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Over the last year, I’ve been curating a list (with a lengthy description of each track) of the most overlooked, underrated, and slept on tracks. Here’s 50 Pop Songs You Missed in 2019.
Here’s the Spotify playlist! submitted by ThatParanoidPenguin to popheads [link] [comments]
You may remember this from the last few years (here’s 2018’s post
), and each year I spend some time taking note of songs that I feel don’t get enough attention on here. I try to curate a healthy variety of different types of pop tracks, and this year, I’ve ended up with what I consider to be the most diverse list of tracks I’ve done yet.
If you’re looking for music you haven’t heard yet, look no further - I’ve even provided a similar artist for each track, so if you just want to find music that sounds like your favorite artist, you can do just that.
Hope you enjoy the list, and hopefully I’ll have the time to do this in 2020! Thanks for reading! Without further ado, here’s the music:
Sharon Van Etten - Seventeen
Sharon Van Etten’s Remind Me Tomorrow isn’t the best album in 2019 to feature a disheveled bedroom on the cover (Weyes Blood takes that crown, who knows how long it will take to pump the water out of that room), and Seventeen is the star of the album. A powerhouse indie pop track with a ton of pulsating uncertainty, Seventeen is a love letter to New York City. It’s a city that changes constantly, and it’s hard to remain the same when everything around you isn’t. It erupts into a burst of emotion, a rallying cry, a pleading to a past self, and it’s easily one of the best songs of the year.
Little SIMZ - Selfish (feat. Cleo Sol)
It’s been a great year for UK hip hop, with great releases from Slowthai, Dave, Loyle Carner, and more, but Little Simz may have the crown, as there’s a myriad of cuts on Grey Area that shine above the rest. Most of Little Simz’ stellar record Grey Area is hip hop, but on Selfish she dabbles in a sultry poppy R&B jam. It’s smooth, hazy, and most of all, packed with emotion as Little Simz admits her wrongdoing.
Nilüfer Yanya - In Your Head
British singer Nilüfer Yanya made a bold statement with In Your Head, the lead single to 2019’s wonderful Miss Universe. It’s a brash, bombastic ode to internal monologues and anxious cacophony. It’s a rough track with some raw delivery, and while the chorus is as rock as it gets, it’s perpetually infectious, echoing and blossoming with character.
ALMA - When I Die
Ironically enough, I started this list before ALMA and Tove Lo collaborated on Worst Behaviour, which is also a pretty enjoyable pop track. However, earlier in 2019, ALMA released this versatile banger that wavers back and forth between a dreamy pop track and a club rager, a perfect fit for an artist who has a fair share of both.
Anna of the North - Leaning On Myself
Anna of the North is an artist who really should’ve been an internet darling - she excels at chill, ethereal pop music, and Leaning On Myself is one of her best, a daze of self-acceptance that doesn’t reinvent her formula but instead caters to her spacey, airy delivery. It’s a bit druggy, a bit dreamy, and has a lot of self-love.
Mahalia - Do Not Disturb
Mahalia deserves to be in the conversation with the likes of artists like Kehlani, SZA, Ella Mai, and all the R&B pop girls, because her 2019 album Love And Compromise is one of the most cohesive and consistent records of the year. On Do Not Disturb, she makes a chant out of her decision to shut herself out digitally. It’s a catchy track, as are most of the songs on the album, and she pleads over a lush and beautiful instrumental, carefully navigating off rhymes that sound perfect together.
Claud - Easy
Non-binary Brooklyn-based bedroom pop singer Claud is the newest in a series of twinkly, lovely DIY pop artists, and Easy is one of the best examples of the genre. Drum machines lace a catchy melody, and their delivery is pale yet lush. It’s got a hint of Frankie Cosmos, a bit of Clairo, and a lot of heart.
Uffie - Nathaniel
Yes, it’s that Uffie! Her first album in 9 years may be a bit hit or miss, but the outro, Nathaniel, is a certified banger. It’s loaded with dilating, winding synths, and her vocals echo and bounce around the track, cutting and crushing over the jangly instrumental. It’s a light, sunny track, and exactly the type of comeback I would want Uffie to make in 2019.
Hatchie - Without A Blush
Hatchie sounds ripped straight out of the 80s on Without A Blush, complete with a bell-esque synth that dings and drones on. It’s a smoky synthpop track that feels born out of a world with Sky Ferreira and Allie X, and yet, Hatchie makes it her own. She’s definitely been an artist the sub has been sleeping on, and Without A Blush is just another example of her exemplary songwriting that deserves to be recognized.
Stella Donnelly - Die
With a pinch of distortion and the twinge of the song title, Stella Donnelly grapples with duality of a happy song with depressing lyrics. Exploring a failing relationship, she pleads to her partner to simply tell the truth. It’s an upbeat, infectious anthem that serves as a great example of Stella Donnelly’s signature quirkiness.
- for fans of Kero Kero Bonito
SASAMI - I Was A Window (feat. Dustin Payseur)
It’s hard to stand out in the crowded, ever changing genre of dark, DIY bedroom indie rock. Where SASAMI succeeds in the wake of others’ shortcomings is her haunting delivery over rough, distorted guitars that feel part Beach House, part Mitski, and all revealing. It’s a track about taking out self-revelations and insecurities on those you love, and the title is equally intriguing and powerful, becoming a chant in the song’s gripping echo of an outro.
Jamila Woods - Eartha
Jamila Woods’ Legacy! Legacy! is a stunning record, one forgotten in the throes of early 2019’s pop releases. However, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy one of the year’s best records, and what better way to start than checking out this poppy, sultry, honest-to-god jam. Pushy percussion and Jamila’s lovely vocals bring this song so much life, and lush synths give this song a cool funk that feels very her, light and summery.
Elise Hayes - Giving Up
Definitely one of the smaller artists on this list, Elise Hayes is an artist I stumbled upon on Spotify who has a very cute, very colorful sound - think Sigrid meets Tessa Violet, and I’m into it. There’s a sticky hook, a twang of acoustic guitar, some killer synths and sounds, and a whole lot of charisma.
Lolo Zouaï - Ride
Lolo Zouaï’s title track on High Highs To Low Lows may have become her biggest hit to date, but Ride is a hell of a track, a bad bitch anthem that proudly asks you to “watch [her] fuck it up.” It’s bustling with energy and intrigue as Lolo taunts and teases with a bass-heavy rhythmic chorus laced with croons and calls that would make a siren jealous.
Maude Latour - Superfruit
There’s more to the Lorde comparisons than both artists’ mention of orange juice and dismissal of small talk. Instantly, you hear a bit of the New Zealand singer’s whispery delivery and youthful lyricism in Maude Latour’s Superfruit, a poppy, pensive track that bounces between joyful and abated. “And this is real life, by the poolside/Have I told you that I’m really fucking scared to die” really sums it up.
Burns - Energy (with A$AP Rocky & Sabrina Claudio)
It’s surprising that Burns hasn’t garnered more attention with this track - A$AP Rocky and Sabrina Claudio are surprisingly fitting on here, and while Rocky is no stranger to a dance beat (his song with Mura Masa is quite great), he sounds so comfortable alongside Sabrina, who gives a mellow yet tender performance over the jazzy and warm instrumental.
SG Lewis - Flames (feat. Ruel)
SG Lewis and Ruel team up for a synthwave banger that would make The Weeknd blush. While Ruel’s vocals are more akin to songs on his discography, the two flood the track with sounds that could go toe to toe with Stranger Things’ signature synths. It’s an instrumental-focused track, but Ruel is more than welcome to bring the instrumental some life.
- for fans of 5 Seconds of Summer
Ingrid Michaelson - Missing You
Ingrid Michaelson is making music popheads would adore if they actually heard it. Much like Carly’s seminal release of Emotion, Stranger Songs is Ingrid’s slice of 80’s bliss. Missing You is a wistful, simmering pop bop full of passion and regret. Sure, the missing/kissing rhyme has been done many times before, but never quite as good as it’s done here.
Yuna - Blank Marquee (feat. G-Eazy)
I think if you listen to one song on this list, maybe consider making it this one. Before you’re scared of the G-Eazy feature, just know that not only does he fit on this song, he actually enhances the narrative - his brief appearance adds another layer to the back and forth of the hook. And Yuna, she absolutely murders this song. Her whispery, sassy disposition sells the shit out of this song, and the spiteful chorus is literally perfect, a funky, punchy display of dominance and independence that makes for one of my favorite hooks of the year. It’s a total jam, and it’s beyond infectious. I can’t help but dance to this one.
Kiana Ledé - Bouncin (feat. Offset)
In a post-Girls Need Love world, you would think a poppy rap track with an Offset feature (that wasn’t from Tinashe) would be a surefire hit, but despite this song being catchy as hell, Kiana Ledé hasn’t been that lucky. However, this song has it all - charisma, a sticky hook, and a solid rap feature that should have it blasting out of every BMW in Brooklyn, but here we are. When this girl blows up, at least you can say you heard her first.
- for fans of Summer Walker
Shygirl - Uckers
The main hook of this track is a looping, unfurling bloodcurdling screech that makes for one of the most interesting beats of 2019. It’s like Cupcakke meets Clipping. and it’s every bit as jarring and magical as it sounds, somehow managing to sound both sexy and disturbing.
- for fans of Azealia Banks
Vagabon - Flood
Vagabon is a New York indie rock artist entirely writing and producing her music. 2019’s self-titled release was one of the most underrated albums of the year, lush with ominous instrumentation and haunting delivery. Flood is the wistful lead single, a plead to a lost soul backed by stoning guitars and menacing synths.
Michael Kiwanuka & Tom Misch - Money
This funky, soulful jam is a UK dream collaboration from singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka and producer Tom Misch. It’s nostalgic and retro, but doesn’t feel dated, as cinematic strings and sorrowful background synths back Kiwanuka’s pleads to understand the devilish intent of greed. If you’re into disco and disco-influenced pop, look no further.
dvsn - Miss Me?
OVO’s R&B act dvsn may be the label’s best kept secret. Miss Me? is a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of the duo’s brief hiatus while also asking their love “do you miss me?” It’s a sweet, downtempo Toronto trap tune, and like their contemporaries PARTYNEXTDOOR and The Weeknd, there’s just something about a sad, pitch-shifted love song that hits way harder than it should.
VÉRITÉ - Youth
VÉRITÉ has gotten some attention on Popheads, but not nearly enough. It was a toss-up to feature this wobbly electronic track or the damning, vengeful anthem Think Of Me. In the end, though, I had to go with the bombastic drop of Youth. “I waste my youth on you,” she exclaims, and you are forced to believe her. Armed with a fiery instrumental that sounds like drowning as well as a revenge-addled chorus, Youth is one of the most vulnerable tracks to release in 2019.
Miquela - Money
You may know Miquela as the sentient robot/fashion model/cyborg influencer that’s been making the waves on Instagram. The B-side to this double single, Sleeping In, was produced by none other than PC Music’s Danny L Harle, but this A-side, Money, is a sugary, sassy pop bop. It’s quite odd to realize this is the result of an inorganic character, but with a hook this strong, it’s hard not to dance along.
- for fans of Rina Sawayama
Kitten - Memphis
You may know Kitten’s front woman, Chloe Chaidez, as the guitarist in Charli XCX’s favorite girl band, Nasty Cherry. In Kitten, Chloe channels the weirdest of modern electronic mashed with late 90s punk pop. Oh, and the instrumental in the chorus literally samples the sounds of a dying DSL modem. And the craziest part? It works. Chloe’s nonchalant sing-talk delivery fits the wild instrumentation quite well, and as a result, Memphis is one of the most interesting, experimental pop tracks of the year.
- for fans of The Japanese House
Emotional Oranges - Just Like You
Emotional Oranges’ aesthetic is as simple as it looks - they like oranges and they’re emotional. More seriously, the California pop duo has exploded in the last year, releasing two exceptional records stacked with simmering, sexy songs that bounce between sultry R&B and uptempo pop. Just Like You is a downright sensual synthpop single, sounding like if Oh Wonder and The 1975 had a baby, and that baby listening to Terror Jr. growing up. A lustful slow burn, the track dances around with innuendos and references to “navels,” a clever nod to the duo’s dedication to the fruit, while also keeping that steamy feeling of missing someone’s body as much as you miss them.
Deb Never - Swimming
Deb Never, alongside 100 Gecs, Dominic Fike, Slowthai, and JPEGMAFIA completes the spectrum of weird indie pop/rap artists to open for Brockhampton. However, as talented and incredible as all of these musicians are, Deb Never may be the most underrated and exciting. The angsty singer-songwriter has a very eclectic and visceral style, blending raw trap elements with alternative rock guitars on Swimming, a dark and brooding single that may be her best yet.
Wafia - Hurts (feat. Louis The Child & Whethan)
Wafia is best known for her contribution on Louis The Child’s hit single Better Not, and on Hurts, she enlists the DJ duo along with rising producer Whethan to create a slick, futuristic bop with sliding synths and solid vocals. It’s a bit of a vibe, and for a song with so many people producing and writing and singing, things can fall apart, but Hurts never feels like it has too many cooks in the kitchen - it seems like it has just enough.
Roy Blair - I Don’t Know About Him
Roy Blair was Brockhampton frontman Kevin Abstract’s background singer when he was simply a small internet solo act. Roy’s got music of his own, and 2017’s Cat Heaven is a rather slept on indie pop release with some great songs. He graced 2019 with a 3 song EP called Graffiti, where he he delves in a more experimental route, following in the footsteps of other alternative pop artists. The result is a somber, expressive collection of tracks that impress and surprise. I Don’t Know About Him is the first of the three, and perhaps the best. Rife with pitch-adjusted vocal samples, a chant of a chorus, and punchy production, this may be one of the most alluring indie pop tracks you’ll hear all year.
- for fans of Kevin Abstract
HOLYCHILD - Over You
HOLYCHILD recently announced they’re going on an indefinite hiatus, but not before dropping a damn solid sendoff of an album. The pulsating, explosive intro, Over You, is a gorgeous synthpop smash - its instrumental marches on and on, providing ample background for anthemic vocals to do their thing.
REI AMI - Snowcone
REI AMI is my personal favorite new artist of 2019. She only has 3 singles out, but has carved a unique space for herself, with a love for beat switches that halve her tracks. The first half of Snowcone is a certified bad bitch anthem, with quippy and sassy lyrics, cutesy yet menacing delivery, and a raw beat with some clever moments in production. The second half couldn’t be any more different, as she finds herself vulnerable and alone, “a thrift store sweater with the holes.” There’s a nice duality to this one that is shocking in a first listen but seems almost necessary every time after that.
Bermuda - Under The Bridge (Only Pretty People Can Hear This Song)
This bizarre track is the debut from Lil Miquela’s “hacker.” And just like the digital influencer, Bermuda is a computer-generated personality. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a poppy, autotuned cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song. On its own, it may not be an interesting piece of music. It’s not quite as abrasive or absent garde as an 100 Gecs track, nor is it as polished as Miquela’s PC music-friendly tracks, but it’s a relic of the zeitgeist. It’s a catchy, infectious clout chasing debut from an artist who doesn’t exist, one that might even be birthed from Miquela’s creators. Why would you make a debut single a pop cover of an early 90s rock track? Who knows. Maybe things aren’t that complicated. Maybe this is just a synthy, self-aware bop.
Tei Shi - Even If It Hurts (feat. Blood Orange)
Tei Shi has mostly been slept on in the pop/R&B spectrum despite releasing quite a few stunning singles across her two solid releases. Even If It Hurts is a smoky collaboration with Blood Orange in the vein of his 2018 album Negro Swan (of which they had a song together called Hope), and fit the most part, it shares a lot of qualities with the record: the dreamy, lush synths that lose you in a daze, the percussion that punches and drags like chains across pavement, and the whispery echoes of vocals that sound both in your face and distant at the same time. It’s easily one of the best songs of the year, and perhaps one of the best in Tei Shi’s career.
Deaton Chris Anthony - Racecar (feat. Clairo, Coco & Clair Clair)
For as small of an artist as Deaton Chris Anthony may be, he seems to have already caused quite the buzz online. In the last few months, he’s met up with Charli XCX, got Tony Hawk to star in a music video, and had this alt pop crew cut named one of the best tracks of the year by Gorilla vs. Bear (think Pitchfork but better). And this Clairo-featuring track is exactly that, a 3 minute rollercoaster ride that swerves and evades any sense of cliche as it dances around vaporwave, brat pop, sassy rap, and everywhere in between. It’s a lot to unpack, but luckily, you’ll be dying to hit replay to figure it all out.
Chelsea Cutler - You Are Losing Me
This soft, Spotify-core vocal chop pop tune is a certified jam, a tried-and-true playful act of resistance. It’s got a really great drop, which bounces and shines in contrast to Chelsea’s hazy, hurtful delivery. It’s a testament to honesty and vulnerability, and while there’s a lot of tracks out there that sound like this, they’re often sterile, whereas You Are Losing Me almost feels unstable, ready to burst at any moment.
Chromatics - Whispers In The Hall
For those unfamiliar with the synthpop group Chromatics, they’re one of the most influential modern dream pop groups out there, taking heavy inspiration from film scores and Italian disco. Their music has always skated on the line of horror and suspense, but on 2019’s Closer To Gray, they finally lean right into the spooky side of electronic music, with a downright menacing baseline, a Carpenter-esque melody, and a chaotic hell of an outro. It’s every bit as scary as the cover and title would suggest, and it’s every bit glorious as well.
FLUXX.WORLD - Sit W Me
Probably the smallest group in this list, FLUXX.WORLD only has a handful of tracks to their name, but released one of my favorite tracks of the year with Sit W Me. It’s a winding, dizzying hyperpop song with a repetitive drawl, an immaculate chorus, and production that would make Charli XCX blush. It’s a fever dream, the closest thing 2019 has gotten to drone pop, and I love it. Definitely check this one out.
Poliça - Trash In Bed
Minneapolis synthpop band Poliça has gone under the radar even in indie circles despite releasing some pretty great albums over the last decade, and if Trash In Bed is any indication, they’re going to continue that streak. This dark, brooding pop track oozes mystique, an omen to a past lover. It’s bleak, but enjoyable.
LIZ - Laguna Nights
LIZ has gotten some traction here, but not quite as much as the other PC Music affiliates. Laguna Nights may be the most pure pop track on the record, but it’s a great one. Britney vibes are abound, and so are references to mood rings as well as the TV show of which the song shares a similar name. Endlessly catchy, poppy, and glittery. What more could you ask for?
Kilo Kish - Bite Me
Vicious. That’s the one word I would use to describe Kilo Kish and her brand of industrial pop. Bite Me is every bit as visceral as it sounds, complete with pouncing drums, primal screams, and other various background sounds that make this such a scary, intriguing track. It all accumulated into a rush of an outro, as it feels like the entire song is packed into a 15 second snippet that erupts with increasing intensity.
Perfume Genius - Pop Song
If you don’t listen to Perfume Genius, you’re going to fix that today. One of the best indie pop musicians currently in the game, Perfume Genius is always finding new ways to express himself through lovely and lush compositions. The smugly named Pop Song May be one of his best, a foray into an atmospheric garden of ambient noises and gentle vocals. Don’t let that fool you, though, as this song is grim, violent, and mellow underneath the otherwise gorgeous sheen of instruments that grace this song’s exterior. It’s a five minute song with one single hook repeated twice but it never outstays its welcome, and by the time you’re finished, you would like to play it again.
- for fans of Caroline Polachek
Låpsley - My Love Was Like The Rain
Låpsley is one of the most underrated English songwriters out there. She wrote and produced every track on her bedroom pop debut album Long Way Home, which was brimming with deep, ocean-like downtempo pop tracks. She returns after a hiatus to bring us even more warm synths and haunting vocals on My Love Was Like The Rain. It’s a bit Billie Eilish meets Jamie xx with Adele at the helm, but it’s all full of feeling.
Banoffee - Tennis Fan (feat. Empress Of)
Banoffee is still an unknown for many fans of Charli XCX or SOPHIE, but the LA songwriter will be making waves in 2020 with her eclectic delivery and lighthearted lyrical metaphors. Tennis Fan is downright infectious, coupling dancey production with bouncy vocals reminiscent of something from MØ. Top it off with a fire Empress Of feature, and you have a recipe for pop perfection.
- for fans of King Princess
EDEN - Projector
EDEN makes sad, electronic heavy pop music that’s very similar in vein to someone like James Blake, but his demeanor is far more deadpan, and his production is rather hazy and shoegazey. Projector is full of sorrowful beeps and bloops, downright depressing delivery, and an ominous fog that surrounds the entire track.
Flo Milli - In The Party
Flo Milli may be the rapper to watch in 2020. Charisma and personality is a huge part of success in hip hop, and the Alabama rapper has it in spades. With a rapid fire, sassy flow like Rico Nasty and raw, hard beats, she has carved out a hell of a lane for herself, and already secured a Tok Tok hit with her debut single Beef FloMix. In The Party is a poppier, more audacious single, with Flo Milli serving various bad bitch aphorisms over a blunt, bodacious beat. It’s a cheerleader anthem for homewreckers and it’s as much of a banger as it sounds like it is.
Eluera - Good When We Fight
Eluera is an Australian lo-fi pop artist with a whispery, downtempo songwriting style that’s downright alluring. Paired with a punchy instrumental on her new single, Good When We Fight, she’s making moves. It’s got a damn nice chorus, a hint of vulnerability, and a lot of character. Definitely a must-listen for fans of the light, post-Lorde pop singers.
Torres - Good Scare
Torres is that one artist who has come so close to releasing that one album to put her on the map. After three great albums (all of which have managed to score an exact 8.0 on Pitchfork), Torres may finally have found her record. Good Scare, the lead single, is an indie pop bombshell, the type of slow burn that is electrifying, revealing, and unyielding. Hopefully the rest of the album can follow.
Teyana Taylor - We Got Love
Teyana Taylor is an artist with quite the crazy career - a debut that should’ve been massive but was anything but, an album infinitely delayed and finally retooled by Kanye West as part of his Wyoming sessions, a smattering of singles reworked and released over the course of 2019, and being so coveted as an opener on Jeremih’s tour she literally kicked out the main act from his own tour. So for all intents and purposes, We Got Love feels like a victory lap. It was meant to be on her last album, K.T.S.E., then intended for Kanye West’s own scrapped record Yandhi, but was shelved and shelved again, and here it is. And it’s great. A soulful Kanye production, We Got Love is a holy, beautiful rap with an endearing hook and ton of positivity and love. It sounds like a classic, nostalgic track hook release, and it’s easily up there with Teyana’s best tracks, with short quips that have West’s lyrical stamp, an organ that feels oh so churchlike, and a background choir sample that elevates this track to another level. Definitely one of my favorite songs of the year.
Sun yang's supporter confusiousists constantly threaten harassing Mack Horton's family for 4years
Mack poked the dragon and parents paid price submitted by mike_cao to fucktheccp [link] [comments]
Gangs outside the home, constant threats, their business hacked... four years after swimmer Mack Horton outed a Chinese rival as a drug cheat, his family still pays the price.
On a mild October day last year Cheryl Horton was cleaning the backyard pool at the family home – a chore she rigorously avoids until it can be ignored no longer – when the vacuum head made a curious grinding sound. She raised the appliance, felt beneath it, and winced with pain. Blood coursed down her hand, dripping into the pale water. She called to her husband, Andrew, and together they discovered a “bucketload” of broken glass on the floor of the pool. She holds one of these centimetre-thick glass chunks, glinting like a rough-cut diamond, as she speaks. “We keep it on the desk in the study,” she says, “as a reminder of how bad things got.”
The couple knew immediately where the broken glass had come from, and why it was there. Just three months earlier their son, Olympic 400m freestyle gold medallist Mack Horton, had refused to join Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and 11-time world champion, on the medal podium at the World Championships in the South Korean city of Gwangju. Horton had just won silver in the 400m freestyle; Sun Yang gold. Mack Horton’s mute protest – standing up for clean sport by refusing to stand beside Sun – unleashed a wave of hostility more disturbing than anything the family had ever experienced. And since their son famously labelled Sun a drug cheat at the 2016 Rio Olympics, they’ve experienced a lot. “We’ve had so many death threats that we’ve stopped taking them seriously,” says Andrew with a grim chuckle.
At the Rio Olympics, before competition had even begun, Horton says Sun tried to provoke him in a warm-up pool by splashing water and hurling abuse as they both paused at the ends of their lanes. Asked by a reporter afterwards about the contretemps, Mack coolly replied that Sun had “splashed me to say hello, and I didn’t respond because I don’t have time for drug cheats”.
“That was the moment our lives changed,” says Andrew. “That’s when it all started.”
Mack’s remark in Rio, a reference to a three-month suspension his Chinese rival had served in 2014 for taking a banned stimulant, detonated across all forms of media – print, television and internet – with the force of a depth charge. Within 45 minutes, some 680,000 slurs, insults and death threats had assailed Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Chinese social media platform Weibo. His Wikipedia entry was later trolled. Mack was dog shit, a racist, destined for the Paralympics, and perhaps a nuclear bomb strike. He must apologise. Or else.
A week later, with Mack and his parents still in Rio, there was a break-in at the family home in the blue-chip Melbourne suburb of Glen Iris. Andrew’s business – he runs an educational technology company – also began to experience relentless cyber attacks that could only be mitigated, he says, by denying access from China.
After Mack’s theatrical and somewhat passive-aggressive follow-up protest in South Korea last year, “the hate”, as the family calls it, rose to another level of intensity. Dog turds were hurled at the family home; their trees and plants were poisoned. A passing parade of youths gathered at the back fence to chant slogans while banging pots and pans in the dead of night, or stood in the driveway hurling abuse. Someone who spoke broken English took to phoning Andrew every second day to detail what he would like to do to his daughter (he has no daughter). And there was the broken glass in the family pool.
“The biggest change was the intensity,” says Andrew. “It was unrelenting. Every day and night in the second half of 2019, peaking in September, easing off in February this year.” It relented in the same month that Sun received an eight-year suspension for destroying a blood sample in an out-of-competition doping test.
Horton, who has regular and ongoing security briefings about threats to his family, has been informed that his assailants call themselves “Confucianists”. The 5th century BC Chinese philosopher has been revived in recent years as a national icon by a Chinese Communist Party seeking ethical moorings outside its founding credo of Maoism, and his name has become a codeword for Chinese nationalism. Sun himself seemed to invite a nationalist interpretation of Horton’s comments in Rio, saying: “Disrespecting me was OK, but disrespecting China was unfortunate.”
Andrew harbours no ill-will towards Sun’s supporters, believing on the advice of security officials that they are acting under instructions from the Chinese Communist Party, either directly or indirectly, and “have little choice”. He is concerned, in fact, that some of them will be “beaten up, or worse, if they don’t comply”. He declines, on security grounds, to specify the assistance given to his family by police and security agencies; he’ll only say that he is “very grateful”. The fenced-in suburban family home is by social convention a kingdom, but for the Hortons it is a kingdom under siege.
The family’s challenges are part of a broader pattern of harassment and intimidation of the Chinese Communist Party’s critics and dissenters. Says a national security analyst who keeps a close eye on the case, and spoke on condition of anonymity: “The Hortons’ story is very disturbing... It says something about the reach of foreign powers within Australia.” Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, tells me: “Australians should know that China’s secretive Ministry of State Security has been carrying out a campaign of intimidation in this country against critics of the regime. It’s illegal and nasty.” Hamilton, co-author of the upcoming Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World, says ASIO is trying to monitor activities of this kind. “I hope we see some arrests and prosecutions soon. When that happens, we can expect the usual hysterical denials and calculated outrage from the Chinese embassy, state newspapers and the Party-affiliated Chinese-language media in Australia.”
It’s understood that no arrests have been made in the Horton case, which has been kept from the public gaze. The Hortons report a “constantly revolving cast of characters” at their fence and in their driveway. If any were apprehended by police they would be questioned, cautioned, released, and another would take their place. “This is not an amateur operation,” remarks a security insider.
Politically motivated attacks on non-Chinese Australians are rare, but not unknown. In July last year a University of Queensland student, Drew Pavlou, a vocal critic of the university’s ties with Chinese organisations, says he was assaulted while leading a pro-Hong Kong rally on campus. “In the aftermath I saw my social media flooded by hundreds of abusive messages from supporters of the Chinese government,” says Pavlou, who is Greek-Australian. “There were dozens of threats in Mandarin and English. They threatened to kill me and my family, to rape my mother. It’s a terror tactic to silence critics of the Chinese government.’’ Another position on the spectrum of debate about Chinese influence in Western society is occupied by John Keane, professor of politics at the University of Sydney, who warns about the “prejudice known as Orientalism” and points to “the treatment of Sun Yang by Australian xenophobes”.
Sun rose to fame in China when he became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming in 2012 (he won two: the 400m and 1500m). So when Horton defeated the Chinese superstar in the 400m in Rio, on the evening of August 6, 2016, it was bound to ramp up tensions.
Almost immediately Swimming Australia, the sport’s governing body, received letters from its Chinese equivalent threatening reprisals over Horton’s “drug cheat” claims. Shortly after the expiry of the deadline these letters had set for an apology, Swimming Australia’s website was hacked and crashed. Around this time, the Australian Census website went down after it was hit by concerted cyber attacks launched from overseas, in a major embarrassment for the Turnbull government and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Some tech commentators have speculated that these attacks were part of the blowback from Rio.
But there was one lighter moment to the post-Rio backlash. Horton’s coach, Craig Jackson, took six months off to travel around South America and in the jungles of Colombia he met a group of British students who told of a friend in the UK by the name of Matt Horton. “His Instagram account had been bombarded with insults by Sun’s supporters,” Jackson says. “He even wrote to Mack to ask him to please apologise.”
The Hortons are happy to tell the story of their “grand adventure”, as they like to call it – and in the telling, to put it behind them. I catch up for a video call with Andrew, 53, and Cheryl, 52, a month after the announcement of Sun Yang’s eight-year ban – a punishment that will likely end his career, barring a successful appeal. It’s late March, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have just been postponed. Mack, a 24-year-old La Trobe University business management student when he is not chewing up laps in the pool, marked the suspension of training with his first drink in a long time – a negroni – and a handful of almond croissants. But now he has been advised to “shut down” any media engagements amid security concerns: his mother had spied a “serious” drone above the house. Things that had once seemed extraordinary – death threats, abuse, home invasions – are now the wallpaper of their domestic lives. Andrew insists that his son’s protest in South Korea last year was as unrehearsed as his “drug cheat’’ remark in Rio. “It’s not about the result and it’s not about China and it’s not about Sun Yang,” he says. “For Mack, it’s all about clean sport.”
Andrew and Cheryl were in the stands at Rio watching the races when they felt the first ripples of all this. “I saw John Bertrand [president of Swimming Australia] and Mark Anderson [CEO] running towards us with a bunch of support staff,” Andrew recalls. “John asked if I’d had a conversation with Mack about what he was going to say about Sun Yang and I said, ‘No. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve no idea what he’s going to say’. At that point John told me [that Mack had made the drug cheat claim] and I went, ‘Oh… ok-ay’.”
Immediately, and without his knowledge, a Brazilian special forces commando was assigned to shadow the swimmer. His parents, too, had protection; wherever they went they noticed the same two “friendly” young men nearby. “It was only when we were leaving the hotel and saw them putting machine guns into the boot that the penny dropped,” says Cheryl.
Since the Rio games there have been suggestions that Mack’s outing of Sun, made between the heats and the final, was merely astute pre-event gamesmanship: in the 400m freestyle final Sun was more than one and a half seconds off his winning London Olympics time, and immediately after the race was filmed in tears. Others speculate that it was a way for Mack, at his first Olympics, to spur himself on. He told reporters after the event: “The last 50 metres I was thinking about what I said and what would happen if he gets me here.” Craig Jackson tells me there was “no preconceived plan to say any of that, but after he made the comments he had to live up to his words. Mack certainly enjoys the big stage, and there is no stage bigger than the Olympics.”
The heats for Mack’s other big event, the 1500m freestyle, were held the following week. The night before, during an interview for Australian television, Andrew noticed his phone light up with text messages. Two suspicious vans had been spotted outside the family’s home, where their other son Chad was preparing for his Year 12 exams. Andrew shows me one of the texts from a concerned neighbour, which reads: “The garage door was open and so was the house and Mila [the family dog] is missing. The alarm is going off now I am waiting for the police to arrive.”
Cheryl cuts a sharp look at her husband as he tells me this. “This is news to me as well,” she says. “Well I’m letting you know,” Andrew continues. “At around that time the school contacted us by SMS to say they were getting threats concerning Chad. He was actually doing a practice exam so he was escorted out of the school and spent the rest of the Olympics at his mate’s house.” Nothing was stolen from the home, and the dog eventually returned. “By the time the police arrived they’d hightailed it.”
Mark Anderson, former CEO of Swimming Australia, vividly recalls meeting the Hortons in a stairwell of the stadium at Rio soon after their son’s victory in the 400m freestyle. “They were trying to celebrate what was the biggest moment in Mack’s career,” he says. “I was hearing of the break-in at home where the son was still living. They were concerned about Mack in the intense environment in Rio and their son a world away at home. They were justifiably concerned about the safety of both children. The celebration was tinged with concern – it was etched on their faces. But it says something about them that they were able to conduct themselves with dignity throughout.”
The following year Mack Horton told reporters that the ferocity of the blowback – the threats and harassment aimed at him and his family – had changed nothing. “I think I would do the same thing even if I knew the outcome.” And so, two years later, he did. Andrew and Cheryl were back in the stands to cheer on their son at the World Championships in South Korea. They didn’t know he was considering another protest. “But in hindsight we knew something was going to happen,” Cheryl admits. “There was an expectation – you could feel it in the air. Either Mack was going to protest, or someone else would.”
Her son’s actions are immortalised in the iconography of competitive sport. In footage of the event, silver medallist Mack, lantern-jawed and bespectacled like a blond Clark Kent, congratulates Italian bronze medallist Gabriele Detti with a handshake but ignores his gold medallist Chinese rival. When it dawns on Sun that Horton won’t stand next to him on the podium his expression stiffens, and he offers a strained smile. None of the three medal winners in this awkward tableau seems to be playing the standard part: Horton, the steely protester, is resolute yet anxious, uncertain. Nor is there much joy in the smiles Sun and Detti are able to muster. When the trio walks off the stage Sun waves to the crowd, but his smile has once again curdled; Horton brings up the rear with long strides, arms clasped behind his back.
Fresh in the mind of Horton and every swimmer at those championships was a recent report in the UK Sunday Times detailing how three anti-doping testers had arrived at Sun’s home in September 2018 to administer out-of-competition blood and urine tests. Blood was taken at a nearby clubhouse. In the early morning, after a clash between Sun and the officials about their accreditation, qualifications and behaviour – followed by a lengthy standoff – blood samples were allegedly destroyed by Sun’s entourage on the instructions of Sun’s mother Ming Yang. In January 2019 – three weeks before publication of the damning Sunday Times investigation – the sport’s global governing body, FINA, had cleared Sun of wrongdoing on a technicality. So when Mack Horton refused to mount the winners’ podium his protest was as much against FINA’s inaction as it was against Sun.
As the medal ceremony was playing out he heard roars of approval from his fellow athletes. But his parents, who were sitting in a spectator stand opposite, heard only the boos and jeers from Sun Yang’s supporters. “It ramped up after that,” recalls Andrew. Next day a security official told him that in 24 hours “Australian consular officials in China had received more than nine million messages and not one of them was pleasant”. The day after, his company was again targeted.
The following day father and son spoke. It was a testy conversation. “In the athlete’s village they have very little idea of what’s happening outside,” says Andrew. “Athletes turn off their social media and disconnect. I explained to Mack that while I fully support his stance, he just needs to be mindful that these things have flow-on implications. It’s the only time we’ve had a serious disagreement.”
“But if nobody stands up, nothing changes,” says Cheryl. “I get that,” replies Andrew, turning to address his wife directly. “But he just hadn’t considered the full implications.”
Mack’s silent snub again made global news. It also set off a chain reaction. A few days later British swimmer Duncan Scott, who was placed joint third in the 200m freestyle, also refused to join Sun for pictures on the winner’s podium or to shake his hand. Sun confronted Scott and called him a “loser”. Scott and Mack received official warnings from FINA, and both were overwhelmed by death threats from Sun’s fans on social media.
Craig Jackson, Mack’s coach, wasn’t in South Korea that night. He recalls a conversation with Mack a week before the championships that suggested his charge was stewing over the issue of clean sport, and might have been pondering a protest. “I don’t recall the exact words,” Jackson says. “But he didn’t rule it out... We’d spoken a lot about clean sport, and I knew his position. He’s true to his values.” He watched Mack’s protest at the medal presentation from his lounge. “To be honest I agree 100 per cent with the statement he’s making but as a coach I’m sitting there going, ‘You know, I’d prefer you didn’t do that.’”
Mack was well aware of the burden borne by his family after the comment about Sun in Rio. Why then, having poked the dragon and felt the heat, go for Sun again in South Korea? “It says something about his laser-like focus on swimming as well as he can and as fast as he can, and his feelings about fairness in his sport,” Andrew reflects. “And I think he is insulated from a lot of things. One day he’ll have a family of his own and he’ll look back with a better appreciation of how much background support he had.” Mack later spelt out what the protest was, and wasn’t, about: “This isn’t a China-Australia thing. This isn’t a China versus the world thing. This is a principle in the way the sport is governed and controlled.”
In February this year FINA’s decision to clear Sun was overturned on an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Authority to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which slapped Sun with an eight-year suspension. The unanimous verdict was a blow to FINA’s prestige and authority, and to Sun and his family’s fortunes. And it was a stunning vindication of Mack Horton’s stance.
Andrew Horton is inclined to view Sun – an only child with boyish movie-star looks who is unafraid to show his emotions in victory or in loss – as the “victim” of an enormously powerful system with a vast global reach. He points to a recent post from Ming Yang, made after her son’s eight-year ban, in which she alleges an official cover-up over his 2014 doping penalty and rages against his legal team at the CAS hearing. Chinese authorities had initially kept Sun’s three-month suspension in 2014 under wraps, revealing it to the public after he had competed in the Asian Games of September that year. In her since deleted post, Ming Yang alleges that the Chinese Swimming Association manipulated the timing of the news so that his results at the Asian Games – three gold and one silver – would remain intact.
In her post Ming Yang gives a touching insight into the family life of a Chinese swimming star: “I couldn’t sleep at night, powerless and helpless. My son struggled in the swimming pool for more than 20 years, and was strangled by power and lies.”
Even at the age of 10, before swimming had taken hold of his life, Mack Horton was unusually attuned to the spirit of fair play. “This is a kid who as a young basketball player used to throw the ball to players on the other team who he thought weren’t getting a fair go,” recalls his father. “Needless to say, he didn’t get very far with basketball.”
In another life Mack’s sensitivity to injustice might have propelled him into an altruistic profession, but his mother’s feeling for water had a large bearing on his passion for the pool. When Cheryl first started dating the man she would marry – both hail from Perth – a big moment in their courtship was her discovery of his family’s pool. “I could never get her out of the water,” Andrew recalls. “Cheryl and the boys just love the water: the feeling of it flowing over their bodies. It’s in their DNA. It’s like a drug.”
Asked if she recalls how she passed on this passion to her youngest son, Cheryl makes a dunking motion. “He was a reluctant swimmer,” she laughs. “Scared of the water. But once he put his head under he loved it. He couldn’t stop.”
By 2008, 12-year-old Mack was showing great promise – he had the hunger and what his father describes as the “natural metrics of a world-class swimmer”. Even then, though, Andrew wasn’t sure if Mack knew what he was letting himself in for: the pain as well as, just perhaps, the fame. “Do you really want this?” he asked his son one day. Mack turned towards him with a “deadset straight in the eyes” gaze. “But Dad, you don’t seem to understand,” he said. “When I swim I feel like I’m flying. And the faster I swim the better it feels.” Andrew felt his chest tighten, as if he had seen his future. He called Cheryl to say, “We’re going to have to get used to this. It’s not going to go away. It’s going to need the support of the whole family.”
“I knew it would have a huge impact,” he tells me. “Swimming can be brutal on families.” And yet Mack “loved the toughness”, Andrew says. “The pain was nothing to him.” He wanted it so badly that some time in his 13th year he pasted the world record time for the 1500m freestyle on his ceiling. The Hortons like to think of themselves as an “ordinary” family; in their pursuit of normality they’ve banished swimming trophies and photos – even swimming as a conversation topic – from the family home. But they’ve kept the old 1500m record on the ceiling of Mack’s room. “We kept telling him as he was growing up that he was an ordinary person who did some extraordinary things,” says Andrew. The desire to ground the child who was flying in the pool is one reason Andrew and Cheryl felt no shame forcing their myopic son onto the tennis court from time to time. “It was a way of bringing home to him that he was just a mug like the rest of us.”
The way Andrew tells it, Mack’s alma mater, Caulfield Grammar, approached him in January last year for guidance with its new $25 million aquatic centre. Both father and son were chuffed by the idea. Andrew was on good terms with the school and he, together with Craig Jackson, who was asked for his expertise in high performance swimming programs, offered their help. “For most of the year we were talking with the school once or twice a week,” he recalls. “Mack and I also were participating in school events.”
But around October – three months after Mack’s protest in Gwangju and coincidentally the same month Cheryl found a bucketload of glass in the family pool – Andrew and Craig felt the school had cooled towards them. Calls that were once answered promptly were now ignored. Around this time, Andrew believes, the school’s contract with its Nanjing campus in China, which hosts Caulfield Grammar’s Year 9 students each year for a five-week program, came up for renegotiation. The school’s Wikipedia entry makes no mention of Mack Horton in its entry on sporting alumni. Instead it notes the achievements of Chris Judd and John Schultz – Brownlow Medallists – and John Landy, who held the men’s mile record in the 1950s.
In February this year, after media reports alleged that Caulfield Grammar had scrapped plans to name its aquatic centre after Mack Horton, principal Ashleigh Martin moved to defuse the issue, labelling the reports incorrect. “The school has not started a process for naming the facility after any individual, or decided at this time if it will be named after any individual,” the statement read. “Caulfield Grammar School and its community have great pride, respect and admiration for Mack Horton, as both an Olympic swimmer and as a Caulfield Grammarian.”
While Andrew points out that “swimming fast doesn’t entitle you to have a building named after you”, he has at least one powerful ally in Gina Rinehart, Swimming Australia’s patron. “Like many Australians I was very surprised in relation to Caulfield Grammar, as any school should be thrilled to bits to be able to have Mack as alumni,” she tells me by email. “I did ask his parents if they would like me to write to the school to mention this on Mack’s behalf, but they did not wish this, saying Mack’s focus is on training.”
Things have changed dramatically for the Hortons since Sun Yang was given the eight-year ban. The “hate” has lost much of its heat. Sun, disgraced, has been derided online by many of his former fans; Mack, once widely vilified, has been publicly vindicated. Andrew, who claims to have much sympathy for Sun and his parents, shares, at the very least, something of their pain as families dedicated to their athletically elite offspring.
Mack Horton was prepared to make a stand for clean sport. But there is a pyrrhic quality to his moral victory, for it has taken a heavy toll on family, friends, neighbours and a largely invisible web of support. “It’s been a grand adventure,” reflects Andrew. “But it’s certainly not what we anticipated when we chose to encourage our children in sport.”
Travel back in time to WWII to understand the significance of Toda's riding a white horse to review his troops
submitted by BlancheFromage to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]
I keep harping on this "white horse" detail, because it keeps coming up!
To understand the Ikeda cult's plans and goals, it's necessary to look at what happened, at the clues
right there in plain sight, because they certainly aren't going to be open
about their plot for world domination, and they're certainly
not going to explain
it in terms that culturally-ignorant gaijin
can understand! I sometimes wonder if they get a kick out of stating culturally-specific things plainly for their gaijin
audience, knowing they'll never pick up on it.
The white horse.
"A white horse? That's something you ride, right?"
It's NOT something YOU
ride. Back during the years leading up to WWII and during WWII, a white horse was something a fascist DICTATOR
would ride - and it was reserved
for the ruler.
The White Horse remains one of the great symbols of the Second World War.
The Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, rode a white stallion imported from Yemen. British Field Marshal Montgomery took great pleasure inspecting his rival German Field Marshal Rommel’s captured white charger. Plus, American General George Patton rode the famous Lippizan stallion, Favory, who had previously been destined to be gifted to Emperor Hirohito by Adolf Hitler. Source
heard that Adolf HITLER
planned to send an iconic white stallion to Hirohito??
I hadn't O_o Granted, I wasn't born
at the time, but still...
This "Emperor Hirohito-white stallion" thing was HUGE!
You recognize the name Admiral Halsey
A World War II relic, created in a downtown Reno saddle shop and shipped to Tokyo Bay in time for the Japanese surrender to end the war, has come home for the first time in more than 60 years.
The relic is a western saddle crafted especially for Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, the commander of the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet in the final years of the war and a man known for his bold statements regarding the outcome.
In March, 1945, Halsey was asked at a press conference in Washington, D.C., if the palace of Japanese Emperor Hirohito was a military objective. Halsey said, no, then added, "I'd hate to have them kill Hirohito's white horse, because I want to ride it." Source
Wow! Here's a video clip of a promotional stunt Admiral Halsey participated in
, in which he rode a white horse
, though it wasn't Hirohito's. A dress rehearsal?
In fact, Halsey went a bit farther
in his horse-related boasting - starting with some context:
It is not easy now to recreate the wartime emotional mood of those in command of the Japanese and American governments. This war had been ruthless, from the beginning shock of Pearl Harbor and the horror of the Bataan Death March. It had been a long and painful road through the bloody swamps of Guadalcanal and the other bitter islands, culminating in the smoking cities of the Empire. The ruthlessness and the length of the war made it difficult for either side to visualize sitting down to build a peace with the other side, and, further, there were two irreconcilable attitudes maintained by the two opposing forces.
On one side was an alliance that had mobilized for a goal of unconditional surrender. On the other side was a power that had in peace or war held a religious veneration for the head of its government. The Japanese could not imagine a world in which their institution of Emperor would be abolished. Nor could they have visualized Admiral Halsey, in the terms of his boast, "riding the Emperor's white horse down the streets of Tokyo." In this year of 1945 the Japanese had seen Germany and Italy bombed and defeated. They had seen Mussolini lynched, and Hitler a suicide, his body burned and lost in the ruins. The Japanese people simply could not think how their war might end.
The American people fully expected the Japanese Emperor to be overthrown and at least imprisoned, if not in fact executed as a war criminal... Source
To understand the prominence
of the Emperor in Japanese culture and Japanese thought, and how the white horse
was a potent symbol of his office, note that this very stunt - a New Religion leader riding a white horse - resulted in the destruction
of that New Religion!
The scapegoating of new religious groups intensified in the early twentieth century, as the Japanese empire grew and the loyalty of citizens developed into an ever-increasing governmental obsession. The most famous prewar example of such scapegoating is the violent suppression of the Shinto-affiliated group Oomoto. The new religion Oomoto was first targeted for official reprimand in 1921, and in the 1930s the group was condemned for transgressing state orthodoxy. Oomoto raised anxiety among government officials in large part because, through imitating imperial ritual and providing adherents with sub-organizations that promoted a vision of a sacred Japan that embraces modern internationalism, it gave citizens a persuasive alternative means of demonstrating loyalty to the Japanese nation (Garon 1997).
In the form of "We ARE
Exactly how SGI has now positioned itself as "the TRUE HEIRS to Nichiren Daishonin".
In her profile of Oomoto and Deguchi Onisaburō 出口王仁三郎 (1871–1948), the dynamic leader who shaped Oomoto in the period of its rise and catastrophic confrontations with the Japanese government, Nancy Stalker recounts how, as the leader of a group outside the orbit of state management, Onisaburō expanded Oomoto’s mandate beyond the realm of the strictly “religious” into many other spheres, including art, museum exhibitions, voluntary associations, modern media, and international exchange—all elements in a progressive trend Stalker characterizes as “religious entrepreneurship” (Stalker 2008). The group gained popularity, yet it also earned the scrutiny of government officials who suspected that its close emulation of the state was subversive. Its headquarters in Ayabe 綾部 (near Kyoto) was deemed too similar to the Grand Shrine at Ise
Exactly the accusation levied years later against the Soka Gakkai for its enormous construction campaign that produced the Sho-Hondo, which was to serve as the spiritual center of the nation (and the world), replacing the Shinto Grand Ise Shrine once the Soka Gakkai had installed Nichiren Shōshū as the national religion.
and Onisaburō reviewed mustered regiments of Oomoto adherents while he rode astride a white horse, a practice excluded to all but the emperor.
In Japan, they don't need to make everything
a "law" the way they have to over here in the States - there, people just know
what's acceptable and what's not
On 8 December 1935, police raided Oomoto facilities in response to a (false) rumor that the religion had stockpiled weapons in preparation for an armed uprising against the government.
Who came up with that "false" rumor? Doesn't matter. It served its purpose. See "WMD
Oomoto headquarters were completely destroyed, Onisaburō and other leaders were imprisoned for violating the 1925 Peace Preservation Law (the first time this law was employed against a religion), and the group dwindled from between one and three million adherents to a tiny following. In many ways, the Oomoto suppression is an important precedent for the Japanese government’s and the public’s response to the Aum incident of 1995. Source
This was also
an incident in full view of the Soka Gakkai. Remember, Makiguchi, Toda, and 20 other Soka Kyoiku Gakkai members
had been arrested and imprisoned on charges of lèse majesté
, or treason, for such statements as these:
Therefore, His Majesty [the Emperor] is not free of error. . . . However, were His Majesty to become a believer in the Supra-eternal Buddha (Kuon-honbutsu), then I think he would naturally acquire wisdom and conduct political affairs without error. - Tsunesaburo Makeguchi, 1st President of the Soka Gakkai Source
...and for promoting a rival intolerant
) religion that would replace
state Shinto and thus remove the Emperor's bloodline inheritance right to the Chrysanthemum Throne and the rulership of Japan. Definitely
If you're wondering what Makiguchi and Toda were arrested for, keep in mind they were condemning state Shinto, which was the basis for the Emperor's legitimacy. By insisting that Shinto was a bad and wrong religion, they were tacitly implying that the Emperor had no right to rule. And that's treason, my friend. Source
Later, as Joseī Toda's new Soka Gakkai was growing and gaining power, it was the target of the same criticisms that Oomoto had received, in terms of "imitating imperial ritual and providing adherents with sub-organizations that promoted a vision of a sacred Japan that embraces modern internationalism". In fact, scholar Levi McLaughlin noted how the Soka Gakkai behaves as an alternative state in his book, "Soka Gakkai's Human Revolution: The Rise of a Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan
Perpetual war... Where might I have heard that before? Well, I don't exactly know what war has to do with Buddhism, but I do know that it generally serves a purpose... It's like, something a government would do...
And what's with this rigid organizational structure anyway?... They are very heavily focused on goals, and directives, and recruiting, and victory, and maintaining a chain of command. And they love to use words like "revolution" and "battle". And oh yeah, they did just describe human revolution as a hopeless unwinnable war against reality itself...
Could it be that maybe I've been conscripted into quasi-military service for some kind of... mimetic nation state, with its own ends, means and messaging, completely distinct from the culture in which I live?
Hmm...this is all very surprising, but the logic does check out. Perhaps the best course of action is to leave quietly once the Fire Department gets here, and later inform these people via text that I've changed my mind about playing Bodhisattva Space Cops... Source
Even after Japan’s defeat at the end of the Pacific War and the formal establishment of freedom of religion under the 1947 Constitution, anxieties over new religions persisted. New religions retained their associations with “otherness,” continuing to serve as metaphorical foreigners against which ideologues could shape visions of religious and state orthodoxy. Postwar anxiety over new religions stemmed in part from fears about maintaining a constitutional separation of religion and government. Article 20 of the 1947 Constitution maintains that “No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority,” and Article 89 guarantees that “No public money or other property shall be expended or appropriated for the use, benefit, or maintenance of any religious institution or association or for any charitable, educational benevolent enterprises not under the control of public authority.” When Soka Gakkai began attracting millions of converts and engaging in electoral politics soon after the end of the Second World War, its opponents began to raise concerns that the group posed a danger to the nascent postwar separation of religion and state. Source
Especially when the Soka Gakkai's foray into politics was for the explicit purpose
of establishing a "Buddhist theocracy" (obutsu myogo
"My dear young friends, efforts being made now by politicians, economists, educators, and cultural experts to save Japan are doomed to failure, because the fields in which they work are incapable of doing what must be done, unless they are based on true Buddhism. Only true Buddhism can save our society and allow people to live in happiness."
Toda was implying that the activities of Soka Gakkai must extend into all fields of human endeavor if Kosen-rufu were to be attained. Source
In a word, Obutsu Myogo is the realization of government based on Buddhist philosophy and mercy or more concretely on social welfare. From the standpoint of the individual and society, faith is a matter for individuals and politics for society. In this sense, Obutsu Myogo will be attained when persons who have achieved the human revolution purifying their lives through faith and life-philosophy assume leadership with mercy as their basic spirit.
...upon the realization of Obutsu Myogo, social prosperity will go hand in hand with individual happiness and every individual will be able to share in the prosperity of society. Source
"We must place the Soka Gakkai members in all the key positions of Japanese government and society." September 6th 1957, Seikyo Shimbun ( SG's daily organ newspaper ) Source
In Japan, the Soka Gakkai has its own flag
, its own territory
- areas of Tokyo in particular are patrolled by uniformed YMD with walkie-talkies (the Soka Gakkai's private security/police force) - its own educational system
(kindergarten through university), its own media
, and its own political party which, though 3rd largest in the House of Councillors, is actually quite small
, just 19 seats compared to the first and second largest parties' totals of 88 and 83 seats, respectively, and only 4th largest in the House of Representatives. Because of the neck-and-neck relationship between the ruling and opposition parties in the House of Councillors, the miniscule 3rd-ranked Ikeda-controlled Komeito party can wag the dog as a coalition partner
swing vote. Soka Gakkai has its own "government" buildings, art museums, dance companies, and other such features along with school systems more typically associated with government
establishment and patronage.
The Soka Gakkai and SGI have even openly
described the Soka Gakkai as a "prototype" for a "Third Civilization", an ideal government based in theocracy.
"Soka Gakkai is unmistakably a church militant in Japan geared for a determined march abroad. Its significance to America and all nations cannot be ignored. Its target is world domination." - LOOK Magazine, September 10, 1963
"By the end of the interview, it was clear that Ikeda, whose word is absolute law to 10 million unquestioning believers, was unflinchingly confident that Soka Gakkai will succeed in the total conversion of Japan, and then the world." - LOOK Magazine, September 10, 1963
"To Dr. Yoshiro Tamura, associate professor of Toyo University, the "true nature" of Soka Gakkai is "fanatic and dangerous." He says Soka Gakkai "makes politics dependent upon religion as long as that religion is Soka Gakkai . . . and will eventually act against freedom of religion." - LOOK Magazine, September 10, 1963
"William P Woodard of Tokyo's International Institute for the Study of Religions comments: "Soka Gakkai does not respect the rights of others. It threatens reprisals to all who oppose it. Followers are obliged to engage in forced conversion, and in doing so, they force themselves into private homes and refuse to leave when asked. They disrupt public meetings and threaten nonbelievers. Leaders encourage violence.
"Soka Gakkai has developed in such a sinister manner," Woodard contends, "that most people in positions of public responsibility are afraid to take objective stands against it. They are literally afraid; they never know what form reprisal will take. Its insidious nature makes it a definite threat to a free, democratic society. It creates a kind of private terrorism." - LOOK Magazine, September 10, 1963
That's ONE way to effectively remove
people's rights - make them too afraid
to exercise them! THIS is the SGI's heritage, its genealogy, its birthright, its bloodline. Do you really think this skunk has changed its stripes? When Ikeda failed to take over the government of Japan in 1979 as he was so sure he would, when he failed again in 1990
(and the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood finally got fed up with his empty promises and excommunicated him
), Ikeda was lost
. Cut loose from his moorings. Adrift. Oh, he still had the same ambitions and goals, but now the means by which he had been so certain
he'd realize them were no longer available. He'd have to figure out a different path to achieve the same results. Source
Horses still have an important symbolic role in Japanese religion and even today at certain Shinto shrines a sacred white horse is stabled. Source
Okay, there's your background. NOW take a look at this carefully-crafted account from "The Human Revolution
At seven-thirty, following the headquarters flag borne by a mounted carrier, Josei Toda rode in on a white horse. To make him easily visible to everyone, members of the Youth Division had scoured the district for what they considered a suitable mount. With some misgivings, Toda decided that, out of respect for the endeavors of the people who had worked so hard to find the animal, he would allow it to carry him in, even though he could not be actually said to ride it.
See how self-effacing Toda appears in this narrative? It clearly
was NOT his
idea. Whose idea was it? Oh, the generic Youth Division, of course! Led by none other than Ikeda.
They couldn't risk Toda getting carted off to jail again for being too obvious (could
he still be arrested for this type of shenanigans under the new
government?? They didn't know!), so they framed it as "Oh, look, this just kinda happened
..." White horse? Just a coincidence
In fact, after Toda's speech to the assembled army of "youth", a small airplane
circles overhead, swoops down, and drops a small cylinder, which landed near the speakers' platform! A bulls-eye! #ThatHappened
But what's inside the mystery cylinder? A poem!
What does it say??
From The Human Revolution
, Vol. 4, p. 213:
Hail to the youths, who stand before our master, The great leader of the century! Heralding the march toward Kosen-rufu, Your ten thousand voices And your devotion to your country Shake the earth and resound in the sky. From high above, moved by your passion, I wish you a great future. Katsu Kiyohara Chief, Guidance Department
that couldn't have been written
by Toda himself or
Ikeda! Too transparent! But there it is - Toda, the man on the white horse (like the Emperor), is "our master" and
"the great leader of the century" (like the Emperor)!
Toda was going through the motions of behaving like the pre-Pacific War Emperor did. So what Ikeda was plotting was definitely possible, both as something Ikeda had in mind and as something that could be finagled. Source
Is there any doubt that a government ruled by Ikeda would include a state religion (Soka Gakkai) that everyone was forced to belong to under pain of death? That if Ikeda had enough of the population in his service, death squads and imprisonment for thought crimes would NOT very naturally arise? If you want to know what a government ruled by Ikeda would look like, just look at the SGI. That's the microcosm right there. And these devout SGI members would be just as certain as Dany, as Queequeg above, that getting rid of these "dissenters" with their "evil ideas" of nonconformity and their right to have a say in how they are to be governed is absolutely essential to realizing "kosen-rufu" and ushering in the magical utopia of world peace, abundant harvests, ideal weather, and happiness for everyone. You just have to get rid of everyone who isn't happy with the regime, you see. Then everyone who's left will be happy! Taa-daaah! SOurce
Americans who go to foreign countries in the name of religion always want to destroy the local culture and create others in their own image; we should watch for people of other cultures who wish to return the favor. Source
this here in the USA without understanding the significance
. Talk about your "useful idiots
"! Look at this account from Mark Gaber's memoir of practicing with SGI-USA (then-NSA) in the early 1970s:
"If you're serious about getting benefits from this practice and you want to change your karma," Mr. Royce continued, now ignoring Robin Jacobs. "Do shakubuku. Try to follow Mr. Williams, like a fly on a white horse. We're all like flies: buzzing around, going nowhere. But when we follow Mr. Williams, it's like that fly gets on the back of a big, galloping white horse. Then we can make the long journey to enlightenment, because Mr. Williams is a disciple of President Ikeda, and is really, really serious about doing kosen-rufu. And remember, support your leaders no matter how much you may hate them," the half-smile was back, partly directed at himself, partly at them. "If you don't know how to support, you'll never be a good leader." Source
And see how this "white horse" imagery is attached to the top SGI/Soka Gakkai leaders?
Referring to the "The Human Revolution" narrative above, it was not Toda himself
who chose the white horse, but, rather, his Youth Division minions who basically scoured the countryside looking for "a suitable mount". Horses were plentiful
back then! Any horse would do!
Toda was not a strong man; his twin addictions to alcohol and tobacco were well known. He'd had tuberculosis; he was physically frail
. HE was not going to be the one to depose the Emperor and rule Japan! But there was someone else plotting next to him...someone who recognized the value
of symbols and lineage and had big plans for himself. There is even talk that Ikeda hastened Toda's death
Later on, my husband found out that what had happened: You forced everybody to leave the room while you sat alone with president Josei Toda, just as he was trying to talk. 5 minutes later you emerged from the room, stating that president Toda was dead, and he had chosen you as his successor. You would not let anybody in that room until the body was ice cold. Source (in the comments)
had been arrested and imprisoned during WWII for precisely
this kind of shenanigans, the event had
to be framed as "not Toda's idea". Someone else
had to be responsible for setting up this tableau, this charade, this piece of performance art. And that someone was Ikeda. Oh, he's deliberately made it vague, but in light of his later behavior, we can see in retrospect
what he was creating here: An image of the leader of the Soka Gakkai on a white horse, in the position of the Emperor.
"WHAT I LEARNED (from the second president Toda) is how to behave as a monarch. I shall be a man of the greatest power" - Daisaku Ikeda. (The Gendai = Japanese monthly magazine, July 1970 issue) Source
But we're lucky here in that we have a test case, an example
of what that future "utopia" would look like:
Discussion meetings are a microcosm of world peace, a place where all can join together in joyful harmony, transcending differences of age, gender, social status, nationality and race. Ikeda
Dreaded, loathed. Accounts of District leaders hoping for the meeting to be canceled
or that no one would show up
. A dreary "endless, painful austerity" to be endured.
The Soka Gakkai has the perfect microcosm to illustrate that it can create an idealized society based on its practice and principles - there are entire districts that are controlled by the Soka Gakkai in Japan. But instead of being admired as bright examples of the wonderfulness that is possible in Ikeda's self-proclaimed "beautiful realm", the Soka Gakkai is regarded with suspicion and mistrust, and hated and derided. People hate the Soka Gakkai and Ikeda in Japan! Source
So now you know the rest
of the story. I hope this helps you have a little more appreciation for just how much
the Ikeda cult 1) wanted
and 2) is determined to slide right past under its membership's very eyes. What a joke this must all seem like to those tricksy Japanese leaders.
A collection of Julia links and resources
submitted by EarthGoddessDude to Julia [link] [comments]
I made this collection of links for my coworkers to spread the word on Julia. A lot of this is stuff I got here from other posters on reddit. I tweaked it a bit for here to remove some of the things that relate to my job.
Please let me know if there is anything I could add or remove (though keep in mind that most people this was originally aimed at don't necessarily know much beyond Excel, VBA and SQL). If there is some tutorial that I'm missing, didn't give proper credit to someone, broken links, or any other kind of feedback, please do let me know! ChrisRackauckas
, you feature prominently here, please tell me if you're not comfortable with how I've phrased things or what I've included.
A handful of videos I've seen and liked that are available on YouTube from different JuliaCons.
- Learnings from scaling Julia up to process petabytes in Production: Jacob Quinn, engineer from Domo talking about using Julia to do statistical analysis on huge amounts of data. 13 minute video.
- State of the Data: Jacob from above giving an update on the state of all the different packages for data handling (CSV, DataFrames, Tables.jl, etc). 11 min.
- Julia in a multi user production capital modelling: A large insurance company using Julia for modeling in a production environment. Tim Thornham from Aviva, an actuary, talking about building two of their production models in Julia. 57 min.
- Julia and the Next Generation Airborne Collision Avoidance System: Lincoln Labs/FAA using Julia instead of Matlab/C++ for planes not crashing into each other (seems like a non-trivial task). 32 min.
- JuliaRobotics: Making robots walk with Julia: I'm not really into robotics, but I found this video fascinating (and I could actually follow most of it, unlike some of the other talks at JuliaCon). Super enjoyable, at least for me. 40 min.
- How We Wrote a Textbook using Julia: another super interesting watch. They used Julia, LaTeX and other fairly new technologies to create a textbook where they could change examples, illustrations, etc. just by changing the code. Eliminated the need for a time-consuming back-and-forth with typesetters.
- Heterogeneous Agent DSGE Models in Julia at the FRBNY: a research analyst from the New York Fed discusses how they use Julia for their economic modeling.
- The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Multiple Dispatch: covers how multiple dispatch differs from other programming paradigms, such as OOP, and how it allows for the extensibility in Julia's ecosystem.
- What's Bad About Julia: straight from the horse's mouth. Jeff Bezanson, one of the original co-creators, talks about some of the well-known and less well-known issues with the language. After the first several minutes, this talk took off and went beyond what I can understand, but what it conveyed to me is that these guys are listening to the community and are actively working on solving the known problems.
It’s a lot of reading, but if you're interested or curious, these articles are well worth it.
- The Julia Project and Its Entities. A piece by Stefan Karpinski, one of the original co-creators of the language, explains the different (and confusing) Julia entities and what they do.
- What is Julia? A fresh approach to numerical computing: a fairly comprehensive high level overview of the language and how it compares to other languages in the same domain.
- Will Julia Replace Python and R as a Data Science Tool? A data science blogger gives a fairly measured take on Julia compared to its main competitors in the data science sphere, Python and R. Note that some of the info is already outdated (there is now a debugger available).
- Meeting Julia, a great new alternative for numerical programming — Part I benchmarking: another Medium post, goes into a lot of CS detail.
- Meeting Julia, a great new alternative for numerical programming — Part II a high-level perspective: there is a great quote in there about programmers being resistant to change.
- An introduction to the Julia language, part 1: a good, quick intro to Julia.
- An introduction to the Julia language, part 2: one of my favorite posts, helped me wrap my mind around the multiple dispatch concept.
- Why I use Julia: a great, quick article by a statistician expounding the merits of multiple dispatch and why Julia is really more about enhancing and expanding your productivity (and your possibilities) rather than just being fast and easy. Disclaimer: he now works for Julia Computing.
- Julia: come for the syntax, stay for the speed: this is a fairly quick, high-level read, but it kinda got the headline backwards (unlike the one above) -- it should be come for the speed, stay for the other goodies.
- A Mental Model of Julia: how to think about Julia as compared to other languages.
- DiffEqFlux.jl – A Julia Library for Neural Differential Equations: the cutting edge of machine learning research -- using differential equations with neural networks.
- Why Swift for TensorFlow? A post by the TensorFlow 2.0 project team at Google detailing how/why they picked Swift. It's interesting to note that they narrowed it down to two languages for their project: Swift and Julia. Long read, skip toward the bottom to see why they didn't pick Python, C# and a number of other languages. Here is their rationale for their final decision:
In the end, we narrowed the list based on technical merits down to Swift, Rust, C++, and potentially Julia. We next excluded C++ and Rust due to usability concerns, and picked Swift over Julia because Swift has a much larger community, is syntactically closer to Python, and because we were more familiar with its internal implementation details - which allowed us to implement a prototype much faster.
It's interesting to note, however, how one of the authors of the blog post is Chris Lattner
...the creator of Swift.
A handful of podcasts
I've come across where Julia is being discussed. I haven't yet listened to the ones with asterisks next to them.
There are a handful of learning materials available on Julia, including some textbooks you could buy on topics such as Data Science and Linear Algebra. As everyone knows at this point, and continues to point out, the availability of learning materials is not as great as that of more established languages like Python or C#. But there are some, and here are a handful of resources I've come across.
- The JuliaCon videos on YouTube. JuliaCon 2019 just happened in July, they had some great talks. JuliaCon 2018 also has a lot of interesting videos. There are earlier JuliaCons but those are before v1.0 happened and I haven't seen to many of them. A lot of the topics they cover are fairly advanced though, but some are pretty general and some aren't even Julia specific.
- The book Think Julia seems perfect for beginners, or even those have some programming but want/need a review.
- From Zero to Julia!: good, quick intro to the language; probably the best place for a quick start. The guy who made this is a super friendly Italian physicist, our very own TrPhantom8 here on reddit!
- Julia - Learn X in Y Minutes: super helpful quick start guide to using Base Julia functions
- The Julia Express: a 15-page quick-start/cheat-sheet by Bogumił Kamiński, who incidentally gives some of the best answers on places like StackOverflow.
- A Deep Introduction to Julia for Data Science and Scientific Computing: this is actually a good place to explore even if you're a beginner. Some highlights:
- Quantitative Economics with Julia: pretty good way to get started with Julia, gives a good overview of the basics (and one of its authors is a Nobel prize-winning economist).
- Statistics with Julia: Fundamentals for Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: draft of an online textbook.
- JuliaAcademy: free online coursework on learning Julia, machine learning and parallel computing.
- More learning materials here, includes some of the above: https://julialang.org/learning/
The Data Ecosystem
I was going to add the first post below under Reading, since it's a blog post, but given the centrality of the topic, it deserves its own section.
The case studies on the Julia Computing website
. A lot of interesting stuff being done with Julia, I encourage you to browse through it. I linked some of these videos up above, so browse here if you'd rather read than watch. A few of the highlights:
- Aviva Solvency II Compliance: a quick write-up of how Aviva, one of the largest insurers in Europe, converted one (and then another) of their models to Julia. Read this if you don't want to watch the hour long video linked above.
- Safer Skies: Lincoln Labs/FAA using Julia for the Airborne Collision Avoidance System. Went from two types of pseudo-code, prototyping in Matlab, and rewriting in C++ to just using Julia.
- New York Federal Reserve Bank switching from Matlab to Julia. Here is their documentation on rewriting their Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model:
Musings from Chris
Chris Rackauckas is powerhouse of a Julia user and a very vocal member of the community. In fact, he's one the core members of the Julia open source community that leads the team that develops the DifferentialEquations.jl library. He is also one of the main developers of the Pumas software
, which is aimed at pharmacometricans
. He's currently an applied mathematics instructor at MIT and is affiliated with Julia Lab.
I was trained in C and Fortran for HPC and MPI, so those were tools I carried around with me. MATLAB's MEX interface is complicated as all hell (take a look for yourself if you've never seen it) so I never really interfaced them all that much with MATLAB, but using them on their own is a usability joke (outputting files to plot later! :) ). With Python+R I built a multilanguage monstrosity but wasn't happy with it. Needless to say, this setup could get stuff done but only was pieced together by duct tape and I knew exactly what the unfixable problems were so I wasn't happy with it.
So in graduate school I wrote 3 attempts at a stochastic partial differential equation solver library in MATLAB, basically trying again and again to get something decent by building a DSL from string parsing and then using a bunch of options to dig down into GPU-parallelized kernels. Stefan Karpinski says that in any sufficiently large library there's an implementation of multiple dispatch, and it definitely rings true here. When I finally got some adaptive stochastic differential equation solvers working, the big hold up was that the lack of efficient data structures (stacks and priority queues) along with the fact that it had to be written as quick loops means that my benchmarks were only okay.
So I took the dive to try Julia, and when I re-wrote what I had been working on it became DifferentialEquations.jl. Needless to say, that re-write worked out quite well so I have uninstalled everything else and only use Julia now.
While Julia isn't without issues, it is without unsolvable issues. That's what I really like about it from a developer standpoint. MATLAB is a blackbox that you cannot change. R and Python will never have fast objects (by design they cannot compile to anything efficient given their mutability of field structure among other things). Numba and Cython are fine if you work with only Float64 codes, but that's the same issue of throwing away the whole object model (in recent years they got a way to write simple objects only compatible in these frameworks, but you can't simply re-write the standard library yourself to get some objects because they aren't compatible with the operations of Python objects... yay?). Without multiple dispatch its hard to get any kind of generic programming going in Numba/Cython or efficiently write codes which need heavy specialization (numerical codes). I don't like the local optima that R or Python puts you in where it gives you unsolvable issues and alters your code for performance.
But Julia is you and me. The Base library is Julia code. If you don't like how it's performing, do u/ and see what it's doing. I've modified many many Julia packages to get what I need since it's a simple flip to go from user to developer. And the core Julia issue, the next steps beyond the simple JIT model, already have solutions. There are ways to statically compile Julia code, and there is a Julia interpreter that has been written so that not all code has to be compiled. These haven't been incorporated well into Julia, but that's just a tooling issue. Julia still has issues because it is young, but those issues actually have real solutions, and I can contribute to them directly using Julia code!
And I'll leave you with this. Python's manual literally says
It is quite easy to add new built-in modules to Python, if you know how to program in C
Here's the link: https://docs.python.org/3/extending/extending.html . Yes, Python is super easy if you know C guys. There's the whole page showing you how to make pointers to Python objects, just the way you've always wanted to write your numerical codes if you wanted to loop fast... uninstalled.”
The Julia community are physically scattered all over the world, although Julia Lab is centered at MIT. Here is where they hang out online:
- Julia Discourse: this is where most of the community is, including the core developers. One of the better places to ask questions.
- Julia Slack: you need a registration/invite for this. Supposedly the quickest place to get an answer.
- www.reddit.com/Julia/: pretty self-explanatory. Go here if you're embarrassed to ask questions on the big dog forums (though some of the big dogs are on reddit as well). This forum is not properly moderated so occasionally low quality content pops up, unlike Discourse and Slack.
- And of course, the whole project is hosted on Github, where issues get reported and discussed.
- Blog on the Julia Computing site: this contains announcements related to their products/services and other goings-on in Julia world.
- Blog on the Julia Lang site: this is the more interesting of the two official blogs, it concerns developments in the language and its ecosystem.
Here are some of the notable libraries that have been developed in the Julia ecosystem. A few of these are considered state of the art/cutting edge (see Chris's musings). Although there are not nearly as many libraries as there are for R or Python, there are still quite a bit. Moreover, quantity does not equal quality
. So far Julia has a small quantity of high-quality libraries written by very dedicated members of the community.
- Flux: one of the main machine learning libraries. Haven't used it, but I've read that it's a good way for a beginner to explore machine learning. The word flux is a not-so-subtle reference to Google's TensorFlow library for machine learning. The 1.x series of TensorFlow is notoriously difficult to use, which is why the Flux authors captioned their library with "Relax! Flux is the ML library that doesn't make you tensor". However, the most direct analog to Flux would probably be PyTorch. Both TensorFlow and PyTorch are Python-based tools.
- JuMP: a domain-specific modeling language for mathematical optimization embedded in Julia. It currently supports a number of open-source and commercial solvers ... for a variety of problem classes, including linear programming, (mixed) integer programming, second-order conic programming, semidefinite programming, and nonlinear programming. JuMP makes it easy to specify and solve optimization problems without expert knowledge....
- DifferentialEquations: <- that's the project homepage, and here is the README on Github. Supposedly one of the most comprehensive suites of diffeq solvers available anywhere.
- JuliaStats: a meta-library for all sorts of probability and statistics functionality, including Distributions, a package for probability distributions, and GLM, a package for linear and generalized linear models in Julia.
- CSV: A fast, flexible delimited file readewriter for Julia.
- DataFrames: Tool for working with tabular data in Julia. Supports missing values. Julia's equivalent to Python's Pandas.
- Plots: a meta-library of plotting libraries, including ones popular for Python and R use.
- GadFly: a plotting and data visualization system written in Julia. Based on the idea of ggplot2.
- StatsPlots: a plotting library for use with the JuliaStats packages.
- Makie: more visualizations!
Here is a link to the survey
they recently conducted, which includes the slides they presented at JuliaCon 2019.
Guide To Understanding Scene Rlease Tags
submitted by Vini_Dalvino to Piracy [link] [comments]
CAM - A cam is a theater rip usually done with a digital video camera. A mini tripod is sometimes used, but a lot of the time this won't be possible, so the camera may shake. Also seating placement isn't always idle, and it might be filmed from an angle. If cropped properly, this is hard to tell unless there's text on the screen, but a lot of times these are left with triangular borders on the top and bottom of the screen. Sound is taken from the onboard microphone of the camera, and especially in comedies, laughter can often be heard during the film. Due to these factors picture and sound quality are usually quite poor, but sometimes we're lucky, and the theater will be' fairly empty and a fairly clear signal will be heard.
TELESYNC (TS) - A telesync is the same spec as a CAM except it uses an external audio source (most likely an audio jack in the chair for hard of hearing people). A direct audio source does not ensure a good quality audio source, as a lot of background noise can interfere. A lot of the times a telesync is filmed in an empty cinema or from the projection booth with a professional camera, giving a better picture quality. Quality ranges drastically, check the sample before downloading the full release. A high percentage of Telesyncs are CAMs that have been mislabeled.
TELECINE (TC) - A telecine machine copies the film digitally from the reels. Sound and picture should be very good, but due to the equipment involved and cost telecines are fairly uncommon. Generally the film will be in correct aspect ratio, although 4:3 telecines have existed. TC should not be confused with TimeCode , which is a visible counter on screen throughout the film.
SCREENER (SCR) - A pre VHS tape, sent to rental stores, and various other places for promotional use. A screener is supplied on a VHS tape, and is usually in a 4:3 (full screen) a/r, although letterboxed screeners are sometimes found. The main draw back is a "ticker" (a message that scrolls past at the bottom of the screen, with the copyright and anti-copy telephone number). Also, if the tape contains any s*rial numbers, or any other markings that could lead to the source of the tape, these will have to be blocked, usually with a black mark over the section. This is sometimes only for a few seconds, but unfortunately on some copies this will last for the entire film, and some can be quite big. Depending on the equipment used, screener quality can range from excellent if done from a MASTER copy, to very poor if done on an old VHS recorder through poor capture equipment on a copied tape. Most screeners are transferred to VCD, but a few attempts at SVCD have occurred, some looking better than others.
DVD-SCREENER (DVDscr) - Same premise as a screener, but transferred off a DVD. Usually letterbox , but without the extras that a DVD retail would contain. The ticker is not usually in the black bars, and will disrupt the viewing. If the ripper has any skill, a DVDscr should be very good. Usually transferred to SVCD or DivX/XviD.
DVDRip - A copy of the final released DVD. If possible this is released PRE retail. again, should be excellent quality. DVDrips are released in SVCD and DivX/XviD.
Retail DVD - DVD's that are available in shops.
VHSRip - Transferred off a retail VHS, mainly skating/sports videos and XXX releases.
￼PreaiVCD These are the first releases usually available on a TV show since they are encoded while the program airs, unlike the other release formats. Sometimes they are even from the feed to local stations and therefore available before it airs on tv.
The quality of these releases vary, but are generally pretty low since it is VCD, and widescreen shows (that includes the black lines, so it doesn't leave many lines for the actual video). The only advantage to this format is that it is available fast and it plays on all the standalone dvd players but if you have something that supports xvid go for one of the formats below if possible.
￼TVRip Postair rips from an analogue source but the image quality is generally very good and they are encoded in xvid.
￼DVB (Digital Video Broadcast): The standard for direct broadcast television in Europe and the US Based on MPEG2 Compression.
￼DSRip (Digital Satellite) Recorded from Digital Satellite, quality is similar to PDTV. Encoded in XviD.
￼HDTV (High Definition TV) Digital recording from a source stream at either 1080i or 720p at a bitrate from 19,39mbps or higher.
￼PDTV (Pure Digital TV) Other resolution digital recordings from source streams at a bitrate of 10+mbps or higher. It is a label given to files that were ripped directly from a purely digital source, having less resolution than HDTV. This is accomplished by using a TV tuner card capable of receiving Digital Video Broadcasts or C-Band. Encoded in XviD.
￼SDTV (Standard Digital Television) Digital recording or capture from a source stream at any resolution with bitrate under 10mbps.This includes DirecTiVo but also captures from digisat or digicable with analog capture cards.
￼PPV (Pay Per View television): Pay television programming for which viewers pay a separate fee for each program ordered.
WORKPRINT (WP) - A workprint is a copy of the film that has not yet been finished. It can be missing scenes, music, and quality can range from excellent to very poor. Some WP's are very different from the final print ('Men In Black' in it's time for example was missing all the aliens, and had actors in their places (kinda funny though!)) and others can contain extra scenes. WP's can be nice additions to the collection once a good quality final has been obtained.
DivX Re-Enc - A DivX re-enc is a film that has been taken from its original VCD source, and re-encoded into a small DivX file. Most commonly found on file sharers, these are usually labeled something like Film.Name.Group(1of2) etc. Common groups are SMR and TND. These aren't really worth downloading, unless you're that unsure about a film u only want a 200mb copy of it. Generally avoid.
Watermarks - A lot of films come from Asian Silvers/PDVD (see below) and these are tagged by the people responsible. Usually with a letteinitials or a little logo, generally in one of the corners. Most famous are/were the "Z" "A" and "Globe" watermarks.
Asian Silvers / PDVD - These are films put out by eastern bootleggers, and these are usually bought by some groups to put out as their own. Silvers are very cheap and easy to come by in a lot of countries, and its easy to put out a release, which is why there are so many on the scene at the moment, mainly from smaller groups who don't last more than a few releases. PDVDs are the same thing pressed onto a DVD. They have removable subtitles, and the quality is usually better than the silvers. These are ripped like a normal DVD, but usually released as VCD.
VCD (Video CD) - VCD is an mpeg1 based format, with a constant bitrate of 1150kbit at a resolution of 352x240 (NTCS). VCDs are generally used for lower quality transfers (CAM/TS/TC/Screener(VHS)/TVrip(analogue) in order to make smaller file sizes, and fit as much on a single disc as possible. Both VCDs and SVCDs are timed in minutes, rather than MB, so when looking at an mpeg, it may appear larger than the disc capacity, and in reality u can fit 74min on a CDR74.
SVCD (Super Video CD) - SVCD is an mpeg2 based (same as DVD) which allows variable bit-rates of up to 2500kbits at a resolution of 480x480 (NTSC) which is then decompressed into a 4:3 aspect ratio when played back. Due to the variable bit-rate, the length you can fit on a single CDR is not fixed, but generally between 35-60 Mins are the most common. To get a better SVCD encode using variable bit-rates, it is important to use multiple "passes". this takes a lot longer, but the results are far clearer.
XVCD/XSVCD - These are basically VCD/SVCD that don't obey the "rules". They are both capable of much higher resolutions and bit-rates, but it all depends on the player to whether the disc can be played. X(S)VCD are total non-standards, and are usually for home-ripping by people who don't intend to release them.
DivX / XviD (Digital Video Express) - DivX is a format designed for multimedia platforms. It uses two codecs, one low motion, one high motion. most older films were encoded in low motion only, and they have problems with high motion too. A method known as SBC (Smart Bit-rate Control) was developed which switches codecs at the encoding stage, making a much better print. The format is Ana orphic and the bit-rate/resolution are interchangeable. Due to the higher processing power required, and the different codecs for playback, its unlikely we'll see a DVD player capable of play DivX for quite a while, if at all. There have been players in development which are supposedly capable, but nothing has ever arisen. The majority of PROPER DivX rips (not Re-Encs) are taken from DVDs, and generally up to 2hours in good quality is possible per disc. Various codecs exist, most popular being the original Divx3.11a and the new XviD codecs.
CVD - CVD is a combination of VCD and SVCD formats, and is generally supported by a majority of DVD players. It supports MPEG2 bit-rates of SVCD, but uses a resolution of 352x480(ntsc) as the horizontal resolution is generally less important. Currently no groups release in CVD.
DVD-R - Is the recordable DVD solution that seems to be the most popular (out of DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD+R). it holds 4.7gb of data per side, and double sided discs are available, so discs can hold nearly 10gb in some circumstances. SVCD mpeg2 images must be converted before they can be burnt to DVD-R and played successfully. DVD>DVDR copies are possible, but sometimes extras/languages have to be removed to stick within the available 4.7gb.
MiniDVD - MiniDVD/cDVD is the same format as DVD but on a standard CDCDRW. Because of the high resolution/bit-rates, its only possible to fit about 18-21 mins of footage per disc, and the format is only compatible with a few players.
MISCELLANEOUS INFO -
NTSC/PAL - PAL and NTSC are two different video standards, the former being European, and the latter being American. NTSC has a higher frame rate than pal (29fps compared to 25fps) but PAL has an increased resolution and generally gives sharper picture.
MP3 Releases -
￼Radio: Audio from radio material
￼WEB: Audio downloaded from an online music store
￼VLS: Vinyl Single (1-2 tracks)
￼EP: Vinyl Maxi-single (2-5 tracks)
￼LP: Vinyl Full-length Album
￼CDS: CD Single (1-2 tracks)
￼CDM: CD Maxi-single (2-5 tracks)
￼CDR: CD-Recordable (CD-R)
￼DVD: Audio from a DVD. Often cabaret shows or concert/music dvd's.
￼DVDA: Audio tracks which come on a DVD as a bonus. The DVDA part can't be played by normal DVD players.
￼MD: Audio from a MiniDisk
￼TAPE: Music from a tape
￼Liveset: A record of a DJ mixing live. Mostly recorded using: - DAB: Digital Audio Broadcasting is a system used to broadcast radio programmes. - SAT: Music broadcasted via satellite channels. - CABLE: Music broadcasted by radio channels via cable radio.
￼Bootleg: Illegally recorded and pressed record. Often live recordings, sometimes studio out-takes. The name comes from people who hid a microphone in their boots.
￼Labelcode/Catnumber:This is a code which is like a unique code for every music cd/vinyl/etc. The code isn't just some number, but it contains values which are recognisable. For example: Catnumber: WNRD2371 is a cd from WieNerwoRlD Ltd.
￼Clean: The music is censored. Generally sexual or violent words, which are replaced by 'bleeps' or stripped.
￼Explicit: The music is not censored.
￼AIO: AIO stands for All-In-One, meaning an all-in-one software pack. For example: Microsoft Office, which contains Word, Frontpage, Publisher, Access etc.
￼RTM: RTM means Release To Manufacturing. This release is leaked before it's available in stores. A RTM version of a software title is the final retail version, the one that you will be seeing in stores.
￼VLM: VLM stands for Volume License Key. This means that the cracked application is already licensed, and therefore doesn't require an activation after installation.
￼Crack Type: For example crack or keygen.
￼Machine: On what machine is it compatible, such as Nokia phones, PDA etc.
￼OS: With which operation system is it compatible. For example Windows, Mac etc.
￼PS2: A copy of a Playstation 2 game released to CD.
￼PS2DVD: A copy of a Playstation 2 game released to DVD.
￼MULTi3 / MULTi4 / MULTi5 etc: This means the release contains multiple languages. The number at the end indicated the number of languages.
PlayStation Portable -
￼UMDRip: This applies only to Playstation Portable (PSP) games, and it means that some stuff was ripped from the original game because it was not required or was ripped to save space. For example languages or movie files.
￼UMDMovie: The Playstation Portable (PSP) is also capable of playing movies. Though a PSP can't playback DVD's or CD's, only UMD discs. So movies for the PSP get released on UMD discs.
￼PSXPSP: This is a PSX (Playstation 1) game playable on a PSP (Playstation Portable) using custom PSP firmware.
￼USA, JAP, EUR: Especially PSP releases, but also other console releases, are sometimes tagged as USA, JAP and EUR. These are alternative regions, and they replace PAL and NTSC. USA are off course the United States of America, JAP is Japan and EUR is Europe.
￼256MS, 512MS, 1GB and 2GB: These tags only apply to PSP releases, and they show the required size of an UMD disc. UMD discs can contain up to 2 gigabytes. When a game is 100mb it fits on every UMD disc, but when a game is 900mb it will only fit on 1GB and higher UMD discs.
RELEASE FILES -
RARset The movies are all supplied in RAR form, whether its v2 (rar>.rxx) or v3 (part01.rar > partxx.rar) form.
BIN/CUE VCD and SVCD films will extract to give a BIN/CUE. Load the .CUE into notepad and make sure the first line contains only a filename, and no path information. Then load the cue into Nero/CDRWin etc and this will burn the VCD/SVCD correctly. TV rips are released as MPEG. DivX files are just the plain DivX - .AVI
NFO An NFO file is supplied with each movie to promote the group, and give general iNFOrmation about the release, such as format, source, size, and any notes that may be of use. They are also used to recruit members and acquire hardware for the group.
SFV Also supplied for each disc is an SFV file. These are mainly used on site level to check each file has been uploaded correctly, but are also handy for people downloading to check they have all the files, and the CRC is correct. A program such as pdSFV or hkSFV is required to use these files.
PROPER - The proper tag is to indicate that the show has been released before by a different release group, but that this release is of higher quality, or fixes certain flaws in the previous release (such as out of sync issues.) A reason for the PROPER should always be included in the NFO. When a group 'propers' a PROPER, it is tagged as REAL.PROPER.
LIMITED - A limited movie means it has had a limited theater run, generally opening in less than 250 theaters, generally smaller films (such as art house films) are released as limited.
INTERNAL - An internal release is done for several reasons. Classic DVD groups do a lot of INTERNAL releases, as they wont be dupe'd on it. Also lower quality theater rips are done INTERNAL so not to lower the reputation of the group, or due to the amount of rips done already. An INTERNAL release is available as normal on the groups affiliate sites, but they can't be traded to other sites without request from the site ops. Some INTERNAL releases still trickle down to IRC/Newsgroups, it usually depends on the title and the popularity. Some years ago people referred to Centropy going "internal". This meant the group was only releasing the movies to their members and site ops. This is in a different context to the usual definition.
STV - Stands for straight-to-video (also known as made-for-video, direct-to-video, or straight-to-DVD). A film that is released straight-to-video is one which has been released to the public on home video formats before or without being released in movie theaters or broadcast on television. Most sites do not allow this.
FESTiVAL - This is a variation of STV/LiMiTED. A FESTiVAL is a movie which hasn't been shown in a public theater, but has been shown on a film festival (such as Cannes Film Festival).
SE (Special Edition) - Like the name suggests, it is a special DVD edition of a movie. Often special editions contain extra material like deleted scenes, interviews, or a making-of.
DC (Director's Cut) - A director's cut is a specially edited version of a movie that is supposed to represent the director's own approved edit of the movie. It is often released some time after the original release of the film, where the original release was released in a version different from the director's approved edit.
DL (Dual Language) - Contains more than one language. Synonym: ML.
FS / WS (A.K.A. Aspect Ratio Tags - FS stands for FullScreen and WS stands for WideScreen (letterbox).
LANGUAGE CODES - The language of the movie and the language of the subtitles can also be mentioned in the release name. Sometimes the language is fully mentioned in the release name, such as DUTCH, NORDiC, GERMAN and iTALiAN. Sometimes it's shortened, then the ISO standard country abbreviations are used. These are the same as the abbreviations which are used for www-domains, for example: NL (Dutch), NO (Nordic), DE (Germany), IT (Italian). For the full list of country abbreviations, click here
. When there are multiple languages or subtitles, MULTi or MULTiSUBS is mentioned. In general, when the language is fully mentioned in the releasename, this is the movie language. The abbrivation usually means the subtitle(s). So DUTCH will mean that the language is Dutch, and NL will mean that the menu/subtitle is Dutch.
EXTENDED - Sometimes movies are released again on DVD because now the movie is extended. They have put back deleted scenes. For example, E.T. was produced first in 1982 and years later it was brought on DVD again, but now digitally remastered and extended.
DIGITALLY REMASTERED - Digitally remastered means that an older, not-digital movie has been re-edited, remastered and is released on DVD. Some really old movies look very bad compared to the new digital movies. When remastered, they make it look better by editing and recoloring the video, etc. Remastering generally implies some sort of upgrade to a previous existing product, frequently designed to encourage people to buy a new version of something they already own.
RATED/UNRATED - Rated means a movie is censored, unrated logically means uncensored. The unrated usually features more footage then a rated version, it could range from mere seconds to a few minutes.
RECODE - A recode is a previously released version of a movie, usually filtered through TMPGenc to remove subtitles, fix color etc. Whilst they can look better, its not looked upon highly as groups are expected to obtain their own sources.
R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6 (A.K.A. Region Code) - A dvd is released in a certain geographical area, or region and it's not viewable on a dvd player outside of that region. This was designed to stop people buying American dvd's and watching them earlier in other countries, or for older films where world distribution is handled by different companies. The regions are: Region 1 - U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories Region 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, and Middle East (including Egypt) Region 3 - Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong) Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean Region 5 - Eastern Europe (Former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia Region 6 - Peoples Republic of China
REPACK - If a group releases a bad rip, they can release a REPACK. A REPACK is a fixed version of the original release. It's similar to PROPER but done by the same group. Note that a Repack is different from a fix. A fix will repair the original release whereas a repack is a new release.
RERIP - A previous rip was bad, now it's ripped again properly. Similar to REPACK.
SUBBED - If a release is tagged SUBBED, it usually means it has hard encoded subtitles burned throughout the rip.
UNSUBBED - When something has been release subbed before, an unsubbed release may be released.
CUSTOM.SUBBED - A release can also be custom subbed. Movies often are released earlier in the USA than in Europe. These movies mostly contain a few subtitles, the ones that are spoken in the USA. European groups can create custom subtitles and add these to the dvd(rip). For example, when Dutch subtitles were added to a NTSC DVDr: Madagascar.2005.Custom.NL.Subbed.NTSC.DVDr-Group. Off course, it's not just European, Japanese movies can also be subbed english for example.
DUBBED - If a film is dubbed, it is a special version where the actors' voices are in another language. Dubbed versions of English-language films are for people who don't understand English very well. In some countries, dubbing is very common, for example Germany.
READNFO - When something important is mentioned in the NFO, or as a replacement for the PROPER tag, READNFO can be added to the release name.
DUPE - Dupe is quite simple, if something exists already, then theres no reason for it to exist again without proper reason.
NUKED - A film can be nuked for various reasons. Individual sites will nuke for breaking their rules (such as "No Telesyncs" ) but if the film has something extremely wrong with it (no soundtrack for 20mins, CD2 is incorrect film/game etc) then a global nuke will occur, and people trading it across sites will lose their credits. Nuked films can still reach other sources such as p2p/usenet, but its a good idea to check why it was nuked in the first place. If there's something wrong with a group release, they can request a nuke.
NUKE REASONS - this is a list of common reasons a film can be nuked for
￼BAD A/R = bad aspect ratio, i.e people appear too fat/thin
￼BAD IVTC = bad inverse telecine. Process of converting framerates was incorrect.
￼INTERLACED = black lines on movement as the field order is incorrect.
￼ OUT OF SYNC = video and audio do not synchronize.
Marx on Bakunin’s “Invisible Pilots” and Secret Societies (i.e. International Alliance of Social Democracy)
submitted by maestro8471 to Anarchy101 [link] [comments]
This is a follow-up post from a little over a week ago: https://www.reddit.com/AnarchismVsMarxism/comments/doglnv/what_was_the_first_international_why_did_marx_and/
I did some more digging on the disagreement between Marx and Bakunin about the use of parliamentary elections towards a stateless society. We know what Bakunin says about Marx’s “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, but what does Marx say about Bakunin’s “Invisible Pilots” – the theoretical idea of it anyway?
Marx and his lot tell Bakunin to f*** off with his secret societies, cos he might be a Russian spy (especially with the Testament) and get them arrested/found out, etc. But what did Marx say about this general idea itself?
My guess if the follow: Marx says to Bakunin, “You’re using this weird idea to plant your sphere of influence into the International, and take control of the whole thing.”
Here is a passage from Peter Marshall’s ‘Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism’
, talking about Bakunin’s tendencies for secret organizations. I will mark some of the, in my opinion, key points, elaborate what these may mean and relate this back to the question:
Yet despite his conversion, Bakunin was still unable to abandon his love of conspiracy and penchant for secret societies. In the absence of a well-organized workers' movement, he still relied on a vanguard to ensure the triumph of the social revolution. In Florence in 1864, he created a secret society, although it consisted of only a few men and women. When he moved to Naples, he set up a secret revolutionary Brotherhood and in 1866 wrote down Principles and Organization of the International Brotherhood. He wrote to Herzen and Ogarev at this time telling them how he had spent the last three years engaged in the 'foundation and organization of a secret international revolutionary society' and sent them a statement of its principles.
The document not only offers the most detailed glimpse of Bakunin's version of a free society but also sketches the prototype of all his subsequent secret societies. The Brotherhood was to be organized into two 'families', national and international, with the latter controlling the former. Its aim was to overthrow the existing States and to rebuild Europe and then the world on the principles of liberty, justice and work.
But while the Brotherhood would be hierarchical and centralized, Bakunin in the main document entitled 'Revolutionary Catechism' elaborated his fundamental anarchist principles. In the first place, he insists that 'individual and collective freedom' is the only source of order in society and morality. Next, he identifies, like Proudhon, justice with equality, and argues that liberty is inextricably linked with equality: `The freedom of each is therefore realizable only in the equality of all. The realization of freedom through equality, in principle and in fact is justice.' But unlike the patriarchal Proudhon, Bakunin maintains that women and men have equal rights and obligations. They would be able to unite and separate in 'free marriage' as they please, and have their children subsidized by society. Children belong neither to their parents nor to society but 'to themselves and to their own future liberty'. Finally, true freedom can only be realized with the complete destruction of the State, with the 'Absolute rejection of every authority including that which sacrifices freedom for the convenience of the State'. The Brotherhood would therefore strive to destroy the 'all pervasive, regimented, centralized State, the alter ego of the Church, and as such, the permanent cause of the impoverishment, brutalization, and enslavement of the multitude'."
Although Bakunin's secret societies never functioned as influential organizations, they reveal a central strand in his thought. He hopes they will act as 'invisible pilots in the thick of the popular tempest'. Their task is first 'to assist the birth of the revolution by sowing seeds corresponding to the instincts of the masses, then to channel the revolutionary energy of the people'. But the tension between Bakunin's libertarian sympathies and his authoritarian strategy of manipulating others through secret societies comes across only too clearly. One of the 'cardinal functions' of the leaders is to 'inculcate' in their followers the need to prevent 'all consolidation of authority' through the foundation of free associations." In Bakunin's overheated imagination, there are still leaders and led, sage pilots and ignorant crews.
But while there are undoubtedly some authoritarian elements in the document, Bakunin only wishes to retain political government in its most extenuated form. Certainly he still uses the word 'government' to describe the elected parliament at the provincial level which defines the rights and obligations of the communes and the elected tribunal which deals with disputes between communes. But by parliament he means here little more than a 'coordinating association'. Again, Bakunin's use of the word 'State' at the end of the document might suggest that he is not yet fully an anarchist. But when he writes that the revolution seeks 'the absolute agglomerations of communes into provinces and conquered countries into the State', he is not referring to the compulsory legal order of existing states; instead, he is using it to describe the federal organ which forms the 'central unity of the country'. While there would be a national parliament co-ordinating production and solving disputes, the nation would remain a voluntary federation of autonomous units, with 'absolute liberty and autonomy of regions, provinces, communes, associations, and individuals'. There would be no standing armies and defence would be organized by people's militias. In the long run, Bakunin hoped that existing nation states would give way in the future to a 'Universal Federation of Peoples' with free commerce, exchange and communication.
In the summer of 1868 Bakunin joined the Geneva branch of the International, and in the following year acted as its delegate to the Fourth Congress of the International Working Men's Association in Basel. It marked a turning-point in his career and in the history of the anarchist movement for he came into direct contact for the first time with organized industrial workers. He soon found support amongst the watchmakers of the French-speaking Jura who provided him with a base, and he went on to win over workers especially in France and Italy. His Italian comrade Giuseppe Fanelli went to Spain and soon converted the Spanish Federation, the largest organization within the International, to Bakunin's collectivist and federalist programme. It was from the libertarian sections of the International that revolutionary syndicalism or `anarcho-syndicalism' eventually sprung.
Bakunin's immediate suggestion of an affiliation with the League for Peace and Freedom however was rejected by the General Council of the International and by Marx who dominated it. When the Congress of the League also rejected the proposal for the 'economic and social equalization of classes and individuals', Bakunin left with fourteen others, including James Guillaume, a young schoolmaster from the Jura, to form the International Alliance of Social Democracy with a central bureau in Geneva.
In the following year, after again being refused affiliation with the International, Bakunin formally dissolved the Alliance early in 1869, but he privately maintained his connections with its members, and through them set up groups in Switzerland, Belgium, Italy and Spain. The exact status of the Alliance, and its relationship with the International, was ambiguous and has remained shrouded in controversy. Marx claimed that Bakunin never disbanded his Alliance and intended to turn it into 'a second International within the International'. Guillaume said it was disbanded in January 1869 although the 'free contact of men united for collective action in an informal revolutionary fraternity' was continued. Bakunin himself saw the Alliance as a necessary complement to the International, and although they had the same ultimate aims they performed different functions. While the International endeavoured to unify the workers, Bakunin wanted the Alliance to give them a really revolutionary direction. As such Bakunin asserted in Hegelian style that the programme of the Alliance 'represents the fullest unfolding of the International'.
The orthodox Marxist view is that Bakunin tried to seize control of the International and was motivated by personal ambition. A Russian emigre called Utin in Switzerland fuelled the controversy and rumours were circulated from Marx's camp that Bakunin was a Russian spy and unscrupulous in money matters. Yet Bakunin still admired Marx as a thinker and even took an advance from a publisher to do a Russian translation of the first volume of Capital. The real dispute was not between an ambitious individual (Bakunin) and an authoritarian one (Marx), or even between conspiracy and organization, but about different revolutionary strategies.
Bakunin now devoted all his energies to inciting a European revolution which he hoped would eventually embrace the entire world. In a series of hastily written speeches, pamphlets and voluminous unfinished manuscripts, he tried to set out his views. In the process, he began to transform anarchism into a revolutionary movement.
It was in Russia that he thought the world revolution could begin. Early in 1870, he criticized the attempt of his old friend Herzen to appeal to the Tsar and the Russian aristocracy to bring about reform. In particular, he asked him to reject the State, precisely because he was socialist: 'you practise State socialism and you are capable of reconciling yourself with this most dangerous and vile lie engendered by our century — official democracy and red bureaucracy.'" According to Bakunin, the only way to transform Russia was through popular insurrection.
In his search for likely catalysts, Bakunin became involved at this time with a young revolutionary called Sergei Nechaev. It proved a disastrous relationship and did immense harm to the anarchist movement. Nechaev, who later inspired the character Peter Verkhovensky in Dostoevsky's The Possessed, was an extraordinary character: despotic, power-hungry, egoistic, rude and yet strangely seductive. He exemplifies the unscrupulous terrorist who will stop at nothing to realize his aim.
Nechaev managed to convince both Bakunin and Herzen's colleague Ogarev that he had a secret organization with a mass following in Russia. At first, he seemed to Bakunin the ideal type of the new breed of Russian revolutionaries, a perfect conspirator with a piercing mind and the liable au corps. 'They are charming these young fanatics', Bakunin wrote to Guillaume, 'believers without a god, and heroes without flowering rhetoric'." Bakunin could not stop himself from being seduced by someone who seemed to have his own extreme energy and dedication, and that despite his tender years. He appeared to be a reincarnation of the legendary Russian bandits Stenka Razin and Pugachev.
Whilst in Geneva with Bakunin, Nechaev wrote between April and August 1869 a Catechism of a Revolutionary which proved to be one of the most repulsive documents in the history of terrorism. The guiding principle of this work is that 'everything is moral that contributes to the triumph of the revolution; everything that hinders it is immoral and criminal.' It calls upon the would-be revolutionary to break all ties with past society, to feel a `single cold passion' for the revolutionary cause and to adopt the single aim of 'pitiless destruction' in order to eradicate the State and its institutions and classes. The second part of the pamphlet opens:
The revolutionary is a doomed man. He has no personal interests, no affairs, no sentiments, attachments, property, not even a name of his own. Everything in him is absorbed by one exclusive interest, one thought, one passion — the revolution.
The pamphlet not only recommends drawing up lists of persons to be exterminated but also declares that the central committee of any secret society should regard all other members as expendable 'revolutionary capital'. Another unsigned pamphlet called Principles of Revolution written at the time, which has the stamp of Nechaev, declares in a similar vein: We recognize no other activity but the work of extermination, but we admit that the forms in which this activity will show itself will be extremely varied — poison, the knife the knife, the rope etc. In this struggle, revolution sanctifies everything alike."
Certainly Bakunin was impressed by the spontaneous energy of Russian brigands, and wrote to Nechaev 'these primitive men, brutal to the point of cruelty, have a nature which is fresh, strong and untouched.' He also came close to Nechaev's moral relativism when he declared that 'Where there is war there are politics, and there against one's will one is obliged to use force, cunning and deception.' The Catechism of a Revolutionary was written during a period of close co-operation between the two men, but though Bakunin may have helped with the writing, the work most likely came in the main from Nechaev's hand. In the final analysis, Bakunin categorically repudiates Nechaev's 'Jesuitical system' and his unprincipled use of violence and deception. 'In your Catechism', he wrote unambiguously to Nechaev, `you ... wish to make your own self-sacrificing cruelty, your own truly extreme fanaticism, a rule of life for the community.' He roundly condemns his 'total negation of man's individual and social nature'.
Unlike Lenin who admired the Catechism of a Revolutionary, Bakunin would have no truck with Nechaev's nihilism. He came to doubt the existence of Nechaev's secret organization in Russia, and was repelled — while refusing to condemn — his political murder of a student called Ivanov. Bakunin finally broke with Nechaev after learning that his young protégé had threatened with dire punishment the publisher's agent who had given an advance for a translation of Capital if he caused any difficulties. But the damage had been done. Their association earned Bakunin an unfounded reputation for terrorism, and the works were used selectively to justify the acts of later anarchist terrorists as well as to denigrate anarchist ideals. Bakunin went on to recommend the selective killing of individuals as a preliminary to social revolution and saw in Russian banditry the spearhead of the popular revolution, but he was undoubtedly repelled by Nechaev's total amoralism.
In a fragment on 'The Programme of the Alliance' written at this time, Bakunin further elaborated on the correct relationship between his Alliance as a conscious revolutionary vanguard and the workers' movement in and outside the International. In the first place, he rejects class collaboration and parliamentary politics. Next, he attacks union bureaucracy in which the elected leaders often become 'absolute masters' of the rank-and-file, and replace popular assemblies by committees. Finally, he insists that his recommended libertarian organization is quite distinct from State structures since it involves the diffusion of power. Whereas the 'State is the organized authority, domination, and power of the possessing classes over the masses . . . the International wants only their complete freedom, and calls for their revolt'. For Bakunin, the fundamental idea underlying the International is 'the founding of a new social order resting on emancipated labour, one which will spontaneously erect upon the ruins of the Old World the free federations of workers' associations'. This rejection of parliamentary politics and insistence that the workers' organizations should reflect the structure of future society helped lay the foundations of the revolutionary syndicalist movement.
It is difficult not to conclude that Bakunin's invisible dictatorship would be even more tyrannical than a Blanquist or Marxist one, for its policies could not be openly known or discussed. It would be a secret party; it would operate like conspirators and thieves in the night. With no check to their power, what would prevent the invisible dictators from grasping for absolute power? It is impossible to imagine that Bakunin's goal of an open and democratic society could ever be achieved by distorting the truth and manipulating the people in the way he suggests.
Now allow me to summarize what this long quote means – tell me if you think this is accurate, and what you think of Marshall’s analysis in general:
The context of 19th century Russia made it pretty much impossible for open politics to take place. Thus, secret societies were essential in conducting political activities, else you’ll do it in prison. And perhaps Bakunin becomes too fond of them, and keeps up with this. This would influence his theoretical ideas about the “invisible pilots” of the revolution – that these is a group of people who do not have any coercive power themselves, but act as “general staff” (a quote from somewhere else – not this book) who would provide moral suasion and have the secret/tacit knowledge to guide the masses with their natural knowledge and spontaneous passion. Thus, the “pilots” would complete the yin-yang harmonious balance of having a peaceful Socratic dialogue, whereby Libertarian forms of education is brought about by marrying intellectual and technical knowledge. The idea is that this group of people as an entity is not formal or structured like the State, but a more tacit understanding that there is a level of guidance to assist the revolution, and make sure the manual work is being harnessed towards (people don’t stray from) the ultimate goal of establishing a stateless voluntary society, etc. They just help the revolutionary masses – that’s Bakunin’s argument.
So Bakunin goes about doing his secret society business, and sets up the International Alliance of Social Democracy (IASD). The people in this organization would be those pilots who would help the International as a project towards Socialism. Bakunin sees this clandestine activity, not to undermine the International, but to guide the International in achieving their ends. Marx and his lot see this as illegal (which clause does Marx make reference to with this claim?) and sees this scheme as violating the ethos of the International – Bakunin, according to Marx, is attempting to gain monopoly over the project despite being an International project where workers come together as one group, and use this for nefarious purposes to help the Tsar. He’s a Russian spy!!!
Bakunin then dissolves the IASD with Marx rejecting Bakunin’s ideas, and tries to implement his measures of setting up “pilots” through other means. He meets a young Nechayev who appears to him as someone who shares his ideals greatly and shares his vision. You know what they say; if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. As Bakunin partners up with Nechayev, the latter gets close to persuading Bakunin of his extreme moral nihilism – that the ends justify the senseless, brutal and violent means of achieving revolution through all kinds of depravity. Even revolutionary members can be dispensable pawns which can, and often must, be sacrificed – what’s good is that which benefits the revolution. An extreme form of consequentialism, and violates the individual dignity of the working person, which Marx and co see Socialism to represent. Bakunin eventually sees who Nechayev is, and what he was trying to do convince him of – but the association with Bakunin and a murderous Nechayev is made all too late.
We know Marx’s camp saying that Bakunin’s secret societies was an attempt for him to take control of the whole thing, and/or perhaps use the IASD to basically plant networks of surveillance to relay to the Tsar – again, Russian spy. And of course, Bakunin’s association with Nechayev doesn’t make things any better, and really makes the die cast, so to speak, in terms of discrediting him. But what did Marx himself say about the “invisible pilots” being a distinct idea from the “vanguard” of Marx? There are arguments from Marshall and others saying that what Bakunin was arguing for wasn’t really that different from Marx – both have tyrannical implications, and Bakunin – in attempting to try avoid the “dictatorship of the proletariat” by claiming that the “pilots” do not emerge as a centralized and formal entity of power – wasn’t arguing over real substance, but trivial semantics. Does Marx, or anyone in his camp, make such claims directly?
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