Sunday, August 11, 2019

national goals

People need to have some sort of purpose to their lives. Nations need a sense of purpose as well. That sense of purpose can come from religion or from a political ideology. But it can come from something more straightforward.

I‘ll use Australia as an example. The Second World War, in an indirect way, provided Australia with a sense of national purpose. Australia found itself at war with Japan and Australians felt themselves to be in mortal danger. For a country with a small population the problems were particularly acute. It was not an actual lack of military manpower that was the problem. The problem was in providing the troops with the means to resist an enemy. Specifically the problem was modern weaponry like tanks and fighter aircraft which could not be obtained from allies like Britain and the U.S. because those countries were intent on building up their own strength. Australia was forced to design and build its own tanks and fighters. This was done but there were problems. Australia simply did not have aero engines suitable for modern fighters.

Australia drew certain lessons from this. If we were to be able to defend ourselves we needed a large modern industrial base. That would require a larger population, hence the aggressive drive to attract immigrants from Britain and southern Europe. A larger population would not however be enough. The government would have to take steps to ensure that the necessary industrial base was developed. The objective as to achieve a measure of self-sufficiency. Australia should have a manufacturing sector capable of producing the complex products needed in the modern world. This would include military aircraft (built under licence) but also consumer goods such as washing machines, refrigerators, cars and light aircraft. A manufacturing sector capable of producing such products would be the basis, in time of crisis, for the production of the weapons needed to defend the country.

On strictly economic grounds it made little sense. We could import all that stuff much more cheaply than we could manufacture it. If the only goal was to become rich it was probably not the best way to go about it. But becoming rich was not the only goal.

Of course there were other considerations. Manufacturing provided good well-paid jobs. Full employment was considered to be important. Even the conservative parties thought that full employment and decent wages were good things. Money was a fine thing and profits were a good thing but government was about more than money and profits.

Turning Australia into a modern relatively self-sufficient nation with a strong manufacturing sector and high-tech capabilities, rather than a nation dependent on exports of primary produce, became a national goal of sorts. It was at least something.

Then in the 70s and 80s we turned out back on such goals. We began to dismantle our manufacturing sector. We could get rich by digging stuff out of the ground and selling it, Self-sufficiency was old-fashioned. Greed was much more modern and up-to-date. Who needs national goals?

Maybe we did become rich. I’m not convinced. We’re supposedly a rich nation but in the 60s most Australians could afford to buy a house and today they can't. And maybe when you give up on having national goals you give up something that matters. And you’re not a real nation any longer.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

They Live (1988) - movie review

John Carpenter’s They Live came out in 1988 and it’s an odd mixture of political satire, action movie, paranoia movie and 1950-style monster movie. It’s also surprisingly interesting from a political point of view.

We start with Nada, an ordinary working class guy desperate to get a job. He finds a place to live, in a shanty town in Los Angeles. There’s a very strong sense of unease. We get the feeling that this is not quite our world. There’s an incredible gulf between rich and poor. There’s massive unemployment and poverty and there’s homelessness on an enormous scale. The police behave more like an occupying army than a police force.

TV is everywhere. Even in the shanty town there are TV sets. TV programs focus on the lifestyles of the rich and on conspicuous and extravagant consumption. The shanty town dwellers have nothing but they watch TV shows about people who have everything.

Something is wrong. People know that something has gone wrong but they have no idea what it is. The unease gradually changes to outright menace. The church across the road from the shanty town is raided by the police who start shooting people and then demolish the shanty town. The police have lots of helicopters. They watch everything.

Nada is puzzled that the church across the road is hosting choir practice at 4 o’clock in the morning. He takes a look around. lt turns out that there’s no choir practice going on - that’s just a tape that’s playing. He finds a hidden compartment behind a wall, filled with boxes. He’s  no thief but his curiosity is not going to let him leave without taking one of the boxes with them. He’s disappointed to find that it contains nothing but sunglasses. Then he puts one of the pairs of sunglasses on and everything changes for him. They’re not ordinary sunglasses. They allow the wearer to see reality. What everyone is seeing is not reality but a kind of hypnotically induced dream state. Reality is very different.

The advertising posters don’t actually advertise anything. They carry messages and the messages are relentless - obey, consume, keep sleeping, conform. Even worse, the people of L.A. aren’t all humans. Many are monsters, clearly aliens. The rich people are mostly aliens. The poor people are all humans. Earth has been occupied by invaders from outer space. Their intention does not appear to be to massacre us but to exploit us for profit.

The influence of the classic 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, another movie with interesting political subtexts, is obvious.

Nada and Frank intend to fight back. They find a resistance group but the aliens know all about it.

The movie was intended as a response to the 80s in general and to Reagan’s economic policies in particular. Despite this it’s a movie that doesn’t seem dated. It’s possibly more relevant today than it was in 1988. As Carpenter puts it in the accompanying interview, in many ways the 80s never ended. Consumerism and social control are arguably much bigger problems today than in 1988. The aliens obviously represent the ruling class, interested in ordinary people solely as a source of profit. There’s nothing subtle about the satire here. It’s delivered with a sledge hammer.

This is very much a left-wing movie. This is not a movie that can be given a left-wing interpretation. It absolutely nails its colours to the mast. It is overtly and defiantly left-wing. What’s incredibly interesting is that it is also in every way a very socially conservative movie, and a very old-fashioned movie. Even more interestingly for a movie made in 1988 it doesn’t look back to the 60s as a golden age - it actually looks back to the 40s and 50s, and even earlier to the New Deal era.

As is made clear in the 2013 interview with Carpenter included in the DVD he made a deliberate and conscious choice to tell the story from the point of view of the working class, and to have a hero who is very much working class. This is extremely important since this makes They Live left-wing in the Old Left sense rather than the New Left sense. It was made at a time when the organised Left in the U.S. (and in the Anglosphere as a whole) was already losing interest in class and economic issues and beginning to embrace identity politics and social rather than economic radicalism. Whether Carpenter consciously identified with the Old Left or not (and his expressed admiration for New Deal socialism suggests that he was at least unconsciously taking this stance) this is pure Old Left stuff.

The hero is a white heterosexual working class man. His buddy Frank (who becomes his indispensable ally and partner in resisting the aliens) is a black heterosexual working class man with a wife and children. This is also significant. To the extent that this movie addresses the issue of race it is colour-blind (which was the completely orthodox view but is now apparently considered to be politically incorrect). What matters about Frank is that he is a normal heterosexual working class guy with a family.

This is a very heterosexual movie. A modern SJW would undoubtedly condemn it as being outrageously heteronormative. Everybody in the movie is heterosexual. It is simply taken for granted.

It’s also interesting that the two protagonists are old-fashioned gentlemen. They treat women with respect. When Nada meets Holly, despite the circumstances (he has to kidnap her at gunpoint) he still behaves like a gentleman. He doesn't try to take any sexual advantage of the situation and he doesn’t physically harm her in any way. He’s the kind of guy who is interested in marriage rather than casual sex.

This is a movie that attacks consumerism and free-market capitalism from a very left-wing perspective but while the movie is leftist in an economic sense it’s culturally very very conservative. The two heroes just want to get decent jobs that pay enough to let them get married and raise families. They want to live essentially 1950 lifestyles. That’s their idea of the American Dream, and the movie clearly approves of their aspirations. It’s rather depressing that such an overtly left-wing movie with such a clear-cut social conservative message could not be made today.

It’s very much worth a look.

Monday, July 22, 2019

China in Disintegration (book review)

James E. Sheridan’s China in Disintegration (originally published in 1975) covers the fascinating but fiendishly complex republican period of Chinese history, from the Revolution which overthrew the Manchu dynasty in 1911 to the final victory of the Communists in the Civil War in 1949.

The republican period cannot be understood without taking a brief glimpse of the catastrophic history of China in the 19th century. The treatment of China by the western powers, particularly the British, was truly appalling (the Opium Wars are among the most shameful chapters in all of British history and it’s surprising that the Chinese do not hate the British more than they do). It seemed likely that it would end with China being entirely dismembered and looted. This put the Chinese in a very difficult position - it seemed that they would have to westernise in order to survive but westernisation might well have meant the end of Chinese civilisation anyway.

It’s the dilemma that has faced every civilisation when confronted by the West - either surrender to westernisation or face destruction.

All of which explains why the successful Revolution of 1911 marked the beginning of revolution rather than the endpoint. Anti-imperialism continued to fuel revolutionary impulses while the country was hopelessly fragmented and in a state of near-anarchy. There was no way that the Manchus could simply be overthrown and replaced by a western parliamentary democracy. Firstly the country was going to have to be re-unified. By 1916 China had been carved up into semi-independent warlord states with no effective central government.

Secondly the country was going to have to be strengthened to the point where it could defend itself against the encroachments of imperialist powers. That would require industrialisation. How that industrialisation was going to be handled was open to debate.

Civil war was more or less continuous from 1911 to 1949, complicated greatly by Japanese invasion in the 30s. The conflict that really counted was the one between the Kuomintang (or Nationalist Party) and the Chinese Communist Party. The Kuomintang had many advantages but they were a sort of broad tent revolutionary party divided into leftist, centrist and rightist factions. The big problem for the Communists was that classical Marxist thought considered the peasants to be either an irrelevance or a hindrance to a revolution. China however was a peasant society. The genius of the Chinese Communist Party is that it was able to turn itself into a party of the peasants.

The Kuomintang on the other hand remained essentially a party of the urban middle class, its only interest in the peasants being in squeezing taxes out of them. The Kuomintang was fairly corrupt and generally incompetent and Chiang Kai-shek was increasingly dictatorial so despite holding a very strong hand the Kuomintang played that hand so badly that they managed to lose.

Sheridan is certainly sympathetic to the Communists but he still manages to give us a fascinating account of a bewildering but important period in the history of a great nation. Highly recommended.

Monday, July 15, 2019

ideologies and human nature

One’s political ideology seems to a large extent to reflect one’s views of human nature. Which I guess is logical.

Libertarians believe that people are naturally virtuous, hard-working, thrifty and responsible. It’s only the evil of government and rules and regulations that corrupt people. Get rid of governments and rules and everyone will become a rugged individualist. When reality tells them that this just isn’t so they simply ignore reality.

Liberals believe that people are naturally virtuous, hard-working, thrifty and responsible. It’s only oppressive structures like religion and patriarchy and institutional racism/sexism/homophobia that make people wicked. Get rid of those oppressive structures and everyone will be free and happy as autonomous individuals. When reality tells them that this just isn’t so they get angry and start blaming Nazis or racists or sexists. Then they introduce lots of laws to force people to be free and happy as autonomous individuals.

Conservatives believe that everyone has the ability to be a billionaire and that this will happen if only they can keep cutting taxes on billionaires.

Alt-rightists believe that all white people are naturally virtuous, hard-working, thrifty and responsible but it doesn’t work in practice because of the Jews and/or the blacks.

Traditionalists believe that people are naturally weak, vicious, selfish and self-destructive but that religion will make them reasonably happy and well-behaved.

Socialists (not modern fake leftists but actual socialists) believe that people are naturally weak, vicious, selfish and self-destructive but that the state can make them reasonably happy and well-behaved.

On the whole I think traditionalists and socialists are more grounded in reality.

Friday, July 12, 2019

grassroots vs elites in political parties

In a comment to my post a different kind of populist revolt? James mentioned Momentum, which raises some more interesting issues.

I’d been talking about the way left-wing political parties had been transformed from economically leftist/socially rightist parties into economically rightist/socially leftist parties. Momentum appears to be, to some extent, a grassroots revolt against this. The fact is that the rank-and-file members of left-wing parties like the British Labour Party were totally opposed to the transformation of their party. It was imposed on them by the party elites. Now there seems to be some pushback.

My own hope has been for the emergence of a leftist populism that would be a return to economically leftist/socially rightist policies. Momentum certainly seems to aim to push Labour in an economically leftist direction. Unfortunately they don’t seem inclined to abandon the incredibly destructive socially leftist policies, but it is at least a vaguely hopeful sign that rank-and-file party members are tired of having policies imposed on them by out-of-touch party elites. And if it leads to the purging of the Blairite elements in the party then it’s definitely a good thing.

Are there any signs of similar grassroots revolts elsewhere? I suppose the Bernie Sanders challenge in 2016 could be seen as an example, although unfortunately an unsuccessful one.

Depressingly there’s not much sign of such things in the Australian Labor Party.

What’s really interesting is that the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in British Labour was facilitated by a change in rules to give rank-and-file members the decisive say in choosing party leaders. Similar rules changes have been implemented in the Australian Labor Party. The idea behind the rules changes was to make leadership challenges much more difficult. Leaders can no longer be dumped by party-room coups organised by faceless men in smoke-filled rooms. The fact that rank-and-file members might actually choose a leader that the party elites violently disapproved of was one of those unintended consequences that make life interesting.

I don’t want to give the impression that I think Momentum is entirely a wonderful thing, they have some crazy ideas, but perhaps it’s at least a slightly hopeful sign that ordinary party members are prepared to fight back.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

a different kind of populist revolt?

There’s been a lot of excitement about the idea of a supposedly rising tide of populism, which has been greeted with either hope or trepidation depending on one’s perspective. The election of Trump, the Brexit referendum and the Italian election result have all been seen as manifestations of this tide of populism.

There may be another populist revolt brewing in Britain but it’s a different kind of populism. I refer to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn to leadership of the Labour Party. This presents some of the same problems as the rise of Trump - it’s not easy to be sure exactly what Corbyn actually represents. He does seem to have some actual old-fashioned economic leftist notions (which are the potentially populist elements) but they’re overlaid with a great deal of globalist/social justice boilerplate (these elements being vehemently anti-populist). It’s very hard to predict which way Corbyn might go as prime minister.

The only thing that does seem fairly certain is that he’s unlikely to be as enthusiastic about unhesitatingly supporting America imperial adventures in the Middle East and elsewhere. His aversion to war does seem to be pretty genuine, as does his aversion to imperialism.

While Trump, Brexit and the Italian election are usually interpreted as right-wing populism Corbyn represents the possibility of left-wing populism. I’ve thought for quite a while now that left-wing populism has a better chance of long-term success, and a better chance of achieving worthwhile results, than the right-wing variety. Now I must admit that Corbyn is not exactly the kind of left-wing populist I was hoping for. But the possibility of any kind of left-wing populism is at least encouraging.

So what exactly makes Jeremy Corbyn a potential populist? Firstly there’s the fact that his election as Labour leader represented a major grass-roots revolt against the Blairites who had thought that they had permanently transformed Labour into an economically right-wing party with a veneer of cultural leftism. Corbyn’s elevation to the leadership was a savage blow to the Blairites.

It was also a challenge to the political status quo in which Labour and the Tories are more or less identical parties which alternate in government.

As far as foreign policy is concerned it’s a challenge to the United States which has for seventy years assumed that Britain will remain an obedient vassal state. The U.S. Secretary of State has already hinted that the U.S. will interfere in the British elections to prevent the election of Corbyn, and will move to overthrow Corbyn if he is elected.

What is most significant about Corbyn is that whether or not he proves to be a complete failure in practice (as Trump has been) he has badly frightened the whole British political/media establishment and they are determined to destroy him.

You can tell a lot about a man by looking at his enemies. Jeremy Corbyn at least has all the right enemies.

Friday, July 5, 2019

people care about the future, but they don’t care very much

All of the social engineering experiments that have changed western societies so profoundly since the Second World War have been implemented against the wishes of the  populations of those societies. Those who disapprove of these changes are constantly asking the same questions - when are people going to get fed up with these changes? When are people finally going to take a stand against mass immigration, against cultural degeneracy, against the normalisation of perversion, against the excesses of feminism, against the insanity of endlessly multiplying genders?

The problem is that when these social experiments were first put in train the majority of the population opposed them, but they were not sufficiently opposed to take any active steps. As the social experiments accelerated out of control the majority of the population was still opposed to them, but still not sufficiently opposed to consider any active steps.

The sad truth is that people in western countries care about the future of their countries, but they don’t care very much.

At various times opportunities have existed for voters to take active steps. In countries such as Britain and Australia for example there have been hardline anti-immigration parties. Very few people have actually voted for them. It is interesting to speculate as to the reasons for this. One reason of course is that such parties are not quite respectable. Given that Britain and Australia have secret ballots it’s not a terribly convincing reason.

My theory is that even though most people did not want immigration it was not a major issue. They were more interested in bread-and-butter issues. They were more interested in voting for the party that would put more money into their pockets right now. They cared about the future of their nations, but they didn’t care enough to vote for parties that promised to end immigration.

I suspect it’s the same with all the issues I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Most people would have been on the side of social conservatism, most people would have preferred to be spared the inanities and the depravities of social radicalism, but they weren’t motivated to do anything about it.

As we have now reached the point where there’s not a great deal left to save it hardly matters whether the majority of the population approves or disapproves. When there was still a chance to do something people chose to put short-term interests and personal greed ahead of concern for the future of society. And that’s still the choice that most people will make.

It may be an effect of the faith in democracy. It may be the result of affluence, or consumerism, or perhaps just in general getting things too easy. And so we slowly drift towards perdition and we don’t really care.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

left is left and right is right, or maybe not

I can still, dimly, remember when Australian politics was pretty simple. On one side was the Liberal-Country Party Coalition, generally referred to simply as the Coalition. They were right-wing on economic issues and conservative on social and cultural issues. On the other side was the Australian Labor Party. They were left-wing on economic issues and conservative on social and cultural issues.

In fact in those days it would never have occurred to most people that there was any need to classify political beliefs in any other way than a simple left-right continuum. The Coalition was therefore right-wing (but not too extreme) and Labor was left-wing (but not too extreme). Everybody had the same views on social and cultural issues.

John Gorton, Australia's first socially left PM
That all changed in the late 60s. In Australia at least it happened in the late 60s. The situation seems to have changed at roughly the same time throughout the Anglosphere. The Labor Party started to espouse radical social and cultural ideas. The started moving leftwards on those issues. At the time no-one would have thought of it in exactly these terms because the idea of being socially/culturally left hardly even existed. But by the time Labor under Whitlam finally regained power at the federal level in 1972, after 23 years in opposition,   it was starting to become pretty obvious that there was a left-right continuum on social and cultural matters and that Labor was moving leftwards.

During the brief life of the Whitlam Government most grassroots Labor supporters were still economic left/social right. The leadership of the party was divided, with old school Labor figures being focused on left-wing economic agendas while the new breed increasingly focused on radical social causes whilst still being left-wing on economic issues.

What’s really interesting is that at about the same time the Coalition started moving leftward on social/cultural issues as well. The Gorton Coalition Government of 1968-71 was, by the standards of the times, quite left-wing on social and cultural issues.

By the late 70s Labor had become economic left/social left and the Coalition was economic right/social left.

Then came the 80s and strange things happened to the Labor Party. During the ascendancy of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating Labor shifted dramatically rightwards on economic issues (in fact they were further right than the coalition for a while).That shift has never been reversed.

Labor today is solidly in the economic right/social left camp. The Coalition is also solidly in the economic right/social left camp. The parties are effectively interchangeable, which explains the volatility of Australian politics in this era. Voters know that whichever side they vote for nothing changes and they’re understandably disillusioned. That’s also pretty much the situation in other Anglosphere countries. In Britain the Conservative Party is hard-right on economics and hard-left on social issues. It’s indistinguishable from the Blairite wing of the Labour Party. The Corbynite wing of Labour makes some noises about actual economic left issues but whether they would pursue such policies in office is another matter. In any case it seems unlikely that the Americans would allow Jeremy Corbyn to become PM.

Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, destroyer of the traditional Labor Party 
In the U.S. the Democrats are hard-right on economics and hard-left on social issues. The Republicans are hard-right on economics and simply don’t care about social issues.

What’s important about all this is that there are two significant constituencies that are entirely ignored by mainstream politics. One of these is the Old School conservative constituency, the people who are right-wing on both economic and social issues. These people simply have no representation. Some, a tiny handful, drift into areas like the alt-right (in Australia they might be One Nation supporters). As far as mainstream politics and the media are concerned these people are Nazis.

The other ignored constituency is the Old School Left - the ones who are left on economic issues but right-wing on social/cultural issues. As far as mainstream politics and the media are concerned these people don’t even exist. They cannot exist. They are the political establishment’s worst nightmare. They are Woke Capital’s worst nightmare. They are powerless because they have no leaders. If they ever find leaders then everything is up for grabs. The whole political landscape will be reshaped.

What’s also interesting is that some of the more intelligent people in the alt-right and dissident right subcultures are starting to have doubts about that whole being right-wing on economic issues thing. They’re starting to think that maybe the free market isn’t powerful magic after all, that maybe GDP growth doesn’t mean very much, that maybe GDP growth is pretty worthless if ordinary people can’t afford to buy a house and raise a family even though back in the 1960s ordinary people could afford to do both those things. It’s only a very small number of alt-right and dissident right people who are having such doubts, but the ones having the doubts tend to be the ones with the brains.

So the future is interesting, with large groups of people effectively completely disenfranchised and either ignored or reviled. It’s a potentially unstable situation. All it needs is someone with the imagination and the ability to light the fuse.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

the power of wishful thinking

There is nothing quite so powerful and so seductive as the power of wishful thinking. It explains a great deal of what has gone wrong with society.

Conservative-leaning voters are a monument to the power of wishful thinking. No matter how many times parties like the Republican Party, the British Conservative Party and the LNP in Australia betray their supporters those supporters continue to believe that next time it will be different. The next Republican candidate won't betray them. The next Tory PM won’t betray them. This time it will be different. This time Lucy won’t pull the football away at the last moment. She promised she wouldn’t.

Left-leaning voters suffer from wishful thinking as well. Despite the abundant evidence that the official leftist parties sold out to big business decades ago these voters still convince themselves that next time it will be different, next time these parties will do something for the working class.

Associated with wishful thinking is magical thinking. You know the sort of thing. If only we can get a few more conservatives on the Supreme Court everything will be fine. Even though conservatives who get appointed to the Supreme Court usually turn out to be liberals. There’s also the belief in Britain that somehow Brexit will make everything OK again. Which ignores the fact that Britain’s most dangerous enemies have been in Whitehall rather than Brussels.

One interesting piece of wishful thinking that I’ve noticed on dissident right sites is the idea that America is going to break up, quite peacefully, and that’s going to permit the formation of a white ethnostate. It kinda ignores the fact that the last attempt to break up the country lead to a bloodbath. But most of all it ignores the fact that white solidarity is a pipe-dream. Rich whites hate and despise and fear poor whites. Poor whites hate and despise and fear rich whites. Liberal whites hate conservative whites. Conservative whites hare liberal whites. There ain’t never gonna be a white ethnostate. White people hate other white people more than they hate anyone else.

At times it seems like wishful thinking is the only alternative to despair, but they’re both equally dangerous.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

hurrah for freedom, whatever that means

I’ve always been a bit puzzled by this freedom thing. I’ve been even more puzzled since I started spending time on right-wing internet sites. Right-wingers get very excited by freedom (in much the same way that people who identify as left-wing get terribly excited by the idea of rights).

I get even more confused when I hear about freedom and democracy, because I cannot see what democracy has to do with freedom. OK, so we get to choose which government will oppress and misgovern us. And whichever government we get will almost certainly oppress and misgovern us in pretty much the same way. In fact whichever party wins the election it seems that the people actually pulling the strings don’t change. So I can’t see exactly how voting makes us free.

I was intrigued on a recent thread over at Unz Review to hear several people make the claim, based on personal experience, that growing up under communist regimes they felt more free than they feel today. They also felt that the communist government had been more responsive to people’s needs.

So is the freedom we supposedly enjoy in our liberal democracies actual freedom or is it an illusion? And is it better to have the right to vote in meaningless elections, for governments that actively hate the people they govern, or to have a government that at least puts the future of its own people first?

Is it possible that regimes that seem to be, on superficial examination, authoritarian in nature actually offer their people more freedom than regimes that loudly trumpet their commitment to democracy?

We might also ask whether, when wars are launched to bring the benefits of freedom and democracy to nations that have shown no interest in such things, we are actually making these people more free or less free? Are we giving people freedom in theory but does it turn out in practice to be a mirage?

Is our freedom merely a new type of tyranny?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

SJWs and the spooks

While I firmly believe that Woke Capital has been the source of a huge amount of the SJW madness that has afflicted the West over the past half century (see my previous post Woke Capital and the Fake Left) it is also perhaps just possible that more sinister forces have been at work.

Now I’m very very wary of conspiracy theories. Most of them don’t really seem to make sense to me and it worries me that once you go down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole there’s no way back. On the other hand, while most conspiracy theories are undoubtedly wrong that doesn’t mean that actual conspiracies don’t take place. A cursory glance at history shows that conspiracies have been quite common. Kings have been overthrown, regimes have been toppled, revolutions have been made - and in most cases such things could hardly have happened had there not been people conspiring to bring them about.

I’m quite fond of Ron Unz’s idea that agencies like the C.I.A. might well be promoting lots of wacky conspiracy theories in order to discredit the idea that real conspiracies exist. It would be a good way to distract people’s attentions away from the handful of genuine conspiracies.

Be that as it may there’s an interesting recent Steve Sailer post at Unz Review, The Great Awokening Conspiracy Theory, and one commenter makes the suggestion that some of the murkier American intelligence agencies might have started deliberately pushing the SJW hysteria as a way of neutering the Occupy Wall Street movement a few years back. It does seem vaguely possible. It also seems to me to be vaguely plausible that such American intelligence agencies may have been stoking the fires of SJW outrage for years. The whole Social Justice thing is such an incredibly useful distraction from the point of view of so many powerful groups.

I’m not going to put this forward as a serious theory, I’m not yet ready to join the tinfoil hat brigade, but still it is something to think about.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Woke Capital and the Fake Left

One of the great mysteries of the past half-century has been the enthusiastic support that the business sector has given to the destruction of the family, the destruction of Christianity and the undermining of all traditional values. The rise of Woke Capital, corporations that support every lunatic manifestation of identity politics and every sort of social and cultural decadence, has bewildered social conservatives.

In fact of course there is absolutely no mystery at all. In the immediate postwar period the Left seemed to be a very real threat. The Soviet Union appeared to be well on the way to becoming an economic and technological as well as a military superpower. Labour was in power in Britain. They were not only introducing the National Health Service but were showing a definite interest in nationalising key industries. The Labor Government in Australia and left-leaning governments in various countries were thinking along similar lines. Europe was starting to move towards a kind of Socialism Lite. Trade union movements in most western countries were powerful and active.

The Left seemed to be in the ascendant. Revolution seemed unlikely but on the other hand a gradual drift towards socialism seemed very possible. Truly ghastly possibilities seemed to be on the horizon, things like an actual redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, nationalisation of the banks and other horrors.

How could all this be prevented? The solution was simple but daring. Rather than try to destroy the Left why not just hijack it? And thus, beginning in the late 60s, we got the New Left. The New Left was well-funded and was new and exciting. But the best thing about it was that it wasn’t left-wing at all. The New Left just loved capitalism. The New Left wasn’t interested in tedious economic stuff. They didn’t care about boring stuff like the working class. They were fighting against racism! And sexism. And for sexual liberation. And homosexual liberation. And legalised drugs. And legalised porn. Their struggle was for liberation. Liberation is a good thing isn’t it? And they would save the planet as well.

It was all so exciting that nobody noticed that the New Left had in fact abandoned leftism in favour of radical right-wing liberalism.

Also nobody worried that maybe destroying the trade unions might not be a great idea. Unions were boring Old Left ideas. The struggle against racism and sexism was much more exciting.

This has all been very very good for Big Business. They no longer have to worry about the Left. They no longer have to worry about being held to account for their massive profits, or for driving down wages, or for wanting to import cheap labour. They no longer have to worry that people might notice that free markets are pretty much a fraud and that monopolies seem to be ever more common. The Left (or rather the Fake Left) is too busy searching for Nazis under the bed and campaigning for the right of men wearing frocks to use the ladies’ room.

Being Woke is very very good for big business. Today all of Big Business is Woke, and a large part of small business is Woke as well (being Woke allows small business to get away with paying starvation wages to illegal immigrants).

There are of course other bonuses. Destroying the traditional family is a good thing because without families people become better consumers.

Woke Capital is not going to go away. And they’re going to push the Woke agenda harder and harder because as long as Woke causes are occupying our attention nobody is raising any awkward economic questions. Capital is going to become ever more Woke, and ever more militantly Woke.

the irrational goes mainstream

One of the more amusing features of the current era has been the emergence of witches as leaders of the “resistance” against Trump. Don’t laugh, these witches are not just resisting Trump they’re also putting hexes on the patriarchy and (of course) on Nazis. The New York Times is quite excited by all this.

In fact this kind of nuttiness has been with us for a long time. Superficially it seemed like the most crazy manifestations of the 60s/70s counterculture (astrology, witchcraft, silly eastern cults, psychoanalytic claptrap) were more or less swamped by the materialism, the hedonism and the naked greed of the 80s. But that’s not actually what happened. The really crazy stuff didn't disappear. It infiltrated the mainstream. The craziness, the degeneracy, the toxic feminism, the homosexual agenda, the belief in occultism and psychic nonsense – all the seriously bad ideas of the counterculture became part of the mainstream.

The 1960s/70s counterculture did not disappear. It became the mainstream. What passes for respectable conservative mainstream culture today would have shocked and sickened ordinary people in the 1950s.

And the infiltration of diseased and depraved ideas into the mainstream has never stopped and it is continuing today.

The craziness became less obvious and less flamboyant compared to the 70s but when you scratch beneath the surface you’ll find that apparently perfectly normal people believe things that would have been considered insane prior to the 1960s. What was once  fringe is now firmly mainstream.

And as for the conservative backlash, it never happened and it doesn’t look like happening. The 80s did not represent a conservative backlash – it was simply crass materialism, hedonism and consumerism turned into a cult. There was no actual reversal of the follies of the 60s and 70s.

And included in this package of bad ideas and silly beliefs that have been mainstreamed are some seriously irrational beliefs. There is of course the very firm belief that feelings are more important than facts. But it goes way beyond that. Magical thinking is well entrenched in our society, particularly in the lunatic fringe of the feminist movement. Of course feminists in the 70s believed in all sorts of quasi-spiritual absolute nonsense like homeopathy, energy fields, magical female energies, etc. And the craziness imbedded itself in society. Not everybody believes such silliness but a disturbing number of people do. The widespread belief in conspiracy theories (unfortunately perhaps even more prevalent among right-wingers) is another symptom of the fundamentally irrational nature of our society.

The feminist witch thing is so loopy that it is tempting to think that such absurdities can simply be laughed off, but it’s simply a particularly extravagant manifestation of a widespread cult of unreason which afflicts the whole of our society (and is found in slightly different forms among both conservatives and liberals).

The 70s wasn’t just a phase our society was going through. It marked a permanent change, an irreversible turn towards irrationality and emotion, from which we may not recover (barring some ind of cataclysm).

Saturday, June 1, 2019

all political ideologies are substitute religions

People on the right are fond of describing liberalism, and also Marxism, as secular religions.

In fact all political ideologies, whether of the left or the right, are substitute religions. That includes nationalism and HBD, and blank slatism, and libertarianism.

The growth of political ideology in the West precisely coincided with the collapse of Christianity. When Christianity collapsed people started looking for alternative religions – Marxism, nationalism, fascism, environmentalism, liberalism, IQ fetishism, feminism, libertarianism, etc.

For many people both science and atheism became alternative religions, which explains the religious zeal and bigotry of atheists, evolutionists, global warming cultists, etc.

It’s important to note that whether scientific theories are true or not becomes irrelevant once they are turned into substitute religions, as has happened with evolution, HBD and climate science. Some of these scientific notions may be true. That’s not the point. Once they become substitute religions their truth or falsehood no longer matters. Most adherents of these substitute religions have no idea if the original scientific notions were complete nonsense or whether they were plausible scientific theories.

The same applies to the political ideologies. Some may have a certain degree of validity. But they become secular religions and from that point on they are not questioned.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

European Parliament elections

I wish I could share the enthusiasm of so many on the Right over the European Parliament elections, especially the British vote.  On TV tonight a well-known conservative pundit was talking about Nigel Farage’s overwhelming victory.

My problem is the I can’t see that overwhelming victory. Farage’s Brexit Party apparently got around 30% of the vote. The hardline pro-Brexit parties between them mustered around 35%. The hardline Remain parties apparently mustered around 40% of the vote. How one should interpret the votes of those who voted Labour, or the handful who voted Tory, is a matter for debate. If someone actually wanted Brexit to go ahead it’s difficult to understand how they could possibly vote for the Tories.

And I believe the turnout was around 37% (these figures are from various new report so I have no idea if they’re absolutely accurate). If true, that’s pretty low. It also means that about one in seven of those eligible to vote bothered to turn up to vote for the hardline pro-Brexit parties. What’s especially disappointing is that this is an entirely pointless election for an entirely pointless institution. Which means people can feel free to vote any way they choose. They can feel free to lodge a protest vote. And this was, in Britain, a single-issue election. This was the first opportunity since the referendum for an absolutely clear-cut message to be sent, but whatever the message to be taken from this election might be it sure isn’t clear-cut.

Once again the massive groundswell of public opinion that right-wingers like to imagine is going to make its appearance at any moment and sweep away globalism and the social justice agenda seems to have failed to materialise.

To me the European Parliament election results look worryingly inconclusive. I suspect they are going to fuel the ever-growing push for a second referendum. Could Leave win a second referendum? Your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

renaming cultural marxism

On a recent thread elsewhere a commenter made an interesting point. Given that cultural marxism is funded by, and promoted by, corporate interests shouldn't we call it cultural capitalism rather than cultural marxism?

I’m inclined to agree and I must admit that I rather like the term cultural capitalism.

Monday, May 20, 2019

active and passive politics

Democracy is like television. It encourages passivity. It encourages people to believe that they can change things by voting. The big problem is that it encourages them to believe that that is all they have to do. People think they’re actively participating in politics if they tun up to the polling station once every few years and cast their vote for Party X rather than Party Y.

Brexit is a fine example. Lots of people in Britain actually thought that if they voted for Brexit in a referendum then it would happen. Amazingly it never occurred to them that if the overwhelming majority of the Establishment was rabidly anti-Brexit that Establishment would regard the “will of the people” with utter contempt. In fact the British elites have been treating the will of the people with contempt for a couple of centuries but Britons still cling tenaciously to the illusion that they have a democracy and that their opinions will be listened to and respected. It doesn’t occur to them that maybe just voting every few years isn’t enough.

Trump is another excellent example. Lots of Americans believe that they did everything they could to change the disastrous course their society had taken because they voted for Trump. And what do they intend to do now that Trump has betrayed them? They’ll vote for him again. It will be different this time. This time Lucy won’t snatch the football away at the last moment.

This is passive politics. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t achieve anything.

The Cultural Revolution that has torn the heart out of our civilisation was not achieved by practising passive politics. And, something that cannot be emphasised too strongly, it was not achieved through the ballot box.

It was achieved by wealthy corporations spending immense amounts of money to make it happen. It was achieved by assembling an army of loyal foot soldiers (the Social Justice Warriors) who would devote their entire lives to the cause. They were able to work full time in the cause of the Cultural Revolution because those who were pulling the strings ensured that they could do so. It was an amy of full-time political activists. SJWs are not amateur activists. They are paid professionals. Some are simply paid agitators. Others have been given jobs in academia, the media or the bureaucracy. These jobs allowed them to work full time as cultural revolutionaries. Creating a Cultural Revolution requires immense resources. Those resources were duly provided.

And SJWs are for the most part fiercely loyal to the Cultural Revolution. They have to be. They have nothing else. They are people with no other marketable skills. They are completely dependent on the Cultural Revolution. Therefore they devote their whole lives to furthering the cause (in this respect they differ from old-fashioned communists who sometimes had some actual real-word skills).

SJWs practise active politics. They have little interest in elections. They have won battle after battle in the culture war and they have won all of the battles on the immigration front. They have not won any of these battles by voting. They set out instead to change the culture by taking over all of society’s cultural institutions. It is political total war.

What about those ordinary people who want to oppose the Cultural Revolution? People who are by nature social conservatives and do not want things like open borders? They express their opposition by voting. They think that by voting they can influence the way the country is governed. For the whole of the postwar period they have voted conscientiously in the belief that voting matters and their influence over events has been nil. Governments have simply ignored the will of the people. That’s what happens when you practise passive politics.

It’s not enough to vote. Unless you can force governments, once elected, to do what you want them to do they will ignore you. But these ordinary people do not have unlimited resources of time and money. They have real-world responsibilities. They have jobs and they have family responsibilities. But most of all they have been trained by democracy to practise passive politics.

Monday, May 13, 2019

population and employment in our glorious future

It’s pretty obvious that most of the pressure for open borders has come from the corporate sector, and that it’s been largely about cheap labour. Driving down wages and ensuring that the trade-union movement remains as weak as possible. The money behind the push for open borders has come from the corporate sector.

Now the world is changing rapidly. We’ve been hearing for decades that automation was going to eliminate jobs. Of course it has already done so in many industries but it’s likely that in the near future the impact of automation will be much much greater.

You might think that this would mean that the enthusiasm for mass immigration will begin to dissipate. If jobs disappear in huge numbers there’s surely no need for that cheap labour any longer. This is a misunderstanding. Automation is not really about eliminating jobs. It is about eliminating decent well-paid jobs. The objective is not to reduce the number of jobs but to have a docile non-unionised workforce willing to work for low wages and willing to accept miserable working conditions. Feminism of course was also promoted for similar reasons.

There will still be lots of jobs. We keep hearing about the need for more workers in service industries. We can also expect a return to the days when rich people had plenty of servants. Rich people like having servants. It makes them feel - rich. There is also going to be a need for an enormous pool of workers to care for the elderly. It’s not just the ageing of the population - it’s also the fact that the days when the elderly could or would be looked after by their families are long gone. In any case, in our Brave New World, families are pretty much as thing of the past.

There will be plenty of jobs, but they will be largely menial and soul-destroying, poorly paid and mostly done by women. There is still going to be a demand for cheap labour.

But there’s another factor to consider. The corporate sector wants cheap labour but they also want more consumers. Capitalism, or at least the type of capitalism that now dominates our world, requires an ever-increasing army of consumers to buy increasingly worthless products and to consume increasingly worthless services. The enthusiasm of big business for mass immigration is not going to diminish. In fact, in an economy in which so many jobs are going to be poorly paid, big business is going to want more and more consumers. It cannot be stressed too strongly that big business does not care if per capita wealth falls and keeps on falling as long as there is enough population growth to keep the economy as a whole growing. As far as they are concerned two hundred million people with relatively low material standards of living is a lot better than fifty million people with high standards of living.

And it goes without saying that big business could not care less about quality of life issues. as long as profits grow they are happy.

Bruce Charlton recently made another interesting point in relation to automation - that the point of automation is not to increase productivity but to increase the level of social control - Why is automation everywhere? Think Ahriman! This is a idea that had not occurred to me but it makes a lot of sense.

So if you’re imagining that while automation may be an evil it will at least have the positive effect of reducing the pressure for mass immigration you’d better think again.

Friday, May 10, 2019

technology and morality

I’ve just been reading Larry Niven’s very early science fiction novel A Gift from Earth. I’m not really familiar with his work and I’ve tended to avoid it since he has a reputation for having libertarian tendencies, and libertarian science fiction is something I avoid. This one does however have a few interesting ideas in it about both politics and morality.

One of Niven’s more disturbing ideas is that technology changes morality. It’s not an idea that I’m comfortable with but it has to be admitted that he argues his case pretty well. It should be said that he’s not necessarily arguing that technology changes morality for the better (A Gift from Earth is in fact a dystopian novel of sorts). He’s not necessarily arguing that it’s a good thing that technology changes morality. He simply argues that it happens. In the novel medical science has advanced to the point of being able to extend life for centuries but on the colonised world that provides the book’s setting that technology is dependent on the supply of human organs. Lots of human organs. Fresh ones. That demand is supplied in a disturbing way. Almost every crime carries the death sentence. The executed criminals supply the necessary organs for the organ banks.

The ethical dilemma in this case is that if you commit a crime it’s only right that you should die so that non-criminals can live. It’s not an idea that has been put into practice yet, although the harvesting of foetuses in abortion clinics does come perilously close (and could be considered to be in some ways worse since the victims are entirely innocent. Given the way the moral arc has been trending in the past half century it’s not entirely impossible that even the practice Niven describes might start to seem reasonable to some.

It’s a fairly crude example of technology changing ethics but the fact that it’s crude gives it an impact.

And in the real world we have seen examples of technology changing morality. The obvious example is the contraceptive pill. Whether we like it or not, whether we approve or not, the pill did change sexual ethics. It enabled sex to become a purely recreational activity, entirely divorced from emotion and from any kind of individual or social  responsibility or duty. It was a catastrophic change but there’s no question that as far as a very large percentage of the population is concerned that change did happen. It could also be argued that it laid the groundwork for the acceptance of abortion, easy divorce and homosexuality since the principle that sex is purely recreational had already been established.

Other changes in what might be called reproductive technology, things like surrogacy and other more horrifying changes, are going to have similarly dramatic effects on what constitutes accepted sexual morality. And of course the extraordinary and horrific boom in so-called gender re-assignment surgery are going to drive further changes.

Of course all of this applies only to societies that take an entirely materialistic and atheistic view of life. A religious society would be more likely to outlaw or very severely regulate such technologies. Unfortunately in the modern West we live in an entirely materialistic and atheistic society.

Niven, rather cleverly, does not try to preach. He lets the reader make up his own mind how to respond to the idea of capital punishment being linked with medical technology.

Niven is also surprisingly clear-sighted about politics. He understands that politics in practice is about power, and about lobby groups advancing their own group interests. Principles are no longer of any interest to modern politicians (if they ever were).

So it’s a novel that does raise some interesting issues in a fairly brutal manner.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The New Ideology

Things might be getting worse at the moment but at least they’re becoming clearer. It is obvious that a powerful New Ideology has emerged and it is firmly in the driver’s seat.

To try to understand this new ruling ideology is terms of left/right, liberal/conservative, socialist/capitalist is futile. To see things in terms of globalist/nationalist doesn’t really help all that much either. The New Ideology is all of these things, and none of them. The New Ideology does not yet have a name and that’s one of the problems.

It doesn’t have a name but at least we can see some of the main pillars that support the edifice. The first of these is Big Business. Big business has provided the funding and big business calls the shots. The most sacred principle of the New Ideology is that the interests of big business come first. This is not capitalism as most people have always understood the term.

The second pillar is Big Government. This is a logical consequence of the first pillar. Big government is a nightmare for small and medium sized businesses. Government regulations and government interference make it almost impossible for small and medium sized businesses to survive, but they have no effect on big business - big corporations simply hire an army of lawyers and accountants to deal with such problems. Small and medium sized businesses cannot afford to do this so they go under. This is not an unfortunate unintended side-effect - as far as big business is concerned this is one of the chief attractions of big government. Big business just loves big government.

But there is a minor potential problem. Big business needs big government. Big government does not need big business. The Soviet Union had big government without big business. So one of the mot crucial elements of the New Ideology is that government must be firmly under the control of big business. That sounds tricky but it isn’t. All you need to do is to buy the government. If you own the politicians and senior bureaucrats they do what you tell them to do.

The unholy alliance of big business and big government provides a complete monopoly of power, money and influence. It allows a degree of social control that Stalin could only dream about. And there’s no need for the government to establish an official Thought Police (which might be just a bit too blatant for comfort). Big business is only too happy to do the thought policing for them, through its control of both traditional media and social media.

This is the strictly economic side to the New Ideology, but there’s more to it than that. The third pillar of the New Ideology is hostility to religion. The fourth pillar is hostility to the family. It’s not difficult to understand these two pillars. Both religion and the family provide an alternative source of influence and power and an alternative focus of loyalty. Thus both must be destroyed. It is important to understand that while Christianity has been the main target for the past half century or so the intention is that all religions will be destroyed.

It is crucial to understand that none of this is Marxism. In fact it started as a defensive reaction against Marxism. It was motivated by fear of Marxism. The fear was that one day the control exercised by the rich and powerful might slip. If that happened then based on a study of historical precedents there was going to be a very high likelihood that a lot of rich people would be lined up against the wall and shot. It was considered necessary to ensure that this would never happen. The New Ideology is a kind of anti-Marxism.

Friday, May 3, 2019

social conservatism and small government

I’m obviously a social conservative but since I’m an agnostic I can’t base my social conservatism on religion. That would be hypocritical. I base my social conservatism on pure pragmatism.

What intrigues me is that mainstream conservatives seem to be blissfully unaware of the political consequences of social liberalism.

In the past half century or so we’ve seen a fascinating social experiment take place in the West - an attempt to create a society without sexual morality and without traditional sex roles. I think it’s pretty clear that the attempt has failed. Predictably it has led to social chaos, human misery and a collapse in birth rates. What we now have is a dying society - a society that cannot reproduce itself is pretty obviously a dying society. It’s become more and more a society of atomised individuals without purpose and without hope.

All this should be obvious but the exasperating thing is that mainstream conservatives just cannot see it. They continue to believe that a society is nothing more than economics. All we need to do is increase GDP and people will be happy. But GDP increases and people don’t get happier. All we need are more tax cuts and everything will be great. But taxes get cut and things don’t get better.

Human beings are social animals, not economic animals. People need more than money and consumer goods to make them happy. People need social connections and they need a purpose (other than greed). Feminism and sexual freedom destroy families. Without families people find that their lives are empty and meaningless.

But there’s another consequence that is usually overlooked. If the family is destroyed then the state must step in to take over its functions. This obviously results in a bigger stronger state. More big government.

Of course for most mainstream conservatives this is a feature, not a bug. Mainstream conservatives want what big business wants, and big business wants big government. So really they’re evil rather than stupid.

But what about the conservatives who claim that they are small government conservatives? They have shown no interest in promoting social conservatism so they have in effect contributed to the growth of big government. The logical conclusion would be that they’re stupid rather than evil. Or possibly they’re merely cowardly.

The libertarians are even more deluded. To the extent that libertarianism might be a workable proposition (which is I think extremely dubious) it could only ever work in a very socially conservative society with fairly rigid adherence to traditional sex roles.

The bottom line is that you can’t have small government without social conservatism. So-called conservatives who think they can be “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” are living in a dream world. So-called conservatives who think they can be in favour of small government without also being in favour of social conservatism are living in the same world of delusions.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

should we even bother to vote?

We’re having an election in Australia and I’m finding it pretty hard to care.

More and more it seems that voting is not merely futile but counter-productive. We all know that whichever way we vote it’s not going to make a difference. When we vote we’re like the gambler who knows the game is rigged but he plays anyway because it’s the only game in town. We know we can’t win but we can’t give up that illusion that maybe this time it will work. This time it will make a difference. This time we won’t get betrayed. But we get betrayed anyway.

The futility of voting is not the problem. We do lots of things that are futile. The problem with voting is that we’re not making a choice Party X and Party Y (which are both the same anyway). What we’re doing is casting a vote in favour of a corrupt system. What we’re doing is lending legitimacy to a system that has no actual legitimacy. It’s a system that was never intended to be anything other than an illusion, a way of making us think we had political power when in fact we don’t. When we vote we are in effect saying that we’re satisfied with the system. We’re happy to continue to live in a world of illusions.

We convince ourselves that by voting we can somehow change things for the better, even if only in an infinitesimally small way. But we are actually making things worse, no matter which way we vote.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

the great museum

As someone who admires tradition I was naturally saddened by the Notre Dame fire. What really saddened me most though was that it was like seeing a museum burn. A museum full of beautiful things, but beautiful dead things. Notre Dame is a symbol of a dead civilisation.

Had Notre Dame been destroyed during the Middle Ages it would not have been a disaster. A new cathedral would have been built to replace it. The faith that inspired men to build something that would take almost two centuries to complete still existed. Not just the religious faith, but the faith in the future, the faith in their own civilisation. Had it been destroyed in the 14th century it might well have been replaced by something even more impressive. The faith was there, and the skills and the aesthetic sensibility were there, to create masterpieces of religious art and architecture. All of that is gone now. We can create replicas of masterpieces. We can no longer create anything original of value.

It’s like looking at the Venus de Milo. It’s beautiful but it’s a product of a dead civilisation. We could, and we do, make copies of such statues. But no-one today could create such a statue. We just don’t look at the world the way the classical Greeks did. We cannot truly get inside their heads. Just as we cannot truly get inside the heads of those medieval Frenchmen who built Notre Dame. The Venus de Milo is a museum piece.

It’s not just a symbol of what the French have lost, it’s a symbol of the West. Western civilisation has been living on its reputation for a very long time. The West created some marvellous things, things of surpassing beauty and sublime intelligence and subtlety. But that was long ago.

The great achievements of European civilisation lie in the past. Perhaps it’s just not possible for a materialistic society to create anything of real value. Europe is a gigantic museum. Modern Europeans are ambivalent about their cultural treasures. They’re an uncomfortable reminder of the extent of our modern decadence. Treasures of religious art make modern Europeans particularly uncomfortable. Is it possible that there was a time when people cared about more than shopping and sex?

Of course one would like to see Notre Dame restored, but it can only be restored as a museum exhibit. In some ways that would be even sadder than leaving it as a ruin.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

why nationalism has no electoral appeal

I’ve been having an intriguing debate on immigration with a Finn at Unz Review. He was crowing over the magnificent success of the anti-immigration party in the recent Finnish election. That party got a massive 17.5% of the vote. I tried to gently point out that since all the other parties are rabidly pro-immigration that result actually means that 82.5% of Finns voted in effect for pro-immigration policies. He tried to counter that by arguing that a recent survey showed that 74% of Finns opposed immigration. My reply was that such a survey isn’t very comforting when 82.5% of Finns proceeded to vote for parties with explicitly pro-immigration policies.

This all seems consistent with the situation in other countries. Polls show that people do not want immigration but they still vote for parties that they know are in favour of massive immigration.

So what is the answer to this mystery? Why is it that nationalist and anti-immigration parties just don’t attract the level of electoral support that would be expected?

I can suggest a few possible explanations.

Firstly, opinion polls and surveys are not especially reliable when it comes to social attitudes. Results can vary enormously depending on how questions are phrased. Opinion polls can be manipulated to provide particular results. The problem with this explanation is that you would expect opinion polls to underestimate support for immigration restrictionism.

Secondly, it may be that these parties are remarkably poor at selling their message. That sounds plausible but can we really believe that all these parties are incompetent when it comes to selling themselves?

Thirdly, it may be that many of the leaders of anti-immigration parties rub people up the wrong way - they seem autistic or weird, or more to the point they can easily be portrayed by the media as autistic and weird and socially undesirable.

Fourthly, it may be that while a very large number of people are anti-immigration it’s not really a very important issue for most of them. When it comes to voting they’re more interested in bread-and-butter issues. They’re more interested in voting for the party that will put the most money in their pockets right now. That’s much more important than the future of our society.

Fifthly, it may be that nationalist and anti-immigration parties are too much associated in the public mind with ideas that are so deeply unpopular and socially unacceptable that any party even vaguely linked with such ideas will fail to win votes. I’m talking about ideas such as HBD (human biodiversity) which its proponents claim to be a scientifically proven recognition of inherited differences (particularly in intelligence) between races. The problem with stuff like HBD is that firstly the science behind them is very very dubious and secondly there is no way you can avoid having such ideas labelled as white supremacism or Nazi science. So you end up with nationalist/anti-immigration parties being tainted with racism and that’s going to scare off 80% of your potential voters.

Sixthly, such parties can come across as being very negative. Concentrating too much on what you’re against without articulating what you’re for is a major political mistake.

I’m inclined to think that the fourth, fifth and sixth explanations are by far the most likely. So what is the answer to this problem? Obviously nationalist parties have to offer a lot more than anti-immigration rhetoric. They have to offer an economic alternative to globalism. They have to offer hope and inspiration. They have to get people excited about the possibility of having a future again. They have to be wary of obvious vote-losing stuff like HBD.

Whether any of this would actually work, whether nationalist parties would ever be allowed to govern, is another matter. It’s possible that even if they won they’d be targeted for destruction by the United States. I’m not even sure it would necessarily be a good thing if they won - I have expressed my reservations about nationalism in other posts. I’m simply pointing out why the current strategies of nationalists seem doomed to failure.

And it is worth pointing out that one of the reasons nationalists and other dissidents are such easy targets is that they have no real base of popular support.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

the war to control the language

The most important thing to remember about the transgender push and the fuss that SJWs make over pronouns and “misgendering” is that it’s another phase of the war to control the language. If you’ve read your Orwell you know how crucial that is.

Forcing us to call a man wearing a frock a woman is the same as O’Brien telling Winston Smith that if the Party tells him he sees O’Brien holding up five fingers then there are five fingers, even if there are really four.

Our political masters do not care in the least about poor confused people who think they can change from a man into a woman. What they care about is controlling the thoughts that we can express, because that is the first step to controlling what we can think.

That’s the key to the whole of political correctness. The actual content of the politically correct agenda is irrelevant. Men cannot transform themselves into women. Women cannot be effective front-line soldiers. Those who are pulling the strings to which the Social Justice Warriors dance are well aware of these realities. What matters is that we are taught to conform and to obey. What we conform to is unimportant. What the rules are that we must obey  is unimportant. It is the habits of conformity and obedience that matter.

It is completely unnecessary for our masters to believe the things that they force us to believe. There’s no point in trying to understand the logic behind whatever the social justice agenda happens to be this week because there is no logic to it. There doesn’t need to be.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

two cheers for nationalism

I despise globalism and all its works, which should logically put me in the nationalist camp. Which it does, up to a point. The trouble is that I have certain reservations about nationalism.

For one thing, nationalism is a liberal concept.

My main reservation about nationalism is that it has tended to erase regional identities. Regional identities have been fading under the relentless assaults of liberalism, nationalism and modernism for a couple of centuries now. Traces of such identities still survived until quite recently. I can recall stating in a bed-and-breakfast in Cornwall in the early 80s and making the mistake of referring to the landlady as an Englishwoman. She indignantly informed me that, “We’re nothing to do with the English here.” I must confess that I thought that was rather wonderful.

But nationalists have had little time for such regional identities. The aim of French nationalism was to turn Gascons and Bretons into generic Frenchmen. The aim of German nationalism was to turn Bavarians and Swabians into generic Germans. The aim of Italian nationalism was to turn Lombards and Sicilians into generic Italians. The aim of British nationalism was to turn Yorkshiremen and Cornishmen and Welshmen into generic Britons.

I’m not comfortable with any of that. I’m a multiculturalist. That’s why I dislike multiculturalism so much - in practice it seeks to destroy diversity and to replace multiple cultures with a single global culture. I like the idea of a world with countless different cultures.

I also prefer the idea of ties of loyalty that grow naturally, such as loyalty to family, or to a local community bonded together by a common faith, language and customs. I consider loyalty to a king to be a natural loyalty as well, or at least it was in the days when we still had actual kings. I’m not overly keen on the idea of loyalty to a government.

And nationalism can all too easily become loyalty to the state rather than the nation. Even worse (as in the case of French nationalism and American nationalism) it can become loyalty to an ideology.

If I have to choose between nationalism and globalism I’ll choose nationalism, but without any great enthusiasm.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The War on Noticing hots up

The Social Justice agenda just gets more and more crazy. To many people this is a mystery. Surely even the Social Justice Warriors themselves must realise how insane their demands are becoming? What is going on?

The explanation is simple. As Steve Sailer pointed out some time ago, political correctness is a war on noticing. There are a lot of things that we are not supposed to notice. In fact we must not be allowed to notice these things. In order to ensure that certain embarrassing things don’t get noticed distractions are needed. Hence we get things like the Tasmanian Government’s plans to legalise abortions for men. This is clearly complete lunacy but it’s a very useful distraction.

What are these things that we’re not supposed to notice?

For starters there’s the fact that anthropogenic global warming/climate change is complete hogwash, and obvious hogwash. It just ain’t happening.

Secondly there’s the fact that green energy has been an expensive failure.

Thirdly there’s the undeniable truth that feminism has been an utter failure. Where are all the female rocket scientists, brain surgeons, nuclear physicists and mathematicians? We were led to believe that once sexism was abolished women would equal men’s achievements in science. In fact the contribution of women to science has been minuscule. Where are all those brilliant female entrepreneurs? How many major corporations are there that were established by women? Women CEOs taking over already established companies doesn’t count. Those brilliant female entrepreneurs just don’t seem to exist in the real world. All feminism has done is to make women angry and miserable. But we mustn’t be allowed to notice that. Most of all we must not notice that men and women really are entirely different.

There are quite a few things about the economy that must not get noticed. Like the fact that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. Like the fact that most people can no longer afford to buy a house. Like the fact that most people are living with crippling debt from which they can never escape.

It’s also vital that nobody should notice that despite the expenditure of billions of dollars to solve the social problems of groups like African-Americans those groups still seem to have the same social problems they had half a century ago.

The psychiatric industry would also prefer us not to notice that all those gee-whizz miracle drugs like Prozac that were supposed to make everyone happy appear not to have worked.

There are therefore a lot of powerful groups that have things that they are desperately keen for us not to notice. So they are naturally very enthusiastic about abortion rights for men and transgender bathroom rights.

I’m not saying that there’s no ideological substrate here but the bottom line is that the people with the actual power don’t care about ideology, they care about power. The ideological insanity of the Social Justice Warriors would not survive for five minutes without the funding they get from rich powerful interest groups. If this craziness did not serve their interests in distracting us from things we might otherwise notice then the bankers and billionaires would simply pull the plug on it.

Friday, March 29, 2019

the flight from sex

This is a kind of follow-on from my recent post on the decline of feminine beauty.

There are many possible explanations for the trans madness that has swept the western world in recent years. One very plausible explanation would seem to be that it’s a way of avoiding sex and/or relationships.

Let’s face it, if you go so far as to have the op then you’ve pretty much ended your chances of ever having a normal sex life. If you take a perfectly functional normal vagina and destroy it and replace it with some bizarre non-functional vaguely penis-like appendage your sex life is over. Your chances of having kids is over. Your chance of a normal family life is over. Your chance of a normal emotional life is also most likely over since a normal psychologically healthy woman would presumable prefer to marry a man rather than a pretend man. Similarly if you take a perfectly functional normal penis and destroy it and replace it with a hole bearing a vague resemblance to a vagina your chances of a normal sex life, children, family life and emotional life are over.

Is this perhaps the whole point of the exercise? Is it a way of avoiding sex and/or relationships?

There have always been women who were not into sex. Some are afraid of it. Some are disgusted by it. Some just can’t deal with it or aren’t interested. In the past such women would become nuns, which offered them the chance to lead useful and satisfying lives. When that opportunity was more or less closed off there was the still the choice of becoming lesbians, sex being essentially an option in lesbian relationships. Lesbians don’t have much sex but they have lots of emotional dramas and that seems to be more to their liking. Becoming trans offers even more emotional dramas with even less chance of having to do icky sex stuff.

But why would men choose an option that ends their sex lives? There is the popular Soy Boy theory, that modern diet and/or chemical additives and/or excess female hormones in the environment leads to catastrophic drops in testosterone levels. Doping boys with drugs to treat imaginary disorders like ADHD may be another factor. I honestly have no idea how scientifically plausible that theory is.

Perhaps boys just get subjected to so much indoctrination and so much harassment at school that they decide that a sexual or romantic relationship with a woman is just not worth the misery. Or they feel that being a man in our society is simply impossible.

Becoming homosexual is not an option for such boys since male homosexuals have massive amounts of sex. But being trans means they have an excuse to opt out of sex and out of relationships.

The motivation may well be the same as that which drives potentially attractive young women to make themselves ugly.

Perhaps our civilisation (and I use the word loosely) is becoming post-sex and post-relationship. We’ve already largely ceased reproducing. The logical next step is to give up sex and emotional involvements.

We may be even more doomed than we thought.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

what does western civilisation actually mean?

Those who value tradition and traditional values and morality often talk about western civilisation. I talk about it all the time. But what does western civilisation actually mean?

It is often assumed that western civilisation began with classical Greece and Rome. This is simply not so. There have in fact been at least three completely different western civilisations, with very little in common.

It is often not appreciated just how profoundly alien the classical civilisation was. This was a world in which religion was largely a matter of ritual. If you failed to perform the rituals correctly the gods would be angry and really bad stuff would happen. If you performed the rituals correctly there was a chance that the gods would be content and would leave you alone. That was about as much as you could expect from the gods.

The idea that religion and morality were intimately connected did not exist. The gods were amoral, selfish, violent and lustful. It’s not that there was no concept of morality. It’s more that morality was a civic virtue. Morality was necessary because without it society would collapse. The gods simply didn’t care, as long as you offered them the correct sacrifices. Morality was not a religious duty, it was merely useful.

The idea that foreign policy had some connection with morality would have been dismissed as an absurdity. Foreign policy was about power. The Athenians, so worshipped by admirers of classical civilisation, were particularly cynical. Wars were fought for purely materialistic reasons. Alexander the Great did not invade the Persian Empire because the Persians were wicked or immoral or uncivilised. He invaded because the Persian Empire was weak and would offer easy pickings. The Roman Empire conquered anybody it was capable of conquering because it was in Rome’s interest. The business of Rome was imperialism.

By the time that the classical civilisation was reaching its peak philosophers were abandoning the traditional pagan religion but mostly what they offered in its place was a vague pantheism, or even outright atheism. The classical civilisation was conquered by Christianity because it had nothing satisfying to offer people.

When the classical civilisation collapsed in the West it collapsed totally. It was replaced by an entirely new civilisation. Medieval civilisation had nothing in common with classical civilisation. It offered a whole new approach to religion. Religion and morality were now intertwined. Morality became a religious duty. Ritual became relatively unimportant. It survived, but mostly as symbolism.

Kings were now expected to be concerned by things other than power. Being human they were of course still very interested in power. The medievals would have been the first to admit that they often fell short of their ideals. But ideals were still important and they were religious ideals. The king was king by the Grace of God.

Nationalism did not exist. The loyalties that mattered were loyalty to the king, and to the Church.

The Reformation utterly destroyed medieval civilisation. A new civilisation arose in its place, a civilisation that has almost nothing in common with medieval civilisation.

Religion appeared to remain important for a century and a half but it was mostly an illusion. The new civilisation was right from the start well on the way towards being a post-Christian civilisation. The idea that religion was a matter of individual conscience rapidly took hold. What a man believed was his own business. Freedom of religion became a popular idea. In practice of course freedom of religion means freedom from religion. By the 18th century Christianity had ceased to be a factor in national policy, except insofar as national policy was directed toward explicitly anti-Christian objectives (such as state control of education). Once that happened the decline of Christianity was irreversible.

Liberalism became the new religion. Liberalism and capitalism made short work of what remained of Christian morality.

Nationalism appeared. Nationalism is a liberal concept. Nationalism is essentially worship of the state. The two competing religious values were now money and freedom. Freedom of course meant the freedom to pursue money and pleasure. Society as an organic entity gave way to the state and the corporation.

It needs to be clearly understood that this is a civilisation that differs profoundly from earlier western civilisations. It is inherently materialistic and atheistic. Morality is now defined as social conformity.

Whether you think this liberal conception of western civilisation is worth saving is up to you.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Brexit and the will of the people

There is one thing that really intrigues me about the Brexit farce. Have the ordinary British people actually taken any active rôle in the debates? Have hundreds of thousands of ordinary Britons taken to the streets to demand that Brexit goes ahead? Have there been mass demonstrations demanding the resignation of Theresa May? Have the ordinary British people done anything to force their absurdly anti-democratic Parliament to respect the will of the people?

Have the ordinary people been asking why they pay taxes to support an utterly useless pretend monarch who simply stands by and does nothing during the greatest constitutional crisis since 1688?

Maybe these things have been happening and we just haven’t heard about them here in Australia.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

the rulers and the ruled and mutual obligations

I just want to amplify a point I made in response to a comment on an earlier post. I think that any legitimate political regime or system of government has to be based on mutual rights and obligations on the part of the rulers and the ruled.

Of course people who believe in mutual rights and obligations are also likely to believe in the usefulness of hierarchies and in traditional social rôles.

All of these things seem to be regarded today as outdated beliefs.

The institution of kingship was based on mutual obligations - the duties of the subject to the king and the duties of the king towards his subjects and towards the nation. There are no longer any European monarchies that work that way.

What we have today is a ruling class that sees itself as having no obligations to anybody or anything outside of itself. The ruled obsess over over meaningless rights but also have little interest in the idea of obligations.

Is it impossible to have a ruling class with a sense of its obligations and duties without a genuine monarchy? My feeling is that unless you have genuine kingship or a living religious faith, or preferably both, it really is impossible.

There’s certainly no way that mutual obligations can function in a society based on the ideals of liberalism. There’s also no way that any of the supposedly democratic regimes of the modern West can ever produce a ruling class with a sense of responsibility.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

the decline of feminine beauty

One of the more subtly disturbing trends of the past twenty years or so has been the decline in the attractiveness of young women in the West. You just don’t see as many attractive young women as you did in the past.

The disturbing part is that most of these young women do not have to be unattractive. They could be quite pretty, except that they’re fat and they disfigure themselves with tattoos, they dress poorly, their hair is often awful and they seem to struggle with the basics of makeup.

This really is a revolutionary change. Has there ever been another example of a civilisation in which young women have chosen to make themselves ugly?

This is presumably one of the results of the feminist war on women. To feminists any reminder of the femaleness of women provokes anger. Feminists worship the masculine. They want women to aspire to male professions, male interests, male attitudes and male sexuality. It would not therefore be surprising if they were using their stranglehold over education to indoctrinate girls into a dislike of their own femininity and their own female bodies.

Girls today certainly seem to be conflicted about their bodies. Wanting to celebrate fatness is positively bizarre. Wanting to celebrate sluttiness is equally bizarre and is equally a rejection of femininity. It seems to be another way of expressing hostility towards normal female sexuality.

Maybe it’s not a big thing but it is another depressing sign of our cultural and social degradation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

patriotism and conflicting loyalties

These days words have a way of changing their meaning to suit the politics of the speaker. We need to know exactly what we mean by a particular word as used in a particular argument.

Nationalism and patriotism are words thrown about by liberals, by conservatives and by traditionalists. To liberals nationalism is just another generic insult - calling someone a nationalist is like calling him a fascist. Conservatives (who are merely right-leaning liberals) sometimes try to distinguish between nationalism (which is evil and basically nazi) and patriotism (which is good and honourable).

Nationalism gained a bad reputation because it was responsible for the horrors of the two world wars. Of course those wars actually had more to do with clashes between competing empires than nationalism but a scapegoat had to be found and once nationalism was cast in that rôle it was always going to be pretty much impossible to rehabilitate the concept.

The problem is that even if patriotism is possibly a good thing it’s not so easy to define. OK, it’s love of one’s country, but what does that mean? What does it mean if you live in an artificial country like Belgium, or Canada, or the United States? Or Australia? If you’re an Australian of entirely British stock should your patriotic feelings be directed towards Australia or Britain? And if you’re lucky enough to live in a nation of immigrants what exactly is the nature of any patriotic feelings those immigrants might feel?

Tony Abbott used to waffle on about Team Australia. Apparently to a modern conservative patriotism is a bit like choosing which football team you support.

Americans often go on about the proposition nation idea but the first problem with that is that the original proposition has now changed radically. If the proposition can keep changing then the nation has no actual existence, no actual identity. It’s just a temporary political allegiance. Politicians have also been known to resort to the shared values argument, the problem there being that there is no evidence that these shared values actually exist. The shared values are imaginary items manufactured by opinion polling.

There’s also the question of distinguishing between loyalty to the nation and loyalty to the regime (there used to be another option, loyalty to the monarch, but there are no monarchies any more). The French are rather big on the idea of loyalty to the ideals of Republicanism which it seems to me is putting loyalty to regime and to ideology before loyalty to the nation.

Even assuming that we should put loyalty to the nation before loyalty to regime or ideology  there is the question of whether an evil regime should cancel our loyalty to the nation. Were those Germans (clearly the majority) who remained loyal to Germany even under the Nazis right to do so? Can we justify treason to the nation because we don’t like the regime? Many traitors do in fact believe, quite sincerely, that loyalty to their principles overrides loyalty to their country. I think it’s probably fair to assume that Kim Philby believed he was doing the right and honourable thing by putting his loyalty to communism ahead of his loyalty to Britain. I am not certainly not suggesting that he was right, but I do think that he felt that he was right.

And given the fact that today in the West we live under a corrupt, degenerate hostile regime do our patriotic feelings towards our nations compel us to serve such an evil regime?

I’m not claiming that I have the answers to these questions. But the questions do worry me.