Monday, 22 May 2017

FILM REVIEW: ZARDOZ, Natural Order against the Left

John Boorman's films are implicitly white, as they address themes that pertain to people of White European descent, whether historical, philosophical or mythical. For the latter, an example would be the film Excalibur that I recently reviewed. Zardoz is a film that addresses the philosophical. This is another of Boorman's films that the critic Roger Ebert neither understands nor cares for - and I suspect more the latter, for the film is a biting satire directed at creamy bourgeois Leftists. Beyond the satire, which is cutting rather than amusing, Zardoz falls into two categories: dystopian fantasy and sci-fi thriller. As is usual in such films, what is being critiqued is the present - in this case, the mid-1970s.

 

 

The premise, as revealed throughout the film's denouement, is that there are two sorts of people in the year 2293: the Eternals, who live in a bubble of luxury, plenitude, comfort and Leftist morality called The Vortex, and the Brutals, who are left to roam the wastelands. Among the Brutals are a select group called the Exterminators, who carry out the will of their god Zardoz, a giant flying stone head. Zardoz's will is to kill other Brutals and gives the Exterminators guns to do so, saying:

 

Zardoz speaks to you, his chosen ones. You have been raised up from brutality to kill the Brutals who multiply and are legion. To this end, Zardoz, your god, gave you the gift of the gun. The gun is good. The penis is evil. The penis shoots seeds and makes new life to poison the earth with the plague of men, as once it was. But the gun shoots death and purifies the earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth and kill.

 

The speech above might be criticised for its simplistic didacticism and also bizarreness, but one must consider that it is addressed to the Exterminators, who are obviously of low intellect. That said, some of the later dialogue in the film is rather too didactic and Boorman is, in places, guilty of telling rather than showing. Some of it might be excused by the film's lack of budget - and this film really could have done with a higher budget - but some is because Boorman is guilty of heavy-handedness at times when imprinting his message on the film through dialogue. That message is, however, very Rightist, for The Vortex is soon revealed to be a dystopian idyll, an inescapable prison of luxury.

 

 

 

Ostensibly, the Eternals are all at peace, free from violence and death, and forever young. Their society is democratic and imposes equality on all. However, it is revealed that the men can no longer sexually perform due to their prolonged existence. Their impotence has led to women becoming leaders along feminist lines in spite of the ostensible commitment to equality. Does this sound familiar? The two most prominent are May, the scientific leader, and Consuella, the social leader, the latter stating during a lecture:

 

Penic erection is one of the many unsolved evolutionary mysteries surrounding sexuality. Every society had an elaborate subculture devoted to erotic stimulation, but nobody could quite determine how this [shows diagram of flaccid penis] becomes this [shows diagram of erect penis]. Of course, we all know the physical process involved, but not the link between stimulus and response. There seems to be a correlation with violence, with fear. Many hanged men died with an erection. You are all more or less aware of our intensive researches into the subject. Sexuality declined probably because we no longer needed to procreate. Eternals soon discovered that erection was no longer possible to achieve, and we are no longer victims of this violent compulsive act, which so debased women and betrayed men.

 

The speech is a look at sexuality straight out of 1970s feminist pamphlets, with the only difference being a smugness in victory, dressed up as concern for the wellbeing of both women and men. Yet this has created anything but an idyll, with particularly the men wishing for death, as Arthur Freyn, acting as the chorus to a theatrical play, states he longs for at the beginning of the film. This introduction, however, is one of the unsatisfactory elements of the film, as it rather gives the game away, Freyn himself exposing that the film is a morality play, who he is and what the film is about. It is unnecessary and an insult to the viewer's intelligence. It is notable that the women have also adopted more masculine impersonality, attributes and attitudes, as witnessed in the role reversal of typical male-female interjection when witnessing the rape and violence in the Exterminators' daily life:

 

Woman 1: Terribly exciting.

Man: What of the suffering?

Woman 2: Oh, you can't equate their feelings with ours. They're just entertainment.

 

This titilation at violence when removed from violence itself is at the heart of the female bourgeois psyche, and to a lesser degree in the male, because there is still the nagging discomfort in the male of his impotence. It is why, in our own societies, we have seen feminists not only content to ignore the rape of working-class women and girls at the hands of the non-White hordes flooding into Europe, but positively encouraging it.

 

 This indeed bring me nicely to one of the major themes of the film: the betrayal of the working class by the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie's isolation from the working class. It is revealed during the film that The Vortex and others like it (this one is Vortex 4) were created by 'the rich, the powerful, the clever' as the world decayed. They created force fields around their self-sufficient country estates to keep the riff-raff out. Basically, the same people who destroyed the planet cut themselves off to live in a country idyll away from the consequences of their actions. Does this sound familiar?

 

There is even room for a poke at the nascent transhumanist movement here before it had even gained ground, Boorman predicting the flow of Leftist intellectual currents. An artificial intelligence that becomes more or less both a servile and constraining god is created called The Tabernacle - and again, as with Excalibur, this shows Boorman pitting Nature against Judeo-Christianity as anti-Nature. The Eternals have telepathic and telekinetic powers with the aid of The Tabernacle and can do violence by thought alone, again divorcing them from physical action. They are joined together and to The Tabernacle in a groupthink by crystals inserted into their brains, in a satire of Leftist consensus-making. Death and ageing is all but abolished, with The Tabernacle resurrecting any Eternals who die. The chief architect of The Vortex delivers this typically Wellsian Fabian speech of 'Men Like Gods', of hubris:

 

We seal ourselves herewith into this place of learning. Death is banished forever. I direct that The Tabernacle erase from us all memories of its construction so  we can never destroy it if we should ever crave for death. Here man and the sum of his knowledge will never die, but go forward to perfection.

 

Ageing is reserved as punishment for dissident Eternals who go against the status quo. In this, it is revealed that the generation who built The Vortex and The Tabernacle realised the mistake of cheating death and Nature and attempted to destroy it. They were cast out as renegades by their spoilt offspring born into the comfort of The Vortex, who aged their parents into senility. It is notable that the leaders of the founders of The Vortex are male, their successors spoilt daddy's girls that one sees everywhere at university. Yet even among these spoilt offspring, their unnatural existence has created virulent versions of the complexes Leftists have today. There are 'the Apathetics', who become passive to the point of no longer moving - an obvious satire on Jainism, which had been gaining traction in Leftist circles in the West post-1960s. There are many suicides, especially among men, just like now, but The Tabernacle always resurrects them. There are petty spiteful acts of psychic violence, like the sociopathy we see today, borne out of a projected self-hatred. As one offender states during his trial:

 

I hate you all. I hate you all. I hate you all. Especially me.

 

Into this dystopian idyll comes a bare-chested, mustachioed, pony-tailed Sean Connery as the Exterminator Zed, whose job it is to bring rightiousness, Rightism and Boorman's didactic dialogue to the insufferable women of The Vortex with lines like, "This place is against life. It must die" and "It is built on lies and suffering." Boorman can be criticised here. Connery's casting is interesting because Burt Reynolds was originally to be cast as Zed, with whom Boorman had worked on Deliverance, but was unavailable at the time. Connery is similar in his rugged masculinity, but far more appropriate, as this is a very British film and Connery's provincial accent suits the class war narrative, whereby he also represents the force of Nature against the urbane clique. A happy accident, as Bob Ross might have said.

It must be said, however, that this is not class war in the Marxian sense. Zed is seen very much as the Übermensch throughout the film, a throwback to the natural aristocrat - the warrior leader and culture bearer, as Jonathan Bowden would have it, the cultured thug. This is signified by his choice of weapon, the Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver favoured by British army officers up to World War One. It is revealed that, despite his appearance, he is an autodidact and his intelligence exceeds that of the Eternals, who, as they cannot die or reproduce, cannot evolve. Without death, new birth and religiosity, the Eternals' lives have been rendered meaningless. Zed brings all three in his violence, virility and adherence to Nature as Divinity, one of Boorman's regular themes. Zed is the latest stage of evolution and quickly surpasses the Eternals' knowledge, yet does not abandon the body. This is the critique of the Left: that they have gone, like John Stuart Mill, into pure thought, but in doing so, their thought is no longer rooted in anything. Zed is the return of the Right, of a return of the spirit to the body, of energy to matter.


 

 

Yet it is Zardoz who creats Zed through selective breeding over generations, Zardoz who leads him into learning, and Zardoz who manipulates him into revolting against him as a false god, into seeing him as the Wizard of Oz. For the two rebellious male characters Arthur Freyn (alias Zardoz) and Friend (who acts as Zed's haughty guide, but comes to realise he is their saviour) recognise the deficiencies in themselves, Freyn wishing, in any case, as he states in the film's prologue, to die. Both are crucially identified as artists, the artist's role being that of honest social critic, as Rightist film director Hans-Jürgen Syberberg notes. Yet in the forced groupthink of Leftist society, they cannot perform their task. Freyn therefore gives Nature a helping hand in destroying the unnatural society, as the former leader of The Vortex identifies it with again unnecessary didacticism:


I remember now, the way it way. We challenged the Natural Order. The Vortex is an offence against Nature. She had to find a way to destroy us. Battle of wills. So she made you. We forced the hand of evolution.

 

This is the natural way of progress, slowly, through the generations, through eugenics, but eugenics in a natural way, through natural selection. What the Left call Progress - and they usually like to capitalise the word, like the aforementioned H G Wells - is nihilism. And The Vortex - the Leftist idyll - is fuelled by nihilism: the younger generation against the elder, women against men, men and everyone against themselves. And if the film sounds heavily influenced by Nietzsche, it is and Zed as Übermensch himself quotes him, just in case you miss the point. And this critique of the Left is why the film really came under fire from the critics, because the Left do not like a dose of Truth serving up to them.

 

 

 

Let us take the first criticism that is always levelled at the film: the costumes. The Eternal men wear an uncomfortable blend of hippy garb and Gay Pride event costumery that displays rather too much nipple for comfort (take note, Marcus Follin). Yet the clothing reflects the men themselves: immasculated, effete and perverse. The Exterminators are largely naked, except for a red PVC loincloth and thigh-high boots. If this resembles fetishwear, it is because it is meant to look exactly like fetishwear. And if I have just pointed out the obvious, it is because the critics completely missed the obvious. The critics should have asked the question: who supplied the Exterminators with their 'uniforms'? Zardoz. And who is Zardoz? Zardoz is Arthur Freyn, one of the Eternals, who have fetishised physical violence, rape and death in their incapacity for any of these things. The fetishwear reflects the displaced psycho-sexual fetish itself and if Zed resembles a '70s porn star, it's because Freyn rather likes him that way.

 

I have stated that Freyn's monologue as a prologue to the film is unsatisfactory, but his appearance is not, for he appears as a disembodied head, which foreshadows Zardoz's vehicle as a giant floating stone head and also the philosophical theme of the mind-body split. Even with the lack of budget, Boorman uses simple effects and, at times, rather good dialogue that one might easily miss, such as when Friend exclaims while showing Zed the Apathetics: "You idle Apathetics, melancholy sight." It is a perfect line of iambic hexameter. Friend often shows off as an artist in the society and this is a subtle example for the discerning viewer. That said, at times, the poor effects show through, especially where Zed punches through some 'indestructible' plastic sheeting. The film also feels rather cluttered at times and I have mentioned the sometimes clunky, yet sometimes poetic, dialogue a time or two already.

 


Yet there are very few films that address existentialist philosophy in a serious manner and fewer still that put the sophistry of the cozy Left under the microscope. In the end, the values of the Right are restored, the values of Natural Order, with the feminist archetype Consuella submitting to the Übermensch. The ending of the film is a montage of Zed and Consuella's contented life together, including the birth of a son, old age and death. During childbirth, Zed takes Consuella's hand, and again when their son comes of age and she is tempted to stop him from leaving. This shows what true masculinity and femininity are: the man both strong yet compassionate, the woman nurturing and loving. This is what the Right has always known and the Left has sought to corrupt. Accepting Rightist thought is about accepting what is, what is natural and what one can aspire to become within the Natural Order of things.



14 comments:

  1. Greatly enjoying these film reviews and looking forward to more. I especially enjoy the depth you go into it and connections outside of it, rather than only talking about the film within itself or as only brief and shallow entertainment. Do you also review or plan to review the modern cinematic fare or is that too easy a shot or too corrupted? Might be good to take one or two and help walk through it for those who are not yet literate in the arts and symbolism as you are, especially as the mainstream is not going to provide that insight any more. Even if it was rather a critique on what is missing or the symbolism or themes used and what impact they may have on the unaware mind now that this modern symbolism and message is being piped in instead of the natural older messages of the European and his art and history.

    Have you made any articles, interviews or speeches on Jainism and other belief systems out there? I'd be interested in hearing your perspective on these topics as it would be different from the mainly aethiestic, Christian or agnostic leaning Alt-Right circles and the pagan element doesn't have many voices or well spoken ones to voice things from that perspective. It also seems that the pagan elements are the most comfortable and find it easiest to throw off the Judaic influence as they don't need any excuses or permission slips or complicated reinterpretations of their beliefs to make it okay for them.

    I did see a pagan on vid.me and YT that was almost like an American version of yourself, partly for some superficial reasons having seen your videos, but (obviously guessing as we've never met) a generation younger. I get the feeling he could do with some wisdom and a cooler head to guide him in a sea of degeneracy and mind viruses but then perhaps the world will need less passive people and he is exactly what we will need soon enough. I'm hoping he can move through the minefield of legality and censorship on his journey to appreciate and defend his European identity. I appreciate his strong will and ability to say "No", even if it costs him something, a trait that is lacking in most people. I am hesitant to allow instincts that formed while under the influence of the mainstream poison to rule me in judgements with people on the new right.

    I was wondering if you'd consider it obnoxious or helpful if I or others commented in future about typos spotted in the text of your articles?

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  2. John Boorman's films are implicitly white, as they address themes that pertain to people of White European descent, whether historical, philosophical or mythical.

    Not necessarily. Boorman made HELL IN THE PACIFIC that is about cooperation of Japanese soldier and American soldier. He also made EMERALD FOREST that romanticizes the jungle natives of the Amazon as living in unity with nature. If anything, that movie is most damning of incursions of white civilization into realm of nature. Boorman also made a movie about Burma in BEYOND RANGOON. He also made a movie where a white woman romances a black man. So, he's not this pro-white director you make him out to be.

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    1. I haven't seen Beyond Rangoon, so cannot comment. Are you suggesting the natives do not live in harmony with Nature? Whites need to get back to Nature and this is one of Boorman's themes throughout his films. As for Hell in the Pacific, are you suggesting that any cooperation between people of different races is negative? That is just silly.

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  3. for the film is a biting satire directed at creamy bourgeois Leftists.

    The Order in ZARDOZ is highly conservative, exclusive, and hierarchical. It has a clear division between civilization and barbarism. It was established on a shining ideal of eternity and wisdom, but all that power and privilege has created a society of dogmatism, consensus, asexuality, and/or jaded apathy. The people of the Order have had it so good that they can't value what they have. Also, they fail to understand the true danger posed by the barbarians. Everything is according to the programming. People just go along.

    So, to say that the Order is just 'leftist' or 'bourgeois' misses the point. It has elements of what we might call 'leftist' by today's standards. But the Order is really about hierarchy and total exclusion. It is cult of reason and science, it is 'leftist'. In the equality of men and women in the order, it could be seen as 'leftist' too. And men aren't allowed to be manly. There is no need for manliness since the order is so secure. Also, as people are immortal, there is no need for sex and love. People are supposed to devote their energies to science and knowledge. But all such things have become boring without the cycles of life and without challenges to the Order.

    So, it's too glib to say ZARDOZ is an anti-leftist tract. It is essentially a call for reconnection with nature, the stuff of life. The World of ZARDOZ fails for the same reason the world of CAMELOT fails. Too much success and power have led to complacency and lazy gossip and battle of egos and vanity. It is only when Arthur drinks from the Grail that he realizes he is one with the land, with nature and the people.

    Boorman isn't anti-civilization or anti-Christian(with its linear view of history), but he fears that such can cut off man so much from the nature and its cycles of birth and rebirth that society will grow decadent. And this is what has happened to Sweden. Too much ease and good life led to ZARDOZ-like conditions where overly well-fed and bored white folks welcome invasion simply because it is vibrant, the stuff of life lacking in well-ordered Sweden.

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    1. On the contrary, Leftists have always been a privileged progressive bourgeois clique that has seen itself as exclusive and looked down on those who do not share their values. You need to read Wells and Shaw a bit more. Wells is particularly interesting because he was a social climber who came from the working classes and adopted this thinking wholescale.

      Have I not said that it's also about a reconnection with Nature? Have I not mentioned ease and luxury? Oh, yes I have. You must be hard of reading....or something.

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  4. Ostensibly, the Eternals are all at peace, free from violence and death, and forever young. Their society is democratic and imposes equality on all. (Men's) impotence has led to women becoming leaders along feminist lines in spite of the ostensible commitment to equality.

    The world of Vortex is NOT democratic. It is elitist. It is equal only in the sense that Spartan Warriors were equal with one another or aristocrats are equal among themselves. But, in fact, Spartan elites lorded over the helots. And aristocrats lorded over the serfs. So, the Eternals are NOT democratic. They are equal only among themselves, an elite breed of sci-fi aristocrats.

    Also, women do not rule the Vortex. Since the realm is asexual, men and women are almost the same. The women in ZARDOZ are not interested in the sisterhood or women's issues. They only identify as Vortexians.

    Feminism is about women forming a sisterhood against the men. There is no such politics in ZARDOZ. Rather, female aristos in ZARDOZ work with male aristos to maintain the exclusive hierarchical order. They are more like princesses working with princes against the serfs. They are not about the Sisterhood.

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    1. You've just undermined your argument above that it is a society of consensus. It cannot be both. The Vortex is democratic but taken over by strong personalities that are female. The men have become passive. That ought to be readily apparent.

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  5. Yet this has created anything but an idyll, with particularly the men wishing for death, as Arthur Freyn, acting as the chorus to a theatrical play, states he longs for at the beginning of the film. This introduction, however, is one of the unsatisfactory elements of the film, as it rather gives the game away, Freyn himself exposing that the film is a morality play, who he is and what the film is about. It is unnecessary and an insult to the viewer's intelligence.

    No, most men don't wish for death in the Vortex. They are perfectly happy. Freyn and Friend are rare exceptions who secretly conspire against the system. But then, May the female also ends up helping Zed because a part of her also feels that there is something wrong with the system. She kept him alive because a part of her sympathized with him, longed for him.

    Freyn's intro doesn't make ZARDOZ a morality play but a philosophical experiment. Freyn is not judgmental. He's a magician, a trickster, an artist. He wants to have fun toying with people. He wants to play god as puppeteer. He is the Merlin-like figure... though with only the semblance of wisdom. He'd been given the job of using the Stone godhead to fool the barbarian dummies. He had a fun time messing with the yokels, and he later decides to pull a stunt on Eternals themselves.

    He is not primarily motivated by morality but by creativity and artistry. The whole experiment is like a philosophical game for him, and he cooks up a scheme with Friend(who is more serious). He has no idea how things will really turn out. Indeed, he dies horribly like the rest. His experiment finally engulfs him as well.

    Even though Freyn takes after Merlin, the difference is Merlin understood the nature of tragedy. He knew what it is like for an Order to fall. So, against all odds, he tries to help Uther and Arthur maintain the order from chaos. In contrast, Freyn has no idea of what it would be like for the Vortex to fall to barbarism. It's all just a game that he accelerates... until it happens, and then, he's slashed with a sword while shitting bricks.

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    1. "No, most men don't wish for death in the Vortex. They are perfectly happy."

      Utter nonsense. Have you actually watched the film? What about the trial scenes for example? As for it not reveaing itself to be a morality play by Arthur Frayn at the beginning and him not being judgemental: "Be warned, lest you end as I" -- Arthur Freyn. Seriously, have you watched this film?

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  6. I have deleted your comments on your favourite subject of black dick, Andrea, and not for the first time. You don't get to be subversive on here or railroad the comments section with your agenda. I'm not here to deal with your daddy issues.

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  7. About time. I've just waded through your excrutiatingly boring windbag posts Andrea which are clearly merely supercilious and smugly contrarian for the sake of it. You are obviously trolling, but you are overplaying it by now. You are a cross between an SJW film student and a retired Sight And Sound journo who has escaped from the bfi for the day. So well done, Peter Sellers might not have played it better, but at least he would have been funny with it. Bombarding the comments sections with walls of pseudo intellectual quackademic text is an act of derailing/trolling this blog with your own monologue not engaging in serious dialogue. Having, in the past, read film periodicals for many years Im used to hearing the kind of silly film student quackademic film analysis blabbing which you enjoy, so I'm used to it, but that doesnt make it, or you, any less tedious.

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    1. Andrea is a Leftist troll, who has gone by various other names like "Alt Right Studies" and particularly "Andrea Letania Ostrova" or something similar, claiming she (if it is a she) was a fascist. She fooled many people. Her favourite tricks were always to be totally contrarian for the sake of it, as you've mentioned and to wax lyrical about black masculinity in comparison to Whites. Here is a good example, when I banned her the first time around:

      https://mjolnirmagazine.blogspot.com/2016/10/oktoberfest-cultural-diversity-and.html#comment-form

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    2. From John;
      I think the thread you linked to is blocked for replies so I will leave my reply ( to Andreas comment) to the thread you have quoted here;
      A slave is not 'racially seperated'. The slave and master are unhealthily interdependent their core being not one of racial pride but inter-racial dependency and subjugation where the contradictions cannot be sustained. 'Andreas' posts are a good example of this - and they are certainly hostile and racist - to both black and white - but not race aware.

      'Andrea' does not promote black superiority but, in their rant, denigrates both black and white. This is why the poster is a confused troll. The lurid descriptions of 'hot dark dangerous Africa' of 'master warrior thugs'are an uneducated '''black supremacist''' urban and western concept which do not do not portray the reality of an Africa where nation states are bedevilled by black political corrupton, instability and poverty which works against the interests of black and white citizens of those nations.

      A threat to an indigenous group is a threat, so therefore if elements of one racial group due to their lack of intelligence and thuggery (to which the term 'moral warrior' can not apply; a thug is not a warrior, despite what the 'thug life memes'have brainwashed you into thinking) is using physical violence towards the indigenous group then it IS a dangerous existential ontological threat for the indigenous group.

      This disproves the statement that;

      'Alt Right needs to point to this fact because it is the BEST JUSTIFICATION for racial separation. If you say 'whites are smarter than blacks', it doesn't indicate that blacks are a threat to whites. It just turns blacks into objects of pity and sympathy who should be taken care of.'

      - which in itself is a racist statement which not only infantilises black people as retarded and violent children who should be condescendingly be 'taken care of' but also reinforces the idea of black subjugation/dependency as being a 'white mans burden'.

      While racial seperation is a necessity, but whites do not need to clear up the mess left by dependent blacks - despite what the liberals and the left (who attempt to portray and troll with 'black superiority') tell you.

      'Andreas' portrayals of would be funny to a white racist or non thinking black supremacist racist, but they are essentially trolling racist stereotypes of black people which demean black people - and the autonomy of black people (which btw unfortunately many white middle class left wing people adhere to and proselytise).
      The stereotype is posited against another racist stereotype; the portrayal of a white people who are 'inherently weaker' while ignoring the fact,in the context given, of the systematic and institutionalised racism against whites who, when they resist the co-ordinated and State imposed racism directed against them; from a State which uses the criminal elements of ethnic minorities against whites; detains and imprisons and murders whites whenever they resist.
      Rotherham proved that the rape of white girls for example was facilitated by the State - when whites attempted to defend themselves from rape and violent attack they were prevented from doing so by the State.
      This is also the same elites and globalist who have used similar tactics against Africans in African states. One of the many reasons why 'Andrea'is a troll but not smart/thinking coherently.
      -John

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    3. PS. Forgive my sentence errors above, but to clarify some points; 'whites are smarter than blacks' in the context mentioned DOES point to a causality of high non white criminality being attributal to IQ differences - and therefore a direct threat to whites (as well as to blacks; with the very high instances of blacks who are the victims of black crime ie; blacks subjugating blacks). This has to factor into formulating seperation/immigration policies. Pointing this out does not lead to the conclusion that a lower IQ criminal is therefore deserving of pity or sympathy merely because they have lower IQ, or even that it is beyond the possibility of a lower IQ ethnic group to build their own societies in their own nation states. It does indicate, without doubt, however, why justice systems vary between nation states in the world, as well illustrating the essential incompatibility of different races sharing the same nations/living spaces; it is also a reason why races will naturally self segregate.

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