1. In a World of
Careerists, What Good Is a Life of Virtue?
2. The Half-Life of Deindustrialization: Why Donald Trump
Is Just A Symptom
3. The NSA Leak Is Real, Snowden Documents Confirm
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, August 20, 2016.
There are 3 items with 3
dotted links today: Item 1
is an excellent article by Robert Scheer about Chris Hedges, who gets
interviewed: I pay a considerable amount of attent- ion to this; item 2 is about deindustrialization, which is an
interesting concept, but one I discard for another one, viz.
neofascism; while item 3
is about the NSA leak I've mention- ed before, and that now indeed has
been found real (and the NSA had nothing to say, at least till now).
Also, while there are just three subjects, this file is quite long
(over 50 Kb), mostly because I really liked the first item, and dealt
fairly thoroughly with it. This also entails that the present Nederlog
is uploaded later than is usual.
1. In a World of Careerists, What Good Is a Life of Virtue?
first item today is - I think - by Robert
Scheer and Chris Hedges, for Scheer made a long
and good interview with Hedges:
This starts as follows:
Yes indeed. And before going on with this
interview, I want to say something about the enormous
confusions between the modern "left", that was created by the
major milllionaires Bill Clinton and Tony Blair (see: "Third
Way"), and the classical Left that my parents and
believed in, and which does not have anything to do
with the sick, propagandistic lies that make up the "left":
In this week’s episode of “Scheer
Intelligence” on KCRW, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer speaks
with Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges about the rewards of Hedges’
unorthodox career as a minister and journalist covering the
disintegration of societies on multiple continents, his working habits,
and the consequences of elite neglect of the forces that turn civilized
The two spoke in Philadelphia in late
July as Democrats pilloried Republicans and their presidential
candidate, Donald Trump.
“The Nazis before 1933 were buffoonish
figures, as were Radovan Karadžic and Slobodan Miloševic in
Yugoslavia,” Hedges remarked. “And as Trump is. But when these
buffoonish figures take power, they become extremely frightening.”
“They are frightening,” Scheer replied.
The "left" these days - intellectually and morally speaking - mostly
consists of three kinds of theses and
(1) everybody is equal (or equivalent): You, and Hitler and
are all of the same equal (equivalent) value, as is anybody
else; (2) identity-politics: People are no longer
individuals but are
identified by group-characteristics,
which again are subject to (1);
and (3) political correctness: No one is supposed to say
harmful about anybody, for that would be violence.
My parents and grandparents (communists or anarchists, who also had the
great - and quite uncommon - courage to resist the Nazis when they occupied
Holland) did not believe any of the above and
neither do I: It is all utterly false bullshit and
baloney: Nobody is equal or equivalent to anyone; no
individual is a
group nor should be identified with a group; and almost everything that can be said, may
be said, also if it
is supposed to harm others, and especially if what is being
said is (probably) true.
I summarized a lot here, and also left out a lot, but I first wanted to
get this out of the way: If this is what it takes to define a
modern "leftist" I am certainly not a "leftist" and never
was one, nor were my parents and grandparents (and yes, I had a whole
lot to do with those who did
insist on their "leftishness" in the university, but no, I never
mistook this for being Leftist: If my parents were real Leftists, and
were, the politically committed students I met in the UvA all were fakes
- as indeed they were).
Next, I go on with the interview (that I like a lot):
“There you go,” said Hedges. “That’s how
fascism—and voting for Hillary Clinton’s not going to make it better.
We may get rid of Trump; we’re not getting rid of the phenomenon. Trump
is not the phenomenon. Trump is responding to the phenomenon. Unless we
radically change that phenomenon, we’re finished.”
What is the phenomenon? Neoliberalism, a
regime of economic policies supported and embodied by the Clintons that
destroy the supply of jobs and good wages that ensures social order by
satisfying a public’s basic needs.
Yes, I agree and I also insist neofascism
is (probably) the best term for "the phenomenon". In case you
know part of my reasons, check this out
(There is more to follow on the theme, but not today, except my
to avoid "neoliberalism": First, this is a propaganda
term. And second,
it certainly is not
all that makes up neofascism, for this is in fact made up from parts
fascism plus parts of corporatism plus parts of
We have arrived at the place the real
interview begins, for the parts quoted so far were from the
Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert
Scheer with another edition of “Scheer Intelligence,” where the
intelligence comes from my guests. And I certainly have an intelligent
one now, and it’s part of a series I call “American originals”—people
that have somehow come out of our crazy-quilt of a culture and actually
have integrity, have an interesting point of view. And Chris Hedges is
certainly such a person. We’re going to talk about events of—we’re
doing this in Philadelphia at the time of the Democratic convention.
Chris has been leading demonstrations, as well as writing about it.
I’ve been covering this for Truthdig. And we’re going to get to that.
But I’d like to pick up on the theme of the American original, and
basically address one question, [which] is: Why didn’t you sell out?
Yes indeed: Scheer is quite right,
both in stressing that Chris Hedges is a genuine American
original, and also in asking him the crucial question "Why didn’t you sell out?"
And first as to selling out: Chris Hedges
is clearly gifted, and he also had a good education - which means that
he has satisfied the two criterions that in fact makes
nearly all (though not: all) academics sell out,
usually already in
their late twenties or
early thirties: They can earn considerably more than less
or less well educated people, and because they like to live a life of
ease, did not get any good example of real individuals, or are
naturally greedy and egoistic, the vast majority
of the academically
educated grow corrupt real soon.
Of course, almost none of them (if not
very drunk) calls it so, and few agree that they have
been fundamentally corrupted
by the pay and the relative freedoms they have as academics, but that -
"Follow The Money!", again - is the real reason for most to
give up the
social and moral ideals they may have had in their early twenties.
So why did this not happen to
Hedges? Because of his father - as indeed was the case for me,
as I will explain (and there is considerably more in Hedges' answer
here were replaced by ellipses):
CH: Well, I think it is kind of
reduced to, in many ways, to that relationship. Because my father was a
veteran from World War II; he’d been a sergeant in North Africa, was
very involved in the antiwar movement. He was involved in the civil
So I grew up with an example—and it was a great gift—of what it means
to take a moral stance, and I was never naive about the cost. I didn’t
believe that people were rewarded for virtue; I saw that they were not.
And so I was freed from that careerism, which is rampant and has a kind
of sickness at The New York Times. And eventually, of course, led to my
split [with] the Times. But I think a lot of it has to do with the
example that my father set.
In fact, I think it is fair to say that my
father was more uncommon than Chris Hedges' father, for my father came
well-to-do middle class Protestant family, while his father owned a
painting firm that was completely destroyed in the early Thirties due
to the crisis, which made first my father give up Protestantism and
turn to communism in 1934/5, after which the same happened to his
And then, being members of the Dutch
Communist Party, both became members of the resistance against the
Nazis right after Holland was occupied in 1940, while both were
betrayed in June of 1941, and were
arrested and soon convicted to the
concentration camp as "political terrorists", which my grandfather
My father survived (just: he had been at
one point 37 kiloos from his original 85) and remained a communist ever
since. He died in 1980, but was briefly before that knighted
("Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau") by Queen Juliana, which also
seems to have made him the only Dutch communist who was ever
while the Dutch CP existed,
because normally communists simply were not knighted, even
3000 Dutch communists lost their lives in the resistance during WW II. 
He was knighted for designing and making
the exhibition about WW II, the resistance, the murder of the Jews
(more than 100.000 - that is: more than 1 in a 100 of Dutchmen
were murdered during WW II), the German concentration camps, and the
continuing dangers of fascism, that was first known as the exhibition
of the Sachsenhausen committee, which was the
last concentration camp my father survived, and
later as the National Exhibition on WW II and fascism (I think: I am
not sure about the precise name anymore), and indeed this also
was a good exhibition. 
So I think I am justified in maintaining
that my father was more uncommon than Chris Hedges' father (who was a
lot richer and better educated as well), and indeed my father never
a careerist, always was a revolutionary, and also taught me a
morals, for which I indeed thanked him very briefly before he died. 
Again, and like Chris Hedges, I think that
was a great gift; I think very few receive it from their father
or mother; I think that is an important reason for the extremely
I've seen, and especially among academics; and indeed
I never believed a moral stance like my father took would be rewarded.
In fact, I believed the opposite: With so many insincere conformists,
it will be a miracle if you are not made to pay for your
the average. 
Finally, while I do insist that my
father's "career" was more uncommon and more radical than was the
career of Chris Hedges' father, I do not want to suggest that my father
a better man: Hedges' father well might have done the same, but he
simply never was placed in the circumstances my father found
Here is some more on Chris Hedges'
RS: (...) And you know, sometimes
when I talk to people they say, you know, Chris Hedges, he’s so
negative and he’s so down, and everything, and what kind of guy is he
like, and everything? But actually, you’re not really like that, right?
You have an incredibly strong life force, right?
CH: Yeah, that’s the public perception. But you
know, I’m, the older I get the more reclusive I become; I don’t really
don’t socialize at all. I don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t have a
Facebook page, I don’t—so I’m kind of cut off on purpose. But I think
you’re right, that is the perception.
CH: Right, we don’t have a TV.
In fact I never thought Hedges is
"negative" or "down". I don't always agree with him, but not
for those reasons. And indeed I also do not have a TV (not since 1970)
and don't want one; I don't have a Twitter account and don't want one;
and I don't have a Facebook account and don't want one. (And I am ill
since I am 28, so indeed I probably do not have "an incredibly strong life force".)
Then there is this, which is mainly about
Chris Hedges and religion:
I say. This is not what I expected,
I like it. Here are some remarks. To start with, the reader
understand that both of my parents were completely irreligious
(my mother's family indeed since the 1850ies), and so am I: I
absolutely never found any convincing reason for me to be religious or
believe in a God,
and never did. 
RS: So let me ask you, as a
minister, about our place in the world. And here we’re at a convention,
not so bad as the Republican convention, but this constant invocation
of a notion of God to endorse, you know, sometimes reasonable
positions, often godless positions; certainly not very sensitive to
human life, when we talk about war and peace. And what is it about
religion that you still hold on to?
CH: Well, I should preface that by
saying that I have no love for institutional religion, which the
theologian Paul Tillich correctly called “inherently demonic.” He said,
“All institutions are inherently demonic, including the Church.” And
But the religious impulse—and I should be
clear that I don’t, there’s no evidence that Jesus ever existed as a
historical figure, or God as a human concept; I don’t believe in heaven
and hell, I don’t think good people are blessed.
But I think that religion, like art,
struggles with the transcendent forces in human life—these non-reality
elements: beauty, truth, justice, a search for meaning, the struggle
with our own mortality—and that we can’t be complete human beings
unless all of that search and discovery into issues like beauty or
truth, or a life of meaning, are examined constantly.
And I think that also, religion at its
best—and one doesn’t have to come out of a religious tradition to have
this sentiment; I mean, Albert Camus had it—grasps that happiness is
not achieved through the acquisition of things, or the amassing of
power or wealth.
And this is quite different for Chris Hedges, simply because his father
was a minister. Then again, while I do not only disbelieve in any God,
I also do not believe in any devil, and so I must reject Tillich's
literal statements, though I like his dislike for the church (any of
I also like Hedges' lack of belief in a historical Jesus; his lack of
belief in an adequate
concept of God that can be understood by human
beings; his disbelief in both heaven and hell, and his disbelief in the
idea that "good people are blessed".
It does amaze me some, but I do like it. And I do agree
with both Hedges and Camus that "happiness is
not achieved through the acquisition of things, or the amassing of
power or wealth", and indeed never
Here is something about neofascism, although this is applied to Poland,
in which Hedges may be quite correct:
RS: And you raised the
question—not you, really, more people in Poland who are worried about
the rise of neofascism and what has happened to the Polish movement—
RS: Solidarity, after Communism
was defeated. I found that an incredibly depressing and alarming
article. And I don’t know if you meant it that way, but I would
recommend that everyone read it, because you raise the most fundamental
question about barbarism in the modern era. Which is that the major
barbarism did not come from people of so-called primitive culture.
I probably agree on Poland, and I
certainly agree on "barbarism": It did not come from "primitive
cultures" but in fact is "human-all-too-human". Then again, I
would like to add that the barbarism of the rich tends to be
caused by greed, egoism
and wilfull blindness, while the barbarism
of the poor tends to be caused by stupidity and ignorance,
by the rich or by their politicians.
Here is some more about fascism (and
CH: Spectacle—fascists do
spectacle very well. Stalin did spectacle very well. And that creates a
kind of cultural milieu where people lose the capacity to think
critically and self-reflect, which is what authentic culture is about;
that capacity to get you to look within yourself, look within your
society. And it’s replaced with this collective narcissism, which has
been on display at this convention. And that’s very dangerous. And
we’ve seen Trump ride that collective narcissism, and exploit it
through right-wing populism, and do what proto-fascist movements always
do, which is direct a legitimate rage and a cultural narcissism towards
the vulnerable. Undocumented workers, Muslims, homosexuals, you know,
on and on and on.
Actually, while I agree Donald Trump is
mad in good part because he is a
grandiose narcissist, I don't
think narcissism is very important to most people who are not
Donald Trump: What is important is totalitarianism,
and both the Democrats and the Republicans are quite
totalitarian, as indeed were both the fascists and the Stalinists, and
as indeed also corresponds well with quite a few characteristics of
Indeed, this theme gets taken up by Robert
Scheer, although he doesn't name it:
RS: As the Democratic
convention is going on, a Democratic president is randomly killing
people with drones and what have you. And you even had Madeleine
Albright get up there to a standing ovation—I was stunned—and she’s a
woman who at one point defended the bombing, starvation, actually, in
Iraq, and you know, this is the price you pay. And I was thinking about
that; essential to this whole narrative is that idea that Reagan
pushed—he wasn’t the first, but the Germans had it too—that you are the
city on the hill. You are the place that God is watching.
More precisely, Madeleine Albright insisted
that killing 500.000 Iraqi children (which she brought about mostly by
taking care these could get no medicines whatsoever), was a
good thing when you saw the freedoms of the Iraqi since Saddam Hussein
was killed - at least, that seems to have been her argument (in the
And all of that, including the idea "that
God is watching" because He loves you more than anyone else, is
Next, there is this - and as I said above, I would have replaced "collective narcissism" by "collective
CH: Right. Well, that’s
what the collective narcissism is about. And with collective
narcissism, means you externalize evil. So every moralist—I mean,
having covered war, I know how thin that line is between victim and
victimizer. I know how easily people can be seduced into carrying out
atrocity; I’ve seen it in every war I’ve covered. And I think the best
break against that is understanding those dark forces within all of us,
and the capacity we all have for evil.
I agree with Chris Hedges on "how easily people can be seduced into carrying out atrocity" and that this depends on "those
dark forces within all of us, and the capacity
we all have for evil", though I also agree with
him that most people do not see this, indeed in good part
because they don't want to see this, which again is in
explained by their (specific) totalitarianism.
And there is this on neofascism by Robert
RS: OK. And you raised a very
fundamental question about the rise of neofascism in Poland, but by
inference, in the rest of the world. And not everybody agrees with me;
I’ve called Trump a neofascist precisely because of the scapegoating of
the victims of undocumented and Muslims, to avoid paying attention to
the damage that people like Trump, and Goldman Sachs, have done to our
society. So I think there’s a certain logic to using, an accuracy to
using that word.
I agree again: I think Trump is mad, but I
also think that most of the ideology he
indulges in is best called
neofascism (and see here) - and indeed I
would considerably extend the usage of that term.
There is this on Trump being a farce:
RS: You know, maybe Trump is
farce, but he’s also dangerous.
CH: Well, but the Nazis before
1933 were buffoonish figures, as were Radovan Karadžic and Slobodan
Milosevich in Yugoslavia. And as Trump is. But when these buffoonish
figures take power, they become extremely frightening.
I agree, in part at least, although I
should add that part of the buffoonery these people engage in
as-if: A good part of the reasons for buffoonery is that this is popular
among the lower classes, the stupid and the ignorant.
There this on the Democratic convention
(that I didn't watch) and what Chris Hedges calls "political
RS: And you know, sitting at the
Democratic convention last night, I got enormously depressed. Because
first of all, it was a parade of people who have been hurt by the
society, and somehow out of that hurt, support Hillary Clinton. I don’t
know why, why she—but somehow they found a whole collection of people
who have real problems, health problems and so forth. And somehow, it’s
almost like she has the—she can put hands on and heal. You almost had
that feeling that the Democratic Party can heal you; just come in your
wheelchair and we’ll heal and you’ll walk again. It almost had that
feeling of a revival church. And no sense at all of responsibility.
Because once [Bernie] Sanders went over, as you point out, once he
embraced Hillary Clinton, people then became, you use the expression of
CH: Well, it’s political infantilism. I mean, you
ignore the structures of power, which is just what they want you to do.
Both campaigns are just fear-based campaigns. Trump plays on fear; the
Democrats play on fear. And until we develop some political maturity
and understand how what Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,”
or the corporate state, works, we’re spun and manipulated by it. Which
is what this convention is doing.
I think that a considerable part of the
wild adoration for Party Leaders (and
their ilk, as also shown by -
e.g. - Tony Blair) is again due to the combination of the considerable stupidity of
the adoring ones and the totalitarianism
of all - but it
certainly is not unique to the Democrats or the USA: it is worldwide
and exists since a long time.
As to "political
infantilism" and "political
maturity": I think this is probably a mistake,
for the simple reasons that (i) most people are not very
and never have been, and (ii) you simply cannot wait until
half of everyone has reasonable,
way you will never get anywhere.
Finally, here is Chris Hedges on how he
sees the present - political - situation:
Yes and no.
CH: We have to walk into the
political wilderness and try and build an alternative movement. That’s
our only hope. I mean, you know, the climate is disintegrating at such
a rapid rate, we don’t have any time left. But that’s it; that’s our
only hope. And mass acts of civil disobedience, the capacity to say no,
the capacity to refuse to cooperate; you know, very effective campaign
that brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa. That’s where we
have to go.
Yes, I agree there is little to be expected from either the
or the Republicans, but no, I disagree that Clinton is as bad
Trump. (Even if they both, in the end, are proponents of neofascism,
Clinton is not mad, and Trump is.)
And while I agree with the needs for "an
alternative movement" I also think it makes
sense to keep in mind that the present system probably will
explode: There are too many people; too many debts; and too few whose
real interests are properly represented, which makes me think that the
system will collapse, and quite soon, because of environmental
economical reasons or political reasons.
But I do not know when, and indeed while a collapsed system
opportunities to undo very many major mistakes, it also is an extremely
risky situation in which a few may grab all power.
Meanwhile, this was an excellent article which is much recommended.
2. The Half-Life of Deindustrialization: Why Donald Trump Is
Just A Symptom
The second item is by Sherry
Linkon on Moyers & Company:
This is from near the beginning:
As a number of commentators have
noted, the roots of this year’s populism lie in deindustrialization,
though some seem baffled that white working-class people are still
troubled by either NAFTA, which went into effect in 1994, or the loss
of industrial jobs, which peaked in the early 1980s. In a recent New York Times column,
David Brooks suggested that working-class people should not be so
strongly affected by the economic hardship of deindustrialization.
After all, he suggested, it’s not as if life in a coal town was ever
easy. What he and others don’t realize is that deindustrialization was
never only about economics. Its economic, social and psychological
effects continue for decades after plants closed and across
generations, affecting the worldviews of younger people who never
worked in steel mills or auto plants. Like radioactive waste,
deindustrialization has a half-life.
I like the term and the idea of
deindustrialization, of which more below, but first a note on David
I am a psychologist, and I identified Mr. Brooks as "a sadist" on September 24, 2013, because he lied,
and lied, and lied about Snowden's
character and Snowden's motives, of which he did not really
whatsoever, and I want to repeat that the last three years of news only
have strengthened my original judgement, while the present article adds
yet more reasons: A rich guy looking down on poor guys and telling
effect, not to worry because they have not yet been
low as the poor were in the 1880ies. O Lord!! I'm sorry, but I cannot
take this guy seriously: he's sick.
Next, about deindustrialization. It does seem to represent a good part
of what has been happening in the USA, and indeed I recall the
recession of the early 1980ies quite well.
Then again, I doubt whether "deindustrialization"
(which has eight syllables, for one thing) is the right term,
and I doubt this because in fact a lot
more happened when the rich stopped their industries from working in
the USA, and transplanted them to the third world because the
so much lower there, which means their own profits are so much
there: It wasn't just industries that were closed, it was the
end of a whole civilization
that had been built up over the past 100 years, when American
industries were industries that worked in the USA and were manned by
people from the USA.
This civilization was ended basically because the few
rich did not get the profits they desired ,
gave up everybody who was not rich, and could do so thanks
to deregulations started by
Reagan: "You American poor are loosers; you American
poor are fired; you American
poor can die for all we rich care - for we can
get much more profits out of poor Indians and poor Chinese. (So
In fact, that whole argument dates back to 1994 (at the latest
also), when it was articulated by Sir James
Goldsmith. Here are two references to Nederlogs from 2014: Nov 16, and especially August 20, 2014,
when I discovered him (at long last, indeed) on the internet. Indeed,
here is a link to the interview with Goldsmith by Charlie Rose in 1994:
youtube. (It still works and is very well worth seeing.)
So while I agree this started with the closing of industries in
the USA, I think that is what it came down to: Doing that was destroying
the economical basis of society, and this is what has
happened in the USA.
Indeed here are some consequences:
The half-life of
deindustrialization plays out socially too. The social networks that
developed around industrial work have fragmented. Some people moved
away in search of work, while those who stayed lost the daily
interaction with co-workers. Once-solid neighborhoods became marked
with empty lots and abandoned houses, and local businesses closed up or
kept changing, undermining the sense of stability and connection that
makes communities strong. People lost faith in institutions as
corporations, unions, government and even churches all proved unable to
respond adequately to an economic and political shift that was much
larger and more significant than anyone realized.
There is more in the article, which is
Here I want to extend my
analysis a little tp the question of what is or would be a more
than are "deindustrialization" or "uncivilization". I have used the
following schema before, and one of its merits is that it comprises fascism,
corporatism and neoliberalism:
I say: The more correct name for "deindustrialization" and
"uncivilization" is neofascism, and you can read off the
reasons why from the above diagram.
More on this later: There is no time to treat this here and
now, but I
certainly will return to this quite soon.
3. The NSA Leak Is Real, Snowden Documents Confirm
The third and last
item today is by Sam Biddle on The Intercept:
This starts as follows and continues a
review I wrote on August 18:
This means that by now it is certain
that - at least - some NSA-server was cracked. The certainty is
explained in this article (the malware contains a code that identifies
it for the NSA), and while it is somewhat interesting I will leave it
to your interests and will not review it.
On Monday, a hacking group
calling itself the “ShadowBrokers” announced an auction for what
it claimed were “cyber weapons” made by the NSA. Based on
never-before- published documents provided by the whistleblower
Edward Snowden, The Intercept can confirm that the
arsenal contains authentic NSA software, part of a powerful
constellation of tools used to covertly infect computers worldwide.
The provenance of the code has been
a matter of heated debate this week among cybersecurity experts, and
while it remains unclear how the software leaked, one thing is now
beyond speculation: The malware is covered with the NSA’s virtual
fingerprints and clearly originates from the agency.
The evidence that ties the ShadowBrokers
dump to the NSA comes in an agency manual for implanting malware,
classified top secret, provided by Snowden, and not previously
available to the public.
What is not certain at all is who "the ShadowBrokers" are, nor
whether they may have more. As far as the NSA is concerned (that were
once know as "No Such Agency"), there is no news whatever:
The NSA did not respond to
questions concerning ShadowBrokers, the Snowden documents, or its
Finally, here is Snowden again:
Snowden, who worked for NSA
contractors Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, has offered some context
and a relatively mundane possible explanation for the leak: that
the NSA headquarters was
not hacked, but rather one of the computers the agency
uses to plan and
execute attacks was compromised.
That sounds plausible to me. Snowden also
6) What's new? NSA
malware staging servers getting hacked by a rival is not new. A rival
publicly demonstrating they have done so is.
Yes, but if the rival actually is
Russia or China (and it may well be, although we don't know) this does
introduce a new step in cyberwar, that amounts (it seems to me)
to: "You can steal a lot, but we can steal from you: See! So...".
But what the "So..." may include I don't
know. We may find out.
 Actually, personally I don't care for the knighthood,
and neither did my father (who was a real
revolutionary communist from 23 till 68, when he died), but he couldn't
refuse because 40 people had signed a request to the Queen, and because
he already was dying from cancer when he got it.
The two reasons I stress it nevertheless are that (1) more than 3000
communists had been murdered during WW II, and none of the
communists ever were knighted, except 1, who led the resistance
in North-Holland, but (2) not even he was knighted: He got a
military order for courage, which indeed he had a lot of. (And he was
the only one, which was quite unfair to many other
courageous communists, though that was not his fault.)
And see the next note.
As I pointed out, I don't care for my father's knighthood, and indeed I
have a reason why it may have been given to him and to no one else as
long as the Dutch Communist Party existed (there were a few assigned
after that ceased to be, to be sure):
My father did absolutely nothing to get a knighthood. This was
done by a man who admired him and who was a friend of Prins Bernhard
(the husband of the then Queen), and the forty
signatures that were necessary for that seem to have been all gathered
from people who had met my father in the context of the exhibition, and
not in the context of the Communist Party.
It may therefore very well be - I have no idea and must guess:
it all happened 36 years ago - that his membership of the Communist
Party simply was never mentioned.
I did and am quite glad I did, indeed in part because I had left the
Communist Party when I was 20 (before reaching legal adulthood, at that
time), simply because I though Marx was mistaken
about economy; the leaders of the Dutch CP were stupid; and the party
just was much too totalitarian.
My father did not like that at all, but indeed we also never quarreled
about it. And one reason for that was that he knew I was quite serious,
and had read a great amount of Marx, Engels and Lenin since I was 15,
and indeed understood it.
 And indeed both my father and myself
punished in Holland for being other than most: My father was
continuously discriminated because he was a communist, and did not even
get a decent resistance pension; and I was continuously discriminated
in the University of Amsterdam, and was removed briefly before taking
the M.A. in philosophy, because I had told my teachers the truth. No one
else was removed from any Dutch university for stating his opinions
(as questions, moreover!) since WW II, but I
was, indeed in spite of the fact that I was ill and in spite of the
fact that I was brilliant (according to many, and indeed I had very
(And in case you think that's all you're much mistaken.)
 Incidentally - and I say this because I
spoken with quite a few who believed, or indeed believed halfly,
usually - it seems to me that many believers keep (somehow, if often
not fully) believing in some religion,
because they much like the idea that they will be there after
they've died, and indeed eternally.
I never had that idea, and indeed wholly reject it.
 Yes, indeed, and although I don't know
(for certain) that the present civilization will be soon dead, I do
know that the main reasons were the greed and the egoism of the rich:
They could have had most that they presently have, and left
their industries in the USA, and thus could have maintained a
considerable middle class, but they chose not to.