Monday, May 29, 2017

White genocide discussed on CNN show as "a kind of utopia" and "the only solution"

What a world we live in. In the clip below two middle-aged men discuss Angela Merkel's open borders immigration policy. One is a celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain. The other is an Austrian chef, painter and artist, René Stessl.

The conversation begins with Bourdain asking if it's possible to assimilate the million immigrants that Merkel brought into Germany in a single year. Stessl answers that it's possible, but he fears that it will lead to a right-wing resurgence. Both men then assert that Europe is falling back into the politics of the 1930s.

Stessl then says "I'm allowed to be naïve and talk about utopias. It's a kind of utopia, just the fact that the whole world will mix up with each other. That in 70, 80 years there will be no white people anymore and only cappuccino coloured people."

Bourdain replies "That's the only way. This is the only solution. It's our only hope. It's our way out of this. It's going to take some time. But it's really the only way. The Singaporean model where everybody is so mixed up that you really don't know who to hate because everybody is so hopelessly intertwined."

Note how Bourdain can only conceive of identity in terms of hatred, rather than positively as an expression of love for one's own tradition. Note too that he can only conceive of Nazism as an alternative to hedonistic individualism.

We just have to keep building a political opposition to these kind of men. The "diversity" that they support doesn't include us - we are to be bred out of it. Utopia will come, they believe, once we are gone. Stessl articulates this thought exactly: "I'm allowed about utopias...That in 70, 80 years time there will be no white people anymore."

The progressive utopia is no longer a society without the bourgeoisie but one without us.

It is no longer sensible for ordinary white people to support progressive "ideals" - why support a politics that is so openly hostile to your existence?


Melbourne Traditionalists meeting

The next meeting of the Melbourne Traditionalists is coming up soon. It's a great opportunity for interested people in Melbourne to catch up for an evening. We have a great venue, enjoy a drink and a meal and discuss a wide range of topics. If you're interested in coming along you can contact me for the details at swerting (at) or Mark Moncrieff via his website, Upon Hope.

Modern Family

In my last post I criticised Sarah Vine for suggesting that the freedom of Western girls to "be whoever" is what defines the West.

It led to a brief discussion on parenting which clarified for me one of the problems we face. Mark Moncrieff (of Upon Hope) commented that:
I think the most important word here is the word "raise", children need to be raised. But "being free to be whoever they want to be" implies that children can raise themselves.

Which led to my own (disjointed) comment in reply:
That's a good way of putting it. And you can imagine why this is so. If you are a liberal and you think that there are no objectives purposes in life and that people should just "be themselves" however they see fit, then there is little purpose to parenting your child - there is nothing definite to raise them toward. Parenting just comes to mean accepting unconditionally. Not imposing anything. Giving the child confidence to "be anything you care to be". The parents are just there to ferry the child around as a kind of support crew, rather than transmitting culture, identity, purpose, wisdom, values.

This is not the only reason why the traditional role of the parent has been undermined. It's more difficult now for parents to set the tone within the family home, given the arrival of portable, wi-fi devices (at least 20 years ago you could simply change the TV channel). But 20 years ago, many middle-class parents were happy enough if their children were raised for the purposes of educational qualifications and career, and so the traditional role of parents in socialising their children was largely left to schools.

This is clearly one issue where it is not enough to be "conservative" (in the sense of conserving the good in society) - we have to be restorationist. We have to restore an older understanding of the parental role, which means giving parents confidence that transmitting ideals of character, of natural sex roles, of identity and loyalty, and of life wisdom are significant to the development and the future well-being of their children.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What are we defending?

The Western political class is still responding dismally to terror attacks, such as the one perpetrated on young people in Manchester.

I want to focus on one response in particular, by Sarah Vine in the Daily Mail. Sarah Vine is the wife of a leading Conservative Party politician, Michael Gove. They both support Brexit and might be thought of as "establishment conservative" types.

Sarah Vine reacted to the terror attack this way:

So what we are defending, against the terrorists, is Western girls' freedom to be whoever they want to be. That is how Sarah Vine sees things.

She writes:
...this was not just a cowardly attack on innocent civilians by a blackened heart, this was specifically an attack on our girls — all of them.

Our young, beautiful, free, crazy girls — and their right to live life as they choose.

...Young women enjoying themselves, expressing themselves, being free to be whoever they want to be. Indulgent mums accompanying them, willing to endure an evening of pop hell in the interests of family harmony.

All this is anathema to Islamist fanatics, for whom notions such as sexual equality and female emancipation are an offence.

Sarah Vine is giving us a choice here between Islamic terrorists or "liberated" Western women who are free to do whatever they want. To put this another way, she is defining the West in terms of the liberal value of individual autonomy - a freedom of the individual to self-define or self-determine or self-constitute.

The problems with this approach leap out at you. First, if the great thing is to be whoever you want to be, then the value of a stable, given identity, such as being English, falls in significance. Therefore, the path is made clear for an open-bordered, diverse society in which the population no longer has a shared, long-standing common identity and loyalty to each other. And so you end up living amongst people who hate you and your way of life and wish violence upon you. Being whoever you want to be as an atomised individual leaves you vulnerable to attack - in the long run the terrorists win.

The "be whoever" attitude also fails the girls themselves. Sarah Vine describes quite well the behaviour of young teenage girls:
Girls this age are a special kind of crazy — a wonderful, maddening, mystifying mix of emotions.

One minute they’re trying to persuade you that wearing fishnet tights under a pair of ripped jeans is a perfectly acceptable ensemble for a trip to church, the next they’re in floods of tears because they’ve lost their hamster.

They are a mass of contradictions: monosyllabic, moody and manipulative, but also gentle and loving, as capable of throwing their arms around you in a heart-stopping embrace as they are of telling you they hate you.

If you leave these 14-year-olds to be whoever they want to be you are going to end up with dysfunctional adult women. These girls need their parents to raise them within a strong moral framework which will help to form a good character and encourage wise life choices.

What you don't want is 20-something women who are still a mass of contradictions and a special kind of crazy. Women like this tear apart men and tear down a culture of family life. And they don't inspire young men to want to defend them or, for that matter, the larger society. So, again, in the long run the terrorists win.

Saying "be whoever you want to be" implies that there is nothing strong or wise or virtuous or true that people can aspire to be. It implies that there is no natural telos to being a man or a woman. It suggests that there is no higher character type that we can lift ourselves toward as Englishmen or Australians or Canadians.

A liberal "freedom as radical individual autonomy" just doesn't work as the basis for a civilisation. Sarah Vine believes that we are defending it against the terrorists, but the urgent need is to return to the higher values that existed before liberalism became so dominant in the West.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The evangelical churches & feminism

There is a clear, well-written post on the influence of feminism on the American evangelical churches here. A quick, worthwhile read.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What do Chinese net users think of the white left?

If a Chinese net user wants to insult their opponent they are likely to use the derogatory term baizuo which means "white left." What do they mean by this?

According to one source:
baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

Why would ordinary Chinese people dislike the Western left so much? Here is the reason given:
The stigmatization of the ‘white left’ is driven first and foremost by Chinese netizens’ understanding of ‘western’ problems. It is a symptom and weakness of the Other.

The term first became influential amidst the European refugee crisis, and Angela Merkel was the first western politician to be labelled as a baizuo for her open-door refugee policy. Hungary, on the other hand, was praised by Chinese netizens for its hard line on refugees, if not for its authoritarian leader. Around the same time another derogatory name that was often used alongside baizuo was shengmu (圣母) – literally the ‘holy mother’ – which according to its users refers to those who are ‘overemotional’, ‘hypocritical’ and ‘have too much empathy’.

Many Chinese on social media came to identify Hillary Clinton with the white left and so supported Donald Trump in the American election. When one public intellectual, Rao Yi, took the opposing view,
An overwhelming majority of Zhihu users thought that Rao had only proved that he was typical of the ‘white left’: biased, elitist, ignorant of social reality and constantly applying double standards.

The Chinese seem aware that a modern liberal politics is suicidal:
According to Baidu Trends, one of the most related keywords to baizuo was huimie: “to destroy”. Articles with titles such as ‘the white left are destroying Europe’ were widely circulated.

To understand why the Chinese might reject the white left so firmly, it helps to consider moral foundations theory. This is a theory popularised by Professor Jonathan Haidt. Based on research into different cultures around the world, it was found that there are six basic moral foundations:

1. The care/harm foundation: the focus here is on maximising individual care and minimising harm, protecting the vulnerable.

2. The fairness foundation: not cheating the system, people rewarded according to their contributions.

3. The loyalty/betrayal foundation: being loyal to our tribe/team (including patriotism).

4. The authority/subversion foundation: respecting the authority or hierarchy necessary to preserve social order.

5. The sanctity/degradation foundation: protecting a sense of what is hallowed or sacred in institutions and ideals.

6. Liberty/oppression: not wanting to be dominated/bullied by a tyrant.

What Haidt found was that Western liberals are very strong on the first foundation (and also to a degree the sixth) but are not very committed to the others. Traditionalists, in contrast, were found to hold all six foundations in equal regard.

If, then, you are a Chinese net user, who is used to taking all six moral foundations into account, you are likely to perceive the white left negatively. You will see them putting all the emphasis on the first foundation (care/harm) - hence the criticism of the white left as being "hengmu:" overemotional, hypocritical empathisers. Similarly, the lack of emphasis on fairness (as proportionality) on the left leads to the criticism by the Chinese of the support by the white left for free riders. And, finally, the lack of a concern for the loyalty foundation leads the white left open to the accusation by the Chinese of destroying their own tradition.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Templates of resistance

If you were to go back even 30 years the template of resistance to liberalism was limited. There were journals in which people could signal an intellectual or cultural superiority to leftists, without much passion or focus on changing things. The template changed a little with the advent of the internet, with a group of more intellectually principled intellectuals emerging. More recently the template changed again with a much larger and more combative opposition using social media.

There are still some key changes to be made to the template. We can become more activist and more willing to establish our own communities. You can see the potential for this in recent months. The Battle for Berkeley demonstrated that the dissident right can hold its own against the far left.

But there still needs to be a psychological shift on our side of politics. For this reason, I am closely following the efforts of the Identitarians in Europe to organise an activist opposition to the smuggling of illegal immigrants. Even if it doesn't succeed in closing down the smuggling rings, it can still be important in helping our side break through to a newer, more activist template.

I have to congratulate Lauren Southern for helping to publicise the campaign. She joined the Identitarians in steering a small boat toward one of the smuggling ships - she was detained by the coastguard for doing this. In the video below she talks with Martin Sellner, an Austrian Identitarian, about a plan to launch a more ambitious campaign against the ships:

The Identitarians have put out a publicity video of their own:

It's important that traditionalists here in Australia also help shift the template toward a more active politics. We've become involved in a few initiatives in recent months and we have decided as well to raise some money to help fund the Identitarian campaign. We're encouraging those attending our next meeting in June to bring along a donation, and we'll send this off as a group (if you're a Melbournian interested in our group feel free to contact myself at swerting (at) or Mark Moncrieff via his website Upon Hope).

If readers are considering donating to the Identitarian efforts you can do so via the official campaign website.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

When you have to get your wife's permission

Dalrock has a tragicomic post up about an evangelical organisation in America running a programme called "Stepping up". The programme calls on men to "courageously lead at home, at church, at work, and in their communities." But here's the catch: the evangelical men leading the programme talk at length about how to get wives to "give permission" so that husbands are allowed to attend the "courageous male leader" seminars.

I laughed at the situation, even though it highlights just how far things have deteriorated. Modern marriage restricts men from carrying out the role they are supposed to play not only within the family but also within society. In this sense it is emasculating.

Men should, without fear of committing a fatal marital "infraction,"  be able to:

1. Step in when their sons are still young in order to begin the process of socialising the boy toward a successful masculine adulthood (you would be surprised by how many mothers intervene to prevent this, pushing the father away from this paternal role).

2. Dedicate some of their time and energies to their civilisational role outside the home, even if this is unpaid.

3. Socialise with other men, or else have leisure time for masculine pursuits (e.g. hiking, gym).

This should be so embedded within the culture that it becomes an expectation rather than something requiring a special dispensation from women.

Maybe one day Western men will not be nervously asking permission from their wives to "courageously lead at home, at church, at work, and in their communities."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Do men and women love the same way?

It seems to me that men and women love differently. When a young man forms feelings of love for a woman, he tends to idealise her. He experiences love as a finer feeling within himself; a feeling that makes him want to dedicate himself to the object of his love, which then means that the young woman has to be thought of in positive terms as beautiful, as good, perhaps even as pure. This elevation of women to match his own elevated feelings sometimes gets out of hand, and leads to a pedestalisation of women, sometimes in Western culture to absurd proportions. It also helps to explain why, in traditional Western cultures, there was a particular emphasis placed on women to live up to certain ideals of beauty, goodness and purity - and such a disappointment when they didn't.

(You only have to look at Western art up to 1914 to get a sense of this distinctly masculine love for women. Note too that when Western artists began to turn destructively on their own civilisation, one of the first things they did was to do the very opposite of traditional culture and portray women as ugly, malformed, diseased and slatternly - see German art of the 1920s as an example of this - Otto Dix springs to mind. It's interesting too that the small number of Western women who are now trying to reclaim love and family are instinctively beginning to uphold the values of beauty and purity in women. It is also why the red pill is such a difficult thing for men: once a man comes to believe that "women are not all that" he tends to turn away from marital love as a major focus of his life and turns instead to some form of self-development or self-completion.)

It is possible for women to love their husbands in a way that is difficult for men to comprehend. A man does not want to store up infractions committed by his wife in his mind, because this would undermine the picture he has of her that is necessary for him to love at all. But a woman can, in a certain way, live with both. She can store up infractions, but still allow a measured amount of affection toward her husband - enough, at least, to keep the relationship going.

Let's say that a woman has her first child. Her husband does his best to work to support her, but she feels stressed by the experience nonetheless. She forms a negative judgement about her husband regarding this, which is then placed in a compartment of her mind and stays there forever. At times, she will complain to others about the deficit of her husband. If a man were to do this (store up infractions), it would spell the immediate end of any affectionate relationship on his part. But not so for the wife. She can still allow a certain "line" of affection toward her husband, whilst holding back a certain amount at the same time. Typically, it seems, the woman is likely to hold back initially in the bedroom, either by limiting the amount of sex or perhaps by allowing the physical side of sex to take place but not the emotional bonding (she withholds some aspect or quality or depth of love).

This kind of thing can go on for the entire duration of the marriage, with the marriage still ultimately being successful. However, it can also go wrong. Usually, it goes wrong when the bank of infractions grows so much in the woman's mind that she decides to end the marriage. Oddly (from a male perspective) she might still allow the line of affection to continue right to the end (she can "love" in a certain way even while planning to dissolve her marriage) leaving her husband blindsided.

But it can also go wrong in another way. If the "line" of affection thrown out by the woman is too light, a man can get to middle-age, having worked decades on behalf of his wife, and feel that the marriage has been one-sided and that there has not been the pair bonding he expected. His children will have grown more independent, his wife will have aged and he might then no longer be able to sustain the idealisation of his wife - it will tire him mentally to try to hold to it (there are other reasons too for a man to reach this point, such as depression, ill-health, work problems etc.)

It's interesting that the main type of infraction that women hold onto relates to time and money. If a man works long hours and earns a lot, he might be thought to spend too much time away from home. If his job allows him to spend much time at home, then a wife might think he should be out earning more money. If he has a good balance, his wife might then think he should both be out working more as well as spending more time at home. If a man spends any of his time neither working nor at home (say, volunteering for something) this might be thought of as a nuclear level infraction, even though a woman might also view a man without a good social network as lacking status and attractiveness.

So it's generally not possible for a man to avoid infractions. The best he can do is to choose a wife who is relatively forgiving, relatively stable in her relationships, and who has not become jaded in her ability to pair bond.

I also think it would be better if a society made it clear that a man's true purpose (his telos) is both domestic and civilisational. Part of his role is to provide for his family and to be a husband/father, but he should also be able to devote some time and energy to contribute to the larger community he belongs to. It also seems reasonable that he might have some leisure time to spend with other men.

You can see some of all this at work in a piece at Slate titled "You will hate your husband after your kid is born" by Jancee Dunn. It is about how stressful having a first baby can be for a new mum and how mums will take it out on the person doing the most to support them - their husbands. She is still trying to get over it seven years later.

It seems to me that it is possible, when it comes to the newborn child issue, that the real problem is that we are trying to replace grandmothers with husbands. A husband can work either a great or a small amount to support a wife with a newborn and it doesn't seem to register either way in terms of a woman feeling supported. A woman really does seem to need her mother in this situation (even a sympathetic mother-in-law might be a more effective option than a husband in providing a sense of support).

Monday, May 08, 2017

France 2017

I wrote a poem about the French election (easier to read if you click the image):

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Lauren Southern: what every girl needs to hear

In the video below, Lauren Southern points out to young women that the "liberated" path they are often encouraged to take, namely of having many sexual partners and of delaying finding a husband, often leads to unhappiness. It squanders the advantages that a young woman has in securing her future and undermines the ability of women to successfully pair bond (she has some interesting statistics on this).

Some anecdotal support for this video. I've been reading some of the newspaper columns lately of Clem Bastow, a 34-year-old Melbourne journalist. When she turned 30 she wrote:
It’s finally here: I’m finally 30 and flirty and thriving...I don't feel any dread...I mean, who knows, I may wake up tomorrow sobbing and wondering where it all went wrong, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m feeling pretty confident...I don’t have any crushing sense of existential dread about the big 3-0.

But her more recent columns show someone who is jaded and feeling the effects of hitting the wall. In one of her pieces, she confesses that she has given up on dating and has bought a single bed for herself:
When I was younger and punishing my body into an outward representation of "hotness" (read: thinness), I let my physicality do the flirting for me; now, older and having put down the fake tan can, it's harder to move in those flirty worlds. I blush, I get nervous, and I will walk away from boring small-talk rather than find a reason to justify turning a half-baked conversation into a six-month fling. You could argue that this is a good thing, but it does tend to make the spectre of "alone forever" linger.

Consequently, I find myself in a strange purgatory, where I'm pretty good at being single (and not just by circumstance; I actively enjoy it most of the time) but I would also love a partner. This is a strange position for many to grapple with; so, wait, are you lonely or not? The honest answer is "sort of".

...there seems to be an awful lot of people out there who – like me – are trying to be super-stoked on their single status but still occasionally find themselves crying from loneliness in the darker hours.

She hasn't helped her own cause. In her earlier years she seems to have gone for men solely on the basis of physical attraction:
as I get older the idea of a lasting connection being built solely on initial physical attraction is almost laughable.

Talk about not being especially interested in casual (or committed) sex and people give you the sort of expressions that will tend to inspire you to do your best impression of Meg Ryan as Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally

I'm not suggesting physical attraction is unimportant, but if you are seriously looking for a future spouse you'll be thinking of a lot of other things as well. And note too that Clem Bastow has now reached a point of jadedness where she has lost interest in sex - hardly a promising mindset to be in if you are trying to attract a husband (pity the man who gets Clem Bastow after she has slept with so many men that she has now lost interest in a physical relationship).

She is also a feminist woman who has fallen into the "white men are the enemy" mindset. That's not exactly helpful if most of your marital prospects are white men (does she expect white men to happily "sleep with the enemy"?). Here is what she wrote when a male libertarian politician suggested that people should not be forced to participate in homosexual marriages (as photogrphers, bakers etc.):
This ongoing war against "PC culture" is little more than the slow and steady death rattle of The Age Of Straight White Men. Every bleat about "censorship" or "reverse discrimination" is another piece of macho power structure crumbling to the ground, like flakes of rust falling from a dilapidated bridge. And just as you would treat any abandoned structure as a health hazard, we must exercise caution while existing within the dying days of white male entitlement, as it's very likely to cause injury to everyone but itself.

One of the reasons that alt-right women like Lauren Southern are so refreshing is that they don't engage in this kind of white male bashing. They are promoting instead the idea that men and women have a shared interest in defending their tradition.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

The French election

I have never known an election to be fought more on principle than the one now taking place in France between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen is against the globalist agenda. She said recently:
The country Mr Macron wants is no longer France; it’s a space, a wasteland, a trading room where there are only consumers and producers.

She also made this criticism of Macron:
He is for total open borders. He says there is no such thing as French culture. There is not one area where he shows one ounce of patriotism.

The French have a choice between a patriotic candidate in Marine Le Pen or an open borders, globalist, establishment candidate in Emmanuel Macron.

A victory for Marine Le Pen is important for France and for Europe. She has improved her position to 40% in the most recent polls and is supported most strongly by younger French people. I hope the older French have it in them to help their country change direction and to get Marine Le Pen over the line on election day.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Predicting liberal decline

Twenty years ago I thought that little would be achieved until a section of the Western political class (meaning all those people of an intellectual bent interested in politics) broke decisively with liberalism.

It took a painfully long time, but it has now begun to happen. Look, for instance, at the following thread that I found on Twitter. It's written by a young man who has graduated from Oxford in the fields of politics, economics and philosophy.

Of the assertions he makes I agree with No.1. The growth in the number of students I teach with severe anxiety issues is astonishing (though I'm not entirely sure what's causing it).

No.2 is likely to take place. Family stability doesn't happen by accident - it requires the support of legal and economic policies, of religious belief, of moral principle and, above all, of a whole series of cultural and philosophical understandings about love, human fulfilment, sexual complementarity, social commitments etc. It seems unlikely that the selfish, atomised individualism that reigns in a liberal society will provide the support that a stable family life requires.

No.3 is already well under way. We will have to see what kind of resistance develops over the next few years.

No.4 I'm not so sure about. It does seem to be true that employment is becoming less stable, with more people working casually or on contracts.

No.5 is already happening and is likely to intensify. Liberals are pushing ahead with ever more radical racial and sexual politics which can only alienate some parts of the population. There is no sign yet that they are drawing back.

No.6 is interesting. We don't talk about this much. Western liberalism is likely to lose some of its prestige as other powers rise.

No.7 is also critical. Liberals will continue to blame white males for failures in achieving liberal utopia. But the liberal elite itself is the obvious target of discontent for the problems of a liberal society.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Diversity or community?

You might remember that a decade ago an American professor, Dr Robert Putnam, released research showing that an increase in diversity leads to a decline in social solidarity:
In highly diverse Los Angeles or San Francisco, for example, roughly 30 percent of the inhabitants say that they trust their neighbours 'a lot', whereas in the ethnically homogeneous communities of North and South Dakota, 78-80 percent of the inhabitants say the same. In more diverse communities, people trust their neighbours less.

Professor Putnam summarised his research as follows:
Diversity does not produce ‘bad race relations’ or ethnically-defined group hostility, our findings suggest. Rather, inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbours, regardless of the colour of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.

This effect was seen for both conservatives and liberals.

Now another major study, undertaken by two Michigan State University researchers (Zachary Neal and Jennifer Watling Neal), has come to similar conclusions:
Their simulations of more than 20 million virtual “neighborhoods” demonstrate a troubling paradox: that community and diversity may be fundamentally incompatible goals. As the authors explain, integration “provides opportunities for intergroup contact that are necessary to promote respect for diversity, but may prevent the formation of dense interpersonal networks that are necessary to promote sense of community.”

...After 20 million-plus simulations, the authors found that the same basic answer kept coming back: The more diverse or integrated a neighborhood is, the less socially cohesive it becomes, while the more homogenous or segregated it is, the more socially cohesive.

It seems that you can have ethnic diversity or you can have a close sense of community - you just can't have both together.

So why then are liberals so wedded to diversity as a moral aim? The reasons no doubt intersect. First, liberals believe that the goal of politics is to maximise individual autonomy, meaning a freedom to be self-constituted or self-defined or self-directed. Therefore, a predetermined quality like our ethnicity is thought of negatively as something that constrains us and therefore has to be made not to matter. Liberals therefore don't want to discriminate on the basis of ethny or race, even if it is for an important purpose such as maintaining community.

A related reason is that liberals think of the act of individual choice as being the key expression of morality, rather than what is actually chosen. There is no moral "outside" for liberals, only the act of choosing and allowing others to do likewise. Therefore, liberal morality is based more on qualities that demonstrate a willingness not to interfere with the choices of others (except for those who fall outside the liberal schema), such as non-discrimination, tolerance, openness and support for diversity.

It's also the case that liberals tend to want to manage society in a "technocratic" way, either through the markets or state regulation, and this is more readily achievable when people are stripped of "opaque" loyalties, such as those to family or ethny, that provide direction and authority outside of the technocratic systems. In a liberal society, people tend to become interchangeable units of the markets or bureaucracies, and obviously those with power in these systems feel comfortable with this outcome.

It's also true that diversity can be used as a weapon against whoever is the existing majority ethnic group. It can be used as such either by disloyal members of the majority group or else by members of minority groups.

So what can be done? One important achievement would be to undermine the dominance of liberalism as a political philosophy in the West, as this is a significant source of the idea that diversity is a moral aim. Another achievement would be to undermine the dominance of the corporate and bureaucratic elites. This can be done by making people aware of the bias of these elites (a process already partly completed) and by building up alternative sources of media, education and culture.

Finally, the research of Jonathan Haidt shows that liberals do care about the "harm" principle of morality. So it might also have some effect to show that individuals are harmed (by a loss of community) when diversity is forced upon communities.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Now even The Simpsons is mocking SJWs

What happens when nearly all university academics are left-liberals? You get a left-wing campus culture that is so ideologically divorced from reality that even The Simpsons considers it worthy of mockery:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Startling bias on U.S. campuses

Yes, we all know that the left managed to march through the institutions and capture them, including the universities. But it is still staggering to read the research regarding the left-wing bias of academics. The following is from an article by Australian journalist Paul Kelly:
Haidt has produced staggering figures on the revolution of the past 20 years in the US university system. It is basic to the culture war now raging in America.

Haidt (not a conservative) says “very few people” in the US know the extent of left-wing conformity entrenched in the humanities and social sciences in the US academy. As late as the 1990s the left-right ratio in the academy was only 2:1 but 15 years later there has been a “transformation” with the ratio now 5:1, with “almost everybody on the left” — and this includes professors from dental, engineering and agricultural schools.

The bias is much worse in the humanities. Taking his own field of social psychology, Haidt found the most recent data was 17:1. He quoted one survey with 291 respondents showing 85 per cent left-liberal and 6 per cent identifying as conservative, a ratio of 14:1.

He then followed a more extensive survey (William von Hippel and David M. Buss) involving members of the academic body of social psychologists. Of the 326 respondents, 291 identified as left of centre, which was 89 per cent, and only 2.5 per cent identified as right of centre. This gives a left-right ratio of 36:1.

Asked who they voted for or would have voted for at the 2012 presidential election, 305 out of 322 said Barack Obama (94.7 per cent), four said Mitt Romney (1.2 per cent) and 13 said another candidate (4 per cent). This meant a Democrat-Republican ratio of 76:1. When a series of political questions were put and scaled the result was a left-right ratio of 314:1.

The campuses are becoming increasingly left-liberal. The chances of a student encountering even a right-liberal academic, let alone a traditionalist one, are slight.

At some point in time, this will have to be challenged. I doubt if it is the next step, though. It seems more likely to me that gains will be made in building up an alternative media, as this is more readily achievable than trying to crack the leftist orthodoxy amongst academics.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Diversity as weaponised politics

I know I've been running on the theme of weaponised politics for a while now, but I came across one more interesting example. Last year an editor at the left-wing Huffington Post sent out a tweet that was intended to showcase the wonderful diversity on the editorial board of the newspaper. Here is the tweet:

What is the politics of diversity really being used here for? It is not to create diversity, even if that were a good thing. Nearly all of the editors are very young white women. And yet the photo is supposed to celebrate "diversity".

In this case, the politics of diversity has been weaponised against men. A workplace without men is thought to be "diverse" and therefore progressive.

And if you find yourself in the position where a weaponised politics is being used against you? The obvious thing to do is to no longer give that politics your support. Take away as much of its power as you can.

In particular, it is important to stop using the politics for virtue signalling. It's self-defeating for a man to try to signal his virtue by expressing support for "diversity" when that politics is then going to be weaponised against him.

One day we will get back to signalling our virtue by the strength of character with which we live our lives - and not by voicing our support for a left-wing politics that is aimed against us.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The values and vision of an American Democrat

Richard Fochtmann is a Democrat in the American state of Maine. He ran as a state senate candidate last year and lost. In the video below he is addressing an audience of Democrats at a Maine "values and vision" conference. Clearly, the Democrats are not trying to appeal to white male voters anymore.

Friday, April 14, 2017

You cannot stand alone

On Wednesday I wrote a post about weaponised politics:
I think it's true as well that politics can be weaponised. By this I mean that it is not just a case of pursuing abstract political principles and attempting to apply them logically and justly, but instead a means (a weapon) in pursuing group interests.

Politics today is being ominously weaponised against white people. The issue then becomes whether white people remain caught within a politics that aims to do them harm, or whether they see through the surface claims of a weaponised politics to the animosity and the malevolence underlying it.

The next day, as if to prove my point, The Huffington Post (supposedly a reputable news source), chose to run an opinion piece titled "Could it be time to deny white men the franchise?"

It's a disturbing read. The author, Shelley Garland, is apparently a white South African feminist woman (maybe even a troll, though the fact remains that the Huffington Post has chosen to run the piece).

Ms Garland is upset that white males voted for Brexit and for Donald Trump, thereby holding back the triumph of the progressive left. So she thinks it right that white males be forbidden from voting for 20 or 30 years. That would give progressives enough time to strip white males of their wealth.

This is politics weaponised against a particular group (white males). It has the aim of justifying seizing the assets of one group of people - white males - and transferring them to others.

There is a harsh reality at work here. We live in a world in which you need to be strong to defend your own interests and to keep yourself and your family safe. And it will not be enough to be strong as an isolated individual. A white man in the future might be personally resilient, a hard worker and physically courageous, but if he cedes political power to other groups he will nonetheless find himself defenceless. It is not possible to stand alone when other powerful groups are willing to organise against you.

To illustrate this point graphically, consider the following incident that took place this week in London. A couple of white men found themselves caught in a fight with a very large number of black men. As you can see in the video below, one of the white men is very strong and courageous but, inevitably, he is knocked out and then mocked by his attackers ("sleep tight").

White men are brought up to be individually strong, and part of the message is that you are strong if you are independent and able to succeed on your own. You are supposed to be self-reliant.

That can work in a highly homogeneous society, particularly if you are competing in the corporate world for success. But in an era of weaponised politics, it won't do. You cannot stand alone when a crowd of people wish to do you harm. In that scenario you need to organise with others to defend yourselves as a group.

The reality of the world is about to hit us hard. I hope that we can adapt quickly to the new situation we are going to find ourselves in. It's a little hard for us to imagine now what that future mindset will look like, as we have been influenced by an individualistic liberalism for so long and have become accustomed to living atomised lives, cut off from each other in our suburban homes.

In the coming world, we will need to more confidently assert a group interest, and we will need to find ways to organise so that we have a more effective means of defending ourselves from those who wish us harm (and, also, to maintain our own culture, values and tradition).

I can't be entirely sure what this will look like, but there are little groups of traditionalists springing up in Australia which represent one possible path toward this goal. If you're interested in them, the contact details are as follows:

Melbourne Traditionalists: You can contact me (Mark Richardson) via swerting (at)

Sydney Traditionalists: see here.

Perth Traditionalists: see here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Guillaume Faye: a return to values

Sydney Trads have a "quote of the week" feature at their website. I particularly liked this one by French writer Guillaume Faye:
Moreover, as the philosopher Raymond Ruyer, detested by the left-bank intelligentsia, foretold in his two important works, Les nuisances idéologiques and Les cents prochains siècles, once the historical digression of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has finally closed, with egalitarianism’s hallucinations having descended into catastrophe, humanity will return to archaic values, that is, quite simply, to biological and human (anthropological) values: distinctive sexual roles; the transmission of ethnic and popular traditions; spirituality and sacerdotal organization; visible and supervisory social hierarchies; the worship of ancestors; initiatory rites and tests; the reconstruction of organic communities that extend from the individual family unit to the overarching national community of the people; the deindividualization of marriage to involve the community as much as the couple; the end of the confusion of eroticism and conjugality; the prestige of the warrior caste; social inequality, not implicit, which is unjust and frustrating, as in today’s egalitarian utopias, but explicit and ideologically justifiable; a proportioned balance of duties and rights; a rigorous justice whose dictates are applied strictly to acts and not to individual men, which will encourage a sense of responsibility in the latter; a definition of the people and of any constituted social body as a diachronic community of shared destiny, not as a synchronic mass of individual atoms, etc.

I had to look up the meaning of the words synchronic and diachronic:

synchronic: concerned with something as it exists at one point in time.

diachronic: concerned with the way in which something has developed and evolved through time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weaponised politics

There is a website called Everyday Feminism that has about 5 million monthly visitors. Below is a screenshot of a recent homepage of the site:

You'll notice that the focus of the website is an animosity to white people. There is an offer of "healing from toxic whiteness training," a "reality check for your typical white men aren't the enemy objection," a "let's expose the white double standard" story, and a "white privilege explained in one simple comic" piece.

There are two ways of looking at all this. The first is to explain the politics behind it all. This can be done. If you are a liberal and you believe that equality is the natural state of affairs, and you then need to explain why racial outcomes are different, one option is to believe that one group has set itself up as a false racial category ("whiteness") to exploit other groups in order to maintain an unearned privilege. The point of politics is then to deconstruct whiteness so that the era of full human equality is finally ushered in. Hence, the unrelenting attacks on white people on the feminist website.

However, I think it's true as well that politics can be weaponised. By this I mean that it is not just a case of pursuing abstract political principles and attempting to apply them logically and justly, but instead a means (a weapon) in pursuing group interests.

Politics today is being ominously weaponised against white people. The issue then becomes whether white people remain caught within a politics that aims to do them harm, or whether they see through the surface claims of a weaponised politics to the animosity and the malevolence underlying it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Once more on the WQ

I'm never really confident writing on the Woman Question, so take what follows as speculative thought on the issue.

One thing that can disappoint men is that women aren't very attracted to masculine virtue. A man can be honourable, courageous and upstanding - but this is not what is likely to attract a female partner. But the thought occurred to me that perhaps the same thing is true when it comes to male attraction.

What men find attractive in women is something that could be described as an outflow of warm feminine emotion - of love, care, kindness and concern. A man is likely to think that a woman who shows this feminine quality is "nice" or "sweet" - as opposed to the opposite ("bitchy") - and this can become a man's moral framework in judging women. In other words, the nice woman is considered to be morally good, the harsh one to be morally bad.

But maybe this is, in part at least, confusing attraction with morality. Just as a woman might confuse a dominant masculine man with the idea of a "good man" - so too might men confuse the warmly or sweetly feminine natured woman with a "good woman".

This doesn't mean that it's of no concern whether a woman is attractive in her femininity or not - obviously men will want the women of their society to be attractive (and feminine attraction might be connected to a woman's ability to bond to her children etc.) However, what I am suggesting is that there needs to be a moral framework for women that stands apart from attraction.

Let's say that we have a woman who already qualifies as being feminine and attractive in the sense I set out above. She still requires a moral framework separate to this in order for her to make the right choices in her life, to contribute to her family and community, to retain the integrity of her personhood and so on.

For instance, a woman can be emotionally "sweet" but in her adult life she will need beyond this a moral framework that includes patience, forgiveness, industry, loyalty, humility and service (without these she is unlikely to be successful in her family commitments). Therefore, it is right for women to be judged on their possession, or lack of possession, of these virtues.

It seems to be the case as well that women, even more so than men, require larger commitments in order to fully establish a moral framework. If a woman commits to her family (i.e. she is proud of her family lineage and tradition and wishes to uphold it); or to her church and her faith; or to her nation and people - then this brings out her more serious moral commitments (which are not activated in a society based on the individual pursuit of happiness).

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Cardinal George: a tale of two churches

Shortly before his death, Cardinal George of Chicago wrote an insightful column on the position of the church in the United States.

Here in Melbourne the Catholic Church still seems to be trying to be an arm of the liberal state. I've long thought this to be unwise, given the incompatibility of liberalism with Catholic doctrine.

Cardinal George set out the problem with great clarity in his column ("A tale of two churches").

He begins with the claim that the liberal state in the U.S. once promised to protect all religions and not become a secular rival to them, "a fake church". He then adds:
There was always a quasi-religious element in the public creed of the country. It lived off the myth of human progress, which had little place for dependence on divine providence. It tended to exploit the religiosity of the ordinary people by using religious language to co-opt them into the purposes of the ruling class...It had encouraged its citizens to think of themselves as the creators of world history and the managers of nature, so that no source of truth outside of themselves needed to be consulted to check their collective purposes and desires. But it had never explicitly taken upon itself the mantle of a religion and officially told its citizens what they must personally think or what “values” they must personalize in order to deserve to be part of the country. Until recent years.

The situation now? According to Cardinal George:
The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.

He urges Catholics to resist yielding to the false state religion:
The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics. Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.

Most of the Catholic leadership here in Melbourne seem to be desperately trying to fit in with the state religion rather than taking a stance against it. They are doing this not by renouncing core theological positions, but by "reading" Catholicism as an SJW philosophy. (Says the modern Melbourne Catholic: "I will serve others by supporting SJW political campaigns.") This might temporarily avert a crisis of belief by realigning Catholicism with the Zeitgeist, but in the longer term it is helping to cement in place a liberal state religion that is deeply, philosophically at odds not only with Catholic theology but with the future existence of a Western culture and civilisation.

Monday, April 03, 2017

When you ignore biological reality

Liberals want to believe that our biological sex can be made not to matter. A lone refugee in Sweden begs to differ. He manages to beat off three female police officers and smash their car when they are sent to arrest him for arson:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Melbourne Traditionalists meeting

We have the next meeting of the Melbourne Traditionalists coming up early next week. I'd encourage interested Melbourne readers to come along, not only because it's always enjoyable to meet together with other traditionalists, but also because it's the next step along the way in building things up here in Melbourne.

If you think you might be interested you can contact me at swerting (at) or Mark Moncrieff at uponhopeblog (at)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Union head thinks dresses worse than burqa

Sally McManus is the first female Secretary of the ACTU - Australia's peak trade union body. She is also an anti-male radical lesbian feminist who is critical of women wearing dresses.

And yet she has attracted support because she is willing to take a militant stand against Australian jobs being sent offshore.

It seems that the price of trying to defend your job, if you are an Australian worker, is accepting the leadership of radical leftist feminists who want to overthrow heterosexual culture and the family. Not much of a choice on offer.

There is a political vacuum here of the sort that Trump was able to fill in the United States.

Below is a clip of Sally McManus at a "defend the burqa" meeting. She argues on the grounds of liberal autonomy theory that the burqa should not be banned because "women themselves as individuals have the right to choose who they are and what they do".

As part of her argument she also outlines a series of things that Western women are allowed to do that she considers more oppressive than wearing the burqa, including wearing dresses, high heels and makeup, and going on diets - she complains that these are oppressive as they are not done for the sake of the women herself but for the sake of appealing to men.

(There is some logical consistency here. If you believe in liberal autonomy theory then you are supposed to only make choices that follow from the wants and desires of your own "authentic" self. So Sally McManus is suggesting that women are not choosing what they want, but what men want, i.e. that it is not their own wills, but men's wills, that are driving the choices being made.)

It's interesting to note that the radical union left in Australia is so orthodox in its liberalism, and also that liberal autonomy theory can be used to suggest something so counterintuitive, namely that it is more oppressive for a woman to wear a dress than a burqa.

It seems unlikely that women began to wear the burqa in the Middle East because of some authentic, autonomous, individual desire of their own to do so. I can think of two possible reasons for the burqa being imposed. The first is that if you have a polygamous society in which one older man can have up to four much younger wives, then there will be many sexually frustrated younger men. The husbands will then have reason to impose on their wives a much stricter form of modest attire in public than would be needed elsewhere.

The second is that when women dress beautifully it does give them a degree of power in the public square. Men do feel the power of feminine beauty and attraction. Perhaps the Muslim system was designed to very strictly limit this female power to the home.

The liberal approach to the issue doesn't help much, as it is artificial to say that we should make choices as if were atomised, blank slate individuals expressing unique desires within a moral vacuum. We need a standard to measure what we choose apart from "it's my own authentic will that I desire this".

Sally McMahon believes it to be wrong, a violation of autonomy, if a woman chooses to dress attractively for the sake of men. But it seems to me that if a wife dresses attractively because she thinks it is pleasing to her husband that this is a more moral reason than if she just arbitrarily wants to do so as part of her own will. At least she is acting for the happiness of another.

I don't have a carefully worked out position on the morality of feminine beauty, but my instinctive attitude is that the Western mind sees an inspiring good in it, which means that its erasure by the burqa is strikingly alien and confronting, and that just as any creature seeks to fulfil the potential within itself, so too is it to be expected that a woman would wish to embody feminine beauty.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Somewheres vs Anywheres

This is an interesting political conversion story. David Goodhart once saw himself as a member of the London liberal elite but has had a change of worldview. He describes the division in British society as being between "Anywheres" and "Somewheres":
The value divides in British society that led to Brexit, and may now break up the United Kingdom, stem from the emergence in the past generation of two big value clusters: the educated, mobile people who see the world from “Anywhere” and who value autonomy and fluidity, versus the more rooted, generally less well-educated people who see the world from “Somewhere” and prioritise group attachments and security.

Goodhardt believes that those who have "high human capital" (graduates of elite universities) are likely to thrive in open, competitive systems and so are more likely than others to support open borders. Similarly, such people are more likely to look to "achieved" identities (e.g. career) rather than "ascribed" ones (e.g. nationality). He believes, also, that the expansion of higher education has increased the percentage of such people in society, so that:
...over the past generation, it has dominated the political class and the national culture. Anywhere politicians who think they are governing in the national interest are, at least some of the time, governing in the Anywhere interest — in everything from the expansion of higher education to the unprecedented openness of modern societies.

So what led him to change allegiance, and to begin to see things from the point of view of the Somewheres? He believes that part of the reason is that his own upper class/Old Etonian social background always made him something of an outsider, which,
helped to make me aware of the strangeness of some of the instincts of my north London liberal tribe in the 1980s and 1990s: the far greater concern for suffering in distant lands than just around the corner, the blank incomprehension of religious or national feeling and the disdain for the ordinary people we were meant to champion.

Goodhardt wavers on whether he wants to reform liberalism or break from it. At times he writes of the possibility of a less individualistic and universalistic liberalism, one that might still uphold particular attachments and identities:
There were several lightbulb moments as I came to see past the narrative of progress that has helped to form the shallow liberalism that dominates our politics. This narrative sees race and gender equality as a prelude to the transcending of all exclusive communities, including the nation state. But the moral equality of all human beings — the beautiful, once utopian idea that became embedded in many western constitutions in the middle of the 20th century — does not mean we have the same obligations to all human beings.

This vital caveat to universalism keeps liberalism bound to the earth, to the reality of flesh-and-blood humans with group attachments and the need to be valued and to belong. Of course modern politics — the rule of law and more recently the idea of human equality — are partly designed to tame and constrain our tribal and animal emotions. But if politics disappears too far into the individualist abstractions of law and economics it starts to see society as just a random collection of individuals.

From this caveat can flow a more mature and emotionally intelligent liberalism that sees that there really is such a thing as society and one that functions well is based on habits of co-operation and trust and bonds of language, history and culture. Newcomers can be absorbed into such societies, and can retain some of their own traditions, but unless a critical mass of them embrace the broad common norms of the society, the idea of the nation as a group of people with significant shared interests — the idea of a people — will fracture.

...An emotionally mature liberalism must also accept that white majorities, not just minorities, in western societies have ethnic attachments too and an interest in a degree of demographic stability — and it is not shameful or racist for people to feel uncomfortable if their neighbourhood changes too rapidly, whether from gentrification or ethnic change.

Other things flow from the caveat, too — things that do not challenge the core beliefs of modern liberalism but temper and qualify their more dogmatic application. The belief, for example, that men and women are equal but not identical and that some sort of gender division of labour in the home and the broader society remains popular. That order and legitimate authority in families, schools and the wider society are a necessary condition of human flourishing, not a means of crushing it. That religion, loyalty and the wisdom of tradition deserve greater respect than is common among “blank sheet” liberals who tend to focus narrowly on issues of justice and harm.

As Haidt points out — contrary to the old claim that the right is the stupid party — conservatives can appreciate a wider range of political emotions than liberals: “It’s as though conservatives can hear five octaves of music, but liberals respond to just two, within which they have become particularly discerning.”

You do not have to be a conservative or a Conservative to see this and I would regard myself as a centrist, open to ideas from left and right. Indeed I am now post-liberal and proud, and feel that for the first time in my life I have had the confidence and experience to work things out for myself.

Am I trying to save liberalism or bury it? I am certainly trying to save it from the over-reach that has produced the Brexit/Trump backlash and want to convince as many as possible from my old tribe that we need a new settlement that is more generous to the intuitions of Somewheres. Come, join me, you have nothing to lose but your comfortably consensual dinner parties.

I know some of my readers would wish for a cleaner break from liberalism than this, but the important thing is the movement away from a dissolving liberalism and toward a politics that permits the existence of real, particular, localised attachments and identities.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Can medical science ignore sex distinctions?

Liberals hold that we should be autonomous, self-defining individuals, so that predetermined qualities like our biological sex should be thought not to matter.

One consequence of this belief is that liberals do not like to accept that medical science should consider differences between men and women, for instance, when testing new drugs. Hence this odd fact:
In 2015, when a female version of Viagra called Addyi was tested for potential side effects, it was tested on a sample of 25 subjects - only two of whom were female.

Claire Lehmann has written an excellent article on the resistance of liberals to accepting biological sex differences in medical research. (

She looks at some case studies where ignoring the biological distinctions between men and women has led to dosages being set too high for women, and she details the pressures placed on scientists to avoid research on biological sex distinctions.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cicero on human bonds

A reader sent in this quote from the Roman writer Cicero.  I like it as it avoids both an abstract individualism and an abstract universalism and attempts to describe instead the real, particular loves, loyalties and identities that are characteristic of human life:
This from Cicero in the 1st century B.C. (De Oficiis 1.53-54):
There are several levels of human society. Starting from that which is universal, the next is that of a common race, nation or language (which is what most of all holds men together). Further down comes membership of the same city; for citizens have many things in common - their town square, temples, covered walkways, roads, laws and constitution, law-courts and elections, customs and associations and the dealings and agreements that bind many people to many others. An even closer bond is that between relations: for it sets them apart from that limitless society of the human race into one that is narrow and closely-defined. Since it is a natural feature of all living beings that they have the desire to propagate, the first association is that of marriage itself; the next is that with one's children; then the household unit within which everything is shared; that is the element from which a city is made, so to speak the seed-bed of the state. Next comes the relationship between brothers, between cousins on the father's side and cousins on the mother's side; since the relatives cannot be contained in one household, they leave to found other households, just like colonies. Next, come relationships arising from marriage, which bring even more relatives. This extension and spreading of relationships is the basis of communities; for common blood forces men to help and care for one another.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Haidt: The Righteous Mind

I have been reading Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind". There is much for a religious traditionalist like myself to like and dislike, but I thought I'd begin with a quote. It is Haidt describing a moral theory developed by Richard Shweder.
The ethic of autonomy is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, autonomous individuals with wants, needs, and preferences as they see fit, and so societies develop moral concepts such as rights, liberty, and justice, which allow people to coexist peacefully without interfering too much in each other's projects. This is the dominant ethic in individualistic societies. You find it in the writings of utilitarians such as John Stuart Mill and Peter Singer (who value justice only to the extent that they increase human welfare), and you find it in the writings of deontologists like Kant and Kohlberg  (who prize justice and rights even in cases where doing so may reduce overall welfare).

OK, so that is the dominant ethics of autonomy to be found in the modern West. Shweden's theory goes beyond this and recognises two other ethics.
But as soon as you step outside of Western secular society, you hear people talking  in two additional moral languages. The ethic of community is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, members of larger entities such as families, teams, armies, companies, tribes and nations. These larger entities are more than the sum of the people who compose them; they are real, they matter, and they must be protected. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as duty, hierarchy, respect, reputation, and patriotism. In such societies, the Western insistence that people should design their own lives and pursue their own goals seems selfish and dangerous - a sure way to weaken the social fabric and destroy the institutions and collective entities upon which everything depends.

The ethic of divinity is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, temporary vessels within which a divine soul has been implanted. People are not just animals with an extra serving of consciousness; they are children of God and should behave accordingly. The body is a temple not a playground. Even if it does no harm and violates nobody's rights when a man has sex with a chicken carcass (me: a moral scenario Haidt had raised earlier to examine the issue of disgust/purity), he still shouldn't do it because it degrades him, dishonors his creator, and violates the sacred order of the universe. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as sanctity and sin, purity and pollution, elevation and degredation. In such societies, the personal liberty of secular Western nations looks like libertinism, hedonism, and a celebration of humanity's baser instincts.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Sweden 2017 - peak feminism?

Feminism is off the charts in Sweden. The following stories are from the front page of just one newspaper on just one day.

The details:
Environment Minister Carolina Forest (MP) want to see fewer cars in Sweden's cities. This is because men drive more than women, and thus are "stealing space from women," she says to Göteborgs-Posten.

A magazine has named Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson "Woman of the Year" despite the fact that she is open and proud about hating men:

The runner up for Woman of the Year wasn't much better:

From the article:
Radical Feminist Ebba Witt-Brattström, 62, ended up in second place in Expressen's appointment Woman of the Year in 2017. She says that all male TV personalities should be removed and replaced by feminist women.

The next newspaper item is about a photography museum which decided to raise the entry price for men and to donate the extra money to an organisation which campaigns for gender quotas:

Some Swedish men are encouraging all this. The directors of a building union apologised for being flawed white males:

These are the same men who wore vagina hats in solidarity with feminism:

Their grovelling statement gives away some of their motivation for acting this way:
"Today on International's Women's Day we want to pay attention to all you women in the construction industry and tell you how much you're needed and the respect we have for you because you dare to break gender roles," they wrote in an opinion piece published by public broadcaster SVT.

"We know we're going to have to endure some jibes, mainly from other men, because we are standing here in our pink, home-knitted hats. But to us it is an act of solidarity."

"God knows we're not perfect. We ARE a bunch of white middle-aged men. Sometimes we put our foot in our mouth. Often we hear it ourselves and apologize. Sometimes we don't notice it ourselves; please tell us and give us a red card. So that we learn for next time."

"We ARE a bunch of white, middle-aged men. But at least we're wearing pink hats."

Note that women get respect from these liberal men because "you dare to break gender roles". Why should that be such a good thing? It's ideological. If you believe that our predetermined sex is a prison that we have to be liberated from, then those who break gender roles will be thought of as blazing a trail of moral progress.

But that's a big ideological assumption. Most societies, in most epochs, have thought of our manhood and womanhood not as prisons, but as core aspects of our own self. In fact, if you take away the Cartesian mind body dualism, then you are likely to think of our sexed bodies as being inseparable from our minds and souls. So to bring our own self to fruition means developing ourselves toward what is best in our manhood and womanhood, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

How can these union leaders be oriented toward an integrated development of themselves as men, if they believe that their predetermined sex is something they have to be liberated from, or if they believe that it is the breaking of gender roles that represents moral progress, or if they believe that sex distinctions exist because they, as white males, created them to oppress women.

Little wonder that these middle-aged men do not have that masculine "steeled" look that you would hope men would develop over a lifetime of struggle and achievement (and they have entirely abandoned the virtues of gravitas and dignitas that were so important to the ancients).

(I'd like to give some publicity to the Swedish paper I drew these stories from, namely Fria Tider. I've only read a few articles, but it seems to be a good source of Swedish news and commentary.)

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

From Alain de Benoist

Below is a great quote from Alain de Benoist (hat tip: Wrath of Gnon):

Some thoughts on women

Women are so enigmatic. One way that men respond to a physically beautiful woman is to "read" virtue into her body - in other words, a man sees the beauty and then has a sense of the "virtuous feminine" which might include purity or grace or tenderness. But, of course, the individual woman might not embody these qualities very well at all, might not even be self-conscious that they are qualities that a woman might try to cultivate. It can leave men with the feeling that they are privy to an appreciation of the feminine that has been denied to women themselves - that women are, in some ways, strangers to their own virtues.

Women are more complex too in the sense that it is generally a good thing for a man to be as masculine as possible, as this brings him closer to the fruition of what he was created to be, but the same is not necessarily true of women - it is not simply the case that the more feminine a woman, the more she upholds an ideal of what a woman should be.

It is a good thing, for instance, for a woman to be more sensitive than a man. Most men will find it attractive if a woman tears up and sniffles at the sad parts of movies, or if she is more fearful of potential danger, or if she is a little more connected to the emotions of children. But too much sensitivity is not a good thing. It can lead to a woman never forgiving small slights she has experienced, or holding onto petty hurts that her husband may not even be aware of. An overly sensitive woman will make for a poor wife. There is some sort of sweet spot for a woman to have when it comes to this quality.

It is similar when it comes to passivity. If a woman is passive in the sense that she doesn't emasculate her husband and allows him to lead in a masculine way; or if she is passive in the sense that she keeps herself lovingly receptive to her husband, that is obviously a good thing. But I've noticed that there are women who interpret passivity as meaning that their role is to merely look on and critically judge the performance of their husband; or that their husband should take over the work of the household, so that he becomes something of a drone in her eyes; or even that the husband is responsible for her happiness - she externalises a responsibility onto him that can only really be carried by herself.

Torrisian poems

Sydney Trads have been publishing some poetry of late. Some of it is by me (here, here, here, here). There are also some little political poems by Luke Torrisi which I thought clever and enjoyable. He has a go at Dutch liberals here, and his take on French right-wing politics is here.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

The left is doubling down on its hostility to whites and males

After the election of Donald Trump I wondered if the left would rethink blaming whites and males for the ills of the world. But they are still at it - if anything they have intensified their efforts.

A case in point is a student group at St John's College in Santa Fe. An email was sent to all students and staff at this college advertising the new student group (see below). The email runs:
This is a group where those who most often exhibit racist and sexist behaviour - white males - can begin to be self-critical of the very dangerous, brutal and depraved hierarchical pathologies of superiority, supremacy, and inferiority handed down to us by white Euro-American institutions.

The main topic for discussion will be an ongoing one. How do we deal with the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity? How can we get to the root of this problem?

Once the email came to light, the college announced that it had erred in not suggesting edits to tone down the "inflammatory" language. But the point remains that it is now considered a leftist position that whiteness and masculinity are to be looked on negatively as pathologies. The obvious thing for whites and males to do in response is to decouple from the left.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Left finds normal things toxic

You might have heard of "toxic" masculinity. Now it seems that whiteness is also toxic, so much so that you can pay feminists $100 to be purged of it:

What will come next? Toxic heterosexuality? Toxic fatherhood? Toxic motherhood? Toxic beauty? Toxic goodness?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

You can determine your own sex now?

This is something that seems crazy but is actually a logical application of liberal first principles.

Here are some excerpts from an interview (video below) between Tucker Carlson and a senior adviser to the Democrats, Zac Petkanas.

It begins with Carlson raising his concerns about the liberal attitude to how we identify as male or female:
Carlson: There’s no biological anchor to sex anymore. It’s all determined by the individual. So my obvious question for you is, how do I know if a person’s male or female? Is there some absolute standard people have to meet to be male or female, other than what they say?

Petkanas: One’s gender identity is enough to show what gender they are.

Carlson: Is there a scientific standard?

Petkanas: Your gender identity determines your gender. Period.

Carlson: As an apparent man, if I say I'm a woman is that enough, do I meet the standard, as a woman to play in a woman's sports team?

Petkanas: Yes. The answer is absolutely yes.

Carlson: I want you to name a single scientist, just one, who says you can determine your own sex just by saying so.

Petkanas: You clearly have some issues around this.

So the Democrats are committing to the idea that I can be considered a woman as long as I say that I identify as a woman even if I am biologically a man. If I say that I am a woman, then I can play on a woman's sports team, even if I am tall, muscular, broad-shouldered, bearded and biologically male.

It was predictable that this would happen. After all, liberals believe that the primary good in life is a freedom to self-define or self-determine. Therefore, the idea that something as important as my sex is predetermined by biology is a radical limitation on my individual freedom. Better, from the liberal point of view, if there are many sexes and if my sex identity is fluid and self-determined.

So you have to go one of two ways. If you want to stick with the liberal first principle, then you have to accept a future in which the idea of many sexes and self-determined sexes will be pushed on society. Alternatively, you can reject the consequences of liberal thinking about the sexes, which means challenging the assumptions on which liberal thinking is based.

If you take this second option, then you cannot view a freedom to self-define as always and everywhere the overriding good. You must, instead, be able to discern goods that are already there - that are given to us - as part of the created nature that we inhabit.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Liberalism, honour, witchcraft and the no harm principle

American singer Lana del Rey has joined a movement of witches who are placing spells on Donald Trump. On reading this story I discovered that the key moral principle of witches is the Wiccan Rede, this being "An it harm none, do what ye will" - or in modern English, "Do what you want, as long it doesn't harm anyone".

This is striking, as it is also a key moral principle of liberal modernity. The idea itself goes back a long way. Rabelais, a French writer of the Renaissance, wrote (in the 1500s) of an ideal community based on the principle:
Do What Thou Wilt, because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour.

The idea here is that gentlemen, at least, can be free to choose in any direction because they will by nature choose what is honourable.

John Stuart Mill, the English liberal, had much the same idea in the mid-1800s, although he added to it by suggesting that all social classes could be educated to the level of being gentlemen. He also emphasised the "no harm" principle that had been clearly stated by the French revolutionaries in their Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789:
Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.

History has made clear that John Stuart Mill was wrong. We have had high levels of education in the West for many decades, but the level of gentlemanly honour has dramatically fallen rather than risen. One of the reasons for this is that people are generally much more attentive to the idea of "do what you want" rather than the condition "as long as it doesn't harm anyone".

Why doesn't the "no harm" clause work in practice? One problem is that people are able to rationalise away the harm that their decisions create. A woman might choose, for instance, to divorce her husband, thereby dissolving her family. Clearly it has a considerable effect on those around her. But she might say to herself "the children will be better off if I'm happy". Or "we will still be a family, all of us, I'll just be living with another man." Angelina Jolie took this line recently about her decision to divorce Brad Pitt:
'I don’t want to say very much about that, except to say it was a very difficult time and we are a family, and we will always be a family,' she said, visibly emotional.

'My focus is my children, our children,' she explained to the BBC.

'We are and forever will be a family and so that is how I am coping. I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer,' she said.

In her mind, she can choose to divorce but not dissolve her family, in fact the divorce will make her family stronger and closer.

But even when there is no rationalisation, even when the harm is admitted, the no harm principle is pushed aside. Dalrock recently had a post about an American woman who decided to divorce her husband and who justified her decision using the following lines from her favourite author, Cheryl Strayed:
Go, even though you love him.

Go, even though he is kind and faithful and dear to you.

Go, even though he’s your best friend and you’re his.

Go, even though you can’t imagine your life without him.

Go, even though he adores you and your leaving will devastate him.

Go, even though your friends will be disappointed or surprised or pissed off or all three.

Go, even though you once said you would stay.

Go, even though you’re afraid of being alone.

Go, even though you’re sure no one will ever love you as well as he does.

Go, even though there is nowhere to go.

Go, even though you don’t know exactly why you can’t stay.

Go, because you want to.

Because wanting to leave is enough.

This is so interesting, because the last line clearly states that "do what thou wilt" is enough of a justification, that you don't need to meet the moral condition of "do no harm."

Obviously, the instinct to honour is not strong enough in many people to hold them to virtue or to moral duty. They follow instead an individualistic impulse to follow "their own good" even if this harms others.

And here's the thing. Rabelais defined honour quite well: "an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice." But why not then encourage people to act virtuously? If you tell people that the moral thing is "to do whatever you want" it suggests that standards of virtue don't exist and that one act or choice is as good as another.

In other words, the "do what thou wilt" slogan is "de-moralising" - it places people in a moral vacuum, an empty moral landscape. Little wonder then that people lose some of the moral strength to do the right thing by others.