Monday, October 24, 2016

the 19th century roots of our cultural malaise

The great tragedy of western civilisation is that its very strengths are its fatal weaknesses. Openness, innovation, science, democracy and freedom are all no doubt wonderful things but they seem to lead inevitably to corruption, degeneracy, nihilism, despair, a loss of faith and finally cultural suicide.

Cultural marxism is often blamed for undermining the foundations of our civilisation but the process was already under way before cultural marxism began. By the time cultural marxism was in a position to exert any real influence the undermining was well advanced. 

One of the early manifestations of decline was the rise of modernism in art and literature. The exaltation of ugliness and squalor combined with an extreme hostility to traditional values made modernism a potent if subtle engine of destruction. Our cultural dynamism led to art and literature that corrupted and demoralised. Art and literature headed for the gutter, where they have remained ever since. Modernism produced music that was unlistenable, novels that were unreadable and art that was impossible to look at without being appalled. And modernism had already begun to exert its pernicious influence in the late 19th century, long predating cultural marxism.

Science has brought many benefits but it gave rise to a bleak inhuman and mechanistic worldview devoid of hope. It led us inexorably down the path to nihilism.

The growth of capitalism gave us prosperity but it destroyed communities. Rural areas became relatively depopulated while urban areas became hotbeds of crime and degeneracy.

Feminism in the 19th century promised to emancipate women but it enslaved them while destroying families.

Medicine made many advances in the 19th century but the medical profession developed delusions of grandeur, thinking that every social problem could be turned into a medical problem. As a result it gave birth to pseudosciences like psychiatry and psychology.

Democracy was supposed to usher in an era of unparalleled freedom. It has slowly but surely destroyed our freedoms and corrupted our governments. Democracy and corruption are like inseparable twins. 

The rise of mass media began in the 19th century with the explosive growth of newspapers. There were fond hopes that this would lead to healthy open debate. It led to propaganda and manipulation. Democracy and mass media were to a large extent responsible for the increasing madness of politics, as governments became steadily more short-sighted, cynical and reckless. This madness led to western civilisation’s first serious suicide attempt in 1914.

Cultural marxism succeeded so well because it took advantage of weaknesses and vulnerabilities that were already all too apparent. Cultural marxism could not have destroyed a healthy civilisation. The seeds of destruction were already present in the West. Cultural marxism did not plant those seeds although it certainly cultivated them assiduously.

If the remnants of our culture are to be saved we will need to address its inherent weaknesses and tendency to self-destruction. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

the war on masculinity

The Social Justice war on masculinity continues unabated. Jim Goad has a good article on this subject at Taki’s Magazine, Reclaiming Toxic Masculinity. I liked his point that we hear so much in the media about “toxic masculinity” but we never hear about toxic homosexuality” or “toxic bitchiness.”

The war on masculinity doesn’t just destroy families and ruin the lives of both men and women. It destroys other things. One of the things that it has utterly destroyed is Christianity. No religion can survive once it has been entirely feminised. Not only are men driven away from the faith - without men (actual masculine men rather than emasculated girly-men) the women become increasingly prone to wallowing in emotion, and increasingly totalitarian. It’s an often overlooked point that totalitarianism is often driven by emotion rather than reason.

Politics becomes entirely driven by feelings. We have, unfortunately, already reached the point at which politics is nothing but feelings.

And just when you think our civilisation can’t sink any lower, two New York lesbians are outraged that a magazine aimed at toddlers doesn’t have enough pro-homosexual propaganda - Nothing is sacred. nothing is safe

This is why homosexuals should never be allowed to adopt children or to act as parents. They only care for their kids insofar as they can use them to advance their political agenda.

Also worth reading is the latest post at Upon Hope about the many and various ways in which liberals engage in direct and indirect child abuse.

unanticipated costs of the Cold War?

I’ve recently seen the interesting idea put forward that many of the follies that currently threaten the very survival of the West were actually misguided Cold War policies. It’s an idea that is worth some thought.

One element of this theory is that western countries were sensitive to communist propaganda that the West was a hotbed of racism and colonialism. Throwing open the borders to Third World immigration was a way of refuting these claims. It’s notable that the United States, Britain and Australia all moved towards liberal immigration policies in the 1960s. These three countries all felt themselves to be particularly vulnerable to charges of racism and colonialism (Britain because of its imperialist past, the United States because of its imperialist present and Australia because of the White Australia Policy). 

The move towards open borders was also a means of furthering western propaganda about the virtues of the Free World and also as a means of trying to cement various defence alliances in Asia, Africa and elsewhere.

There’s no question that “victory” in the Cold War came at a substantial price. The dangerous growth of the military-industrial complex (that President Eisenhower tried unavailingly to warn the US against) was one of the big costs. Is it possible that the foolish enthusiasm for open borders was another cost of the Cold War? 

Of course this begs the crucial questions - was the Cold War necessary and was it worth the cost? 

I think that while Stalin was still in power some kind of confrontational posture, or at least an aggressively defensive posture, probably was unavoidable. The Soviet Union under Stalin really was an Evil Empire and while Stalin’s foreign policy was often cautious there’s no doubt that his long-term intentions were pretty sinister. In the Khrushchev era the Soviet threat was still pretty real, this being as much as anything a product of Khrushchev’s unpredictability. 

I’m not really sure that the Soviet Union under Brezhnev was quite such a mortal threat. The success of Detente in the 70s tends to indicate that a live and let live policy was quite feasible. I’m not suggesting that the Soviet system under Brezhnev was either admirable or benign (far from it) but much of the anti-Soviet hysteria was overblown. 

In any case whether the Cold War really was or was not a confrontation between good and evil isn’t really the point. The point is that the Cold War caused a substantial deformation in western foreign policy, and perhaps domestic policy as well, and we may be still paying the price.

Of course what all this means is that we should be incredibly careful about being drawn into another Cold War with either Russia or China. The West has its own problems to solve and a Cold War 2.0 may well make it impossible for us to confront our very real current problems. We need to be particularly careful about falling prey to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate

I have to say I have somewhat mixed feelings about Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for Literature. On the other hand the Nobel Prize has been pretty much a joke for decades and this can’t really make things any worse.

What is amusing is watching the reactions of Social Justice Warriors to the award, with accusations of white privilege being hurled at the one-time darling of the Left, and with feminists chiming in with hysterical attacks on his supposed sexism. These things make me feel much more positive towards the new Nobel laureate.

And whatever his faults Dylan is hardly a conventional leftist. He’s never really been a conventional anything. He’s always been too restless a figure to be neatly pigeonholed. This is a man whose political hero is Barry Goldwater, and who has released several albums of Christian gospel music. Dylan in fact has always come across as being a guy with a deep (if perhaps sometimes confused) affection for traditional America. It’s actually rather surprising that the Nobel Committee chose somebody who is, by their notoriously left-wing standards, so politically unreliable.

In any case if the decision has upset SJWs so much then upon reflection I’m rather happy with it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

an unbiased online encyclopedia

For those who despise the SJW-riddled mess that is Wikipedia there is now an alternative. There's Infogalactic, which is a fork of Wikipedia, and which aims to offer a genuinely unbiased source of information. It's new so it's still a bit slow at times but it's worth taking a look at.

Also worth checking out is Gab, an alternative to Twitter based on the revolutionary concept of free speech.

Monday, October 17, 2016

globalists - the new oppressed victim class

We’re all familiar with the various protected victim classes and the fact that even the mildest criticism of these classes is enough to provoke a firestorm of liberal outrage. 

It now appears that there is a new oppressed victim class to add to the list - globalists. Even to use the term globalist may soon be forbidden. Apparently globalist is an evil racist anti-semitic codeword for Jewish. 

Naturally it follows that if the very word globalist is forbidden then it means that any debate on the issue is shut down. Which is of course the object of the exercise. And so the world becomes a little bit more Orwellian every single day.

Friday, October 14, 2016

identity and ideology

The 20th century has been described as an age of ideology. In the past few decades ideology seems to have been become less important. Identity politics has become the dominant theme. Politics is no longer a clash between believers in competing ideologies but a clash between competing identity groups. People vote for parties and candidates that will advance the interests of their identity group (be it feminists, homosexuals, blacks or other ethnic groups) - the actual policies of the parties and candidates are no longer relevant. In most cases elections are contests between parties whose policies are more or less identical anyway.

There are those on the alt-right who believe that whites should adopt identity politics. The idea of white nationalism has been gaining ground among alt-righters in the United States. 

Personally I’m a bit sceptical, for several reasons. I’m all in favour of nationalism but I’m dubious about a nationalism based on something as vague and as broad as race, or even ethnicity. It concerns me that it’s the sort of woolly thinking that led to the nightmare that is the EU. It’s also the sort of thinking that led Winston Churchill to come up with his ludicrous idea of some kind of brotherhood of all the English-Speaking Peoples, blithely ignoring the fact that the various English-speaking nations had no actual interests in common.

My second reason for scepticism is that I simply cannot bring myself to consider all white people, or even all Anglo-Celts, to be somehow “my people.” I can’t even consider all white Australians to be my people. I find it impossible to feel any sense of solidarity with white Australian feminists, white Australian LGBT activists or white Australian environmentalist extremists. I feel no solidarity at all with liberals. I’m afraid that I can’t really accept the idea that identity trumps ideology. Call me old-fashioned, but ideology matters to me. 

I don’t want my country overrun by immigrants but I also don’t want my country trashed by feminists, homosexuals, environmentalists and other assorted liberals. The threat to our civilisation posed by liberalism in all its myriad manifestations is far greater and more far-reaching than the threat posed by immigrants. Without liberalism there would be no immigration menace.

My third reservation is this - has identity really superseded ideology? I’m not so sure. It’s true that the major political parties are now more or less interchangeable. It’s true that politicians talk about identity politics more than they talk about ideology. But then anyone who believes what politicians say is pretty na├»ve - politicians always lie. Ideology does still matter, it’s just that the major political parties all share the same ideology. Their devotion to that ideology is as absolute as the devotion of the most devout Marxist. The ruling ideology  is free trade, global capitalism and open borders combined with social radicalism and identity politics. The social radicalism and identity politics are needed to ensure that the population remains divided and demoralised and thus unlikely to challenge the rule of the elites. 

This globalist ideology has nothing to do with traditional notions of left or right but that should not lead us to make the mistake of thinking that it is not a political ideology. The age of ideology has not ended.