August 1, 2014
Disparate Impact in Public Schools: A Lesson in Anarcho-Tyranny

The media reports on some student being suspended for dumb things every week. Little Jimmy chewed his pop tart into the shape of a gun. Suspended! Joanie brought unapproved sunscreen for a field trip. Suspended! Mikey used his fingers in the shape of a gun to go “pew-pew” at a passing airplane. Suspended! The people are outraged whenever one of these reports comes out, and with good reason: they reveal the lack of nuance in the system. School administrators don’t care about things like intent anymore; the rulebook grows larger by the day, and its most obscure prohibitions become more strongly enforced. Why?

These teachers and principals could easily brush these small little things away. Sadly, they have rules and codes of conduct. They could let Jimmy or Mikey off the hook. A sitdown with them to explain why they should not do this or that would be constructive. When a 6 year old brings a toy gun to school accidentally, and turns himself in, to still get suspended, there has to be something deeper going on for the school to immediately follow the book. They could have given him the toy gun at the end of the day and told him “never again”. But they can’t, thanks to the new focus on school suspensions’ disparate impact.

NPR calls it the ‘pipeline to prison’: certain demographics get suspended more than others. This, of course, cannot be because those demographics do more things worthy of suspension; the standard is always disparate impact, except when it comes to things like the overrepresentation of Asians at Google.

Black Boys Report used to be a great resource for real minority drop out rates. Now they have shifted their focus to also report suspension rates. This is right on cue with the government and media’s focus also shifting. A school has to suspend a white boy who brings in a toy gun by accident: it helps the suspension numbers look better. (It also lessens the risk of being charged with ill-intentioned inconsistency if another student brings in a weapon, toy or otherwise.)

Nuance has been drowned out by vague cries of racist disparate impact. This is partly due to the feminization of our education space (just look at grade school reading lists) and the growth of a useless bureaucracy that wants to feel important, but it’s also due to the need to make the numbers look better. This is the system we are in, and education employees are caught in it.

We’ll all look back on this in 50 years and wonder what kind of idiots could do this, but, on the bright side, America’s children can grow disgusted by anarcho-tyranny at a young age. All movements against corrupt systems need a youth vanguard.

from Disparate Impact in Public Schools: A Lesson in Anarcho-Tyranny

July 31, 2014
Laying the BRICS for a New Economic Order

Brick by brick, the Russia-China axis is building their non-dollar financial system. The announcement of a neutral rating agency was one such brick. Two much larger bricks are the recent moves to set into motion the BRICS Development Bank starting with the $100 billion dollar reserve arrangement. These are direct competitors to the dollar system’s infrastructure and are signs of the Russian-Chinese wooing of the rest of the world away from the USG leviathan.

The BDB will act similar to the World Bank, offering financing for development deals around the globe. The bank could end up as jackal-infested as the World Bank, but at present, it only has to act incorruptible early on to wound the USG. Deals for infrastructure, energy, minerals and actual production not aligned with Wall Street or DC is non-casino capitalism—no political strings attached, if Xi’s prior speeches about respecting the different government systems of different nations is correct. As proof, Xi and China are not forcing democracy and the progressive buffet on Africa. This BDB starts small but is expected to grow to $350 billion in a few years. Those dollar hoards will go to work in something other than ZIRP treasury bills.

The contingent reserve arrangement is more like the IMF and seems to involve currency swaps. Those are important as the FED’s currency swaps in 2008 are what kept Europe from imploding. Currently, Argentina is in a fight with vulture funds over debt. How appealing does this BRIC system appear right now? I left off the ‘S’ for South Africa because South Africa is in such poor shape that the Russians are helping with electrical projects and the Chinese are coming with money because of all of the wonderful natural resources they still need. Loans and development aid with no questions asked about domestic policies; just keep the natural resources flowing. Potential client states will still have a patron, but the patron will not be those damn yanquis!

In a well timed move with these financial infrastructure pieces, Putin and Xi are both traveling around Latin America. Putin wrote off billions in Cuban debt, and talked to Uruguay’s president about the construction of a deep-water port. Xi visited Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina, which covers the big players and oil producers for South America. This is in the Monroe Doctrine backyard of the US, not the Middle East or Southeast Asia. It is also a receptive audience. Playing off of Uncle Sam has always benefited South American politicians in their home countries. Peron did this a bit too forcefully for Argentina decades ago. That was when the US ruled the global system and was at the peak of its empire. There are new rules to the game now.

Sticking it to the USG with a financial switch would be an approved jab in the eye. With the Middle East and Ukraine in flames due to the meddling of the US and its aligned clients, leaving the USG orbit has to appear the safer choice. Be warned, Latin leaders: the Ukrainians thought they could sign one economic deal and not feel the wrath. Before switching your financial patron, be sure to kick out all NGOs, US State Department employees, and anyone who cashes checks from George Soros.

from Laying the BRICS for a New Economic Order

July 31, 2014
The Great French Topless Cover-Up

Whatever you think of it, topless bathing has long been a part of French beach culture. Now there are reports that it is in decline. According to the Guardian newspaper French women have simply “stopped sunbathing topless.” The Telegraph has reported that even regulars at La Voile Rouge beach club in St. Tropez, the place where it all started, “prefer to keep their top on.”

It’s no secret that topless bathing and Islam are incompatible traditions. Nor is it any secret that France has a large and growing Muslim population (estimated at 5-10% by mainstream sources). Yet another non-secret is the fact that Muslims are not particularly shy about protesting—or simply attacking—aspects of a host society they don’t like, especially if that society is a tolerant Western one, like France.

For these reasons it seems reasonable to suppose that Islam has had something to do with changing beach fashions, but the media and French government have no wish to acknowledge this.

A spokesman for the French health ministry put the change down to concerns over cancer.

“Whereas people once thought nothing of exposing their flesh to the sun for many hours, people are generally a lot more sensible nowadays,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “This is certainly the case as regards women who are very conscious of the risks of exposure to bright sunshine.”

No mention that the final logic of this train of thought is that French women should effectively wear hijabs. Perhaps the Guardian realizes this because they have managed to dig up some rather more outlandish reasons. While admitting the convenient cancer theory, an article in their fashion blog offers two additional explanations: first, a reaction against the “pornified” perception of topless women, and secondly, the rise of breast-affiliated activism by the likes of Femen and Free the Nipple.

Regarding the fist reason, the Guardian quotes a 29-year-old Paris-based journalist, Alice Pfeiffer, who blames American “pop-porn culture.”

“Globalisation and Americanisation of women’s portrayal and sexiness in France has pushed away gentle (and generally harmless) French eroticism towards porno, frontal, hyper-sexualised consciousness,” she says. “Nudist, beach-like freedom is not what it used to be… breasts no longer feel innocent or temporarily asexual.”

Well, that’s all right then. Nothing to do with France’s increasingly Third World population. Nothing to see here (certainly no breasts!). Please move on.

from The Great French Topless Cover-Up

July 30, 2014
A Lack of Diversity in Social Psychology?

Jonathan Haidt, who delivered a talk in 2011 on the overwhelming progressivism of his field, social psychology, has co-authored a paper titled “Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science”.

In the paper, Haidt and his co-authors argue that social psychology suffers for lack of political diversity: in other words, that its domination by progressives severely impedes its ability to converge on the truth, to reject inaccurate theories that progressivism likes and replace them with accurate ones that may cause problems for the movement.

The pattern seen in social psychology, he points out, exists in the social sciences and humanities in general:

There are many academic fields in which surveys find self-identified conservatives to be about as numerous as self-identified liberals; typically business, computer science, engineering, health sciences, and technical/vocational fields (Zipp & Fenwick, 2006; Gross & Simmons, 2007). In the social sciences and humanities, however, there is a stronger imbalance. For instance, recent surveys find that 58 – 66 percent of social science professors in the United States identify as liberals, while only 5 – 8 percent identify as conservatives, and that self-identified Democrats outnumber Republicans by ratios of at least 8 to 1 (Gross & Simmons, 2007; Klein & Stern, 2009; Rothman & Lichter, 2008). A similar situation is found in the humanities where surveys find that 52 – 77 percent of humanities professors identify as liberals, while only 4 – 8 percent identify as conservatives, and that self-identified Democrats outnumber Republicans by ratios of at least 5:1 (Gross & Simmons, 2007; Rothman & Lichter, 2008). In psychology the imbalance is slightly stronger: 84 percent identify as liberal while only 8 percent identify as conservative (Gross & Simmons, 2007; Rothman & Lichter, 2008). That is a ratio of 10.5 to 1. In the United States as a whole, the ratio of liberals to conservatives is roughly 1 to 2 (Gallup, 2010).

socpsych libconThis should not be surprising: social sciences and humanities are fields with direct political applications, unlike engineering or computer science; a movement that wants to take power would do well to capture them. Under a regime of scientific governance, any faction that wants to govern must first capture science.

The paper continues:

Psychology professors were as likely to report voting Republican as Democrat in presidential contests in the 1920s. From the 1930s through 1960, they were more likely to report voting for Democrats, but substantial minorities voted for Willkie, Eisenhower, and Nixon (in 1960). By 2006, however, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans had climbed to more than 11:1 (Gross & Simmons, 2007; Rothman & Lichter, 2008).

Furthermore, the trend toward political homogeneity seems to be continuing: whereas 10% of faculty respondents self-identified as conservative, only 2% of graduate students and postdocs did so (Inbar, 2013, personal communication). This pattern is consistent with the broader trends throughout psychology illustrated in Figure 1: the field is shifting leftward, the ratio of liberals to conservatives is now greater than 10:1, and there are hardly any conservative students in the pipeline.

This is detrimental because, “if left unchecked, an academic field can become a cohesive moral community, creating a shared reality (Hardin & Higgins, 1996) that subsequently blinds its members to morally or ideologically undesirable hypotheses and unanswered but important scientific questions (Haidt, 2012).”

There are, of course, examples of this blinding at work, though examples can only be found in cases where the progressive theory has already been refuted. Here is one listed in the paper: (with paragraph breaks added)

Since the 1930s, social psychologists have been proclaiming the inaccuracy of social stereotypes, despite lacking evidence of such inaccuracy. Evidence has seemed unnecessary because stereotypes have been, in effect, stereotyped as inherently nasty and inaccurate (see Jussim, 2012a for a review).

Some group stereotypes are indeed hopelessly crude and untestable. But some may rest on valid empiricism—and represent subjective estimates of population characteristics (e.g. the proportion of people who drop out of high school, are victims of crime, or endorse policies that support women at work, see Jussim, 2012a, Ryan, 2002 for reviews).

In this context, it is not surprising that the rigorous empirical study of the accuracy of factual stereotypes was initiated by one of the very few self-avowed conservatives in social psychology—Clark McCauley (McCauley & Stitt, 1978). Since then, dozens of studies by independent researchers have yielded evidence that stereotype accuracy (of all sorts of stereotypes) is one of the most robust effects in all of social psychology (Jussim, 2012a).

Here is a clear example of the value of political diversity: a conservative social psychologist asked a question nobody else thought (or dared) to ask, and found results that continue to make many social psychologists uncomfortable. McCauley’s willingness to put the assumption of stereotype inaccuracy to an empirical test led to the correction of one of social psychology’s most longstanding errors.

And another:

Prejudice and intolerance have long been considered the province of the political right (e.g., Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford, 1950; Duckitt, 2001; Lindner & Nosek, 2009). Indeed, since Allport (1954), social psychologists have suspected that there is a personality type associated with generalized prejudice toward a variety of social groups (Akrami, Ekehammar, & Bergh, 2011), which they have linked to political conservatism (Roets & van Hiel, 2011). More recently, however, several scholars have noted that the groups typically considered targets of prejudice in such research programs are usually low status and often left-leaning (e.g., African-Americans and Communists; for more examples and further arguments, see Chambers, Schlenker & Collisson, 2013 and Crawford & Pilanski, 2013).

Using research designs that include both left-leaning and right-leaning targets, and using nationally representative as well as student and community samples, these researchers have demonstrated that prejudice is potent on both the left and right. Conservatives are prejudiced against stereotypically left-leaning targets (e.g., African-Americans), whereas liberals are prejudiced against stereotypically right-leaning targets (e.g., religious Christians; see Chambers et al., 2013; Crawford & Pilanski, 2013; Wetherell, Brandt, & Reyna, 2013).

Summarizing these recent findings, Brandt, Reyna, Chambers, Crawford, and Wetherell (2014) put forward the ideological conflict hypothesis, which posits that people across the political spectrum are prejudiced against ideologically dissimilar others.

Once again, the shared moral narrative of social psychology seems to have restricted the range of research: the investigation of prejudice was long limited to prejudice against the targets that liberals care most about. But the presence of a non-liberal researcher (John Chambers is a libertarian) led to an expansion of the range of targets, which might, over time, lead the entire field to a more nuanced view of the relationship between politics and prejudice.

Theden has covered this process before: Bob Altemeyer, who researched ‘right-wing authoritarianism’a continuation of the ‘F-scale’ research carried out by Theodor Adorno, a Communist who thought support for rightism was caused by psychological defects—said that “there’s no such thing as a left-wing authoritarian”, and that such a person is “the Loch Ness monster of political psychology”. Subsequent research found this claim to be false.

In addition, some RWA researchers, including Altemeyer, believed that ‘right-wing authoritarians’ wanted to use authorities against all groups; but the research of George Yancey (a Christian) found a negative correlation between ‘right-wing authoritarianism’ and willingness to use authority to suppress conservative Christians.

Another example covered here before relates to Haidt’s own research on moral foundations theory. The original version of his theory, and the one that was widely reported on in the media (which itself is very progressive), stated that there are two different sorts of morality which correspond to the two political factions in America: whereas conservatives make judgments based on concerns of harm, fairness, loyalty, obedience to authority, and purity, liberals only care about harm and fairness. These results were later revised: Haidt added concerns of freedom to account for libertarians, and wrote a blog post about the possible existence of liberal concerns for purity.

These results are no surprise: some of the questions about authority (“[When deciding whether an action is right or wrong, I would give strong consideration to] whether or not someone conformed to the traditions of society.”, “If I were a soldier and disagreed with my commanding officer’s orders, I would obey anyway because that is my duty.”, “Men and women each have different roles to play in society.”) and purity (“Whether or not someone acted in a way that God would approve of” “Chastity is an important and valuable virtue.”) are framed in conservative terms; and it’s clear that liberals like to think of themselves as concerned only with harm and fairness, so measures of authority and purity that asked about those measures in exactly those terms would be likely to come up with Haidt’s results: even if a liberal agreed with the statements or give consideration to the questions that the moral foundations survey asks about, he would be less likely to recognize that he would do so than a conservative would be. It may be more revealing to also ask about, for example, obedience to the authority of college professors, or whether something is organic or in harmony with nature.

It’s clear that progressives are concerned with purity on some level: examples of them attacking their political opponents as ‘icky’, ‘gross’, or ‘repulsive’ are easy to find. The Prime Minister of Sweden called nationalism a “revolting disease” in a speech, and exhorted the Swedish people to “let go of the ancient and disgusting thought that what is deviant is dangerous”.

Jonathan Haidt used to be a progressive; though he now calls himself a moderate, his research may well have fallen prey (though at least he noticed) to exactly the bias he describes: working within the shared narrative of progressivism, assuming its presuppositions and buying into its narratives. What better example could there be for his thesis?

from A Lack of Diversity in Social Psychology?

July 30, 2014
The Allendale Tar Barrel Festival

The Allendale Tar Barrel Festival, or the Baal fire (or Barl fire), is a pagan ceremony that takes place every year on 31st December in Allendale, Northumberland, England. The ceremony is a farewell to the past 12 months, and comes from a tradition that has been in existence since ancient times. On New Year’s Eve, the small town is full of visitors and down from the hill farms come the shepherds, flockmasters and farm workers to watch or take part in the Baal fire.

Villagers carry burning tar barrels on their heads—mere candles would be blown out by the strong winds—around the village, then using them to light a giant bonfire in the village square. The guisers, men in quaint costumes with blackened or painted faces, descendants of the mummers whose playlets once enlivened the Christmas scene together with kings, queens, courtiers, clowns, witches, animals, dwarfs, in a mixture of colorful garb worn once a year, jest their way between houses and hotels. The colorful procession passes through the town to the Baal fire. At midnight, the barrels are then used to ignite the ceremonial Baal bonfire, as everyone shouts, “Be damned to he who throws last!”

from The Allendale Tar Barrel Festival

July 30, 2014
Why Theden: Looking Forward

Theden was first launched one year ago yesterday. A lot has happened in that year: we’ve developed a perspective not quite like any other source of news or opinion, and we’ve made new friends and sparked great discussions in the process. Given that we’ve come so far, it’s time for us to reiterate—and build upon—our initial purpose, our first principles, our basic premise.

Theden starts with the idea of thedes. A thede is an ingroup, an identity that associates you with other people. People like to show that they’re members of thedes: they speak a certain dialect, which reflects where they’re from (or perhaps the culture they’ve adopted later in life); they drive a certain car (a man in a Bentley and a man in a pickup truck are thedishly distinct at first glance; they don’t hang out with the same crowd); they wear a certain T-shirt to let you know they’re a fan of some band; and so on. People also like to show which thedes they’re not members of, or more precisely, which ones their own thede rejects as elthedish: they make fun of other dialects; they mock and reject elthedish music (listen to any metal fan talk about Justin Bieber); they pick fights with elthedes; et cetera.

But the West has a thede problem. Ask anyone outside the West, and especially outside the developed world in general, who his thedes are, which ingroups he most strongly aligns himself with, and he’ll tell you: his family, his faith, his ethnic group. Ask a typical Westerner, and he’ll tell you about his job, his political party, his school, his favorite bands, perhaps his hometown—but caring deeply about your family and heritage is seen as a bit passé. In the West, we’ve been bowling alone, eating alone, living alone—we have a degree of atomization that we seem to take for granted, yet it is entirely abnormal not only by non-Western standards, but by Western standards at any time before the Second World War. Our thedes have been made weak, shallow, even self-opposing.

And what about the people who run the West—not just our elected officials or even our mass media, but the financiers who bankroll them? Are they lonely? Are they feeling any lack of thedish association? Are they concerned on a personal level with any of us down here on the ground? To ask the question is to answer it. And it’s not as though people don’t notice: progressives complain about inequality, conservatives about moral decline and liberal elitism, reactionaries about the loss of deep tradition and the vulgarization of power, libertarians about the bureaucratic stifling of human action, populists about the abandonment of the common people by their leaders. All these groups are getting something right—aren’t they? When diverse political factions, who don’t agree on much and don’t particularly like one another, are all saying that—to put it simply—something is wrong, the obvious inference is that something is indeed wrong.

The invasion of the Third World—the very term ‘developing world’ implies that these peoples ought to ‘develop’ to the Western level of loneliness and lack of will—by Western businesses and armies, and the importation of its peoples into the West, are homogenizing forces. The word ‘diversity’ is shouted from every available megaphone, but human heterogeneity is being destroyed. We’re told that mass immigration into the West, for example, is enriching—and indeed it is: it enriches those who already have enormous wealth. It allows them to have a broader, cheaper pool of human capital to work for them, vote for their candidates, and replace the native working class, who demand too much dignity (and too much money) for elite tastes. It impoverishes everyone else in the West, of course, but what do they matter? Some White worker in Southern France or North Texas, struggling to feed his family with a service job because the factories have moved elsewhere? Why doesn’t he just draw some welfare from the State and shut his racist mouth? And ‘feminism’ is about empowering women, right? Empowering them to reject the two roles that only a woman can play, and without which society does not exist—to be a wife and a mother—and forcing them into the same class system, the same socioeconomic status games, that men have had to deal with.

Thus we see the ruse of ‘anti-racism’, ‘feminism’, and so on—they are not about the uplift of non-Westerners or women or any other ‘protected class’. They are a means for powerful men to gain even more power. These men do not need to declare themselves a ‘protected class’, of course—their money protects them well enough. Upper-middle-class progressivism does not threaten upper-class neoliberalism; Occupy Wall Street did not hurt Wall Street. The politically powerful Left isn’t going to rise up and smash the banks and the politically powerful Right often acts simply to slow down the Left in their social reforms (and to promote neoliberalism a bit more loudly when the Left starts to yell too much about opposing the capitalism that has them in its back pocket). So what’s to be done?

Culturally and economically insulate yourself from the ‘progress’ around you. It’s time for thedening—fostering a renewed sense of thedishness, of association, of solidarity—in the West and beyond. None of us can do this alone—a thede, by definition, includes more than one person. Westerners have to rekindle, and rebuild, their native identities, and people in every nation have an interest in resisting the homogenization, the commodification, the dethedening, of the Earth. We at Theden come out of a Western heritage, so our focus is on—as the header bar of your browser will tell you—thedening the West, with special attention given to America for two reasons: first, that America is where the globally dominant progressive and neoliberal structures are seated; and second, that most of our staff are Americans. But we do not consider our fellows in other countries as anything less than extended family, and even beyond the West we encourage the revitalization of local cultures.

You will note that on our first day, Theden published a dozen articles—now our ratio has almost reversed, with a dozen days sometimes passing between articles. What’s happened? Simply put, we’ve been busy—working on other projects which have the same goal Theden has. But we can’t neglect the role Theden has to play any longer. We’re here for the long haul, and a long one it’ll be. We need more input. We want to hear from you, our readers, about your struggle, your concerns, your efforts to theden. What are you doing to build a family, a community, a deep thede; to reconnect with your roots; to grow something new from them? What, if anything, is holding you back from doing so? We want to hear from you, and we wish you the best. Godspeed, all of you.

from Why Theden: Looking Forward

July 18, 2014
Argentina in Whiteface

Whenever a major sporting event comes along, the progressive media always has a desired narrative. So it was with the recent World Cup, where it was widely hoped that a racially mixed team would win, proving once again the all-conquering power of ‘diversity’. Alas, when Brazil crashed to its 1-7 defeat against Germany in the semi-final, the desired narrative took a severe beating and started coughing up blood.

In its own way, the German team was also quite diverse, but not in the same flashy, frizzy manner as Brazil. Among its blond Aryan ranks it also boasted a Turk (Ozil), a half-Tunisian (Khedira), and even a Black player – well, half-black (Boateng). But overall the team looked White, and, worse than that, they played with Teutonic precision rather than the carefree carnival spirit expected from a truly ‘diverse’ team; in short, unsuitable poster boys for the progressive fantasy.

After this setback, the desired narrative’s next best hope was the Dutch team, which had a few Black players – there seemed to be about 2 or 3 – although this team too was less than ideal. When they were knocked out by Argentina in the other semi-final, the diversity narrative was pretty much nailed in its coffin. Argentina, despite some players having a little Indian and possibly Black ancestry, was again a depressingly White-looking and White-playing team as far as progressives were concerned. Whoever won the final was going to be a poor substitute for the multiracial French team that famously won the World Cup in 1998, or the default diversity of the Brazilian team.

With the narrative of diversity leading to success well and truly buried, all that remained was either to walk away or else find a negative narrative that bemoaned the lack of sufficient diversity at the top levels of international soccer.

With the World Cup continuing to generate the all-important hits, the Huffington Post decided to stay in the game with the negative story, “Why Are There No Black Men on Argentina’s Roster?” by Rachel Décoste, a Black female software engineer, who is also listed as a “motivational speaker.” The article seems to have been largely lifted from this Wikipedia page, so it’s good to see that Décoste isn’t entirely an affirmative action plant in the male-White-and-Asian-dominated tech sector. She at least knows how to surf the internet and copy and paste. One suspects that her motivational talks share a similar degree of originality.

In the article, she drew attention to the fact that back in the 18th and early 19th centuries some parts of Argentina had a much higher percentage of Black people than they do now:

“In colonial times, the proportion of Africans hovered around 50 per cent in half of Argentina’s provinces. General José de San Martín, the revolutionary who lead the charge to gain independence from Spanish rule, estimated that there were 400,000 Afro-Argentines who could be recruited to his armies. Black men made up 65 per cent of his troops. The 2010 census puts the Afro-Argentine population at 150,000, or less than half of one per cent.”

Décoste wants us to believe that this drop from 50% to 0.5% was due to genocide:

“Over the years, overt and covert government sanctions promoted ethnic cleansing and, some say, genocide.”

Given the fact that Argentina’s colonial population was around a fortieth of what it is now and that much of its increase was due to mass immigration from Europe, and that much of the Afro-Argentine population mixed in,  a figure of 150,000 Blacks in Argentina does not seem an unreasonable number for the country’s present-day Black population. The Wikipedia entry says that “over 5% of Argentines state they have at least one black ancestor, and a further 20% state they do not know whether or not they have any black ancestors.”

Rather than being “genocided,” all that can be said with any degree of accuracy is that Afro-Argentines, as a separate people, did not flourish to any great extent, and this fact on its own is taken to denote genocide. By the same metric the medieval population of Iceland, which declined from 84,000 in 1300 to 47,000 by 1800, must have been subjected to genocide (although that must have been rather difficult as the Icelanders were isolated from the rest of the world!).

Those Icelandic population figures are from Gregory Clark’s economic history, A Farewell to Alms. In that book he makes the highly significant point that most of the differences in wealth between the rich countries and poor stem from the much higher productivity of workers in those countries, a point that was also noticed by none other than Karl Marx, as Clark points out:

“When Britain was at its economic apogee in the middle and late nineteenth century, a number of writers argued that its ability to pay high wages and still prosper in international competition derived mainly from the much greater intensity of labour in Britain compared to the its low-wage competitors. These writers maintained that British workers were able to operate more machinery per worker, mitigating or even eliminating the wage cost advantage of the low-wage countries.

Karl Marx himself endorsed this view. The first volume of Capital, published in 1867, contains a short chapter, ‘National Differences in Wages,’ which attributes high output per worker in British textile mills to high labour intensity.” A Farewell to Alms, p.353

At this point in his book, Clark is comparing British labour to Indian labour, but elsewhere he refers to the even lower productivity of African workers. The extremely low productivity of African workers not only explains why Africa remains poor to this day, but historically it also explains why, when Blacks were inducted into the global economy, it had to be done through slavery (forced labour) rather than the wage incentives used with more productive workers.

Among all else, slavery was also a means of artificially improving the productivity of African workers, and by the same logic, its abolition, which happened in 1853 in Argentina, lessened that productivity and by doing so weakened their ability to compete demographically with Whites.

In an economy where two races with markedly different rates of productivity coexisted without any compensatory mechanisms such as welfare, and where the resultant differences in income expressed themselves in higher fertility and survival rates, we would expect the population with the more productive workers to expand more rapidly. This is exactly what happened in Argentina, assisted by largely White immigration.

In her article Décoste contrasts Argentina with Brazil, but that, alas, is an unfortunate comparison, because, while Brazil still has a considerable Black and mulatto population, it actually followed an identical trajectory to Argentina. It moved from a population that was majority Black in the colonial period to one where Whites predominate, and no one is accusing the Brazilians of committing genocide against Blacks.

The main differences between Brazil and Argentina were that Brazil had a higher initial Black population, abolished slavery later (1888), attracted less capital, and saw less economic development. These factors were of course all related and together explain why Argentina moved further down the road of ‘Whitification’ than Brazil did, although both were moving in the same direction until comparatively recently.

Progressives should be warned that comparing Argentina with Brazil is sure to raise some interesting questions and point towards some awkward conclusions that challenge their simplistic historical model of evil Whites committing genocide whenever they got the chance.

from Argentina in Whiteface

July 16, 2014
Slavoj Žižek and the Politics of Plagiarism

The continental philosophy superstar Slavoj Žižek was recently found to have plagiarized from the paleoconservative magazine American Renaissance.

Steve Sailer drew attention to a 2006 article by Žižek, “A Plea for a Return to Différance (with a Minor Pro Domo Sua)”, which included a summary of Kevin MacDonald’s book The Culture of Critique. Sailer wrote that “the superstar professor achieves a higher degree of clarity while expounding MacDonald’s message than in any other passage I’ve read by Žižek”. The first comment on Sailer’s post: “That’s really weird. It looks like he copy-pasted somebody else’s summary.”

A few hours later, the blogger Deogolwulf found that Žižek had in fact copy-pasted someone else’s summary: Stanley Hornbeck’s review in American Renaissance of MacDonald’s book.

Here’s the first part of Žižek’s summary:

The main academic proponent of this new barbarism is Kevin MacDonald, who, in The Culture of Critique, argues that certain twentieth-century intellectual movements led by Jews have changed European societies in fundamental ways and destroyed the confidence of Western man; these movements were designed, consciously or unconsciously, to advance Jewish interests even though they were presented to non-Jews as universalistic and even utopian.

And here’s Hornbeck:

In The Culture of Critique, Kevin MacDonald advances a carefully researched but extremely controversial thesis: that certain 20th century intellectual movements – largely established and led by Jews – have changed European societies in fundamental ways and destroyed the confidence of Western man. He claims that these movements were designed, consciously or unconsciously, to advance Jewish interests even though they were presented to non-Jews as universalistic and even utopian.

A full account of the similarities and differences between the two can be found here.

Žižek has responded:

With regard to the recent accusations about my plagiarism, here is what happened. When I was writing the text on Derrida which contains the problematic passages, a friend told me about Kevin Macdonald’s theories, and I asked him to send me a brief resume. The friend send [sic] it to me, assuring me that I can use it freely since it merely resumes another’s line of thought. Consequently, I did just that – and I sincerely apologize for not knowing that my friend’s resume was largely borrowed from Stanley Hornbeck’s review of Macdonald’s book. … In no way can I thus be accused of plagiarizing another’s line of thought, of »stealing ideas.« I nonetheless deeply regret the incident.

Some communist academics are defending him, claiming that his plagiarism is a non-issue that’s only used against him by political opponents:

It’s not the first time Žižek has plagiarized, either: his practice of ‘self-plagiarism’, copying and pasting passages, sometimes entire chapters, from his own articles and passing them off as original, is well-known, and a passage in his book The Parallax View has been found to be identical to a 2003 Guardian article.

from Slavoj Žižek and the Politics of Plagiarism

July 11, 2014
Anthony Cumia and the Inverted Samurai of the American Ghetto

Anthony Cumia, known along with Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Jim Norton as part of The Opie & Anthony Show, was fired last week after having been apparently attacked by a Black woman on the street and posting about it on Twitter. Sirius XM, the satellite radio company who had been syndicating the show, called Cumia’s comments on Twitter “racially charged and hate-filled”, evidently making them ground for Cumia’s firing.

You can look at the offending Tweets and judge for yourself, but whatever you think of them, this incident illustrates something about today’s American norms: making racially offensive comments about Blacks is seen as worse than Black-on-White violence. If Cumia and the Black woman he photographed had been reversed, we know what the media and political (but we repeat ourselves) response would have been. But in the United States of 2014, Blacks, among other groups, are a protected class, and violence from protected classes is acceptable in a way that even the mere verbal objections of Whites like Cumia are not. Protected classes are nothing new, however, as Mencius Moldbug explains:

In old Japan, it wasn’t illegal to be an asshole. It wasn’t even illegal to be an asshole to a samurai. But it was illegal to be an asshole to a samurai – if you weren’t a samurai. See how it works? You might say the samurai were a sort of protected class. A system not at all unique to old Japan. Always and everywhere, “microaggressing” against the protected class is hazardous to your health.

In old Japan, it was illegal to be an asshole to a samurai if you weren’t a samurai. In modern-day America, it’s technically illegal for anyone to attack anyone—even for Blacks to attack Whites—and it’s legal for Whites to say bad things about individual Blacks, but the former goes unpunished and the latter does not. De jure is not always de facto: it doesn’t matter whether something is legal if you’ll still lose your job for it.

But there’s a difference between Blacks in 2014 America and the samurai of old Japan: the former are not an aristocracy. If they were, would their situation really be steadily getting worse, as it has been? Besides, Blacks as a group do not make America’s administrative decisions—they’re not the ones designating who is and isn’t a member of a protected class.

If America isn’t old Japan, what is it? History is a very big place, so we must have some historical precedent for this state of affairs—but what?

Moldbug continues, and provides the precedent.

America is a communist country. For workers and peasants, read: blacks and Hispanics.

The capital-C Communists claimed to rule for the benefit of the workers and peasants, but really ruled for the benefit of themselves. The progressives—who can reasonably be called lowercase-c communists—claim to rule for the benefit of the Blacks and Hispanics, but the Blacks and Hispanics clearly don’t rule. Instead, progressives rule in their name.

Such initiatives as affirmative action and ‘diversity’ may be understood as tools to increase the power of progressivism. This works on multiple levels: first, they create a way for progressives to exercise power and create job positions that do nothing but promote progressivism; second, they provide a way to measure the conformity of an institution with progressivism; and third, there is a tacit understanding that those who claim the benefits of affirmative action ought to be progressives themselves, as was most recently shown by Harry Reid’s “five White men” slip.

The belief that progressives really are concerned with White ‘racism’ makes it difficult to explain why they do not go after those (of even their own number) who take great care to isolate themselves from non-Whites. The fact that they are concerned with things like speech and representation in Disney movies, but not with this isolation, or the fact that the material condition of Blacks has been steadily declining ever since desegregation, shows the lie: the Communist bureaucrats of the Soviet Union wrapped their drive to accumulate power and eliminate those they considered elthedish in talk of concern for workers and peasants, and the lowercase-c communists of today do much the same.

from Anthony Cumia and the Inverted Samurai of the American Ghetto

July 7, 2014
Stalin’s American Fanboys: FDR and the Warner Brothers Go to Moscow

We’ve written before about Mission to Moscow, the pro-Stalin film made by Warner Brothers at FDR’s personal request. Here is a review of it. Try to guess where it’s from.

Just as “Mission to Moscow,” which was Joseph E. Davies’s report on his two-year Ambassadorship to Russia, was a striking and controversial book, so its translation into pictures should prove an equally agitating work. For this generally faithful screen version, which Warners brought to the Hollywood yesterday, is clearly the most outspoken picture on a political subject that an American studio has ever made. With a boldness unique in film ventures, which usually evade all issues, it comes out sharply and frankly for an understanding of Russia’s point of view. It says with a confident finality that Russia’s leaders saw, when the leaders of other nations dawdled, that the Nazis were a menace to the world. And it has no hesitancy whatever in stepping on a few tender toes.

Based entirely on the personal observations reported by Mr. Davies in his book, it will obviously prove offensive to those elements which have challenged his views. Particularly will it anger the so-called Trotskyites with its visual re-enactment of the famous “Moscow trials.” For it puts into the record for millions of moviegoers to grasp an admission that the many “purged” generals and other leaders were conspirators in a plot—a plot engineered by Trotsky with the Nazis and the Japs to drain the strength of Russia and make it an easy victim for conquest.

Further, it takes some healthy potshots at Britain’s Chamberlain government. It pictures the pre-war Ambassador of Great Britain to Russia as a foggy person. It characterizes the French and Polish envoys as anti-Russian to the core and swings a vicious wallop at Congressional isolationists over here. In short, it says quite clearly that reactionaries permitted the war and that Russia, far from earlier suspicion, is a true and most reliable ally.

That is the general content of “Mission to Moscow” as a film—or should we say as a screen manifesto, which is actually what it is. For in form it follows closely the episodic pattern of Mr. Davies’s book and aspires, through re-enactment, to convey a realistic impression of fact.

Despite the jabs against “the so-called Trotskyites” and their obvious errors of thinking that Trotsky was not the leader of a Nazi plot to overthrow the USSR and that Stalin was not a great leader whose “point of view” ought to be defended “sharply and frankly”, this was not from a Communist Party paper.

No, it ran in the New York Times.

That’s right: Franklin Delano Roosevelt personally ordered the creation of a Stalinist propaganda film based on the memoirs of a man who was “brainwashed by Stalin completely”, a film its own director would later call “an expedient lie for political purposes, glossily covering up important facts with full or partial knowledge of their false presentation”—and the New York Times reviewed it favorably and uncritically.

from Stalin’s American Fanboys: FDR and the Warner Brothers Go to Moscow

July 2, 2014
Maya Peterson and the Great American Outrage Machine

The media runs on clicks, and outrage brings clicks like nothing else but celebrity gossip; so those parts of the media that don’t run on celebrity gossip run on outrage. Due to the political tendencies of journalists—and this is surely even more the case now, with the proliferation of communist-run new media outlets—media outrage tends to be progressive outrage.

Here is the latest example. The title: “What Happens When A Prep School’s Black Student President Mocks Her White Male Classmates”. We are told in the first line that “an Instagram photo allegedly led the country’s most expensive boarding school to strip its first black female student body president of her role.” An Instagram photo mocking her white male classmates, that is.

One day last March, Lawrenceville School Student Body President Maya Peterson donned L.L. Bean boots and a Yale University sweater to pose for an Instagram photo depicting what she described as a typical “Lawrenceville boi”: white, Republican, and cockily holding a hockey stick.

Peterson, who graduated in June, added hashtags like “#romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool” before posting. It was a joke, she said, inspired by classmates who complained to the school’s dean of students about Peterson’s own senior photo, in which she and 10 friends, all black, raised their fists in a “Black Power” salute.

Why should someone who shows open disdain for a large part of the population of the school be student body president? And why is it that someone who attends the country’s most expensive boarding school is getting depicted in the media as an oppressed victim?

Completely missing the irony of depicting someone whose parents can afford to pay $53,000 a year for her to attend high school—and, yes, it’s pointed out in the article that her parents paid full tuition—as anything but privileged, Buzzfeed whines:

The photo was simply the last straw for many white students who never wanted Peterson to be president in the first place — and for Peterson herself, who said she was sick of fighting vicious attacks from the most privileged members of the elite school. …

Peterson, a tall, animated 17-year-old with flowing dreads and thick-rimmed glasses who ran on a platform of “inclusion and acceptance and pride in oneself,” wasn’t just the first black woman to serve as student body president — she’s an out lesbian too. She won the election by reaching out to students whom other candidates overlooked, including freshmen and minorities, other students said.

And here’s what she did with her power.

One of Peterson’s first acts as president was to institute a “diversity representative” on the student council board to eliminate tension on campus when talking about race and gender issues. But her diversity initiatives were not widely welcomed; a push for gender neutral bathrooms was particularly controversial. …

The backlash to her election led to personal attacks. Shortly after Peterson was elected, an anonymous student sent the dean of students photos of Peterson using marijuana. Soon after, the school received more anonymous information that alleged Peterson had posted racist tweets about a Sikh student. In a school-wide meeting, Peterson apologized for the photos and the dean of students clarified that the racist tweets were fabricated. Still, many students believed she wasn’t right for the position.

Students of Lawrenceville, the boarding school, found the post and explained what really happened—which turns out to have the exact opposite moral from what Buzzfeed spun it into. “The school president I voted for our senior year broke school rules and was voted out by HER OWN STUDENT COUNCIL.” That she was voted out—unanimously but for the ‘diversity representative’—is not mentioned in the article; nor is it mentioned that drug use is supposed to disqualify candidates from running in the student council elections. (It was only uncovered after the election results were in.)

Predictably, it’s also not mentioned, except in the comments, that “she cheated on a test, and when a Sikh student notified the teachers, she bullied him for it. That’s two violations, enough to merit expulsion for any normal student. … Lawrenceville had no problem expelling the sons of wealthy benefactors when they misbehaved, and my class had several “white males” who got themselves kicked out for pedestrian smoking and drinking. Maya only lost a spot on the student council, and walked to receive her diploma in front of her friends and family.

Another student wrote, “I was a friend of the Sikh student in question, and Maya also made completely insensitive comments about his weight, and no amount of wishy-washing Buzzfeed reporting can change this. There were elements to her behavior that were simply unacceptable, and I was a personal witness to this.”

In other words: if you’re a black lesbian who goes around creating student government positions for ‘diversity representatives’, you’re above the rules of your $53,000/year boarding school, and when you get voted out of your student government seat after not only showing open hatred for a large part of the student body, but also doing things that would’ve gotten a mere white male expelled, Buzzfeed will come to your defense.

If that’s not privilege, what is?

from Maya Peterson and the Great American Outrage Machine

June 21, 2014
Redneck Authenticity and Its Ironic Enemies

Progressives hate country folk. This is isn’t news, of course—they remind us of it with every Phil Robertson or Cliven Bundy they can find—but it is worth examining. I’ve got an article here discussing the deredneckization measures put in place by the present US political superstructure—we’ll call it the Fourth Union—and the laughably unrevolutionary quality of the established anti-proletarian leftism it exemplifies.

What I do not discuss in that article, however, is the matter of what Brahmins’ true feelings are, beneath the snark and feigned indignation. Sure, they hate rednecks and farmers—but is there perhaps more to it than smug contempt? These same progressives are known to enjoy such things as folk punk, communal living, and ritual use of enemas. They show disdain for technological progress in any field other than that of shiny toys they can tap with their thumbs. They’d like life to be a bit slower. A bit more contemplative. A bit more genuine. They love what is stripped-downreal, and sincere. They’re desperate for that strange and intangible human quality: authenticity. We all are, of course—such is the postmodern condition—and I’ve written on this previously:

We can be “true to ourselves” by eating new foods and dying our hair—just as thousands of others do. We can be “different” like everyone else, and this makes us “free”. In a world where we no longer have to be decent to fit in, fitting in is the closest thing we have to being decent. No longer bound by our elders’ wishes, by our ancestors’ customs, by our sense of conscience, we are raised to please our peers—and we have the audacity to call this “authenticity”!

But not all of us are starving for sincerity with the same desperation. Progressives clearly crave it bad—but the men of the countryside? They know their neighbors. They work close to home. They go to church. It’s thoroughly normal for them to build things and grow their own food. They have a level of self-reliance that no small number of Brahmins would love to attain. This can be made insincere and ironic, too, of course—the merchandising of Duck Dynasty tells us as much—but the demands of rural existence don’t allow for too much of that; there’s a certain lack of bourgeois pretension in the country life. There’s something about a fresh-made kolache, or a good plate of fried gizzards, which is more authentic than a quinoa salad with artisanal mustard and a grande latte.

Brahmins want authenticity—rural folk live it. Not to mention that these same genuine, sincere, simple people do not at all share the thedish norms of the yearning progressive, let alone his utmost convictions. There was once a rural Left, but that’s long gone. Any good progressive in 2014 hates the White working class his ideological grandfather championed. They’re hicks, inbreds, bigots, racists, homophobes—and they’re more authentic, more real, more legit, than the typical Brahmin can even pretend to be. That’s got to sting.

So perhaps part of the urgency in Brahmin cries for a “Third Reconstruction” und so weiter is a deep and uncomfortable suspicion that rural areas and their inhabitants are wellsprings of authenticity—an authenticity so foreign to the latte-sipping pseudosophisticates, however, that they wish to destroy those whom they cannot join.

Huey Long and FDR should have fought each other to the death for the Presidency in 1936.

from Redneck Authenticity and Its Ironic Enemies

June 18, 2014
U.S. Patent and Trade Office Cancels ‘Disparaging’ Redskins Trademark

It’s been fashionable among progressives to whine about the offensiveness of the Washington Redskins’ name for some time, and now the US Patent and Trade Office has cancelled its trademark registration, calling the name “disparaging to Native Americans”:

The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans. It was the second time such a case was filed.

“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” said lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.

Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin.”

“We are extraordinarily gratified to have prevailed in this case,” Alfred Putnam Jr., the chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath, said. “The dedication and professionalism of our attorneys and the determination of our clients have resulted in a milestone victory that will serve as an historic precedent.”

Precedent indeed! The names and images which “may disparage” an individual or group are as endless as the human ability to find things to get offended by. John Durant made a point of this on Twitter earlier:

As these not-implausible examples illustrate, actions like this one by the Patent and Trade Office are less about defending supposedly disparaged individuals or groups and more about letting the world know who’s boss. Likewise with Mozilla, and Business Insider, and so on. We might like to think of trademark registration as an apolitical thing, but progressivism demands otherwise.

So it’s been a good day for social progress. Unemployment, crime, and drug abuse on American Indian reservations remain serious problems, but at least the people living on them no longer have to worry about disparaging remarks from red-State football fans. I’m sure they’re very thankful to the USPTO about this.

from U.S. Patent and Trade Office Cancels ‘Disparaging’ Redskins Trademark

June 15, 2014
Off-Script Democracy: Eric Cantor’s ‘Anti-Semitic’ Loss

“[My opponent] is running on Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable principles.”

“All of the investment banks, up in New York and D.C., they should have gone to jail.”

Thus spoke the surprise winner of an obscure primary that was expected to be won easily by the incumbent, a widely-hated figure who spent several hundred thousand dollars of his campaign budget on entertainment and needlessly expensive travel, and whose wife once worked for Goldman Sachs.

But the media doesn’t like this very much.

The reason is simple: Eric Cantor, the House Majority Whip, was a major figure in not only Wall Street’s Rolodex, but also the push for increased mass immigrationand Dave Brat, the economics professor who defeated Cantor, made mass immigration a central issue of his campaign. Laura Ingraham, a talk radio host who backed Brat, tweeted her motivation for doing so:

It’s not news that progressivism has come to be on the same side as capital on many issues, of which immigration is onethe Kochs, who have become a metonym to progressives for well-funded ultraconservatism, back open-borders initiatives. So it’s not surprising that Dave Brat’s opposition to “Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundable principles” didn’t save him from the round of media denunciation that comes to anyone who opposes mass immigration.

What may be more surprising is the other media response.

Eric Cantor, you see, is Jewishand Dave Brat is a Christian with a theology degree. Naturally, this means that Virginia’s 7th District, which not only elected Cantor, but reëlected him six times, is a raging hotbed of anti-Semitism. The New York Daily News floated this explanation, writing that Cantor “was highly visible as the only Jewish Republican in the House, in a district with a strong evangelical presence”, but the Times of Israel went all-out with it, headlining their story covering the election, “Could Cantor have lost because he’s a Jew?”

The New York Times also ran with it:

David Wasserman, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said another, more local factor has to be acknowledged: Mr. Cantor, who dreamed of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, was culturally out of step with a redrawn district that was more rural, more gun-oriented and more conservative.

“Part of this plays into his religion,” Mr. Wasserman said. “You can’t ignore the elephant in the room.”

Never mind that Cantor won the rural northern counties of the district, and that Brat’s largest margin of victory came in Hanover County, a suburb of Richmond, where two thirds of the votes went to Brat—never mind that Cantor was reëlected six timesno, those damn ruralites, clinging to their guns and religion, must all be raging anti-Semites.

Then there’s this Politico article, where things get really weird:

Matt Brooks, the RJC president, called Cantor’s primary “one of those incredible, evil twists of fate that just changed the potential course of history.”

“There are other leaders who will emerge, but Eric was unique and it will take time and there’s nobody quite like Eric in the House to immediately fill those shoes,” Brooks said. “I was certainly hoping that Eric was going to be our first Jewish speaker.”

Across the aisle, the reactions to Cantor’s defeat ranged from shock and distress to barely-restrained glee. For partisan Jewish Democrats, Cantor has long been a supremely annoying figure, perceived as a front man for a conservative party that’s hostile to the values a strong majority of Jews share on issues from economic inequality to gay marriage to immigration, the central animating issue of Cantor challenger Dave Brat’s campaign.

As Democrats seek to cement a public perception of the GOP as an intolerant and homogenous party, the defeat of the nation’s leading Jewish Republican over his support for more relaxed immigration laws can only help.

Incredible! Evil! Changed the potential course of history! …What?

One must wonder if the charge of anti-Semitism serves to mask certain other concerns, the airing of which would further undermine progressives’ already comedically absurd attempts to market themselves as tolerant. There are so many other lines of attack (some, like the belief that citing Max Weber is fascist, even more absurd than the belief that it’s anti-Semitic to win an election against a Jew) that it’s hard to believe that so many people could come to the same conclusion for so many different reasonsit’s far more likely that there are only a few underlying concerns, but that no one will admit them.

One of those is probably Cantor’s establishment role, his “Chamber of Commerce principles”, support for mass immigration, and ability to make himself palatable to a press that habitually speaks power to truth. Another is that, by electing Brat, the voters went off-script: Cantor was an establishment man in what was thought to be a safe district. Brat’s election is the exception that proves the rule: the voters’ normal role is to sit downstream of the media, think how they’re told to, and vote (and act) accordingly. But there’s still a third.

As The Federalist has pointed out, many reporters (and many Brahmins) see Christianity as something backwards, alien, and vaguely threateningin a country where the vast majority of the population is Christian, no less. Religion just isn’t high-status among Brahmins: it imposes constraints against the often-destructive hedonistic excesses that the Brahmin intelligentsia prefer to promote, it demands community that isn’t based solely around status-seeking, and besides, those icky, backwards people in the South do it, so it can’t be considered cool the way Westernized Buddhism or Islam are.

Eric Cantor is Jewishbut Dave Brat is a Christian with a theology degree, and he beat a pro-amnesty candidate in a supposedly safe seat. That’s where the real objections come from.

from Off-Script Democracy: Eric Cantor’s ‘Anti-Semitic’ Loss

June 14, 2014
The Social Vacuum of Progressive Hegemony

George Orwell, in 1984, described a chaotic world of perpetual warfare: a large part of the planet was forever fought over and constantly changing hands, with the lives of the inhabitants assigned minimal value.

“Between the frontiers of the super-states, and not permanently in the possession of any of them, there lies a rough quadrilateral with its corners at Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin, and Hong Kong, containing within it about a fifth of the population of the earth. It is for the possession of these thickly-populated regions, and of the northern ice-cap, that the three powers are constantly struggling. In practice no one power ever controls the whole of the disputed area. Portions of it are constantly changing hands, and it is the chance of seizing this or that fragment by a sudden stroke of treachery that dictates the endless changes of alignment.”

Due to the decline of both moral and pragmatic qualities that progressivism has caused, the West is effectively creating a similar zone of chaos and anarchy today. This has been driven home by the recent news from Iraq: Mosul, one of the country’s largest cities, has been taken over by Sunni militants opposed to the forces of the Shiite-dominated government, in a move that threatens to cause the creation of a fully independent Kurdish state further north, which would in turn have repercussions for the West’s ally, Turkey, and its foe, Iran.

The great flaw of Washington and its allies in recent years has been a tendency to start things without finishing them. There are two sides to this: again, a drastic decline in political pragmatism combined with a fall in moral worth. The West is now driven to destabilize or depose the natural power elites of various Third World states, often for short-term corporate interests but also often because they simply offend the moral scruples of Brahmins.

But Brahmin moral posturing is paper-thin. It lacks the fiber and deep honour of the morality of many of the ‘rednecks’ and ‘flyovers’ they so detest. In other words, it is incapable of committing a country to fulfill the duties it assumes and conscientiously follow through, supporting allies, opposing enemies, and rebuilding countries. For the Brahmin ruling class, it is enough to make the moral gesture, get the buzz, and then sidle away from the mess they have created and look for the next thrill.

This irresponsible attitude has created a toxic brew of “hegemonic anarchy” that has driven countries like Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Mali, Yemen, and Syria into chaos, civil war, and deeper dysfunction than they are normally capable of. Iraq and Afghanistan, the scenes of the West’s greatest commitments and sacrifices, are clearly heading this way tooas is Nigeria, despite the hashtag offensive of recent weeks. Against this background, some countries in the danger zone, like Algeria, Egypt, and Thailand, have found temporary reprieve by reverting to old-style military dictatorships and a bit of PR to keep the Brahmins from noticing them too much.

Iraq is a classic example of the kind of country that either requires pragmatic or principled treatment, but which in Brahmin hands just turns to mush. Like most Third World countries, it has badly-drawn borders that do not correspond to nations, but instead throw together diverse and antagonistic thedes.

Thanks to the former predominance of the Turks in the region, the natural ruling elite has always been rooted in the Sunni Arab part of the population. This is also a group that occupies a relatively central position, with the numerically superior Shiite Arabs to the South and the non-Arabic Kurds to the North North-West.

Despite its inherent flaws and weakness, Iraq, with the right kind of strong and pragmatic leader, could be relatively stable. Although Saddam Hussein was clearly deeply flawed, he may well have been a workable solution for the country in a way that the present underpowered ‘strongman,’ Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, isn’t.

A well-managed partition of the country into three separate sections corresponding to the three main groups in the population may have been another option at one time, but that moment has clearly passed. Whatever new borders arise will now have to be drawn in blood, while any strongmen that arise to keep the country united are likely to get on the wrong side of the Brahmins at some point and meet the same end as Saddam or Gaddafi.

The truth is that Brahmins prefer anarchy to a convenient tyrant: anarchy says “we tried” rather than “we connived”, and, as the somewhat Orwellian phrase “humanitarian intervention” hints at, it helps them to feel better about themselves. Rather than totalitarian humanism, what Brahmin America is pioneering is a form of hegemonic anarchy.

from The Social Vacuum of Progressive Hegemony