Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SJWs, money and jobs

A recent discussion on Steve Sailer’s blog raised an interesting issue. We tend to assume that Social Justice Warriors are either disastrously misguided idealists or they’re motivated by irrational hatred of their own civilisation. Both of which clearly apply to a very large number of SJWs.

What is easy to overlook though is that many SJWs make a very nice living indeed out of their political activism. Once you progress from the lower ranks it’s possible to earn a six-figure income - either working for the bureaucracy, for one of countless taxpayer-funded statutory authorities or NGOs, being on the payroll of someone like George Soros or working for a charity (and many charities these days are merely fronts for political activism).

The beauty of these jobs is that they’re failure-proof. They’re not supposed to turn a profit anyway. Success is measured not by how much income is generated but by how much money can be spent. If most of the money is just flushed down the toilet it’s still counted as a success since the object is to get rid of the money. No matter how incompetent you are you can’t get fired as long as you accept the Narrative without question. And if you’re an SJW you’re not going to be tempted to question the narrative.

Even better, these jobs are ideal for people with Mickey Mouse degrees and for privileged middle-class people who aren’t smart enough to go into business or STEM fields or anything that requires a real education. If you majored in Gender Studies you should by rights be utterly unemployable but if you’re an SJW you can turn a worthless degree into reasonably big money. These jobs are especially attractive if Daddy is a corporate lawyer or if you’re married to a doctor. Your job is essentially a hobby but it can be a very well-paid hobby with the added advantage of access to power and influence and lots of opportunities for virtue signalling and bullying non-believers.

There’s a lot of money in the Social Justice racket.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

why our elites don’t know what they’re doing

I’ve spoken before about the perplexing problem we have of elites who are not only destroying our civilisation - they will inevitably end by destroying themselves. How on earth can this have happened?

Nassim Taleb has some ideas on this subject in his essay on the "Intellectual-Yet-Idiot" Class

It does seem increasingly obvious that our so-called intellectual elites are quite unable to foresee the consequences of their actions. When their decisions turn out badly they are unable to understand why and, more worryingly, being essentially mediocrities  with no deep understanding their instinct is to deny reality rather than question their own beliefs.

There’s a lively discussion on the topic at Vox Popoli. This discussion raises another fascinating possibility - that high IQ individuals are in fact to a considerable degree excluded from positions of power and influence.

Even a cursory glance at the history of the West over the past century makes it pretty clear  that during this period most western countries have largely been ruled by people who are, to put it mildly, not very bright. Back in the 70s British historian Corelli Barnett pointed out the disastrous consequences of the ineptitude of the British ruling class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (in his superb book The Collapse of British Power) so the problem is certainly not new.

What is new is that a reasonably large number of ordinary people seem to be slowly realising that they are being ruled by elites who don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

offline but back again, with any luck

I've been offline for the best part of a week due to even more problems with Australia's vastly expensive and totally useless National Broadband Network. A project that has seen the government flush billions of dollars down the toilet providing something that was never needed in the first place.

I have no idea when it will finally be working properly. I'm hoping to be back online regularly within the next couple of days.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

nationalism and what it means to me

Nationalism became very unfashionable indeed in the West in the postwar period although it certainly seems to be making a comeback now.

The problem we have to face though is - what exactly is nationalism? There has recently been much talk of white nationalism. This is a concept that I find rather puzzling. It seems to me to be so broad as to be essentially meaningless. What does white mean? Does it include Armenians? Does it include Jews? Does white mean caucasian? 

My impression is that when most white nationalists talk about whites they mean Europeans or those of European ancestry. Fair enough but personally it still seems too broad to me. I have nothing whatsoever against Portuguese, Bulgarians or Germans but I feel no great sense of connection to them. I know a bit about German history and culture but pretty much nothing about Portuguese or Bulgarian history and culture. 

To be meaningful nationalism has to involve some kind of emotional resonance. That (in my opinion) requires a shared language, history and culture. Polish nationalism and Danish nationalism make sense since both Poles and Danes have a shared language, history and culture. European nationalism makes no sense to me, plus it has unfortunate universalist connotations - it’s the kind of woolly-minded concept that gave Europe the nightmare of the EU. You can’t expect the Irish and the Lithuanians to feel any genuine solidarity. I’m sure they wish each other well but they have little in common and it’s quite reasonable for Lithuanians to be very concerned about the welfare of fellow Lithuanians and to be entirely uninterested in the welfare of the Irish.

In the United States the proposition nation idea was an attempt to create a different kind of nationalism. It would have worked if only they could have found a way to make sure that every single US citizen would agree with the same propositions, and that every one of their descendants would agree to it. Which is of course entirely impossible. You can’t base nationalism on ideas. Ideas go in and out of fashion. Nationalism has to be based on something much deeper and more lasting.

That leaves the US with a major problem and to some extent it’s a problem for countries like Canada and Australia as well - countries that had to create new nationalisms more or less from scratch. Australia appeared to be well on the way to doing this but several decades of cultural marxism has put paid to that.

I certainly regard myself as a nationalist, but not as a white nationalist no matter how broadly or how narrowly you want to define white nationalism. I’m an Australian nationalist. I have nothing but goodwill for other countries but they’re not my country and for me my country comes first. 

Since I believe that nationalism needs to be based on a common language, history and culture if logically follows that I believe that bringing in enormous numbers of immigrants who do not share that common language, history and culture will be disastrous. Nationalism requires borders. Large-scale immigration is the best and easiest way to destroy a nation. To me the race, ethnicity and religion of the immigrants is irrelevant. All large-scale immigration is ultimately disastrous if it weakens the bonds of language, history and culture.

To a liberal admitting to being a nationalist is tantamount to admitting to being a white supremacist Nazi. Which is of course utter nonsense. I’m a nationalist but
I’m entirely supportive of all other nationalists. I’m in favour of Sweden for the Swedes and Japan for the Japanese and Kenya for the Kenyans and Iran for the Iranians. I have absolutely nothing against any other race, ethnicity or religion. In my view having separate countries is the best way to encourage mutual respect. I like and respect and admire the Japanese but I think it’s better for everyone if the Japanese live in Japan and leave Australia to Australians. Fortunately the Japanese seem to be in total agreement with me on that point!

There are some further difficulties with nationalism. If I’m in favour of Swedish and Japanese and Australian nationalism shouldn’t I also be in favour of Scottish nationalism, and Catalonian nationalism? Those nationalisms are however in conflict with British nationalism and Spanish nationalism. Which nationalisms should take precedence? I haven’t found a solution to that dilemma but I console myself with the thought that nobody else seems to have found a solution either.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

multiculturalism - how did we end up in this mess?

I’m sure everyone who is sceptical of the globalist/multicultural agenda has at some time or other pondered the question - how on earth did we end up in this mess? How on earth did western civilisation  become so suicidal? How did we get to the point of volunteering for our own cultural destruction?

I have my own thoughts on this subject, which I’ll undoubtedly address in a future post. For the moment I’m posting this link to an article by Ricardo Duchesne at the Council of European Canadians site. He offers a lengthy and detailed, and fairly persuasive, argument. It’s worth a read.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

S.C.M. Paine's The Wars for Asia 1911-1949

The Wars for Asia 1911-1949 by S.C.M. Paine (Professor of Strategy and Policy at the US Naval War College) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012 and represents an ambitious attempt to tie together events that are usually treated in isolation. Paine’s idea is that the long civil war in China which finally ended in 1949, the war between China and Japan that was waged more or less continuously between 1931 and 1945 and the Pacific phase of the Second World War from 1941 to 1945 make very little sense unless they are considered as all being part of a single multi-level struggle.

The various players in these interconnected wars made decisions that often seem incomprehensible, foolish or even suicidal but once the connections between these wars are taken into account it becomes clear that the players concerned were often choosing the best (or thought they were) from a range of relatively unpalatable options.

The starting point for the whole struggle was the collapse of the Qing dynasty in China in 1911. This left a power vacuum that proved to be a temptation not only for various Chinese  factions but for outside powers, most notably Russia and Japan and later the US.

Much of the tragedy that followed stemmed from the inability of various players to comprehend that other players had entirely different agendas and priorities. The Chinese Communists assumed that the Soviet Union would want a communist takeover of China and would therefore support them to the hilt. The Soviets however wanted a weak divided China (as a non-threatening neighbour) and they wanted Japan as an ally rather than an enemy (fearing being caught between Germany on one side and Japan on the other flank) so the Soviets were quite happy to sell out the Chinese communists and cut deals with the Nationalists and the Japanese.

Chiang wanted US aid and believed the US would back him to prevent a communist takeover. For Chiang the civil war in China was the priority. For the US the priority was their war against Japan. As a result they were entirely unable to work together as effective allies and this would eventually lead to the shipwreck of American China policy.

The author also makes some vital points about war aims, particularly limited versus unlimited objectives. The advantage of limited objectives is that your opponent is not fighting for survival so that once he accepts the unlikelihood of victory he will be willing to accept a negotiated peace. If however you have unlimited objectives, such as regime change or the total absorption of the entire territory of the enemy, the the war becomes a fight to the death for your enemy and he will fight on even victory seems hopeless. In such a situation even a relatively weak enemy can become a deadly foe - he is on “death ground” and is fighting for his very survival. Japan’s foreign policy had been spectacularly successful up until 1937 because Japan’s wars were for strictly limited objectives. The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-06 for example did not threaten Russia’s survival. Once the costs of the war became unpleasantly high Russia was willing to negotiate a peace settlement. The 1931 invasion of Manchuria was another war of limited objectives. China would certainly survive the loss of a few provinces. In 1937 Japan made the fatal mistake of transforming the war against China into a war of unlimited objectives. Now China’s very survival was at stake. The many factions within China - Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang, the many warlord armies, the Communists - now stopped fighting one another and united against Japan in a war to the death, a war that was simply beyond Japan’s long-term capabilities.

Equally important was the failure of so many of the parties involved to remember that wars are fought not for military objectives but for political objectives. If you lose sight of this you can win every battle but lose the war. This was a mistake that both Japan and the US made. The Japanese almost invariably defeated Chinese forces in battle but their war against China ruined them economically, earned them the undying hatred of the Chinese and embroiled them in a disastrous war against the US. The US won the military struggle against Japan in spectacular fashion but politically the war was a triumph for Stalin and the Chinese communists and in many ways a disaster for the US. They defeated one enemy, Japan, which was never a significant threat to them anyway and conjured into existence a truly deadly threat in the form of Communist China whilst greatly strengthening their most dangerous enemy of all, the Soviet Union.

Paine does his best to avoid taking sides. He is more interested in identifying the motivations of the various players than in deciding whether those motivations were just or not. He certainly doesn’t shrink from describing atrocities committed by the Japanese although he does point out that the single biggest atrocity of the Sino-Japanese War (the destruction of the Yellow River dykes which resulted in millions of deaths) was actually committed by Chiang Kai-Shek. Nor does he minimise the corruption of the Kuomintang, the self-destructive chaos of Japanese politics or the duplicity and cynicism of both Mao and Stalin.

We are still living with the consequences of these three nested wars and Paine manages to make some very complex events considerably more understandable. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

am I a conservative? part two

In my previous post I talked about some of my issues with mainstream conservatism. Now I’m going to address my biggest concern of all - the issue of social conservatism.

I do very much consider myself to be a social conservative. And this is where I really come to a parting of the ways with mainstream conservatism as it exists today. Not only have mainstream conservatives surrendered on every single issue that concerns social conservatives - they actually seem to regard actual social conservatives with a mixture of embarrassment and contempt. While mainstream conservatives are prepared to go to the barricades over the issues that matter to them - tax cuts for the rich, free trade and open borders - it is obvious that they would prefer to avoid taking a stand on every single issue that matters to social conservatives.

For me social issues trump economic issues. Economic prosperity is a fine thing but if society collapses into despair, nihilism and chaos it’s not much consolation to be told that at least we have economic growth.

And our society is collapsing into despair, nihilism and chaos. 

We have reached the stage where the most precious of freedom of all is, apparently, the freedom to slaughter our unborn children. We are slaughtering them by the millions. Quite apart from the obvious moral dimension there is a social cost to this as well. To believe it’s OK to kill an unborn baby because that child might be a nuisance to its parents’ busy social life or might disrupt a woman’s career has terrifying implications that should surely be obvious to all. But mainstream conservatives have no intention of making any kind of stand on this issue.

Mainstream conservatives not only do not want to contest the issue of homosexual marriage - more often than not they actively support it. This issue has nothing to do with tolerance. Homosexuals achieved that decades ago. They don’t want their tragically unhealthy lifestyle to be tolerated - they want it to be celebrated and embraced. They want to be free to promote that lifestyle to children. Homosexual marriage is part of that agenda. But mainstream conservatives have no problem with it.

Feminism has been not only the most pernicious and dangerously deluded ideology ever dreamt up, it has also been a spectacular failure. Women have never been more unhappy, lonely and embittered than they are today. But try to find one mainstream conservative who will point out the folly and evil of feminism.

Pornography has been flooding our society for decades now. Try to find one mainstream conservative who will confront that issue.

Promiscuity is now considered to be the new normal. Long experience has demonstrated the corrosive effects of promiscuity on both the individual and society. But no mainstream conservative wants to be accused of slut-shaming. So that issue gets ignored as well.

So cowardly and treacherous are mainstream conservatives on social issues that even though I am most definitely a social conservative the very word conservative has become so devalued in my eyes that I’d prefer to be called something else. I’d rather call myself a social reactionary.