Thursday, December 8, 2016

popular but forgotten Australian writers - Arthur W. Upfield

In a recent comment by Roy mention was made of popular Australian writers of the past such as Nevil Shute, Morris West and John Cleary. I’d add Arthur W. Upfield to that list. Upfield’s Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte mysteries were immensely popular from the late 1920s up to at least the 1970s. They now seem to be out of print.

Upfield's books enjoyed considerable international success at the time.

The Bony books, dealing with a half-Aboriginal detective, might not satisfy modern standards of political correctness although in fact there’s nothing even remotely racist about them. On the other hand Upfield carefully refrained from the modern practice of lecturing his readers.

The novels formed the basis of a successful (and extremely good) 1970s Australian television series, Boney, which now seems to have vanished without trace. I'm not even sure if the series survives but it certainly hasn't been released on DVD.

James Laurenson as Boney in the TV series
The TV series caused some minor angst because a white New Zealander, James Laurenson, was cast in the title role. In fact the producers tried to find a suitable half-Aboriginal actor but without success.

I’ve just posted a review of one of the more celebrated Bony mysteries, Wings Above the Diamantina, at my Vintage Pop Fictions blog. Here’s the link.

Both the novels and the TV series are a great deal of fun.

As for Nevil Shute, I think No Highway is an absolutely superb novel. I think I read most of his books years ago.

I know I’ve read a couple of Morris West’s books. I’m afraid I’ve never read anything by John Cleary though.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

random thoughts on the importance of unsettling history

I came across an interesting quote a couple of days ago. As invariably happens in such cases I now can’t find the damned thing but the gist of it was as follows. Getting an education should make you uncomfortable, and even at times horrified. If your education makes you feel safe and secure then whatever it is you’re getting it isn’t an education. I find myself strongly agreeing with this. 

I’m sure it applies to every subject but I think it’s particularly applicable in the case of history. If an historian is doing his job then reading his work should make you feel unsettled and it should challenge your assumptions. You might find yourself disagreeing with the historian but if that’s the case then at least you’re being challenged to think about why you disagree.

Napoleon once described history as “a set of lies agreed upon” and there’s much to be said for this view. Every historian has an axe to grind. An historian without an axe to grind wouldn’t be worth reading - his history would be merely a list of events without any logical connection. In most cases we know what happened in history. Knowing what happened isn’t very interesting or informative. We want to know why the events occurred. And knowing why the events occurred involves not so much collecting evidence as interpreting it. To a certain extent every good historian is a revisionist historian, because a good historian has to be prepared to look at the evidence and ask himself - does this mean what other historians have assumed it to mean? Are there other possible interpretations?

Of course this does not mean that all revisionist history is good history, nor does it mean that we can interpret historical evidence in whatever manner we choose. We do not need to go down the rabbit hole into complete subjectivity and relativism. Historical evidence can often be interpreted in different ways but if you’re going to offer a fresh interpretation you’d better be able to demonstrate that your new fresh approach actually makes sense and actually fits the evidence, and does so at least as well as (and preferably better than) the existing consensus. If it fails to fulfill these criteria then it’s merely another conspiracy theory for the tin-foil hat brigade.

The mere fact that a particular interpretation of history is unsettling does not disqualify it from consideration, although in the world of modern academia it seems that anything that is even mildly unsettling is out of bounds. History is not supposed to be a safe space. It is not supposed to offer us reassurance. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

defending our culture

There are many things we’re not allowed to do any more. We’re not allowed to defend our borders. We’re not allowed to defend our industries. But perhaps most important of all, we’re not allowed to defend our culture.

In this instance I’m talking mostly about popular culture, although the argument also applies to so-called “high” culture as well. Popular culture has often been despised but it’s an essential ingredient of our identity as a people.

Back in the 60s and 70s leftists often talked about “cultural imperialism” but it’s a term you don’t hear very much these days. The reason you don’t hear about it very much is because it’s incredibly important. You can always assume that if a topic is forbidden it’s because it’s important.

Globalism aims at a single global market and ultimately a single global government (a totally undemocratic global government of course) but it also must lead inevitably to a single global culture. We can already see what that global culture is going to look like and it isn’t pretty. Moronic Hollywood movies, hip hop music, reality TV shows. And that global culture is going to be in all essentials an American culture. The processing of imposing American popular culture on the whole planet started a century ago but it’s become steadily more insidious and steadily more deadly. 

Most popular culture tends a little towards trashiness. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s good trash culture and there’s bad trash culture. There’s harmless trash culture and there’s harmful trash culture. Good trash culture is basically lightweight throwaway entertainment. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Personally I happen to enjoy lightweight throwaway entertainment. I can appreciate grand opera and High Renaissance art and the novels of Joseph Conrad but there are times when I just want to read a detective story, or watch a silly 1950s sci-fi B-movie, or a harmless TV cop show.

The problem is that popular culture today comes with extra added ingredients - political messages and (even more worrying) subtle and not-so-subtle social propaganda. It is more and more difficult to find pop culture that doesn’t glorify promiscuity, or sexual perversion, or push an anti-white anti-European agenda.

And that’s why the Americanisation of global popular culture is a cause for concern - modern American popular culture is stridently politically correct and pro-globalist. It also happens to be, ironically enough, strongly anti-American. It is cultural poison to Americans, and it is cultural poison to everyone else. It aims to destroy traditional American values, and it aims to destroy the traditional values of every other nation.

I don’t want this to come across as an anti-American rant. Most modern British and Australian pop culture is every bit as bad. It’s just that modern American pop culture is more dangerous because it’s so all-pervasive and it’s marketed so aggressively to the rest of the world.

I also want to make it clear that I have a great love for American popular culture of the past. There was a time when America had a genius for producing marvelous pop culture.

Australia is particularly vulnerable because we’re still comparatively speaking a young country. European settlement in North America began a couple of centuries before European settlement in Australia. By the mid-20th century Australia was just beginning to develop a recognisable and distinctive popular culture. In the 1930s Australia had a thriving film industry, making movies that were often surprisingly ambitious (such as Forty Thousand Horsemen). Much of our pop culture was heavily influenced by British and American models but it was starting to acquire an Australian flavour. That’s all gone now. What passes for Australian pop culture today is simply third-rate copies of the worst of American pop culture.

That’s what used to be called cultural imperialism and it does matter. Even European nations with their much stronger indigenous traditions are going to be powerless to resist the onslaught. Even non-European countries are going to lose their cultures. We’re heading for a globalist popular culture and we need to recognise that this is yet another aspect of the evil of globalism. It’s a way of weakening us so that we will willingly accept the entire globalist package. And that means the destruction of any sense of national, ethnic, racial or cultural identity.  

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Ideology and Race Question

Whether race or ideology is more important is a vexed question. It may be the most important question confronting those of us who want to save or civilisation.

Mark at Upon Hope argues passionately for the primacy of race (although he certainly doesn’t neglect ideology). 

My view is that the mass immigration that is destroying the West is not caused by race as such. Unlike most previous mass immigrations it is not driven by population pressure. It has been deliberately engineered - by groups within the West itself. 

Firstly we need to be honest about immigration. Mass immigration is effectively invasion. When an existing population is displaced by a new one it doesn’t matter whether the new population comes with spears or tanks or whether they come “peacefully” - the end result is the same. The existing population is either destroyed or driven out or absorbed. Historians argued for decades about whether the arrival of the Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons, etc) in Celtic Britain was immigration or invasion. From the point of view of the Celtic population the result was that England ceased to be a Celtic civilisation and became English. The Celts lost their identity and their culture.

There have been countless arguments about whether the Celtic population was destroyed or absorbed. There have been countless arguments about whether the modern English are genetically predominantly Germanic or Celtic or a mixture. It makes no difference. They had an identity and a culture and they lost both.

A number of factors can drive mass immigrations. Population pressures are the obvious reason. Religion can play a part. Sometimes it’s a sheer lust for conquest. There is however one common factor - a perceived weakness on the part of the invaded. Alexander the Great’s Macedonian armies did not destroy the Persian Empire because they hated the Persians and they were not driven to it by population pressures. They destroyed the Persian Empire because they could. The were very well aware of their own military superiority over the Persians and of the fragility of the Persian Empire. It was an empire for the taking and the Macedonians took it. The barbarians who invaded and destroyed the Roman Empire in the West also did so because they could. The Romans were no longer capable of defending themselves and the barbarians knew this. The Romans were also foolish enough to think they could bring German tribes into their empire and turn them into Romans who would defend their empire for them. They were wrong. As a result Roman civilisation ceased to exist in the West.

The same argument applies to the modern waves of immigration flooding the West. The immigrants/invaders see the West (correctly) as weak and decadent and unwilling to defend itself. In this case though the military superiority is all on the side of the West. We have the military superiority but it doesn’t help us. We have been betrayed from within.

That’s where the ideology part comes in. It is globalism that prevents us from defending ourselves. Globalists want free trade and global markets and they want a divided and easily controlled population. The globalists don’t care about race. They care about markets and power. They don’t care about Islam. They don’t even care about Social Justice or feminism or transexual bathroom rights or homosexuality. Those are merely tools to weaken our civilisation. The globalists may well accept a temporary abatement of the immigration flood. If they do it will be merely a short-term tactic. Their long-term agenda will remain unchanged. That’s the danger of focusing on immigration and race. The best that can be achieved is a temporary reprieve. Once the globalists feel safe again the flood-gates will be re-opened. Walls will not help without the will to keep the gates closed. Walls will not help as long as the globalists keep pumping cultural poison into our society. What is needed is the will to survive and that requires a focus on destroying the globalist ideology.

It is also worth keeping in mind that a focus on immigration and race will not win election victories. It will not get anti-globalist parties into power. Parties that have focused narrowly on immigration and race have attracted some electoral support but nowhere near enough to gain power. To win elections requires an emphasis on the dire long-term economic consequences of globalism. Trump won largely on economic issues - the catastrophic effects of free trade on American communities. If the immigration invasion is to be stopped it is crucial that anti-globalist parties achieve actual political power. Winning maybe 25% of the vote by running on immigration/race is not enough. You have to get over 50% and that means attacking globalism on all fronts - attacking free trade and open borders and the soft totalitarianism of political correctness and the cultural poisoning of western society.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

the real far right in France

The French presidential election next year is starting to look very interesting indeed. The victory of Fran├žois Fillon in the Republican primaries means that there is now a genuine far-right candidate in the race. Fillon is not just copying the FN’s rhetoric on immigration and Islam. On economic issues he appears to be a kind of globalist Thatcherite. 

What this means is that Marine Le Pen is now the moderate centre-left candidate! Of course it remains to be seen whether she will be able to persuade the French voters that Fillon is a dangerous extremist who intends to destroy the French nation completely in order to serve his globalist agenda.

How will the media in France react to Fillon’s candidacy? Will they demonise him? It would certainly be easy to do. His economic policies will bring ruin and social chaos. He is an unabashed social conservative. He promises to crack down on immigration and Islam. He is pro-Putin. He is a long long way to the right of Le Pen. On the other hand he is a reliable supporter of globalism and the EU.

Will Fillon’s toxic economic policies lead to a revival of the fortunes of the Socialists? Le Pen’s best chance (and it’s a very slim chance) would be to face a Socialist candidate in the second round. At the moment the Socialists are so unpopular that they’re virtually an irrelevance but could Fillon’s Thatcherite policies galvanise disillusioned Socialist voters?

And if Le Pen faces Fillon in the second round of the election will Socialist voters throw their support behind a hard right candidate like Fillon?

Would the French actually be foolish to elect a man like Fillon? They were dumb enough to elect Hollande so anything is possible.

Gallia Watch has some interesting (and scary) stuff about Fillon.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

long term and short term goals and strategies

If our society is to survive there is obviously a great deal to be done. That in itself is a bit of a problem - where exactly do we start?

I think that the first thing we need to do is to distinguish between what is achievable and what is not achievable. There are many things that would be highly desirable but if they fall into that second category there’s not too much point in worrying about them.

We also need to distinguish between short term goals and long term goals. At certain points in history certain things are possible. At a later date it may be that other things will be possible. Or it may be that they will not be possible. We should not lose sight of long term goals but it is more useful to put as much energy as we can into those things that can be achieved now.

Take immigration. Closing the borders would be an achievable goal. It would take an immense amount of effort to push through such a measure but it could be done. Deporting illegal immigrants who have engaged in serious crime would be an achievable goal. On the other hand mass deportations are not going to happen. Not in the US, not in Australia and not in any European country. Whether mass deportations would be a good thing or a bad thing, whether it’s a moral thing to do or not, these questions are irrelevant. It’s not going to happen. Pushing for such a goal is not merely futile but counter-productive. Setting a realistic goal and then pushing for it with absolute determination is the only sensible strategy.

Or take higher education. Ideally we should close down at least half of our universities. Society has no need of the immense numbers of graduates that are currently being churned out, a very large number of whom would be better off not wasting the time, energy and money involved in pursuing the seductive but dangerous dream of university education. Closing down universities is however very unlikely to happen, at least in the short term. On the other hand cutting off funding for worthless Mickey Mouse degrees in Gender Studies or similar nonsense should be an achievable objective. Such studies are merely breeding grounds for professional “activists” - a species that is both useless and exceedingly harmful.

Conservatives suffered defeat after defeat in the Culture Wars by a policy of never-ending retreats and surrenders. That is always a losing strategy. That does not however mean that we can win by launching large-scale frontal attacks on the enemy’s strongest positions. You win a war by pursuing a positive offensive strategy but you need to choose your battles carefully, you need to recognise those positions that are too strong to attack in present circumstances and you need to concentrate on areas where gains can be made. The important thing is to make gains somewhere while defending the territory you already hold. You don’t defeat an enemy all at once. You wear your enemy down by taking every opportunity to win even small battles. It is necessary to keep the initiative but it is foolish to expose yourself to defeat through recklessness and poor judgment.

In other words we need to avoid the defeatism of mainstream conservatism and also to avoid the rashness and over-confidence of some sections of the alt-right.

It is even more important to know what your actual objectives are. Anyone who fights a war without clear objectives will inevitably lose. What kind of society do we actually want? Do we want the utopian dreams of socialists and libertarians? Do we want the war of the jungle of the unfettered free market? Is economic prosperity the secret to human happiness? Is freedom a necessary condition for happiness and is it compatible with democracy? Is it more important to have government that is efficient or government that is honest? If we need a much more socially conservative society (and I certainly think that we do) what part should government play in this? Can we legislate our way towards social conservatism? And what of the catastrophically low birth rates in western countries - can government action do anything to reverse these trends?

These are clearly big topics that cannot be addressed in one blog post. I will make an attempt to formulate my own answers to these questions in future posts.

Friday, November 25, 2016

the alt-right, pro and con

The alt-right is certainly getting plenty of attention lately. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.

The first thing that should be pointed out is that the alt-right’s sudden enormous influence exists mostly in the minds of the more excitable alt-righters. In reality it is still a very minor fringe movement. Whether it ever gains real influence remains to be seen.

I have considerable sympathy for some of the points made by the alt-right. I am vehemently opposed to immigration and I am deeply suspicious of free trade. I am also heartily sick of political correctness and the constant demonisation of white people. So far so good.

On the other hand I regard concepts such as white nationalism as being wholly unworkable. It’s absurdly vague and it ignores culture. There is no such thing as black nationalism and the very idea of asian nationalism is ridiculous - try persuading the Chinese and the Japanese that they should embrace pan-asian nationalism.

Culture is what unites people and it is also what divides them. Both the unifying and the dividing functions of culture are useful and healthy. Any community that has nothing to unite it will sink into chaos. Any nation without a sense of national unity is doomed. Different groups of people have their own beliefs and cultures and histories and will prefer to live with others who share their beliefs and cultures and histories. No-one, apart from globalists and SJWs, wants to live in a single gigantic community where everyone thinks the same and has the same culture.

Culture is what matters and every culture has a right to exist and to thrive and that can only happen if people have their own communities and their own countries.

One of my problems with the alt-right is their tendency to ignore culture. I do not want to be part of a nation defined by whiteness. I want to be part of a nation defined by a shared culture and a shared history. 

It also concerns me that many on the alt-right have no understanding of the fact that a nation cannot survive without a moral core. If you have no moral compass you end up with  a society motivated by greed and hedonism. You are on the road to civilisational collapse. When people like Milo Yiannopoulos are celebrated as alt-right heroes I start to worry. He seems to me to represent the very things that have been responsible for the undermining of our civilisation - atheism and mindless hedonism. If MIlo is the face of the alt-right then you can count me out.

If white nationalism means abandoning morality for the sake of building a supposed white identity then it’s an identity I’m not interested in. A white identitarianism that is prepared to embrace abortion, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity and the destruction of the family would, it seems to me, be no better than the liberal nightmare we’re already living in.

Liberals are the enemy, and that includes white liberals. In fact it especially includes white liberals. I do not want liberals as allies. I do not trust any liberals. 

I am also dubious about the shock tactics beloved of some elements of the alt-right. I am a firm believer in the necessity of occupying the high moral ground. I’m all for freedom of speech but it worries me that some on the alt-right do not have enough sense to refrain from making foolish and extreme statements that end up discrediting the saner voices. There is no point in giving free gifts to your enemies.

I personally do not consider myself alt-right, or even any kind of right or any kind of conservative as such terms are generally used. I am in agreement with the alt-right on some issues and in strong disagreement with them on others. I certainly don’t regard them as enemies but I do think that as allies they can be both useful and sometimes dangerous.