Dominic Cummings (NPC)
Dominic Cummings likes to say people are NPCs, but he himself is no different. You can tell because he praised the film The Battle of Algiers for its realism and claimed that copies of it were often found when the police raided terrorists and so on (because they used it as training material). He praised this scene in particular as among the best in cinema history.
The Battle of Algiers is a terrible film—it’s really boring, because it’s Communist propaganda. The director who made it was literally a Communist*. The only reason people think they like it—repeat, like robots, what Cummings said above—is that leftist activists have said this for years (they said it when I was at university—praised its “realism” and said guerrilla movements used it for actual training; and I doubt the latter is true, because it has no value other than as left-wing propaganda—you can’t learn to make a Molotov cocktail from it).
Indeed, it was Andreas Baader’s favourite film, so they say, but Baader wasn’t a great guerrilla—he was pretty bad at it. This is what they mean by “training material”, they mean “ideological inspiration”—propaganda.
So Cummings just repeated this standard leftist line, this spiel (literally, “story”) that has been in circulation for decades—he doesn’t actually stop to think, “Have I watched this film? Did I actually enjoy watching it, as opposed to being told I should enjoy it? Is this actually a film that would teach you to form a guerrilla army?”.
But if you actually watch it, the film is dull—because it’s propaganda. And propaganda is always dull—it’s not even realistic except in the sense that it mimics news footage quite well; but that’s not realism—just to shoot it like a news report doesn’t make it “real” (plenty of dull news reports, as it happens). You watch it, you’re preached to—you tell yourself you like this “acute realism” when really you’re just bored. You have been to the sermon.
This clip itself is leftist. It says “we were in Dachau and Buchenwald and the French Resistance—so it’s okay if we torture people.” Non-sequitur, basically, “Someone tortured me, so now I can torture other people.” Did you ever hear the phrase “two wrongs don’t make a right?”. But that’s not the point—the point is leftist, “interned in Buchenwald and Dachau = good people”.
I mean, you know, from the German perspective the Resistance was like the FLN, the guerrilla organisation the French fight in this film—they did things like murder French girls German soldiers had made pregnant. Quite brutal, really—just like the FLN blew up Europeans in milk bars and cinemas.
It’s not about the niceties as regards guerrilla warfare—which is always that way—it’s about the moral economy, to be “in the camps” stamps you as “okay”. To understand the agenda here, if someone turned up in a film and was accused of torture but said “I was in a gulag” it just wouldn’t read as somehow “therefore, he’s a decent guy really”. You’d just think “So? What right does that give you to torture people now?”. Yet, in the West, due to mass propaganda, it does.
The basic implication in the scene is that the French cannot continue in Algeria—because the price to win is too high. “If you want that, it entails that we do this—which we’ll do, being professionals; but…it’s bad.” Yet the FLN blow up teenagers in milk bars and people in cinemas, while the film says…this is okay (because they are the left, they are not European colonialists—they are the wretched of the earth, so it is justified).
The reason Cummings is deluded is that he’s a secular materialist and looks at it as “memes” and “everyone lives in a moral narrative, which we can game easily enough” (although, as it happens, it proves quite hard to change the narrative in actuality)—it comes from Dawkins, but Dawkins isn’t even a scientist, he’s a propagandist, and memes aren’t real.
Cummings talks about Silicon Valley, but he’s not a Silicon Valley hot-shot—he’s a government advisor, always has been (as I realised when I read his Wikipedia biography); if he was such a private enterprise hot-shot, he’d never have worked in the government in the first place—but he’s almost always worked for the government. He’s a politician who thinks he isn’t a politician, whose political story is “I’m not a politician, I’m an objective scientific man”—that’s all.
And he’s a low-quality person because he isn’t loyal to his former leader, Boris Johnson—he criticises him all the time, gets into dramas about leaked texts and all that. It’s true Johnson is decadent, but he’s about the closest to the old functional Britain we have—that’s why everyone hates him and wanted to get rid of him. And Cummings isn’t loyal to him—but loyalty, per Dante, is the most important virtue.
Cummings doesn’t get it because he thinks scientific materialism is reality—but it’s not reality, this is reality *.
So be careful who you call an “NPC”, you might just be one yourself.
*I can’t believe I have to do this, but he was a Jewish Communist whose brother was a top Italian physicist who defected to the Soviet Union. That is reality—unbelievable.