Allow me to agree with Pope Francis that Holy Church owes the world some “outreach.” Of our 266 popes (plus or minus), I mention that one in particular because he has had more to say about politics than, possibly, all the rest combined. His views on social class, income distribution, imperialism, colonialism, general oppression, environmental issues, anthropogenic climate, immigration controls, and many other topics not traditionally considered to be any of the Church’s business, are broadcast constantly. Moreover, his neglect of her primary mission — the salvation of souls through propagation of the faith — has underlined this by contrast….
Stephen Fry reveals himself to be the most learned, the most entertaining, the most humane dinner guest you could ever have. Here he appears with Mr. Selfish Gene. Fortunately Stephen Fry does most of the talking, generally about Greek myth and philosophy, with great panache. He calls it “being alert and playing gracefully with ideas”.
It seems obvious to me. It seems obvious to Bret Weinstein. If you want to maintain cooperation among races – and other categories of human – you had best oppose intersectionality. Because intersectionality puts whites up against the wall, where they find they must cohere with each other, whether they like it or not, or be suppressed. When reciprocal cooperation breaks down, genetic and tribal cooperation reasserts itself. If the enemy is described as “white”, then they may have to accept that definition and act accordingly. It will not be pretty.
A youtube video examines the question whether life is unique to this planet, which is an interesting question. We have all been the targets of the “billions and billions” hypothesis of Carl Sagan, who held that it was virtually certain that amidst the billions and billions of stars there must be life. At a certain point in the film, the late Dr. Sagan gets a sliver of time, in which he says that “Faith is belief in the absence of evidence….For me, believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake. The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence.”
Let us think about that statement for a moment. If I stand before you, in plain sight, do you need to believe that I am there? No. Belief in that case is superfluous, and to say that you believe I stand before you when you see me is not an accurate use of the term. If I say I have been to Rome last week, do you need to believe that I was there? I would say yes, a bit, and belief is an appropriate word. But very much less belief is needed to believe that Rome exists than that I was there last week. It doesn’t take much to believe that Rome exists. It is a reasonable inference from thousands of photos, histories, accounts and travelogues that attest to the existence of Rome. Thus the degree of belief is proportionate to the probability of the event in question.
If I hold a pencil in my fingers and open the fingers, I do not believe that the pencil will drop to the ground. I know it. Unless gravity has been amended, the result of letting the pencil go will be that it drops to the ground. And if it floats away, then you know we are on a spaceship.
If you withhold belief until there is compelling evidence, you will never need to believe a thing. Which is the state that Carl Sagan wanted us to live in.
This point was hammered home by our Minister in his Easter sermon. He said from the pulpit: “everybody on this side of the aisle is a strict materialist. Everyone on the other side of the aisle is a believing Christian. We all get into the Tardis – Dr. Who’s time and space machine – and appear at the mouth of the burial cave on Easter morning. The rock has been rolled away, the seals have been broken, the ropes have been broken, and the tomb is empty. What do the materialists all say? “The body has been taken”. What do the Christians say? “He is risen indeed”.”
His point was that better evidence does not necessarily overcome the objection (that say, something happened that was impossible) , that belief might be needed even if you had been present twenty seconds after the Resurrection.
The point of this morning’s sermon is to point out that we do not escape from the need to believe some things. It is easier to believe in the existence of Rome than say, some bohunk hamlet in Oklahoma that you have never heard of. But when something plainly impossible happens, you need belief. Compelling evidence will not be available for the extraordinary or the miraculous. Moreover, large parts of your life run on belief, because you have no compelling evidence for most of the assumptions on which you base your life and actions.
Which is why I think Carl Sagan one of the bigger fools of our time. Regardless, watch the video. We do not need to know nor should we be afraid that we do not know whether life exists elsewhere in the universe.
I know all the arguments. Free trade is good. It reduces prices for consumers. It optimizes lines of production. It expands wealth. Getting rid of them is good.
So why is the middle of America west of the Appalachians becoming an economic desert? Why are entire towns composed of trailers, and why is Walmart the only game in town? Why is the opioid crisis lowering the age of death? Why is there economic despair west of the Mississippi River?
This was the question that voters had to ask themselves in 2016. Their answer, by the narrowest of margins, was Trump. It comes down to something that Tucker Carlson said a while back in an important speech: that the economy is for us, and not we for the economy. The American elites lost sight of the fate of the working class when the value of labour went to nearly zero. I heard language of such contempt for the American white working class coming from white Democrats that, if said about any other group, would be seen as racism. [I have been persuaded that deep snobbery (classism) is as evil as any serious racism.]
I am not persuaded that tariffs are ultimately benign for everyone, but they were used by the Republican Party for a century to help industrialize the United States. Why not now?
And while we are at it, what is the matter with controlling your borders? Even if the threat of tariffs has to be invoked? Much as I admire, and agree with, George Will, the preconditions for the society he wishes to preserve and foster have to be re-created. That would mean an American upper class that gave a damn for the people who inhabit their country. Trump is the visible evidence for that failure, and talking about James Madison’s vision of distributed government will not change that, much as I admire James Madison, and George Will, for that matter.
If you have not read Fred on Everything, then it is time to follow him. Like many totally unredeemable outcasts, Fred is writing at the Unz Review. Unz is a place so outrageous you can read Jewish anti-semites, American anti-Americans, conspiracists, white reactionaries, Zionists, racialists (in the proper sense of that term), human evolutionists, 9/11 truthers, loons and quite inspired people of sane disposition.
One could criticize numerous decisions of the Inquiry. Not inquiring might be the first sin of commission. Something like 1200 indigenous girls have been murdered, in the main, by their own people, by their domestic partners, neighbours, and fellow Indians. Let not facts stand in the way of the racial abuse of white people.
I thought immediately of the first genocide of modern times, which started in April 1915, when the Ottoman Turks began to deport and massacre their Armenian Christians. In the battles of World War I, the Armenians were accused of siding with the Russians, who were beating the Ottomans in their own territory. As the Armenians were dispersed throughout the Ottoman Empire, were educated and Christian, they were easily targeted. About a million and half were killed.
The facts are related in this history of World War I at minute 4:26.
Laws were passed to depopulate the Armenian territories. Two million Armenians were in the Ottoman Empire. By the end of 1923 only a half million Armenians were left.
The background to the Armenian Genocide is discussed here.
This is what a genocide is. You kill lots of people, at a time, by active measures of the dominant people and the state. Men, women and children. You execute thousands. Not young girls who are hitch-hiking, and whoring themselves for food. That is a different kind of tragedy.
Then there was Rwanda. That was the total rising of one ethnic group against another and the killing of everyone of the wrong ethnic group by everyone of the right ethnic group. 800,000 Tutsis were killed in a few weeks by their Hutu neighbours. The Germans had to haul their Jewish victims to the remoteness of Poland and kill them out of sight, and took years to do it. In Rwanda the Hutus just picked up their machetes and killed their Tutsi neighbours en masse in three months.
I have had the happy experience this past week of being in a place which was 100% white, 100% Roman Catholic, 100% Austrian. We were in the province of Steiermark (Styria), which seems also to have its own distinct accent. Every tree seemed to have been grown with purpose and permission. People took care of their landscapes, their properties, their houses, their children. The whole place was ordered. People joked and laughed with each other – a sure sign of common culture. They erected houses that expressed their pride. Things were newly painted, straightened out, lovingly tended to. The stone work was precise. It was the total antithesis of what liberals say we should all want to live in: a slummy anti-white, high crime, Muslim infested, tattooed, and hostile state of being, with people carrying around grievances against all that is white, male, cis-gendered, and Christian.
Intersectionality, multiculturalism, safe spaces: they are bunk. They repudiate themselves by the intolerance and stupidity to which they inevitably lead, to which they are leading as you read.
Back in Vienna to the tattooed kids on the street and the multiculti. The Muslims and the Viennese pushing prams. The cheerful Nigerian taxi driver with 17 siblings and 7 children. All very modern European. Quite nice and much more familiar to me. But I cannot fail to see that the older all-white society, for all its intolerance, and its conformity, is a more pleasant place
Jonathan Haidt has once more written a compelling analysis of why kids these days in university experience the world as if they were balloons and the world was full of pins. He borrows freely the idea of Naseem Nicholas Taleb called “anti-fragility”, the strength which comes from being tested, and increases from being tested. In essence, the latest generation was raised under the influence of three very bad ideas. His lecture is well worth listening to.
The need to be safe ideologically is a disaster happening before our eyes. Haidt explains why.
Rzhevskaya is the pen name of Yelena Kagan, who took her name from the titanic battles that occurred in and around the city of Rzhev, west of Moscow, in the years 1942-1943. In that first winter of desperate struggles between the Soviet red army and the Nazis, Rzhevskaya was assigned to be a translator for a Soviet army brigade. Her job was translate captured German documents for her military bosses, and to assist in the interrogation of German prisoners captured in snatch and grab operations.
Rzhevskaya is a skilled writer. Most important, she never lost her humanity. Her attitudes were those of a young patriot whose country had been invaded by a people bent on the enslavement of her countrymen and in her case, being Jewish, her extermination. She evinces curiosity towards German prisoners, even at times human sympathy, but nothing is out of place, no emotion is false, nothing is disproportionate. It is strange to be sharing a cabin with a peasant woman still trying to feed her kids in the midst of absolute devastation in a -30C winter, the colonel in the next room and a German prisoner sitting in despair, not knowing whether he would be shot or not. (He was not).
Rzhevskaya was in Berlin in 1945 and was among the very first to explore Hitler’s bunker and to capture documents detailing the thinking of the high command and senior nazis, such as Goebbels, the propaganda chief. Extracts from Goebbels diaries reveal him to be a complete swine. More importantly, the diaries reveal what I had read elsewhere but never was sure was true, namely that Hitler took the risk of attacking Russia because he thought that this was the best way to knock England out of the war. After Stalin had slaughtered the heads of his own army in the purges of 1936-37, and after the Red Army performed so dismally in the war against Finland in 1940, Hitler thought he could knock out Russia in six months. He might well have done so had his invasion not been delayed by his drive through Greece in early 1941, which threw the Brits out of that country. Churchill’s much-disputed diversion of tanks and material to Greece from North Africa may have had huge long term consequences for Russia’s survival and hence the war.
Rzhevskaya’s book deals extensively with the search for Hitler’s remains and the absurd cover up by Stalin of the fact that Hitler’s jawbone had been found and identified, largely through the work of the young Miss Rzhevskaya, some cooperation from Hitler’s dentist’s assistant, and a great deal of good luck, in the shattered wreck of Berlin in the days immediately after it had been conquered.
Why Stalin thought it important to keep Hitler’s certain death a mystery, and then deceive his chief military commander Georgiy Zhukov about it, remains unanswered. Rzhevskaya infers from Stalin’s behaviour that, aside from what uses reality had for Stalin, it had no independent validity or even existence. That seems a likely explanation for why he could slaughter 20 million of his own citizens and still sleep well at night.
The depiction of the behaviour of Hitler in his last days given by Rzhevskaya is like that of that scene in The Downfall where Hitler rants at his generals for the missing division of General Steiner which was supposed to save the Reich. Only the actual behaviour of Hitler and his entourage was even worse, according to the records Rzhevskaya unearths. The air of fantasy, the corrosion of all human feeling save desperation and sycophancy, and the booming echo of Soviet artillery landing on the bunker, are well captured. Excerpts from Goebbels’ diaries in the days before the Soviet invasion reveal him to be a repulsive creep, who worked for an even more repulsive creep.
Throughout the book, Rzhevskaya reveals her humane and decent nature. For students of war, for armchair generals, for the curious, this book is a profound experience.