Let’s Even the Odds

In this episode, Dr. Turley covers the American petition to get White House press credentials for Alex Jones so he can sit next to CNN’s infamously rude microphone hog, Jim Acosta. Frankly, I don’t understand why Alex Jones has to have special permission to gain press access nor why a sitting president isn’t allowed to rein in the perfervid jornolistos appearing at the White House on his time.

Here’s a link to the book Turley mentions and the (edited) introductory blurb from Amazon:

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right

Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battleground is the internet. On one side the alt-right ranges from the once obscure neo-reactionary and white separatist movements to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to more mainstream manifestations such as the Trump-supporting gay libertarian, Milo Yiannopolous. On the other side, a culture of struggle sessions and virtue signaling lurks behind a therapeutic language of trigger warnings and safe spaces. The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression. Kill All Normies explores some of the cultural genealogies and past parallels of these styles and subcultures, drawing from transgressive styles of 60s libertinism and conservative movements, to make the case for a rejection of the perpetual cultural turn.

For Americans, here’s the petition you can sign. They need a hundred thousand signatures by mid-December to have any impact.

German “Right-Wing” Publisher and his Wife Attacked after Frankfurt Book Fair

Our German readers are probably familiar with the attack on Götz Kubitschek and his wife last Saturday in Frankfurt, but people who don’t follow the German-language news have most likely heard very little about it. Rembrandt Clancy sends this digest of the available information on the incident.


Götz Kubitschek in Chemnitz

German “Right-Wing” Publisher and his Wife Attacked after Frankfurt Book Fair

by Rembrandt Clancy

Götz Kubitschek is a well-known German book publisher and journalist who resolutely places himself to the right of the political spectrum: “Where there is a Left, there must be a Right and if there are intellectuals of the Left there are intellectuals of the Right.” For Kubitschek “Right” is virtually a brand name, even though it is weighted with a negative, “denunciative” or “pejorative” valuation, whilst the Left draws normative descriptors. For the executive editor of Sezession, the only journal for right-of-centre intellectuals in the German-speaking world, being intellectually to the Right is a “metapolitical theme” also for Antaios-Verlag (Antaios Publishing House), which he founded and still manages from the old Schnellroda manor in Saxony-Anhalt. But it is not a question of promoting the word “Right” or “right-wing intellectual” as an end itself; rather, it is a task of Antaios to turn the word “Right” into a positive concept. To be intellectually to the Right in today’s world is clearly more interesting, firstly because its ideas are new; and secondly, because it tackles matters in a different way, hence yielding a more accurate description of reality. (Interview with Kubitschek by RT Deutsch, Der Fehlende Part, 2017).

Writers such as the Austrian Identitarian leader Martin Sellner find a home at Antaios-Verlag. Kubitschek recently published Finis Germania, or “Germania, You are Dying” by the late Rolf Peter Sieferle and thereby called up an hysterical storm among the established press in Germany. Gates of Vienna published a translation of the book’s third chapter entitled “Mythos VB [Vergangenheitsbewältigung]” or “ The Mythos of Overcoming the [National Socialist] Past”.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung was the first to report the attack by three hooded men on Götz Kubitschek and his wife after the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse) in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen on Saturday 13 October. They were dining at about 2200 hours in the outdoor area of the Pizzeria dal Bianco on Darmstädter Landstraße, a situation which placed Kubitschek immediately adjacent to the sidewalk.

Junge Freiheit reports:

Kubitschek sits with his back to the street and cannot see the attackers. “I never do that otherwise. They came out of nowhere… then I felt someone kick me in the back of the head; I fell with my head against the top of the table and was dazed”.

Kubitschek continues to describe how his wife and an acquaintance were injured, saying “The entire affair lasted five to eight seconds at the most.”

Caroline Sommerfeld is an Antaios author and intellectual of the New Right. She was present during the incident and reports that when Kubitschek’s wife, Ellen Kositza, realised that the perpetrators were trying to steal a notebook computer and a satchel which were on the table, she held on tightly to the items. The attackers dragged her from her bench onto the ground causing an injury to her left knee and wounds to her head. A third acquaintance suffered a black eye and a cut to his temple from a flying bottle (unzensuriert.at, 15 October).

The mainstream Frankfurter Allgemeine provided additional detail suggesting the perpetrators knew their victims:

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Social Justice: An Analysis (Part 4)

Below is the final part of a four-part guest essay by Richard Cocks about Social Justice. Previously: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Social Justice: An Analysis

Part 4
by Richard Cocks

Who gets to be a student?

In the 1980s in New Zealand, university students tended to be the children of parents who had also been university students. This was at a time when only five percent of the population was admitted to college. Universities were funded by the government at great expense and reserved for the academically capable. Standards were high, with no grade inflation. Every student was literate and/or numerate and tended to be interested in his studies. Nearly every student pursued his own reading agenda and most would take an interest in classical literature and foreign (i.e., difficult) movies.

This fact about the parentage of university students was presented as a problem.

However, far from being unfair, it only stands to reason. The children of academically successful people are likely to have inherited a higher genetically derived intelligence. They are more likely to be exposed to a larger vocabulary from their parents, along with relatively sophisticated concepts. Their parents are likely to read to them and to treat education as valuable and important. There will likely be easy access to books with frequent trips to the library. The parents are more likely to be exemplary role models in their own reading habits. Academic subjects might be treated as interesting and discussed around the dinner table.

Many of these New Zealand students grew up wanting to be educated and knowledgeable. Some of it was just vanity and fear — not wanting to be the only person at the party who did not know about, say, Freud.

In my own case, long before attending university, “The Academic Calendar,” a bound book in which all university courses were listed along with their reading requirements, would be eagerly examined. Practically salivating at the books that would be read and discussed, fantasies of alternative course loads ensued. Imitating a friend of the family meant wanting from the age of seven to be a philosophy professor, before even knowing what philosophy really was.

The advantages of having university-educated parents were ones of class, family and genetic inheritance. Are those advantages fair? They are neither fair nor unfair. They are certainly an undeserved good fortune a.k.a. luck.

Crucially, what is the alternative to such a state of affairs?

Social justice would require “fixing” these advantages. One problem with this is that a student who is less able, less literate, less motivated, less interested, with a smaller vocabulary, having read fewer books would take the other’s place. This is a poor use of resources and creates its own unfairness. The other problem is that social justice attempts a kind of unknowable counterfactual — one of putting someone where they would have been had not social, familial and genetic factors counted against him. Sowell points out that social justice requires non-existent God-like abilities to determine what might have been.

Unintended consequences of social justice

One thing that was attempted in many countries to try to counteract disadvantages acquired “through no fault of their own” was to take children away from parents who were poor, unemployed, perhaps drug- or alcohol-addicted, unsuccessful, with bad attitudes towards education and industriousness and to put those children in more middle-class and successful households. This happened to Australian Aboriginal children and to Native American children among others. This attempt at cosmic justice is now regarded as an abomination, though it was well-meaning. Ripping such children from their birth home changes their likely educational and employment attainments positively, but destroys families and the parent/child bond. It is now completely out of fashion and widely condemned.

However, the desire for cosmic justice continues in other forms and similar sorts of things result from it.

In the 1960s liberal judges argued that amateur criminals often implicated themselves in ways that professional offenders would not. Bizarrely, the judges wanted to even the playing field for the amateurs and instituted the Miranda Rights rule. This means more violent criminals wandering the streets, getting off on technicalities, and more difficulty in prosecuting them. A certain number of extra victims will have died as a result of judges’ wanting amateur criminals to avoid conviction as often as the professionals. Those living in high-crime areas such as inner cities will have particularly suffered, and a very high proportion will have been black. Similarly, justices wanted hard-luck stories concerning murderer’s childhoods to be considered, even though there is no way to tell how much this contributed to their offending. These kinds of considerations mean murder trials commonly extend for three years at great expense, while violent criminals are out on bail.

“Social justice” for criminals means more victims, rapes and deaths, especially among the poor.

Traditional justice means one rule for all. Social justice for vicious murderers means the punishment will vary depending on how bad the killer’s childhood was. This means a different punishment for two criminals who commit the same crime. A criminal who could prove he had a particularly harsh childhood could expect a reduced punishment. Reducing the punishment means there is less of a disincentive to offend. If anything that contributes to his greater chance of offending should mean a lighter sentence, then the rule that criminals with bad childhoods should get lighter sentences will justify giving criminals even lighter sentences, thereby reducing the disincentive to offend, ad infinitum.

Affirmative action programs in California, for instance, were shown to actually reduce the graduation rates of blacks and Hispanics. By putting such students in colleges for which they did not qualify based on their grades, the students found themselves outgunned and at the bottom of their classes. This discouraging state of affairs tends to undermine self-confidence and reduce graduation rates. When the University of California system was forbidden by legal decisions to engage in affirmative action admission policies, the graduation rates of blacks and Hispanics rose by 55%.The number of doctorates among that group in the sciences went up 25% after affirmative action policies were banned. [1]

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You Say You Want a Revolution…

A few days ago I was looking through a box of old papers, vintage ca. 1970, and I found a copy of the 1966 Pelican edition of Volume 2 of The Bolshevik Revolution by E.H. Carr. Since the book hasn’t seen the light of day in forty-odd years, it’s in pretty good shape. I bought it in 1968 — for 9s6d, or about 48p, as a matter of interest — when I was studying for A-levels. My history teacher recommended that anyone who was planning to sit special papers (which I was) should read it in preparation for the exam.

E.H. Carr, if not an outright communist, was definitely a communist sympathizer and an apologist for Stalin. But that doesn’t detract from his work as a historian — like many of the comsymp historians, he was from the old school: researching history meant studying the facts and writing them up, with thorough annotation of sources. A historian might color his narrative with his own opinions, but he didn’t scamp the facts.

The same was true of Isaac Deutscher, an actual communist, whose biography of Stalin was also on my reading list back then. I read those books and others, discounted the bias of the writers, and accumulated a vast store of information about the Bolshevik Revolution and Soviet Russia, some of which is still stuck in my head today. Reading history written by commies never improved my opinion of communism — in fact, some of the ghastly truths about Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin contained in those books hardened my attitude even further. A few months ago, when I was arguing with Felix Quigley (who was our resident Marxist commenter for a while), he wanted to know where I got my bogus information about Lenin. My source was in fact the book shown above — I couldn’t remember the author’s name at that point, but I told him it was written by a communist or communist sympathizer.

Facts is facts. And they’re in there.

This book was the second of three volumes on the Bolshevik Revolution, which themselves were part of a series on the history of Soviet Russia. The blurb on the Pelican book says there were eight volumes, but I thought there were about fourteen — maybe Carr wrote more of them after 1966.

Anyway… The font size in the book is microscopic, so I know I’ll never read it again. Oh, for the days when I could read those tiny little black letters!

So here’s my proposal: I’ll put this in a book mailer and send it to anyone in the USA who would be interested in reading it. It’s in good condition; the spine is intact. There’s only a bit of yellowing and that coffee stain from 1968 at the top. I’m restricting it to recipients the USA because book rate is cheap, so I won’t mind paying the postage.

If you’d like it, email me with your address at gatesofvienna (at) chromatism (dot) net. A week from today I’ll compile a list of interested parties (if any), have Dymphna choose one of them at random, and mail it off to the lucky winner.

This book is dense with information. I noticed that there’s a big section on the NEP in the second half of it. That’s one of the more interesting developments in the early history of the Soviet Union.

Understanding Trump Voters: A Good Start

This long book review, only slightly shortened, is the most recent essay on the Witherspoon Institute’s website.

Pundits will be slicing and dicing the Trump Phenomenon ages hence. In the meantime, the authors of the book in question (and the reviewer, too) have captured well the American zeitgeist.

Sadly, in the almost-two-years since Trump took office, it is still impossible to know whether the wishes of the electorate will be honored by their representatives in Washington D.C.; so far there appear to be few, very few, men of good will there. Or women, either, for that matter. It resembles nothing so much as it does a Fellini film.

The bright spots on the political landscape are the Trump rallies that continue as the hallmark of his direct approach to average American people, people whom American MSM would barricade behind their wall of innuendo and fabrications. Trump’s clever work-around will be taken by future presidents to get past these jornolists.

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The Great Revolt: Understanding Real Trump Voters

by Carson Holloway

The country’s ruling elites misunderstood or ignored the concerns of a significant segment of the electorate. The Great Revolt suggests that those elites should move beyond lamenting the misfortune (to them) of Trump’s elevation to the presidency and ponder the mistakes on their part that made it possible.

Almost two years after the event, many Americans — even the most sophisticated political observers — are still astonished and perplexed by the results of the 2016 presidential election. “What happened?” many people wonder —including Hillary Clinton herself, who chose those words for the title of her election memoir. How did Donald Trump, the most unlikely presidential candidate in American history, ace Clinton and her party out of the presidency?

Was it a mere fluke? This, of course, is the explanation favored by many Democrats and even some Trump-averse Republicans. Trump, after all, lost the national popular vote, and his electoral triumph depended on eking out narrow popular vote victories in certain key states. No one can dismiss the possibility that, had one or two details played out differently — say, for example, had former FBI Director James Comey remained silent about his brief re-opening of the Clinton e-mail investigation — Clinton would have prevailed.

Or perhaps Trump’s victory was not a fluke, but rather a sign of a significant electoral realignment. This interpretation is favored by Trump’s most ardent supporters, and, no doubt, by the president himself. Trump may have lost the popular vote, but he won the electoral college vote handily — more handily than any Republican since 1988. Moreover, Trump “flipped” a number of states that had been reliably Democratic for decades. While he only won them narrowly, he far outperformed previous GOP nominees in those states.

It is only fair to acknowledge that Hillary Clinton was not alone in having her presidential aspirations thwarted by external factors; Trump faced a national press corps that seemed determined to destroy his candidacy from its inception. One can only wonder how much stronger his campaign might have been had the media chosen to act as a nonpartisan conduit of information instead of as an unpaid arm of the Clinton campaign.

Confronted with these competing plausible interpretations, how are we to understand the significance of the 2016 presidential election? Salena Zito and Brad Todd try to answer this important question in their excellent and fascinating study of Trump voters, The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics. As the subtitle suggests, the authors are inclined to believe that the 2016 election was no fluke but portends a reconfiguration of the forces that have traditionally shaped American politics. Nevertheless, they are properly cautious about whether Trump’s coalition can be held together and, if so, whether it can remain a governing majority for long.

Who Voted for Trump?

Zito, a journalist, and Todd, a Republican political consultant, make their task more manageable by choosing not to examine Trump supporters nationwide but instead to focus on a relatively narrow subset of them. They surveyed and did extensive interviews with Trump voters from ten counties in five states of America’s Great Lakes region: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

This approach serves the authors well. These states — and these voters — are where the difference was made and where there is something new to be learned. Most of Trump’s voters, after all, are a relatively well-known and well-understood breed: loyal, long-term Republicans in traditionally Republican states. In these Great Lakes states, however, we also find long-time non-voters and even Democrats (including, remarkably, Democratic Party and labor union activists) who were moved by Trump’s populist appeal either to vote for the first time or to walk away from the party around which they had organized their whole political lives.

The Great Revolt identifies and profiles seven kinds of voters essential to Trump’s winning coalition in these decisive states:

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Life after Google

Here’s the George Gilder book, Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, discussed in Dr Turley’s video.

Here is George Gilder’s Amazon page.

I am a fan of Gilder, especially his ideas about how wrong and damaging current feminism is – particularly for women. We talk frequently about what will happen when some beleaguered Europeans begin to come to life. Fems ought to worry about their fate when Western men awaken.

Men without women are “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” and those ignorant Fems are clueless. They have no idea.

The Handyman’s Tale

For readers who are unfamiliar with the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood — to which the following allegorical pastiche by JLH pays non-hommage — here’s the Wikipedia entry for the book.

The Handyman’s Tale

or

Margaret Atwood meets Quentin Tarantino

by JLH

Birth of a Nation

It happened in a place once called California. There was a surprising change of leadership in the national government, which had, until then, pursued a reasonable policy of social benefits for the poor to offset the incredible wealth amassed by the governing class and its consiglieri, and a sensible foreign policy of financial rewards for countries most likely to dislike and attack us. With the unexpected shift in leadership came a fanciful desire to improve an economy that successive bipartisan leaders had shown could not be improved; and a wrong-headed insistence that this country — like any other — should stand up for itself.

The final straws were perverted, “fundamentalist” interpretations of the 1st and 2nd Amendments. A brush-fire revolutionary movement formed, led by a retired power politician named Barbara Wrestler (known to friend and foe alike as “Barbie Bananas”). 10-term Governor Lunagleem was persuaded to declare the Feminist Nation of Westland, with the Golden Teddy Bear as its symbol. Its ready-made rallying cry was the title of the runaway bestseller, Cherchez la femme puissante. A widespread and visceral distaste for “flyover fundamentalism” among the elite of Westland was the impetus for a decree that the official philosophy of the new nation would be based upon principles outlined in the sociological milestone 50 Shades of Pink. The defining motto on the Teddy Bear seal of the new nation would be “allectio privus puellae” — To each her own.

Governor Lunagleem — in recognition of his long and faithful service in government, and his unflagging advocacy of women’s rights — was retired with great honors and offered, by way of exception, a passport that would not expire, should he ever decide to leave Westland and seek the presidency of that other country.

Offal

Our tale of life in the Feminist Democratic Republic of Westland is largely contained in the life of Offal. We first encounter him in the exclusively female- staffed public pre-school (there was no private schooling, except for the few daughters of highly placed officials), where he learned that a dispute between boys was decided on the basis of which boy was perceived to be the aggressor, who was then punished by being sent to an isolation corner for a while. A dispute between girls was resolved by a serious talk with an advisor, who would mediate an agreement between them. A dispute between a girl and a boy was regarded as Right versus Wrong or Good versus Evil. The girl was Right and the boy was Wrong. He was required to stand alone, as all the girls circled him and slapped his face — some angrily, some more kindly and softly. If he resisted — which became increasingly rare — he graduated to being Evil. He was made to lean his elbows on the teacher’s desk; and each girl was given a willow switch to strike his buttocks as she passed by. Offal and his classmates learned two lessons from this: 1)Never argue with a girl within view of any authority; 2) Never wear shorts to school — some girls will choose to whip the bare legs.

Bathroom facilities in schools, as in all public institutions, were of two kinds: Female and General. Offal’s introduction to this system was witnessing an outraged 7-year-old classmate complaining to their teacher that there was a girl standing at the urinals, observing and commenting. “Of course, dear,” the teacher told him kindly, “How else will she learn? She aspires to be a urologist.”

After the conditioning of pre-school, Life Entry School offered more substantive knowledge in arithmetic, reading, writing and the History of the Golden Teddy Bear Republic. All classes were issued waterproof helmets for their required, weekly depilatory shower. Boys were observed, to decide when they should be issued facial depilatory. The goal was no visible hair below the eyes. Everyone alike. There would be no returning to the era of “hairy-chested men.”

A companion program in the summer found every boy at “Summer Camp” — a more social than pedagogical training. Instead of a recorded version of Reveille, the day began with a loud call of “Soo-ee, Soo-ee, Pig! Pig! Pig!” Breakfast was sugarless oatmeal served in lengthy wooden trenchers referred to as “troughs” and a thick slice of bread. After eating, each boy carried his trencher past an open spigot, rinsing it off as he passed and stacking it upside down on the large drainboard. Lunch was beans with some salt pork in the same trencher, and bread. Supper was meatballs in tomato sauce, and bread, with a suety chocolate pudding for dessert. Each meal was presided over by watchful female counselors, who roamed between the long tables, noting when a boy seemed not to be eating, and rapping him across the back with a bamboo stick, saying, “Eat, Piggy, Eat!”

Activities during the day were various kinds of manual labor: moving boulders, leveling paths and roadways, gathering firewood from the surrounding woods. The great advantage for both “campers” and “counselors” was that this regimen facilitated an exhausted sleep. Nonetheless, the older boys were pulled — one by one — out of their bunks during the night and taken to one of the counselors’ cabins for what the counselors laughingly called, “Sex 101,” where they learned all the ways in which a woman could be pleased.

Offal never did know what the girls’ Summer Camp was like, but he noticed that with each end-of-summer return to school, the girls seemed to become more distant and contemptuous of the boys.

The final levels of public education — before girls went to one of the plethora of Westland universities, and the boys went to either blue- or white-collar trade schools — were also the closing phases in the treatment of male toxicity. Boys were separated into algorithmically selected groups and pulled from class twice a week to attend “de-masculinizing” clinics, where they were electronically connected to monitoring devices. Conducted by therapists working in pairs, the clinics featured 50-minute videos of young people at various activities. Blood pressure, pulse and skin temperature often spiked with one of three things: dangerous activities like cliff diving or dirt bike racing; warlike confrontations between males; the sight of an unexpected expanse of female skin. Every boy who registered a spike received an instantaneous electric jolt high inside his thighs. By the end of the second year, the attraction of danger, physical conflict and sex had dwindled to such an extent that images that had once caused a spike now barely registered. Many of the boys just closed their eyes or looked away.

Boys’ credits for graduation — aside from the masculine detoxification sessions — included the ability to read a newspaper, math through plane geometry (algebra and beyond were considered too intricate), a comfortable acquaintance with a computer and keyboard, and at least six credits in gardening/farming, tool-handling and crafts.

Thus well-trained in the necessary rules and attitudes of the Feminist Republic of Westland, Offal matured into a shy, comely young fellow. He was appointed to be a Domestic Worker, and was given a multi-year assignment as a handyman for three of the leading Wives in his designated community, doing yard work, animal husbandry and carpentry.

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The Swelling Tide of International Support for Tommy Robinson

Dr. Turley comments on the growing anger and the far-reaching consequences of Tommy’s arrest. With some good news for a change.

Here’s his book:

President Trump and Our Post-Secular Future: How the 2016 Election Signals the Dawning of a Conservative Nationalist Age

Here’s his bio:

Steve Turley (PhD, Durham University) is an internationally recognized scholar, speaker, and classical guitarist. He is the author of Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (Classical Academic Press) and The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age: Washings and Meals in Galatians and 1 Corinthians (T&T Clark). Steve blogs on the church, society and culture, education, and the arts at TurleyTalks.com. He is a faculty member at Tall Oaks Classical School in Bear, Delaware, where he teaches Theology, Greek, and Rhetoric, and Professor of Fine Arts at Eastern University. Steve lectures at universities, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His research and writings have appeared in such journals as Christianity and Literature, Calvin Theological Journal, First Things, Touchstone, and The Chesterton Review. He and his wife, Akiko, have four children and live in Newark, Delaware.

Please pray this is over soon or the B may starve to death… when I have no appetite, I can’t cook.

Weather or Not We Go Down

Just to the southwest of us are tornado warnings…and the weather is moving to the northeast.

My title comes from being in the middle of a book on the sinking of the Titanic…on April 14-15 1912, depending on where you were standing. As the author says, it was the first major catastrophe in a century that was to hold so very many.

I wonder if it ended the Edwardian Age?

The Other Side of the Night: The Carpathia, the Californian and the Night the Titanic was Lost

The author’s bio – from the Titanic to the first jihad:

Daniel Allen Butler, a maritime and military historian, is [also] the bestselling author of

“Unsinkable”: The Full Story of RMS Titanic,

Distant Victory: The Battle of Jutland and the Allied Triumph in the First World War,

and The First Jihad: The Battle for Khartoum and the Dawn of Militant Islam.

He is an internationally recognized authority on maritime subjects and a popular guest-speaker for several cruise lines.

Butler lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Daniel Allen Butler was educated at Hope College, Grand Valley State University, and the University of Erlangen.

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If it looks like nobody’s home, it’s because the lights here are out.

The Red Evolution IV: The Subversive Left, the Destabilising Left, the Antecedents of Generation Snowflake and the Ultimate Surrender of Rationality (Part Three)

The piece below is the third part of the latest in an occasional series of essays by our expatriate English correspondent Peter on the history of the Socialist Left in Britain. (Previously: Part 1, Part 2.)

The Red Evolution IV: The Subversive Left, the Destabilising Left, the Antecedents of Generation Snowflake and the Ultimate Surrender of Rationality

by Peter

THREE

By the mid-1970s, students had returned to those classes that would have them. Some had progressed to become lecturers while some lecturers had become professors, having produced books, theses, papers and other unintelligible documents of which only they could make sense, and about which only other academics cared. Others went into the professions and trades, earned a living and paid their taxes, but that was by no means the end of it. In the UK, particularly during the 1980s, we had the rise of political correctness in tandem with that of the Looney Left, except nobody used the term “political correctness” in those days — although “Looney Left,” was on the lips of many people, particularly those of the mainstream media since Political Correctness, or whatever it was they were calling it back then, had first manifested itself in Labour-controlled local authorities. In those days, these were seen as fair game for journalists of every political persuasion, especially those who sought to deflect public attention from the excesses of Margaret Thatcher.

For about twenty-five years, a scenario then unfolded which I would never have believed possible, had I not lived through it myself as the doctrine of the Frankfurt School insinuated itself into our daily working lives, though nobody could put a handle on it. We didn’t even have a name for it. Some places called it “equal opportunities,” but as Orwell himself put it, some people were more equal than others.

From just before 1980 until just after the end of the Millennium, the entire Western world was enslaved by this leftist creed, and many people still did not know what to call it. It was only after the publication of Allan Bloom’s book The Closing of the American Mind in 1987 that many of us first heard the phrase “Political Correctness”, by which time we were not so much submersed by it as being held under by some dark satanic hand and drowned in it. It was only during the first ten years of the Millennium that I was finally able to identify what had been going on, when I came upon an article on the Catholic Insight website entitled “The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to Corrupt” by Timothy Matthews. I downloaded the article and re-read it over and over again. It is still online and well worth a read. That article led me to “The New Dark Age — The Frankfurt School and Political Correctness” by Michael Minnicino and from there to a piece co-authored by William S. Lind and Paul Weyrich about Cultural Marxism as a conspiracy against traditional Judeo-Christian values.

At about this time, everyone seemed to have learned about the Frankfurt School and its activities, and the cat was well and truly out of the bag. Even a Guardian reporter sarcastically stated as an aside to an unconnected article that he had never even heard of the Frankfurt School, with that familiar swagger adopted by Guardian reporters and their far-left ilk.

I’d first come across the term Cultural Marxism in Melanie Phillips’ book Londonistan in 2006. When I checked out the various references, I used Wikipedia as a starting, point even though it is described as left-leaning, and therefore should be taken with a pillar of salt, the type I usually save for The Guardian. Initially, Wikipedia reflected faithfully the contents of Matthews’ article and I did not pursue the matter, at least not then. Some months later I double-checked the Wikipedia page and was shocked to find that it had been re-written. The part of the narrative that corresponded to Timothy Matthews’ article was now relegated to the status of a conspiracy theory rather than the full-blown conspiracy I believed it to be. Wikipedia stated that the primary purpose of the Frankfurt School was the development of Critical Theory, without attempting to explain what Critical Theory actually was — the arrogance of the Left never changes.

Suddenly the Left had started to bite back, as it always does, with lies, misrepresentation, abuse, superciliousness and the now-familiar supremacist attitude. Finally, they would resort to the three “Ss,”: Sneer, Smear and Slander. Firstly, they sneer at any opinion that contradicts the leftist narrative, often with an acidic air of condescension, as if they should not be expected to acknowledge the existence of a low-caste dissenter, never mind engage with him. Having attempted to undermine the conflicting message, they then turn on the messenger, whom they subject to a smear campaign which morphs into slander as time progresses. We have all seen something similar happen to conservative commentators over the last few years. The leftist internet response is rather like a mass leafleting campaign.

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Taxed to Death in America

Good news: you have two extra days until you have to write that check to the U.S. Treasury. Sell your campaign button collection, that ought to do it.

Here’s her book:

How Do I Tax Thee?: A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off

An excerpt from the editorial:

We all know the government taxes our pay: federal, state, and local taxes are withheld by employers, as are social security payments. But what about the many other ways the government drains money from our wallets? Have you studied your cell phone bill? Customers in New York State pay an average of 24.36% in federal, state and local taxes on their wireless bills. They’re also charged for obscure services they didn’t ask for and don’t understand like a universal service fund fee, an FCC compliance fee, a line service fee, and an emergency services fee. These aren’t taxes, strictly speaking. The government imposes these administrative and regulatory costs, and your wireless provider passes them along to you. But the effect is exactly the same.

What about your cable bill? Your power bill? Your water bill? The cost of a gallon of gas, a cab ride, a hotel stay and a movie ticket are all inflated by hidden fees. How much of what you pay at the pump, the box office, or the airport is really an indirect tax?

Good to see a libertarian from her generation. There’s hope.

By the way, look at New York City’s tax on a pack of smokes (in 2014. No doubt it’s gone up since then):

Thanks to New York’s laughably high cigarette taxes ($4.35 state plus another $1.60 in the city) and higher prices generally, a pack of smokes in New York City costs $14 or more.

That creates a powerful incentive to smuggle smokes in from states such as Virginia, where you can buy a pack for a third of that price. Fill a Ford Econoline van with a few hundred cartons and you can make a nice five-figure profit in a weekend. Some people do.

[“Some people” had better be careful they don’t run afoul of the crime syndicates who run tractor-trailer loads of un-taxed cigarettes up interstate 95 all the time. And the tobacco traffic increases mightily each time New York gets desperate for another tax hit. — D]

The robust cigarette smuggling irritates officials in New York, because they miss out on a lot of tax revenue. The trade irritates officials in Virginia for the same reason, because smugglers buy wholesale to avoid the retail sales tax.

There’s an easy fix for all of this: Cut New York’s cigarette taxes. (Virginia could hike its own tax, but then Virginia didn’t create this problem—New York did.) Yet cutting the cigarette tax would deprive New York of revenue, and we mustn’t have that, oh no. Besides, it would send the wrong signal. New York wishes to make people stop smoking, and punitive taxes are the way to do that without outright banning tobacco, which would be too obviously narrow-minded.

That whole post is interesting since it describes the garbage wars between New York and Virginia.

Yep, we take Yankee trash all the time. The future Baron visited The City a few years ago and one of the amazing sights (to him) was the huge numbers of green garbage bags piled everywhere – I think it was in The Village. His uncle used to say that we could take care of all the nuclear waste in the country by simply leaving it in green trash bags in random places around New York City. I thought this was funny until I found out those bags would end up here.

A Dystopian Masterpiece: Jack Vance’s “Wyst: Alastor 1716”

Notes from the Baron:

The following review by Thomas Bertonneau discusses Wyst, one of the finest novels written by the late Jack Vance.

Long-time readers know that my nom de plume is taken from Jack Vance’s work — not from a character in his fiction, but from an imaginary writer, scholar, and commentator named Unspiek, Baron Bodissey, who provided the (sometimes lengthy) disquisitions on history, sociology, and political economy that appeared as footnotes in the novels.

The cover of Wyst shown below is not from the currently available version of the book, but from the original published by DAW Books, the first printing in 1978. I scanned it from my own Vance collection, and then de-yellowed it.

A Dystopian Masterpiece: Jack Vance’s Wyst: Alastor 1716

by Thomas F. Bertonneau

Towards the end of a long life, the American genre writer — and merchant seaman, jazz-man, and master of many trades — Jack Vance (1916-2013) produced an amusing autobiography entitled This is Me, Jack Vance! (2009); the book also carried a parenthetical and apologetic subtitle, Or, More Properly, This is I. In the subtitle Vance takes a jocund swipe at grammatical pedantry, and therefore at pedantry and Puritanism generally speaking, but he also affirms his passion for order, of which grammar is the linguistic species, without which (order, that is) freedom and justice, both of which he held as dear as anything, would be impossible.

There are a number of scholarly anthologies devoted to Vance’s authorship and at least one book-length single-author study of his fiction, Jack Rawlins’ Dissonant Worlds of Jack Vance (1986). It is a pity, however, that no intellectual biography of Vance exists. This is Me gives the essential details of its writer’s curriculum vitae, but it is largely bereft of information concerning Vance’s artistic-philosophical formation. So is Rawlins’ study, although it remains otherwise useful. If only, like Henry Miller, Vance had written his version of The Books in my Life! Concerning Vance’s artistic-philosophical formation, however, one might plausibly infer and arguably surmise a few probabilities. A writer is liable to be a reader, a prolific writer a prolific reader. A merchant seaman, as Vance remarks in his autobiography, finds himself with a good deal of time on his hands. Vance, who had briefly studied English at the University of California Berkeley, spent long stretches at sea during the Second World War, with a good deal of time on his hands. Two plausible guesses in respect of books that would have impressed themselves profoundly on Vance as he passed his time in their company are The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père and The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler.

The Count of Monte Cristo would have supplied Vance with a plotline, that of righteous and carefully plotted vengeance against arrogant and powerful offenders, which he used in his own brilliant way many times. Two books of Vance’s Alastor trilogy, Trullion (1973) and Marune (1975), are vengeance stories, as are all five volumes of The Demon Princes (1964 — 1981).

As it did for F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, and the science fiction writer James Blish, among innumerable others, The Decline of the West would have deepened Vance’s sense of meaning and large-scale patterning in history; and it would have stimulated his interest in the comparison of cultures. In Spengler’s theory of the Great Cultures, as he called them, each Great Culture has a distinct physiognomy (Spengler’s term) that imprints and flavors its institutional manifestations and pervades the mental outlook of its every individual. A major element of Vance’s fiction is to establish through detailed description the distinct physiognomies — or as he calls it in a coinage of his own, the esmeric — of his fictional worlds and their societies. The Decline would also have honed Vance’s sensitivity to the crisis of European civilization, just as it had for Fitzgerald and Miller. Once again, the breakdown of social structures and the descent of civilization into renewed barbarism interest Vance almost obsessively. Vance’s authorship contains many other signs of Spengler’s background presence, not least in its tendency to insert extended philosophical discussions, sometimes as footnotes, into the unfolding story. In Vance’s later work, commencing with The Demon Princes, references occur to a certain “Baron Bodissey,” who seems to have been the Spengler of the settled cosmos, or the “Gaean Reach,” in the long-colonized solar systems of which, and among immensely old societies, Vance’s stories tend to occur. Spengler saw his Great Cultures as living entities. Vance’s Ecce and Old Earth (1991) quotes Bodissey’s study of “The Morphology of Settled Places,” in which he argues that “towns behave in many respects like living organisms,” a decidedly Spenglerian proposition.

Wyst: Alastor 1716 (1978), the third installment of Vance’s Alastor trilogy, falls somewhat outside the vengeance pattern of its two precursor installments although its denouement entails an act of supremely satisfying justice. Part of Wyst’s interest lies in the fact that it instantiates Vance’s knack for dystopian satire, the object of the satire being in this case the phenomenon of socialism, with its cult of egalitarianism. Before getting into the details, however, of Vance’s Spenglerian critique of the welfare state, a bit of context urges itself. The Alastor trilogy takes its overall title from its cosmic setting — Vance’s “Alastor Cluster.” As Wyst’s prefatory chapter explains, “Alastor Cluster, a node of thirty thousand live stars, uncounted dead hulks and vast quantities of interstellar detritus, clung to the inner rim of the galaxy with the Unfortunate Waste before, the Nonestic Gulf beyond and the Gaean Reach a sparkling haze to the side.” Of the thirty thousand solar systems that constitute the Cluster, three thousand are inhabited. The word alastor, not at all incidentally, stems from an ancient Greek name for an avenging spirit. The protagonists of Trullion and Marune indeed act as agents of retributive desert, but in matters of private offense. In Wyst Vance invokes justice rather than vengeance. In the early chapters of the novel, Vance’s protagonist and point-of-view character Jantiff Ravensroke functions as a perceptive visitor to and observer of the planetary “Egalist” society of Wyst. Readers gain their sense of Wyst’s cultural physiognomy through Ravensroke’s experiences, as he attempts to assimilate himself in a new and in many ways shocking environment. In the later chapters of the novel, while becoming increasingly involved with his new acquaintances, Ravensroke functions as a responsible citizen of the Cluster who feels the moral compulsion, at rising risk to his life, to report to the highest authority about wicked machinations unfolding on Wyst concerning which he has apprised himself. Ravensroke’s visit to Wyst, which he had undertaken for artistic reasons, becomes an ordeal and, pitting himself against a murderous conspiracy, he discovers his capacity for heroic action.

The highest authority in Alastor Cluster resides in the office of the Connatic. In the Connatic, Vance has taken a somewhat preposterous stock figure from pulp-era science fiction — the sovereign of a stellar empire, as in Edmund Hamilton’s Star Kings or Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy — and reinvented it in his own masterful way. The Connatic, who rules the Cluster from a towering architectural complex at archipelagic Lusz on the planet Numenes, incorporates traits from Shakespeare’s Henry IV and from the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius. Like Henry IV, the Connatic sometimes goes in disguise among his people in order to discover their disposition. Like Marcus Aurelius, the Connatic is a philosopher who is nevertheless prepared to act, having at his command an immense and super-competent diplomatic corps and the “Whelm,” a potent military force. In the opening chapter of Wyst, receiving four representatives of the Egalist society in his tower, and being criticized by one of them for his “position of unnatural privilege,” the Connatic replies: “I am I, who by reason of events beyond my control am Connatic. If I were someone else, I would not be Connatic; this is indisputable.” In that hypothetical case, however, “He, like I, would ponder the singularity of his condition.” The irascible ambassadors know not what to make of it. They take up again their crass demands on behalf of their world. The Connatic, whose name implies the cognitive faculty, knows these petitioners for precisely who they are. Vance bestows on the Connatic an encyclopedic knowledge of the planetary societies that he oversees and a near-instantaneous and deeply penetrating intuition in respect of character-nuance and political implication. He, too, is practiced in the Spenglerian art of physiognomic tact.

That Ravensroke should come to the attention of the Connatic partakes of the inevitable. Vance has endowed on Ravensroke artistic percipience, curiosity, and openness to experience so that, in a novice’s way, he resembles the Connatic in his talents. Ravensroke originates on the many-islanded largely aquatic planet Zeck at a place called Frayness, where custom dictates that those entering on adulthood declare a profession and begin to fashion themselves to live by it. (In other words — the usual way of life!) Ravensroke finds that he cannot declare for any customary profession, although his family would like him to do so, but he knows himself to possess a contextually eccentric talent for landscape and portrait and he would like to cultivate it. One night, in order to escape the tension with his parents and siblings, Ravensroke appropriates the family houseboat and steers it to a remote place. At dusk, while “water moths fluttered among the leaves,” Ravensroke hears from the sea “the sound of quiet voices in measured discussion.” The “sea-voices” elude clear audition: “The meaning… always just evaded intelligibility.” These susurrations haunt Ravensroke, to use Vance’s verb; and his acknowledgment of them indicates both his attunement to the world and his talent for attentive, non-egocentric awareness of his environment.

It is during his solitude that he learns fatefully of Wyst. Someone has left a copy of The Transvoyer, presumably a newspaper, on the table in the houseboat’s kitchen. A front page headline refers to “THE ARRABIN CENTENARY,” Arrabus being the inhabited continent of Wyst, and the story having been filed from Uncibal, “the mighty city beside the sea.” According to the story, which in hindsight appears to be rank Egalist propaganda, the people of Wyst live in a “dynamic society, propelled by novel philosophical energies.” As for the Arrabin goal, the article describes it as “human fulfillment, in a condition of leisure and amplitude,” which the society has achieved “by a drastic revision of traditional priorities.” On the other hand, as readers later learn, Arrabins not only disdain but anathematize anyone who “wants to do something… extraordinary and individualistic.” That would be “non-mutual” and “mutualism” is a major tenet of Egalism. The extravagant ideological claims of the journal article exercise less compulsion on Ravensroke, however, than the article’s reference to “the remarkable light of the sun Dwan,” under the luminosity of which “every surface quivers with its true and just color.” The aesthetic allure wins him over. He resolves to travel to Wyst to refine his skills as a painter and photographer.

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Poor Jordan Peterson

He truly believes in the myth of the soi-disant “moderate” Muslim.

Perhaps our Canadian readers can take up a collection to buy for Dr. Peterson the definitive book on Sharia law:

Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik

The reason I’m not suggesting the excellent work of, say, Robert Spencer or Bill Warner, is that in order to truly understand a subject – to “stand under” it – one has to begin by reading its own documents. The blurb on “Reliance” states:

This is a classic manual of fiqh rulings based on Shafi”i School of jurisprudence and includes original Arabic texts and translations from classic works of prominent Muslim scholars such as al Ghazali, al Nawawi, al Qurtubi, al Dhahabi and others. It is an indispensable reference for every Muslim or student of Islam who needs to research on Islamic rulings on daily Muslim life.

The Baron will remember when it was that we bought our own copy (I find the past becoming one fluid succession of moments). But I well remember the price since I do all our online ordering. It cost $30.00 back then. Thus, when “Reliance” arrived, I was surprised to see how beautifully bound it was. I wondered then if it were not being subsidized by some Sunni group (not a book for Shi’ites – another distinction Jordan Peterson will have to learn).

At the time, there were fewer than a dozen reader reviews and many of them were written by devout Muslims. The times have certainly changed; current top reviews (i.e., five-star verified purchases) are decidedly against the book whilst still recommending that one buy it.

Today the price stands at $56.00, but still worth it for those who want to be thoroughly informed about what it means to live under Sunni Sharia Law.

Here’s one review [edited]:

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Paul Weston’s Cri de Coeur

I am tardy in posting Paul Weston’s response to the by-now infamous take-down of Ms. Newman by Dr. Peterson on Channel Four. The views on what I think of as the “We’re All Lobsters Now, Kathy” “interview” are up to five-and-a-half million by now and I’m sure that’s not the end of it.

Paul sent his response to us right after he posted it on YouTube, and I was quite taken by his own verbal evisceration of the crabby Inquisitor Newman. Nobody does it as well as the English, eh?

But beyond that, Paul’s despair over Britain’s current state was a sentiment I’ve often shared about the overwhelmingly ugly condition of our MSM mafia. [They were out in full force after President Trump’s State of the Union speech. And during his speech, the Democrats sat there like stone gnomes.]

Meanwhile, Dr. Peterson’s book continues to sell well.

I don’t know the total numbers of books sold, but I’ve little doubt they’re waaay up in that Pareto distribution Dr. Peterson likes to quote.

After the ugly attack against a Canadian professor simply trying to hawk his book, his London publisher arranged an evening’s talk for him. Or perhaps it had already been arranged as part of his publicity tour. But anyone familiar with the Peterson Effect could have told his publicists that one talk wouldn’t be enough. They ended up holding three events, each one successively larger. And they sold his autographed books at all of them. JBP might still be there, had his schedule not required him to move on to the Netherlands.

Below the fold is the third lecture in the London series. As usual, he demonstrates a firm grasp of his subject. He speaks without notes though he admits he can’t always remember the chapter titles for his book, which is why he had his own copy.

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