Russians turning up, just like the times before, they arrive in great numbers and in a week they probably will have all left, why? Why do they turn up? Why do they leave?

And why is it that when the "big" countries grow, the "smaller" countries get smaller?

My best day in the last month was yesterday, the 10th May when I had 547 visitors, which is outstanding, my worst day was the 15th April when I had 54 visitors.

April-May

EntryPageviews
United States
4241
Russia
816
Australia
781
United Kingdom
92
Ireland
77
Germany
69
Brazil
50
Canada
43
South Korea
41
France
24

March-April

EntryPageviews
United States
1540
Australia
722
Russia
425
United Kingdom
336
Canada
107
Germany
87
France
65
Brazil
59
Ireland
59
Ukraine
43
The United States which is already the country I receive the most visitors from has tripled!

Russia has nearly doubled, Ireland and Australia are the only other countries to go up.

The United Kingdom is way down, Germany, Brazil, Canada and France are all down.

The Ukraine has left the top 10 and South Korea has reentered it.

I have also received visitors from the following countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Latvia, Armenia, Israel, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Antigua & Barbuda, Columbia

I hope to see you all again soon.
Mark Moncrieff

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A Modern Problem - My Father

Today is my 47th birthday and yesterday I was told that my Father died. It has been a bad weekend, a family friend died on Saturday, my nephews cat died after being injured on Sunday morning and Sunday evening was my Fathers turn. However I had a very modern relationship with my Father and that means that I really didn't know him, so how should I feel about his death?

So some background, I am the sixth of seven children and my parents separated when I was four. I only have two memories of him from that time and after my parents separated they both took up with new partners. My younger brother started calling our Stepfather "Dad" straight away but I was very loyal to my Father and I held out for two years. Which in hindsight probably didn't do anything to help my relationship with my Stepfather. After that I rarely saw my Father even though he didn't live that far away. But through one of my older brothers I had the occasional contact. But it was like going to a friends house and meeting their Father, nothing special. The women that he was with had two sons around my age and the four of us, my stepbrothers, myself and my younger brother were great friends. As we got older we drifted apart.

When I was in my mid teens I decided that I wanted a relationship with my Father, so I would go and visit him. Mostly we watched TV together. Then when I was sixteen my older brother told us that our Father was getting remarried, I was glad. It was quite clear to me that whatever relationship that had existed between my parents was well and truly in the past, so I wasn't shocked or upset at all. But I didn't get an invitation to the wedding, in fact I was never told about it. A boy at school was invited but I wasn't. After they were married I went to the house so he could tell me, but he didn't. And it broke my heart.

He couldn't even acknowledge reality and it destroyed what little relationship we had. I never went back to visit him, although I did see him a few times after that at birthdays or funerals. Over the years I have thought maybe I should make another effort, but I never did. I had tried and it got me nowhere. I found out later that others had also tried and had been just as successful as I was. In his later years I heard that he wanted a relationship with his children, but too much water had gone under the bridge.

When my Stepfather died, even through we had not had the best of relationships at times, I cried. I was very upset, he raised me, protected me, taught me good lessons and bad and he provided for me. But my own Father couldn't even tell me that he was getting remarried. How should I feel about him?

I then think about how many others have this modern problem, where we don't know the people who should be the dearest to us in the world. When my parents separated I didn't just lose my Father but the rest of his side of my family. All that history and background was lost to me. The truth is that I don't love my Father, but I don't hate him either, rather he is just someone I used to know a long time ago.

The way we live now means that far too many people understand my problem, far to many know what it's like to not know one of their own parents.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
Australian Suicide Bomber?

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Cathars - A Medieval Gnostic Heresy

During the Middle Ages in southern France and northern Spain, a Gnostic belief spread that the Catholic Church declared to be a heresy. That belief came to called Catharism, although exactly when it got that name is unknown. The Cathars beliefs came from the eastern Mediterranean from the Byzantine Empire in what is now Turkey. Gnosticism was primarily an eastern belief and it was rare for it to spread to Europe. But it gathered a strong following in the area of France known as the Occitan.

The Cathars were Christians but they believed in two Gods, the God of the Old Testament who was God of the physical world, which was evil. And in the God of the New Testament who was the God of the spiritual world, which was good. So that left a question, if Jesus died upon the cross to atone for the sins of mankind then he was physical and if he was physical then he was evil!

How can the savour of man be evil?

The Cathars had an answer, Jesus was not physical, he was a spirit, he was the symbol of the triumph of the God of the New Testament over the God of the Old Testament. Jesus suffering was regarded as metaphysical instead of physical.

The Catholic Church regarded all of this as wrong, it said that there was one God in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost or Spirit. It also said that Jesus suffered on the cross to atone for the sins of mankind. It asked the question, how could a spirit suffer? It's answer was that it couldn't, the Cathar beliefs took Jesus, who was the centre piece of Christian theology and turned him into nothing more than a symbol.

None of this was acceptable to the Catholic Church and over many decades they sent missionaries into the region to remind people of Catholic doctrine. But the Cathar beliefs had spread into the Church and to the Nobility. Various Popes were involved in trying to stem the spread of this belief, the Dominican Order was founded in part to do this work. In 1209 the Papal Legate was murdered after excommunicating the Count of Toulouse and the Pope ordered that a Crusade be preached against the Cathars, the Crusade is known as the Albigensian Crusade.

The Crusade lasted for 20 years and was quite brutal. The most infamous incident was the massacre at Beziers were the new Papal Legate was asked how would the Crusaders be able to distinguish between Cathars and Catholics, he replied "Kill them all, the Lord will recognize his own".

After the Crusade finished in 1229 the Cathars while greatly weakened continued to exist. The Church created the Inquisition. In general there were four Inquisitions, the Medieval, the Roman and the Spanish and Portuguese. The Spanish Inquisition has acquired quite a reputation, the Roman Inquisition still exists and is mostly concerned with books than people. The Medieval Inquisition was simply known as the Inquisition. It was mostly concerned with bringing people back into the Catholic fold and it continued in this task for another century.

In the 1960's some documents were discovered that came from the Inquisition in the early 1300's. These documents are unique as they are the earliest documents anywhere in the world to include the observations and opinions of ordinary people. The Inquisition would summon people and ask them questions to see if they were still Cathars, they didn't ask them questions about theology but mostly about ordinary life. They were like an Intelligence Service, they were looking for flaws in people's thinking and for information on how other people thought. And they wrote it all down, what people thought about religion, what they did for work, how they lived, who they liked and didn't like and all the gossip covering a thirty year period, 1294-1324.

A book was written from this information, Montaillou, the book was written by a French academic and you can tell. Having said that if you can read between the lines you will enjoy this book. One thing from the book has stayed with me "Everything is forbidden, there fore everything is allowed". This was a rather cynical joke the last Cathars told each other, it is pure Gnostic thinking. As the physical world is evil, so are you, and so is everything you do, in other words everything in this life is forbidden. But as everything is forbidden then whats the difference between doing something wrong and doing something really wrong?

These Cathars saw both the absurdity of their beliefs and they took advantage of them "Everything is forbidden, there fore everything is allowed".

Upon Hope Blog - A traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
Some Lessons From Nationalisms in Britain