Sunday, June 24, 2018

looking to the past, but which past?

Traditionalists and social conservatives have a very natural tendency to look to the past. Gaining inspiration from the past is quite healthy.

The problem, when you’re faced with a civilisation like ours that is bent on self-destruction, is deciding exactly which past we should be looking to. Some pasts may be useful to us in trying to rebuild civilisation whilst other pasts are not so useful. We need to regard the past with a critical eye.

Take nationalism for example. Since the great evil of our age is globalism it’s tempting to think that the antidote must be nationalism. Nationalism in fact is not all that traditionalist. It’s a fairly modern concept. It did not exist before the early modern period. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 was an important step in the recognition of the modern nation state as the basis for European civilisation.

If you’re a traditionalist it is worth noting that the modern nation state is entirely secular and can only be secular and is fundamentally hostile to Christianity, and to religion in general. The nation becomes a replacement for God.

The modern nation state is not particularly favourable for any traditional institutions. It tends to be hostile towards regional identities and it’s not exactly wildly pro-family.

Perhaps we need to look back, not to the great age of nation states, but to the great age of other political structures. For example, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Or even the Ottoman Empire.

These were in fact remarkably successful entities. The empire of the Habsburgs lasted for for four hundred years. The Ottoman Empire lasted for about six centuries. They were reasonably stable. They did not fail. They were deliberately destroyed in 1918. In both cases the destruction of the empire led to chaos and a hundred years later we are still dealing with much of this chaos.

As a recent post at A Political Refugee From the Global Village points out, the fall of the Ottoman Empire explains most of our current ills.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

who are these conservatives of whom you speak?

When it comes to politics labels are crucially important. They’re important because they’re nearly always false or misleading, often deliberately so.

Let’s take the conservative label. There are lots of people who attach this label to themselves. In fact practically all of those who do so are in fact liberals. There are very easy ways to tell if a person is conservative or not. If he says he believes in the individual and in individual rights then he’s a liberal. If he says he believes in freedom he’s a liberal. Those are the defining characteristics of liberalism.

There are lots of people who will describe themselves as being fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Such people are liberals. The economic policies that these people describe as being conservative are in fact pure liberalism. These people are right-wing liberals, the very worst kind of liberal.

Those who would describe themselves as being liberal rather than conservative on economic policy are usually socialists. If you combine those economic views with socially liberal views then you’re a left-wing liberal. There’s only one problem with being a left-wing liberal - liberal social policies will eventually destroy any society and create chaos and socialism requires social order.

Being a social conservative is a radically different thing from being a political conservative. For some strange reason it seems to be assumed these days that social conservatives will be right-wing and will therefore support conservative economic policies (which are in reality as we have seen liberal economic policies). There’s no reason why this connection should exist. It used to be quite common to be an economic leftist (which is a very different thing to being an economic liberal). There used to be no problem with being a socialist and being a social conservative. In fact it made a lot of sense. If you were a socialist and you cared about the working class and you had a brain you’d pretty quickly work out that social liberalism is a catastrophe for working-class people.

The reason there are very few socially conservative socialists today is that there are virtually no socialists. Those who pretend to be socialists these days usually turn out to be liberals who pursue economic policies that favour the rich.

But there’s no particular reason why a person today can’t be a socially conservative socialist. Since I’m opposed to immigration and I’m socially ultra-conservative most people today would label me as being far right. Which makes no sense at all to me since I see my opposition to open borders and my social conservatism as being solid left-wing virtues.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

climate change, lies and changing beliefs

We get lied to constantly and to a large extent it’s what we expect these days. Some of these lies are just so transparently obvious that it’s difficult to imagine a reasonably bright five-year-old being taken in by them. What’s worrying though is that no matter how obvious the lies most people seem to swallow them.

The most spectacular example has to be climate change. It is clearly not happening. Coastal cities are not being inundated. Coastal communities have not been swept away by the oceans. Any change is sea levels has been microscopic. The super-gigantic killer hurricanes have not eventuated.

The climate has not changed. But most people still believe the climate change lies.

There are several possible explanations. One explanation is that most people are so dumb that they believe what they’re told even when the evidence clearly indicates the opposite.

A second explanation would be that people don’t actually believe these lies at all but they’re so desperate to conform and so afraid of attracting the attention of the Thought Police that they will pretend to believe absolutely anything. If true that would actually be in some ways a hopeful explanation, because it would mean that those who are currently obediently chanting social justice slogans would, in the event of regime change, abandon those slogans overnight and start chanting a whole new set of slogans.

I’m inclined to think the second explanation is the correct one. While I would never underestimate the power of human stupidity I think the power of conformism is much stronger. The urge to conform is the most powerful of all human instincts, much more powerful than hunger or sex.

The problem is that if the majority is prepared to go along even with lies as obvious as climate change then bringing about regime change is going to be exceedingly difficult. We can’t rely on ordinary people suddenly deciding one day that they’ve had enough and they’re not prepared to be lied to any more. There isn’t going to be a grass-roots revolt. If people are willing to say that the climate is changing when it obviously isn’t then there is effectively no limit to the lies that they can be persuaded to accept.

That’s the thing about regime change which tends to justify both pessimism and optimism. Regime change is incredibly difficult to bring about but once it’s achieved it’s pretty much guaranteed to be permanent. If liberalism ever falls then the overwhelming majority of the population will abandon their liberal beliefs overnight.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

religion, sex and craziness

Audacious Epigone has an interesting graph on religious affiliation, sex and mental health. What makes it interesting is that there really aren’t any surprises there at all. Women are crazier than men, Christians are slightly less crazy than atheists, Jews are crazier than Christians. Muslims are the least likely to have mental health problems, which makes sense since their religion isn’t a dead religion.

And the craziest group of all? Jewish women. Which pretty much explains the entire history of the feminist movement.

It’s not very often that one has the pleasure to see a graph that confirms all of one’s cherished stereotypes!

The Romantics and the uncoolness of western civilisation

In retrospect the rise of the Romantic Movement was an early sign that western civilisation was not entirely healthy.

There is much to dislike about the Romantics but perhaps the single worst thing about them is that they created a new type of hero. The Byronic hero. In fact, they created the anti-hero.

For the first time in human history being spoilt, petulant, emotionally incontinent, immature, miserable and self-pitying was seen as cool and sexy. We’re now so accustomed to this diseased thinking that we forget just how bizarre it was for people to start wanting to emulate unpleasant losers like Byron and Shelley.

Being a rebel had never been considered to be something deserving of admiration, unless you actually won. And if you won then you were, by definition, no longer a rebel. But to the Romantics being a rebel and a perpetual loser was the height of desirability. Byronic heroes were not sexy and cool in spite of being losers - they were sexy and cool because they were losers.

To the Romantics the height of uncoolness was to be a successful, well-adjusted member of society with a normal family life.

The Romantics have exerted an extraordinary influence on our culture for two centuries, an influence that shows no sign of abating. The modern cult of victimhood has its roots in the Romantic Movement.

How on earth did such bizarre attitudes come to be generally accepted? The cult of nature promoted by the Romantics is perhaps understandable as a reaction to the rise of the cult of science over the preceding couple of centuries. It could also be explained as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution, except that that doesn’t explain how the Romantic Movement gained such a foothold in Germany at a time when the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy.

It’s more likely that Romanticism was one of the fruits of the Reformation, a result of the rising tide of scepticism. In fact it may have been the first significant attempt to manufacture a substitute secular religion to take the place of Christianity (which by the end of the 18th century was clearly dying in western Europe). Romanticism had all the emotional appeal of a religion without the rigour and discipline.

The Romantic Movement was an ominous sign that our civilisation was developing suicidal tendencies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

women need patriarchy now!

There are those of us who believe that society needs to return to traditional values and to reëstablish traditional institutions. There are even those of us who believe that we need to return to patriarchy.

It is of course quite legitimate to ask why we should return to the values and practices of the past. In the case of patriarchy the answer is very simple. We need patriarchy because women are miserable without it.

Feminism is a social experiment that began in the 19th century. For more than a hundred years we have tried pretending that men and women are essentially identical. We have tried pretending that women are capable of doing all the jobs that men used to do. We have tried pretending that women will be happy if they behave sexually the same way men do. We have tried pretending that higher education for women is a good idea and we’ve tried pretending that degrees in women’s studies, sexuality and advanced basket-weaving are just as valuable as degrees in medicine and engineering. We have tried pretending that women make splendid political leaders. For more than a hundred years women have been pandered to. Women were already privileged under patriarchy but now they have been given countless additional privileges.

And what is the result? Women are angry and miserable. They are much more angry and much more miserable than they were half a century ago, or a century ago. A large proportion of women today are so miserable they cannot function at all without taking a handful of antidepressants every day.

The fact is that when we lived under a system of patriarchy everyone was happier, including women. Especially women. This is is hardly surprising. The essence of patriarchy is that men and women are different and will therefore find happiness by accepting different social rôles.

Women were also happier under patriarchy because there weren’t any male feminists in those happy days. The truth is that women are disgusted and sickened by male feminists. Women do not like girly-men. Women like and admire men who behave like men, just as men like women who behave like women. It’s almost as if biology is real!

For the sake of women’s happiness we need to return to patriarchy now.

ideologies of revenge and the usefulness of fear

There was an interesting comment (by commenter Beckow) on a recent discussion on Stalin at Unz Review. The gist of it was that ideologies like Bolshevism, Maoism, national socialism and even populist fascism were revenge ideologies. The existence of such ideologies forced the ruling classes to share the wealth, at least to a limited degree. It was necessary to give the population as a whole the idea that they were going to share in the benefits of industrialism and capitalism.

When those revenge ideologies collapsed it was no longer necessary to maintain the pretence that everyone was going to get their share. Our elites are now following their natural inclinations. Capitalism is reverting to the robber baron model of the 19th century.

It seems to me that this is a very important insight. It also fits in with a belief that I have held for quite a while, that it is absolutely necessary for alternative political systems to exist. It doesn’t matter if those alternative political systems are not very efficient. It doesn’t even matter if they are not very pleasant. What matters is that they should exist.

And in our modern world it is increasingly the case that these alternatives have been shut down or neutralised or in various ways eliminated as viable possibilities. That has frightening implications, and we can see those implications when we look at the behaviour of our current elites.

Our elites are confident that there is no longer any danger that their power can be threatened in any way. There was a time when they were concerned about the possibility of too much inequality of wealth and income. They feared that this might lead to an upsurge of support for left-wing ideologies. Eventually it might lead to communist (or fascist or populist) revolution. But those left-wing ideologies no longer exist. There is no longer a political left. There are still parties and political organisations that claim to be leftist but what they all have in common is a total lack of actual leftist belief.

Identity politics is not left-wing. It is a right-wing ideology. Its purpose is to maintain the power of the elites.

Modern leftists are not going to lead a communist revolution. They are not under any circumstances going to round up capitalists and bankers and line them up against a wall and shoot them. They’re not going to do that because modern leftists are on the payroll of the capitalists and bankers.

And that’s the problem. The fact is that the only thing that will persuade capitalists to moderate their natural greed is fear. The only thing that will persuade the ruling class to behave with at least a modicum of decency is fear. In the days when alternative ideologies such as Bolshevism existed the capitalists and the ruling classes were always aware that if they behaved with too much arrogance and viciousness there was a very real chance that one day they really would be lined up against a wall and shot.

It’s actually a very good thing for elites to live in fear. It’s healthy. Kings always lived in fear. They knew that if they lost the support of the people they would be deposed and that generally meant being killed. They had a strong incentive not to rule like tyrants. Up until a few decades ago western elites lived in fear. They knew what had happened to earlier elites that had failed to deliver at least a degree of fairness and hope. They knew the fate of those earlier elites in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, etc.

It is always a good thing for elites to have such things in the back of their minds. When the elites no longer fear the people you have tyranny. That’s why it’s a good thing to have Bolsheviks around. Their existence has a most salutary effect on the elites.