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.