The Mob Rampant

Portrait of a man in his thirties with swept back hair and a large beard

To appreciate that there is nothing new under the Sun in politics, one only has to read Demosthenes or Tacitus or Cicero. The antics of politicians today are no different. Throughout history, revolutionary movements have proclaimed the Utopia and, after orgies of destruction, usually fathered tyrannies more ghastly than those they usurped.

Today, the screeching mobs of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, any unhinged student tribe from a pseudo-university, the Fake News Media with their incessant lying, personify the seditious and the irrational mob, present in any society, but now rampant in the service of the Deep State.

The nature of the revolutionary mind, and the attraction of its many delusions, has been the subject of analysis of many great writers.

In modern times, books that have presented brilliant insights into how revolutionary politics is conducted and the results it produces, such as Orwell’s 1984 and Zamyatin’s We, require continual re-reading: one can always acquire new thoughts from them because they were so accurate in their predictions.

One writer who deserves far more credit than he receives is the Frenchman Gustave le Bon (1841–1931), a polymath, physician, anthropologist, physicist (he predicted the equivalence of mass and energy decades before Einstein), is best known for his work, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895). In The Psychology of Revolution (1913), his analysis of the revolutionary mind could describe perfectly any of the various movements of destruction that abound today. For example:

In all ages societies have contained a certain number of restless
spirits, unstable and discontented, ready to rebel against any
established order of affairs. They are actuated by the mere love
of revolt, and if some magic power could realise all their
desires they would simply revolt again.

What could better describe the pimpled adolescent terrorizing college campuses today?

These perpetual rebels are generally highly suggestible beings,
whose mystic mentality is obsessed by fixed ideas. Despite the
apparent energy indicated by their actions they are really weak
characters, and are incapable of mastering themselves
sufficiently to resist the impulses that rule them. The mystic
spirit which animates them furnishes pretexts for their violence,
and enables them to regard themselves as great reformers.
In normal times the rebels which every society contains are
restrained by the laws, by their environment–in short, by all
the usual social constraints, and therefore remain undetected.
But as soon as a time of disturbance begins these constraints
grow weaker, and the rebel can give a free reign to his
instincts. He then becomes the accredited leader of a movement.
The motive of the revolution matters little to him; he will give
his life indifferently for the red flag or the white, or for the
liberation of a country which he has heard vaguely mentioned.

Sound familiar? Of course, it is the description of many a soi-disant reformer, activist and general social pest.

Speaking of the Crowds that are the raw meat of the instigators of revolution…

…Among the other characteristics of crowds, we must note their
infinite credulity and exaggerated sensibility, their shortsightedness,
and their incapacity to respond to the influences of
reason. Affirmation, contagion, repetition, and prestige
constitute almost the only means of persuading them. Reality and
experience have no effect upon them. The multitude will admit
anything; nothing is impossible in the eyes of the crowd.

Does this not afford a description of the Fake News Media, credulously driveling over every absurd accusation against President Trump, the middle class, all white men, and any other group targeted for vilification?

As for believing the most outlandish things, he recounts events from the French revolutionary period…

…By reason of the extreme sensibility of crowds, their sentiments,
good or bad, are always exaggerated. This exaggeration increases
still further in times of revolution. The least excitement will
then lead the multitude to act with the utmost fury. Their
credulity, so great even in the normal state, is still further
increased; the most improbable statements are accepted. Arthur
Young relates that when he visited the springs near Clermont, at
the time of the French Revolution, his guide was stopped by the
people, who were persuaded that he had come by order of the Queen
to mine and blow up the town. The most horrible tales concerning
the Royal Family were circulated, depicting it as a nest of
ghouls and vampires.

Pretty much what you can hear on NBC, CNN or read in the New York Times, the paper of the Inner Party, when the White House is being vilified.

It’s very difficult to summarize le Bon because there is no wasted sentence or paragraph in his writings. His prose is concise, illuminating, his clarity of thought present throughout.

Having been an eye-witness to the barbarities of proto-communism in the Paris Commune in 1871, he became a vociferous critic and opponent of socialism in all its forms. His book The Psychology of Socialism (1899) is almost a prophecy of the tyrannies and murders of socialism in the 20th century.

Read them all; you will be amazed about how much he understood of the political left over one hundred years ago. We ignore his warnings at our peril.

Rebel Yell

More on Google’s interference in the last American election

In case you think that our search engines are neutral, I have a bridge to sell you.

Be assured, as Victor Davis Hanson reports, every Mexican American he knew who spoke English voted for Trump. Apparently 29% of American “Latinos” voted for Trump to the shock of many.

Partisan and pro-Democratic action by Google is undenied. It makes the nonsense about Russian-sponsored  Facebook advertisements seem trifling.

 

 

 

 

 

Diversity means uniformity; inclusion means exclusion

You are not alone if you have begun to cotton on to the idea that “diversity” does not include you, dear reader. You are probably male, probably over forty, probably white, and you do not fit into the desired categories of “diverse” people that the Left favours. Tucker Carlson  started into the diversity mantra the other night by asking some long overdue questions.

 

 

Diversity is hogwash. I come from a formerly diverse society. It is called Quebec, and whatever you might feel about the French Canadians, they are very sound on the diversity question. They will have none of it, as long as diversity presents an English-speaking face. They have resisted “diversification” for centuries, which they call assimilation, and will continue to do so until they disappear demographically, which is a long way off. Having been raised in a society where I was the rejected outsider, I have come to appreciate how normal it is for a society to reject multiculturalism, and insist on the society’s right to perpetuate itself, even at great cost.

Perhaps by reason of personal history I am skeptical of diversity, or at least conscious of where it begins and ends. A common language is good, though not essential. But a common set of civic values is essential to the maintenance of liberty, order, cohesion, and yes, actual tolerance for diversity.

If you want to experience “diversity”, go to India. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains Sikhs, Parsis: all vie for space, respect, and resources. Forty,  or is it four hundred, languages create a babble of mutual incomprehension.  Racial, caste, and ethnic differences are as great as anything in all of Europe, even considering how it is after the Muslim refugee invasion.

I want everyone to start questioning “diversity”.

A new bumper sticker is needed.

 

Question diversity

 

The Google video of 2016: Guardian values and Pharisees

Sergei Brin, cofounder of Google

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRf9UxsM-NE

https://youtu.be/FRf9UxsM-NE

(Paranoid note: every other video I have loaded appears in full, but Google’s video of its own meeting appears only as a hyperlink).

 

 

“I certainly find this election deeply offensive” said Sergei Brin, co-founder of Google. “So many people don’t share the values we have”.

And it goes from there. Fear. Everyone is supposed to feel fear at the prospect of the Trump regime. Minorities are in danger and need to be stood up for. Women likewise. Liberal values are to be stood up for. Yet the same corporation endlessly touting its values fired James Damore in August 2017 for politely protesting the corporation’s bias towards preferential hiring of  women.

I have had experience with Google employees at several levels of seniority over the years, and I feel quite certain that the vast majority are leftist Democrats, which is not surprizing considering the San Francisco Bay area culture. But what bugs me – as the movie reveals – is the enormous self-vaunting, the endless prattling on about their “values”. This is a company whose core business is to sell advertizing. It guts previous business models and replaces them with its own. This is normal creative destruction, in the manner that Schumpeter spoke of. However painful, this is the stuff of economic progress. And talk to former newspaper people if you want to know what Google has wrought.

When the Vice President says that “this is a place where you can bring your whole self to work”, clearly she does not include conservatives (min 16:30)

“We all talk a lot about what it means to be Googley”, said CFO Ruth Porat. The endless blather about tolerance, respect and diversity grates when one compares it to the outrageous and actual treatment of Damore. More, the tone of the film is that the poor people of Google have endured something like the 1940 Blitz of London, or having been unhoused by a hurricane, and that they need reassurance and a group hug, and assurance tot the 10,000 or so working on visa that their visas will remain valid.

Values, values, values: it is irritating and faintly nauseating.

A few years ago the late Jane Jacobs published a marvellous concise book called Systems of Survival. It dealt with the differences in morality between what she called Guardian institutions – the church, the regiment, the academy – and commercial institutions.

If you hand a suitcase of cash to a businessman, that is right and proper, because you are exchanging cash for a private benefit. If you hand a suitcase of cash to a public official, that is a crime of corruption. Why? Her book seeks to answer the question. She also said that corruption occurs when a commercial corporation adopts Guardian values. Thus, the old telephone monopolies constantly appealed to their status as institutions serving the public, and they had a genuine public service ethos. They could afford the attitude because they were monopolies.

Google has Guardian values, but instead of public service being its goal, that is, actually doing something for the general public, it constantly propagandizes its membership/employees with the notion that it stands for superior values: tolerance, inclusion, and diversity being the modern conception of virtue. It thus succeeds in being smug, intolerant, exclusive, and as proud of itself as the Roman Church of centuries past.

Is Google morally bankrupt? Is that not too harsh? It all depends on whether you pay attention to anything Jesus said about Pharisees, about words without deeds. It is not what we put into our mouths that defiles us, but by what comes out of our mouths that defiles us.

In the case of Google I am prepared to argue that the company needs all the self-vaunting talk of values to disguise from itself and its staff that its real business is centralizing the control of information. In short, an illiberal idea being carried out by liberals prattling on about their superior values.

 

__________________________

Here is Joe Rogan talking to James Damore, and you will find out all you need to know about Google’s values:

 

 

 

Taking on the Tyrant

Readers of this blog will not need further persuasion that this Liberal government of Canada is deeply unserious. At a time when Trump could place tariffs on the cars that Canada produces, at a time when trade negotiations are at a critical stage, our chief trade negotiator,  Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took time off to be a speaker at the the Women in the World Summit on Monday in her riding in Toronto, on the panel “Taking on the Tyrant.”

Nothing that I heard the minister actually say was dreadful, wrong or even objectionable. It was all said in defence of a rules-based order and liberal democracy. No objection here.

It was the close to incredible apposition of our foreign minister allowing herself to be associated, in a public stage, with an alarmist video likening Trump to Assad, Putin, and other unsavoury tyrants in this crucial stage of negotiations

Not a single American, Democrat or Republican, feels the least restriction or inhibition in slamming Trump for vices and defects real and imagined. At a US Embassy function in Ottawa earlier this summer, I hear a few – by no means all – American officials allowing themselves some serious criticism of their President. Okay, I understand how they can make anti-Trump noises to appease their many Liberal Canadian guests, and not too much should be read into it, except for this: they are free and feel themselves to be free, even as civil servants.

At a dinner party this summer, my fellow dinner guests were quibbling whether America is in the early stages of National Socialism or the early stages of Italian fascism. Yet not a single Democrat politician has been arrested, assassinated, or prosecuted. Not a single reporter has disappeared.

Freeland made a number of cogent points regarding the relationship between people having jobs, feeling secure, and not looking for magical solutions in politics.  [I take issue that the implementation of effective immigration law in the United States constitutes “magical thinking”.]

Yet that is not the point. To associate oneself with a conference in which a movie of goose-stepping Chinese troops and alarmist blather introduces the panel on which you choose to sit, then  all your talk about diversity, inclusion and the need for economic security will never be heard. You look like a complete wanker, Chrystia. And so does the Liberal government of Canada at this stage.

So here is some Steve Bannon- just to keep you steadfast in your determination to resist the multi-culti, irtue signalling twaddle.

 

 

 

 

The Wizard and the Prophet

Norman Borlaug

 

I like books that go to the root of things. Charles Mann has written one such. He is the author of 1491 and 1493, which explored, respectively, the world of the Americas immediately before the European discovery of America by Columbus, and the world after it. We continue to live with the consequences of that discovery.

Mann is not afraid to tackle large subjects. In his latest, the Wizard and the Prophet, he writes of the contest of views between the original ecologist and catastrophist, William Vogt, and the original optimist-scientist improver, Norman Borlaug. The latter man was the author of the Green Revolution. The former is the proponent of the view that we must all live within the limits imposed by Gaia, and that we are abusing the planet’s carrying capacity.

Canada cannot get a pipeline built, in part because our Liberal government inclines more to the Vogt position than the Borlaug position. Society is in turmoil because of fears of catastrophic global warming, overpopulation, and ocean acidification because of the views propounded by William Vogt and his catastrophist successors.

Charles Mann has done us a great service by laying out the debate and the values behind the debate about the good life that each man, Vogt and Borlaug, embodied.

The Wizard and the Prophet resembles another great book, Arthur Hermans’s The Cave and the Light, which treats of the continuing unresolved and unresolvable conflict between the approaches to reality expounded by Plato and Aristotle. The two books are lively, high level, and important, and to read them is to gain an education in something of supreme importance in the struggle of ideas.

Unfortunately we live in an era when people seek to win arguments by preventing argument from happening. “We shouldn’t even be discussing this” is the motif of the mindless hordes of the PC brainwashed. “It is settled science”.

With respect, no, it is not settled and cannot ever be settled, because the issue is not the science, it is a choice between experiment, innovation, risk and growth, on the one hand, and conservatism, control, stagnation, and the management of greater poverty, on the other.

Yes I am a rational optimist. I chose to get out of the Club of Rome catastrophism in 1976, while a huge swath of the intelligentsia seem to be still stuck there.

And hence we cannot get pipelines built. Ideas have consequences.

 

 

 

Snippets from the summer: all Trump, all the time

At a dinner party this past summer, one guest, an American Democrat, said that we were living in a period comparable to that in Germany just after the takeover by Hitler in 1933. No, said another guest, a retired psychology professor, we are living in the days like those after the takeover of the Italian government by Mussolini in 1926.

I then asked the table: “Has Nancy Pelosi been arrested? Is the New York Times still allowed to publish? Is Chuck Schumer still the Senator minority leader? Are the media and the Deep State and the Democratic party hindered in any way from labouring night and day to overthrow Trump?”

That skewed the conversation off the manifestly absurd into zones of more reasonable discourse. Maybe it was me, may be it was the presence of a sole dissenting voice calling them back to some form of reason. May be in a more irrational or less intelligent group they would have persisted. I cannot know.

The other night I was in conversation with two friends who are anti-Trump to the max. I was less persuasive with them.I urged them to pull back the frame of their vision to see the entire process of Mueller’s endless investigation into less and less,  leaks from the White House, the New York Times anonymous op-ed piece, the prosecutions of subordinates for offences committed years before in matters unrelated to the election: to see it all as a slow-moving campaign to win the  elections in the fall and subject Trump to impeachment, on no other grounds really, than that they disagree with his politics., or his lack of manners, or something.

I have been accused of being a “true believer” which I treated rightly as a code word for fanatic. I took most decided umbrage at this. I think Trump is pursuing rationally intelligible goals on behalf of the American working class and the rest of the American people in consequence.

You may not agree with those goals; you may – it seems to me – object to his character, comportment and his manners. Yet for all the defects, Trump is succeeding in achieving his goals: American employment levels are rising across all races, ethnicities and social and economic classes.

Yes, a lot of people are enraged, annoyed, beside themselves, out of their wits and minds because of Trump: people who ought to know better, and yet do not.

Something in my constitution allows me to see mass belief in nonsense, or very questionable propositions:

  • Marxism in universities in the 1970s
  • feminism and identity politics more generally
  • climate catastrophism
  • and now Trump.

Telling people to get over it is pointless. My suspicion is that a great deal of the psychic energy invested in various political false gods has been detached from their former targets. Since we have only so much time and energy to devote to hatreds, hating Trump allows people to concentrate their hatreds on one target, which he seems to welcome . I could not endure it, but I am happy he is bearing, and bearing well, the nearly insupportable burden of being hated by every leftist, bien-pensant, upper-middle class Volvo and Subaru driver, and conventional herd-belonging bovine in North America and beyond. He will win a second term as President because of this.

 

 

Scenario for Liberal victory in the next election

This is a way it could happen.

The Liberals are now in a tight spot with Trump, and are virtually powerless to dismiss his concerns: marketing boards, intellectual property, cultural subsidies and car manufacturing. Something has to give in the Liberal trade negotiations.

Of the set  of policy goals and sacred cows, milk marketing boards are probably less important than cultural subsidies, because milk producers have votes but the Toronto film and television community of subsidy-suckers has the voice – Voice – to determine how the Liberals are perceived. They  also get a set of subsidies that is approximately $2.5 billion Canadian. (This is derived from a CRTC report called “Harnessing Change: The Future of Programming Distribution in Canada” at figure 31. This showed the percentage of Canadian GDP  spent on broadcasting and culture which was 0.16 % of 2016 GDP multiplied by the  Canadian GDP in 2016. (Sources : https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/s15/ and https://countryeconomy.com/gdp/canada?year=2016. The more numerate may check my figures for their pleasure.)

Path to victory is as follows:

  • Buy out the value of all the quotas from Canadian agricultural producers at market prices. This will about $30 billion CAD (Reference: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/cost-of-ending-dairy-quotas-much-smaller-than-expected-study/article17123557/) Buying at market prices will enrich them and leave no ground for grumbling.
  • Keep the cultural subsidies, which the US does not care about as long as thy have access to our markets, which they do through Netflix and other on-line subscriptions. (Who cares if broadcast TV remains protected?)
  • Make sure the automotive plants are saved.
  • Cede ground on pharmaceuticals and intellectual property.

Then….

Poach Maxime Bernier for the Grits.

This would have several beneficial effects for the Liberals.

  • It would attract libertarian economic voters to the Liberals, where they used to be in the 19th century and up until MacKenzie-King)
  • frustrate and annoy Andrew Scheer and the Tories
  • Get rid of expensive subsidies for producers and endear the Liberals to  poorer Canadians for milk and richer Canadians who eat pricey cheeses, whose prices would now be halved (The Volvo-driving classes must have their Camembert).
  • Re-position the Liberals as the party of the people.  ( This takes some holding of noses on their part, because they cannot stand the people who actually constitute Canada)

This scheme is so Machiavellian it will immediately commend itself to them. You are welcome, Grits.

 

 

Maxime says it straight

 

 

“Trudeau’s extreme multiculturalism and cult of diversity will divide us into little tribes that have less and less in common, apart from their dependence on government in general. He went on to decry the possible “cultural balkanization” of Canadian society.”

Maxime Bernier is exactly correct.

I think he is the real Canadian Opposition. And if Andrew Scheer had any sense, apart from the calculus of the  immediate political impact of anything, he would gradually find a way to agree with Bernier. Because Maxime has just told truth in a public place, which is always called a “gaffe” by the MSM.

Liberals may claim their donations have increased, they may claim their vote has strengthened.  I doubt both. In taverns, barbecues and Legions across Canada,  people are waking up from the summer doldrums and nodding assent to Bernier. You can have too much multi-culturalism. If you doubt this, go to India, and experience real, not ersatz, multi-culturalism. The place scarcely coheres, so great are the internal divisions of religion, caste, language, and race. And canada is heading in exactly that direction, courtesy of the Liberals.

For a more intelligent discussion of this issue, as it relates to immigration, see Does Diversity Really Unite Us?: Citizenship and Immigration by Edward Erler.