Monday, September 30, 2019

Vox Popoli: Mailvox: "a bastion of sanity"

A reader emails:
"A post-literate age." This term resonated with me the moment you uttered it. I’m now seeing it almost daily.

The requests to ‘dumb down’ the language are approaching comedic, and I currently operate at government levels. I was asked to explain the difference between ‘woman’ and ‘women’ just last week.

In response to one recent request, I (in totally undisciplined irritation) asked if they’d prefer the document produced in brown paper and crayon. I try to be patient, but it’s getting harder.

Once again, your blog is a bastion of sanity.

We are living in the Crazy Years. It falls to us to build fortresses and monasteries of sanity. It is our responsibility to preserve knowledge and truth. It is our honor to stand up for that which is rather than that which someone feels it should be. And it is our responsibility to show up for the future, in order to ensure that the insane do not inherit the Earth.

Vox Popoli: Please, PLEASE don't call him racist

If you ever doubted my assertion that a conservative is an individual who fears being called racist more than he fears God, the rape of his wife, the murder of his children, the destruction of his nation's economy or the collapse of his society, this mewling plea for a hard and bright line between conservatism and the defenders of the West should suffice to convince you of its truth:

Liberal commentators will always say conservatives are just a bunch of racists. This is a lie. But conservatives need to do a better job convincing the racists that it's a lie.

A handful of conservatives, including quietly influential figures in important conservative institutions, were outed last week by leaked emails as participating in a pro-Hitler, nakedly anti-Semitic, and plainly racist email list.

While liberal journalists are prone to inventing racism everywhere, this was no invention. The article in Splinter by Hannah Gais was no smear. It was serious and fair reporting that ought to cause conservatives to ask what we are doing wrong.

John Elliott, formerly of the Institute for Humane Studies and Intercollegiate Studies Institute, was a central figure in the story. IHS and ISI are respected and mainstream conservative institutions. Thousands of conservative and libertarian journalists and activists have passed through them. Hundreds of them received mentorship from Elliott. I’ve been friendly with Elliot for a decade. He’s brought me in (and gotten me paid) to speak to students at both organizations.

My first reaction upon reading the Splinter story was horror that otherwise sane-seeming people in the United States hold Hitlerian views. (For what it's worth, Elliott apologized for the emails and said he no longer believes those things. I pray that’s sincere.)

“According to one former mentee,” Gais wrote, “Elliott opened up to those he deemed ‘red-pilled’ — a term used by white nationalists and so-called ‘men’s rights activists’ to refer to someone who has been awakened to their cause.”

So my second reaction was: At least Elliott never suspected I was red-pilled.

My third reaction was: Great, now liberals are going to paint everyone who’s gone through IHS, ISI, or the Daily Caller as racists.

But my fourth reaction was the unsettling one: Why the hell did racists seek homes in conservative and liberal institutions, and why the hell were young conservatives easily won over to racist views?

Snide liberals will chuckle and say something like, “Because conservatism is racism.” But the snideness and falseness of that answer shouldn’t deter us from mulling over the question and doing something to make clear that conservatism and racism don’t mix — that if your red pill looks anything like Elliott's, you're really not welcome here.

I know Christians are not welcome in conservatism. I know nationalists are not welcome in conservatism. I know that anyone who wants to restore the pre-1965 USA or the pre-EU European nations is not welcome in conservatism. President Trump himself is not welcome in conservatism.

I don't care.

I am proud to say that I am not, and I have never been, a conservative. Others tried to claim I was, and I always corrected them. I was not rejected by conservatives, I found them entirely unworthy and rejected them.

So, where do you stand? With the lukewarm, boot-licking conservatives whose highest principle is compromise and who have conserved absolutely nothing in the entire history of their political identity or with Jesus Christ, the European nations, and the philosophical legacy of Greece and Rome?

And if you are not given a spirit of fear, then why is your entire identity wrapped up in a fear of being called racist? Why do you insist on claiming that your children are no different than the dogs?

Vox Popoli: Bowties on the historical battlefield

Conservatives have always been spineless and without principle:

It may be inferred again that the present movement for women’s rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent, Northern conservatism. This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation.

What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted?

Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always, when about to enter a protest, very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its “bark is worse than its bite,” and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance. The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it “in wind,” and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip.

No doubt, after a few years, when women’s suffrage shall have become an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position.
- Robert Lewis Dabney, 1871

Whenever someone is issuing dire warnings about how the Left will not like the consequences of their latest political monstrosity, you can be sure that a conservative is speaking, just as you can be certain that he will furiously denounce and disavow anyone who actually attempts to deliver those consequences.

Vox Popoli: Psychoanalysis as pedocover

I've always believed that Freud and Freudianism were pure and unmitigated nonsense. But, as it happens, both the man and his pseudoscience were actually a good deal worse than I had ever imagined.
Freud, having stumbled upon the widespread reality of child abuse among his mostly Jewish clientele, covered it up with the theory that all little girls desire their fathers’ penis and all little boys dream of screwing their mothers — and named his theory after a Gentile myth....

Denial means projection: to protect the dirty secret of child abuse in Jewish families—including his own—, Freud projected an imaginary repressed infantile perversion on all mankind. Projection, in turn, means inversion: Freud’s close disciple Otto Rank claimed that Jews had a more primitive, and therefore more healthy sexuality than Gentiles (Rank, “The Essence of Judaism,” 1905). Freudians and Freudo-Marxists have systematically denounced Christian civilization as suffering from sexual repression. According to Wilhelm Reich, anti-Semitism is itself a symptom of sexual frustration, and could be cured by sexual liberation (The Mass Psychology of Fascism, 1934)—an improvement from Leo Pinsker’s theory that Judeophobia was a “hereditary” and “incurable” “disease transmitted for two thousand years.” In order to understand the psychological background of this Reichian messianic mission to cure the Christian West, and in order to see more clearly the projective nature of the psychoanalytical theory of repression, it is helpful to know the personal story of Wilhelm Reich, which reads as a caricature of Freud’s: At ten years old, when he realized that his mother was having an affair with his tutor, the young Wilhelm thought of blackmailing his mother into having sex with him. Eventually, he confided in his father about his mother’s adultery. In 1910, after a period of beatings from his father, his mother committed suicide, for which Reich blamed himself.

One of the most puzzling aspects of Jews’ relationship with their host nations is its ambivalence—patterned on biblical “history”: within Jewish thinking, saving the nations and destroying them are not two sides of the same coin, but one and the same, because what nations are supposed to be cured of is their very identity (their gods, in biblical terms). According to Andrew Heinze, author of Jews and the American Soul, Jews have shaped “American ideas about the mind and soul” with the preoccupation “to purge the evils they associated with Christian civilization.” It really started with Freud. In September 1909, invited to give a series of lectures in New England, Freud jokingly asked his companions, Sandor Ferenczi and Carl Jung: “Don‘t they know we’re bringing them the plague?” An extraordinary statement for a medical doctor pretending to have found a “cure” for neurosis. And a prophetic one: Freudism became a justification for a sexual “liberation” that can be seen in retrospect as a massive sexual abuse of the youth.

Sexual repression is not the problem. And the "sexual liberation" that is sought is nothing less than societal approval for incestuous child rape. Forget the Chinese, forget the Nazis, at this point I would take Quetzalcoatl-worshipping Aztecs over the Freudians and their devil dreams of Babel 2.0. By their fruits, ye shall know them.

And just to make things worse, if you actually trouble to read Keynes's General Theory, you'll soon discover that its all-important "animal spirits" are nothing more than Freud applied to economics. What this implies about the foundation of the global macroeconomic perspective of the last eighty years I leave it to the reader to conclude on his own.

Vox Popoli: The clueless and short-sighted elite

Peter Turchin explains that the US elite is working off of inaccurate and misleading social models:

Last year I had an interesting conversation with someone I’ll call the Washington Insider. She asked me why my structural-demographic model predicted rising instability in the USA, probably peaking with a major outbreak of political violence in the 2020s. I started giving the explanation based on the three main forces: popular immiseration, intra-elite competition, and state fragility. But I didn’t get far because she asked me, what immiseration? What are you talking about? We’ve never lived better than today. Global poverty is declining, child mortality is declining, violence is declining. We have access to the level of technology that is miraculous compared to what previous generations had. Just look at the massive data gathered together by Max Rosen, or read Steven Pinker’s books to be impressed with how good things are.

There are three biases that help sustain this rosy view. First, the focus on global issues. But the decrease of poverty in China (which is what drives declining global poverty, because Chinese population is so huge), or the drop in child mortality in Africa, is irrelevant to the working America. People everywhere compare themselves not to some distant places, but to the standard of living they experienced in their parents home. And the majority of American population sees that in many important ways they are worse off than their parents (as we will see below).

Second, the Washington Insider talks to other members of the 1 percent, and to some in the top 10 percent. The top-income segments of the American population have done fabulously in the last decades, thank you very much.

Third, many economic statistics have to be taken with a grain of salt. Government agencies are often under substantial political pressure to put a positive spin on the statistics they publish. Many economists work hard to please the economic elites and other powers-that-be, because that’s how you get ahead in that profession. Fortunately, there are enough “heterodox” economists who provide us with alternative views. This all doesn’t mean that statistics are worse than “damn lies”; on the contrary, one cannot make sense about where we are headed without statistics. The point here is that one needs to understand why different statistics may give us different answers.

This is more than a little reminiscent of the Boomer cluelessness that simply can't grasp the significance of a rise in tuition from 500/semester to 15,000/semester when wages have not risen. Not a single American cares about the rising Chinese standard of living when his own has declined, and declined significantly in comparison with his parents.

What we've witnessed over the last 50 years is the mass transfer of American wealth and property title from the middle classes to the elite of the US elite. These indicates that revolution is coming, sooner or later, in one way or another. Right now, the average citizen is content with Taco Bell and Netflix... but Netflix is becoming less entertaining with every season that passes.

The problem, of course, is one of labor oversupply.

The American economy has been operating under the conditions of labor oversupply since roughly the 1970s. The main causes were immigration, the entry of massive numbers of baby boomers and women into the labor force, the export of jobs overseas.
- Peter Turchin

Vox Popoli: Don't let them leave (California)

After the wall across the southern border is built, a second one needs to be built on the California border:

Just over half of California’s registered voters have considered leaving the state, with soaring housing costs cited as the most common reason for wanting to move, according to a new poll. Young voters were especially likely to cite unaffordable housing as a reason for leaving, according to the latest latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times. But a different group, conservatives, also frequently suggested they wanted to leave — and for a very different reason: They feel alienated from the state’s political culture.

They defecated all over their collective bed. Better they be sentenced to enjoy the hellhole they created rather than be permitted to travel elsewhere and recreate it.

This is why no city, state, or country should ever permit any immigrant, or his children, or his children's children, to vote. People are very bad at understanding causality and they tend to prefer the familiar, so despite the apparent senselessness of this behavior, it is not difficult to understand why emigrants reliably attempt to recreate the very conditions they sought to escape.

The Illusion of Control, by Robert Gore | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

The US empire may be history’s last.

The illusion of control that has sustained the US’s nominal government and its behind-the scenes power since World War II is fading both at home and abroad. In many areas the US military is no longer unquestionably superior and in some is demonstrably inferior. As military prowess goes so goes the American empire. Amplifying the decline and compounding its severity are the US’s perilous finances, deteriorating economy, and mounting political unrest.
That US military power was never all it was cracked it up to be was apparent to astute observers after the Korean War, and was obvious after Vietnam. Possible escalation and humanity’s extinction precluded use of nuclear weapons. However, in both Korea and Vietnam local populations, with assistance from outside allies, withstood mind-boggling barrages of conventional bombs and munitions to gain in Korea a stalemate and in Vietnam a victory.
Vietnam demonstrated the difficulty for invaders of fighting determined insurgents using guerrilla tactics—usually labeled terrorism—defending their home territory. The insurgents know the territory and the language and often enjoy the covert support of the local, ostensibly non-combatant population. In Vietnam they also received covert and overt support from China and the USSR.
The insurgents extracted such a price that eventually the American invaders, plagued by protests and political opposition back home, decided conquest wasn’t worth it. Vietnam illustrated a stark reality, never publicly stated by US military or political leaders: to win the war would have required genocide—essentially wiping out the population. Or to paraphrase the saying popular at the time, to save the country the US would have had to destroy it, inflicting far more damage than the gruesome toll it actually exacted.
Fiascos since Vietnam further confirm that guerrilla insurgency remains problematic for the US military. It stymies one of the US’s main geopolitical objectives—forcing smaller countries to toe the US line. Fighting the insurgencies that objective elicits goes hand-in-hand with subversion, propaganda, intelligence skullduggery, and regime change—whatever’s necessary to extract compliance.
If the US can’t defeat insurgents in smaller countries despite its overwhelming advantages in conventional military power, what would happen in a match with someone its own size, another superpower? Here the illusion of control is most deadly.
Nothing is more dangerous than the belief that the US military is second to none and that it can win whatever offensive engagements it is assigned while also protecting the US homeland and its people. Andrei Martyanov demolishes that illusion in his recently published and highly recommended book, The (Real) Revolution In Military Affairs.
On March 1 2018, Vladimir Putin announced new Russian weapons that had either been deployed or were in advanced states of development. Collectively, the new weapons’ most striking features are hypersonic speeds (ability to travel at five times the speed of sound, Mach 5, or faster) and nuclear power.
The Kinzhal missile has a top speed of Mach 10, and the Avangard hypersonic-glide projectile Mach 20. Both can be conventionally or nuclear armed, and are maneuverable throughout their flight trajectories, making defense against one such weapon problematic, a swarm impossible. The Kinzahl has a range of 2000 kilometers (over 1200 miles), while Putin said the Avangard’s range is “intercontinental.”
Putin claimed Russia has also developed nuclear-powered underwater drones and cruise missiles. The drones are faster than any currently deployed surface ship or submarine, have a range of 10,000 kilometers (over 6,000 miles), are cloaked by underwater stealth technology, and can carry both conventional and high-yield nuclear warheads. They can be deployed against surface naval assets like aircraft carrier groups, or placed in a coastal area, armed with a nuclear warhead, and detonated, generating a massive, radioactive tsunami wave.
The nuclear-powered cruise missile can carry conventional and nuclear warheads, is low-flying and highly maneuverable, and has virtually unlimited range. Like the Kinzahl and Avangard, stopping one would be problematic, a swarm impossible. If Putin’s claims about Russia’s nuclear-powered missiles and drones are true, they have achieved state-of-the-art advances in the miniaturization of nuclear power.
The US political establishment and its mainstream punditry, devout believers in American military superiority, either ignored or dismissed Putin’s announcement. Those that addressed it said he was lying without specifying their factual basis for saying so.
To its credit, the US military took the announcement more seriously. From its own efforts to develop hypersonic weapons it knows that such weapons are possible. It asked for and received a significant funding increase for programs to further develop and test hypersonic weapons and defenses against them. While reportedly not as far along as Russia, China is also developing these technologies, some of which are already operational. Among serious military thinkers, Putin’s announcement put a spotlight on the next leg of the arms race: hypersonic speed and miniaturized nuclear power.
To date, no prominent US political figure, even those who reluctantly acknowledge that the Russians may actually have what they claim, has delineated the vital implications of such an arsenal. Most disturbingly, the US has no effective defenses. Russia can also render much of the US’s offensive capabilities irrelevant. Martyanov persuasively makes both cases.
While the US still has its nuclear arsenal to fall back on, Martyanov argues that in conventional warfare, the US has deluded itself. The US’s vaunted air power is increasingly vulnerable to Russian anti-aircraft systems, notably the S-400, the world’s best. Stealth air technology is overrated, its cloaking ever more easily penetrated. High-powered communications, computer, and networking technologies upon which US air power relies are subject to disruption that would leave missiles and jets figuratively flying blind.
Aircraft carrier groups—along with submarines the heart of US naval strategy—are floating dinosaurs. While their proponents claim they can be protected from anti-ship missile clusters, there is no real world validation and given recent improvements in those missiles’ range, maneuverability, and power, reason to believe just the opposite. Demonstrations of antimissile artillery knocking out a single missile on a defined path under ideal conditions are risibly remote from what would be real world conditions in a confrontation with another major power: swarms of maneuverable missiles on random flight paths amidst the general chaos of war. It is foolish to assume carrier invincibility and to base naval strategy or foreign policy on that assumption.
Insurgents have repeatedly battled US forces to a standoff or worse. Two major powers have weapons that can stymie or destroy significant parts of America’s conventional offensive capabilities, that can be used offensively with devastating effect, and for which the US has no defensive countermeasures.
This set of facts is plainly incompatible with the control the US establishment believes it can and should exercise around the world. Russia and China appear to have no such hegemonic aspirations, concentrating their efforts in their own backyards and letting the US waste its blood and treasure on imperialistic adventures. The US’s unipolar moment began fading in 1949 when the Soviet Union detonated its own atomic bomb, but repeated encounters with reality have done little to shake the illusion of control. Economic, financial, and political developments at home render the illusion delusional.
This is Part One, Part Two will be posted next Tuesday.

A Story of Patrimony - By Ira Katz

The third weekend of September in France is known as the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine, or European Heritage Days. During this weekend many public and private locations are open to the public. I visited a place I already knew, the house of Marcel Dupré in my town Meudon, just outside of Paris. In particular, the room open to the public was a small auditorium equipped with an organ built especially for this great organist. What I would like to relate to you is a story of patrimony; a story of how individuals and communities recognize the gifts of art, architecture, music, instruments, … culture itself, and pass them to future generations.
Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) as born into a musical family in Rouen and was a child prodigy. He said he was “born in an organ.” He came to Paris to study at the conservatory there with among others Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) and Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911). Thus, Dupré entered the line of great French organists with his teachers, and in particular as the regular organist at the Paris church Saint Sulpice.  In this charming interview of an old Dupré (1967) that took place in the same room I visited, he described his own meeting with Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) and then further recounted the meeting of Saint-Saëns with Franz List (1811-1886).
The story of Dupré became linked to a benefactor, Claude Johnson, who was the managing director and a founder of Rolls-Royce Limited. He called himself the hyphen between Mr. Rolls and Mr. Royce. This is how he described his first meeting with Dupré.
On my first visit to Notre Dame after the war [August 15, 1919—The Feast of the Assumption], it seemed to me that the playing on the big organ was very much better than anything I had ever heard before . . . I found seated there Dupré . . . He was surrounded by some twenty disciples, male and female, mostly pupils, who regarded this young man of 34 years of age with undisguised awe and admiration. He guessed who I was, and made me sit on the organ bench beside him. Immediately one saw that he played the organ with most surprising facility. I saw him playing a chord in which his thumb was on G-natural and his little finger on B-flat. The music flows under his agile hands and feet which move over the keys and pedals without any apparent effort like the rippling of a stream over round stones. $25 Gift Ca...Buy New $25.00(as of 04:45 EDT - Details)It was not just his playing, but also the composition of Dupré that interested Johnson. A history of their relationship has described how Johnson immediately offered Dupré 1500 francs to write down the improvisations he was playing for publication. He soon arranged for Dupré’s first concert outside of France at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Among the 7000 spectators was the future King Edward the VIII.
By this time in the early 1920’s Dupré was looking for a house for his family. His old master Guilmant was born and lived in Meudon. He had had a private organ constructed in his home by the celebrated builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1899 and Dupré was one of his students there. Thus, it was years later after Guimant had passed away Dupré, now the great master, was looking for a home for himself and the unmaintained Cavaillé-Coll organ that was bequeathed to him. He bought a house just around the corner from Guilmant’s in Meudon. But the house had no room to contain the organ. So here again Johnson provided assistance to build the auditorium adjacent to the house, including the braces on the beams that had originally been installed in the hunting lodge of an English king. The room is lovely with an atmosphere that somehow reflects on all the great musicians who had passed through and played there. The house has been owned for over 40 years by a retired pharmacist who bought it from Madame Dupré based on her suggestion as she was his regular customer. The organ and auditorium are maintained financially by an association that he had formed subsequent to his purchase of the house. At that time a young man volunteered to help restore and maintain the organ. He has continued to work on the organ for these many decades without pay!
It warms my heart to experience this great patrimony of European civilization that stretches across so many generations. But how much longer will it be preserved? The zeitgeist is infected with a cultural pathology that would destroy this patrimony for the reason that it emanates from dead, white, males. To anticipate the postmodernists’ critique, I am not so nostalgic and naive to not understand that pride, jealousy and other faults are the ever present components of human nature (see here). These men were not angels. But this room, this instrument, this history, this music are objectively beautiful, a true patrimony for all people everywhere.
The organ being played on the day of my visit. The unassuming gentleman turning the pages has restored and maintained the organ for more than 35 years as an unpaid volunteer!
One of the braces given by Claude Johnson that came from the lodge of an English king.
The organ auditorium of Marcel Dupré.
This letter by Dupré’s wife Jeanne to a former American student just after his death does not directly apply to this essay, but I include it because of the lovely sentiments it expresses.
Friday 23 July 1971
My dear friend,
Your letter reached me this morning and I was profoundly moved by all you wrote from your heart. Yes, I have received letters and telegrams by hundreds from all over the world and am far from having answered them all. But yours, which came apart, gets this returned answer.
The sudden passing away of my beloved husband was a terrible shock. On Whit-Sunday, May 30th, he was playing his two masses at St. Sulpice, ending at 12 o’clock with an improvisation on the Easter Alleluia which a friend had requested, and a few hours later, at the end of the afternoon, all was over. After St. Sulpice, we had driven back home, had a quiet lunch together, then he read his Sunday paper and said suddenly: “I feel a little cold; I am going to lie down on my bed.” Shortly after, he lost consciousness and passed without any pain. When the Doctors arrived, there was nothing to be done; rupture of abdominal aneurism.
I am heart-broken. After our many years spent together in such close union, the loss of that wonderful companion, so great, but so simple, so kind, so loving is so hard to bear.
But I thank God for his peaceful end, a blessing for him, this end he deserved after his great life of devotion to his art, to his students, to his friends, and his humanity. Everybody loved him.
I try to get some strength from so many happy memories of our life, particularly from the very last ones. On April 22, he played for the last time in London, at the Albert Hall for the celebration of the centenary of the Hall in which he had given his first concert abroad in a concert hall fifty years before, in December 1920. He had such an ovation from the impressive crowd: 7000 people. We were both deeply moved. I am sorry I have no programs of the Albert Hall.
Then for his 85th birthday, there was a most moving evening at St. Sulpice: his oratorio “De Profundis” was sung during the first hour, then a big group of his former pupils at the Conservatoire where he had taught for 28 years, gathered around him in the centre of the church; Messiaen, Langlais, Cochereau, Mme. Durufle, etc., etc., read beautiful tributes before him.
A week later, on May 13th, Rolande Falcinelli who succeeded him as the head of the organ class when he was appointed Director of the Conservatoire gave a recital with his 2nd Symphony and he concluded the recital by a great improvisation.
The funeral took place at St. Sulpice on June 3rd, in the packed church. The service was so beautiful, with the Requiem Gregorian Mass which I had requested.
He was buried in our little cemetery in Meudon, a few minutes from our home, with our darling Marguerite. We both used to go to her grave every day. Now I go alone until I join them.
Marguerite was our only child. The girl you saw at the concert last year was a cousin from Rouen.
Now, I am trying to be courageous for my three grandchildren, all three students and who still need me. They are sweet kids and their grandfather loved them so.
With many thanks for your sympathy,
Sadly Yours,
P.S. I don’t get The Diapason and would be so grateful if you would send me a clipping of the article.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Political Realignment Is Coming to America – Edward Ring

The next time hatred comes your way, don’t recriminate. Recruit.

Just over three years ago, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking at a fundraiser in New York City, characterized half of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” And for more than three years, Trump, along with everyone who supports him, has been subjected to passionate hatred from nearly everyone who would rather have seen Clinton elected.
It might be tempting to return the favor and hate back. That not only would be a tactical mistake—since you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar—but also inaccurate targeting. There are a surprising number of liberals, progressives, and even socialists, who are not only anti-Clinton, but are begrudgingly, and increasingly, capable of seeing the positive side of the Trump presidency.
A very early indication of this came in October 2016, when John Pilger published in the London Progressive Journal an influential article titled, “Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump.” Pilger, notwithstanding his socialist leanings, is a world-renowned journalist and filmmaker of undeniable courage and integrity.
In an eloquent tirade notable for its many, many examples of how Hillary Clinton is a murderous establishment puppet, this observation by Pilger summed it up: “She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted ‘exceptionalism’ is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.”
Sound familiar? And wow, how that system has tried, and continues to try to take down Trump.
Pilger saw it coming. About Trump, he wrote, “In the circus known as the American presidential campaign, Donald Trump is being presented as a lunatic, a fascist. He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our scepticism.”
A “media hate figure.” Ain’t that the truth! And liberals eat it up. And along with Trump, they hate us. Or do they?
John Pilger isn’t alone. There are millions of liberals, progressives, Democrats, and even socialists who have seen through the establishment’s programmatic hatred, despite (or perhaps because of) it coming from every quarter—entertainment, academia, corporations, politicians, and all mainstream media, online and offline.
Their skepticism is indeed aroused, and not just over Trump.
Loving the Bull
Many Trump supporters cheered his election not because of his pugnacity (about time), or his policies (also about time), but because when you hate the china shop, you love the bull.
Trump has exposed the Democrat versus Republican, Right versus Left, liberal versus conservative paradigms as, if not obsolete shams, then at least models that have lost most of their dialectic vitality. They remain real and represent important differences, but they are overshadowed by a new political polarity, worthy of urgent and vigorous dialectic—globalism versus nationalism.
Until Trump came along, the globalist agenda crept relentlessly forward under the radar. Issues that now can be framed explicitly as globalist versus nationalist—immigration, trade, foreign policy, even climate change—found deceptive expression when shoehorned into the obsolete paradigms.
It suited the uniparty establishment to engage in phony, ostensibly partisan bickering to keep up appearances. It suited them to pretend that immigration and “free” trade bestowed unambiguous global economic benefits, while claiming that to oppose it was economically ignorant and “racist.” It was convenient to pretend ceaseless foreign interventions were based on moral imperatives, while silencing the opposition as “isolationists.” It was easy to get away with promoting climate change policies based on supposedly indisputable scientific evidence, while stigmatizing opponents as “deniers.”
Suddenly all of that is revealed as almost Ptolemaic in its contrived complexity. Here is Trump’s Copernican breakthrough: if you want open borders, absolutely free movement of capital and jobs, and an aggressive international “climate agenda” enforced by the American military, you are a globalist. If you do not, you are a nationalist.
The impact of the globalist agenda has been felt acutely in America already, but the pain is spreading and intensifying.
Unskilled immigrants are taking jobs away from the most vulnerable Americans, and every year, they continue to arrive by the millions. Manufacturing jobs which are vital to America’s economic vitality are being exported to any nation with cheaper labor, costing Americans still more jobs. Policies that are supposedly designed to save the planet have made it virtually impossible to build anything cost-effectively—houses, roads, reservoirs, power plants. In states where the globalist agenda is well advanced, the gap between rich and poor is at record levels, and the cost-of-living is prohibitive.
The rest of the world faces the same onslaught from globalists. With rare exceptions, such as the administrative clerisy and the minute fraction of economic refugees for whom the rudest of welfare benefits in developed nations far exceeds their lot in their nations of origin, the only beneficiaries are the investor class and multinational corporations.
Economic development, utterly dependent on cheap fossil fuel, is denied because fossil fuel is denied. African cities that might become inviting metropolises fueled by natural gas and nuclear power are instead hellholes of misery, as a burgeoning population forages into wilderness areas for food and fuel, stripping it of life.
The problem with the globalist vision isn’t just that it denies people their cultural identity as it McDonaldizes the world. The problem is that it’s not working economically or environmentally. It is an epic disaster, unfolding in slow motion. If globalism isn’t stopped, it will engulf the world in war and misery.
And guess what? There are liberals, progressives, and socialists, who get it. The see how their lives are being destroyed. They see through the platitudes, they see the hypocrisy. They can tell that globalism is not working. They’re looking for new ideas.
Modern American Nationalism Transcends President Trump
Donald Trump may have accelerated nationalist movements around the world, but how they find expression in the decades to come depends on how they are shaped by his followers, including belated, reluctant followers, including many who had been his critics. For many years, there have been a lot of smart Democrats who are rejecting the tactics of globalists, even if they have not been critical of globalism itself.
In California, a crucible of American culture, two respected Democrats offer examples of brave commentary that constitutes rank heresy to establishment globalists. In Berkeley, of all places, Michael Shellenberger, a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment” and co-writer of the EcoModernist Manifesto, has worked tirelessly through his organization Environmental Progress to campaign for reviving nuclear power in America.
Shellenberger in recent years has turned his attention to California’s homeless crisis, calling for emergency measures that cut through a web of stultifying, counterproductive laws that have prevented effective solutions.
Another Californian, quite possibly the most intelligent Democrat who’s ever lived, is Joel Kotkin, a fellow in urban studies at Chapman University, described by the New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer.” For more than a decade, Kotkin has patiently explained how urban containment (because suburban sprawl supposedly causes excessive “greenhouse gas” emissions”) is strangling our cities and preventing equitable economic growth.
Backing up everything he writes with data, Kotkin has exposed the hidden agenda behind extreme environmentalism, and how it benefits a coalition of special interests—investors, tech billionaires, the professional consultant class, and public sector unions—but condemns everyone else to a feudal existence.
Nationalism Can Be a Model for World Peace and Prosperity
What is nationalism? Why does that word have to connote something extreme? Why can’t it simply acknowledge the practical reality of borders, language, culture, and history, and the ongoing right of citizens to determine their own destiny and compete in the world?
Why is it that to the establishment in America and throughout the western democracies, “globalism” is still held up as an ideal, and the inevitable destiny of humanity? Why can’t that inevitability be restricted to the technical facts of globalization—communications, transportation, trade, finance—without also requiring a surrender of national sovereignty? Why can’t nationalism be compassionatebenevolenteconomically enlightened, and inclusive?
Nationalism can be all those good things. It can be a model for world peace and prosperity.
As for “climate change” mitigation, why are rational criticisms such as those produced by the luminous Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg castigated as denying reality? Shall the reasoned skeptics of the world be swept away by an orchestrated crusade fronted by children? Should the 16-year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg’s vapid denunciations of world leaders actually be taken more seriously than Bjorn Lomborg’s impeccable cost/benefit analyses?
Although mass movements of people proceed more slowly, a philosophical realignment arguably is already upon us. In terms of applied political theory, the prevailing opposition today is nationalism versus globalism. Like all polarities, these labels are fraught with ambiguities and contradictions. For that reason, there are virtues to some aspects of globalism just as surely as there is a dark side to nationalism. Moreover, the 20th-century polarities of Left versus Right and liberal versus conservative are still potent. But to have a meaningful political discussion today, those 20th-century labels are subsumed within the new model.
To be a left-wing socialist liberal, most of the time, is to be a globalist. But not always. Not anymore. Remember this, the next time hatred comes your way. Realignment is coming.
Don’t recriminate. Recruit.