Friday, April 28, 2017

Diversity or community?

You might remember that a decade ago an American professor, Dr Robert Putnam, released research showing that an increase in diversity leads to a decline in social solidarity:
In highly diverse Los Angeles or San Francisco, for example, roughly 30 percent of the inhabitants say that they trust their neighbours 'a lot', whereas in the ethnically homogeneous communities of North and South Dakota, 78-80 percent of the inhabitants say the same. In more diverse communities, people trust their neighbours less.

Professor Putnam summarised his research as follows:
Diversity does not produce ‘bad race relations’ or ethnically-defined group hostility, our findings suggest. Rather, inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbours, regardless of the colour of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.

This effect was seen for both conservatives and liberals.

Now another major study, undertaken by two Michigan State University researchers (Zachary Neal and Jennifer Watling Neal), has come to similar conclusions:
Their simulations of more than 20 million virtual “neighborhoods” demonstrate a troubling paradox: that community and diversity may be fundamentally incompatible goals. As the authors explain, integration “provides opportunities for intergroup contact that are necessary to promote respect for diversity, but may prevent the formation of dense interpersonal networks that are necessary to promote sense of community.”

...After 20 million-plus simulations, the authors found that the same basic answer kept coming back: The more diverse or integrated a neighborhood is, the less socially cohesive it becomes, while the more homogenous or segregated it is, the more socially cohesive.

It seems that you can have ethnic diversity or you can have a close sense of community - you just can't have both together.

So why then are liberals so wedded to diversity as a moral aim? The reasons no doubt intersect. First, liberals believe that the goal of politics is to maximise individual autonomy, meaning a freedom to be self-constituted or self-defined or self-directed. Therefore, a predetermined quality like our ethnicity is thought of negatively as something that constrains us and therefore has to be made not to matter. Liberals therefore don't want to discriminate on the basis of ethny or race, even if it is for an important purpose such as maintaining community.

A related reason is that liberals think of the act of individual choice as being the key expression of morality, rather than what is actually chosen. There is no moral "outside" for liberals, only the act of choosing and allowing others to do likewise. Therefore, liberal morality is based more on qualities that demonstrate a willingness not to interfere with the choices of others (except for those who fall outside the liberal schema), such as non-discrimination, tolerance, openness and support for diversity.

It's also the case that liberals tend to want to manage society in a "technocratic" way, either through the markets or state regulation, and this is more readily achievable when people are stripped of "opaque" loyalties, such as those to family or ethny, that provide direction and authority outside of the technocratic systems. In a liberal society, people tend to become interchangeable units of the markets or bureaucracies, and obviously those with power in these systems feel comfortable with this outcome.

It's also true that diversity can be used as a weapon against whoever is the existing majority ethnic group. It can be used as such either by disloyal members of the majority group or else by members of minority groups.

So what can be done? One important achievement would be to undermine the dominance of liberalism as a political philosophy in the West, as this is a significant source of the idea that diversity is a moral aim. Another achievement would be to undermine the dominance of the corporate and bureaucratic elites. This can be done by making people aware of the bias of these elites (a process already partly completed) and by building up alternative sources of media, education and culture.

Finally, the research of Jonathan Haidt shows that liberals do care about the "harm" principle of morality. So it might also have some effect to show that individuals are harmed (by a loss of community) when diversity is forced upon communities.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Now even The Simpsons is mocking SJWs

What happens when nearly all university academics are left-liberals? You get a left-wing campus culture that is so ideologically divorced from reality that even The Simpsons considers it worthy of mockery:


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Startling bias on U.S. campuses

Yes, we all know that the left managed to march through the institutions and capture them, including the universities. But it is still staggering to read the research regarding the left-wing bias of academics. The following is from an article by Australian journalist Paul Kelly:
Haidt has produced staggering figures on the revolution of the past 20 years in the US university system. It is basic to the culture war now raging in America.

Haidt (not a conservative) says “very few people” in the US know the extent of left-wing conformity entrenched in the humanities and social sciences in the US academy. As late as the 1990s the left-right ratio in the academy was only 2:1 but 15 years later there has been a “transformation” with the ratio now 5:1, with “almost everybody on the left” — and this includes professors from dental, engineering and agricultural schools.

The bias is much worse in the humanities. Taking his own field of social psychology, Haidt found the most recent data was 17:1. He quoted one survey with 291 respondents showing 85 per cent left-liberal and 6 per cent identifying as conservative, a ratio of 14:1.

He then followed a more extensive survey (William von Hippel and David M. Buss) involving members of the academic body of social psychologists. Of the 326 respondents, 291 identified as left of centre, which was 89 per cent, and only 2.5 per cent identified as right of centre. This gives a left-right ratio of 36:1.

Asked who they voted for or would have voted for at the 2012 presidential election, 305 out of 322 said Barack Obama (94.7 per cent), four said Mitt Romney (1.2 per cent) and 13 said another candidate (4 per cent). This meant a Democrat-Republican ratio of 76:1. When a series of political questions were put and scaled the result was a left-right ratio of 314:1.

The campuses are becoming increasingly left-liberal. The chances of a student encountering even a right-liberal academic, let alone a traditionalist one, are slight.

At some point in time, this will have to be challenged. I doubt if it is the next step, though. It seems more likely to me that gains will be made in building up an alternative media, as this is more readily achievable than trying to crack the leftist orthodoxy amongst academics.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Diversity as weaponised politics

I know I've been running on the theme of weaponised politics for a while now, but I came across one more interesting example. Last year an editor at the left-wing Huffington Post sent out a tweet that was intended to showcase the wonderful diversity on the editorial board of the newspaper. Here is the tweet:



What is the politics of diversity really being used here for? It is not to create diversity, even if that were a good thing. Nearly all of the editors are very young white women. And yet the photo is supposed to celebrate "diversity".

In this case, the politics of diversity has been weaponised against men. A workplace without men is thought to be "diverse" and therefore progressive.

And if you find yourself in the position where a weaponised politics is being used against you? The obvious thing to do is to no longer give that politics your support. Take away as much of its power as you can.

In particular, it is important to stop using the politics for virtue signalling. It's self-defeating for a man to try to signal his virtue by expressing support for "diversity" when that politics is then going to be weaponised against him.

One day we will get back to signalling our virtue by the strength of character with which we live our lives - and not by voicing our support for a left-wing politics that is aimed against us.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The values and vision of an American Democrat

Richard Fochtmann is a Democrat in the American state of Maine. He ran as a state senate candidate last year and lost. In the video below he is addressing an audience of Democrats at a Maine "values and vision" conference. Clearly, the Democrats are not trying to appeal to white male voters anymore.


Friday, April 14, 2017

You cannot stand alone

On Wednesday I wrote a post about weaponised politics:
I think it's true as well that politics can be weaponised. By this I mean that it is not just a case of pursuing abstract political principles and attempting to apply them logically and justly, but instead a means (a weapon) in pursuing group interests.

Politics today is being ominously weaponised against white people. The issue then becomes whether white people remain caught within a politics that aims to do them harm, or whether they see through the surface claims of a weaponised politics to the animosity and the malevolence underlying it.

The next day, as if to prove my point, The Huffington Post (supposedly a reputable news source), chose to run an opinion piece titled "Could it be time to deny white men the franchise?"

It's a disturbing read. The author, Shelley Garland, is apparently a white South African feminist woman (maybe even a troll, though the fact remains that the Huffington Post has chosen to run the piece).

Ms Garland is upset that white males voted for Brexit and for Donald Trump, thereby holding back the triumph of the progressive left. So she thinks it right that white males be forbidden from voting for 20 or 30 years. That would give progressives enough time to strip white males of their wealth.

This is politics weaponised against a particular group (white males). It has the aim of justifying seizing the assets of one group of people - white males - and transferring them to others.

There is a harsh reality at work here. We live in a world in which you need to be strong to defend your own interests and to keep yourself and your family safe. And it will not be enough to be strong as an isolated individual. A white man in the future might be personally resilient, a hard worker and physically courageous, but if he cedes political power to other groups he will nonetheless find himself defenceless. It is not possible to stand alone when other powerful groups are willing to organise against you.

To illustrate this point graphically, consider the following incident that took place this week in London. A couple of white men found themselves caught in a fight with a very large number of black men. As you can see in the video below, one of the white men is very strong and courageous but, inevitably, he is knocked out and then mocked by his attackers ("sleep tight").



White men are brought up to be individually strong, and part of the message is that you are strong if you are independent and able to succeed on your own. You are supposed to be self-reliant.

That can work in a highly homogeneous society, particularly if you are competing in the corporate world for success. But in an era of weaponised politics, it won't do. You cannot stand alone when a crowd of people wish to do you harm. In that scenario you need to organise with others to defend yourselves as a group.

The reality of the world is about to hit us hard. I hope that we can adapt quickly to the new situation we are going to find ourselves in. It's a little hard for us to imagine now what that future mindset will look like, as we have been influenced by an individualistic liberalism for so long and have become accustomed to living atomised lives, cut off from each other in our suburban homes.

In the coming world, we will need to more confidently assert a group interest, and we will need to find ways to organise so that we have a more effective means of defending ourselves from those who wish us harm (and, also, to maintain our own culture, values and tradition).

I can't be entirely sure what this will look like, but there are little groups of traditionalists springing up in Australia which represent one possible path toward this goal. If you're interested in them, the contact details are as follows:

Melbourne Traditionalists: You can contact me (Mark Richardson) via swerting (at) bigpond.com

Sydney Traditionalists: see here.

Perth Traditionalists: see here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Guillaume Faye: a return to values

Sydney Trads have a "quote of the week" feature at their website. I particularly liked this one by French writer Guillaume Faye:
Moreover, as the philosopher Raymond Ruyer, detested by the left-bank intelligentsia, foretold in his two important works, Les nuisances idéologiques and Les cents prochains siècles, once the historical digression of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has finally closed, with egalitarianism’s hallucinations having descended into catastrophe, humanity will return to archaic values, that is, quite simply, to biological and human (anthropological) values: distinctive sexual roles; the transmission of ethnic and popular traditions; spirituality and sacerdotal organization; visible and supervisory social hierarchies; the worship of ancestors; initiatory rites and tests; the reconstruction of organic communities that extend from the individual family unit to the overarching national community of the people; the deindividualization of marriage to involve the community as much as the couple; the end of the confusion of eroticism and conjugality; the prestige of the warrior caste; social inequality, not implicit, which is unjust and frustrating, as in today’s egalitarian utopias, but explicit and ideologically justifiable; a proportioned balance of duties and rights; a rigorous justice whose dictates are applied strictly to acts and not to individual men, which will encourage a sense of responsibility in the latter; a definition of the people and of any constituted social body as a diachronic community of shared destiny, not as a synchronic mass of individual atoms, etc.

I had to look up the meaning of the words synchronic and diachronic:

synchronic: concerned with something as it exists at one point in time.

diachronic: concerned with the way in which something has developed and evolved through time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weaponised politics

There is a website called Everyday Feminism that has about 5 million monthly visitors. Below is a screenshot of a recent homepage of the site:



You'll notice that the focus of the website is an animosity to white people. There is an offer of "healing from toxic whiteness training," a "reality check for your typical white men aren't the enemy objection," a "let's expose the white double standard" story, and a "white privilege explained in one simple comic" piece.

There are two ways of looking at all this. The first is to explain the politics behind it all. This can be done. If you are a liberal and you believe that equality is the natural state of affairs, and you then need to explain why racial outcomes are different, one option is to believe that one group has set itself up as a false racial category ("whiteness") to exploit other groups in order to maintain an unearned privilege. The point of politics is then to deconstruct whiteness so that the era of full human equality is finally ushered in. Hence, the unrelenting attacks on white people on the feminist website.

However, I think it's true as well that politics can be weaponised. By this I mean that it is not just a case of pursuing abstract political principles and attempting to apply them logically and justly, but instead a means (a weapon) in pursuing group interests.

Politics today is being ominously weaponised against white people. The issue then becomes whether white people remain caught within a politics that aims to do them harm, or whether they see through the surface claims of a weaponised politics to the animosity and the malevolence underlying it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Once more on the WQ

I'm never really confident writing on the Woman Question, so take what follows as speculative thought on the issue.

One thing that can disappoint men is that women aren't very attracted to masculine virtue. A man can be honourable, courageous and upstanding - but this is not what is likely to attract a female partner. But the thought occurred to me that perhaps the same thing is true when it comes to male attraction.

What men find attractive in women is something that could be described as an outflow of warm feminine emotion - of love, care, kindness and concern. A man is likely to think that a woman who shows this feminine quality is "nice" or "sweet" - as opposed to the opposite ("bitchy") - and this can become a man's moral framework in judging women. In other words, the nice woman is considered to be morally good, the harsh one to be morally bad.

But maybe this is, in part at least, confusing attraction with morality. Just as a woman might confuse a dominant masculine man with the idea of a "good man" - so too might men confuse the warmly or sweetly feminine natured woman with a "good woman".

This doesn't mean that it's of no concern whether a woman is attractive in her femininity or not - obviously men will want the women of their society to be attractive (and feminine attraction might be connected to a woman's ability to bond to her children etc.) However, what I am suggesting is that there needs to be a moral framework for women that stands apart from attraction.

Let's say that we have a woman who already qualifies as being feminine and attractive in the sense I set out above. She still requires a moral framework separate to this in order for her to make the right choices in her life, to contribute to her family and community, to retain the integrity of her personhood and so on.

For instance, a woman can be emotionally "sweet" but in her adult life she will need beyond this a moral framework that includes patience, forgiveness, industry, loyalty, humility and service (without these she is unlikely to be successful in her family commitments). Therefore, it is right for women to be judged on their possession, or lack of possession, of these virtues.

It seems to be the case as well that women, even more so than men, require larger commitments in order to fully establish a moral framework. If a woman commits to her family (i.e. she is proud of her family lineage and tradition and wishes to uphold it); or to her church and her faith; or to her nation and people - then this brings out her more serious moral commitments (which are not activated in a society based on the individual pursuit of happiness).

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Cardinal George: a tale of two churches

Shortly before his death, Cardinal George of Chicago wrote an insightful column on the position of the church in the United States.

Here in Melbourne the Catholic Church still seems to be trying to be an arm of the liberal state. I've long thought this to be unwise, given the incompatibility of liberalism with Catholic doctrine.

Cardinal George set out the problem with great clarity in his column ("A tale of two churches").

He begins with the claim that the liberal state in the U.S. once promised to protect all religions and not become a secular rival to them, "a fake church". He then adds:
There was always a quasi-religious element in the public creed of the country. It lived off the myth of human progress, which had little place for dependence on divine providence. It tended to exploit the religiosity of the ordinary people by using religious language to co-opt them into the purposes of the ruling class...It had encouraged its citizens to think of themselves as the creators of world history and the managers of nature, so that no source of truth outside of themselves needed to be consulted to check their collective purposes and desires. But it had never explicitly taken upon itself the mantle of a religion and officially told its citizens what they must personally think or what “values” they must personalize in order to deserve to be part of the country. Until recent years.

The situation now? According to Cardinal George:
The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.

He urges Catholics to resist yielding to the false state religion:
The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics. Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.

Most of the Catholic leadership here in Melbourne seem to be desperately trying to fit in with the state religion rather than taking a stance against it. They are doing this not by renouncing core theological positions, but by "reading" Catholicism as an SJW philosophy. (Says the modern Melbourne Catholic: "I will serve others by supporting SJW political campaigns.") This might temporarily avert a crisis of belief by realigning Catholicism with the Zeitgeist, but in the longer term it is helping to cement in place a liberal state religion that is deeply, philosophically at odds not only with Catholic theology but with the future existence of a Western culture and civilisation.

Monday, April 03, 2017

When you ignore biological reality

Liberals want to believe that our biological sex can be made not to matter. A lone refugee in Sweden begs to differ. He manages to beat off three female police officers and smash their car when they are sent to arrest him for arson:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Melbourne Traditionalists meeting

We have the next meeting of the Melbourne Traditionalists coming up early next week. I'd encourage interested Melbourne readers to come along, not only because it's always enjoyable to meet together with other traditionalists, but also because it's the next step along the way in building things up here in Melbourne.


If you think you might be interested you can contact me at swerting (at) bigpond.com or Mark Moncrieff at uponhopeblog (at) gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Union head thinks dresses worse than burqa

Sally McManus is the first female Secretary of the ACTU - Australia's peak trade union body. She is also an anti-male radical lesbian feminist who is critical of women wearing dresses.

And yet she has attracted support because she is willing to take a militant stand against Australian jobs being sent offshore.

It seems that the price of trying to defend your job, if you are an Australian worker, is accepting the leadership of radical leftist feminists who want to overthrow heterosexual culture and the family. Not much of a choice on offer.

There is a political vacuum here of the sort that Trump was able to fill in the United States.

Below is a clip of Sally McManus at a "defend the burqa" meeting. She argues on the grounds of liberal autonomy theory that the burqa should not be banned because "women themselves as individuals have the right to choose who they are and what they do".

As part of her argument she also outlines a series of things that Western women are allowed to do that she considers more oppressive than wearing the burqa, including wearing dresses, high heels and makeup, and going on diets - she complains that these are oppressive as they are not done for the sake of the women herself but for the sake of appealing to men.

(There is some logical consistency here. If you believe in liberal autonomy theory then you are supposed to only make choices that follow from the wants and desires of your own "authentic" self. So Sally McManus is suggesting that women are not choosing what they want, but what men want, i.e. that it is not their own wills, but men's wills, that are driving the choices being made.)

It's interesting to note that the radical union left in Australia is so orthodox in its liberalism, and also that liberal autonomy theory can be used to suggest something so counterintuitive, namely that it is more oppressive for a woman to wear a dress than a burqa.

It seems unlikely that women began to wear the burqa in the Middle East because of some authentic, autonomous, individual desire of their own to do so. I can think of two possible reasons for the burqa being imposed. The first is that if you have a polygamous society in which one older man can have up to four much younger wives, then there will be many sexually frustrated younger men. The husbands will then have reason to impose on their wives a much stricter form of modest attire in public than would be needed elsewhere.

The second is that when women dress beautifully it does give them a degree of power in the public square. Men do feel the power of feminine beauty and attraction. Perhaps the Muslim system was designed to very strictly limit this female power to the home.

The liberal approach to the issue doesn't help much, as it is artificial to say that we should make choices as if were atomised, blank slate individuals expressing unique desires within a moral vacuum. We need a standard to measure what we choose apart from "it's my own authentic will that I desire this".

Sally McMahon believes it to be wrong, a violation of autonomy, if a woman chooses to dress attractively for the sake of men. But it seems to me that if a wife dresses attractively because she thinks it is pleasing to her husband that this is a more moral reason than if she just arbitrarily wants to do so as part of her own will. At least she is acting for the happiness of another.

I don't have a carefully worked out position on the morality of feminine beauty, but my instinctive attitude is that the Western mind sees an inspiring good in it, which means that its erasure by the burqa is strikingly alien and confronting, and that just as any creature seeks to fulfil the potential within itself, so too is it to be expected that a woman would wish to embody feminine beauty.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Somewheres vs Anywheres

This is an interesting political conversion story. David Goodhart once saw himself as a member of the London liberal elite but has had a change of worldview. He describes the division in British society as being between "Anywheres" and "Somewheres":
The value divides in British society that led to Brexit, and may now break up the United Kingdom, stem from the emergence in the past generation of two big value clusters: the educated, mobile people who see the world from “Anywhere” and who value autonomy and fluidity, versus the more rooted, generally less well-educated people who see the world from “Somewhere” and prioritise group attachments and security.

Goodhardt believes that those who have "high human capital" (graduates of elite universities) are likely to thrive in open, competitive systems and so are more likely than others to support open borders. Similarly, such people are more likely to look to "achieved" identities (e.g. career) rather than "ascribed" ones (e.g. nationality). He believes, also, that the expansion of higher education has increased the percentage of such people in society, so that:
...over the past generation, it has dominated the political class and the national culture. Anywhere politicians who think they are governing in the national interest are, at least some of the time, governing in the Anywhere interest — in everything from the expansion of higher education to the unprecedented openness of modern societies.

So what led him to change allegiance, and to begin to see things from the point of view of the Somewheres? He believes that part of the reason is that his own upper class/Old Etonian social background always made him something of an outsider, which,
helped to make me aware of the strangeness of some of the instincts of my north London liberal tribe in the 1980s and 1990s: the far greater concern for suffering in distant lands than just around the corner, the blank incomprehension of religious or national feeling and the disdain for the ordinary people we were meant to champion.

Goodhardt wavers on whether he wants to reform liberalism or break from it. At times he writes of the possibility of a less individualistic and universalistic liberalism, one that might still uphold particular attachments and identities:
There were several lightbulb moments as I came to see past the narrative of progress that has helped to form the shallow liberalism that dominates our politics. This narrative sees race and gender equality as a prelude to the transcending of all exclusive communities, including the nation state. But the moral equality of all human beings — the beautiful, once utopian idea that became embedded in many western constitutions in the middle of the 20th century — does not mean we have the same obligations to all human beings.

This vital caveat to universalism keeps liberalism bound to the earth, to the reality of flesh-and-blood humans with group attachments and the need to be valued and to belong. Of course modern politics — the rule of law and more recently the idea of human equality — are partly designed to tame and constrain our tribal and animal emotions. But if politics disappears too far into the individualist abstractions of law and economics it starts to see society as just a random collection of individuals.

From this caveat can flow a more mature and emotionally intelligent liberalism that sees that there really is such a thing as society and one that functions well is based on habits of co-operation and trust and bonds of language, history and culture. Newcomers can be absorbed into such societies, and can retain some of their own traditions, but unless a critical mass of them embrace the broad common norms of the society, the idea of the nation as a group of people with significant shared interests — the idea of a people — will fracture.

...An emotionally mature liberalism must also accept that white majorities, not just minorities, in western societies have ethnic attachments too and an interest in a degree of demographic stability — and it is not shameful or racist for people to feel uncomfortable if their neighbourhood changes too rapidly, whether from gentrification or ethnic change.

Other things flow from the caveat, too — things that do not challenge the core beliefs of modern liberalism but temper and qualify their more dogmatic application. The belief, for example, that men and women are equal but not identical and that some sort of gender division of labour in the home and the broader society remains popular. That order and legitimate authority in families, schools and the wider society are a necessary condition of human flourishing, not a means of crushing it. That religion, loyalty and the wisdom of tradition deserve greater respect than is common among “blank sheet” liberals who tend to focus narrowly on issues of justice and harm.

As Haidt points out — contrary to the old claim that the right is the stupid party — conservatives can appreciate a wider range of political emotions than liberals: “It’s as though conservatives can hear five octaves of music, but liberals respond to just two, within which they have become particularly discerning.”

You do not have to be a conservative or a Conservative to see this and I would regard myself as a centrist, open to ideas from left and right. Indeed I am now post-liberal and proud, and feel that for the first time in my life I have had the confidence and experience to work things out for myself.

Am I trying to save liberalism or bury it? I am certainly trying to save it from the over-reach that has produced the Brexit/Trump backlash and want to convince as many as possible from my old tribe that we need a new settlement that is more generous to the intuitions of Somewheres. Come, join me, you have nothing to lose but your comfortably consensual dinner parties.

I know some of my readers would wish for a cleaner break from liberalism than this, but the important thing is the movement away from a dissolving liberalism and toward a politics that permits the existence of real, particular, localised attachments and identities.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Can medical science ignore sex distinctions?

Liberals hold that we should be autonomous, self-defining individuals, so that predetermined qualities like our biological sex should be thought not to matter.

One consequence of this belief is that liberals do not like to accept that medical science should consider differences between men and women, for instance, when testing new drugs. Hence this odd fact:
In 2015, when a female version of Viagra called Addyi was tested for potential side effects, it was tested on a sample of 25 subjects - only two of whom were female.

Claire Lehmann has written an excellent article on the resistance of liberals to accepting biological sex differences in medical research. (https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/the-xx-factor/).

She looks at some case studies where ignoring the biological distinctions between men and women has led to dosages being set too high for women, and she details the pressures placed on scientists to avoid research on biological sex distinctions.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cicero on human bonds

A reader sent in this quote from the Roman writer Cicero.  I like it as it avoids both an abstract individualism and an abstract universalism and attempts to describe instead the real, particular loves, loyalties and identities that are characteristic of human life:
This from Cicero in the 1st century B.C. (De Oficiis 1.53-54):
There are several levels of human society. Starting from that which is universal, the next is that of a common race, nation or language (which is what most of all holds men together). Further down comes membership of the same city; for citizens have many things in common - their town square, temples, covered walkways, roads, laws and constitution, law-courts and elections, customs and associations and the dealings and agreements that bind many people to many others. An even closer bond is that between relations: for it sets them apart from that limitless society of the human race into one that is narrow and closely-defined. Since it is a natural feature of all living beings that they have the desire to propagate, the first association is that of marriage itself; the next is that with one's children; then the household unit within which everything is shared; that is the element from which a city is made, so to speak the seed-bed of the state. Next comes the relationship between brothers, between cousins on the father's side and cousins on the mother's side; since the relatives cannot be contained in one household, they leave to found other households, just like colonies. Next, come relationships arising from marriage, which bring even more relatives. This extension and spreading of relationships is the basis of communities; for common blood forces men to help and care for one another.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Haidt: The Righteous Mind

I have been reading Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind". There is much for a religious traditionalist like myself to like and dislike, but I thought I'd begin with a quote. It is Haidt describing a moral theory developed by Richard Shweder.
The ethic of autonomy is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, autonomous individuals with wants, needs, and preferences as they see fit, and so societies develop moral concepts such as rights, liberty, and justice, which allow people to coexist peacefully without interfering too much in each other's projects. This is the dominant ethic in individualistic societies. You find it in the writings of utilitarians such as John Stuart Mill and Peter Singer (who value justice only to the extent that they increase human welfare), and you find it in the writings of deontologists like Kant and Kohlberg  (who prize justice and rights even in cases where doing so may reduce overall welfare).

OK, so that is the dominant ethics of autonomy to be found in the modern West. Shweden's theory goes beyond this and recognises two other ethics.
But as soon as you step outside of Western secular society, you hear people talking  in two additional moral languages. The ethic of community is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, members of larger entities such as families, teams, armies, companies, tribes and nations. These larger entities are more than the sum of the people who compose them; they are real, they matter, and they must be protected. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as duty, hierarchy, respect, reputation, and patriotism. In such societies, the Western insistence that people should design their own lives and pursue their own goals seems selfish and dangerous - a sure way to weaken the social fabric and destroy the institutions and collective entities upon which everything depends.

The ethic of divinity is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, temporary vessels within which a divine soul has been implanted. People are not just animals with an extra serving of consciousness; they are children of God and should behave accordingly. The body is a temple not a playground. Even if it does no harm and violates nobody's rights when a man has sex with a chicken carcass (me: a moral scenario Haidt had raised earlier to examine the issue of disgust/purity), he still shouldn't do it because it degrades him, dishonors his creator, and violates the sacred order of the universe. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as sanctity and sin, purity and pollution, elevation and degredation. In such societies, the personal liberty of secular Western nations looks like libertinism, hedonism, and a celebration of humanity's baser instincts.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Sweden 2017 - peak feminism?

Feminism is off the charts in Sweden. The following stories are from the front page of just one newspaper on just one day.



The details:
Environment Minister Carolina Forest (MP) want to see fewer cars in Sweden's cities. This is because men drive more than women, and thus are "stealing space from women," she says to Göteborgs-Posten.



A magazine has named Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson "Woman of the Year" despite the fact that she is open and proud about hating men:



The runner up for Woman of the Year wasn't much better:



From the article:
Radical Feminist Ebba Witt-Brattström, 62, ended up in second place in Expressen's appointment Woman of the Year in 2017. She says that all male TV personalities should be removed and replaced by feminist women.

The next newspaper item is about a photography museum which decided to raise the entry price for men and to donate the extra money to an organisation which campaigns for gender quotas:



Some Swedish men are encouraging all this. The directors of a building union apologised for being flawed white males:



These are the same men who wore vagina hats in solidarity with feminism:



Their grovelling statement gives away some of their motivation for acting this way:
"Today on International's Women's Day we want to pay attention to all you women in the construction industry and tell you how much you're needed and the respect we have for you because you dare to break gender roles," they wrote in an opinion piece published by public broadcaster SVT.

"We know we're going to have to endure some jibes, mainly from other men, because we are standing here in our pink, home-knitted hats. But to us it is an act of solidarity."

"God knows we're not perfect. We ARE a bunch of white middle-aged men. Sometimes we put our foot in our mouth. Often we hear it ourselves and apologize. Sometimes we don't notice it ourselves; please tell us and give us a red card. So that we learn for next time."

"We ARE a bunch of white, middle-aged men. But at least we're wearing pink hats."

Note that women get respect from these liberal men because "you dare to break gender roles". Why should that be such a good thing? It's ideological. If you believe that our predetermined sex is a prison that we have to be liberated from, then those who break gender roles will be thought of as blazing a trail of moral progress.

But that's a big ideological assumption. Most societies, in most epochs, have thought of our manhood and womanhood not as prisons, but as core aspects of our own self. In fact, if you take away the Cartesian mind body dualism, then you are likely to think of our sexed bodies as being inseparable from our minds and souls. So to bring our own self to fruition means developing ourselves toward what is best in our manhood and womanhood, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

How can these union leaders be oriented toward an integrated development of themselves as men, if they believe that their predetermined sex is something they have to be liberated from, or if they believe that it is the breaking of gender roles that represents moral progress, or if they believe that sex distinctions exist because they, as white males, created them to oppress women.

Little wonder that these middle-aged men do not have that masculine "steeled" look that you would hope men would develop over a lifetime of struggle and achievement (and they have entirely abandoned the virtues of gravitas and dignitas that were so important to the ancients).

(I'd like to give some publicity to the Swedish paper I drew these stories from, namely Fria Tider. I've only read a few articles, but it seems to be a good source of Swedish news and commentary.)

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

From Alain de Benoist

Below is a great quote from Alain de Benoist (hat tip: Wrath of Gnon):

Some thoughts on women

Women are so enigmatic. One way that men respond to a physically beautiful woman is to "read" virtue into her body - in other words, a man sees the beauty and then has a sense of the "virtuous feminine" which might include purity or grace or tenderness. But, of course, the individual woman might not embody these qualities very well at all, might not even be self-conscious that they are qualities that a woman might try to cultivate. It can leave men with the feeling that they are privy to an appreciation of the feminine that has been denied to women themselves - that women are, in some ways, strangers to their own virtues.

Women are more complex too in the sense that it is generally a good thing for a man to be as masculine as possible, as this brings him closer to the fruition of what he was created to be, but the same is not necessarily true of women - it is not simply the case that the more feminine a woman, the more she upholds an ideal of what a woman should be.

It is a good thing, for instance, for a woman to be more sensitive than a man. Most men will find it attractive if a woman tears up and sniffles at the sad parts of movies, or if she is more fearful of potential danger, or if she is a little more connected to the emotions of children. But too much sensitivity is not a good thing. It can lead to a woman never forgiving small slights she has experienced, or holding onto petty hurts that her husband may not even be aware of. An overly sensitive woman will make for a poor wife. There is some sort of sweet spot for a woman to have when it comes to this quality.

It is similar when it comes to passivity. If a woman is passive in the sense that she doesn't emasculate her husband and allows him to lead in a masculine way; or if she is passive in the sense that she keeps herself lovingly receptive to her husband, that is obviously a good thing. But I've noticed that there are women who interpret passivity as meaning that their role is to merely look on and critically judge the performance of their husband; or that their husband should take over the work of the household, so that he becomes something of a drone in her eyes; or even that the husband is responsible for her happiness - she externalises a responsibility onto him that can only really be carried by herself.

Torrisian poems

Sydney Trads have been publishing some poetry of late. Some of it is by me (here, here, here, here). There are also some little political poems by Luke Torrisi which I thought clever and enjoyable. He has a go at Dutch liberals here, and his take on French right-wing politics is here.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

The left is doubling down on its hostility to whites and males

After the election of Donald Trump I wondered if the left would rethink blaming whites and males for the ills of the world. But they are still at it - if anything they have intensified their efforts.

A case in point is a student group at St John's College in Santa Fe. An email was sent to all students and staff at this college advertising the new student group (see below). The email runs:
This is a group where those who most often exhibit racist and sexist behaviour - white males - can begin to be self-critical of the very dangerous, brutal and depraved hierarchical pathologies of superiority, supremacy, and inferiority handed down to us by white Euro-American institutions.

The main topic for discussion will be an ongoing one. How do we deal with the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity? How can we get to the root of this problem?

Once the email came to light, the college announced that it had erred in not suggesting edits to tone down the "inflammatory" language. But the point remains that it is now considered a leftist position that whiteness and masculinity are to be looked on negatively as pathologies. The obvious thing for whites and males to do in response is to decouple from the left.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Left finds normal things toxic

You might have heard of "toxic" masculinity. Now it seems that whiteness is also toxic, so much so that you can pay feminists $100 to be purged of it:



What will come next? Toxic heterosexuality? Toxic fatherhood? Toxic motherhood? Toxic beauty? Toxic goodness?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

You can determine your own sex now?

This is something that seems crazy but is actually a logical application of liberal first principles.

Here are some excerpts from an interview (video below) between Tucker Carlson and a senior adviser to the Democrats, Zac Petkanas.

It begins with Carlson raising his concerns about the liberal attitude to how we identify as male or female:
Carlson: There’s no biological anchor to sex anymore. It’s all determined by the individual. So my obvious question for you is, how do I know if a person’s male or female? Is there some absolute standard people have to meet to be male or female, other than what they say?

Petkanas: One’s gender identity is enough to show what gender they are.

Carlson: Is there a scientific standard?

Petkanas: Your gender identity determines your gender. Period.

Carlson: As an apparent man, if I say I'm a woman is that enough, do I meet the standard, as a woman to play in a woman's sports team?

Petkanas: Yes. The answer is absolutely yes.

Carlson: I want you to name a single scientist, just one, who says you can determine your own sex just by saying so.

Petkanas: You clearly have some issues around this.

So the Democrats are committing to the idea that I can be considered a woman as long as I say that I identify as a woman even if I am biologically a man. If I say that I am a woman, then I can play on a woman's sports team, even if I am tall, muscular, broad-shouldered, bearded and biologically male.

It was predictable that this would happen. After all, liberals believe that the primary good in life is a freedom to self-define or self-determine. Therefore, the idea that something as important as my sex is predetermined by biology is a radical limitation on my individual freedom. Better, from the liberal point of view, if there are many sexes and if my sex identity is fluid and self-determined.

So you have to go one of two ways. If you want to stick with the liberal first principle, then you have to accept a future in which the idea of many sexes and self-determined sexes will be pushed on society. Alternatively, you can reject the consequences of liberal thinking about the sexes, which means challenging the assumptions on which liberal thinking is based.

If you take this second option, then you cannot view a freedom to self-define as always and everywhere the overriding good. You must, instead, be able to discern goods that are already there - that are given to us - as part of the created nature that we inhabit.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Liberalism, honour, witchcraft and the no harm principle

American singer Lana del Rey has joined a movement of witches who are placing spells on Donald Trump. On reading this story I discovered that the key moral principle of witches is the Wiccan Rede, this being "An it harm none, do what ye will" - or in modern English, "Do what you want, as long it doesn't harm anyone".

This is striking, as it is also a key moral principle of liberal modernity. The idea itself goes back a long way. Rabelais, a French writer of the Renaissance, wrote (in the 1500s) of an ideal community based on the principle:
Do What Thou Wilt, because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour.

The idea here is that gentlemen, at least, can be free to choose in any direction because they will by nature choose what is honourable.

John Stuart Mill, the English liberal, had much the same idea in the mid-1800s, although he added to it by suggesting that all social classes could be educated to the level of being gentlemen. He also emphasised the "no harm" principle that had been clearly stated by the French revolutionaries in their Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789:
Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.

History has made clear that John Stuart Mill was wrong. We have had high levels of education in the West for many decades, but the level of gentlemanly honour has dramatically fallen rather than risen. One of the reasons for this is that people are generally much more attentive to the idea of "do what you want" rather than the condition "as long as it doesn't harm anyone".

Why doesn't the "no harm" clause work in practice? One problem is that people are able to rationalise away the harm that their decisions create. A woman might choose, for instance, to divorce her husband, thereby dissolving her family. Clearly it has a considerable effect on those around her. But she might say to herself "the children will be better off if I'm happy". Or "we will still be a family, all of us, I'll just be living with another man." Angelina Jolie took this line recently about her decision to divorce Brad Pitt:
'I don’t want to say very much about that, except to say it was a very difficult time and we are a family, and we will always be a family,' she said, visibly emotional.

'My focus is my children, our children,' she explained to the BBC.

'We are and forever will be a family and so that is how I am coping. I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer,' she said.

In her mind, she can choose to divorce but not dissolve her family, in fact the divorce will make her family stronger and closer.

But even when there is no rationalisation, even when the harm is admitted, the no harm principle is pushed aside. Dalrock recently had a post about an American woman who decided to divorce her husband and who justified her decision using the following lines from her favourite author, Cheryl Strayed:
Go, even though you love him.

Go, even though he is kind and faithful and dear to you.

Go, even though he’s your best friend and you’re his.

Go, even though you can’t imagine your life without him.

Go, even though he adores you and your leaving will devastate him.

Go, even though your friends will be disappointed or surprised or pissed off or all three.

Go, even though you once said you would stay.

Go, even though you’re afraid of being alone.

Go, even though you’re sure no one will ever love you as well as he does.

Go, even though there is nowhere to go.

Go, even though you don’t know exactly why you can’t stay.

Go, because you want to.

Because wanting to leave is enough.

This is so interesting, because the last line clearly states that "do what thou wilt" is enough of a justification, that you don't need to meet the moral condition of "do no harm."

Obviously, the instinct to honour is not strong enough in many people to hold them to virtue or to moral duty. They follow instead an individualistic impulse to follow "their own good" even if this harms others.

And here's the thing. Rabelais defined honour quite well: "an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice." But why not then encourage people to act virtuously? If you tell people that the moral thing is "to do whatever you want" it suggests that standards of virtue don't exist and that one act or choice is as good as another.

In other words, the "do what thou wilt" slogan is "de-moralising" - it places people in a moral vacuum, an empty moral landscape. Little wonder then that people lose some of the moral strength to do the right thing by others.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sydney Trads publish my poem

Sydney Trads asked me if I had ever dabbled in poetry. Dabbling is all I've done (wrote two poems last year). Still, they were kind enough to agree to publish a few of them. The first one is here.

Amerika interviews Mark Moncrieff

I was pleased to see Mark Moncrieff getting some much deserved exposure at the Amerika website. He is interviewed there about his traditionalist politics - he acquits himself very well. Worth reading.

(Mark Moncrieff runs the Upon Hope website and is a Co-Convenor of the Melbourne Traditionalists.)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marine vs Merkel

Marine Le Pen went to the EU Parliament and tore into Angela Merkel. An eloquent takedown:

The old conservative watchers

This is well said:
Being a smug conservative is much like being a smug Carthaginian. Both are able to watch all there once was being ground into dust, while smiling at their own virtue.

The author, Porter, goes on to observe,
The left wants the West in ruin and its daughters in infantry tents. The mainstream right wants a comfortable seat to watch the show. Thus it’s not difficult to understand why both factions feel intense enmity for those few manning the ramparts.

I myself used to despair of the right-wing intellectual types who had no fight in them, but just wanted a space to prove their own cultural and intellectual superiority over the leftist vulgarians. It was a kind of smugly self-satisfied armchair politics, unserious really.

So it's been a joy to watch the emergence of a livelier and more combative right-wing movement, one that has even notched up a few victories.

There were even fewer on the ramparts 10 years ago, far fewer. The momentum is with the defenders now, rather than the watchers.

Open borders costs UK 30 billion pounds a year

Open borders is economically very expensive for the UK. An economic analyst, Bob Lyddon, has authored a report which shows that the 3 million EU migrants in the UK cost the government £10,500 per head, at a total cost of £31.5 billion per year. Of these migrants, 1 million aren't in work and the other 2 million are mostly in low paid jobs and contribute on average only £500 each in taxes, which adds up to a revenue of only £1 billion per year. The UK Government is losing more than £30 billion a year through the immigration programme.

So who benefits? The multinationals do:
[Lyddon] argues that the EU freedom of establishment rule combined with freedom of movement means “tax efficient” multinationals can flood the UK with cheap foreign labour but avoid paying money to the Treasury such as corporation tax.

In a damning indictment he says that the UK taxpayer is subsidising low paid jobs for foreign workers.

UKIP responded to the report as follows:
Ukip pointed out that the report comes just days after Brexit Secretary David Davis said mass EU immigration could continue for many years after the UK leaves the EU.

The party’s immigration spokesman John Bickley said: “Bob Lyddon's damning report blows apart the myth perpetuated by the established Parties that EU migration benefits the UK economy.

“Uncontrolled cheap labour from the EU benefits big business at the expense of landing ordinary taxpayers with a whopping and unsustainable pensions bill.”

Monday, February 20, 2017

What are the feminine virtues?

Mark Moncrieff alerted me to an interesting post by Dalrock. It's about a Lutheran pastor, Hans Fiene, who thinks that Millennials are having less sex because young men are too invested in porn and social media to pursue relationships with women. According to Pastor Fiene,
As men pursue women, however, they come to develop a more robust appreciation of what women have to offer them beyond physical beauty and sexual gratification. They become more exposed to the various feminine virtues—things like kindness, compassion, selflessness, loyalty, tenderness. And the more decent men encounter “the imperishable beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit,” as St Peter calls it, the more they come to value this inner beauty over raw sexuality.

This jumped out at me, because I am of a generation of men that would not identify women with qualities like kindness, compassion, selflessness, loyalty and tenderness - certainly not when it comes to their personal relationships with men.

But all of this raises the question of how we define masculine and feminine virtues. And it seems to me that to qualify as one of these two conditions need to be met.

The first is that the quality should be characteristic of that particular sex. So if we say that courage is a masculine virtue, then we should expect that many men will have that particular quality, particularly relative to women.

The second is that the quality should be part of how we define what it is to be a man or a woman. The quality, in other words, should make up part of what we perceive to be the essence of the masculine or the feminine. We would therefore want men or women to deliberately cultivate these qualities so that they are able to play their necessary masculine or feminine role in society; so that they can reach fruition as men and women, successfully embodying their own created nature; and so that they can stand fully inside their own spiritual nature as a man or a woman and have that completing sense of genuinely feeling "this is what I am meant to be".

To give an example of how this works, there was a scene from Australian reality TV in which a group of people were sent to live in the African jungle. The women arrived first at the isolated jungle camp and saw that the open air beds were arranged in two circles, the inner one closer to the fire and the outer one bordering the jungle itself. The women immediately expressed fear about sleeping close to the jungle with its wild animals and hoped that the men would agree to sleep protectively in the outer circle.

This did not make the women seem to be lacking in feminine virtue, because we do not instinctively believe that courage defines a woman the way it does a man. We would not respect the women less, as women, for wanting to be physically protected this way. But if a group of men had been fearful and had urged the women to sleep on the outer, then we would have taken this to diminish their manhood.

So, to get back to Pastor Fiene, we have to ask whether his list of feminine virtues meets both criteria I outlined above. The answer, in my opinion, is that some of them do, but only with conditions applied.

It's easier to begin with the qualities that don't meet the criteria. The most obvious one is loyalty. There is no doubt that men would like women to be loyal and to cultivate this quality in themselves. But it just does not seem to me to be characteristic of women - it is a quality that is far stronger in men. So it fails to meet the first criterion.

In what ways do women fail to show loyalty? If you have ever worked in a female environment, you will know that there are women who seek in-group conformity by turning on some hapless member of the group and making them persona non grata. It can be demoralising as a man to watch this play out precisely because of the breach of loyalty on display. In personal relationships, too, many women appear by nature to be serial monogamists who find it difficult to retain attraction for one man over the course of a lifetime.

To say that loyalty is a feminine virtue is likely to blind men to the difficulty of maintaining a system of monogamous pair bonding. It seems more truthful to recognise that civilisations arise when men are strong enough to keep women within a system of marriage and family. The Roman historian Tacitus, witnessing the decline of the family in his culture, praised the Germanic tribes in this regard:
Much better still are those tribes in which only virgins marry and where marriage is performed only once for a wife with a hope and a vow. Thus they take only one husband, in this way both being of one body and life, lest there be second thoughts or belated desires, so that the women love not so much their husbands as their married state.

Tacitus here recognises the difficulty of women remaining loyal to their husbands in a personal sense, but thinks that if women are not given the opportunity of "second thoughts or belated desires" that they will at least stay committed to their married state (hat tip: David Grant at Social Matter for the translation).

And what of kindness, compassion and tenderness? The problem here is that women show more of these qualities than men in some aspects of life, but less in others. For instance, the best women do show these qualities when it comes to the care of their children, of the elderly and of the sick. But they do not show them when it comes to their husbands. It has been noted at the red pill websites, correctly in my experience, that it is a considerable error on the part of husbands to seek support from their wives for troubles they are experiencing, as their wives are likely to lose attraction for them, sometimes disastrously so.

It's important to make this distinction, because men should know, realistically, that it is not in women's nature to love their husbands compassionately. However, I do agree with Pastor Fiene that kindness, compassion and tenderness for children, the elderly and the sick are feminine virtues, both because many women do have these qualities and because it is a defining aspect of the feminine (i.e. if a woman did not show these qualities we would think that she was not meeting an aspect of her own feminine essence).

So, despite my initial scepticism, I do believe that Pastor Fiene has correctly identified some of the feminine virtues.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A rad trad criticism of liberalism


Some readers might find this interesting. It's a description of the outlook of radical traditionalists within the Catholic Church. There is clearly an overlap with the criticism of liberalism I have made at this site:
The “radical” school rejects the view that Catholicism and liberal democracy are fundamentally compatible. Rather, liberalism cannot be understood to be merely neutral and ultimately tolerant toward (and even potentially benefitting from) Catholicism. Rather, liberalism is premised on a contrary view of human nature (and even a competing theology) to Catholicism. Liberalism holds that human beings are essentially separate, sovereign selves who will cooperate based upon grounds of utility. According to this view, liberalism is not a “shell” philosophy that allows a thousand flowers to bloom. Rather, liberalism is constituted by a substantive set of philosophical commitments that are deeply contrary to the basic beliefs of Catholicism, among which (Catholics hold) are the belief that we are by nature relational, social and political creatures; that social units like the family, community and Church are “natural,” not merely the result of individuals contracting temporary arrangements; that liberty is not a condition in which we experience the absence of constraint, but the exercise of self-limitation; and that both the “social” realm and the economic realm must be governed by a thick set of moral norms, above all, self-limitation and virtue.

Because of these positions, the “radical” position—while similarly committed to the pro-life, pro-marriage teachings of the Church—is deeply critical of contemporary arrangements of market capitalism, is deeply suspicious of America’s imperial ambitions, and wary of the basic premises of liberal government. It is comfortable with neither party, and holds that the basic political division in America merely represents two iterations of liberalism—the pursuit of individual autonomy in either the social/personal sphere (liberalism) or the economic realm (“conservatism”—better designated as market liberalism).

This is a principled criticism of liberalism, one that reaches down to first principles. I was especially interested in the final observation - that the mainstream parties are usually just "two iterations of liberalism," with the left wing party oriented to "the pursuit of individual autonomy in either the social/personal sphere" and the right wing party being oriented to the pursuit of individual autonomy in the economic realm.

Regular readers will know that I agree with this understanding of mainstream politics (though the emergence of an anti-globalist right is starting to modify the political landscape).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"The long-held belief that each generation should do better than the last is under threat"

Dalrock has found an interesting report from the UK about the declining earnings of young men there. The gist of it is that an increasing number of young men in the UK are working in lower-paid industries, such as retail and bars and hotels. They are now earning significantly less in their 20s than did the previous generation. Women's wages have stagnated rather than fallen.

Some excerpts from a Business Insider article:
Men in their 20s are earning significantly less than the generation before them and it is closing the gender pay gap.

Millennial men have earned less than Generation X men in every year between the ages of 22 and 30, resulting in a cumulative pay deficit during their 20s of £12,500 ($15,638). However, the unit found that millennial women's pay is stagnant compared to the last generation.

This in turn means the gender pay gap is closing — but it's not good news. In fact, Resolution Foundation says "millennial women have experienced neither generational pay progress or decline. This has narrowed the gender pay gap for millennials – but for the wrong reasons."

"The long-held belief that each generation should do better than the last is under threat," said Torsten Bell, Executive Director at the Resolution Foundation.

"Millennials today are the first to earn less than their predecessors."

Dalrock connects this decline in male earnings to the decline in marriage. This argument is clear enough. If young men no longer believe that being a provider is a pathway into a happy and successful marriage, then there is less incentive for them to commit to a full-time career.

As for generational decline, that has been obvious to me for some time, but it's noteworthy that a business newspaper should acknowledge it. If you have a quasi-religious belief in progress it must be particularly challenging to have to acknowledge generational decline.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Social media

I've decided to get more involved with social media. First step is Twitter, but there'll be more later. I've put a link in the sidebar, but the Twitter page is here.

Ever heard a feminist say she just wants equality? Read on...

When a feminist is on the back foot, there's an excellent chance she will defend herself by saying "But feminists just want equality between men and women". The reality is different.

Take recent events at the University of Sydney. It turns out that over 90% of the intake into the veterinary science course at that university is now female. Over 90%.

The university has therefore accepted a scholarship for the course which favours male applicants who are willing to work in rural areas (there already exist scholarships to support women undertaking the course).

What do you think was the response of feminists at the University of Sydney? Do you think they said "Yes, fair enough, after all we complain when engineering courses are mostly male, so it would be hypocritical of us to object to a scholarship for men in a course absolutely dominated by women."

Well, you probably guessed that campus feminists did not take this line. Here is their response:
Imogen Grant, women’s officer for the university’s students’ representative council, described the reaction of female students as “horrified.”

“To have male-only scholarships is to continue male privilege within society,” explained Grant.

“I was really surprised,” said one unnamed, female veterinary medicine student. “I really thought that it was a mistake – some sort of clerical error. Sexism exists in our society but I thought the uni held itself to a higher standard."

More from the women's officer Ms Grant:
Ms Grant said while the gender specification might be within the law it did "not mean that is how the law should be implemented".

"It is no excuse for the university to be complacent about discrimination," she said.

"Funding issues are a big part of many people’s decision about whether or not to pursue study. This scholarship would force many women to self-exclude."

“Making gender a deciding factor between applicants illustrates that a woman’s right to an education is not as important as her male counterparts.

"The fact that the university has no problem with offering a scholarship that excludes women calls into question whether they are truly committed to combatting sexism on campus.”

And more from the female vet student:
“It’s poorly thought out, their reasoning. They’re not addressing gender inequality in an intelligent way, and I think the university should be held to a higher standard.…It seems they care more about money than they do about my being a woman and getting equal opportunities.”

The female student went so far as to claim of her male counterparts: "their low numbers are a byproduct of privilege and not oppression."

These feminist women are using patriarchy theory and leftist identity politics to justify the idea that despite being in the 90% majority in veterinary courses that they are still victims of sexism whilst men are privileged oppressors.

Patriarchy theory claims that everything in society is set up for a group of people classed as "men" to get an unearned privilege at the expense of those "othered" as "women". Therefore, women are necessarily eternal victims, because that's what the system does. And in leftist identity politics, men are tagged as privileged oppressors which means that it is thought right that they lose moral and material status in society.

You can see in the University of Sydney story what this kind of political ideology is used to justify. Even when women make up over 90% of veterinary science students, feminists still insist that these female students are struggling for equal opportunity and inclusion, and that the lack of men in the course is evidence of male privilege.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Kristol wants to replace the white American working class

Here is a good traditionalist quote from Abbé Grégoire Celier, who I believe is a French cleric affiliated with the Society of St Pius X (via Wrath of Gnon):



Note the insistence that a nation is not an aggregate of standardized and interchangeable individuals. I was reminded of the relevance of this when reading about comments made recently by Bill Kristol, a leading American neoconservative. During a debate on the difficulties being experienced by the white American working-class, Kristol took the view that rather than trying to help them by limiting low skilled immigration, they should instead be replaced via open borders:
Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in? Seriously, you can make the case—this is going on too long and this is too crazy, probably, and I hope this thing isn’t being videotaped or ever shown anywhere. Whatever tiny, pathetic future I have is going to totally collapse.

You can make a case that America has been great because every—I think John Adams said this—basically if you’re a free society, a capitalist society, after two or three generations of hard work everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled—whatever. Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed and really want their kids to live better lives than them and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and meanwhile grew up as spoiled kids and so forth. In that respect, I don’t know how this moment is that different from the early 20th century.

This is a rampantly ideological position to take. Although it is no doubt true that some migrants do work hard to establish themselves, the statistics clearly show that many immigrant groups are far more likely to be welfare dependent than the natives. Consider this:
In 2012, an average of 41.6% of African Americans received means-tested benefits each month. About 18% of Asians or Pacific Islanders and 13% of whites received benefits each month. Thirty-six percent of Hispanics of any race received government assistance.

Bill Kristol has things exactly the wrong way around. White Americans are far less likely to be "clipping coupons" than the wave of immigrants from Mexico. And yet Kristol calls white Americans "decadent, lazy, spoiled" and believes that they need to be race replaced by "waves of people" from Mexico.

Kristol's attitude is also rampantly ideological in the sense that he sees people as interchangeable units, with those best fitted to the needs of the market being the ones who can justify their place in society. In theory, the liberal take on society is supposed to uphold the rights of the individual and to promote "individuality". But look at what happens in practice. Individuals are stripped of those qualities that tie them to a particular place, people and tradition, and are instead standardised as part of an anonymous mass serving the market, and can therefore be readily replaced.

If you can be so readily replaced on the grounds of lacking dedication to the market then you cannot claim to have much standing as an individual in society. You have value not on the grounds of your individuality but rather on your utility.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Hillary: the future is female

So feminists want equality? Really? Then why do they have, as their battle cry, "the future is female"?

Hillary Clinton has just released a video (screenshot below) in which she says "I remain convinced that, yes, the future is female."



How can any self-respecting man consider himself a leftist? Why would you attach yourself to a movement which pits men and women against each other as hostile, competing classes and which then asserts that the future is female?

There is no future for any people which does not take seriously the need for men and women to successfully pair bond and to raise children together. Nor is there a future for any people which does not raise young men to be masculine and to embrace their role of organising to protect the tradition they belong to.

Hillary Clinton is the failed past we have to move beyond, not the successful future.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Being politically disarmed

Classical liberals seem to be figuring out which way the wind is blowing. I've noticed more of them trying to stake a place in the alt right. On one level this is a good thing, as it further isolates the left. However, I would caution anyone on the alt right from adopting a classical liberal politics.

The classical liberals I am talking about are trying to appeal to disaffected young white men on the following basis:

1.The left uses identity politics to rank you as belonging to an evil group. Classical liberals, though, are colour blind and only recognise an individual person's character, not their race.

2. Classical liberals support free speech, unlike the left which organises campus riots against speakers they don't like.

It's true that classical liberals do have these beliefs and that they might have a superficial appeal for white men who are tired of being cast as the evil oppressor. But classical liberalism is not an effective way of opposing left liberalism.

I'd like to focus on just one reason why this is the case. Let's say that white Americans were to embrace the classical liberal position. That would mean white Americans would play by a certain set of rules, namely to see themselves as individuals only, self-reliant and personally responsible, but blind as a matter of principle to any interest they may have as white Americans or to the future existence of white America as an entity.

Would all Americans do the same? No. Other groups who embrace a left-liberalism would play by a different set of rules. They would believe that they were part of an oppressed race and that by organising and acting together in unity that they would promote the cause of freedom, justice and equality.

So the classical liberal pitch to disaffected white men is not really all that helpful. It's not going to stop these men from being painted by those playing by leftist rules as evil oppressors - that will continue on as before. But it will disarm them politically from acting in unity together to effectively defend their own larger identity and interests.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Spanish PM: "I am not in favour of borders"

The "conservative" (centre-right) Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, when responding to a question about Donald Trump's immigration measures, said:
Well, I am not in favour of vetoes or borders nor do I believe the world will walk in that direction. So I hope that in the future that this will be fixed and we will all be in a situation of normality.

He is not in favour of borders. A breakaway right-wing party responded as follows:
The prime minister’s comments were slammed by the president of VOX, a right wing, Christian democratic party created by former PP members, who argued that “a nation without borders is not a nation. A leader who says he’s not in favour of borders is a leader who is not willing to defend his homeland”, Santiago Abascal said in a statement issued Tuesday.

The liberal mainstream, whether of left or right, is sticking with globalisation. I can only hope that this is met with the rise of a patriotic party in Spain as has happened elsewhere in Europe.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Setting out a vision of society

Liberal Party Senator George Brandis is Australia's Attorney-General. Some years ago he wrote this:
To the liberal, the most fundamental characteristic of any society is that it is a coming together of a number of individual persons, each of whom has a unique identity, unique needs and aspirations, the individuality of each of whom is equally important. The pursuit of individual ends, subject to the agreed mutual constraints necessary to social existence, is the dynamic force of human progress.

This is the liberal view of society. The conceive it to be a conglomerate of individuals, each of whom has a unique identity and aspirations, and each of whom is in pursuit of individual ends. The only caveat on all of this is that there will be "agreed mutual constraints necessary to social existence" - so social existence is not a driver of things at all.

And liberals have pushed Western societies a considerable way toward this ideal. Think of life now in one of the big multicultural cities. A lot of people end up living the liberal way whether they like it or not. Many single people, in particular, are now living the way that liberals want them to: without deeper connection to others, but in pursuit of purely individual ends, such as career and consumption.

It's important to grasp what the liberal ideal is in order to understand the importance of the traditionalist alternative. For traditionalists, some aspects of the identity and aspirations of individuals will be unique, but some will not. If a Japanese person identifies as ethnically Japanese, then he will share this part of his identity with millions of others. If he identifies as a man, then he shares this part of his identity with billions of others. Perhaps he might identify as a father, a son or a brother - again, this is a shared identity. He might identify as a Buddhist, sharing this identity with countless fellow Buddhists.

These aspects of his identity can only be expressed in community with others. To be a father requires a family. To be ethnically Japanese requires the existence of a Japanese ethny. To be a Buddhist will usually be expressed through connection to a particular church, culture and tradition.

And this is one way that individuals come to recognise the existence of a common good. If your sense of who you are is tied to an identity that you share with others, then you will be concerned to uphold the larger communal tradition in which you are able to express this identity.

You might, in fact, see a larger communal tradition as being important not only to the expression of your identity, but also to your social commitments, to your sense of belonging, to your connection to the past and future, and to your connectedness and attachment to a particular culture, land and landscape. You might also see this communal tradition as something that is inherently good, as a unique expression of human life with its own transcendent essence, that draws out your love and your desire to represent the best of this tradition, to protect and preserve it, and to make your own positive contribution to it.

And all of this will help add a richness and meaning to your own individual life, one that is torn away by the liberal vision of society, in which there is no shared identity and no common good, but only you alone as a "unique" individual with "unique" aspirations.

The liberal view of society makes us all interchangeable. Yes, that makes it radically "inclusive" but only by stripping us of the qualities that situate us deeply within a larger communal tradition of our own.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Great speech by Geert Wilders

A reader, EuroSwede, sent me a link to a speech given by the Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, to a conference in Germany. The speech is therefore in German, but there are English subtitles.

Wilders leads a party in the Netherlands, the PVV, which has recently increased in popularity - it is now supported by about 1 in 3 Dutch people and is projected to be the largest single party after the next election.

It is not easy to categorise Wilders' politics. He has definitely broken with mainstream liberalism, especially in his defence of patriotism and his opposition to open borders. However, he also identifies the core Western values as being equality and freedom as a liberal might do.

The problem is that if you keep equality and freedom as the guiding principles, unless you explicitly redefine them away from their liberal meaning, then you will eventually find your way back to a liberal rejection of patriotism as not allowing people the freedom to define who they are by their own choices, or as violating equality by including some and excluding others because of an "accident of birth".

Even so, it is a great, inspiring speech and you will most likely want to listen to the whole twenty minutes of it. I really do hope that the Dutch give their support to Wilders in the upcoming elections.