Monday, December 26, 2016

Noam Chomsky on public education

Mark at Oz Conservative has an intriguing link to an interview with Noam Chomsky. Chomsky might be a leftist but he has some interesting things to say.

The bit that caught my eye was this:
“Mass public education was introduced in the United States in the nineteenth century as a way of training the largely rural workforce here for industry — in fact, the general population in the United States largely was opposed to public education, because it meant taking kids off the farms where they belonged and where they worked with their families, and forcing them into this setting in which they were basically trained to become industrial workers.”
Mass public education is one of the most sacred of all sacred cows. While it’s now obvious that the main purpose of public education is indoctrination it’s sobering to realise that it has historically played a major role in destroying traditional communities.

globalists, divide and rule and identity politics

At first glance it might seem odd that globalists are so keen on identity politics. Globalists want us all to be obedient consumers within one vast globalist super-state. They want us all to think alike because they want one global market.

Identity politics being inherently divisive might seem to be at odds with this. It makes sense though once you realise that a globalist super-state is in fact an empire. The easiest way to control an empire is by using divide and rule tactics. Dividing the population along ethnic or cultural or even regional lines would however be dangerous. It Italians were to feel an intense pride in their Italian identity they might start thinking that it would be nice to have their own country and control their own destinies. We can’t have that. Nationalism is the enemy of any empire.

Dividing people along completely artificial lines such as “gender” or sexuality or race is much safer. There’s not much danger that homosexuals will demand their own country.

Identity politics also appeals because it encourages antagonisms. While women are hating men for being patriarchal oppressors they’re not noticing that globalism isn’t really doing anything for women. While blacks are hating whites as racist oppressors they’re not noticing that globalism isn’t making life better for ordinary blacks. 

Apart from nationalism the great fear of the globalists is that people might notice that class still matters and that only one class benefits from globalism.

It’s vital, from the globalist point of view, that society be divided only along totally artificial lines.

Any genuine sense of identity must be crushed. Family, religion, culture and regional traditions offer an organic sense of identity that gives people a sense of being more than mere consumers or mere servants of the state. Our duty as subjects of the empire is to buy more consumer goods and obey orders.

Monday, December 19, 2016

immigration, housing and the environment

There are countless reasons to oppose mass Third World immigration but there are a couple of arguments that in my view have not been given enough emphasis.

The first of these is housing. It’s a matter of basic supply and demand. If you have rapid population growth fueled by immigration, as we have in Australia, then obviously housing is going to get more and more expensive. In fact home ownership will be placed out of the reach of an increasingly large share of the population while renting will become more of a financial burden as well.

I live on the semi-rural fringes of Sydney. At least it used to be semi-rural. Now the remaining farmland is disappearing at a terrifying rate, being replaced by more and more housing estates. House prices have gone through the roof. We have very few immigrants here. What we’re seeing here is an indirect rather than a direct effect of immigration - which makes it all the more pernicious since most people don’t make the connection.

Housing is an issue that Mark at Upon Hope raised not long ago (in his post Affordable Housing, How Do We Get Back To It?) and it’s a vital issue. It’s also an issue on which anti-immigrationists should be able to get some real political traction.

Of course there’s another related issue. In our area we’re not just seeing skyrocketing housing prices we’re also losing out quality of life. We moved here to get away from the horrors of Sydney - crime, drugs, multi-culturalism, noise, overcrowding, traffic congestion. Now all these horrors are following us, and as long as immigration continues at current rates all this is only going to get worse.

Another issue that anti-immigrationists don’t focus on enough is the environment. Now personally I believe that global warming is utter nonsense but (sadly) most people seem to believe in it. And even if global warming is nonsense there are genuine environmental concerns that shouldn’t be ignored. You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out that rapid population growth as a result of mass immigration will have an impact on the environment.

This is an issue on which the globalists and the SJWs are particularly vulnerable. The environment is sacred after all. 

These are the kinds of issues on which real political headway can be made.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Search for the Nile (1971)

The Search for the Nile was a very ambitious project for the BBC in 1971. It features a good deal of location shooting and the results are certainly impressive. documentary-style historical drama about African exploration is in its own way an astonishing television achievement. 

Even more astonishing is that it’s not an exercise in political correctness. It deals with colonialism in a complex and nuanced way. It also deals with slavery but the slavers encountered here are Arabs and Africans. 

In the middle of the nineteenth century the hot topic in geographical circles was the source of the River Nile. In fact it had been a hot topic in geographical circles for around two thousand years and no-one was any closer to finding the answer.

This is more than just a story of exploration. It is a race. The rivalry between Captain Sir Richard Burton and Lieutenant John Hanning Speke for the honour of making the great discovery is an epic in itself. Burton and Speke undertook joint expeditions as well as solo expeditions and the relationship between the two men was uneasy and complex. It is difficult to imagine two men less suited to work together in harness and Burton’s decision to choose Speke to accompany him on his first major attempt to find the source of the Nile in 1856 is at first sight surprising. The one thing they had in common was the obsession to unravel this greatest of all geographical mysteries.

There was also another potential runner in this race. Scottish missionary David Livingstone  was rumoured to have an interest in finding the source of the Nile as well and the depth of Livingstone’s knowledge of Africa made him a formidable rival. There would be others joining the race later, most notably Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

Burton was one of the most extraordinary men of the nineteenth century (a century that produced more than its share of remarkable men). He initially gained fame as the first European non-Muslim to visit Mecca, an incredibly foolish and dangerous undertaking  as the city was absolutely off limits to non-Muslims. Burton mastered countless languages and gained as much fame as a translator of eastern classics as he did from his journeys of exploration. His interest in eastern erotica scandalised Victorian England. He immersed himself in non-European cultures to an extent that raised eyebrows. He was wildly eccentric and unconventional and nothing pleased him more than to shock English society.

Speke was more of an enigma, a man driven by burning ambition that led him to make great discoveries and tragic errors of judgment. Speke was rather straitlaced and while Burton was fascinated by other cultures Speke hated everything about Africa and its people. Their joint expedition would prove that they were disastrously ill-suited to the task of working together. 

The TV series deals not just with this one epic journey of exploration but with a whole series of expeditions led by an assortment of extraordinary larger-than-life and often eccentric characters - Burton, Speke, Livingstone, Samuel and Florence Baker and Henry Morton Stanley. The search for the source of the Nile proved to be elusive and frustrating. Each of the various expeditions filled in some of the missing pieces but it seemed that the final solution to the puzzle was always just out of reach.

The journeys of exploration make fascinating viewing and the personal dramas of these remarkable human beings provide even greater interest. 

The excellent cast is a major asset. Kenneth Haigh is splendidly extravagant and outrageous as Burton. Michael Gough is equally good as the obsessive, saintly but amiable Dr Livingstone. John Quentin landed the most challenging and potentially most thankless role as Speke. Speke’s motivations remain mysterious and although he gave the impression of being something of a straight arrow his conduct on several crucial occasions is difficult to explain except as the actions of a man whose excessive ambition drove him to behave selfishly and dishonourably. It isn’t easy to make Speke sympathetic but Quentin does manage to make him a tragic figure.

James Mason adds a touch of further class as the narrator.

The location shooting is stunning and by the standards of 1971 British television it’s really quite spectacular. 

This being 1971 the material is handled in a pretty even-handed manner with surprisingly little preachiness. The viewer is assumed to be capable of making his own judgments. It’s actually a little surprising that the BBC has finally allowed this series to be released on DVD - this is an historical series for grown-ups who do not require everything to be filtered through a lens of political correctness.

The Victorian era produced an immense number of colourful larger-than-life heroic figures like Richard Burton and (albeit in a very different way) David Livingstone. These were men whose achievements and virtues were on the grand scale, and at times their vices were on an equally grand scale. They were complex men and this series takes them seriously and generally speaking it takes them on their own terms without trying to judge them by late 20th century standards. The courageous and indomitable Florence Baker, who accompanied her husband Samuel on his expedition down the Nile, showed that Victorian women could be just as remarkable and just as heroic.

This is intelligent literate television and it’s also immensely entertaining. Very highly recommended and it looks great on DVD.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Churchill’s Grand Alliance

John Charmley’s 1995 book Churchill’s Grand Alliance: The Anglo-American Special Relationship 1940-57 is part of a kind of trilogy dealing with the period from the late 30s to the late 50s. In this case the cut-off date is very significant - 1957 marking the end of British foreign policy as a truly independent nation.

As Charmley sees it the problem with the wartime alliance between the “Big Three” - Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States - was that the British government (and Churchill in particular) failed to understand that these three great powers not only had few interests in common, their interests were in fact fundamentally in conflict. Churchill clung to the belief that this would somehow all resolve itself once Hitler was beaten. Churchill also clung to the belief that by establishing a personal relationship between himself and Stalin and between himself and Roosevelt British interests could be protected. By early 1945 he knew he had miscalculated in regard to Stalin but he was never able to comprehend that US interests were in many respects diametrically opposed to Britain’s. He also failed to understand the depth of American hostility towards the British Empire.

In the postwar period the Cold War initially seemed like a godsend - surely this would bring the US and Britain closer together. The problem here was that the Cold War became an obsession for the US while Britain had other vital interests totally unconnected with that conflict. For Britain the Empire was an economic necessity. For the US the British Empire was a relic of the bad old days and an obstacle the new world order they hoped to create, a new world order that would coincidentally be entirely in the interests of the United States.

The British Empire was also an obstacle to one of the centrepieces of American postwar grand strategy - the unification of Europe. The US believed that European unification would not be viable without Britain but the problem was that as long as Britain had her Empire she not only had no need to join a European federation - it would be against Britain’s interests to do so. Coincidentally European unification would be very much in the interests of the US in the context of the Cold War - whether it would actually be in the interests of Europe was not a consideration.

The Middle East was where the Anglo-American Special Relationship really caused trouble. Britain had very vital economic interests indeed in this region. The US felt that the best solution was for American influence to displace British influence in the region. As Charmley points out there was nothing morally reprehensible about the US ruthlessly pursuing its own interests. The problem was that the British were living in a fantasy world in which they thought that if they supported the US where US interests were at stake (such as the Korean War and Central America) then the US would support Britain where British interests were at stake. 

The crisis came in 1956 over Nasser’s seizure of the Suez Canal. This being of absolutely crucial importance to Britain the British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, assumed that the US would support the British and French use of force to reverse Nasser’s action. After all Britain and France were independent nations with a right to protect their interests. He was wrong. The US responded by trying to wreck the British economy. Eden’s successor, Harold Macmillan, would not make the mistake of thinking Britain had the right to an independent foreign policy.

One of the more interesting aspects of the book is Charmley’s reassessment of Sir Anthony Eden. Eden emerges as the last British Foreign Secretary, and the last British Prime Minister, to believe that Britain both should and could pursue an independent foreign policy. Eden was always remarkably consistent in this respect. He had ruffled feathers during the war for his conciliatory approach to the Soviet Union. Eden was in fact merely being brutally realistic. The war was clearly going to end with the Soviet Union in possession of large chunks of eastern Europe. Making an issue of this was simply futile. The Soviet Union, of which he heartily disapproved, was a reality. The best course of action was to accept reality and try to establish sensible relations with Stalin. 

Eden’s attempt to pursue an independent foreign policy failed but this does not necessarily mean it was a bad idea.

Charmley also has interesting things to say about colonialism. He does not accept that the dissolution of the Empire was inevitable. The Empire was not going to go on indefinitely in its existing form but then the British government had recognised that in the 30s.The hope was that it could be transformed into something based on co-operation and common interests rather than direct rule, something that would satisfy nationalist aspirations and be of benefit to all parties. The war, and fierce US opposition, put paid to such ideas. This may in retrospect have been a tragedy.

As always Charmley is provocative and fascinating. Highly recommended.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

popular but forgotten Australian writers - Arthur W. Upfield

In a recent comment by Roy mention was made of popular Australian writers of the past such as Nevil Shute, Morris West and John Cleary. I’d add Arthur W. Upfield to that list. Upfield’s Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte mysteries were immensely popular from the late 1920s up to at least the 1970s. They now seem to be out of print.

Upfield's books enjoyed considerable international success at the time.

The Bony books, dealing with a half-Aboriginal detective, might not satisfy modern standards of political correctness although in fact there’s nothing even remotely racist about them. On the other hand Upfield carefully refrained from the modern practice of lecturing his readers.

The novels formed the basis of a successful (and extremely good) 1970s Australian television series, Boney, which now seems to have vanished without trace. I'm not even sure if the series survives but it certainly hasn't been released on DVD.

James Laurenson as Boney in the TV series
The TV series caused some minor angst because a white New Zealander, James Laurenson, was cast in the title role. In fact the producers tried to find a suitable half-Aboriginal actor but without success.

I’ve just posted a review of one of the more celebrated Bony mysteries, Wings Above the Diamantina, at my Vintage Pop Fictions blog. Here’s the link.

Both the novels and the TV series are a great deal of fun.

As for Nevil Shute, I think No Highway is an absolutely superb novel. I think I read most of his books years ago.

I know I’ve read a couple of Morris West’s books. I’m afraid I’ve never read anything by John Cleary though.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

random thoughts on the importance of unsettling history

I came across an interesting quote a couple of days ago. As invariably happens in such cases I now can’t find the damned thing but the gist of it was as follows. Getting an education should make you uncomfortable, and even at times horrified. If your education makes you feel safe and secure then whatever it is you’re getting it isn’t an education. I find myself strongly agreeing with this. 

I’m sure it applies to every subject but I think it’s particularly applicable in the case of history. If an historian is doing his job then reading his work should make you feel unsettled and it should challenge your assumptions. You might find yourself disagreeing with the historian but if that’s the case then at least you’re being challenged to think about why you disagree.

Napoleon once described history as “a set of lies agreed upon” and there’s much to be said for this view. Every historian has an axe to grind. An historian without an axe to grind wouldn’t be worth reading - his history would be merely a list of events without any logical connection. In most cases we know what happened in history. Knowing what happened isn’t very interesting or informative. We want to know why the events occurred. And knowing why the events occurred involves not so much collecting evidence as interpreting it. To a certain extent every good historian is a revisionist historian, because a good historian has to be prepared to look at the evidence and ask himself - does this mean what other historians have assumed it to mean? Are there other possible interpretations?

Of course this does not mean that all revisionist history is good history, nor does it mean that we can interpret historical evidence in whatever manner we choose. We do not need to go down the rabbit hole into complete subjectivity and relativism. Historical evidence can often be interpreted in different ways but if you’re going to offer a fresh interpretation you’d better be able to demonstrate that your new fresh approach actually makes sense and actually fits the evidence, and does so at least as well as (and preferably better than) the existing consensus. If it fails to fulfill these criteria then it’s merely another conspiracy theory for the tin-foil hat brigade.

The mere fact that a particular interpretation of history is unsettling does not disqualify it from consideration, although in the world of modern academia it seems that anything that is even mildly unsettling is out of bounds. History is not supposed to be a safe space. It is not supposed to offer us reassurance. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

defending our culture

There are many things we’re not allowed to do any more. We’re not allowed to defend our borders. We’re not allowed to defend our industries. But perhaps most important of all, we’re not allowed to defend our culture.

In this instance I’m talking mostly about popular culture, although the argument also applies to so-called “high” culture as well. Popular culture has often been despised but it’s an essential ingredient of our identity as a people.

Back in the 60s and 70s leftists often talked about “cultural imperialism” but it’s a term you don’t hear very much these days. The reason you don’t hear about it very much is because it’s incredibly important. You can always assume that if a topic is forbidden it’s because it’s important.

Globalism aims at a single global market and ultimately a single global government (a totally undemocratic global government of course) but it also must lead inevitably to a single global culture. We can already see what that global culture is going to look like and it isn’t pretty. Moronic Hollywood movies, hip hop music, reality TV shows. And that global culture is going to be in all essentials an American culture. The processing of imposing American popular culture on the whole planet started a century ago but it’s become steadily more insidious and steadily more deadly. 

Most popular culture tends a little towards trashiness. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s good trash culture and there’s bad trash culture. There’s harmless trash culture and there’s harmful trash culture. Good trash culture is basically lightweight throwaway entertainment. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Personally I happen to enjoy lightweight throwaway entertainment. I can appreciate grand opera and High Renaissance art and the novels of Joseph Conrad but there are times when I just want to read a detective story, or watch a silly 1950s sci-fi B-movie, or a harmless TV cop show.

The problem is that popular culture today comes with extra added ingredients - political messages and (even more worrying) subtle and not-so-subtle social propaganda. It is more and more difficult to find pop culture that doesn’t glorify promiscuity, or sexual perversion, or push an anti-white anti-European agenda.

And that’s why the Americanisation of global popular culture is a cause for concern - modern American popular culture is stridently politically correct and pro-globalist. It also happens to be, ironically enough, strongly anti-American. It is cultural poison to Americans, and it is cultural poison to everyone else. It aims to destroy traditional American values, and it aims to destroy the traditional values of every other nation.

I don’t want this to come across as an anti-American rant. Most modern British and Australian pop culture is every bit as bad. It’s just that modern American pop culture is more dangerous because it’s so all-pervasive and it’s marketed so aggressively to the rest of the world.

I also want to make it clear that I have a great love for American popular culture of the past. There was a time when America had a genius for producing marvelous pop culture.

Australia is particularly vulnerable because we’re still comparatively speaking a young country. European settlement in North America began a couple of centuries before European settlement in Australia. By the mid-20th century Australia was just beginning to develop a recognisable and distinctive popular culture. In the 1930s Australia had a thriving film industry, making movies that were often surprisingly ambitious (such as Forty Thousand Horsemen). Much of our pop culture was heavily influenced by British and American models but it was starting to acquire an Australian flavour. That’s all gone now. What passes for Australian pop culture today is simply third-rate copies of the worst of American pop culture.

That’s what used to be called cultural imperialism and it does matter. Even European nations with their much stronger indigenous traditions are going to be powerless to resist the onslaught. Even non-European countries are going to lose their cultures. We’re heading for a globalist popular culture and we need to recognise that this is yet another aspect of the evil of globalism. It’s a way of weakening us so that we will willingly accept the entire globalist package. And that means the destruction of any sense of national, ethnic, racial or cultural identity.  

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Ideology and Race Question

Whether race or ideology is more important is a vexed question. It may be the most important question confronting those of us who want to save or civilisation.

Mark at Upon Hope argues passionately for the primacy of race (although he certainly doesn’t neglect ideology). 

My view is that the mass immigration that is destroying the West is not caused by race as such. Unlike most previous mass immigrations it is not driven by population pressure. It has been deliberately engineered - by groups within the West itself. 

Firstly we need to be honest about immigration. Mass immigration is effectively invasion. When an existing population is displaced by a new one it doesn’t matter whether the new population comes with spears or tanks or whether they come “peacefully” - the end result is the same. The existing population is either destroyed or driven out or absorbed. Historians argued for decades about whether the arrival of the Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons, etc) in Celtic Britain was immigration or invasion. From the point of view of the Celtic population the result was that England ceased to be a Celtic civilisation and became English. The Celts lost their identity and their culture.

There have been countless arguments about whether the Celtic population was destroyed or absorbed. There have been countless arguments about whether the modern English are genetically predominantly Germanic or Celtic or a mixture. It makes no difference. They had an identity and a culture and they lost both.

A number of factors can drive mass immigrations. Population pressures are the obvious reason. Religion can play a part. Sometimes it’s a sheer lust for conquest. There is however one common factor - a perceived weakness on the part of the invaded. Alexander the Great’s Macedonian armies did not destroy the Persian Empire because they hated the Persians and they were not driven to it by population pressures. They destroyed the Persian Empire because they could. The were very well aware of their own military superiority over the Persians and of the fragility of the Persian Empire. It was an empire for the taking and the Macedonians took it. The barbarians who invaded and destroyed the Roman Empire in the West also did so because they could. The Romans were no longer capable of defending themselves and the barbarians knew this. The Romans were also foolish enough to think they could bring German tribes into their empire and turn them into Romans who would defend their empire for them. They were wrong. As a result Roman civilisation ceased to exist in the West.

The same argument applies to the modern waves of immigration flooding the West. The immigrants/invaders see the West (correctly) as weak and decadent and unwilling to defend itself. In this case though the military superiority is all on the side of the West. We have the military superiority but it doesn’t help us. We have been betrayed from within.

That’s where the ideology part comes in. It is globalism that prevents us from defending ourselves. Globalists want free trade and global markets and they want a divided and easily controlled population. The globalists don’t care about race. They care about markets and power. They don’t care about Islam. They don’t even care about Social Justice or feminism or transexual bathroom rights or homosexuality. Those are merely tools to weaken our civilisation. The globalists may well accept a temporary abatement of the immigration flood. If they do it will be merely a short-term tactic. Their long-term agenda will remain unchanged. That’s the danger of focusing on immigration and race. The best that can be achieved is a temporary reprieve. Once the globalists feel safe again the flood-gates will be re-opened. Walls will not help without the will to keep the gates closed. Walls will not help as long as the globalists keep pumping cultural poison into our society. What is needed is the will to survive and that requires a focus on destroying the globalist ideology.

It is also worth keeping in mind that a focus on immigration and race will not win election victories. It will not get anti-globalist parties into power. Parties that have focused narrowly on immigration and race have attracted some electoral support but nowhere near enough to gain power. To win elections requires an emphasis on the dire long-term economic consequences of globalism. Trump won largely on economic issues - the catastrophic effects of free trade on American communities. If the immigration invasion is to be stopped it is crucial that anti-globalist parties achieve actual political power. Winning maybe 25% of the vote by running on immigration/race is not enough. You have to get over 50% and that means attacking globalism on all fronts - attacking free trade and open borders and the soft totalitarianism of political correctness and the cultural poisoning of western society.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

the real far right in France

The French presidential election next year is starting to look very interesting indeed. The victory of Fran├žois Fillon in the Republican primaries means that there is now a genuine far-right candidate in the race. Fillon is not just copying the FN’s rhetoric on immigration and Islam. On economic issues he appears to be a kind of globalist Thatcherite. 

What this means is that Marine Le Pen is now the moderate centre-left candidate! Of course it remains to be seen whether she will be able to persuade the French voters that Fillon is a dangerous extremist who intends to destroy the French nation completely in order to serve his globalist agenda.

How will the media in France react to Fillon’s candidacy? Will they demonise him? It would certainly be easy to do. His economic policies will bring ruin and social chaos. He is an unabashed social conservative. He promises to crack down on immigration and Islam. He is pro-Putin. He is a long long way to the right of Le Pen. On the other hand he is a reliable supporter of globalism and the EU.

Will Fillon’s toxic economic policies lead to a revival of the fortunes of the Socialists? Le Pen’s best chance (and it’s a very slim chance) would be to face a Socialist candidate in the second round. At the moment the Socialists are so unpopular that they’re virtually an irrelevance but could Fillon’s Thatcherite policies galvanise disillusioned Socialist voters?

And if Le Pen faces Fillon in the second round of the election will Socialist voters throw their support behind a hard right candidate like Fillon?

Would the French actually be foolish to elect a man like Fillon? They were dumb enough to elect Hollande so anything is possible.

Gallia Watch has some interesting (and scary) stuff about Fillon.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

long term and short term goals and strategies

If our society is to survive there is obviously a great deal to be done. That in itself is a bit of a problem - where exactly do we start?

I think that the first thing we need to do is to distinguish between what is achievable and what is not achievable. There are many things that would be highly desirable but if they fall into that second category there’s not too much point in worrying about them.

We also need to distinguish between short term goals and long term goals. At certain points in history certain things are possible. At a later date it may be that other things will be possible. Or it may be that they will not be possible. We should not lose sight of long term goals but it is more useful to put as much energy as we can into those things that can be achieved now.

Take immigration. Closing the borders would be an achievable goal. It would take an immense amount of effort to push through such a measure but it could be done. Deporting illegal immigrants who have engaged in serious crime would be an achievable goal. On the other hand mass deportations are not going to happen. Not in the US, not in Australia and not in any European country. Whether mass deportations would be a good thing or a bad thing, whether it’s a moral thing to do or not, these questions are irrelevant. It’s not going to happen. Pushing for such a goal is not merely futile but counter-productive. Setting a realistic goal and then pushing for it with absolute determination is the only sensible strategy.

Or take higher education. Ideally we should close down at least half of our universities. Society has no need of the immense numbers of graduates that are currently being churned out, a very large number of whom would be better off not wasting the time, energy and money involved in pursuing the seductive but dangerous dream of university education. Closing down universities is however very unlikely to happen, at least in the short term. On the other hand cutting off funding for worthless Mickey Mouse degrees in Gender Studies or similar nonsense should be an achievable objective. Such studies are merely breeding grounds for professional “activists” - a species that is both useless and exceedingly harmful.

Conservatives suffered defeat after defeat in the Culture Wars by a policy of never-ending retreats and surrenders. That is always a losing strategy. That does not however mean that we can win by launching large-scale frontal attacks on the enemy’s strongest positions. You win a war by pursuing a positive offensive strategy but you need to choose your battles carefully, you need to recognise those positions that are too strong to attack in present circumstances and you need to concentrate on areas where gains can be made. The important thing is to make gains somewhere while defending the territory you already hold. You don’t defeat an enemy all at once. You wear your enemy down by taking every opportunity to win even small battles. It is necessary to keep the initiative but it is foolish to expose yourself to defeat through recklessness and poor judgment.

In other words we need to avoid the defeatism of mainstream conservatism and also to avoid the rashness and over-confidence of some sections of the alt-right.

It is even more important to know what your actual objectives are. Anyone who fights a war without clear objectives will inevitably lose. What kind of society do we actually want? Do we want the utopian dreams of socialists and libertarians? Do we want the war of the jungle of the unfettered free market? Is economic prosperity the secret to human happiness? Is freedom a necessary condition for happiness and is it compatible with democracy? Is it more important to have government that is efficient or government that is honest? If we need a much more socially conservative society (and I certainly think that we do) what part should government play in this? Can we legislate our way towards social conservatism? And what of the catastrophically low birth rates in western countries - can government action do anything to reverse these trends?

These are clearly big topics that cannot be addressed in one blog post. I will make an attempt to formulate my own answers to these questions in future posts.

Friday, November 25, 2016

the alt-right, pro and con

The alt-right is certainly getting plenty of attention lately. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.

The first thing that should be pointed out is that the alt-right’s sudden enormous influence exists mostly in the minds of the more excitable alt-righters. In reality it is still a very minor fringe movement. Whether it ever gains real influence remains to be seen.

I have considerable sympathy for some of the points made by the alt-right. I am vehemently opposed to immigration and I am deeply suspicious of free trade. I am also heartily sick of political correctness and the constant demonisation of white people. So far so good.

On the other hand I regard concepts such as white nationalism as being wholly unworkable. It’s absurdly vague and it ignores culture. There is no such thing as black nationalism and the very idea of asian nationalism is ridiculous - try persuading the Chinese and the Japanese that they should embrace pan-asian nationalism.

Culture is what unites people and it is also what divides them. Both the unifying and the dividing functions of culture are useful and healthy. Any community that has nothing to unite it will sink into chaos. Any nation without a sense of national unity is doomed. Different groups of people have their own beliefs and cultures and histories and will prefer to live with others who share their beliefs and cultures and histories. No-one, apart from globalists and SJWs, wants to live in a single gigantic community where everyone thinks the same and has the same culture.

Culture is what matters and every culture has a right to exist and to thrive and that can only happen if people have their own communities and their own countries.

One of my problems with the alt-right is their tendency to ignore culture. I do not want to be part of a nation defined by whiteness. I want to be part of a nation defined by a shared culture and a shared history. 

It also concerns me that many on the alt-right have no understanding of the fact that a nation cannot survive without a moral core. If you have no moral compass you end up with  a society motivated by greed and hedonism. You are on the road to civilisational collapse. When people like Milo Yiannopoulos are celebrated as alt-right heroes I start to worry. He seems to me to represent the very things that have been responsible for the undermining of our civilisation - atheism and mindless hedonism. If MIlo is the face of the alt-right then you can count me out.

If white nationalism means abandoning morality for the sake of building a supposed white identity then it’s an identity I’m not interested in. A white identitarianism that is prepared to embrace abortion, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity and the destruction of the family would, it seems to me, be no better than the liberal nightmare we’re already living in.

Liberals are the enemy, and that includes white liberals. In fact it especially includes white liberals. I do not want liberals as allies. I do not trust any liberals. 

I am also dubious about the shock tactics beloved of some elements of the alt-right. I am a firm believer in the necessity of occupying the high moral ground. I’m all for freedom of speech but it worries me that some on the alt-right do not have enough sense to refrain from making foolish and extreme statements that end up discrediting the saner voices. There is no point in giving free gifts to your enemies.

I personally do not consider myself alt-right, or even any kind of right or any kind of conservative as such terms are generally used. I am in agreement with the alt-right on some issues and in strong disagreement with them on others. I certainly don’t regard them as enemies but I do think that as allies they can be both useful and sometimes dangerous.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Churchill: The End of Glory

There have been many attempts to demolish the Churchill Myth. John Charmley’s Churchill: The End of Glory is one of the most thorough, and most devastating. Of course, as Charmley admits, once a myth establishes itself no amount of rational argument has any effect.

Charmley describes his book as a political biography and that is what it is. Churchill’s private life is only touched on insofar as it is relevant to his political career. Churchill’s personality on the other hand is very relevant indeed and Charmley has much to say on that subject.

Throughout his career Churchill was dogged by suspicions of disloyalty and treachery. He did after all change parties twice and he was never trusted by his parliamentary colleagues. Charmley however makes it clear that such accusations are unjust. Winston Churchill was a man whose views on most subjects were formed very early in his life and he was remarkably consistent in adhering to his views. When the Conservative Party abandoned free trade (something in which Churchill believed passionately) Churchill abandoned the Party rather than change his views. His abandonment of the Liberals in 1924 can hardly be seen as treachery - the Liberal Party had simply ceased to exist as a viable force in British politics. It was not really a matter of deserting a sinking ship - the ship had already sunk. 

Churchill in fact was never truly either a Conservative or a Liberal. He had a distaste for party politics and he never even pretended to be a loyal party man. He was happiest when serving in coalition governments. He was, if such a thing could exist, a liberal conservative. His belief in social reform was perfectly sincere. In this he was motivated partly by a conviction that the only way of saving the traditional Britain in which he grew up was by giving those at the bottom of the heap a much better deal. He was also, to do him justice, genuinely shocked by the condition of the poor in late Victorian Britain. It might in fact be more accurate to describe Churchill as a liberal reactionary.

Churchill also believed just as strongly that Britain could and should continue to play the part of a Great Power and that the Empire could and should be preserved. 

The difficulty, as Charmley makes clear, was that by the twentieth century Britain simply could not afford to remain a Great Power and maintain the Empire and embark on ambitious social reform. It was doubtful if the country could afford to do even two of these things; doing all three was out of the question. This was something that Churchill was never able to understand or accept.

Churchill’s greatest flaw was unquestionably his belief in his own military genius. Having been a humble Second Lieutenant in the 4th Hussars and having participated in a minor colonial campaign on the Northwest Frontier in 1895 had convinced him that he knew more about military strategy than any general. Having been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty he assumed that this was enough to transform him into an expert on naval strategy as well.

His unshakeable belief in his genius led him, and the nation, into one disaster after another. Lord Nelson had famously expressed the very firm view that ships cannot fight forts but after all what did Lord Nelson know about naval tactics? Winston Churchill knew better and the catastrophic attempt to force the Dardanelles in 1915 was the result. This ill-judged operation was typical of all of Churchill’s forays into the realm of strategy. He would come up with a hare-brained scheme and then convince himself that success was certain and that enormous advantages would be gained. Wiser heads would point out the folly of the operation and Churchill would ignore them and then use his considerable powers of persuasion to get the plan approved. And, invariably, the plan would end in utter disaster. Norway in 1940 was another superb example although ironically it was not Churchill’s career that was ended as a result but Neville Chamberlain’s. The British intervention in the Greek campaign in 1941 was yet another prime example.

Churchill’s ineptitude as a strategist was bad enough but even worse was his inability to foresee inevitable consequences at the level of grand strategy. Charmley makes it clear that Churchill’s reputation as the man of the hour in 1940 was deserved but sees his conduct of the war thereafter as disastrous as he had no actual war aims. Wars are fought to achieve political objectives. Without clear and achievable political objectives war is merely a futile waste of lives. Churchill thought that defeating Hitler was a sufficient objective and had no clear idea whatsoever of what should happen next. Unfortunately both Stalin and Roosevelt had very clear and very definite ideas about what should happen next and neither had the slightest concern if their aims happened to be very disadvantageous indeed for Britain. Britain ended up fighting a war that served the interests of other nations without in any way serving Britain’s interests.

By February 1945 Churchill had realised his mistake and had recognised the danger posed by the soviet Union. Unfortunately after three-and-a-half years of appeasing Stalin this sudden volte-face was too little too late.

Churchill was a monstrous egotist with immense ambition but he was by no means a bad or malicious man. He was in his own way an idealist and no-one has ever desired more ardently to serve his country. Sadly the verdict that so many of his contemporaries had delivered upon him, that he was a man of vast talent and extraordinarily poor judgment, proved to be all too accurate.

Charmley does not set out to execute a mere hatchet job. He finds much to admire in Churchill. Churchill’s strengths and his weaknesses were both on an epic scale. The tragedy is that the weaknesses led to his ultimate failure and led to precisely the consequences that he was so anxious to avoid - the loss of the Empire, the reduction of Britain to the status of a third-rate power, the growth of class bitterness and resentment and the loss of the nation’s belief in itself.

Whether you agree or disagree with Charmley’s conclusions Churchill: The End of Glory is essential reading. Highly recommended.

Monday, November 14, 2016

social cohesion and political beliefs

Most people, if asked why they hold the beliefs they do, will tell you that it’s because their beliefs are self-evidently objectively correct. If you then point out to them that a particular belief of theirs is clearly and demonstratively objectively wrong it will not make the slightest difference. They will insist that their belief is still correct and they will almost certainly get angry about it. But they will not change their mind.

As Razib Khan points out in Winning Isn't Everything, Winning Your Team Is that’s because what matters is group cohesion. “It isn’t about the score up on the board, but standing with your team.” What matters is group cohesion.

It doesn’t matter if a belief is true or false. What matters is belonging to a group and holding the beliefs that are acceptable within that group. If someone’s group is made up of Flat Earthers then that person is almost certainly going to be a Flat Earther and no amount of logical argument is going to sway him on that. From that person’s point of view objective reality is unimportant. What is important is that believing in a Flat Earth cements his place within the group and brings major social benefits (and often material benefits as well). Being a Flat Earth denier in such a group would involve serious social costs, possibly even being ostracised. Compared to that truth is a very minor consideration.

This explains why it is exceedingly difficult to change other people’s minds even when one has marshalled overwhelmingly convincing evidence. It is always going to be next to impossible to change the mind of an individual because human beings are not by nature individuals. We are social animals. Membership in the group is everything. 

This has obvious implications in the political sphere. It’s the reason politicians do not rely on logical aruments, they rely on emotion, and they rely on appealing to our desire to maintain our position within our group. They also rely on promises that are very close to outright bribery. A promise by a candidate to put extra money in our pockets by cutting our taxes or increasing our welfare payments does not challenge our beliefs and thus does not 
endager our standing within our group. Greed is something we can easily rationalise away. Emotional appeals by politicians also not do usually challenge our standing within our group because they’re invariably so vague as to be meaningless. 

So how can we actually change someone’s political beliefs? The answer is that mostly you can’t.

So how do the political beliefs of society as a whole change? There’s a wildly held theory that scientific paradigms don’t change when scientists adopt the new paradigm. They change when the adherents of the old paradigm die and are replaced by younger scientists who absorbed the new paradigm as students. It’s likely that this also applies to politics.

When I was younger I lived in inner-city Sydney in a vaguely bohemian vaguely arty social group. We were very left-wing and very socially liberal on many issues, but by today’s standards we were extraordinarily politically incorrect. If you went to that part of Sydney today you’d find that it’s still vaguely bohemian, vaguely arty and very left-wing. But you’d also find that it’s frighteningly politically correct. Many of the things we used to say would now get you run out of town on a rail, and probably reported to the police and arrested. What has changed is not that the people there have changed their opinions but that a new generation of much more intolerant vaguely bohemian, vaguely arty left-wingers has to a large extent displaced the previous group. Virtually all of the people I used to know there have died or moved away (I’m one of those who moved away). It’s not that trendy inner-city lefties have become more intolerant and more rigidly PC, it’s more that each new generation of trendy inner-city lefties is more intolerant and more rigidly PC. And the steadily declining cohorts of those previous generations who remain in those areas have learnt that if they don’t want to face severe social penalties they had better conform or else.

If you want to achieve real political change you can only do so by indoctrinating the young through the education system and the media. Once a person’s political beliefs have been formed you’ll find it exceptionally difficult to change them.

It’s a fairly depressing conclusion to come to but there it is.

And what about the election of Donald Trump? Doesn’t that prove that political views can be changed, that political paradigms can be shifted? In my view, no. It seems to me that Trump won by running an old-fashioned campaign based on bread-and-butter issues. For the Rust Belt voters who won him the election the issues were mostly economic - it was mostly about jobs. What has changed is that while these voters have not altered their political opinions they have changed their minds about which party represents their views and their interests. That in itself is extremely important.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump’s victory and white nationalism

In the past few days we’ve had tearful SJWs telling us that Trump’s victory was a victory for evil white supremacism. We’ve also had alt-righters telling us that it marked the beginnings of a white nationalist surge and the adoption by whites of identity politics.

I’m very sceptical about this. What seems to have happened is that Trump won much the same white vote that Romney did, but the black Democrat vote collapsed.

It’s likely that Trump lost some white voters and gained others. He obviously did well among white voters in the Rust Belt states but I doubt if these white voters were motivated by white identity politics. It seems much more likely that they finally figured out that the Democratic Party is the Billionaire Party and will never do anything to fix the serious economic problems facing these states. Trump at least offered some slight hope that he might address these problems. 

These white voters have started to assert their class identity. The one class that is doing very well is the elite class. The working class and the lower middle class are being screwed. They’re tired of it and they’re starting to think that changing their political allegiance might be a good idea.

In some ways this was a very old-fashioned election. The issues that counted were good old-fashioned economic issues - jobs, jobs and jobs. Things like free trade and immigration were only issues insomuch as they impact on jobs. What is interesting is that Trump fought the election the way an old school moderate leftist would have done.

The Democrat Party has done what so many formerly leftist parties have done - they’ve abandoned their base and that base has turned on them.

I’m sure that voter fatigue with political correctness played a role, but probably a fairly minor one. I’m very dubious as to whether the alt-right had any effect at all. The alt-righters who think this was a victory for Pepe the Frog are living in a dream world. It was a victory for a candidate with sound old-fashioned political instincts and a moderate centre-left program with a healthy dash of nationalism without jingoism. Most importantly it was a victory for a candidate with the ability to convince ordinary Americans that he actually likes them and cares about their lives. That’s a formula that will usually lead to electoral success.

Friday, November 11, 2016

polls, the media and controlling the narrative

The big story from the US election has been the catastrophic failures of opinion polls and political pundits. This has implications that go beyond the future of opinion polls.

The mainstream media has a lot less credibility than it had fifty years ago. What little credibility it still has is to some extent dependent on its ability to tell us stuff like who’s going to win the next election. They can tell us this stuff because they have Science on their side. Opinion polls are based on mathematics so that makes them Science doesn’t it?  And they have Experts. They know more than we do.

Except that it’s now obvious that their Experts know less than we do, and that their scientific opinion polls are little more than voodoo. People are likely to start thinking that if the media can be so wrong about election results then maybe they’re wrong about other things. Maybe they’re wrong about everything.

Even more shocking than the failure of the pre-election polls was the failure of the exit polls.

There is another very significant implication. If the pollsters were totally wrong about the election then perhaps their polls on various social issues are just as worthless. Maybe opinion polls have been dramatically underestimating the strength of opposition to quite a few aspects of the social justice agenda. We might be dealing not just with a Shy Tory or a Shy Trump Voter effect but possibly a Shy Social Conservative effect as well. Politicians who are anxious to advance causes like transgender bathroom rights and mass immigration might care to bear this in mind.

For politicians this is the beginning of a frightening new era. They have been accustomed to relying on opinion pollsters. Now they are going to be realising that they might as well consult an astrologer. 

For the media it could be the dawn of an even more frightening era - how can they keep control of the narrative if they have no way of knowing how the people are actually thinking?

It’s not as if it’s just Brexit and the US election that pollsters and pundits got wrong. Remember those opinion polls that told the Australian Labor Party that Kevin Rudd was unbelievably popular and could easily beat Tony Abbott at the next election? And the media got all excited about it and assured us that Abbott was absolutely unelectable. And so Labor replaced Julia Gillard with Rudd and Rudd went on to lead them to overwhelming defeat. The opinion pollsters are getting it wrong more and more often, in more and more countries.

It appears that Trump won because he put his faith in old-fashioned political instincts. He had a message that he knew he could sell and he knew how to sell it and he knew which demographics were likely to buy it. He knew that if he stuck to the plan he could win.

There are stories floating about that Bill Clinton had been telling the Clinton campaign for months that their strategy was going to fail and they were going to lose. Say what you like about Bill Clinton, he’s a clever politician and he understands politics on an instinctive level. Luckily no-one in the Clinton campaign listened to him - after all he’s just a stale pale male so what would he know?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The decadent West - is it in terminal decline?

A Political Refugee From the Global Village quotes an article from the state-controlled Chinese news agency Xinhua claiming that the decadent West is in terminal decline. One of the commenters asked why things like out-of-wedlock births and homosexual marriage should be considered to be evidence of decadence. I’ve thought about it and I’ve come up with answer.

Homosexual marriage is sterile. Sterility is a hallmark of decadence. Recognising homosexual marriage means recognising a marriage that cannot produce children. It means voting No to the future. It is a vote for death. Cultural death, national death, even spiritual death. A society that embraces its own death is most assuredly decadent.

As for out-of-wedlock births, if a couple takes on the responsibility of having a child, the biggest responsibility there is, and they can’t even be bothered to make enough of a commitment to each other to get married, they are also voting No to the future. It is an indication of a lack of belief in the future. They are not creating a real family, merely a collection of individuals in a temporary association, an association that can be terminated at any time on the grounds of boredom or inconvenience or mere whim. This is the endgame of liberalism - a vote for cultural death.

The argument can be applied to just about every feature of our modern society. Stupefying oneself with drugs is saying No to the future. 

Our frighteningly low birth rates are an obvious sign of our culture’s embrace of a death cult.

Feminism, an ideology of women who hate themselves for being female and an ideology that seeks to encourage men to hate themselves for being men, is ultimately sterile, negative, self-pitying and self-destructive. Decadent.

The idea of men who think they’re women and women who think they’re men inevitably leads to further sterility. There people are not going to vote for the future by having children. Decadent.

I remember many years ago watching Kenneth Clark’s television series Civilisation. Lord Clark made the point that the transition from barbarism to civilisation could be traced in the buildings they produced. The European Dark Ages produced virtually no buildings that have survived because a society that has no belief in its future produces buildings of a purely temporary nature. There was a huge change around about the twelfth century. Suddenly Europeans were creating buildings, the medieval cathedrals, that are still standing today. They are still standing today because they were built to last. They were built by a society that had confidence that it had a future. In other words, a civilisation. Even more significantly, these cathedrals could take a century or more to be completed. The men who began their construction would never live to see them completed but they built them anyway because they had absolute confidence that the cathedrals would be finished by the following generations. This shows an extraordinary level of faith in the future.

A society that has not developed sufficiently to have confidence in its future is in a state of barbarism. A civilisation that has lost its belief in the future and has embraced its own death is in a state of decadence.

Families are like cathedrals. They require faith in the future. If you have that confidence you will want a real family built on the foundation of marriage. You are building something for future generations.

Feminism, homosexual marriage, out-of-wedlock births, pornography (the ultimate in sterility), the drug culture, celebrity worship, disastrously low birth rates, the voluntary submission to population replacement through immigration - this is serious death cult stuff. These are unmistakeable signs of a decadent society, if not in its terminal stages then certainly in serious danger of entering the terminal stages.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

are the elites stupid or malicious?

A recent discussion at Vanishing American II has caused me to do some further pondering on exactly what has happened with our elites. The big question is - are the elites motivated by stupidity or malice? Are they engaged in a gigantic conspiracy against us or do they have no idea what they’re doing?

While I accept that there certainly is a good deal of informal conspiring going on I’m not convinced that the conspiracy argument is conclusive or that it provides a complete explanation. I have come up with some ideas on how the elites may have succumbed to collective stupidity, or at least collective blindness.

Our present day elites differ from the elites of the past in several ways. In many respects they have been rotted away from the inside by the following factors.

1. Isolation from ordinary people. In the ancient world, in the medieval world, even in the modern world up to the nineteenth century, the elites did have some contact with ordinary people. Landowners had personal contact with their tenant farmers. The wealthy had personal contact with their servants. Even factory owners generally at least visited their own factories and had some contact with the workers. They might have considered themselves to be virtually a separate species but at least they had some sense of the mood of ordinary people. If there was extreme dissatisfaction among ordinary people the elites were aware of it.

2. Scepticism. The elites embraced the Enlightenment with enthusiasm. Their religious faith faded rapidly. Scepticism led to atheism which in turn led (as it always does) to nihilism.

3. Morality. This follows from point two. When you believe in nothing you have no morality. The pursuit of pleasure, power and wealth is all there is. Greed is good. Corruption is fine if you can get away with it. Actually serving your country is for suckers.

4. Sexual depravity. Once you embrace hedonism and the pursuit of power in the absence of morality you are highly likely to succumb to the lure of sexual deviance, which rots the moral sense still further. Anything is acceptable if it gives momentary pleasure.

5. Arrogance. Elites were always arrogant but today we see a different kind of arrogance. European aristocrats of the eighteenth century were arrogant but they knew there were certain things they simply could not get away with. Today’s elites believe there is nothing they cannot get away with. They have no concept of consequences.

6. Trans-nationalism. Elites were always to some extent international in outlook but there were limits. If you were a wealthy French landowner then the source of your wealth was in France. If France went down the gurgler then so did your wealth. If you were a rich English factory owner then you had to care about the future of England because if England went belly-up your wealth would disappear. A certain amount of patriotism was necessary, if only out of self-interest. Today’s elites do not need to worry about such minor details. Their wealth is trans-national and thus patriotism is unnecessary. 

These factors might well provide at least a partial explanation for the existence of elites prepared to destroy their own nations and their own civilisation simply because they have no comprehension of the consequences and they simply don’t care.

I am of course talking in this post about native-born white European elites. Members of other ethnic groups within the elites obviously have different motivations. It’s the native-born white European elites that I’m concerned with because without them none of the globalist/SJW agenda would have been possible. In countries like Australia the elites are overwhelmingly native-born white Europeans and yet our elites are every bit as destructive as American elites. They have exactly the same mindsets.

modern feminism and where it leads

Robert Stacy McCain's review of Jessica Valenti's memoir Sex Object is an exhaustive and thorough demolition of modern feminism and the insanity to which it leads. It's worth reading.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The War We Never Fought

Any book by Peter Hitchens is going to be worth reading and his 2012 book The War We Never Fought: The British Establishment’s Surrender to Drugs is not only particularly good it’s also extremely important, drugs being a subject on which there seems to be no sensible debate at all.

Hitchens begins by pointing out that in Britain the war on drugs is a myth and has been since at least 1970. In that year the Labor government of Harold Wilson made an important decision. Cannabis would be reclassified as a “soft” drug and the laws against cannabis possession would no longer be enforced. They couldn’t legalise cannabis since that would have caused an electoral backlash, so it would be “decriminalised” by stealth. Laws against other drugs would also be much more leniently enforced. 

When Labor lost office later that year Labor’s legislation was passed by the incoming Ted Heath Conservative government. This marked another crucial step. The entire political establishment was in effect deciding that there would no longer be any genuine debate on drugs.

The decision also marked the end of any actual “war on drugs” in Britain - the idea that there has been such a war is quite simply a myth. The political establishment had decided on a policy of abject surrender.

The new policy would be to concentrate on the supply side. Drug dealers would be prosecuted but the laws on possession of drugs would not be enforced. As Hitchens points out such a policy was doomed to failure. As long as there was no attempt to put limits on the demand for drugs it was inevitable that any attempt to prevent the supply of those drugs would be futile. Which is exactly what the political establishment wanted.

Needless to say the British people were not asked for their opinion on this momentous change. The elites had made their decision and that was the end of the matter.

Hitchens also argues forcibly that the popular idea that cannabis is more or less harmless is very dubious. There has been insufficient scientific research but what evidence does exist suggests strong links with serious mental illness, notably schizophrenia. Given the fact that we’re not sure about the long-term dangers but we do know that there may be a very high risk it is irresponsible in the extreme to make policy on the assumption that these dangers do not exist.

Hitchens also explodes the myth of medical marijuana. The whole concept is based on very little scientific evidence whatsoever and pro-drugs campaigners have admitted that it is merely a public relations exercise to advance the cause of complete legalisation.

He also points out that while laws on cannabis possession are no longer enforced at all 
the laws on possession of other drugs have also been progressively softened.

Hitchens is not concerned only about illegal drugs. He is equally worried about the massive over-prescribing of drugs such as SSRIs and Ritalin, given that the evidence for the efficacy of such drugs is very slender and very dubious and there is ample evidence to suggest that SSRIs in particular pose very real dangers. 

He notes that the arguments advanced in favour of surrender on drugs have not changed in half a century and were unconvincing and misleading from the start. The war on drugs most certainly could have been won and even in the 1960s it was being won. It is of course impossible to eliminate the drug problem entirely but at that time it was being successfully contained. It is equally impossible to eliminate murder and bank robbery or any other crime entirely - the whole point of a criminal justice system is not to eliminate crime but to keep it within acceptable bounds and most importantly to prevent it from increasing.

While The War We Never Fought is specifically focused on Britain there’s no question that it has relevance to Australia and United States as well. An excellent well-argued book. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

why have conservatives failed to revolt?

It is easy enough to make the claim that the catastrophic decline of our civilisation over the past fifty years or so has been imposed upon us by without our consent and against our will by  cynical elites. There is a considerable amount of truth to to this but it is not the full story. We have in fact given de facto consent to our own destruction. We have done this by failing to resist this destruction.

A particularly interesting question is - why have rank-and-file conservatives allowed our civilisation to be trashed? The supporters of parties such as the British Conservative Party, the Australian Liberal Party and the Republican Party in the US have been historically drawn from the middle classes. They are supposedly well educated. Many if not most are people who are at least modestly successful in business or the professions. Can these people really claim they had no idea what was happening? Can they really claim they failed to understand the consequences of one disastrous decision after another, one catastrophic policy after another? Can they also make the claim that were was nothing they could do to halt the remorseless slide to ruin?

By the time Ted Heath became prime minister in 1970 the British Conservative Party had long since ceased to stand for anything conservative. In fact it had ceased to stand for anything at all. It’s true that under Margaret Thatcher it had a brief flirtation with the concept of standing for something, although what the Thatcher Government stood for certainly wasn’t conservatism. After that it gratefully went back to standing for nothing except the hope of power. And for half a century Conservative voters have dutifully turned out to vote for them.

It’s understandable that they didn’t wish to vote Labour but there were alternatives. Even voting for an independent is preferable to voting for unprincipled charlatans. Conservative voters could have made it clear to the party that if it intended to betray its conservative principles then it was going to face political oblivion. Faced with a revolt by its core voters it would have little choice but to rethink its slide towards amoral cynicism.

In Australia as early as the 70s it was clear that the Liberal-National Coalition intended, with its catastrophic embrace of multiculturalism, to betray its own base. It’s the same story with the US Republicans.

Each of these these parties has consistently treated its own base with contempt, and that base has kept on voting for them.

It could be argued that in the 70s the process of betrayal was not yet completely obvious, but it has certainly been obvious for the past twenty years. Finally, in the past few years, there have been some stirrings of discontent - the rise of UKIP, the Trump phenomenon - but it has been too little too late and there is still no guarantee that even these belated revolts will be sufficiently sustained to have any real effect.

Even more puzzling are the motivations of the actual members - the rank-and-file members - of these parties. They should surely have been even more aware of the extent to which these parties had abandoned any loyalty to their supporters. Why do they remain within parties from which it is obvious that nothing good can be expected?

Of course the leftist parties have betrayed their principles and their supporters to an equally egregious degree, but conservative voters are as I indicated earlier supposedly better educated. 

It appears that the middle and upper classes, who provide most of the support for these supposedly conservative parties, have been thoroughly demoralised and corrupted. Of course our whole society has been systematically demoralised and corrupted by half a century of relentless indoctrination into the values of liberalism coupled with the worship of hedonism and depravity. What is disturbing though is that it appears that the demoralisation of the middle classes must have started long before this - after all it was educated middle class people who unleashed the horrors of the past fifty years of cultural degeneracy upon us so they must have already been corrupted.

It was apparently sensible and respectable middle class people who were already as early as the 1960s tamely acquiescing in elite follies such as mass immigration, feminism, the undermining of the family, the insane liberalising of the drug laws and the embrace of homosexuality. And not just young middle-class people, but in many cases middle-aged middle-class people. The demoralisation of the middle classes must have begun much earlier.

Societies can commit suicide but it takes a very long time to do so. It requires people to shut their eyes to reality for decade after decade. In fact it requires a real effort of will to ignore reality so completely for so long, and an even larger effort of will to persist in such folly.

the social revolution within the Left

The most extraordinary (and arguably most disastrous) change in the political landscape in the past century has been the social revolution that has occurred within the political parties of the Left.

In 1945 Ben Chifley became Labor Prime Minister of Australia. Chifley was the son of a blacksmith and he became an engine driver in the New South Wales Railways. He was the solidly working-class leader of a solidly working-class party.

Chifley was defeated at the 1949 election. It would be 23 years before Australia had another Labor Prime Minister. In 1972 Gough Whitlam achieved that distinction. Whitlam was a lawyer from a privileged background. He was the solidly elitist leader of a party already well on the way to becoming an elitist political party. In 1972 Labor still retained vestiges of its past as a working-class democratic socialist party. Today the last traces of that past have long since disappeared.

The same process has occurred in the British Labour Party and in the Democratic Party in the US. The leaderships are entirely elitist in outlook. They not only have no interest in the working class, they actively (and increasingly openly) feel contempt for the working class. They advance the interests of people like themselves - fellow members of the elite. There is only one group whom they despise even more than the working class - the few remaining remnants of the old school Left within their own parties. Not that there are many left - if you are an old school leftist your chances of a political career within these supposedly left-wing parties are just about zero.

The treatment meted out to Bernie Sanders is a good indication of the chances of an actual leftist in a modern leftist party. While it’s true that the current leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, does hold some old school leftist beliefs he was elected by the rank and file much against the wishes of the Labour Party establishment (who will do everything within their power to destroy him).

What all this means is that in practice there is no longer any political opposition. The mainstream parties all support globalism and crony capitalism. They all despise anybody who is not a member of the elites. They all work to further the interests of the same class, the class to which they all belong. On economic policy there are simply no genuine differences between the parties. There is no debate on real economic issues. 

This is an extremely unhealthy situation to say the least.

When economic policy is no longer a subject for debate failed economic policies go unchallenged. Even those who disagree strongly with the old school socialists should be concerned by this.

There are no real differences between the major parties on social issues either. They all welcome identity politics because it provides a convenient smokescreen for their disastrous economic policies. They pretend to differ slightly on social issues but this is quite simply a fraud. The “leftist” parties (which have abandoned leftism) want a complete social revolution right now. The “conservative” parties think we should move more slowly. They want a complete social revolution as well but think it should be delayed at least until next week.

It is quite likely that most people under the age of 50 have no idea that the Australian Labor Party, the British Labour Party and the US Democrats used to have actual socialist policies and, more startlingly, used to be solidly socially conservative. 

This political revolution has simply passed unnoticed.