Stages in the acceptance of Bannonism

JBS Haldane wrote

“The four stages of acceptance:
1. This is worthless nonsense.
2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
3. This is true, but quite unimportant.
4. I always said so.”

(Review of The Truth About Death, in: Journal of Genetics 1963, Vol. 58, p.464)”

I have noticed that the arguments of Steve Bannon are gaining traction in broader and more polite circles. Essentially, Bannon claims that the working class of the United States had been abandoned by governments of the right and the left, and that while globalization and its attendant philosophy of globalism have benefitted the top 1%, the people who actually compose the United States, fight its wars,and serve in its factories and police forces, have been abandoned to excessive immigration, held up for ridicule as “white”, “male” and old, and have been the subjects of an opiod crisis that, if it had occurred in a sexual or coloured minority, would have been treated as a second AIDS crisis.

The average age of death of American whites was declining: people are dying younger. As the study hyperlinked above wrote:

“The unfavorable recent trends in premature death rate among non-Hispanic Whites outside large urban areas were primarily caused by self-destructive health behaviors likely related to underlying social and economic factors in these communities.”

Bannon calls the policies and the situation he opposes the product of Davos man.

Steven Harper has taken up the same message in his latest book, Right Here, Right Now, excerpted here. Harper is a much more respectable figure than Bannon, and the fact that the same arguments are being propagated by both men is a sign that Bannon’s analysis is seeping through the defences into higher plateaux of acceptance. As Harper writes:

Trump, Brexit, and the European populist movements are exposing a fault line in modern Western societies. The division is between, as David Goodhart describes: those who live “anywhere” and those who live “somewhere.” The rise of globalization in the past quarter-century has transformed an element of the population. Segments of urban and university-educated professionals have become genuinely globally oriented in their careers and personal lives.

 

Harper cleverly speaks of the gap between the ‘anywheres’ and the ‘somewheres’: those who might work anywhere on the planet and those who could not work outside the country of their birth.

Imagine yourself as someone who works for an international consulting firm or in a globally focused academic career. You can wake up in New York, London, or Singapore and feel at home. You may rent or even own regular accommodation in all of these places. Your work is not subjected to import competition or threat of technological dislocation. You may attend (or aspire to attend) the Davos conference. You probably read The Economist and, like Thomas Friedman, believe that the world really is flat. Your spouse or partner has a similar professional background, although he or she is from somewhere else in the world. You are motivated by climate change and suspicious of religion. You are unequivocally pro–free trade and support high levels of immigration. Your values can broadly be described as “cosmopolitan.”

Such cosmopolitans, or “Anywheres,” or just plain “globalists” have an increasingly weak attachment to the nation-state. Their professional, personal, and even familial relationships are increasingly with people like themselves from a range of countries. 

Harper correctly predicts that populist movements will only grow. “My diagnosis is simple: the populist trend will not stop until the issues driving it are being effectively addressed.”

Amen. Yet the resistance to realization is extremely powerful. This brings me to the second theme of this essay, that the Democrats are still at stage one: “This is all worthless nonsense”.

I continue to be amazed and not a little disturbed by the degree of heat, denial, snobbery, and plain mendacity in the reaction of the bien-pensants to what is going on. For them, it appears to be something about Trump. Bad boy! Rude man! Going into the kitchen and breaking dishes. Fighting with NATO allies. Being too cozy with Putin (for which there is no evidence whatever). I can understand why Trump is not one’s cup of tea, but I have greater difficulty understanding why the opposition to him is so slow to understand why he came to power. I do not mean the technical reasons of campaigning and messaging; I mean the underlying economic and social malaise to which his policies were appearing to be remedies.

The Democrats have been in complete denial that they even lost the election. The last time this happened, during Bush Junior,  they withdrew into The West Wing, where a Democratic President Jeb Bartlett ruled an imaginary United States as an all-wise avatar of decency and enlightenment. This time they have no West Wing to occupy their minds. Now they find themselves in the wrestling ring with a mad orange-haired troll in a weird suit who keeps slamming them into the floor and throwing them against the ropes, while the mob howls for more.

The Democrats will be equally shocked when they lose the midterms. I fail to see is any sign that they have a capacity to understand and adapt to what has hit them. They seem to prefer the fictional world of a Putin-Facebook- targeted ad campaign that deprived them of their rightful place as the permanent government of the United States. On the face of it, the claim is absurd: that a few hundred thousand dollars, if that much, of targeted Facebook ads could overcome the billion or two that Hillary Clinton spent on her campaign, the bad messaging, the self-regard, the bad campaigning, and the complete inability to see that the world she thought existed, did not.

Drowning men clutch straws, we are told. I do not see the Democrats recovering until they come to grip with why they lost.  Right now, they are both denying that they lost and asserting that that any argument that they lost for a reason is worthless rubbish.

 

Right Here, Right Now: Politics And Leadership In The Age Of Disruption by Stephen J. Harper

 

 

I work for government

Scene: Ron Swansons’s office in Parks and Recreation

Secretary opens door and asks: “Am I interrupting anything important?”

Ron Swanson: “Impossible, I work for the government”.

While not exactly true, Ron Swanson still delivers a good line. Lower layers of government can use a few staunch libertarians. Higher levels of government can use some conservatives, if by that you mean people with the tragic view of life. The limited vision of government praised by Thomas Sowell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Males woes: Charles Murray, Francis Fukuyama, and Heather MacDonald

Charles Murray is the author of The Bell Curve, Human Accomplishment and Coming Apart, among other works. Any conservative minded person ought to have read these books, and liberals who want to inquire into why we think them mostly wrong. His insights into why things are getting worse, for men, for family formation, for society, and then for women, provides a necessary corrective to Steven Pinker’s rosy view set forth in Enlightenment Now.

There is a moment in the interview below which prompted a blog posting this morning. The issue was the sorting of society on the basis of cognitive ability, which is the essential claim of The Bell Curve. Murray remarks (at 15:30) that “What we are doing now is creating a world which is congenial to people of high IQs. People of high IQ love complexity. They think complexity is fun. That’s why you have Kohlberg at Harvard coming up with his seven stages of moral reasoning….. But, a world governed by that kind of complexity is difficult to deal with if you are not very smart”.

The interview is well  worth watching. He preaches the idea that the point of law should be to provide a clear moral compass so as to allow people the maximum moral autonomy which is what he calls “libertarianism”.

I bring up this issue of simplicity and complexity because I spent an evening with liberals last night, possibly wrecking their digestion and certainly providing them with a memorable conflict. At the basis of much of the disagreement was the idea that social democracy – assuming we know what that means  – is a morally superior system because it displays the highest levels of compassion. Hence belief in social democracy means necessarily that one is morally superior, because one has more compassion. Thus if I hold that 53% of GDP should be spent by government, and my political opponent says 46%, or 36%, I do not have to think hard about the consequences of a bloated state sector because I have a superior measure of compassion.

Since the criterion of political virtue is compassion, and compassion is best judged by how well society takes care of the poor and the indigent, and thirdly, that this compassion is accomplished through Scandinavian style state intervention, then in substance there is not much further one needs to think about politics.

Forget for a moment the doubtful superiority of Scandinavian welfare statism for showing compassion. My objection is deeper, and less fact-based.

I find such a one-dimensional view of the purposes of political life repugnant. What about virtue, accomplishment, achievement, belonging, and greatness, collective or individual, in a society that understands and appreciates what greatness is?

I have just begun reading Francis Fukuyama’s Identity, the Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, and already it is evident that he is talking about the real issues of our time.

“But as important as material self interest is, human beings are motivated by other things as well, motives that better explain the disparate events of the present. This might be called the politics of resentment. In a wide variety of cases, a political leader has mobilized followers around the perception that the group’s dignity has been affronted , disparaged, or otherwise disregarded. This resentment engenders demands for public recognition of the dignity of the group in question. A humiliated group seeking restitution of its dignity carries far more weight than people simply pursuing their economic advantage”. (at page 7)

And what group has undergone a persistent social decline of status in the past thirty years? All men? Men of the American working class? Take your pick. This leads us to what Scott Adams and I have been talking about in relation to the Kavanaugh witch hunt. It is not merely the American working class male that is taking a beating, it is all males.

Heather MacDonald writes about the feminist industrial complex  in City Journal:

Our booze-fueled hook-up culture has made relations between men and women messier than ever, leaving many girls and women with pangs of regret—but those regrets do not equal rape. If we were actually in the midst of an “epidemic of sexual assault,” as New Jersey senator Cory Booker asserted the evening of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings, we would presumably have seen women and girls take protective actions, such as avoiding frat parties and flocking to single-sex schools. None of those protective actions has occurred, however. Either women are too clueless to avoid patent danger, or the epidemic of sexual assault is a fiction. All evidence points to the latter conclusion. Judge Brett Kavanaugh may be the latest male to have his life torn apart by that fiction, but he won’t be the last.

Accordingly, I think a male backlash is finally going to manifest itself, not just by dropping out, as young men have been doing, but by male identitarian politics at the ballot box. It cannot start too soon. Compassion and social democracy will take back seat to a necessary social change that is long overdue.

Fukuyama on Identity

 

 

 

Reality is Hate!

Looking for the most insane, cuckoo nonsense these days is tough, the competition is pretty stiff. Speaking of which, in the UK recently, a student was fired from his position as an editor of Durham University’s philosophy journal Critique for saying “women don’t have penises” [here]. A row erupted about the “transphobic” comment and the former chair of the LGBT Humanists (!) said that the statement “was factually incorrect”.

Well, well, Heavens to Betsy! Now we have university crackpots saying that fundamental biological and medical facts relating to female pudenda are “factually incorrect”. Truly, as Orwell remarked, some ideas are so stupid, only intellectuals will believe them. Even he could not have foreseen the absurdity of the madness gripping the educational establishment.

“Transphobic” is, of course, another fake word invented by the aspiring tyrants on the left to suppress any criticism of any particular weird sexual fantasy that is the rage of the day. Naturally, if they want to identify as goats, and you don’t agree, then you are “goatphobic”.

Delingpole on Breitbart, one of my favorite reactionaries, produced a delicious quote from Germaine Greer, of all people…

“Just because you lop off your penis and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a fucking woman. I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a fucking cocker spaniel.”

But wait, there’s more. Funny and stupid these antics may seem, but there is a sinister side to it all. As you know, everything in Britain is policed, except crime, and the new hi-tech Thought Police, iPlod, are getting in on the game. The Merseyside Police “…are aware of this matter and are making enquiries”. In the UK, your home can be invaded by a SWAT team for displaying a sign “Islam out of Britain”, and you may now be hauled before a commissar for stating a medical fact. This perversion of justice must stop. It’s institutional insanity. The police are way out of line; they have no business policing what people say. They are becoming tyrants and must be treated as such.

We have now reached the stage in 1984 when Winston groans, after being tortured for weeks in the Ministry of Love, “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.” O’Brien (the Diversity officer of the Inner Party) then says, “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

Then you can graduate from a British university with a degree in State-Approved Thought.

Rebel Yell

The only critique of Trump that has ever caught my attention

David Warren is more than usually brilliant in this caricature of Trump as a modern Mussolini. I do not think so myself, and remain to be persuaded. But it is an interesting suggestion. I prefer the Conrad Black interpretation, that Trump is actually draining the swamp. Warren writes:

Let us compare Donald Trump to Benito Mussolini. The comparison works better than one might expect. Both want the trains to run on time. Both are total pragmatists when it comes to making this happen. Both realize that “pure” socialism cannot work, ever. Both then think: surely dirigiste something. Mussolini swoons to the siren song of Pareto, actually attending his classes in economics at Lausanne. Trump forms his Pareto view of unions in the New York City real estate market. The ideal of unobstructed economic growth is shared. The application of a sledgehammer to perceived obstructions is also in common. Where both deviate sharply from Pareto is in their further fondness for unobstructed nationalism.

Now, Mussolini is reputed to be a Fascist. This seems fair, for he invented the term, as a party label for his masterplan to Make Italy Great Again. Yet, insofar as the term is used more broadly, to convey the centralized application of sledgehammer reforms, he was also an anti-fascist. It is a little-remembered fact that Mussolini was a deadly enemy of inefficient bureaucracies. (I myself much prefer them to efficient bureaucracies.)

By descent from Pareto, it could be said, both Trump and Mussolini acquired an obsession with numbers. All efforts are focused on making the national statistics move the right way. In material terms, this works for a while. Everyone in the 1930s, including all progressive politicians, thought Mussolini’s Italy an economic and social success story. Superficially it was: productivity up, unemployment down, and so forth.

But here I will stop my provocation, with a reminder that history never repeats itself. Only the laugh track is on a perpetual loop.

As (I think) a New York Jewish lesbian, Fran Lebowitz,  once said, “Fascism is too exciting, communism is too boring”.

A propos Trump and fascism, we will know when Trump is acting as a true fascist when Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are shot by firing squads, the Democratic Party declared an illegal organization, its members rounded up for beatings and arrests, and thousands of box cars dump hordes of wimmyn and pansies in the deserts of Utah to build their own prison camps, under guard towers with barbed wire, vicious dogs and tattooed bearded hillbillies as  . overseers. Now that, in my terms, is fascism.

Anytime you can vote the fucker out of power, and the vote will be respected, then you do not have fascism, you have democracy. As surely as George Washington was the first President, who left after two terms, Trump will leave office after his second term expires in 2024.

 

Image result for fascism is too exciting, communism too boring fran lebowitz

 

Kavanaugh, men and the Democrats

 

“Some people regard rape as so heinous an offense that they would not even regard innocence as a defense.” – attributed to Alan Dershowitz

People! You have seen the wimmyn’s mob try to take down a man whom I and most men believe to be innocent. You have experienced the expression of the racist and sexist notions that a group of white men are, by nature of their race and sex, disqualified from ruling on any matter. You have experienced the unleashing of witch hunts. As Senator Lindsey Graham said to two wimmyn “Why don’t we just dunk him in water and see if he floats?”.

I shall make a few predictions this morning.

  • As a result of what men have witnessed over the past month, they are beginning to realize that innocence is no defence; that their lives can be destroyed at any time by any woman recollecting any indiscretion, advance, or any figment of their (florid) imaginations, which may have occurred, or not occurred, at any point in their lives, including before they were legally adult;
  • that these accusations will cripple and scar their future existence, reputations and earning power, and that they will be held to mob shaming in a pillory of feminist vengeance;
  • That the Democrats have become officially anti-male, not merely pro-female;
  • That men have an interest to defend, that the male sex as a sex has an interest to defend itself from this calumny, harassment, denigration and illegal discrimination;
  • That men as a sex are realizing this fact;
  • That men will shun the Democrats in droves for a decade to come, and that the sex difference in voting Republican or Democrat will get larger, not smaller.
  • Finally, I think that enough people have seen what their future will be under the Democrats that they will provide enough votes for the Republicans to maintain their majorities in House and Senate.

I will say to all men, as males, your future is bleak unless you start resisting, in every dimension of your existence, the insistent, constant, ubiquitous denigration of your sex by the Feminist Thing.

I observe that Scott Adams, in milder but equally emphatic tones, is saying the same thing.

I think people, men especially but not limited to men, have reached their moment of reckoning.

Bret Kavanaugh will be confirmed and appointed. I do not wonder what mood he will be in for the next fifty years.

More on the Feminist Fraud in Academia

The rot in academia is so deep that anything published in “academic” journals of feminist studies has to be checked on the “The Onion Scale”. That is, was it published in The Onion or in an academic journal? Score 1 if you think it was a bona fide academic article or 10 if from The Onion or is a hoax.

All “studies” departments in academia, black studies, wimmin’s studies, weirdo studies, bitching-about-anything studies, are fraudulent, including, especially, the accompanying “peer-review” process. Their curricula consist of left-wing propaganda dressed up in the frippery of pseudo-intellectualism financed by sucking the blood of hapless taxpayers.

A recent article (subsequently retracted) in Gender, Place and Culture, a Journal of Feminist Geography, (no kidding), was entitled “Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon,” by a Helen Wilson of the Portland Ungendering Research Initiative–Portland, of course, being Crackpot Central on the Left Coast. (Note also, in that journal, links to other edifying papers such as The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins, surely a ten on the Onion Scale.)

The article purported to study “…geographies of sexuality by drawing upon one year of embedded in situ observations of dogs and their human companions at three public dog parks in Portland, Oregon”. I refrain from quoting at length; readers interested in the state of contemporary academic dementia can check out the source.

Of course, it really was a hoax. This is what makes it so interesting. It was one of a series of papers written by three real academics to expose the fakery and humbug so prevalent in the social “sciences”. In a lengthy, but fascinating, article in Areo magazine, they outline the whys and wherefores of their little game. Most interesting of all is the inclusion of many of the comments from the “peer reviewers”. They reveal that peer review in these cases is merely piffle review, adulatory comments about meaningless mumbo-jumbo dressed up in academese—an incomprehensible jargon specifically designed to have no meaning, rather like Newspeak. In fact, Newspeak was designed to reduce the bounds of consciousness by destroying words and instilling unconsciousness, thereby rendering thought crime impossible—just like modern social “science” departments.

Just one “peer review” comment–I can’t resist–on another fake article of theirs that was published, An Ethnography of Breastaurant Masculinity: Themes of Objectification, Sexual Conquest, Male Control, and Masculine Toughness in a Sexually Objectifying Restaurant [here]:

“This article is certainly interesting to read and to think about, and I can imagine this article being valuable in an undergraduate or graduate class on masculinities.”

Sheesh–graduate class?! The mind boggles.

Rebel Yell