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Why You Should Watch Beheading Videos

steven-sotloff-beheading-still2,058 words

Modernity is a dream. It is a dream that we can make the world something other than what it is through technology, prosperity, and above all “education.”

People will able to pick their own “gender.” Different cultures, races, and religions can blend into one seamless, corporate-friendly whole. And violence and death, it is implied, will be wished out of existence.

Today, a few hundred dedicated men have created the Islamic State in parts of what was once Iraq and Syria. As part of their propaganda campaign against what is still called the “West,” the mujahedeen are broadcasting the executions of their American hostages. James Foley was the first to die – ironically at the hands of those he had enabled with his reporting against Bashar al-Assad. This week, Seven Sotloff’s head was severed by the same “British” jihadist who killed Foley.

The response of many Americans is to treat these acts as if they never happened. Sure, there is the pro forma declaration of disapproval, perhaps combined with a sad emoticon, but there is not the visceral rage and loathing that greets, say, a statement of opposition to gay marriage by a Republican politician. We know how to deal with that. We don’t know how to deal with men who reject the premises of modernity altogether. Like babies covering their eyes, the Last Men of the United States believe that if only they don’t look, those things that could interrupt their consumption will cease to exist

Indeed, the act of looking away is treated as if it is somehow a bold act of resistance against the Islamic State. Twitter users screech that the best thing you can do to fight ISIS is “not watch,” a passionate cry of defiance fit in between hashtags about Nicki Minaj or Kim Kardashian. Patt Morrison compares the ISIS beheadings to the celebrity nude photographs that were just revealed, which is an interesting window into our post-culture in its own right. But regarding the actions of ISIS, Morrison lectures:

The British publication the Spectator calls the Islamic State images “beheading porn.”

And there’s no shortage of them, thanks to the Islamic State and its propaganda effort. They may inflame, they may titillate, they may intimidate, but inevitably, they coarsen and degrade. And isn’t that giving the Islamic State what it wants?

This is a dangerous lie. Avoiding reality and accepting the infantilizing process of modernity is designed to keep the Eloi asleep and dreaming. This is what the Islamic State wants as well. The real target of these kinds of media campaigns to “not watch” are not the terrorists of the Islamic State, who could have been eliminated before tea time by the British Army of a century ago. The real target and the eternal enemy is Western Man. Our cultural minders fear that if Europeans around the globe notice what is happening in the world, Western Man would once again be capable of feeling, hatred, and action.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the media did its best to make sure that images of bodies falling from the towers and the violent death of thousands was kept carefully concealed. The attacks were instead presented as a “tragedy,” like an earthquake or volcano, something we commemorate with pointless gestures like a “candlelight vigil.” The best way to fight back, we were told, was to go shopping and keep the economy running.

One of the great weaknesses of the argument that the American government orchestrated 9/11 to whip up a warlike frenzy against the Middle East is that the Bush Administration did no such thing. The government took care to frame the American response as a defense of “freedom” rather than a clash of civilizations. The monuments designed to remember the attacks are PC symbols like the “Crescent of Embrace” rather than bloodcurdling symbols of vengeance.

The expectation seems to be that Americans will instantly launch racially charged pogroms and ethnic cleansing programs if they are exposed to graphic imagery or emotionally charged content. Our masters weren’t even sure if we could be trusted with seeing The Passion of the Christ without lynching Jews from coast to coast. In contrast, the American media gleefully broadcasts images of American misconduct such as the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib, even though such a public relations campaign almost certainly cost the lives of soldiers and Marines. A population which erupts in homicidal rampages every time someone draws a cartoon of their pedophiliac Prophet seems like it should be the one shielded from inflammatory images, but our chattering class seems far more concerned about the non-existent threat of Middle American stormtroopers rising out of the heartland.

Instead, even as our government unleashes terrible violence all around the word, most European-Americans live in a world oddly unconnected with the realities of life. Millions eat meat every day but have never killed an animal, or seen one killed. American men play Call of Duty or watch violent movies – but have never punched someone, or been punched. The campuses that educate the leaders of the nation seriously discuss speech codes and trigger warnings designed to protect the emotional well-being of students who melt into hysteria if they hear the wrong word. And when it comes to race, a vast edifice of propaganda, economic pressure, and blunt government force is used to actively prevent people from seeing, discussing, or acting upon biological and cultural realities.

Political correctness is, as Steve Sailer said, a war on noticing. It is hard to believe in racial egalitarianism if you’ve ever worked in an inner city school. It’s hard to believe de-segregation was a blessing once you’ve lived in a black neighborhood. It’s hard to mouth slogans like “Islam means peace,” once you’ve read the Koran, which explicitly endorses not just the use of violence against infidels, but the use of deception to conceal true intentions. Multiculturalism is, in Mark Steyn’s words, “a cult of ignorance,” where muttering obviously untrue shibboleths about equality and tolerance substitutes for taking the adult responsibility of acquiring knowledge, studying facts, and making reasonable conclusions.

The fact is our masters shield us from harsh realities, like an overprotective mother who won’t let her grown son leave the house. But unlike a parent afraid the outside world could hurt her baby, our rulers are afraid of us. They are afraid that we will grow up and realize that we do not need them to protect us, manage us, and tell us what to think.

Preventing that realization is the goal of modern society, which poisons, intoxicates, seduces, bribes, lulls, and lies European-Americans away from accepting responsibility for their own destiny. European-Americans of middle age act, dress, speak, and think like especially stupid and weak children – afraid of the sight of blood, anxious to avoid conflict, and dependent on a master on security and self-value.

The result is the cool detachment Westerners have towards events that would have incited prior generations to revolution. In Rotherham, England, 1,400 girls were sexually assaulted and/or raped by Muslims over the course of years, with the knowledge and indifference of the governing authorities. Officials consciously decided that it was better to let the abuse continue than be accused of being racist.

After all, to be a racist means to be labeled an enemy and to be thrust into a world of conflict and consequence. Above all else, above even his own children, Western Man is anxious to avoid such responsibility. Even when confronted with horror, it is better to avert your eyes, turn on the telly, and watch the gyrations of Jessie J than be confronted with the bother of existence. And while our masters certainly do not want Western Man to awake from his slumber, many Westerners are eager to remain asleep even without compulsion.

Thus, beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions by a regime supposedly in direct opposition to gay rights, feminism, and secular humanism does not arouse the kind of passionate hatred and fury directed at “racists.” Indeed, no one pretends “racists” don’t exist – a huge public and private bureaucracy consuming billions of dollars is dedicated to exposing, shaming, and destroying anyone who speaks, writes, or even thinks heretical thoughts on matters such as racial differences in intelligence. Partially, this takes place because it is “safe” to attack white racists. But the greater truth is that whites fundamentally do not consider Muslims or non-Westerners generally to have agency or moral responsibility.

Thus, when a non-white or non-Westerner does something awful, the immediate concern is to prevent a “backlash,” as if the initial attack on whites had no moral consequences at all. If some whites did respond, it might impose social obligations on other whites to act. It might even resurrect that awkward concept of “duty.” Better to simply forgive and forget, like the now clichéd response of white relatives of murder victims eagerly and showily forgiving their “loved one’s” killers.

As the ultimate white supremacists, white liberals act as if all evil in the world is the result of the oppressive systems and cultures created by Western Man. To believe otherwise is to open the door to a world of Us vs. Them, a world of confronting the “Other” rather than patronizing him. This means accepting responsibility for moral actions, confronting concepts such as fear, conflict, and death, and recognizing that Stuff White People Like’s Christian Lander was wrong – there is such a thing as a bad ending for us. Perhaps in his last moments, that very thought finally occurred to James Foley.

Incidentally, these beheadings are not particularly unique, nor even limited to those areas under the thrall of the Mohammedans. Just south, in the nation colonizing what used to be the American Southwest, drug cartels merrily decapitate and chop apart scores of Mexicans, as narcocorridos pay tribute to their exploits wherever the Spanish tongue is spoken on this continent.

Watching the beheadings conducted by the Islamic State or drug cartels isn’t about “getting off” to some kind of torture porn – only the most depraved could take pleasure in such a sight. Nor is it about toughening up or becoming desensitized. It’s about growing up.

You should watch these videos for the same reason a man should kill an animal, shoot a gun, train to fight, and explore the wilderness, even if you make your living as a computer programmer. It’s not about some weird quest to prove your worth as a man – it’s about acknowledging that this is reality, that these things are actually happening, and that they could happen to you or those you care about. In the words of Joseph de Maistre:

In the whole vast dome of living nature there reigns an open violence. A kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom: as soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. You feel it already in the vegetable kingdom: from the great catalpa to the humblest herb, how many plants die and how many are killed; but, from the moment you enter the animal kingdom, this law is suddenly in the most dreadful evidence . . . The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death.

Power, violence, and death still govern and will always govern the world. This doesn’t mean that the United States or any Western nation should therefore adopt an interventionist foreign policy. Nor does it contradict the idea that the vast majority of our Muslim enemies hate us because of our unnecessary past interventions in the area. But even the strongest isolationist must concede that there really are people in the world who do want to conquer us or kill us. And the ones we should be worried about are not in the Middle East, but within our own countries.

Those who have domesticated us and turned us into two-legged cattle are the most dangerous enemies of all. And there’s reason they are telling you to look away. Animals are easiest to kill when they don’t smell the blood or see the knife — until the blade is at their throats.


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  1. W. N. Lawrence
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Brilliant. Thank you.

    I watch all of these videos. At first, years ago, I felt sick with disgust and depressed for days afterwards. I needed that feeling to go away. I got back on the horse. That disgust then turned to rage. But then, because a state of constant rage poisons the body and mind (at least it does mine), I persevered and turned that rage into cold-blooded, crystal clear, steady awareness of what is outside my door waiting for the opportunity to destroy all I hold dear. There are people inside and outside of our borders who would relish the opportunity to slice my throat, slice your throat, slice your son or grandmother’s throat. And if you don’t know that then you do not know enough.

    As Mr. Hood says, this is real. All too real.

    I watch these videos so I never forget.

  2. Mimir's Well
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Awesome! How do you do it? Your ability to put these ideas to the pen and elucidate the underlying psychology of what is happening is amazing!

  3. Pantaleon
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  4. Bobby
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    All I have to say is that Gregory Hood, is one of the most profound and sharply accurate commenters on the current realities. His observations NEVER, fail to remind one of all the stuff we keep forgetting due to all of modern lifes poisonous distractions.

  5. Ronald
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    “Indeed, the act of looking away is treated as if it is somehow a bold act of resistance against the Islamic State. Twitter users screech that the best thing you can do to fight ISIS is “not watch,” a passionate cry of defiance fit in between hashtags about Nicki Minaj or Kim Kardashian.”

    I hate to break it to Gregory Hood, but most ISIS fighters probably are just as interested in Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, and all other aspects of Western culture that he hates. See the “jihadi rapper.”

  6. Posted September 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Very good! All true!

  7. Guillaume Durocher
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    “Instead, even as our government unleashes terrible violence all around the word, most European-Americans live in a world oddly unconnected with the realities of life. Millions eat meat every day but have never killed an animal, or seen one killed. American men play Call of Duty or watch violent movies – but have never punched someone, or been punched.”

    “European-Americans of middle age act, dress, speak, and think like especially stupid and weak children – afraid of the sight of blood, anxious to avoid conflict, and dependent on a master on security and self-value.”

    Living in Europe, this resonates a great deal with me and is beautifully put. I find myself torn as to who is the worst: the relentlessly and smugly stupid young PC-crusader or the dully conformist middle-aged functionary. Some days I feel the young are more defensible since they have time to learn from their mistakes (but many will no doubt turn into stupid old PC-crusaders). Other days I feel the responsibilities of middle-age (especially if one has children) excuse to some extent their sheeplehood.

    But really the only real-life people I find terribly compelling these days are the older. Old enough to remember things weren’t always this way and are vaguely disturbed by the weirder pomo customs such as the celebration of genital self-mutilation and self-inflicted minorityhood. Old enough to have experienced a few things worth learning about. Old enough to occasionally not give a damn if some deviant thought offends someone.

  8. John M.
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen all those videos…the Mexican cartels make ISIS look like kittens (and they are right next door)…the hypocrisy of this evil system is boundless.

    I must admit that I am fascinated by the radical Islamists and their fanatical rejection of modern values. They are determined, tough, and ready to die for their Caliph and Allah.
    They certainly aren’t domesticated pigs like us. I watched the video of ISIS leader Al Baghdadi calling his followers to prayer…he gives a speech…a much different image than the one we are told of the ferocious and bestial “terrorist”. A rather solemn affair…made me think of Hitler at Nuremberg. Like the SS fought for Fuhrer, race, and nation unto death…the skull on the cap a warning to their enemies…ISIS fights for Allah and the Caliphate…the severed head a symbol of fear. Keep in mind that the barbarism that Greg wants us to watch and be angered by is also what we once used to be ages ago (hard for me to be angered by it…I’m more in awe of it…we are total cream puffs compared to these guys)….do you think the Vikings, the Goths, the Vandals, or any of the berserkers treated their enemies with kindness? Did they fight with any less fanaticism for Odin and King? If a world is to be won, then that kind of fanaticism is what is needed to win it.
    Oh well…back to the cushy sofa, soft drink, and the “electronic communist” (ie..TV).

    • Smythe
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Let’s not put ourselves down too much John. The ISIS soldiers are a small minority among the Muslim world. Much of the rest of them are happy to wallow in the distractions offered by modernity.

      By the same token, there a minority of tough White men ready to risk their lives in combat, such as the SEALs or SAS. There are probably more out there, just waiting for something worth fighting for.

  9. IBM
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    We don’t have to observe desecration to know it is wrong. The more it is watched, the more harm is done. We can’t stop Muslims half way around the world from committing unspeakable acts. We don’t have to watch the acts either.

    Modernity is a red herring. Anti-whiteness is the problem, not modernity.

    • Justin Huber
      Posted September 9, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I agree with you on this. I don’t have to watch pornography to know there is such a thing as sex.

  10. Jake Grant
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Superb article. Insightful and brilliant.

    Posted September 11, 2014 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    One of your best articles. This is why counter-currents is the formost website for the New-Right

  12. Matmat
    Posted September 13, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I am French, live in Oklahoma. Daily reader of
    Been looking out for a blog like this for awhile.
    Very interesting and intelligible.
    What do you make of our beloved white women in all this?

    We are a majority in Europe to consider them as widely responsible for our complete political degenerescence.
    Today more female voters than male voters in Europe.
    Always the first to defend divershitty or fight against our rights and will to recover our sovereinties.
    We love our women but they sure make it harder and harder.
    I chose to marry an American, just so i would never get stuck with these beings, oblivious to the big Other, always needing to put relativity in situations that are plain and simple.
    It is us or them. They want to live with both.

    Your subject here is a goid example. While most boys will watch, females will bitch you out for… Well for watching what is to be expected in our neighborhood sooner or later.
    The Kosher Klan sure got its way around our women.
    When my grandma would talk about them with great disgust, my sister finds them clever and interesting.

    So yes, watch every bit of what divershitty does, makes, thinks, your woman will need you to be aware of their behaviors and intentions when she will realize how wrong she has been.
    They are our achilis tendon, and i believe education given to our kids will have to be focused particularily on female perception of the big other.

  13. Posted September 14, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Other lower-quality beheading videos I’ve seen elsewhere share some common characteristics:

    1. Immediate emission of blood when the knife begins slicing the flesh.

    2. The camera (however shaky) remains focused on the victim throughout the beheading.

    3. Outcry (a combination of screaming and gurgling, typically) from the victim as the knife penetrates.

    Surely if ISIS really wanted to shake the west out of its complacency, it would go all out and show the entire process to its grisly conclusion? Maybe if ISIS actually returns the alleged corpses I’ll be convinced, but until that happens, if it happens, their videos still seem like theatrics to me.

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