Thursday, 25 November 2010

Dr. Haas Running for Cover

Re. my post yesterday, Dr. Haas has apparently been all over the place priding the National Catholic Bioethics Center with his insights in the media on what the Vatican position on using condoms for preventing HIV/AIDS amounts to nowadays. Given the quality of analysis and reasoning of the piece I related, the result may seem predictable.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

More on the Pope's Condom Turnaround: Dance of the Imbeciles

Just the other day, I offered my analysis of the Pope's apparent turnaround on the morality of using of condoms for preventing HIV infection. Most other readings made by people who are supposed to know a bit of ethics I have seen have made a similar interpretation (see, e.g. this comment and the ensuing discussion): The Pope is using the Doctrine of the Double Effect, according to which the good intention of trying to avoid the transmission of HIV (slightly) whitewashes the otherwise (according to past dogma) sinful act of having safe sex. Although the Pope, in the interview where he was reported to state his new opinion, was reported to use only the example of a male prostitute, obviously, the argument from the DDE is applicable no matter the gender of the person having safe sex or in what relationship they stand to each other. Indeed, this was confirmed by the Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi at a press conference yesterday, reported at the website Catholic Culture (emphasis added by me):

Father Lombardi explained that the Pope did not attach great significance to his choice of a male rather than female prostitute to illustrate his point. The basic point, he said, is “the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk to the life of another.”

According to the Catholic News Agency, Lombardi even added:

“Whether a man or a woman or a transsexual does this, we’re at the same point,”

At the same time, several other high representatives of Catholicism have been very active, some (reported at the Catholic Culture website) pointing out what us secular ethics guys saw immediately - that reasoning from the DDE is old news in Catholic ethics - others, rather desperately, doing their very best to push the toothpaste back into the tube. Some in this last crowd makes for a splendid illustration of what an oxymoron the notion of combining dogmatic religious faith and well-reasoned ethical analysis is. Catholic Culture thus reports (my emphasis added):

In response to questions about whether the Pope’s statement applied to married couples in which one partner is HIV-positive—which it clearly did not—the Catholic bishops’ conference of South Africa issued a statement emphasizing “the primacy of an informed conscience.” Going far beyond the Pope’s statement, the South African bishops said: “Where one spouse is infected with HIV/AIDS they must listen to their consciences. They are the only ones who can choose the appropriate means.” 

Wonderful! So, according to the South African version of Catholic moral dogma, there is nothing(!) to be said for having safe sex with your spouse if you are infected by HIV rather than having unsafe sex. If it is not a question of spouse but girl-/boy-friend, a fiancee, a one night stand or - indeed - a prostitute, however, then protecting the life of your sexual partner immediately becomes morally significant. In some mysterious way, however, consulting one's conscience is not of importance in the latter case, but (apparently) highly so in the former. And, by the way, as to the the reference to the (marital?) ethical importance of conscience: How very Lutheran!

Another example regards the expansion of the DDE reasoning to situations where we are not only talking about two people, but a society. I argued, in my analysis, that a logical expansion of the Pope's argument implies that there are (Catholic) moral reasons for states to employ condoms to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic: Handing them out freely or subsidizing them, educating people about how HIV is transmitted and how condoms might prevent it, et cetera. From a Catholic point of view, obviously, such actions are second best to having the population resort to abstinence, but that does not take away the moral reason, especially when the state knows that abstinence is not to be expected no matter what political measures are employed (and, for that matter, that any democratic government taking such measures would be out of office by the next election). This, however, is obviously viewed with some horror by the Catholic Culture reporter:

Secular journalists have routinely interpreted the Pope’s statement as an admission that condom use can be justified, although the Pope’s full statement, in context, clearly makes no such claim. Many reports have suggested that the Pope was backing away from earlier statements, in which he said that condom-distribution campaigns are the wrong way to fight AIDS. In fact, in his interview with Seewald, the Pope was defending those earlier statements when he made the remarks that have prompted so many headlines. 

So, is the point here that the intention of protecting the life of others is morally worthy when directed at one person, but not at several? If the ideas of the South African bishops looked a bit over the top, this one seems to be right in the center of the madhouse. But, obviously, this can hardly be what the Pope meant, or what is the present standing on the dignity, sanctity and value of human life within Catholic ethics. Neither can the point be that a good intention makes no difference, since that would imply that the Pope is wrong altogether in everything that he says on this matter (which I, actually, can't imagine being a view that the Catholic Culture is representing). My suspicion is that the reporter has been missing out on what I claimed to be a bit of a novelty as regard ethical analysis in official Catholic moral teaching in the Pope's pattern of reasoning: an idea of degrees of wrong and right. So, just as with the case with two people having sex, the condom solution is not claimed by the Pope as being the morally best one. But neither is it the worst one! If you have HIV and is going to have sex (which, as a good Catholic, you really shouldn't), better use a condom than not. Similarly, if you're going to shape a policy to stop HIV and can't or won't have people to practice abstinence, better use condoms than not. Clear enough?!

But the most hilarious example of desperation and confusion comes from a person who is supposed to be a highly proficient and sharp mind when it comes to ethical analysis, US moral theologian John Haas – head of the National Center for Catholic Bioethics. As reported by the Catholic News Agency. Dr. Haas' object of complaint is not the statement of the Pope, but the interpretation related above that the DDE argument for condom use applies no matter the gender of the person (my emphasis added):

“The gender of the prostitute is indeed relevant to the point the Pope wanted to make with regard to the use of condoms,” Haas said. [...] the “presumption is that the male prostitute has AIDS. His decision to use a condom perhaps might mean some expression of concern and regard for the other person.” Haas pointed out that female prostitutes do not use condoms. If a female prostitute does use condoms, he said, that act would likely reflect a selfish concern – to protect herself from disease.
"She would want to protect herself from being infected and in no way would be expressing the concern for the 'other' that the Pope said might be the first step toward 'moralization' if it were being done by a male prostitute. This is why the example of a female prostitute doesn't work,” Haas said.

First of all, note that Haas seems to clear transgender people. Fine, but what is he doing next??? Primo, it seems, making false assertions and contradicting himself better than in any textbook example you might want to use in A-level logic or argumentation class. Female prostitutes don't use condoms (false!), but, then again, they do. Or what? Secundo, he seems to be suggesting that the value of a human life is not very important when that life is one's own. That is, the value of human life is, in fact, not the sort of absolute that I would have thought would be the last conviction of a Catholic ethicist to be sacred on the altar of dogmatism. Anyhow, splendid news for all Catholics who are contemplating suicide: keeping yourself alive is a mere "selfish concern" that is in no way to be seen as being a step towards "moralization" - just ask Dr. Haas! Tertio, and most startling, considering that Haas is supposed to be a prominent bioethicist, he demonstrates what must either be lack of willingness to learn some basic facts about the case he is commenting on, or a conscious refusal to apply those facts known to him. For, considering that we are talking about a lethal pandemic, the assumption about the woman's motive can only involve herself and her client is clearly faulty. This is an infectious disease we are talking about, and one that is spreading rapidly. The woman's concern may therefore be about herself, her present family, her forthcoming children, people who may become infected in a secondary stage, should she herself be infected, and so on and so forth up to a concern for the entire population.

Back to school, Dr. Haas!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Meanwhile, in the real world.....

Today, the second U.S. clinical trial for embryonic stem cell based treatments received clearance from the FDA.

But wait! Wasn't this with embryonic stem cell research banned in the U.S.?? Or wasn't it at least highly contested at the most important legal and political levels? Well.......

Sunday, 21 November 2010

New Catholic ruling on condoms? Maybe, and maybe some ethics news as well!

Today, it was made public that the current Pope in an interview has announced what looks like a change of official Roman Catholic Church teaching on the morality of using condoms, e.g., here, here, here, here. Nothing has been posted at the Vatican website yet, but the reports cite the German journalist Peter Seewald, who has been interviewing the Pope for a new book, as the source. So, maybe, maybe not, but interesting enough to have a closer look at. This is what the BBC relates (with my own emphasis added):

When asked whether the Catholic Church was not opposed in principle to the use of condoms, the Pope replied: "She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality."
The Pope gives the example of the use of condoms by male prostitutes as "a first step towards moralisation", even though condoms are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection".
He says that the "sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalisation of sexuality" where sexuality is no longer an expression of love, "but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves".

Catholic commentator Austen Ivereigh interprets this for the BBC as meaning:

"The prevalence of HIV raised the question of whether condoms could be used to prevent the transmission of the virus.

"If the intention is to prevent transmission of the virus, rather than prevent contraception [I'm sure this should be "conception" and will assume so in the following], moral theologians would say that was of a different moral order."

Now, part of this argument is very familiar territory in Catholic ethics, namely the reference to the need for a proper intention. I will not rant on the outdated view of what human sexuality may properly be used for here, so let's just concentrate on the idea that preventing the HIV virus to spread would be a good thing and grant, solely for the sake of analysis, that using condoms for any other purpose would be wrong. What Mr. Ivereigh is referring to then seems to be the application of the so-called doctrine or principle of the double effect, a theoretical device conceived within the Thomistic part of Catholic philosophical tradition for dealing with problems of apparently conflicting moral duties that are a necessary part of the sort of rigid absolutist ethical system that the Catholic reading of Christian ethics results in. Take, for instance, the idea of the sanctity of human life, normally understood to be expressed by an absolute moral ban on homicide. What does this idea tell us to do in situations where the consequence of abstaining from homicide will be the death of one or more human being(s)? Strictly read, of course, the fifth commandment still forbids killing, but already medieval Catholic scholars realised that such an interpretation is both inhuman and very difficult to reconcile with many things in the Bible, such as the message of love. Therefore the idea was gradually conceived that in situations where avoiding an act that would otherwise be forbidden would lead to a sufficiently evil effect, it may be permissible to perform this act. There's quite a lot of fine print around this, but the most important condition is that the intention or motive be the right one. If your intention is merely to avoid the bad side-effect of avoiding the otherwise wrongful act, this act is in fact not wrongful. This principle has been used for justifying war, capital punishment and abortion, to give a few examples. In effect, if a side-effect of the act of having unprotected sex is an elevated risk of transmitting the HIV virus, then having protected sex with the intention of preventing such a transmission is permissible. This becomes even more significant on a societal policy scale: if the political motive behind a policy of, e.g., handing out free condoms, provide sexual education, and launching propaganda campaigns for safe sex, is to prevent the public health menace of HIV, then this is OK!

The only strange or surprising part of this way of reasoning is why on earth the Vatican has not thought of saying this a long time ago. As observed, it seems to go well enough with established theory as well as past policies condoning much worse things than a roll in the hay, while the HIV pandemic is an extraordinary evil of seldom seen proportions. Seemingly, the Catholic church's curious fixation with the act of sexual intercourse has made them seriously loose track of much, much more serious matters - also judged by their own moral standards. But my mission here is not to rant about that. I'm quite pleased that they have seen the light (if that is indeed what they have done) - better late than never, however cruel that may sound in light of the many human lives that have been the victims of the delay.

But this is only half of what the Pope seems to be saying. The other part is that he seems to be introducing a rather novel element in Catholic ethical theory: right and wrong on a scale! The Pope's own formulations here are more than a little slippery. The use of condoms to prevent HIV, he says, is not "a real moral solution" but "a step" in the right direction. Mr. Ivereigh attempts to clarify this when he says that what the Pope means is that using condoms for preventing HIV transmission  is "of a different moral order" - presumably different than using condoms for just avoiding having sex resulting in pregnancy, and presumably not as wrong. Now, since the official teaching is that having sex with any other intention than that of procreation is a sin (unless you exploit the occurrence of so-called safe periods in the menstrual cycle - an exemption for which I have so far never seen an intelligible explanation), the Pope thus seems to be saying that having sex using a condom with the intention of preventing HIV is, in fact, not a sin. Now, in standard Catholic ethics, this would imply that such acts are morally right. This since traditional Catholic ethics is built on the structure of the Ten Commandments, according to which you act wrongly if you act against these rules, but permissible if you avoid doing so. In other words, there are only two moral categories as regards actions: either they are right or they are wrong. But what the Pope says does not seem to be this. What he says is that, while using condoms for preventing HIV is morally acceptable, morally speaking, it would be even better if..... Well, here it becomes a bit unclear, but let's be charitable, shall we! There is, according to the Pope, a something (not very well explained) that would be an even better approach to combining the facts of human sexuality and the HIV pandemic than using condoms. This something would be very or fully morally right, while using condoms is not. At the same time, however using condoms for preventing HIV is not wrong. In effect, the Pope seems to be saying that there is a moral category in between (very or fully) right and wrong. In fact, he seems to suggest some sort of continuous scale of moral elevation on which a person can travel some distance between wrongful action and morally (very and fully) right action!

Theoretically, this novelty (in the Catholic context) could be unpacked in many ways familiar to moral philosophers for the simple reason that secular ethical theory has been developing ideas of this sort for centuries. If the appearance of the Pope's statements hold up to scrutiny and becomes official teaching for real, this would imply quite a lot of work for catholic moral theologians. Nevertheless, should that be the case, I would be the first to welcome them out of the medieval hazes they have been inhabiting for quite some time!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The New European Political Racism, Pt. 3: From Nationism to Conditionalised Citizenship to Ethnic Cleansing

In the first part of this series, I distinguished the rhetoric of the new racism from its actual ideological core, as it appears from analysing original, concrete and comprehensible policy suggestions. These being mainly about conditions for citizenship, what transpired was that the ideology of the new racism is about, what I called, Nationism; the idea that states have a basic moral reason to make a fundamental moral distinction between people who are born of citizens of this state (or who meet some similar immediate citizenship condition) and other people (who need to perform according to some conditions to attain citizenship). At the same time, the new racism is indeed wielding a lot of classic ethno-racist rhetoric. However, as it turns out, this is only a smokescreen for what is the real deal. This is shown, besides the fact that the rhetoric makes no comprehensible mark on what is actually suggested with regard to policy, by the way in which the new racists immediately back down from the ethno-racist claims as soon as they are being challenged. On this basis, I made the point that one of the reasons for the recent success of the new racism in elections is that the nationist ideology has not been adequately seen, exposed, explained and distinguished from ideas about making a difference between different people with regard to citizenship for purely pragmatic reasons (the latter supporting far less drastic conditions for citizenship for people who do not become immediate citizens). The new racists have been able to triumph simply because of the uncertainty of voters and political opponents on this basic point.

In the second part of the series, I continued to demonstrate that this, what looks as the new racists' best political weapon, is actually also their weakest point. This since the strategy of ducking away from objections to the ethno-racist rhetoric is only smart as long as the nationist ideological core is not clearly visible and thereby provides a sort of political hideout camouflaged as something far less sinister than what it in fact is. When we see it for what it is – nationism – we can also see that the joint political message of the new racism is genuinely paradoxical. Nationism is, as a matter of fact, contradicting ethno-racism, and vice versa.

So, suppose that the nationist ideology is effectively exposed (as it surely will be, eventually). Where will this lead (besides having the new racists loosing votes faster than you can say "citizenship test")? Well, the new racism will then have to face the nationist - ethno-racism paradox head on. Facing a contradiction they will, of course, as Robert Nozick once observed, have the option of remaining inconsistent. That, however, will surely lead to the effective end of this sort of political movement for a long time. Simply put, being openly inconsistent is not a trait being favored by very many people - not even with regard to immigration policy. And I'm sure that the leaders and strategists of the new racism are perfectly aware of this. So, then, what will they do?

Well, besides remaining inconsistent, the only available way of reacting to a contradiction is to reject one of its sides. That is, the new racism will have to purify its message into one that is about nationism, and nothing more than that, or drop the nationist ideological core and wander down the more well-known ethno-racist route.

My suggestion is that an openly nationist political movement with no access to further rhetorical sources will not win the hearts of many voters. This for three reasons. First, nationism, when seen clearly is a basic moral position as reprehensible as the idea thatpeople have a right to treat other people much worse just because they happen to have another hair colour, another birthday date, living on another street, et cetera, compared to oneself. It doesn't help very much here that the new racists perform the universalisation trick and thereby avoid the most obvious objection of being simply arbitrary in singling out themselves, their own group, yard, neighbourhood (or what have you) as enjoying a moral privilege that nobody else does. This was one of the factors that made the racism of the first half of the 20th century unsustainable under any other condition than war (which tends to make us all into infantile 1st person egoists). When universalised, nationism avoids this by acknowledging the same moral privilege to all states visavis their own citizens. But since we are not here talking about favors to citizens based on the need for pragmatic adaption to the condition of a multinational world, but of nationism (see part 1 for more about this) clearly spelled out, I suggest that not many people would be attracted to this evolved version of the new racism. In particular, and this is the second reason, they would understand immediately that nationism actually professes measures that are clearly against the national interest as well as the interests of most citizens! How this is so is developed in part 1 as well. Third, part of the success of the new racism surely has to do with the pull that the ethno-racist rhetoric exerts on some people. Without it, the new racists have lost a significant lever of popular seduction.

So, that seems to leave the ethno-racist route, but with some crucial differences to what used to be possible for the new racist movement to do politically. First, the new racism will not hold up for very long if they try to support ethno-racist policy claims with various alleged pragmatic arguments (as they have been trying to do in their recent rhetoric). Not when they no longer have have a nationist ideological core that nobody else sees clearly to hide behind. This means that, rather than a shallow rhetoric, the ethno-racist claims have to become the new ideological core. What will that imply?

As I explained in part 1, and elaborated further in part 2, ethno-racism as an ideology is about making a fundamental moral difference between people sorted in different groups in terms of some selected socio-cultural signifiers, "muslim" being the latest term of division in a long line. Also this idea can be universalised with regard to ideas regarding conditions for citizenship, effectively stating that every state has a basic moral privilege (not implied by pragmatic necessities in a multinational world, but of value in itself) to award citizenship only to people who belong to the group defined by the socio-cultural signifier selected. This is the origin of the idea of a citizenship test that needs to be passed in order for citizenship to be awarded, as well as the notion of revocable citizenship. Now, as demonstrated in part 1, recent new racist policies of such tests are in fact not ethno-racist but nationist, since people who are born by citizens are not required to take any test or conform to any standard of behavior to attain or keep citizenship. However, it is perfectly possible to modify these sort of policies so that they fit perfectly with an ethno-racist ideological core. The only thing needed is that the ethno-racist conditions of citizenship are applied to all people - also those who are born by citizens.

In other words, the ethno-racist ideological turn will force the new racism (at pains of being caught in another paradox) to advocate the idea of conditionalised citizenship all across the board. No one, born in the country or immigrant, can become a citizen unless they are demonstrated to conform to some sort of socio-cultural standard. Moreover, even if they do so and are awarded citizenship, they can be stripped of it if demonstrated to depart significantly from this same standard. This, of course, is the same cluster of ideas where we find the notion of more or less enforced repatriation programmes and, of course, ultimately, ethnic cleansing. Luckily, not many people will be attracted by such suggestions, unless we have a socio-economic meltdown of the sort occurring in continental Europe during the 1930's and a subsequent period of serious violent conflict. Hitler, in his way, understood this perfectly - thus, the gradually sharpened provocations to boost the emerging chaos of Germany.

This is where I end my attempt to understand the ideology of the new European political racism and its role in current, as well as forthcoming, politics. Hopefully, by reading this blog or by just thinking for themselves, political parties and people in general will soon pick up on the trick I tried to expose in part 1 and see what measures are needed to have the new racism caught with its pants down rather soon. This means that the sort of critical reflections on the prejudices residing within the shallow ethno-racist rhetoric so popular among anti-racist, liberal or left-leaning intellectuals are, perhaps not bad or unnecessary, but of secondary priority. Some new topics, such as the crucial difference between nationism and pragmatic accommodations to a multinational world, need to be addressed and some new tactics need to be developed on the basis of that. Godspeed!

Monday, 1 November 2010

The New European Political Racism, Pt. 2: The Nationism - Ethno-racism Paradox

In the first post of this series, I argued that – rhetoric suggesting the contrary notwithstanding – the ideological core of the new European political racism is actually about neither race biology, nor ethno-racism (or -centrism). Instead, it is about what I called Nationism; roghly, the idea that there is of some value in itself for a nation state to apply lower standards of treatment to people who are not born by citizens of this state (or who do not meet some similar condition for immediate citizenship, ICC). I contrasted this idea with the notion of applying such lower standards for pragmatic reasons connected to the fact that the world happens to be organised into a multitude of nation states, and held out the lack of understanding of the difference between this latter idea and the nationist one as a crucial factor for explaining the recent success of the new racism.

Now, even if I am right about this analysis, it would be foolish to think that such an explanation is to be found only in the ideology of the new racism and the inability of people and other political parties to spot it in time. For sure, the rhetoric employed by the new racists also plays a part. In the first post, I described how this rhetoric wields familiar ethno-racist elements, where socio-cultural signifiers (such as language, clothing, traditions, mores) are allegedly associated with features that many people would indeed find to be reasons for less favorable treatment (criminality, cruelty to others, general antiociality, blameworthy costliness for society, and so on). Moreover, I pointed to how the introduction of the nationist ideology actually has helped this rhetoric to function more effectively: whenever an alleged link between a socio-cultural signifier (e.g. "muslim" or "gypsy") and some feature held to be morally important is questioned – factually or morally – the new racist campaigner can simply drop it and retreat into the nationist position. This since the latter is, as a matter of fact, not dependent on any ethno-racist arguments or assumptions, neither factually, nor morally. So, summing up, while nationism is the ideological core of the new racism, its success is best explained by the combination of (1) an initial rhetoric making use of classic ethno-racism, and (2) an ideological core of pure nationism and political suggestions built on that.

What I want to point to now is that this combination, while indeed helping to explain the recent success of the new racism, is in fact also its Achilles' heel. For hidden inside this seemingly clever politico-tactical set-up lurks a bona fide paradox. This paradox, I suggest, is what must be exposed in a serious and convincing way by politicians, journalists and others, for the electoral support of the new racism to start to falter.

This is the paradox:

The ethno-racist rhetoric is about the idea that national states should apply lower standards of treatment to people who don't sufficiently conform to a "national culture". This is not to be confused with the idea that a nation is permitted to enforce its own laws - culture is not the same as actual single behaviors or actions, culture is composed by things like languages, worldviews, traditions and mores). Applied to the issue of what conditions for citizenship to apply (a favorite issue of the new racists), this idea implies that it should be more difficult to be awarded citizenship of a country, the more a person deviates from this country's (supposed) national culture or "identity". In contrast, the nationist ideology pays no attention to cultural belonging or identity. Its sole center of value is the distinction between those who are born by (or connected by lineage to) people who are already citizens of a country and those who are not. Applied to the issue of conditions for awarding citizenship this means that people who are born by citizens receive immediate citizenship (what I called the ICC), while people who are not need to perform according to additional requirements (what I called ACC) in order to be awarded citizenship. Now, as briefly pointed out in that context, the nationist idea implies no ideas whatsoever about the citizens of a country conforming to any particular culture or having a certain "national identity". Quite the contrary! By the awarding of citizenship via ICC, the nationist model leaves the country wide open to limitless cultural variation among citizens. In addition, people who do not meet ICC, but who indeed have the sort of national culture or identity that is valued by the ethno-racist are met by extra difficulties should they desire to receive citizenship. In short, nationism is open to awarding citizenship to exactly such people that ethno-racists want to deny citizenship to, and is open for impeding citizenship for exactly such people that ethno-racism want to award citizenship. Thus, ethno-racism and nationism are not only different, they are incompatible and, in combination, inconsistent.

This incompatibility or inconsistency appears just as clearly if we instead proceeds from a basis where the ethno-racist position is the starting point. From this point of view, then, only people who can demonstrate (sufficient) conformity to a national culture or possession of a national identity are to be awarded citizenship. That is, the fact that you are born by (or can demonstrate lineage to) a citizen is of no concern whatsoever. On the contrary, regardless of your heritage or where you come from, if you meet the ethno-racist culture/identity condition, citizenship is within reach. In other words, the ethno-racist citizenship idea will both block citizenship for people who, according to nationism, should receive automatic citizenship, and award citizenship to people, who nationism would want to impede from receiving citizenship.

Thus, combining the ethno-racist idea with nationism leads to a paradox. The message is that some people both should and should not be awarded or impeded from receiving citizenship. This paradox is built into the totality of the ideas conveyed by the new racist political movement. If the rhetoric and the ideological core is taken together, the result is a state of deepest confusion. Exposing this confusion, I suggest, is a powerful political and rhetorical weapon.

This leaves the question what wielding that weapon will result in. Hopefully and presumably, weakened electoral support of the new racism, of course – after all, voters are as a rule not prone to subscribing to obviously idiotic ideas. But where will that move the racists – those who have been engaged in these sort of parties or movements for decades? That will be the subject of the third, and last, posting in this series.