Michael Ledeen here at PJM on Monday:

If we accept that war, and the preparation for war, is the basic leitmotif of human history, we might also overcome the parallel myth:  that all men are basically the same, and all men want the same (good) things.  Not so.  Just ask Vladimir Putin, Ali Khamenei, and their friends, proxies, and agents.  They want bad things for us, namely death and domination.  And they’re not likely to change, which is why it’s very dangerous to give Khamenei more money, and try to make Putin more “reasonable.”  They’re going to continue the war.

“Man is more inclined to do evil than to do good,” Machiavelli wrote, and he knew whereof he spoke.  Which is why war is normal, and peace so rare.  And why we’d better get used to it.

That happy time is done and gone, at least for now.  We’d better stop whining and get about the business of winning.

Surviving in the cultural war begins much the same as in winning in the military war against the jihad. One must recognize the nature of the enemy and his location. Alas, the realization of both is where the “tragic” worldview reveals itself: the enemy is us — he beats within our chest. The human heart left to its own devices runs across a range of moral confusions as it shifts from one new idol to another. Examples that illustrate what monogamous marriage is designed to combat, indecency toward which man is naturally drawn when he fails to transcend himself:

France’s English language site The Local reported in January about their country’s attitudes toward adultery:

A majority of French men, 55 percent, and nearly a third of French women admit to cheating on their significant others, an Ifop study has revealed.

The behaviour has been growing since the 1970s, when the percentage of cheaters stood at around 19 percent, according to the study that was carried out for extramarital dating website Gleeden.

“People have more partners these days, women are much more in the working environment so they come into contact with other men, there’s technology and social media, meaning people can communicate in private. There’s basically much more temptation around now,” Ifop researcher François Kraus told The Local.

“The interesting stat for me was that 35 percent of French, more than one in three, say they are prepared to cheat on their partners as long as they were sure they wouldn’t find out,” he said.

These results line up with a Pew Research Center study from 2013,which found that of the 39 countries surveyed, the French were the most forgiving. About 47 percent of French people reported that infidelity was morally unacceptable.

Americans, on the other hand, came in at number 27 on the list, with 84 percent of people believing that cheating was morally wrong. Other European countries viewed infidelity more harshly. Sixty percent of Germans, 65 percent of Italians and 64 percent of the Spanish were morally offended by affairs.

The Guardian reported in 2010 on the astonishing rate of rape in South Africa:

More than one in three South African men questioned in a survey admitted to rape, the latest evidence in the country of a violent culture of patriarchy.

Researchers found that more than three in four men said they had perpetrated violence against women.

Nearly nine in 10 men believe that a woman should obey her husband – and almost six in 10 women also agreed with the statement.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. Last year a survey by the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that 28% of men in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces said they had raped a woman or girl.

A new MRC study in Gauteng, the country’s wealthiest province, found that 37.4% of men admitted having committed a rape, while 25.3% of women said they had been raped.

The New York Daily News today on an interview Hillary Clinton gave years ago, expressing her embrace of the therapeutic worldview in understanding her husband’s serial exploitation of women:

A year after the Monica Lewinsky scandal shook the presidency, Hillary Clinton told an interviewer that Bill Clinton’s mother abused him and caused his sex addiction, an explosive new book claims.

The comments were made to Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Lucinda Franks in a 1999 interview – and Franks admits in her new memoir that she watered them down for publication.

“He was abused. When a mother does what she does, it affects you forever,” Hillary said, according to the new book.

She did not specify the nature of the abuse but said it was the source of her husband’s infidelities. “I am not going into it, but I’ll say that when this happens in children, it scars you,” she said, according to Franks’ account. “You keep looking in all the wrong places for the parent who abused you.”

Every time the Clintons’ name comes up I feel compelled to remind everyone of this mysterious, unresolved factoid via the Daily Mail and everything it implies but that we really do not want to consider:

A new lawsuit has revealed the extent of former President Clinton’s friendship with a fundraiser who was later jailed for having sex with an underage prostitute.

Bill Clinton’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who served time in 2008 for his illegal sexual partners, included up multiple trips to the onetime billionaire’s private island in the Caribbean where underage girls were allegedly kept as sex slaves.


Tales of orgies and young girls being shipped to the island, called Little St. James, have been revealed as part of an ongoing lawsuit between Epstein and his former lawyers Scott Rothstein and Bradley Edwards.

It is unclear what the basis of the suit is, but they go on to call witness testimony from some of the frequent guests at Epstein’s island to talk about the wild parties that were held there in the early 2000s.

Flight logs pinpoint Clinton’s trips on Epstein’s jet between the years 2002 and 2005, while he was working on his philanthropic post-presidential career and while his wife Hillary was a Senator for their adopted state of New York.

‘I remember asking Jeffrey what’s Bill Clinton doing here kind fo thing, and he laughed it off and said well he owes me a favor,’ one unidentified woman said in the lawsuit, which was filed in Palm Beach Circuit Court.

Woody Allen, as Breitbart reported yesterday, is also looking for love in all the wrong places:

American filmmaker Woody Allen says there is one major reason the protagonists he creates usually view life as meaningless — because it is.

“I firmly believe — and I don’t say this as a criticism — that life is meaningless,” the Oscar winner declared at a New York press conference to promote his latest big-screen comedy Magic in the Moonlight.

“I’m not alone in thinking this,” he continued. “There have been many great minds far, far superior to mine that have come to that conclusion. Both early in life and after years of living and, unless somebody can come up with some proof or some example where it’s not [meaningless,] I think it is. I think it is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. That’s just the way I feel about it.”

“What I would recommend is the solution I’ve come up with — distraction. That’s all you can do. You get up. You can be distracted by your love life, by the baseball game, by the movies, by the nonsense: ‘Can I get my kid in this private school?’ ‘Will this girl go out with me Saturday night?’ ‘Can I think of an ending for the third act of my play?’ ‘Am I going to get the promotion in my office?’ All of this stuff, but, in the end, the universe burns out. So, I think it is completely meaningless. And, to be honest, my characters portray this feeling.”

The belief that life is meaningless, that “nothing matters,” has a name. The worship of nothingness is called nihilism. Allen concludes by naming its twin sister. The worship of pleasure — to try and fill the painful void — is called hedonism.

The antics of the anonymous spreadsheet man-boy smack of both. He has nothing better to do than feel sorry for himself and his under-supply of sex.

And this is the way the way humans are naturally inclined to go. Where did Machiavelli get this insight? Not from the Apostle Paul but from the person he regarded as Western civilization’s archetypal moral leader: Moses.