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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

women and alpha and beta men

There’s an excellent comment (left by a woman) on the recent (extremely good) post We are playing by girl's rules at Oz Conservative.

The post concerns the destructive effects of the sexual strategies pursued by modern women. The commenter notes that the average woman is sexually attracted to dominance in men and goes on to point out that the collapse in masculinity in the West has led women to look for the wrong sort of dominant men.

I think this is absolutely spot on. We hear a lot about alpha and beta men but these terms often mislead people.

Women are attracted to dominant men because they’re supposed to be. It’s basic biology. It’s human nature (and whether you believe that human nature is the result of evolutionary pressures or God’s wisdom doesn’t really matter here). The survival of society has always depended on traditional sex rôles and the maintenance of those rôles requires that women should choose men who are capable and decisive. Dominant men.

The dominant men to whom women are attracted are not necessarily men who wrassle gators bare-handed. A woman wants a man who is strong emotionally, forceful, decisive and confident. A man who can assert his authority. Including his authority over his woman. That doesn’t mean slapping her around. A man who does that is demonstrating his weakness and lack of authority. A strong man asserts his authority without the need for such things.

But there aren’t any such men any more. Feminism has thoroughly emasculated western men. Women can no longer find genuine dominant men so they choose what appears to be  the only viable option. They go for allegedly alpha men - men who are bad boys, men whose selfishness and duplicity pass for strength and confidence, men who seem sexually potent but are really just overgrown teenagers. These fake alpha men have neither the inclination nor the ability to hang on to a woman so the women drift from one man to another. Feminism tells them that being a slut is empowering and the fake alpha men do nothing to discourage them from such behaviour.

Then the woman sees the wall approaching. She’s in her late twenties or early thirties and the sexy bad boys aren’t interested any longer - they can get younger female flesh. And the biological clock is ticking. Suddenly marriage, a home, security and children seem more important than sexual pleasure. So the women go looking for a beta male. The stereotype of the beta male is the decent hard-working responsible man prepared to be a good provider. The sort of man women used to see as ideal husband material.

But even the beta men today are emasculated. They’re the ones that fully internalised decades of feminist propaganda. They believe the whole liberal agenda. They are doormats just waiting for a woman to step on them. Women of course despise weak men. And they feel zero sexual attraction to weak feminised men. So as soon as they’re in a financial position to do so the woman gets a divorce, and goes back to trying to chase the hot alpha men who no longer want them.

The beta males of the 1950s were a different story. They may have been responsible and hard-working family men but they had not had their masculinity stripped from them. Women who married such men were generally pretty happy.

So the alpha and beta males of today are both in their own ways less than men. It’s no wonder women end up regarding all men with contempt.

Of course feminism is to blame for all this. More importantly it is the fault of everyone who has advanced or enabled the feminist agenda. Including Christians. Especially Christians, who have responded to the mortal threat posed by feminism with grovelling and surrender.

What can be done about this? I honestly don’t know. The feminist agenda is now so firmly entrenched that it seems unchallengeable. It’s been pushed so far that even the mildest criticisms are greeted with outrage. There’s certainly no way that the basic biological fact that being dominated by a man is sexually and emotionally exciting to a woman and will in the long run make her happy is going to get listened to.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

conspiracy theories, history and the need for meaning

I was both amused and slightly horrified by a recent comment thread elsewhere on the subject of conspiracy theories. I was particularly struck by the vehemence with which so many people hold such theories, and the savagery with which they defend them.

Now I can understand why people are reluctant to believe the official version of events. Politicians do lie to us. Civil servants lie. Journalists lie. We should be sceptical of anything these people tell us.

I’m inclined to be supportive of mild historical revisionism. History is mostly interpretation and it’s good to see interpretations other than the conventional long-accepted ones. That doesn’t mean we should accept every alternative interpretation. Some alternative interpretations are complete poppycock. But some are plausible. A few are even fairly convincing. Undoubtedly in some cases the alternative interpretations are correct.

But many conspiracy theorists go beyond merely doubting. They not only consider alternative explanations for events, they adopt those explanations with religious fervour. Anyone who doubts their conspiracy theory is dismissed as a fool who believes everything the media tells him.

More dangerously they often get to the stage of abandoning the idea of relying on evidence. If you point out that there is no evidence to support their theory they’ll tell you that such evidence certainly exists but it’s been suppressed by the government. If you point out that there is evidence contradicting their theory they’ll tell you that it must have been faked. The problem here is that they end up believing things out of pure emotional conviction rather than evidence. Of course when it comes to political beliefs we’re all inclined to do that but it’s still a dangerous tendency.

What’s more interesting to ask is why have conspiracy theories become so popular?

Of course it’s partly because these days politicians, journalists, etc are more obviously dishonest. I don’t think that’s the complete explanation though.

I suspect that like so much in our modern civilisation it’s at least partly the collapse of religious faith. People don’t want to believe that history is random and meaningless. They don’t want to believe that wars happen because politicians simply bungle their way into them. They don’t want to believe that major historical events occur due to chance, or to mistakes. History should make sense. It should mean something. Millions of people should not die in a war, as they did in the First World War, for no good reason whatsoever.

In the past few decades we’ve also seen the collapse of one of the more fully developed secular religions, Marxism. Religion makes history meaningful because it’s the unfolding of God’s plan. Marxism makes history meaningful because it’s (allegedly) scientific and it sees history as being the result of vast and important social and economic forces at work. With Marxism now pretty much dead how can history be made to make sense?

Conspiracy theories provide an answer because paradoxically it’s more comforting to believe that disasters are caused by satanic conspiracies, or communist conspiracies or fascist conspiracies or whatever rather than by bad luck and bad management.

Of course it’s possible that some conspiracy theories are true. I’m inclined to think most are mistaken. Bad things really are happening and our leaders really are betraying us but mostly they’re doing it pretty openly. In the majority of cases there’s no need for elaborate conspiracy theories to explain why the world is going to Hell in a handbasket.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

modern politics and the new class

Post-World War 2 politics seems bewildering. The old political divisions such as left and right don’t really seem to explain any of it satisfactorily. Perhaps the answer is that we need to think sociologically rather than politically.

Of course sociology is a dirty word to most self-styled conservatives but it can offer us some useful insights.

Post-WW2 politics is quite different from the politics of the preceding century. It’s just as class-based but what has changed is the nature of the classes. For Marxists there was the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Class membership was based on power and wealth and was strongly hereditary. Most people were born into their class and remained there.

A new class took power after the Second World War. They were the spiritual descendants of the intellectuals who who worked so hard to destroy civilisation in the 18th and 19th century but with some crucial differences - they were now much more numerous and they were no longer obscure professors, penniless students or failed writers. They had gained access to power. They were now senior bureaucrats, influential journalists, lawyers and career politicians. Some sociologists refer to them as the new managerial class. They saw society as something that needed management, and if necessary micro-management. And not just economic management, but social management.

They were not like the old bourgeoisie. They were not necessarily rich. They did not necessarily own factories.

Importantly, they were not born into this new class. Membership was gained  by going to the right universities and doing the right sorts of degrees and by subscribing to the right kind of thinking.

These are people who, whether they were born in a mansion or a hovel, now see themselves as belonging to a superior class. The class markers now are not wealth or birth but membership of a class that sees itself as an intellectual elite. They believe they are set apart from the masses by superior intelligence, education and virtue. In fact they see themselves as an Elect, predestined to rule.

What is important in political terms is that for the past half century or so virtually every politician regardless of supposed party allegiance has come from this new managerial/intellectual class. We no longer have different parties representing different class interests We now have different parties that all represent the same class interest. Which explains why the policies of the major parties are more or less interchangeable. It explains why there is no discernible difference between Tony Blair and Theresa May, or between Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison. It explains why Americans keep electing different presidents but end up getting the same misgovernment.

The nature of this managerial/intellectual class has other consequences. These are people who believe they have a duty to manage other people’s lives. They also believe they have a duty to police public opinion. They are the superior people and they know what’s best for the rest of us. If we don’t agree then we must be made to agree. It’s for our own good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

we’re all rootless cosmopolitans now

There was an interesting remark recently on A Political Refugee From the Global Village about the displacement of Europeans from their ancestral lands. Now I don’t want to see that happen either but I think you have to ask yourself whether people in the West today even have ancestral lands.

If you have no knowledge of the traditions of your own society, no culture and no sense of history (which is the case for most westerners today) can you be said to have any actual ancestral lands? If you have no actual home town, no sense of community and no sense of a link to the place you were born (which is also the case for most westerners today) then do ancestral lands have any meaning for you?

Until a hundred years ago most people in the West still felt an emotional and even to a certain vague extent a spiritual connection to the place in which they were born and grew up. I’m not talking about ethnic identity. Just a sense of having a particular place which is home and having some link to one’s own past, one’s family’s past and the past of a community.

Today we are all rootless cosmopolitans.

Which explains why Europeans don’t care about being displaced from their ancestral lands. They don’t even understand the concept of ancestral lands. They don’t know about their ancestors. They have no past. More often than not they have no children, so they don’t have a future. What they have is an eternal present of consumption, hedonism and mindless entertainment.

The question is - if Europeans don’t care about their home and have no past or future why should anyone care about their fate? Europeans themselves don’t care about it.

The problem is that rootless cosmopolitans aren’t worried about losing their homes. They have no homes. If things go bad in one place they’ll just move somewhere else. It doesn’t matter. One place is the same as everywhere else. They’re not ever going to fight to hold on to what is theirs because they can’t even comprehend the concept. It’s not that they’re not materialistic. They’re materialistic to an extreme degree. But the material possessions that matter to them are infinitely portable. You sell your house in one city and buy a house in another city. You sell your consumer goods and buy new ones in your new city. You still have your bank account. You still have everything that matters to you on your smartphone.

To a rootless cosmopolitan home is anywhere that has a wifi connection.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

hope, alternatives and Jeremy Corbyn

I’ve been spoken before about my theory that in order to have hope people need to believe that viable political alternatives exist, even if those alternatives are rather unattractive. During the Cold War people disgruntled by life under communism could console themselves that a viable alternative existed in the West. And people disgruntled by life under capitalism could console themselves that a viable alternative existed in the Soviet Union.

Brexit was largely motivated by Britons’ belief that a viable alternative to the EU was possible. That’s why the political establishment has worked so tirelessly to destroy Brexit - in order to teach the British voters that they are not ever going to be given an alternative. That’s why so much effort has been put into opposing Trump. The fact that Trump has achieved nothing doesn’t matter - what matters is that Americans must be taught the lesson that real democracy means you get to choose between two candidates approved by the Establishment, two candidates whose policies are in fact pretty much identical. Americans most learn that an alternative is not permitted.

Which brings us to the current well-funded campaign to destroy Jeremy Corbyn. Now I’m not suggesting that Corbynite Labour is a great alternative, or even a good alternative, but it does at least represent some alternative. Which is why powerful interests have decided that Corbyn must go. It is unthinkable that British voters should be offered anything resembling an actual alternative.

Once Corbyn is destroyed the Labour Party will return to Blairitism, which is of course in every way indistinguishable from modern Toryism. Once again Britain will be a genuine democracy with two absolutely identical parties alternating in power, and with the British people properly trained to vote the way they’re told to vote.

the TERF wars continue

The war between the trans mob and the TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) continues to provide amusement. Martina Navratilova, having been savaged already by a Twitter SJW mob for daring to suggest that women’s sports should be for, you know, actual women, has decided to double down. She has now suggested that having “women” who were born male competing in women’s sports is cheating.

It’s actually very amusing to see Navratilova, who has been for years an ardent SJW and a zealous persecutor of those like former tennis star Margaret Court who have refused to bend the knee to SJWs, suddenly realising that the latest manifestation of the LGBT agenda is going to destroy women’s sports such as tennis. This means that lesbians will suffer!

Personally I’m looking forward to seeing women’s professional sports destroyed. Women have enthusiastically supported the LGBT agenda. It would be very useful if they were brought face to face with the reality of the hostility of the trans crowd to actual women.

I can’t wait for the day when every single major women’s tennis tournament is won by men masquerading as women. I can’t wait to see every single major women’s golf tournament won by blokes in dresses. Best of all will be seeing every single Olympic gold medal for women’s events won by men in skirts. I have no doubt that all these things will come to pass within a decade at the most.

Feminists have been overjoyed by the prospect of infiltrating and destroying male leisure activities. Now they’re going to get a taste of the same medicine. Perhaps women will start to realise that feminism and LGBT activism are anti-women.

Friday, February 15, 2019

feminism - root cause or consequence?

Feminism is without a doubt the worst plague ever to afflict the human race but was feminism a root cause of the evils that followed or merely a consequence of other social changes?

By the time second wave feminism made its appearance in the 1960s a number of crucial social changes had already occurred. The first and the most disastrous (possibly the single most disastrous event in human history) was the introduction of the contraceptive pill in 1961. That irrevocably turned sex into a recreational activity rather than a part of the sacrament of marriage. It made sex all about short-term pleasure. From that point on traditional marriage was doomed.

While in theory divorce was still difficult in many places it was clear that there was a trend towards making it easier in practice. And from about the 1920s onwards divorce had gradually become more socially acceptable. Divorce means marriage being transformed from a sacred unbreakable bond into a short-term arrangement to be terminated when it becomes inconvenient.

Women moved into the workforce in increasing numbers in the first half of the 20th century. That was not necessarily a problem. Women had always worked. But work was something women did until they got married. By the 50s it was becoming more socially acceptable for married women to work. This was a very unfortunate trend.

Even more disastrous was the expansion of higher education for women after the Second World War. In fact the expansion of higher education in general was a calamity. A university education is something that only a small proportion of the population (maybe 5%) will benefit from. For most people it is actually a bad thing. For all but a very tiny handful of women it is a disaster.

And of course the 20th century saw a continuation of the decline of Christianity. Without religion there is no basis for morality. Without morality there is only power (for the elites) and pleasure (for the masses).

These changes did not come about as a result of second wave feminism. These changes preceded second wave feminism, and in fact were largely responsible for making that horror possible. By the time the feminists got going western society had already started to lose its way.

There was also the Sexual Revolution, which was mostly a result of the contraceptive pill. The Sexual Revolution was of course very bad for women. Sexual liberation does not work fir women. They’re not wired that way. It simply makes women self-hating and miserable and chronically emotionally dissatisfied.

Men made the mistake of thinking the Sexual Revolution was going to be great for them. It would mean lots more sex. In fact it meant lots more sex for a very small number of men.

This is a large part of the explanation for the failure of men to stop feminism in its tracks at a time when that was still possible. Men were inclined to think that feminism was like the Sexual Revolution - they would end up getting more sex. Mostly they didn’t get the extra sex and what they did get was an ongoing nightmare. By the time the realities became apparent it was too late.

Feminism was largely a symptom of a society entering the terminal stages of decadence. It appeared at the same time as other symptoms like the drug culture and the worship of homosexuality. Maybe feminism could have been stopped but it would have required a willingness to confront other much more basic societal failings.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Space - the Final Frontier?

One of the many major changes to the western world over the past century has been the disappearance of the frontier.

In the early 20th century, in fact to some extent even up to the 1950s, westerners who wanted to opt out could find a frontier territory in which to do so. There were the remoter outposts of the British Empire (and of the other European empires). For Americans there was South America. For those who found their lives unsupportable there was always that escape hatch - they could start a new life in the Colonies or in South America where they were unlikely to be bothered too much by questions about their past and unlikely to have too much trouble with intrusive bureaucracies or police forces.

Britons would commonly choose somewhere like Kenya or Malaya. There was plenty of money to be made if you had drive and if you didn’t have drive there were fellow countrymen to sponge off, who were reasonably indulgent of expatriates (even if they mildly disapproved of expatriates who “went native”).

All that is largely gone. Escaping from the modern surveillance state is next to impossible. Any bolt-holes that are left are pretty uninviting and bureaucrats and police are likely to will hunt you down anyway.

One response to this is the emergence of the idea of space as the final frontier, the one sure refuge for someone who wants or needs to opt out completely. It became a major theme of science fiction in the 20th century and it also took on a definite political complexion. It became a popular right-wing fantasy, and it became a very popular libertarian fantasy. The fact that colonies in space would in reality face immense practical difficulties tended to get glossed over (and libertarians never do worry too much about irritating details like reality).

It’s a fantasy that also has a following among the nerdier elements of the alt-right.

Personally I find it very amusing that so many people have convinced themselves that colonies in space or on other planets would be havens of liberty, veritable libertarian paradises with no government at all. It amuses me because I’ve always assumed that a space colony founded on libertarian principles wouldn’t last a week. Space, or colonies on Mars, are not the sorts of environment that are likely to be very forgiving of rigged individuals with a contempt for regulations. They’d be the sorts of environments where one mistake would mean death, and quite possibly death for every member of the colony. Such a colony is more likely to succeed if it’s composed of rigid conformists with no imagination, no more than moderate intelligence, a respect for hierarchies and a passion for following rules and regulations to the letter. Military-style discipline is more likely than glorious liberty.

Such colonies would also have a very much better chance of survival if they adopted a very traditionalist approach to morality and to sex roles. You would only need one member of a colony to start sleeping around to very soon find yourself sitting on top of a ticking time-bomb. It’s also very obvious that no colony can survive without children and therefore the women would need to focus more on child-rearing than personal fulfilment and careers.

A space colony might well end up being more of a traditionalist paradise than a libertarian one.

Not that it matters, given that the practical difficulties (not to mention the political obstacles) are so overwhelming that colonies in space will probably remain science fiction for a long long time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel

Isaac Asimov’s classic 1954 novel The Caves of Steel might not sound very relevant to this blog but bear with me.

The Caves of Steel is usually considered to be important and interesting for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a crucial book in Asimov’s famous robot cycle. Secondly, it’s a genre hybrid - it’s both a science fiction novel and a traditional fair-play puzzle-plot murder mystery. And it’s a rare example of a novel that is a success in both genres.

There is a third reason why this book should be celebrated. It’s an extremely interesting dystopian novel with very strong political overtones. I personally don’t agree with Asimov’s politics but he was an intelligent liberal (yes such creatures once walked the Earth) and his work has been immensely influential.

The future Earth of the novel is massively overpopulated. Almost everyone lives in enormous cities. It’s a world that makes the world of Orwell’s 1984 seem benign and even idyllic. Food is in short supply (the rationing is nightmarish in its pettiness) but living space is in even shorter supply. There is zero privacy. Zero. Even high status individuals do not have bathrooms. A washbasin is considered to be an almost unimaginable luxury. Absolute social conformity is enforced. This is the soft totalitarianism of Brave New World but combined with the squalor and misery of 1984. There is an all-pervading atmosphere of resignation and pessimism.

It’s fascinating to see overpopulation hysteria in such a fully developed form as early as 1954.

Of course being a science fiction writer of the golden age Asimov saw the answer to the problem as lying in the colonisation of space. This is something that has always seemed rather fanciful to me.

Leaving aside the overpopulation hysteria it’s a fine example of what I would consider to be a plausible dystopia, enforced by propaganda rather than overt repression. And it’s an interesting look at the psychological consequences of soft totalitarianism - the way people end up not even contemplating rebellion because they can’t even imagine doing such a thing (or even thinking such thoughts).

It’s also actually a very entertaining book and while there’s plenty to disagree with it is an interesting example of intelligent dystopian science fiction. And the murder mystery part is fun.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

are healthy people interested in politics?

Are normal healthy well-adjusted people interested in politics? Is politics something that only interests people who have a personal axe to grind? Is political enthusiasm a sign of mental illness, or a sign of personal unhappiness? If it’s a sign of personal unhappiness or dissatisfaction is this a healthy thing? Is it a form of therapy?

And how do you explain a historical period like our own, in which every single aspect of life has become politicised and politics has become an obsession? Is this a sign of an illness in society? Or a sign of a deeply unhappy society?

These thoughts occurred to me after reading a recent post on the poet Shelley on Oz Conservative.

Shelley saw himself as a political and social revolutionary. What’s interesting is that Shelley was a rich and very privileged young man, a member of the aristocracy, good-looking and talented. It’s hard to imagine how fate could have dealt any young man a better hand than it dealt Shelley. And what was Shelley’s response? He wanted to smash his own society.

Shelley also managed to leave a trail of chaos and misery behind him. His behaviour towards women was nothing short of appalling. He was selfish, irresponsible, impetuous and shallow. He also had very definite delusions of grandeur.

It has to be said that Shelley is an all too typical example of the political progressive. His personality was clearly warped, although whether this was genetic or whether it was warped by his childhood or his schooling is difficult to say. He grew to adulthood (or in his case it mighty be more accurate to say that he failed to grow to adulthood) at a troubled time, when revolution was fashionable and the ruling class was rapidly abandoning Christianity. Perhaps Shelley was simply a very weak personality easily swayed by social fads.

It’s also interesting that Shelley, like so many subsequent social revolutionaries, was a vegan. So he was an all-round crank.

Orwell noted many years ago that socialism attracted cranks. He was disgusted and dismayed by the phenomenon.

Is it only left-wing politics that attracts misfits and cranks? A few years ago I’d have inclined to give an affirmative answer to the question. Now I’m not so sure. There are a few strange types in the alt-right and similar sub-groups who seem to be at least partly motivated by personal bitterness.

While it might be slightly disturbing at times to note the number of politically engaged people who are either slightly odd or deeply unhappy it is possible that this is not entirely a negative thing. If you’re unhappy with your life you can feel sorry for yourself or crawl inside a bottle, or you can try to change the world. Of course your ideas on how the world ought to be changed might be sound or they might be crazy, but at least you’re using your unhappiness as a motivation to do something.

Of course if you’re not a believer in democracy you might argue that all politics is unhealthy and that in a sane society we would leave government in the hands of the king.

It can also be argued that if society is truly diseased then being disgusted and enraged and wanting to change things is actually a sign of mental health, while the people who think that everything is fine are actually the crazy ones.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Phoney Victory: The World War 2 Illusion

Peter Hitchens has been threatening for some time to write a book on the Second World War. The Phoney Victory: The World War 2 Illusion is as provocative and unsettling as you would expect.

I’ve read a great deal on this subject so much of what he has to say comes as no great revelation to me but Hitchens does make a couple of important points that I hadn’t come across before.

The first is that World War One not only left Britain broke, she has never actually paid for that war. Britain ran up enormous debts to the United States which have never been paid. In fact no payments at all have been made since 1934.

The second point is his claim that far from being a doddering old fool who cravenly tried to avoid war Chamberlain was actually a doddering an old fool who actually sought war and was determined to get it. Hitchen’s contention is that the infamous and disastrous Polish Guarantee of 1939 (a guarantee that Britain shamefully never intended actually to honour) was a cynical and dishonest ploy to bring about war.

The details of the Poles’ own cynicism and folly are certainly not new to me but Hitchens’ demolition of the myth of Plucky Little Poland will doubtless come as a shock to many readers.

The third crucial point is that the Second World War was actually two separate wars. The first war began when the British and the French declared war on Germany in September 1939 and ended less than a year later with the total defeat of Britain and France. They were not merely defeated. They were destroyed forever as Great Powers. Henceforth both countries were minor powers of no consequence.

The second war was fought and won by the Soviet Union with some assistance from the United States. Britain played no significant rôle.

The intention of the book was to demolish the many myths that make up the average Briton’s understanding of the Second World War. As Hitchens explains it has long been common knowledge among historians that most of the official story of the war was a collection of myths but these myths are remarkably persistent.

One of the myths at which the author takes aim is the one that surrounds U.S. policy before and during the war. He makes the point that there was nothing particularly immoral about U.S. policy. It put America’s interests first. Britain’s interests were not considered at all. Of course no government has any obligation to consider the interests of foreign states. The problem was that people in Britain, including many who should have known better, convinced themselves that the Americans really did see them as cousins. In fact the U.S. regarded Britain as a troublesome rival that ideally should be stripped of its power and its empire. But the propaganda of the time stressed the fantasy that Britain and America were two branches of the same family and that propaganda is still believed today.

Hitchens doesn’t claim to have undertaken any original research. As he explains, everything in the book has been well known to professional historians for decades. Well known to professional historians but unknown to the general public. The war’s dirty little secrets have been hidden in plain sight. More seriously, the myths surrounding the Second World War are still being used by politicians and the media to manipulate the public into acquiescing in dangerous and futile foreign policy adventures.

The most upsetting parts of the book for many people will be the chapters dealing with the Battle of Britain and the strategic bombing of Germany. Of all WW2 myths none is more sacred than the Battle of Britain myth but Hitchens points out that it really was largely a myth. Hitler never had the slightest intention of attempting an invasion of Britain.

On the bombing offensive Hitchens pulls no punches. It was barbarism, pure and simple. And it was not even effective barbarism.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Winston Churchill emerges as a man not only entirely lacking in honour and decency but equally lacking in good sense.

Perhaps just upsetting will be the account of the ethnic cleansing of millions of Germans from eastern Europe in 1945, which cost the lives of between half a million and one-and-a-half million people, the vast majority of them women and children. It was a tragedy but it was no accident. It was a deliberately planned and entirely unnecessary act of savagery.

The most important point which is made again and again is that you cannot use one evil to excuse another. You cannot even use a great evil to excuse a slightly lesser evil. Evil is evil. The fact that Britain’s leaders were willing to commit acts of unequivocal evil is in Hitchen’s view part of the reason for Britain’s postwar moral decline (and the evils committed by the other victorious allies have also doubtless contributed to their moral decline as well). It is not just the acceptance of evil that has been the problem, but the stubborn refusal to acknowledge the lies and the deceptions.

What makes it all worse is that the final victory was, for Britain, no victory at all. Poland was not saved. The British Empire was lost. Britain was reduced to the status of a third-rate power and an American vassal. The country was bankrupted. The world was not made safe for democracy. Postwar Britain looked more like a defeated nation than a victor.

The book will doubtless will be greeted with howls of outrage. It is important to note that Hitchens deserves no pleasure from demolishing these myths. It is an unpleasant but necessary task since these very same myths continue to be the basis for British foreign policy.

A book that I recommend very highly indeed.