Amy Wax

I need not dilate further on this woman’s virtues of bravery and truth telling. That she remains so free from rancor after her recent experience of the left-wing mob of law professors howling for her head is  a testament to her character. And she is right, the university is rendering itself irrelevant, and the question we tax payers must ask is: why are we paying these people?

Why are we paying for universities? What are we getting from them but ill-educated mobs of leftists? Indeed, positively badly educated people, who think they know everything and really know nothing.

 

 

 

You might also want to look at Heterodox Academy for a statement of the underlying problem.

The Problem

White Working-Class Voters and Trump

Several exit poll studies after the 2016 US election pointed out that some counties in the Rust Belt underwent a 30-point vote swing. Lot of those who voted for Obama in 2012 switched their vote to Trump in 2016. Did all of them suddenly become racist as the leftist press asserts?

George Soros wanted an answer to the same question and funded a study.

 “The three researchers who conducted the study are Stacy Harwood, a professor urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign; Harris Beider, a visiting professor in Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; and Kusminder Chahal, a researcher at Coventry University in England.

While the study’s primary stated goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the white working class, an unstated goal of the study is to help the American left and the Democratic Party recapture some meaningful chunk of the white working-class voting bloc.”

The study made the following observations.

White working-class voters are sick and tired of political correctness and identity politics

“We can’t even say what we feel,” says a Tacoma interviewee who voted for Trump because “he’s actually saying this stuff that many people across America are thinking.”

Trump-supporting members of the white working class also despise identity politics and they perceive the Democratic Party “as the party of identity politics.”

“Some in our study had grown up in staunch Democrat families and had previously supported Democrat candidates,” the researchers explain. “Yet the view is that politicians are more interested in looking after communities of color than white working-class communities.”

White working-class voters think ‘white privilege’ is a bunch of idiotic claptrap

The study participants describe “white privilege” as nonsense.

“Participants felt they were struggling because they lived paycheck to paycheck, had two or three jobs, and worked hard to put food on the table,” the researchers say. “Their limited economic means and lack of upward mobility did not seem like white privilege.”

“The working class has been abandoned or exiled by the Democrats”

“The working class has been abandoned or exiled by the Democrats,” the study flatly concludes.

Harvey, we always knew ya

 

Harvey Weinstein’s fall from power has shown:

  1. everyone knew about his behaviour for years;
  2. no one could do anything about it without immense moral courage, and indeed so great was Weinstein’s power over careers that it would have been fatal to denounce him;
  3. Hollywood does not cherish moral courage unless it is to attack white racism, the Catholic Church, Nazis or other left-wing bugaboos where the struggle has already been won;
  4. the downfall is happening now because the political cover provided by the Clintonescus is gone (does anyone imagine that this would be happening if Hillary were President?);
  5. the industry that makes money mocking Christianity, hating Catholicism, and degrading morality and ordinary American beliefs, now loses its moral cover.

Of the things most to be hoped for, it is the destruction of the influence of these savagely immoral nihilists in Hollywood. Another pillar of the American Democratic Party is collapsing. Wall Street took a hit in 2007, but still stands, as rich and as disgraced as ever. I can only hope that Black Lives Matter and Anti-Fa are next, and that their dooms will be final.

It is an agreeable event when all one’s prejudices about a corrupt institution are confirmed.

Trump may be a raving loon – I still think not -but there are many and considerable benefits to his having taken power.  Do you think it is merely accidental that Weinstein is being exposed now, when the Democrats are out of power in Washington? And there will soon be no Vanity Fair soon to applaud the ogre, as the mouthpiece of fashionable Democratic show-biz political twaddle will soon go through a massive downsizing, the prospect of which caused its editor, Graydon Carter, to resign before he had to chop his friends from jobs.

Vanity Fair reports:

Outside of Hollywood, Weinstein built a reputation as a strong Democratic supporter, donating at least $1.4 million to candidates, parties, and political action committees over the years, per Variety.

I read with interest Graydon Carter’s recounting of his various encounters with Trump.

Carter’s conclusion was written in October 2016

[Trump] has touched—embraced!—every third rail in American politics. He has offended (and I apologize if I’ve left some group out): African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexicans, Jews, Muslims, war heroes—war heroes!—families of war heroes, the disabled, women, and babies. Babies! Through word or action, Trump has promoted gun violence, bigotry, ignorance, intolerance, lying, and just about everything else that can be wrong with a society. And yet he marches on, playing to a constituency that just doesn’t seem to care. The thing is, this ramshackle campaign, following a ramshackle business career, has exposed his flaws and failures to the world and, more importantly, to the people he will brush up against for the rest of his life. To them he is now officially a joke. I suspect he knows this. And if his thin skin on minor matters is any indication, he will be lashing out with even more vitriol. He is a mad jumble of a man, with a slapdash of a campaign and talking points dredged from the dark corners at the bottom of the Internet. I don’t think he will get to the White House, but just the fact that his carny act has gotten so far along the road will leave the path with a permanent orange stain. Trump, more than even the most craven politicians or entertainers, is a bottomless reservoir of need and desire for attention. He lives off crowd approval. And at a certain point that will dim, as it always does to people like him, and the cameras will turn to some other American novelty. When that attention wanes, he will be left with his press clippings, his dyed hair, his fake tan, and those tiny, tiny fingers.

 

It gives me a measure of satisfaction to observe that Harvey Weinstein is now disgraced, Graydon carter is out, and Trump is still President. I grant you, my standards are low, but they have to be in this disgusting era.

Taleb on Trump

 

Published on May 18, 2017, and still relevant. Trump, says Taleb, is trying to do the right things. He is trying to get rid of the metastasizing growth of bureaucracy caused by tax codes and ecological fantasies of clean energy.  Trump has never had a boss in his entire life. Second point, does Trump gain from stress and turmoil? Essay question: Is Trump an anti-fragile President?

Like all market people, they overemphasize the role of the stock market, but that is their professional deformation. But on the main issues, Taleb has pointed out the essential features of Trump’s nature and program.

 

My answer to aboriginal political exploitation of liberal guilt about their dire fate

 

From Francis Parkman, France and England in North America, volume 1,  Chapter XXIII, 1645-1648,  A Doomed Nation

It was a strange and miserable spectacle to behold the savages of this continent at the time when the knell of their common ruin had already sounded. Civilization had gained a foothold on their borders. The long and gloomy reign of barbarism was drawing near its close, and their united efforts could scarcely have availed to sustain it. Yet, in this crisis of their destiny, these doomed tribes were tearing each other’s throats in a wolfish fury, joined to an intelligence that served little purpose but mutual destruction.

Read Parkman on the early relations between whites and “Indians”, and among Indians themselves. It is a tale of ghastly tortures, raids, massacres, enslavements, kidnappings and discriminate slaughters of men, women and children by Indians, our native brethren, of other Indians and whites. Do not believe a word of this stereotype of Indians as the peaceful ecological guardians; they were engaged in a wars of brutish domination. The Iroquois tribal alliance triumphed over Huron and other tribal alliances from Hudson’s Bay to Tennessee. The Iroquois alliance exterminated the Hurons and the Neutrals; even the Nazis did not get all the Jews, nor the Turks the entire Armenian nation. And do not think I mean any insult to the Haudenosay Alliance; they were just the victors in the situation, as were the Aztecs in Mexico.

As to the Aztecs, no understanding of Amerindian culture can take place without reading the Conquest of New Spain, by Bernal Diaz.   The Aztec culture was based on ritual slaughter of victims whose hearts were torn out of their chests as they lay across stone altars at the top of cués, those sacrifice pyramids visited by tourists (which I view as an Auschwitz raised into a publicly proclaimed religion). Human sacrifice was their Mass. It was depicted in Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. It is recorded that on the accession of Moctezuma to the Speakership of the Aztecs, 30,000 captives were slaughtered and eaten in a gigantic cannibal feast. In 1521, on the final assault of Cortez’ band across the causeways that protected the city of Mexico, some of the Spanish were captured. This is what happened:

“the dismal drum of Huichilobos [the Aztec sun god] sounded again, accompanied by conches, horns, and trumpet-like instruments. It was a terrifying sound, and when we looked at the tall cue from which it came we wsaw our comrades who had been captured in Cortes’ defeat being dragged up the steps to be sacrificed. When they had hauled them up to a small platform in front of the shrine where they kept their accursed idols we saw them put plumes on the heads of many of them; and then they made them dance with a sort of fan in front of Huichilobos. Then after they had danced the papas laid them down on their backs on some narrow stones of sacrifice and, cutting open their chests, drew out their palpitating hearts which they offered to the idols before them. Then they kicked the bodies down the steps, and the Indian butchers who were waiting  below cut off their arms and legs and flayed their faces , which they afterward prepared like glove leather, with their beards on, and kept for their drunken festivals. Then they ate their flesh with a sauce of peppers and tomatoes. They sacrificed all our men this way, eating their legs and arms, offering their hearts and blood to their idols as I have said, and throwing their trunks and entrails to the lions and tigers and serpents and snakes that they kept in the wild beast houses I have described in an earlier chapter.

The Conquest of New Spain is a book of such astonishing marvels and ghastly deeds that it reads more like a science-fictional account of an alien planet than it does a sober history, but it has the rare distinction of being an account of what an intelligent young soldier actually saw with his own eyes. Its veracity is overwhelming.

Do not weep with false pity for our North American Indians; they fought us every step of the way and the last resisters did not lay down arms until the early 20th century.

At the core of Amerindian religious conceptions was human sacrifice.  Even Quakers would have taken up arms against it.

Torture and human sacrifice of captives is not the whole story, nor is it a balanced story. But it happened, was endemic, and made wars with and among Indians particularly horrible.

The next time you hear some twat announce that he is giving a speech on traditional territories of the Ottawa, Huron, etc, do something rude.

 

PS: For more of the same, see the article in the Federalist on the same topic. Everyone has a cannibal and a slaver up the bloodline.

Iroquois Indian scalping white man in Canada from Encyclopedia of Voyages 1796 by Grasset de Saint Saveur and Labrousse

The Decadence of Academia

Two videos, one by Roger Scruton, one by Jordan Peterson. Both say the same  thing, that the invasion of Foucault and Derrida and the French Nonsense Machine has triumphed, and the only point of inquiry in academia is to ask who has power. That is the sum and substance of the agenda. It is not scholarship, it is anti-scholarship. It is anti-civilization and anti-culture.  But this is where we go when equality of outcome is the only thing that matters.

Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia, two heretics from post-modernism (warmed over Marxism), discuss their common enemies.

 

 

Calls to end identity politics

 

 

A left wing writer called Anis Shivani has written a piece in Salon which I commend to your most serious attention. It is entitled “Time to give up on identity politics: It’s dragging the progressive agenda down”. Salon is not normally my preferred reading, but Shivani puts his fingers on some very large issues and says some quite interesting things that have helped me understand the Left’s strange behaviours.

His contention is that the Left’s obsession with identity politics occurred during a period when the owners of this planet got away with the most massive concentration of wealth in their hands, and that this identity obsession was a futile distraction from the real business of politics.

 

….identity politics, wherever it has manifested, has been absolutely devastating to the cause of liberty.

  1. It privileges culture, instead of politics. My first point is that when you fight for identity, you’re giving up politics in favor of culture. And that’s exactly where neoliberalism wants you, fighting for your culture (or what you imagine is your culture), rather than the arena of policies, where the real consequences occur. You may gain some recognition of your identity, but you may also have to pay the price of losing everything else that makes life worth living.
  2. Not only politics, but economics is taken out of the equation. It’s astonishing, even after living under the principles of neoliberalism for around 40 years, how few liberals, even activists, are able to define our economic system with any sense of accuracy. They keep acting as if the fight is still on between the old New Deal liberalism (laissez-faire economics slightly moderated by some half-hearted welfare programs) and a right that wants to shred those welfare mechanisms. In fact, both parties are committed to slightly different versions of neoliberalism, and their transformation proceeded apace with the rise of identity politics. Politics was freed to take its course, because culture became the site of contestation, and this meant an unobstructed opportunity to redefine economics to the benefit of the elites.What identity politics has done is to take the shine off the political process itself. This is more than a consequence of identity politics. It is because identity politics has garnered so much attention that political reform, which needs to be ongoing and consistent, has stalled for nearly 30 years. Instead of campaign finance reform of the McCain-Feingold brand, which sought to make a little advance toward taking money out of politics, we went, during the period of identity politics’ ascendancy, to the total capitulation of politics to money. The same process has held true in every arena of policymaking. Even issues like climate change are framed in cultural terms — i.e., as identity politics, because today culture cannot be spoken of without being defined by identity politics — and therefore overwhelmed by paralysis.
  3. Identity politics always breeds its equal and opposite reaction. Identity politics is in fact the father, or the Great Mother, of white nationalism, rather than white nationalism being an independent force that has arisen from quite different sources. At root, both share the same particularistic, extralegal, extra-constitutional, anti-democratic, metaphysical, folkish impulse. Whenever a misguided movement tries to alter people’s thoughts and intentions, rather than limiting itself to people’s performance and action in the transparent democratic arena, then totalitarianism is the necessary result. Even when we dream of an anarchist utopia, we do not try to alter people’s souls, we aim to alter economic arrangements in such a way as to allow people the maximum possible room for freedom. We cannot be readers and interpreters of people’s hearts and minds; such a venture has no business in politics. (emphasis mine)
  4. Identity politics is not winnable. The idea of the nation, in a post-Cold War world, as my generation imagined for a moment, should have led to a redefinition of the concept in rational, empirical, scientific, utopian and ultimately anarchist terms. The founding principles of the Enlightenment were available all over again, in that brief moment, to be recharged with potent liberal energy, extending across the globe. Instead we got neoliberal globalization, dedicated entirely to consumerism and shallow identity politics, working in sync to enervate democracy to the point of nonexistence.

It pleases me to read a leftist who is clearly NOT a totalitarian engineer of souls, who thinks the entire leftist project of the current time (identity politics) is fundamentally mistaken. Of course, if you reduce politics to tribes, you end up in a sort of Afrikaner state, with the dominant tribe being – guess what? – whites. This is not Enlightenment politics; this is a form of polity we thought we had escaped from centuries ago.

Another interesting read is a book by Mark Lilla, The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, which was based on an article in the New York Times  of November 2016 from which I quote here.

“But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)”

Precisely.

Oliver Traidi reviews Mark Lilla’s book in Quillette, here.

 

Shivani thinks that young people have been so indoctrinated in identity politics by thirty years of unceasing propaganda that it cannot be broken out of, except by economic or foreign policy disaster. I am not so pessimistic. I think electoral defeat at the hands of Republicans will cause the Dems to rethink a great deal.

It also explains to me why the Left has been branding Trump a racist and a fascist and so forth: since identity politics is the way they conceive what they are doing, then all political opposition to their project looks like identity politics of a different tribe. As always, the Left projects onto the Right – really, all forms of opposition – what is on the minds of the Left; it sees only itself.  It reminds me of a thought from a book written by David Horowitz, the son of two American Communists, that he did not actually find freedom of discussion until be broke with Leftism, whereupon he discovered that all sorts of conservatives exist, few of whom agree with each other about anything. Horowitz’ Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey is  a must read for all those who are curious about the strange mental prison which is Leftism.

Further prison breakouts may be expected soon.

 

Let’s blame the victims, shall we?

More realistically, and more precisely, let’s admit the limits of whites to do anything to remedy American black social pathologies. We can not take the existence of racial disparities as the evidence for white  oppression.

Professor Amy Wax presents a useful perspective on the ban on “blaming the victim”, in which the group suffering the harm is the only one that can undo the harm caused to him.

There is no way around it, the victim must help himself. But there have been injuries to human capital. These are the most enduring traits of the African American situation, and there is little white society can do about them. So says Professor Amy Wax, in the most rational way.

Monopoly power is always the same

Some people are starting to notice the power of Google and other web giants to suppress points of view. The firing of their own engineer James Damore for pointing out the biological basis for women and men differing in their desires to be engineers was, it seems, only the beginning.

Now the repression appears to have widened. The Open Markets section of the New America Foundation concerns itself with  monopolies and abuses of dominant position: all very econometric geeky stuff. The head of Open Markets, Barry Lynn, issued a notice congratulating the European Commission for fining Google for economic crimes related to dominant market position. He was removed from the New America Foundation. It seems to have been the result of Google’s Eric Schmidt quietly expressing displeasure, as corporate titans are wont to do when underlings make trouble.

Matt Stoller, who belongs to the Open Markets group, wrote the following in the Huffington Post, US edition.

In response, Google had our group kicked out of our parent think tank, New America. Ken Vogel at the New York Times did the story on the specifics of how this happened. The combination, of the misbehavior in the search market and the attempt to suppress research into how Google operates, shows that the actual issue at hand is one of political power.

This moment matters. It matters because it shows that monopoly power, and Google itself, is a threat to the free flow of ideas upon which our democracy depends. It matters because it proves that if we do not stand up to monopolists, they will keep our public institutions quiet about their growing power. And it matters most of all because it shows that we can reclaim our democracy if we try.

At Open Markets, we obviously do not like the attempt at undermining our work, but on another level, we see this as a backhanded compliment by Google on how effective our work has actually been. After all, if we are worth silencing, then our words and research carries power.

Monopoly is a political problem. It is time to stand up for our rights. It is time to say, enough. And as we’ve seen, when we do tell the truth, the monopolists cannot abide.

Google’s tactics will not work. Our organization, Open Markets, is going independent. And we are launching a campaign called Citizens Against Monopoly, where we will ask Google’s CEO to stop this manipulation of our public commons. Join us.

I urge readers to stay on top of this story. Freedom is threatened as much by private economic power as by state action, frequently because private market power is exercized without recourse to standards of fairness that states are bound to. The portrait of Google  that emerged from the Damore story revealed a place dominated by leftist groupthink. The biological was an excluded category of truth; reference to it as an explanatory cause for why women did not participate in the ranks of elite engineers was the sin of “stereotyping” and a firing offence.

This kind of mental phase-locking would have no importance if Google made physical objects. It matters supremely when the company aspires to record, catalog and make findable all human knowledge. Because the same power to make findable can make things unfindable. The power to control the past is the power to control the future.

_________________________

Speaking of which, here is an example:

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/08/31/google-issues-ultimatum-to-conservative-website-remove-hateful-article-or-lose-ad-revenue/

With monopoly or market power, you can now be made to disappear.

Here s the stated policy which the site offended. How much would Barrelstrength offend, if it came to our Internet overlord’s attention?

“As stated in our program policies, Google ads may not be placed on pages that contain content that: Threatens or advocates harm on oneself or others; Harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals; Incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization,” the email stated.

You can drive an armoured division through that one.

 

The anthropologist discusses race and his white grandchildren

 

In which the learned and well meaning professor tries to explain why, when polite people have been taught to be colour-blind, events cause people actually to talk about race. Which is not supposed to exist, right? Race is simultaneously supposed not to exist, and exists nevertheless. And he has white grandchildren.

“Ethnicity is essential to identity”, he says, and to suppress discussion of race is to handicap our children.

Ten points, sir, for honesty and truth.

Except, in my view, for the idea that race does not exist. Which is the grand denial of biology.