Monday, July 24, 2017

winning with emotional arguments

I’ve been watching the culture wars with great interest for many years now. I’ve watched as social conservatives have lost every single battle. It’s been clearly obvious that the social conservative arguments are more sensible and more coherent but it hasn’t done them any good at all.

The mistake social conservatives have made is to think that if their arguments are true, and prudent, and properly thought-out, and logical that they will automatically prevail. It doesn’t work that way. The argument that will prevail is not the one based on truth and experience and common sense. The argument that will prevail is the one that is most emotionally satisfying.

This gets back to my post of a couple of days ago about emotional intelligence versus rational intelligence. If you want to get your message across to women you have to rely on emotion. But then that’s also true in the case of a very large proportion of men.

This is especially true in the case of political disputes, which tend to be complex. Arguments about social engineering and “social justice” are particularly complex because it’s necessary to weigh up not only the costs and benefits for the individual but also those for society as a whole, and to consider long-term as well as short-term effects, and to consider indirect as well as direct effects. This is all very complicated and confusing so most people will go for the argument that has been most skillfully presented and that feels true emotionally.

Social conservatives (and economic conservatives also) have had difficulty making their arguments emotionally attractive. The arguments of social radicals and SJWs sound wonderful on an emotional levels - they’re all about love, and caring and sharing, and equality and fairness. Their arguments are also progressive (we know their arguments are progressive because they keep telling that they are) and who doesn’t want to be seen as progressive?

There are two further factors that explain the dismal outcome of the culture wars to date. These are factors that can effectively cripple any political or social campaign. The first is to be made to look mean and nasty. The media has had extraordinary success in making conservatives appear to be a bunch of bad old meanies. In fact of course many economic conservatives really are mean and nasty and social conservatives have never realised that it would be wise to distance themselves a little from the economic conservatives. Portraying social conservatives as nasty hate-filled bigots has been an effective weapon used against us in the culture wars.

The second weakness of social conservatives has been just as deadly. Our enemies have consistently managed to make us look ridiculous. Mockery is one of the most potent of all political weapons.

So what can we do about all this? In truth, not much. It would have been nice if social conservatives had learnt to fight effectively 40 years ago but they didn’t. Now the SJWs have complete control of the megaphone. Even so, if we’re hoping to continue the fight we have to learn to fight to win. We need to find ways to make our arguments effective on an emotional level, and to avoid reliance on rational arguments which tend to make us look cold and heartless. 

It’s a losing strategy to oppose immigration on rational grounds. You’ll simply be portrayed as an evil racist, Literally Hitler in fact. You have to find ways to make immigration sound unfriendly and threatening and to make opposing immigration sound humane and enlightened. You can’t fight social issues on rational grounds because that makes you an evil misogynist. You have to find ways to make traditional values, like marriage and motherhood, sound emotionally appealing and to make the feminist obsession with careerism sound depressing and empty. You have to find ways to make heterosexuality (otherwise known as normal sexuality) seem exciting and appealing.

One thing the alt-right has realised is the importance of mockery. It’s been their biggest single contribution and it’s by no means negligible. The alt-right has also had some success in making the idea of being right-wing seem cool and glamorous. Social conservatives need to take note.

I have no idea whether the ideas I’ve suggested would work. But one thing I’m sure of. They couldn’t possibly fail more completely than the strategies used to date.

Friday, July 21, 2017

women, Christianity, superstition and heresy

The latest post at Oz Conservative, Male dominion, magical women, is extremely interesting and there have been a couple of interesting comments as well. It’s one of those posts that makes you think about an issue in an entirely new way.

There’s firstly the issue of whether women who conform to the traditional Christian virtues deserve to be considered to be “the crowning achievement of divine creation,” something that Mark quite rightly has some doubts about. He also mentions the extraordinary female attachment to bizarre beliefs in things like the Tarot and various forms of fortune telling. These are things that 99 percent of men would regard as laughable and nonsensical superstitions but a frightening number of women believe in such superstitions. What is really worrying is that extremely intelligent women are still quite capable of believing in stuff like astrology.

It’s another example of the profound difference between male intelligence and female intelligence. Men have the ability, to a large degree, to separate belief from emotion. Men tend to believe in objective truth, and they believe in weighing up evidence. Women believe in emotional truth. If it feels true then it is true. Of course this is a generalisation. But generalisations can be very useful things as long as you remember that they are generalisations and I think that this particular generalisation is both useful and mostly accurate. Certainly my own experience of women suggests that women do not perceive truth the way men do. 

I’m not suggesting that women are dishonest in this regard. It’s just the way they’re wired. They find it exceptionally difficult to make non-emotional judgments. Of course if society was still organised on the basis of traditional sex roles this would not matter, since in their proper domestic sphere emotional intelligence is a major asset. It becomes a problem when women take on roles for which they are unsuited, such as political leadership, where their emotional intelligence is almost certainly going to lead to disaster.

A commenter named Bruce added something that had never occurred to me before but which may well be very very important. He said that 

“...Christian women, at least the ones I know, are far more likely to claim that their decisions are based on direct conversations they have with God. They tell me that they literally speak to God and he speaks back - either in the form of "whispers" or direct conversation that they literally hear. I almost never hear Christian men claim this sort of thing.”

I think that this may explain a great deal about the current disastrous state of Christianity in the West. It seems quite possible that the female experience of religion is entirely and radically different from the male experience. For women religion may well be purely an emotional thing. That could be why women seem to be unworried by the widespread acceptance of heresy by Christian churches - women simply don't care about theology or doctrine at all. Men will often choose a religion, or reject one, because there is a key point of doctrine that they simply cannot accept. It seems likely that for women what matters is whether a particular religion or a particular denomination seems to them to be emotionally true. Which means that as long as they get the emotional buzz they'll accept any heresy.


This is certainly a very powerful reason to oppose the ordination of women and to oppose vigorously the appointment of women to any position of authority within the Church. Women are unlikely to oppose heresies or abominations like homosexual marriage because it simply doesn’t matter to them if such things are explicitly forbidden by scripture or by the historical teachings of the church. What matters are feelings.

A church dominated by women is inevitably going to drift towards heresy and doctrinal incoherence but it’s also going to drift towards New Age-y wallowing in superstitious wishful thinking or equally dangerous fatalism. Christianity cannot survive in any meaningful form unless men take back their proper leadership role. With women in charge Christianity is likely to do much more harm than good.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

nationalism, regionalism and localism

There are many reasons why nationalism went out of fashion in the latter part of the 20th century. One of the reasons, not usually considered, is that nationalism is in fact rather artificial. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that nationalism in practice has often been rather artificial.

The boundaries of most nation states as they exist today reflect historical accidents, military conquest, the whims of statesmen and the vagaries of long-ago dynastic politics. Most nation states are not organic ethnostates. Some European nations are true ethnostates. Poland for example, although that’s largely the result of some brutal ethnic cleansing after the Second World War. More typical are countries like Switzerland, Belgium and the United Kingdom - different and not always compatible ethnicities forced together for reasons that may have made sense centuries ago. The Swiss had their reasons and due to their federal system their country has succeeded. The United Kingdom has been less happy. The Welsh, the Cornish, the Irish and the Scots were all incorporated, very unwillingly, into an English-dominated state. As for Belgium, no-one really remembers why anybody thought Belgium was a good idea.

Even nations like Germany and Italy were (before they chose to commit suicide) not quite the straightforward ethnostates they seemed to be. To make those countries work strong regional identities had to be crushed. Prior to unification Germans had a sense of German-ness but Bavarians also had a sense of Bavarian-ness and Swabians had a sense of Swabian-ness. Northern and southern Italians retain some degree of regional identity, hence the push for independence for northern Italy.

The strongest ties of identity that we have tend to be local. Regional ties can be strong also. National ties can be more problematic. If a nation isn’t an ethnostate then there’s nothing really substantial to unite the population. Attempts to construct nationalism on the basis of “shared values” or “civic nationalism” have been dismal failures. There aren’t any shared values any more, and there never were.

It’s a particular problem for artificial nations like Australia, Canada and the United States. Australia really has no sense of national identity at all. One was perhaps starting to emerge in the first half of the 20th century but the tidal wave of American culture that engulfed us after the Second World War put an end to that. We don’t have regional identities either. The US does seem at one time to have had strong regional identities but they have been fairly relentlessly crushed by the monolithic trash culture of Hollywood, social media and pop music.

Nationalism is certainly preferable to globalism, but perhaps it’s not a complete answer. Whether regionalism or localism would be any more successful in resisting globalism is of course another matter.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

censorship and the sexualisation of pop culture

The process of dismantling censorship began during the late 1950s. It gathered stream during the 1960s and by the beginning of the 70s it seemed like most of the barriers had come down. There was resistance but at the time it didn’t seem likely to be all that disastrous. It was a classic example of the workings of the slippery slope.

In 1967, President Johnson established the National Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. The commission came to the conclusion that pornography was pretty much harmless. Given the amount of pornography around at the time, and the type, this conclusion might well have been quite reasonable. I’m inclined to think that girlie magazines and similar material really were pretty harmless. The trouble is that old slippery slope. The commission could not have predicted the explosion of hardcore porn in the US from the early 70s onwards, the rise of home video at the end of the 70s and the later advent of the internet, all of which changed not only the type of pornography that was around but much more crucially led to dramatic increases in both the quantity and the ease of access.

While I admit that pornography today is a problem I’m actually much more concerned by the ways in which porn has seeped into the mainstream popular culture. The relaxation of censorship allowed pop culture to become incredibly sexualised. While you still have to make a conscious effort to seek out pornography pop culture is inescapable. This has consequences when it comes to children. The average 13-year-old girl is very very unlikely to go looking for internet porn but she is going to be exposed to pop music, to popular movies, to TV, to the social media culture. All of which are awash with sexuality, mostly of a fairly unhealthy variety. Take your daughter to a Disney movie and she’ll be exposed to homosexual imagery, and this in a movie clearly aimed at children.

It’s not so much the explicit content that is the problem, it’s the attitudes. Young women are being encouraged not just to behave sexually like men, to behave sexually like homosexual men. As explained in a recent horrifying post at The Knight and Drummer Teen Vogue is encouraging your teenage daughter to explore the wonderful world of anal sex. Sexual perversion is being normalised and while porn has played a part in this it’s the mainstream pop culture that is doing the greatest harm.

I do have some sympathy with the idea that maybe censorship should not have been relaxed anywhere near as much as it was but any attempt to reintroduce meaningful censorship will be futile unless it targets that mainstream popular culture. 


Thursday, July 13, 2017

why male privilege is a good thing

We are constantly told how men enjoy male privilege and how that’s a terribly evil thing. Men who hold conservative beliefs usually disagree although it’s depressing to note that these days most “conservative” men respond to the charge with groveling apologies. Those men who have not yet been completely emasculated do disagree but they almost invariably commit major errors in the way in which they do so. They make major concessions to feminist arguments right from the outset, accepting the pernicious doctrines of gender equality. Sad to say even some traditionalist men make this mistake. It’s interesting to note that women who reject feminism are often less inclined to make these sweeping concessions.

The fact is that male privilege is a good thing. It’s a very good thing. It’s an essential component of any traditionalist value system, although male privilege is not what most people think it is.

Men and women both have certain duties, certain responsibilities, certain rights and certain privileges and these reflect their differing social roles.

Men have always had a duty to protect women. They have always accepted this responsibility, often at great danger to themselves, often at the cost of their own lives. They still do so. Women used to understand this but today most women seem scarcely even aware of such a basic reality.

Men have also always had a duty to provide for women. Men did not go to work for fun. Unlike female work, which all too often involves nothing more than drinking coffee and talking, male work tends to involve actual work. You often get your hands dirty, sometimes you get injured, sometimes you even get killed. Women do not often get injured in workplace accidents, mainly since they’re unlikely to suffer anything worse than a paper cut. 

Historically women often made a direct economic contribution but it was a secondary contribution. A woman’s duty lay mostly in the domestic sphere, playing a nurturing role to both her husband and her children. This was an equally vital task, but it was very different from the tasks assigned to men.

This setup worked because it was not based solely on duty. It was an interlocking system of duties and privileges. Men took on the dangerous and often exhausting task of protecting and providing for their women, as well as the tasks of leadership in the society. In return they received certain privileges. They were entitled to exercise authority. Women kept house for them, reared their children and provided them with emotional support. This emotional support (and this will enrage feminists) included sex. This was male privilege.

Women took on the tasks of child-rearing, keeping house and providing emotional support to their men.  In return women got certain privileges. As well as the direct advantages of protection and financial support they got to be treated with courtesy and respect and they got a very high social status. They were entitled to be treated as ladies. That was female privilege.

Women still expect to receive female privilege but in the long run society is unsustainable without male privilege as well. Male privilege is a necessary condition for having civilisation. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

a return to the 50s - an impossible dream?

Anyone who believes in traditionalism has to face the reality that the prospects for traditionalism are not good. The fact that there are large numbers of people who identify as “conservatives” is no help at all given that the overwhelming majority of these people are simply right-wing liberals. They accept the liberal program pretty much in its entirety. The fact that there are still reasonable numbers of people who identify as Christians is no help either since most modern Christians accept the liberal program to a horrifyingly large degree.

Of course there is always the chance that a major crisis will trigger a collapse of the current order but given that traditionalists have no established support base from which to work there’s no guarantee that even a collapse of the existing order will usher in a traditionalist revival.

So what do we do if a full-scale traditionalist revival proves to be impossible? Is any compromise possible?

We’ve learnt from bitter experience that compromise with liberals is dangerous. It’s a concept that liberals generally speaking do not believe in. Any attempt by traditionalists to compromise with liberals would have to be made from a position of strength, and traditionalists would need to display an implacable determination to stake out positions of principle and defend them.

What kind of compromise could be possible anyway? If you’re a full-blown traditionalist you realise that the rot set in in the 18th century with the Enlightenment. A return to a pre-Enlightenment society seems like a very remote possibility. What about a return to the 1950s? that would be OK wouldn’t it? 

The 50s weren’t too bad. Christian churches were still Christian. The congregations were mostly actual Christians and there were even actual Christians to be found in the hierarchies. Marriage was still fairly healthy. Most people got married and most people made a real effort to make their marriages work. There was plenty of pre-marital sex but that’s to a large extent exactly what it was - couples who were intending to get married jumping the gun. Lamentable but not disastrous. Divorce was still fairly unusual. Mothers actually raised their children. And those children were still being raised in a moderately satisfactory way. Schools were not vehicles for homosexual propaganda. Traditional sex roles still existed after a fashion. A woman could admit to being a housewife without being sneered at. Multiculturalism had not been invented. Homosexuals enjoyed a fair degree of de facto toleration as long as they were discreet, and as long as they refrained from proselytising and kept away from children. Children in the 50s had not been sexualised. Crime rates were low. People still believed they could trust the police, and even more surprisingly in most cases they could.

The trouble with a restoration of the 50s is that under the surface there were forces eating away the foundations of society. The process of weeding out believes in believers in traditional values had already begun in the universities, the media and the entertainment industries and anti-traditionalist were slowly gaining a foothold in the churches. There were two further dangerous anti-traditionalist forces - democracy and capitalism. Democracy isn’t something that has suddenly become broken. It was a bad idea from the outset and representative democracy was never workable. Voters make bad decisions and the whole process is largely a sham anyway. 

Capitalism is another problem. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the view that capitalism should be destroyed. I think it should be controlled. Rigidly controlled. Difficult, but not necessarily impossible.

So the 50s could never be restored in their entirety because the society of the 50s was a society already programmed for self-destruction. A society with many of the good features of that decade might be possible but mechanisms would need to be found to prevent cultural infiltration, democracy and capitalism from doing their work of destruction.

It’s probably not a likely scenario but perhaps it does no harm to toss ideas around.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

to control society first control the culture

A commenter at Oz Conservative recently stated, “Liberals can only mount their progressive tyranny on non-liberals through the power of the state.” I’m not sure I agree with this, not completely anyway.

The current dominant ideology, a combination of globalism and liberalism, has gained its ascendancy mostly through gaining control of the culture. This process began early in the 20th century. By the 1960s liberal leftists were firmly in control of the worlds of art and literature. They controlled Hollywood, and most of the world of entertainment. They controlled most of the news media. They controlled the universities. They had thoroughly infiltrated most of the churches. They were well on the way to controlling the culture. Their cultural control is now total.

In most cases they did not advance their agenda through direct political means. They did not control the power of the state. They have certainly been able to force the state to enforce their agenda but this has been a fairly recent thing. In every case the coercive power of the state has only been used to compel obedience to cultural changes that have already taken place.

Homosexuality had already been culturally normalised before legislation was passed to make homosexual acts legal. Marriage had already been undermined before divorce laws were relaxed to the point of making marriage nothing more than a temporary sexual arrangement. Feminists had already gained acceptance of most of their program before feminism started to be legally enforced by the state.

The use of the judiciary to accelerate the rate of social change is a recent phenomenon and it has only been made possible by liberal domination of the culture (both high culture and popular culture). 

Liberals haven’t actually needed the power of the state to push their agenda. Nor have they needed to win election victories. As long as their control of the culture remains total they can rest assured that the power of the state can and will be used to reinforce their victories. Those victories are however always won by cultural battles, not political battles. Politics is downstream of culture.

It logically follows that liberalism cannot be defeated by conventional political means. Liberalism can only be defeated by wresting control of the culture away from them. That can only be achieved by a more powerful, more attractive, more dynamic, cultural force. At this point in time such a cultural force does not exist. Until it does liberalism will remain in the driver’s seat.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

the war between the sexes: the aftermath

Ever since the evil ideology known as feminism emerged men and women have been at war. In my view there is no way the conflict between the sexes can be resolved. So what does the future hold?

This is purely a personal view, but I suspect we will see an almost complete separation of the sexes. Our society will in fact be two societies, one male and one female, with very little real contact between the two. Men and women will lead totally separate lives.

When they’re in their 20s women will use men for sex. When they hit their mid-30s they’ll hear that biological clock ticking and they’ll panic and they’ll have one child and the state will raise the child. Marriage will be out of the question. They will have left it too late, and no man is going to want to marry a bitter angry 35-year-old feminist who has spent the previous twenty years treating men like dirt.

Men will increasingly opt out. There’s no upside whatsoever to marriage from a male point of view. You’d have to be insane even to contemplate such foolishness. Men in their 20s might hook up with women for casual sex but even that will increasingly be seen as not worth the misery and the aggravation. Within twenty years or so men will get most of their sex from sex robots. That’s an idea that has been around in science fiction for decades but the technology is catching up with the science fiction.

There are animal species in which the males and females have little or nothing to do with each other. They come together briefly once a year to mate and that’s it. That’s going to be the future for humans as well, except that we probably won’t even bother with the mating part.

Eventually men will figure out that they’re paying all the bills. Women mostly don’t have productive jobs. They work in the bureaucracy or in the “service” sector, in nice comfortable air-conditioned offices where they don’t get their hands dirty and they can spend their time drinking coffee and having meetings. They don’t actually produce wealth for the country. Men do that. When men realise that they’re producing the nation’s wealth whilst women are simply consuming that wealth things could get interesting. Men will discover that if they can’t find the kinds of jobs that allow them to keep their income (in other words jobs where they are paid under the counter) then there’s not much point in working at all. Women, who increasingly control the bureaucracy, will make frantic efforts to prevent men from keeping their income.

Both men and women will face the prospect of long long years of loneliness in the second half of life. Women will have their cats. Men will have porn and beer and gaming. All will be lonely but the relations between the sexes have been so irretrievably poisoned by feminism that will all live out their lonely lives in solitude.

I don’t see any chance of fixing any of this. The damage done by feminism has been so severe that any kind of truce seems unlikely. In all probability relations between the sexes will continue to deteriorate. We’ll end up with a kind of sexual apartheid. Two mutually hostile societies existing side by side in steadily increasing incomprehension and suspicion.

Of course in western Europe things are likely to go in a different direction. Islam will sweep feminism aside as if it had never existed.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

children, marriage and society

A couple of days ago I wrote a post on our looming aged care crisis and I made the point that a society that values nothing but hedonism, autonomy and freedom is not going to be capable of (or willing) to deal with the problem of caring for the elderly. It should also be noted that such a society is not going to be well equipped for the task of raising children. A society that cannot adequately rear children is hardly worth describing as a society at all.

A society that thinks that sex is purely a recreational activity is also not going to be child-friendly. A society that sees marriage as a vehicle to satisfy the selfish desires of two people rather than a basis for a family is not going to do too well raising kids. A society that thinks that homosexual marriage is normal and healthy is a very poor environment for children. 

It’s terrifying to think that we are actually allowing homosexuals to raise children. This is not going to end well.

It’s not just homosexual marriage that is a problem. Heterosexual marriage is not a satisfactory arrangement for child-rearing unless it is accepted that marriage is permanent.   If people think it’s fine to get a divorce because they’re bored, or they’ve met someone younger and hotter, or they’ve decided that marriage no longer satisfies their need for freedom and autonomy then children are going to suffer. Half a century ago people understood this. Why don’t people today understand it?

Single mothers cannot raise children successfully. It’s not just that they can’t raise sons, they can’t raise daughters either. Both girls and boys need fathers. Of course it goes without saying that single fathers cannot raise kids properly either - both girls and boys need mothers. Homosexual couples certainly cannot raise children, for this very reason.

A society awash with pornography is also a terrible environment for children.

De facto relationships cannot form a successful basis for raising children. They are by their very nature temporary arrangements. if you can’t handle the idea of making the commitment involved in marriage you have no business even contemplating children.

It should also be obvious that children need to grow up in a society that understands, accepts and celebrates the differences between men and women. And accepts that biological sex is not something that can be altered by surgery. It's not like getting a nose job. Children need to learn to accept their biological sex and to be happy with it. If they don't they're just going to add to the numbers of unhappy and confused adults.

Children are a massive commitment. We have to accept that. But children are the only reason for having a society in the first place. We have accept that as well.

Friday, June 23, 2017

the aged crisis and why it isn't going to go away

One of the biggest problems that western societies must face over the next few decades is what to do about aged care. We’re going to have an awful lot of old people to care for and it’s going to be very expensive. It’s a problem that most of us simply do not want to face, and governments are reluctant to confront the issue because there is no easy way to provide the necessary money.

The aged crisis is partly a product of the many undesirable social changes that have occurred since the Second World War. Partly, but not entirely. A major component of the problem is simply that old people are living much longer, and they have fewer children to look after them. It’s no good saying that in the past people cared for their elderly parents so people today should be able to as well. It’s not that simple. Those elderly parents could live long enough to reach their nineties and by that time their children are going to be rapidly approaching old age themselves (a member of my family was in her seventies and still having to care for her mother who lived to be 99). A century ago an old person would typically have three living children to share the burden. These days many aged people are lucky if they have a single child to shoulder the burden.

It’s also not realistic to think that families can still care for elderly relatives without government assistance. It just isn’t possible. A frail elderly person might still have a decade or more of life ahead of them, and when people live to extreme old age there is more often than not the complication of dementia, and caring for an old person with dementia is not possible without a good deal of support. I can tell you that from personal experience. We have to accept that the government will have to be involved. The family, and private charity, are not sufficient.

Of course those social changes I mentioned earlier have made the crisis much worse. People today are not keen on accepting any kind of responsibility and are inclined to see elderly family members as an inconvenience best dealt with by putting them in a nursing home as soon as possible. The problem with that is that nursing home care is much much more expensive than caring for the person at home, and that’s quite apart from the fact that while a nursing home is sometimes the only option it is generally not a very good option.

A society that values hedonism, autonomy and freedom is not well equipped to deal with the problem of caring for the elderly, and it’s amazing how many people who embrace these values seem to be able to pretend that it’s not going to happen to them, that they are not going to face the prospect of one day being shipped off to a nursing home when they become an inconvenience.

There aren’t any easy answers but somehow we’re going to have to find some kind of answer. I have a feeling that we will continue to pretend the problem isn’t there and the results are going to be very unpleasant.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

stability or progress

I’ve just been reading one of Robert Van Gulik’s Judge Dee mysteries. Why is this relevant? I’ll explain in a moment. Van Gulik was a Dutch diplomat who wrote a series of detective novels describing the cases confronting a magistrate in China during the Tang Dynasty (7th century AD).

What’s interesting is that Van Gulik’s knowledge of Chinese history, culture and jurisprudence was profound. And in his stories there is not the faintest hint of the cult of progress. He describes a society that valued stability and order to an extreme degree. This reflects the view that historians have always taken about Imperial China, although western historians have mostly seen this as a weakness. The Chinese developed a very advanced civilisation and then stopped. No further progress was considered to be necessary and in fact further progress would lead to instability and was therefore a bad thing.

While it might be an over-simplistic view of Chinese civilisation there’s undoubtedly a lot of truth in this view of a society committed to preserving what it already had rather than pursuing the phantom of progress. 

Looking at the world today it’s easy to believe that the Chinese had the right idea. This is especially so when you consider the misery and chaos that followed the overthrow of the last Imperial government in the early part of the 20th century.

The cult of progress is always tied up with utopianism. If we just keep progressing then sooner or later we’ll have a perfect society composed of perfect people leading amazingly happy and fulfilling lives. This is the philosophical view that started to emerge in Europe in the 16th century and it has taken a firmer and firmer hold with every year that has passed since then. By the beginning of the 20th century it was the one unchallenged dogma of our civilisation. Imperial China was dominated by Confucian thought and Confucian thought most certainly did not see things in this light. Medieval Europe was dominated by Christianity and medieval Christianity did not see things that way either. 

The point is that it is possible to have a fully functional and quite advanced civilisation based on the cult of stability rather than the cult of progress. 

The cult of progress is, by it very nature, destructive. To build a new society we must first destroy the old one. Everything that has happened has been an inevitable consequence of this. Whenever utopia fails to materialise it just means that more destruction is needed.

Should we abandon the idea of progress altogether? Surely the cult of progress has brought us many benefits? There is a genuine dilemma here. The answer is perhaps that the cult of progress needs to be balanced by an equally strong force advocating stability and order. Perhaps if progress could be slowed and controlled it might not be so socially destructive? It’s possible, but progress has a way of continually getting out of control.

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves exactly what kind of progress is actually useful? Technological progress has on the whole been pretty useful. Social progress on the other hand has brought us to the brink of ruin. We might need to accept the harsh reality that there is no such thing as social progress. We probably should ask ourselves also exactly what kind of scientific and technological progress we need. Do we need ever more advanced weaponry? Do we need faster and faster personal computers? Do we need smarter and smarter smartphones?

One conclusion that logically follows from this is likely to be unpalatable to many people who consider themselves to be right-wing. Taking control of progress would require a very strong government. Almost certainly not a democratic one. Imperial China survived for millennia because mostly it had a strong government. It also survived because those who ran the government, the countless bureaucrats that characterised Chinese government, were educated to believe in stability and order and the tenets of Confucianism. It seems to follow inexorably from this that rigid control of education is necessary for the preservation of civilisation and that dangerous and destructive ideas need to be suppressed. Perhaps that is the price that has to be paid if you want a successful stable culture.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Dr Strangelove, then and now

The first time I saw Stankey Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove I wasn’t overly impressed by it. Today I find I can enjoy it a lot more. The most disturbing thing about it is that this Cold War thriller has more punch today than it had in 1964.

In 1964 the world seemed like a crazy place. A dangerously crazy place. In 2017 that insane world seems positively reassuring. The nuclear balance might have threatened total destruction but at least the Cold War was vaguely comprehensible. We could see how it had happened and why it was going to be difficult to sort out. Can anyone explain the bizarre foreign policy machinations of 2017? Can anyone explain why we still live under the threat of nuclear Armageddon? 

In Dr Stangelove Kubrick had to come up with an extraordinary circumstance to make his nuclear crisis convincing, because he knew that even though the nuclear standoff was dangerous in normal circumstances no sane person was going to push that button. He could make the President of the United States in the film a muddle-headed buffoon but even in fiction, even in black comedy, it would have stretched credibility too far to have the President deliberately and intentionally launching a nuclear war out of the blue. Even the crazy general played by George C. Scott only comes around to the idea of war when it seems like it’s going to happen anyway. To spark the crisis Kubrick had to imagine a middle-ranking officer becoming clinically insane and by a series of accidents being in a position to light the fuse. 

Today we have political leaders in the West who really seem to think that nuclear confrontations are a pretty good idea, and who think it’s an extremely good idea to provoke nuclear powers. And having provoked them, to go on provoking them.

Luckily non-western political leaders are on the whole a good deal more sensible so disaster has been averted so far.

And that’s just the foreign policy madness of today. Domestic policy is even crazier.

Kubrick’s bold decision to treat the subject of nuclear war as comedy paid off because that’s really the best way to treat such objects - pointing out the lunacy of the situation. You couldn’t do such a movie as a comedy today because today’s reality is more outrageously insane than fiction could ever be. Our world is beyond mockery.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

why do we put up with terrorism?

James at Nourishing Obscurity asks Why is there no million strong march against the cause? The answer is simple, if depressing.

The way the average Briton looks at it is, if they protest they could lose their jobs. They could lose their families. That insane harpy Theresa May could even put them in prison. On the other hand if they do nothing then a few hundred people, maybe a few thousand at most, will die every year in terror attacks. But the odds are that they won’t be among the victims. 

And besides, they still have their beer and their smartphones and reality TV shows and super-hero movies and they can still download porn from the internet. So really it’s still a great country. Living in a police state isn’t so bad. As long as you remember never to open your mouth without thinking very very carefully about what you’re going to say and you never ever express a genuine opinion, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll be left alone. OK, maybe your daughter will be gang-raped by members of the diverse community but the odds are that it will be someone else’s daughter who suffers that fate. As long as the odds are that it will be someone else’s daughter, or that it will be someone else’s daughter who gets blown to bits by a bomb, why worry about it?

Basically people are engaging in risk assessment. So far they’re confident that the risks to them personally are small enough to ignore. The risks to other people are matters of no importance to them.

Nothing is going to change unless that risk assessment starts to look more worrying from an individual perspective. 

It seems that Maggie Thatcher was right. There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals - selfish, alienated, atomised individuals motivated by short-term comfort and greed.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

the trouble with paganism

I’ve been reading Dan McCoy’s The Love of Destiny: The Sacred and the Profane in Germanic Polytheism which I guess could be described as an exercise in neo-pagan apologetics.

The problem of religion is one that has been exercising my mind for quite some time. I’m fairly clear about the natures of the problem. I don’t think atheism is healthy for society and I don’t think it’s healthy for the individual. What I’m not clear about is the solution to the problem.

It’s a problem that many (possibly even most) people in the dissident right, alt-right or whatever you want to use as an umbrella term for such groups are aware of. The two most popular solutions are a revived Christianity or some form of neo-paganism. It’s the neo-pagan solution I’m concerned with at the moment.

I understand the attraction of the neo-pagan solution. Christianity hasn’t done much of a job of defending our civilisation in the past century or so and neo-paganism has the advantage of offering a distinctively European alternative. Blood and soil and all that.

I have however always had reservations about neo-paganism. This is a short summary of my reservations (and as you’ll see they’re all pretty much related). 

Firstly, any kind of polytheistic religion by its very nature will tend towards fragmentation. There was a time when the whole of Europe was pagan but it was certainly not a golden age of religious unity. At the time that wasn’t a major problem but what we need today is unity.

Secondly, neo-paganism has always been short on doctrine. Certainly very short on anything approaching a unified doctrine. Within incredibly broad limits you can more or less choose your own beliefs. Every man can in effect have his own private religion. The difficulty with that is that it must inevitably lead to the kind of atomisation and sense of alienation which are the very things that make liberalism so deadly. One of the functions of religion is to bring people together, not to divide them.

Thirdly, there’s no standardised neo-pagan morality. Each cult can adopt its own morality and in practice every individual can adopt his or her own moral standards. Obviously that’s a recipe for social chaos.

Fourthly, neo-paganism can very easily become just a vague woolly New Age spirituality. Even worse, it can become a sort of glorified pantheism. And pantheism is itself a sort of glorified atheism.

Fifthly, not only is neo-paganism not conducive to social discipline it’s also not conducive to self-discipline. It’s an open door to every kind of self-indulgence - moral, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.

McCoy is aware of these weaknesses but unfortunately he considers them to be features, not bugs. This is one of the many disturbing things about this book.

McCoy starts out in his introduction by assuring us that he has no animus against the monotheistic religions. We then move on to the first half of the book which is a sustained, hysterical, intellectually incoherent attack on what he considers to be the many evils of the three great monotheistic religions. Interestingly enough for McCoy the three great monotheistic religions are Judaism, Christianity and Science. His main beef with these religions seems to be that they’re anti-Nature and moralistic. For McCoy Nature is all good and morality is all bad. Because we’re all part of Nature, man, and it’s all good because, well, it’s just all good because it is. Morality of course is bad ’cause it’s oppressive, man. This is pretty much the hippie worldview.

The second half of this brief volume is marginally more interesting, giving us a brief rundown on Norse mythology and the Northern European pagan worldview. The problem here is that, to me at least, that worldview sounds impossibly bleak, fatalistic and depressing. Submitting to fate seems to be the essence of it. 

Of course it would be unfair to dismiss neo-paganism out of hand based on this one book. Nonetheless this book does confirm every one of my worst fears on the weaknesses of neo-paganism and the unlikelihood that it is going to be of much use in saving our civilisation. Mind you I suspect that the author would not be bothered by this, since civilisation is oppressive, man.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hilaire Belloc’s Elizabethan Commentary

I spoke in a recent post about foundational myths. Intriguingly the foundational myth of Protestant England is centred not on Henry VIII but on his daughter. Elizabeth I, or Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, is Protestant England’s Joan of Arc.

Hilaire Belloc’s Elizabethan Commentary, published in 1942 (and issued in the US as Elizabeth, Creature of Circumstance), is an entertaining hatchet job on this myth. Belloc believed, absolutely correctly, that the Reformation was the key event in European history and he retuned to it again and again. As a result some of the ground covered in this book is also covered in his other books on the subject.

Belloc approaches his task with his usual combative zeal and it follows his usual idiosyncratic approach to history. He has no interest in a connected narrative, or in any narrative at all. That does not mean this is social history in the generally understood sense of the term although there are elements of this. When writing about the past Belloc’s main aim is to capture the spirit of the age with which he is dealing and he does so far more successfully than most modern historians.

As in his other books he stresses the importance of the rising power of the moneyed class and the greed of that class. The Reformation saw the seizure of the abbey lands in England and this despoiling of the Church was on a breath-taking scale. As much as a third of the wealth of the country was involved. Had this wealth remained in the hands of the Crown the English Crown could have been the richest in Europe and subsequent disasters like the Civil War would have been averted. England might have remained a monarchy until the present day. Unfortunately the hapless Tudors allowed all of this wealth to slip through their fingers to enrich the already wealthy. More importantly this represented a fatal shift of power from the Crown to the moneyed class.

In some ways the highlights of the book are Belloc’s many digressions. He has some interesting things to say on the nature of monarchy. 

There’s also a fascinating chapter on torture. This was a fairly uncommon practice prior to the 16th century, became extremely common during that century and then fairly quickly disappeared from the English scene. Belloc stresses that the purpose of torture was not punishment but to extract information. It was widely used in the 16th century because there were so many plots and the government therefore had a very strong incentive to extract information from suspects possibly involved in such plots. In other words governments are inclined to use torture when their own power is threatened. The history of the past hundred years would appear to confirm this, with governments being very willing to use extreme methods to protect their own power.

He makes the further point, often overlooked, that to the 16th century mind it was almost unthinkable to execute a man unless he confessed. Without modern forensic science, and (another very intriguing point) without modern legal cross-examination procedures, it was difficult to establish guilt. The most effective way was to torture a man until he confessed. Torture was considered to be morally preferable to running the risk of executing an innocent man. It’s another example of Belloc’s thesis that you can’t hope to understand history unless you accept that the past really is a foreign country and they really do do things differently there.

Belloc makes no apologies for presenting a Catholic view of English history, as a counter-balance to hundreds of years of anti-Catholic propaganda. In this instance there’s also the need to present some kind of alternative to the myth of Elizabeth I as the great queen, a myth that remained unchallenged in England for centuries. It’s a task that he approaches with relish.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

college dorms are liberal re-education camps

Over at Oz Conservative commenter Flavia has this to say,

“The process of sending young women off to live in college dorms, with in loco parentis abandoned, to find their way in the world induced a set of anti-civilizing behaviors. There is really no way to encourage this behavior and have defense of Western values as a result.”

I couldn’t agree more. We’re sending these young women off to liberal re-education camps. And they’re not just being indoctrinated with liberalism but extremist liberalism. Even the ones who don’t mutate into full-fledged SJW harpies are still absorbing their share of the poison.

We need to re-think higher education. We have a lot more of it than we need and it’s doing colossal social and cultural damage. Universities are bad enough but having students living on-campus is disastrous.

We need to reduce the number of university places since the vast majority of people have no need whatever for a university education. We need to gut the humanities faculties. We need to changer our entire approach.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

the crisis of Late Democracy

You will often hear people talk about the age of Late Capitalism. These people are almost always those who identify as being on the left but they do have a point. Capitalism has mutated. The capitalism of today bears little resemblance to the capitalism of the age of Henry Ford.

What has been less noticed is that we now live in the age of Late Democracy. Democracy of course was always a sham. The purpose of democratic institutions is to thwart the will of the people. What has changed, and it has changed dramatically over the past twenty years,  is that the mask has been dropped. In the past great effort was put into maintaining the pretense that democracy expressed the will of the people. This is no longer felt to be necessary.

Political leaders like Tony Blair, David Cameron, Barack Obama, Fran├žois Hollande, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull do not even pretend to care about what the voters want or think. 

The media no longer makes any attempt to hide the fact that it manipulates elections. Members of the real elite, the international finance elite, openly buy and sell politicians. Bureaucrats and judges openly despise ordinary people and openly defy the will of the people.

The contempt for ordinary people is palpable. And it is venomous. And it is openly expressed.

The question is whether this is sustainable in the long term. Governments have always felt the need for some sort of legitimacy. This was true even in the days when kings ruled rather than serving as figureheads. A king would think twice before taking any action that he knew would be repugnant to his people. A king reigned by the Grace of God but it was clearly understood that he was in a real sense the servant of his people. If he lost the confidence of the people he could be, and often was, deposed. Such a king no longer had any legitimacy and thus could no longer claim to rule by the Grace of God.

Even dictators usually only survive for as long as they serve the interests of the nation and the people. Like kings they can be, and often are, deposed.

We now have a new situation in which we are ruled by an elite whose claim to legitimacy is increasingly sketchy. Rule by a class which openly expresses its contempt for the people is also new.

Of course our current elites have much greater power in their hands than any king or dictator. Their control over the media is total and the power of the media is unprecedented in history. They control education. They control the police and the military. They control the “intelligence communities” which are now quite blatantly employed for the purpose of social control. They also control the economy. If you oppose them they can destroy your livelihood. They can destroy your family. They can also simply have you locked up and they are increasingly willing to do so.

In spite of all this power held by the elites the situation is inherently unstable. It can only continue as long as the elites remain united, and history shows that there is no guarantee that this will continue indefinitely. There are always groups that are on the margins of the elite and they would be happy to be on the inside, and in order to achieve this they will quite cheerfully displace existing members of the elites. New groups arise that want their share of the action and again they’re happy to take the place of existing elite groups.

The continuance of this situation also depends on the ability of the elites to navigate crises, and crises are by their nature impossible to predict.

Ruling classes also become, in time, decadent.

A ruling class without legitimacy is in a poor position to weather such storms, both internal and external. Whether or not our current ruling class can do so remains to be seen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester: the price of decadence and folly

There isn’t really much I can say about the Manchester attack that hasn’t already been said. One thing that does need to be emphasised over and over again though is that multi-culturalism is only part of the problem and it’s mostly a symptom. It’s not the underlying disease.

These attacks are happening because western society has become both decadent and irrational.

Maybe decadence is just a natural stage in societal evolution. In this case I’m not convinced. This seems to be deliberately engineered decadence. Everything that gives a society strength and stability has been systematically undermined. Our men have been emasculated and our women have become virtue-signaling harpies.

And pop culture, especially pop music, has played a major role in this. It has been one of the major weapons used to demoralise and degrade us.

We don’t fight back because we believe that holding hands and singing Imagine and lighting candles are the best ways to confront problems. And of course hashtags. Hashtags can solve just about any problem. 

Irrationality also has a great deal to do with this. This whole problem could have been  easily avoided but our leaders (and this includes the leaders of every western country) failed to do so. Whether this was from malice or stupidity is hard to say. I’m inclined to think it was a bit of both. Combining open borders with a crazed interventionist foreign policy can only lead to disaster. 

At the moment we have a wasps’ nest in our back yard. It’s been there for quite a while and every day we see the wasps busily going back and forth to their nest. The wasps are busy doing wasp things and they ignore us. They haven’t been any problem at all. There are two reasons why they haven’t been a problem. Firstly we don’t invite the wasps into our house. We don’t put up a sign on the door saying Wasps Welcome. They have their territory and we have ours. The second reason is that we don’t go poking their nest with sticks. That would be foolish and it would be unjust. We’re happy to recognise their right to exist, as long as they stay outside.

There’s a lot to be said for this as an approach to foreign policy. Leave the wasps in their own country and don’t go poking their nests with sticks.

Decadent societies tend not to survive. Societies that are both decadent and foolish have very little chance. We’re lucky in some ways. Our decadence is deliberately engineered so we can halt the slippery slide and maybe even reverse it, at least a little. Foolish foreign policies can be abandoned. 

Our leaders have let us down. We have to find a way to let them know that their failures will no longer be tolerated. It’s not going to be easy but a good start would be to stop with the candles and the John Lennon songs.

Monday, May 22, 2017

cucks by name and cucks by nature

I disliked the term cuckservsative the first time I heard it. I’m still not totally convinced by it but I find myself using it more and more often. It’s just so damned useful.

It really does perfectly capture a certain mindset. It’s especially useful when used against weak cowardly “conservative” men. There’s the implication of a lack of manhood, and a lack of manhood is one of the biggest problems we face today. It’s not just that today’s men don’t have the guts to physically contest the invasion of their own countries and their own erasure from their society. They don’t even have the guts to stand up to verbal assaults. They’ve allowed themselves to be emasculated and cuck is somehow just the right term to describe them.

Ridicule can be a potent weapon and that makes cuck an even more useful term.

It also has the advantage that cucks hate being called cucks!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Foundational Myths and the Cult of Science

Every society has its Foundational Myths. I’m not talking about myths in the sense of mythology - gods and monsters and superhuman heroes and such things. I’m talking about the quasi-historical myths that define a society’s sense of itself.

For the Greeks it was the Trojan War. For the Romans it was Romulus and Remus and the founding of the city but the Romans elaborated their Foundational Myth by extending Roman history back to the exploits of the Trojan prince Aeneas after the fall of Troy. For French republicans it’s the Revolution. For Americans it’s the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War.

For modern secularists the Foundational Myth is the Rise of Science. Until around the 17th century there was an age of ignorance and superstition then along came Science! and everything was light. Science! ushered in a blessed age of reason and enlightenment.

Foundational Myths can be entirely mythical, or they can be semi-mythical or even mostly historical. The Trojan War might well have happened although the actual events were probably much more small-scale and much more tawdry than the version promoted by the Greek poets.

The Rise of Science is at least partly historical. There has been a great deal of scientific progress in the past 500 years. The benefits are more questionable.

A Foundational Myth should be inspiring. It should give people a sense of cultural identity but more than that it should give a society some sense of purpose or destiny.

Has the Rise of Science done that? In some ways, perhaps. Although it’s worth pointing out that a great deal of human progress in modern times has owed more to practical engineers than to scientists. The engineers who were responsible for providing Europeans cities with sewerage and clean water contributed more to human happiness and prosperity than any scientists.

The problem with Science! is that it has given us a worldview that is bleak and nihilistic. The followers of the Cult of Science! have rarely taken this into account. Did the acceptance of the heliocentric view of the solar system actually make the world a better place? Did the acceptance of the Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution by natural selection make us happier? Was there great popular rejoicing when the Big Bang Theory displaced the Steady State Theory of the universe? These things made liberal secularists happier because they provided them with ammunition with which to pursue their war on Christianity. Did it make society as a whole better? Are we better off now that we generally believe that the universe is entirely without purpose and meaning and that our ancestors were ape-like creatures?

Of course Science! may well be right much of the time. Nobody today disputes the heliocentric view of the solar system. The question is not whether the scientific view is often correct, it is whether that view of the world has actually represented genuine progress. Progress is after all always a good thing, or so we’re told. But what if the scientific worldview has actually left us without any purpose or meaning in our own lives?

There’s also another very great danger to the cult of Science! Even the craziest ideas can gain credence if they can be labeled as scientific. Marx claimed that his wacky and misguided theories had to be correct because they were scientific. Freud’s even nuttier ideas were sold as science. In the 20th century we were even told there was such a thing as social science, an oxymoron if ever there was one. Straight-out political propaganda can be promoted as science - the global warming hysteria being a fine example.

Rather than eliminating superstition the Cult of Science! has provided us with a whole grab-bag of new superstitions. Rather than ushering in an age of reason what we actually ended up with was a mixture of emptiness, despair and superstition. Some Foundational Myths seem to work better than others.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

lies, damned lies and thruthiness

We have always taken it for granted that there are certain groups for whom lying is natural and habitual. No sane person has ever expected politicians, lawyers or journalists to tell the truth.

Today we have a situation in which many groups that we used to regard as being relatively trustworthy are now also habitual liars. Scientists, school teachers, historians, clergymen, even doctors are now quite likely to lie to us. Not all the time of course, but often enough to represent an enormous sea change in western society. If half the scientists lie to us half the time then that means that we have to assume that scientists are people who cannot be trusted.

There is of course a difference between outright conscious lying and merely repeating falsehoods. In some cases the people repeating falsehoods actually believe their own lies. Sometimes they know that what they’re saying is untrue but they’re too scared not to go along with the lies. I don’t think that many doctors deliberately lie but I am sure that they’re aware that there are certain things that it’s better for them not to question - it’s best to stick to the party line so you don’t get into trouble. I think that very few clergymen deliberately lie - I really think most of them believe it when they tell us that diversity is good for us and that homosexuality is A-OK. In the case of historians and other academics I think it’s a mixture - some believe their own nonsense and some are lying trough their teeth to protect their nice comfy positions in academia.

It doesn’t make much difference in practice. It still means that we now live in a world in which the safe assumption is that we’re probably being lied to most of the time.

We don’t just have fake news. We have fake science. We have fake medicine. We have fake religion. We have fake history. If everything is fake where do we find truth? Does it even exist? Or do we just settle for truthiness?

This is of course an ideal situation for the elites. It doesn’t matter too much to them if we don’t really believe the Narrative that they push. If lies are everywhere and truth cannot be distinguished from lies then we have little choice but to believe the Narrative. Or maybe not believe, but accept it even while knowing that that it is false. Anyone who has read his Orwell knows that from the point of view of the elites being able to force us to believe something that we know is a lie is even better than having us actually believe. It demoralises us even further.

blog makeover

James at Nourishing Obscurity has suggested that maybe this blog needs a makeover. I think he’s probably right. So before I adopt a new look that you might all hate I should ask for some input.

First off, do you prefer reading a dark text on a white or near-white background, or something like the present scheme with light text on a dark background?

Is there anything about the present layout of the blog that you really hate?

Is there anything that I should consider adding? Any more widget-thingies?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

blasphemy laws and why we may be stuck with them

I wasn’t going to mention the Stephen Fry blasphemy case but now Richard Dawkins has jumped in on the issue. Dawkins of course wants the blasphemy law repealed.

My position on this is a bit complex. I believe that if you have a mono-cultural mono-religion society then you don’t need blasphemy laws. The reality is that we don’t have that type of society any longer. We now have a multi-cultural multi-faith society. In such a society blasphemy laws are an unfortunate necessity. Minority views do need to be protected. If they’re not protected you’re going to have trouble. That’s just reality. We have something even more difficult to deal with - a society divided not only on cultural racial and religious lines but even more bitterly divided on ideological lines. A multi-cultural multi-faith multi-ideology society is a society in which conflict is going to be continuous and bitter. 

We already have a society in which Christianity is under never-ending and vicious attack. Now increasingly we have each of a variety of religions, including atheism, in a state of permanent low-level war. We also have a society in which atheists like Dawkins are permitted to attack religion without limits. If there are no limits to the viciousness of the attacks it’s all going to end very very badly. Unfortunately I do think some limits are needed on the extent of the viciousness of the attacks. Did Stephen Fry cross the line? That would be for a court to decide.

Of course in an ideal world we would never have allowed our society to become a multi-cultural multi-religion war zone. But we did allow that to happen and one of the unfortunate consequences is that blasphemy laws may be required in order to dampen down the conflicts.

This is the world that liberals (like Stephen Fry) wanted. Now they have to live with it. If you want diversity you end up needing all sorts of intrusive and unpleasant laws, such as blasphemy laws. A diverse society will either destroy itself or it will become a police state. You can have freedom or you can have diversity. You can’t have both. We chose diversity.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World.

My current reading is Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World. It’s heavy going, especially if you limited tolerance for the wilder shores of mysticism, esotericism, magic and the occult. If you persist with it though there are plenty of profound and important insights into the sorry state in which our civilisation has landed itself. The second half of the book in particular is filled with key insights.

Evola’s idea of a revolt against the modern world is breathtakingly radical. In his view things started to go wrong a very very long time ago, and they went wrong in very fundamental ways. And his ideas on tradition are not exactly conventional.

There’s a lot of material to plough through in this book and I remain sceptical of much of it. I really wouldn’t feel in the least bit qualified even to attempt to review this book. There are however a few things that happened to catch my interest as they connect to other things I’ve been reading recently.

The first is his spirited championing of caste systems. Given that egalitarianism has proven to be a dangerous chimaera and that hierarchies are almost certainly both inevitable and necessary in a healthy society, and given that class divisions produce endless futile conflict, a caste system does seem to have its attractions.

The second point that struck me in this book is Evola’s enthusiasm for the ideal of chivalry. This is a little surprising at first in view of Evola’s disdain for Christianity. He argues however that the medieval ideal of chivalry was not entirely Christian in inspiration and that it avoids many of what he sees as the flaws and decadent features of Christianity. Of course it could be objected that chivalry was an ideal that was in all probability seldom practised, at least in a pure form. That doesn’t really matter. The fact that the idea of chivalry existed and that it struck such a powerful chord in the medieval imagination is what’s important.

My own reservations about Christianity are centred on its passive and excessively feminised nature and its unfortunate tendency to encourage the cult of victimology. These regrettable tendencies seemed to be much less evident in medieval Christianity, and the ideal of chivalry did seem to be a way of minimising those negative factors.

Medieval Christianity was a masculine religion that respected women. Such a thing is possible.

There seems to be no question that Christianity has lost its way and that this has been a gradual process that has taken centuries. The Middle Ages was the high water mark for the Christian faith. It’s been all downhill since then.

Friday, May 12, 2017

nationalism and the myth of nation states

I spoke about nationalism in my previous post. I want to say a bit more on the subject. What I have to say is unpalatable but it needs to be said.

Nationalism is no longer a viable proposition because generally speaking nation states as they existed between the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 and 1945 no longer exist.

A nation state is a political entity that is capable of asserting its independence. This requires both the military capacity and the political willingness to do so. According to this criterion the only independent nation states that exist in today’s world are the United States, Russia, China and (possibly) India.

The idea that any other country has this capability is pure fantasy. 

Let us assume that Italy, or Japan, or Brazil, or France or Britain decided that as a matter of national survival they needed to wage war against some other state. Could they do so? The answer of course is that they could not. They would need to ask the United States for permission to do so. It is unthinkable that any of these countries could fight a war, even a war for national survival, without first seeking Washington’s approval and then seeking US aid. In other words not one of these countries is a true nation state. They are mere vassal states.

In 1982 Britain was only with great difficulty able to defeat a Third World nation, Argentina. It was a near run thing and Britain won because from Argentina’s point of view it was not a war for survival and it was therefore not worth making it a fight to the finish. If Britain faced the same situation today she would have to abandon the Falklands. Britain also no longer has its own nuclear deterrent. Britain’s Trident missiles belong to the United States. The recent controversy over whether Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister would or would not use nuclear weapons was irrelevant, No British prime minister could use nuclear weapons without Washington’s permission. The Trident missiles allow Britain to indulge in the fantasy that Britain is a great power. In fact Britain is not even a proper nation state, merely an American vassal.

The Second World War marked the end of the nation state system. It marked the end of European nation states. Western Europe became part of the American Empire. The EU is merely a means by which that empire can be controlled more easily and more conveniently.

The problem of nationalism today is how can you have nationalism without nation states that are in control of their own destinies?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

nationalism, internationalism and globalism

If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes in the dissident right corner of the internet you’ve heard the phrase, “The real political divide today is not between left and right but between nationalism and globalism.” I’ve said it myself.

Are things quite as simple as that? Is nationalism really more organic, more traditional, more healthy, than globalism?

Nationalism is a fairly recent phenomenon. It did not exist in the ancient world, nor in the medieval world. In fact it did not really exist until the mid-17th century. The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 which ended the Thirty Years War marked the formal recognition that nation states were now the effective political units of Europe. And nationalism did not take deep root in the European psyche until the end of the 18th century.

Prior to that there were of course strong local sentiments based on shared language, culture and religion but these had little bearing on the actual political arrangements of Europe. The political unit was the dynastic unit. Insofar as people had political loyalties those loyalties were owed to the local lord and ultimately to the king, or in central Europe they were owed to the local lord, to the prince and ultimately to the emperor. A kingdom could comprise a variety of ethnic groups and cultures and languages and even religions. The boundaries of kingdoms shifted constantly as dynastic marriages split existing political units or caused larger units to coalesce.

You might not speak the same language as your king, you might not belong to the same ethnic group, you might not share his culture or his religion but that did not affect your loyalty.

Prior to the Reformation most (but by no means all) of Europe belonged to a single entity known as Christendom but this was not a political unit. The head of Christendom was the Pope. His spiritual authority existed side by side with the political authority of kings.

Europe functioned perfectly well without nationalism. Multi-ethnic multi-faith multi-cultural political entities such as the empire of the Habsburgs were extremely successful. No modern nation state has lasted as long as the empire of the Habsburgs.

The Europe of the dynastic system and of Christendom had nothing in common with modern nationalism, but at the same time it also had nothing in common with modern globalism. It represents a third option and it is an option that is usually ignored, partly because it most people don’t understand it and partly because it didn’t suit modern political agendas.

It’s also worth pointing out that internationalism as such is by no means identical with globalism. Take for example the European Union. The EU is evil not because it’s internationalist. The idea of European political unity is not inherently evil. The idea of Europe has much to recommend it. The Second World War demonstrated with brutal clarity that European nation states were defenceless against the power and wealth of the United States. If Europe was going to avoid becoming an American colony then some degree of political and economic unity was essential. 

The problem with the EU is not that it’s corrupt and undemocratic (although it is corrupt and undemocratic). The problem is that it’s run by people who hate Europeans, hate European culture and are ashamed of themselves for being European. It is run by people who are fundamentally hostile to European civilisation. It is run by people whose loyalty is to bankers.

This is the problem with almost all internationalist organisations today. They are run by bankers for bankers.

It is extremely unlikely that organisations like the EU can be reformed. The EU will never serve the interests of Europeans. The idea of Europe on the other hand still has some validity. The question is whether it will ever be possible to bring about a European unity that will serve the interests of Europeans.

The idea of regional internationalism is also not inherently evil. Countries like Australia cannot exist in the modern world as viable independent nation states. They simply do not have the economic, military and political muscle to be anything other than satellites of great powers. Countries like Australia (and Canada and Britain) are, in political terms, merely American vassal states. In the long term their only hope of avoiding such vassalage is by being part of regional power groupings.

It is also clear that, in the absence of such regional power groupings, the entire world is going to end up being divided into two gigantic spheres of influence, one dominated by the United States and one dominated by China. This is why the idea of resurrecting the caliphate is so attractive to many Muslims. Independent Islamic nations are merely pawns in the game of power politics played by great powers. A caliphate uniting a large part of the Islamic world would have some chance of political independence. It is their only chance of preserving their culture and their religion and it ids therefore going to be increasingly seen as not only desirable but essential.

Nationalism is certainly preferable to globalism. It is however doubtful whether in the modern world nationalism can defeat globalism. While I’ve been quite sceptical of ideas like white nationalism I can understand why such ideas seem attractive. If nationalism is a spent force then perhaps other options for fighting globalism need to be considered.