Monday, February 26, 2018

how the culture war could have been won

You can divide people into two categories, the civilisation-preservers and the civilisation-wreckers. The civilisation-wreckers have taken various forms but the most dangerous of all are the Social Justice Warriors with which we are too familiar today. The real question is - why have the civilisation-wreckers been so much more successful than the civilisation-preservers?

A major reason is that the civilisation-preservers are generally speaking fairly ordinary people. They have jobs. They’re married. They’re raising kids. They have only a limited amount of time to devote to politics.

The civilisation-wreckers on the other hand are usually unemployed. Or they work in academia, which is the same thing really (at least in most of the humanities departments). Even if they’re married they usually have one or even more commonly no kids. They have lots and lots of leisure time to devote to political activism. In practice ten civilisation-wreckers can achieve more than a hundred civilisation-preservers simply because they can devote their whole lives to the task.

The sad thing is that this situation, this massive over-supply of activists with time on their hands, is not natural. It has been manufactured. And it could have been stopped.

Anyone who has had to deal with an infestation of household pests such as ants knows that the only way to eradicate the problem is to find the nests. It’s the same with SJWs. Fortunately in the case of SJWs we know where the nests are. They’re in academia mostly, in the bureaucracy and in NGOs and the media (especially the government-owned media like the BBC and the ABC). And they’ve been breeding there for decades.

Over the past decades supposedly conservative governments in Britain, Australia and the U.S. have had ample opportunities to solve this problem. All they had to do was to cut off the supply of oxygen, in other words cut off the funding. Would-be SJWS would them have been forced to find real jobs in the real world. They would then not have had all that leisure time for political activism (some of them might even have abandoned their SJW beliefs after encountering the real world).

This would not have been a complete solution of course. Some of the nests in the media would certainly have survived and some of the useless university departments handing out Mickey Mouse degrees would have found alternative sources of funding. But it would still have achieved quite a lot. The supply of SJWs funded by the taxpayer with unlimited amounts of free time could have been reduced radically. The SJW menace might have been contained.

And those supposedly conservative governments in Britain, Australia and the U.S. have done nothing. They have allowed SJWs to continue to proliferate. The worthless NGOs still thrive, the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies and sociology departments continue to get funded to churn out unemployable misfits intent on destroying our society, the bureaucracy has not been reined in and the BBC and ABC still spend billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on civilisation-wrecking.

There is an obvious conclusion to be drawn from this. Those so-called conservative governments never did intend to win the culture war. They never even intended to fight it. Worse than that, they have been not merely passive spectators but in many cases have worked actively for the forces of darkness. Those conservative political parties need to die.

Friday, February 23, 2018

space exploration and the awesomeness of patriarchy

Just a couple of weeks after my post on the end of the Space Age comes this article by Marcie Bianco whining that space exploration is patriarchal.

Well of course it is Marcie. Space exploration is patriarchal, just as the whole of science and technology is patriarchal. It's all part of the awesomeness of patriarchy.

These are essentially masculine pursuits. The urge to explore, to invent, to understand the physical world, to conquer new frontiers, these are masculine imperatives. That’s how civilisation has progressed from living in caves and chasing mammoths with pointy sticks to living in nice houses with lots of appliances (like the one Marcie lives in) and being able to drive to the supermarket to buy everything we need. That’s why Marcie doesn’t have to spend her day gathering nuts and berries and can sit in air-conditioned comfort reading up on the latest advances in Women’s Studies.

Had it not been for the patriarchy Marcie could never have had a career teaching social justice in American universities because there would not have been any American universities. America would never have been colonised. There’s a reason that it was Christopher Columbus who reached America in 1492, and not Christine Columbus. Exploring is what men do.

There’s also a reason why the first successful aircraft was built by the Wright Brothers, and not the Wright Sisters. And why the first successful locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson, not Roberta Stephenson. There’s a reason why electric lighting, cars, aircraft, radio, photography, motion pictures, television, refrigerators, steamships, railways and computers were invented by men. Even the inventions that have done so much to make life easier for women like Marcie, like the vacuum cleaner, microwave ovens and automatic washing machines, were invented by men.

The scientific discoveries that made such inventions possible were made overwhelmingly by men.

This is how the male brain works. Men like to figure out how stuff works, how things that are impossible today can be made possible tomorrow, they like to discover things and to explore, they like to find new frontiers. Women’s brains don’t work that way. Which is OK, women’s brains are not supposed to work that way because women are supposed to be at home looking after the kids and getting dinner ready while their husbands confront the world.

Of course it’s possible that women like Marcie do understand all this at some level. They do understand that the contribution of women to science and technology has been minuscule. That’s why they’re angry. Men are so much better at this stuff and it’s not fair. Men get real degrees in real subjects, not degrees in Women’s Studies.

If Marcie had been around in 1492 I’m sure she would have been lobbying Ferdinand and Isabella to cut off funding to Columbus for his silly patriarchal plan to reach the Indies and instead use the money to fund Women’s Studies workshops.

We should go to Mars because if we don’t it’s another sign that we’ve given up, that we’ve surrendered to women like Marcie.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

revolutions and democracy

Rebellions were not uncommon during the Middle Ages. There were quite a few. They all had one thing in common. They all failed. Peasants with pitch-forks don’t do very well against well-armed disciplined soldiers (and even medieval soldiers were well disciplined compared to a mob of peasants with pitch-forks).

The ruling class wasn’t too worried. There was no real threat to the social order. They made sure they always had those well-armed disciplined soldiers on their side.

Then things started to change. In the late 18th century a peasant’s revolt actually succeeded. OK, the French Revolution was much more complicated than just a peasant’s revolt but the important thing is that the social order really was overturned. The ruling classes started to get nervous.

From then until the mid-19th century (1848 being the celebrated Year of Revolutions) there were more revolutions. They met with mixed success but the fact that any of them enjoyed any success at all was enough to send a chill up the spines of the ruling classes.

Some way needed to be found to nip this revolution business in the bud. The answer was democracy. Parliaments and congresses already existed but they were not the slightest bit democratic. Now they would be made democratic. Now the peasants wouldn’t be tempted to resort to pitch-forks. They would have a say in the government.

Of course it goes without saying that the ruling classes did not have the slightest intention of allowing those nasty smelly peasants (or those nasty smelly and increasingly numerous workers) to have an actual say in the government. It was all a game of make believe. Representative democracy was in fact a system set up to ensure that the people would never actually be asked for their opinions. The people would be passive observers but they would think they were active participants. Instead of manning the barricades and cutting off aristocrats’ heads they would vote. Their votes would be meaningless. That was the whole point of the exercise.

It worked very well indeed in countries like the US, Britain and Australia. The masses became docile and compliant. They believed the lies about democracy. They kept away from pitch-forks.

This has turned out to be very unfortunate. Sometimes the only way to persuade the ruling class that the people are seriously angry and discontented is to man the barricades. But we now have a population so drugged by the illusion of democracy that they will never man those barricades, even when their ruling class has declared war on them and intends to destroy them. Instead they dutifully show up at the polling booths, filled with the touching belief that if only they can throw out that nasty Mr Tweedledee and his Liberal Conservative Party (or his Democratic Republican Party) and vote in that nice Mr Tweedledum and his Conservative Liberal Party (or his Republican Democrat Party) then everything will be fine.

In the latter part of the 20th century the ruling class really did declare war on us. And we did not take to the streets. We did not man the barricades. We voted. We are now paying the price for our naïvete.

Monday, February 19, 2018

extended families and fertility

A commenter elsewhere suggested that once the extended family disappeared fertility was doomed. The idea being that the costs of motherhood are so high that women will not accept those costs for more than one or at the most two children unless they have a strong support network.

This does sound like a plausible argument.

Perhaps humans have to have extended families in order to breed. Perhaps the nuclear family is a toxic idea.

If you want extended families there are several other things you need. Obviously you need stay-at-home mothers. You need stable decently paid employment for men, stable being the more important factor by far. And you need social stability. You need tight-knit organic communities of people who know and trust each other and those communities need to remain intact. Social mobility was one of the major factors that destroyed the extended family. People need to be able to find jobs in their own communities.

The Industrial Revolution undoubtedly played a rôle in disrupting established communities but the urban working classes managed to create new communities that were actually quite healthy. Those communities thrived until our leaders (encouraged by the corporate sector) decided to declare war on the working class.

Conservatives like to blame the welfare state for most social ills. In fact the wholesale destruction of manufacturing industry and the destruction of rural communities have been far more disastrous.

Of course the decline of religion and the growth of feminism have contributed to the demise of the extended family but the big factor is the breaking up of communities when children move to other cities to pursue their careers, or when family members are forced to leave established communities because they cannot find work.

The corporate sector loves the idea of a “flexible” workforce. In practice that means a demoralised workforce and a loss of community. These are both bonuses as far as the corporate sector is concerned. The corporate sector does not like extended families - people might start to think there was more to life than being a docile worker and a compliant consumer.

In fact if we are ever to rebuild real communities we need to realise that there really is more to life than working and consuming.

Real communities and extended families have other benefits aside from increased fertility. They provide an alternative to hedonism and degeneracy and they also provide some protection from evils such as feminism.

Of course it’s understandable that our politicians didn’t think of any of this. Who would ever have imagined that tight-knit communities might turn out to be essential for a healthy society?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

is evil a useful concept?

A recent post at A Political Refugee From the Global Village asks the question

“…is evil a word it is very useful for historians to use?”

The post is mostly concerned with political leaders to whom the word evil is routinely attached, which basically means Hitler and (much more rarely) Stalin. The point does however have a wider relevance. It has become increasingly common for people to regard those with whom they have a political disagreement as evil. Even more disturbingly perhaps it has become common to dismiss those who voted for those “evil” politicians as evil as well.

This practice is not confined to one end of the political spectrum. The most spectacular example at the moment is liberals regarding Donald Trump as some kind of comic-book super-villain. But there are plenty of conservatives who see Hillary Clinton in the same light. I’ve even encountered British conservatives who seem to think Jeremy Corbyn is some kind of Bond villain.

And of course anyone perceived as being an enemy of American foreign policy (like Vladimir Putin) is considered to be evil incarnate.

The trouble is that once you dismiss someone whose political views you dislike as evil you give up any chance of understanding what makes that person tick, of understanding why they hold those views, and you give up any realistic chance of comprehending the reasons that so many people support (or supported) that leader.

This might sound like I’m arguing for moral relativism but I don’t think I am. Some political views have produced great evil in practice and some political leaders have led their nations (and sometimes the world) down paths that have been so catastrophic that evil does seem like a reasonable way to describe the results. But the fact remains that once the evil label is applied it is no longer possible to understand the motivations.

Politicians are by nature corrupt and vicious but the frightening thing is that at the same time many really are True Believers. It is necessary to understand what it is that they believe in. It is also necessary to understand what motivates those who vote for them.

It might be comforting and emotionally satisfying to think that our enemies are simply evil but that doesn’t help us to oppose them effectively. If you can’t get inside your enemy’s head you cannot predict his actions.

It’s also somewhat dismaying to see the evil label bandied about in reference to entire groups of people, whether they be Brexit supporters or Remainers or white people or Muslims or Christians or Russians or any other group. It’s useful to understand the motivations of our friends. It’s absolutely vital to understand the motivations of our enemies, or those we see as potential threats. From our perspective it is possible that our enemies really are doing evil but they certainly don’t see it that way. Very few people wake up each morning asking themselves what evil they can do today. In a frightening number of cases they actually wake up asking themselves what virtuous things they can do today. Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people with a burning desire to do good. Liberals have all but destroyed civilisation through an excessive desire to do good.

Monday, February 12, 2018

the end of the Space Age

I’m not old enough to remember the beginning of the space race but I do have vivid memories of its later stages. It was, undeniably, exciting.

Of course looking back now I can see that the motivations of the space race were a bit questionable. It was very much a Cold War propaganda thing. But it was still kind of inspiring. It was perhaps the last pure expression of western cultural confidence. The confidence was at almost 19th century levels - the idea that science and technology were unstoppable and that there was nothing our civilisation couldn’t do.

Even at the time it was difficult to see any practical value in it. That was what made it rather magnificent. Perhaps that’s what cultural confidence is all about - doing things just to prove you can do them.

Maybe the money could have been better spent on other things, but then when you look at the way governments happily pour billions of dollars down the toilet on equally futile things it’s probable that the money never was going to be better spent anyway.

And I do feel considerable regret that it all came to such an ignominious end. I can’t honestly think of any practical reason why anyone would want to send a manned mission to Mars but I’m rather sad that we haven’t done it and possibly never will.

The end of the Space Age also appeared to coincide with the end of the great age of science and technology. There was a period in history when major scientific advances just seemed to come one after another. That era seemed to come to an end in the mid-20th century. Have there been any truly breathtaking scientific advances since Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953?

The age of stunning technological progress arguably ended about the same time. The first aircraft flew in 1903. In 1969 men walked on the Moon and Concorde made its first test flight. What have we done since them? Computers? They’re basically a 1940s concept. OK, we have the internet. And what do we use it for? Downloading porn, uploading cute kitten photos, checking up on the latest celebrity gossip.

I’m inclined to think that it’s a worrying symptom of our cultural malaise that we don’t want to do things like go to Mars any more. And we don’t want heroes like Neil Armstrong any more (just as it was probably a bad symptom for the Soviet Union when they didn’t want heroes like Yuri Gagarin any more). Our heroes today are airhead celebrities.

Civilisations need heroes and they need confidence. The Space Age was an expression of boundless confidence in the future. I miss that confidence.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

demographic collapse and economic incentives

That the West is heading for demographic collapse is pretty much an established fact. Sub-replacement fertility is now the norm. In countries like Germany the fertility rate is disastrously low. In eastern Europe the situation is even worse, with countries like Lithuania well on the way to national extinction. And in east Asia it’s worse still. Taiwan is almost certainly beyond saving.

It’s long been accepted that economic development and prosperity almost inevitably leads to a plummeting birth rate, but while you might expect that fertility rates would eventually stabilise at a much lower level that isn’t happening. They just keep declining.

And of course we’re then told that we must accept mass immigration from the Third World or we’re economically doomed. Whether that’s really true or not can perhaps be debated, it  is possible that lower populations might be advantageous in some ways, but nonetheless it’s an argument that immigration restrictionists must find a counter for.

So can anything be done to halt the decline of fertility rates? Obviously the answer is yes but most of the solutions are at this point in time politically out of the question. It’s not very likely that any western government is going to outlaw feminism or abolish quick and easy divorce, no matter how desirable such actions might be.

Among the few politically feasible measures are economic incentives. To the extent that they’ve been tried they haven’t been notably successful but that may be because they’ve been poorly thought out. The idea that putting more money in people’s pockets will make them more willing to have children is simplistic and naïve. If people are contemplating starting a family they do not want short-term handouts. What they want is long-term security, and affordable housing.

Long-term security means job security. Job security is something we used to have in the bad old days. Of course in the bad old days we also had successful marriages and happy family life.

When it comes to having families what matters is not how much money people have, but the extent to which they can rely on having an adequate income for long enough to raise children and then be able to look forward to not living in destitution when they get old.

Equally important is affordable decent housing. That means not just a reasonably comfortable home, but a home that is not so far out in the suburbs that it requires a two-hour commute to get to work and a two-hour commute to get home again.

I’m not suggesting that job security and affordable housing would magically solve our demographic problems, but there’s little doubt that it would at least help a little. And as an added side benefit it would allow people to live lives that are somewhat more satisfying than the pursuit of mindless pleasures and an endless supply of consumer goods.

Of course I’m just day-dreaming. Can you really imagine a government wanting to put the interests of families ahead of the interests of globalists and social justice warriors, or seeing family life as more important than GDP growth?

Saturday, February 3, 2018

defending Australia

Amfortas made this observation in a comment to my previous post.

“I have always held the view that we should use it before we are in imminent danger of losing it. We have far too few to even defend ourselves.”

That was in fact the logic behind Australian immigration policy for several decades after 1945. It was the major driving force behind the enormous in take of migrants in that period. The lesson of the Second World War (and of European history over the course of the centuries) seemed to be that in order to defend itself a nation needed a large population. Countries with small populations like Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark had been quickly overrun.

In 1945 it was a reasonable view.

Is it a reasonable view today? Would a population of 50 million, or even 100 million, make us more secure? The days when large numbers of men were needed as cannon fodder seem to be over. A larger population would theoretically mean a larger GDP which would of course theoretically allow us to buy more weapons, assuming that the population growth didn’t collapse our economy to Third World standards.

I’m inclined to think that we don’t need more defence spending. We need smarter defence spending. Why on earth did we buy M1A1 Abrams tanks? Are we going to refight the Western Desert campaigns of WW2? Is it really likely we’ll ever be fighting large conventional armoured battles on our own soil? If it ever got to the stage where we needed to do that we would already have lost. Our only chance of preventing an invasion by large conventional forces would be to stop them from landing. For that you need a credible navy and a credible air force. You don’t need tanks. But generals, like small boys, love the idea of playing with tanks.

We have an army that exists to fight as auxiliaries in someone else’s foreign military adventures.

We need a credible navy, and that means submarines. Nuclear submarines. As submariners like to say, there are only two kinds of ships - submarines and targets. What we have are a handful of submarines of dubious quality and lots of targets. In an actual shooting war with a real enemy how long would our frigates last? Half an hour? Of course you need frigates as escort vessels, except that we don’t have anything for them to escort.

If we scrapped the frigates and the tanks we could afford a dozen modern nuclear submarines which would be more than enough to deter any of our immediate neighbours. If you wish to deter attacks by major powers there is only one way to do that. You need a nuclear deterrent. If we spent our military budget wisely we could afford such a deterrent. Israel, with a third of Australia’s population, has a credible nuclear deterrent based to a large extent on submarine-launched cruise missiles.

We also have to consider the likely threats. Our immediate neighbours are not much danger. Indonesia’s army is intended for use against its own people, or for use against people who can’t fight back (like the West Papuans). Our only serious threat would be a major power. Russia has zero interest in our region. It’s hard to imagine India being a threat - they’re much too preoccupied with Pakistan and China. Japan is too preoccupied with China. That leaves China and the US. Only nukes would deter those powers.

We also need to consider that at the moment no-one regards us as a threat. An Australia with 100 million people would be a different proposition - we’d be a potential regional major power. If we went down the high population road we’d need a very serious military. If you’re going to put yourself forward as a major regional power you’d better be able to back up your pretensions with real military power.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

how many people do we need?

If we want to oppose immigration we need to have a coherent well-articulated position on the issue. Simply saying we want immigration stopped isn’t going to work. If you do that you simply get accused of racism, and of wanting to wreck the economy. We need to put a bit more thought into our position.

There is for instance one very important question we need to consider. Exactly how many people do we want in our country?

Australia’s population is close to 25 million. That doesn’t sound much when you look at the size of the country but in fact our population is concentrated to a quite incredible degree in a handful of large cities. Well over a third of the population is concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne. Those cities are increasingly unpleasant places in which to live.

So assuming we want to stabilise our population, at what point do we want to stabilise it?

The same applies to other countries. The UK’s population is now 66.5 million, surely much too high. The US has a population of 325 million.

In all these cases the ideal figure would probably be somewhat lower than the current figure. Arguing for any serious population reduction is not within the realms of the politically possible. But we do need to have some kind of target to aim for.  Which means we need to come up with a realistic rate of immigration to achieve that target. A rate that will obviously be very much lower than the current rates.

Of course in reality we probably don’t need any immigration at all. The problem with that is that such a view will get you labelled as not merely an extremist but a hopelessly unrealistic one. I do think though that choosing some kind of target figure would be politically useful. If you’re asked how much immigration you want and you reply that you don’t know then you tend to look like someone who hasn’t thought things through.

In the year ending June 2017 Australia’s net migration intake was a staggering 245,000. The danger for anti-immigration advocates of not having a clear idea of how many immigrants we should be bringing in is that the government could announce that it was “slashing” the yearly immigration intake to 220,000 and we would be expected to hail that as a major concession. On the other hand if we say that we actually need no more than a maximum of 20,000 then it would be easier for us to point out that any minor reduction was merely a sham.

We also need to address other major issues. The demographic collapse of white European populations is real and it’s been happening for a long time. The official figures for fertility rates in western countries understate the scale of the problem because those figures are artificially inflated by the very high fertility of immigrant populations in those countries. The problem is a critical one. We need sensible ideas for addressing this problem. The big worry is that the demographic collapse may already be irreversible. We don’t know, because we’re the first society in history to try to commit suicide by failing to reproduce.

If we can’t articulate a strategy for reversing this demographic suicide then we leave ourselves open to the specious arguments of immigration boosters that western countries cannot survive without mass immigration. We also need to be able to counter the argument that an ageing population will be a disaster.

We also must find a counter to the argument that without immigration GDP would stop growing and the sky would fall.

There’s a fair amount of anti-immigration sentiment out there but it’s hopelessly disorganised and diffuse and incoherent. We need to take a position on the issue that is focused, consistent and well-reasoned.