Charlottesville, and the apparent crackdown on right-wing speech in its aftermath, was the 800 pound gorilla in reactionary news this week. Experienced readers will already be able to predict with at least two significant digits of accuracy what the editorial position of Social Matter will be on the topic. TWiR, however, is not going to be the place where we articulate that position. (I’m told an article is forthcoming.) But of course those I follow—many friends—have had much to say on the topic. We’ll link them, because that’s what we do: We link. Sometimes we comment. Sometimes we don’t.
Here’s what Loretta the Prole saw in Charlottesville. Atavisionary sees it as an Escalation—probably on both sides. Zach Kraine advises: Don’t protest before building—everyone is so in a hurry these days. Giovanni Dannato has reasons he thinks Charlottesville Will Help Alt-Dissidents—good ones. Heartiste chronicles Pax Dickinson’s detailed report from the ground in Charlottesville—and it’s a good thing too since he’s gotten kicked off Twitter again. PA on Nazi LARPers. Roman Dmowski’s Charlottesville Thoughts.
Moose Norseman contemplates Charlottesville And Why I don’t Write. Metternich chimes in. Fabius Maximus sets forth the facts about the Charlottesville riot pretty well. Titus Cincinnatus explains why Charlottesville Was a Massive 4GW Failure—and 4GW is just about the only W game in town these days. Unorthodoxy notes: Neoreaction Warned You. Well, we did. But this is not a good time to mention it. Real Gary brings up Charlottesville—and James Fields’ case more specifically. And Malcolm Pollack reviews Today’s Lesson.
Based Free Northerner is based: On Political Rallies—this was very well and succinctly put. Then FN takes some Lessons from Charlottesville.. American Greatness notes: “the issue is never the issue; the issue is always revolution”. Dannato recaps various Alt-Sphere reactions. TUJ admires 10-D Chess Game post Charlottesville. Even GA Blog—usually somewhat current-events-
phobic-taciturn—has a Brief Remark on Recent Event mostly regarding Trump’s deft rhetorical framing of it. Zeroth Position makes Thirteen Observations on Events in Charlottesville. Social Pathologist has a few more.
And over at Jacobite, David Hines provides a constructive response to Charlottesville with an examination of the concept of “hardcore” and how the Right can use it.
If you’re organizing a political movement, you have two tasks:
- You have to provide an option for a hardcore experience.
- You have to define hardcore carefully. Don’t let hardcore equal stupid.
This took me some time to wrap my brain around. As a boring person, I’ve never been particularly interested in being hardcore. But once I started thinking about it, I began to realize that the mainstream right’s deficiency in hardcore opportunities is a failure. My fellow mainstream righties will immediately object that violence is bad, stupid, and countereffective, and that’s true—but that’s not what hardcore is. Fringe righties make the same mistake in terms of equating hardcore with violence: as the radical libertarian writer Claire Wolfe famously put it, “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” Wolfe’s line is actually a terrific summation of the right-wing attitude, for mainstreamers and radicals alike. Righties view direct action as a binary, like it’s a light switch. Either they’re sitting around at home or they’re bringing down the gubmint. Anything in the middle is uncomfortable and awkward.
Lefties live in the awkward.
And rightists are the ones who should be fit to rule. Tho’ anonymous meme warfare from disgruntled denizens of the image boards can be an effective dentifrice. Hines’ concern about political violence is well-placed, but we’re never quite sure whether it’s because he realizes it’s all a fakery, or because he thinks it’s actually real. The Committee bestowed an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for his work here either way.
Outside of Charlottesville, VDH points out Silicon Valley Billionaires Are the New Robber Barons. Which is quite true. And they know which side their bread gets buttered on don’t they? But maybe there’s a new butterer…
Let’s see… what else was going on?
Alf has some ideas on Finetuning NRx. Unfortunately, for all of us, it is not merely NRx that would require fine-tuning for such a sweeping psychological change. More research needs to go into the purity spirals associated with religion, but my gut tells me that the phenomenon requires quite a bit more than the mere existence of a priestly caste, which I believe we’re all agreed, is inevitable in any human society. Indeed, my money has for a long time been on the lack of formalization of the role. When there are no legal and customary limits to the power of the clergy, that’s when the problems start.
Our good friend Fritz Pendleton has a few brief but very well composed Sunday Thoughts.
Imperial Energy has another of his Tough Questions for Reactionaries. And he doesn’t mean just any ol’ reactionaries, he means Us. This one concerns passivism. Helpfully, he cites The Master in discussing the subject, and goes into some theory about how difficult it may be to make passivism work.
Also there the next installment of A STEEL-cameralist Manifesto: Part 4B3: American Fascism (How the Founders Fought and Lost Against the Minotaur).
If Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton could see the results of their political experiment, what would be their judgement?
If they could study the evolution of their bold design, what lessons would they draw?
What would they do differently?
Could they honestly admit that their system of “checks and balances” restrained the power of the state—that the prison they designed for the Minotaur failed to keep the beast chained up?
Imperial Energy explains why not in this ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀. With lift from many including Reactionary Future and Bernard Bailyn. And here’s the next Part 4C1: American Fascism (The Nature of Fascism).
Spandrell has Matty Yglesias (and Morpheus) school Sam Harris on All politics are identity politics. Also there: Being a Conservative—a professional one at any rate. “The only valuable labels are those that work.” And… When Power wants something, it gets it. Otherwise it wouldn’t be “power”, silly.
Lulach the Simpler laments If only our statesmen could be dentists!
This Week in Generative Anthropology, Adam takes Formalism all the way down. As always, he provides keen analysis of the psycho-social dynamics of sovereignty. A taste…
The final residue of sacral kingship, which still invests our elected heads of government, is simply that someone must be at the center, and actually being at the center is a kind of a priori proof that it is you that should be there. The resentment toward the figure at the center merely confirms his sovereignty.
This means that genuinely overthrowing the figure at the center would require an equal and opposite sacrality. This is so difficult to imagine that you could make a very good case that it has never actually happened. Kings and governments have been overthrown many, many times, of course, but always in one of two ways: either the new figure at the center is presented as “always already” having been there (in which case the overthrow was merely correcting a previous one) or, in the modern revolutions, the central figure is overthrown, not in favor of a new figure, but in favor of a procedure for selecting rulers.
So what happens when we start really calling things what they are? Any downsides?
This transparency and self-reflexivity is central to absolutism. In constructing for myself some possible objections to absolutism I considered that someone might be horrified at all the people who would be disempowered by transference of power to an absolute ruler. The answer, of course, is that this is not the case: for the vast majority of people, nothing would change regarding their share in power within the social order. They have no power now, and they would have no power under absolutism. The difference is that now they are told that they have all kinds of power that they should understand, exercise, and seek to increase (because there are evil forces, whose evilness is constructed through such transparent narrative devices that only addiction to power seeking can blind one to them, that are always trying to rob you of them), whereas under absolutism they would be provided with a range of ways in which they can participate productively in their community. Under absolutism, we could freely admit that we’re working with formulas, which is to say traditions, all the way down, even in the very language that we use.
Still a big project, I think. But with right Mandate of Heaven… Please RTWT! It’s not that long… by Adam’s standards. This one took home an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Silver Circle Award☀.
Titus Quintius, over at Fifth Political Theory has the most comprehensive review to date of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies and the Alt-Right’s Politics of Transgression. Along with substantial commentary on the state of the Restoration, all with a heaping tablespoon of Black Sabbath. An ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
By way of Isegoria… Filed under “And All I Got was this Lousy Guillotine”: The economic benefits of the French Revolution came about while increasing inequality and consolidating wealth; ever wondered Where did summer vacation come from?—the usual suspects (of course); I totally believe this: Spending money on time-saving services may result in greater life satisfaction—just wish I had more money to spend on time-saving; As a woman in tech, Megan McArdle realized: these are not my people; The path to power for all “decent men” consists in a deeply deceptive competition to appear maximally unthreatening; and OWS protesters and bankers share a common delusion:
Both of them believe the bankers are more powerful in the story than they actually are.
Which the OWS folks have remedied by turning on “Nazis” who have supernatural powers to spread death and destruction upon the unprivileged.
Malcolm Pollack looks at the Tar Baby that $AAPL and $GOOG have become for many of us. It’s pretty funny he uses the idiom of “tar baby” too.
Finally, this Week in CWNY he rues The End of Classical Liberalism. It’s difficult for any American not to feel some attraction to the liberalism of our forefathers—the stark insanity of it being many generations in the future. But there is a better way.
This Week in Jim Donald
Jim was not unaffected by stateside events, not least because he’s got plenty of friends here. US News is World News. Sorry World. He notes that Charlottesville is Not time for war yet.
This absolutely needed saying: “Gassing the Jews is worse than a crime… it is a distraction.”
Charlottesville did not really give the Left cover to escalate. But since when did that ever stop ’em? Jim makes grim predictions as to The left plan. I have a contrary opinion as to what a Hillary regime would be like. I think Trump has made the Left Property Owners Association more desperate, thus more insane. Hillary would probably have been just more Obama, ‘cept in a pantsuit. When the LPOA feel in control, they find it easier to appear liberal. At least that’s my theory.
This Week in Social Matter
In what will be his last Week Kick-Offing Post at Social Matter, Ryan Landry has a masterful take on why we should be Moving Away From GDP As A Metric For Civilizational Well-Being.
[W]e are interested in civilizational-type measurements outside the bounds of the Cathedral. Steve Sailer has discussed the White Death as an indicator that something is wrong with American life as the native, core population has seen a reduction in life expectancy. America has also seen broader problems with depressed fertility, rising illegitimacy, etc., even though nominal GDP has increased. If the majority ethnic bloc and founding stock of the nation is not reproducing and seeing a reduction in life expectancy, there’s likely an air of despair or loss of hope for the future. This despair should be accounted for in any realistic metric of flourishing.
And despair is objectively on the upswing in America… even as it’s declined in Russia:
The American TFR also comes with an illegitimacy rate of just over 40%. Family formation is an issue. Russia’s illegitimacy peaked at 30% in 2005, but has since declined to 23%. This has happened despite a rise in absolute numbers for illegitimate births. Married couples are having more kids, which is a sign that more people see a positive future and feel comfortable forming families. Russia has also introduced social welfare programs to incent married couples to have children, but as shown by other nations, throwing money at the problem does not work on its own.
Excellent work as usual, from Landry, and an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀. Landry will be irreplaceable in the pantheon of SM contributors. This is as good a place as any to plug Devin Helton’s classic GDP and CPI: Broken beyond repair for further reading on the subject.
For Monday, the incomparable Arthur Gordian returns with analysis of Liberty And Parallel Deep State Structures. Worth the price of admission for his discussion on liberty alone. He notes that both liberal and “conservative” views of liberty…
concern themselves with the doctrine of “rights,” which are properties, either individual or collective, vested in action. A person with the freedom of speech, either positive or negative, has a special property right in the action of public speaking. They, in essence, own the ability or potential ability to speak to society. They answer the question of ‘does the man have the right to…?’ but cannot answer the question ‘is the man free?’. The latter is a question of a characteristic of the person, and the former is a list of his property-in-rights. This assumption from liberalism, that a person is defined by their property, cannot stand the scrutiny of careful analysis.
Gordian goes onto show the problem with even traditional liberal (i.e., conservative) notions of liberty is that they fail under conditions that pertain anywhere in the civilized world today:
[T]he free person must have the ability to defy the ruling class, in our case the Cathedral, and maintain himself against its enmity, else he is by definition a slave. Material means are no longer sufficient, be they wealth or weapons, as they no longer protect in the way they did in past societies. Furthermore, legal means of protection are insufficient, the law often being a mere tool of the managerial ruling class, and in addition to physical protection from the ruling class, it is necessary to have mental or psychological protection from the ruling class, lest one becomes like the Last Man and a slave in one’s mind. This ability to resist is perhaps the closest one can get to a differentia specifica for liberty. Certainly, it becomes apparent that liberty may be impossible in the modern world. Nevertheless, examine the following assumptions.
Liberty… is expensive. So…
The only thing which can confront and defeat a mass organization is another mass organization. For a person to have the ability to confront and resist the Cathedral elites, it is necessary for them to join and sustain an organization through which they can jointly defend themselves against the overwhelming power of the degenerate ruling class which governs the Cathedral-State.
You’ll hafta RTWT to find out how that turns out. Difficult… but tantalizing. Gordian wins the ☀☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Award☀☀ for his superb contribution in this one.
Tuesday brings the next and, alas, final installment of the Weimerica Weekly podcast: Episode 83—Charlottesville, wherein Ryan Landry announces his retirement from pundit life. I really cannot put into words just how valuable Ryan Landry has been to this once fledgling hub of reactionary thought. He deserves a lot more of a roast than I can give him in just a few paragraphs. Ryan, bon voyage… and we’ll be seeing you on the inside.
When working with nature, errors are immediately apparent, as are skill and grace. Rhetoric counts for nothing. What matters is results. For the reactionary urbanite, fishing is an accessible pastime that can provide the kinds of logistical, athletic, and mechanical challenges that forge fraternal and familial bonds. In this atomized society, it is also one of the few deeply satisfying solo endeavors available.
And heckuva lot easier to clean and cook a fish than an elk. Tho’ perhaps not on a per pound basis.
A professionally guided expedition can save a beginner hours of frustration and set him on the right track. But there is no substitute for time on the water, for getting out there before work, in the evening, or just casually noting conditions when crossing a bridge. The eye will start to pick up hatching insects, diving birds, or dimples from baitfish, and in time, correlations will be discerned between these and the weather, season, and time of day, such that a certain angle of light, temperature, and birdsong will bring a particular bite to mind. This visceral awareness of local game is the province of a predator.
Amen to that! This too was an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for the young Walker.
Friday, the West Coast Guys are up with the Myth Of The 20th Century podcast: Episode 31: American Cauldron, Immigration and Its Discontents.
Finally, This Week in Myth, Mr. Bishop retells Bladud And His Pigs.
This Week in 28 Sherman
Over at the home blog, Ryan Landry’s Monday Big Think® Piece finds Venezuela Insecurity Creates Repeating Motions. Repeating cycles… of ever greater eccentricity.
Maduro right now is simply copying the Chavez approach to cement his sponsors’ and his clique in power. Earlier this summer, the bold prosecutor in Venezuela tried to stop his call for a new constitutional assembly. Maduro’s clique’s cronies were in the judiciary and sided with him. She had been a pro-Chavez administrator. The media reports her holding a copy of their constitution and calling for integrity. Muh Constitution is global. She was holding up a document that was the sham socialist paper from not even twenty years ago.
Maduro’s clique holding the media megaphone blasted for voting in the July 30th referendum for a constitutional assembly. NPR, ever the neutral outlet, said the new assembly could, could, increase Maduro’s clique’s powers. Maduro needed that public validation of his rule for legitimacy because Chavez died before he had succession locked down and as the money ran out. The vote passed as it nearly always did for Chavez when he ruled. This new constitutional assembly is considered the highest authority in the land with wide ranging powers.
Eventually, of course, you run out of other people’s money. You just hope it’s not you that’s got to deal with it.
Superb analysis piece for Wednesday: Landry explains How Anti-Mass Incarceration Happens Without Legislation.
This Week in WW1 Pics, no pics. Rather SoBL’s explanation: Why This Photo Post Series.
I had to do it because my great-grandfather fought in WW1. In my hometown, there is a monument for those who fought in it. His name is on that. When it was his sons’ time to fight the Germans in WW2, he had told them, supposedly, that it was their turn to show that this was their country. Family lore is good and should be learned and shared. He was the first generation immigrant and yet he sailed across the Atlantic for trench warfare.
We talk all of the time about what veterans and soldiers fight for. It’s not trans rights. It’s not even Muh Guns and Muh Speech. They were fighting for their people, which is why the imperial wars of choice are so disgusting. Wilson conned America, but the bankers had to get paid. My great-grandfather and his peers were fighting for something else. Their little hamlet in Maine and hoping for a patch of green and a better life for their kids in America. They scraped by in a shitty apartment and worked in the mills for decades. They wanted to protect what they had and the opportunity for more here in America.
Ryan Landry: You’re going to be missed out here!
This Week in Kakistocracy
First off this week, Porter offers up A Brief History of Counterprotesting the Fascists. To give you a taste:
…[W]hen Chairman Mao began making great leaps forward, well, sometimes he stepped on a few fascists. How many nazi scum did Chinese counterprotestors squash from 1958 to 1962? Some claim only about 50 million. To make such a number more digestible, if the average Chinese fascist was five and a half feet tall, Mao could have laid them out head to foot around the Earth’s circumference—twice!
C’mon Porter… 5’6″? Don’t ya think that’s just a little bit generous?
Next, an addendum to the first post: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Moat. This one comes with a handy list of contemporary fascists to… “counterprotest”:
So conservatives should take note of precisely whom the left claims are nazis. Because in repeatedly expressing their intent to kill all nazis, a prudent man takes his political taxonomy seriously. To aid in that endeavor, Iíve listed below several prominent nazi entities.
Lastly, we have an even further addendum of sorts as Porter breaks down The Only Graph That Matters. That being Boom/Bust, in relation to the Left’s social capital. The boom is beginning, and the bust will bring no solace to the dead:
In contrast, the left is (by my debatable reckoning) now entering that bleak inflection point where effort immediately becomes effect. They want an artifact destroyed, it is promptly destroyed. In stock market frenzies this happens when the last bears and skeptics capitulate and join the bulls. Thus every equity purchase incrementally bids up the stock with no sellers in sight. The share price quickly turns vertical.
This is what effectively has taken place politically over the past week. Practically every institution of consequence has either announced full throated support of the left or is hiding in capitulation. There are no Bolshevik bears. Of course there remain republicans who, as the nominal bulwarks of viscosity against this flow, have spent their last capital consecrating the communists. Thus devoid of friction, the left’s social graph has bent steeply north. You may expect dizzying and ruthless progress going forward as a result.
This Week in Evolutionist X
Evolutionist X has a particularly perceptive take on Thermodynamics and Urban Sprawl—or TANSTAAFL.
The ban on trade with Britain and France in the early 1800s, for example, did not actually stop people from trading with Britain and France–trade just became re-routed through smuggling operations. It took a great deal of energy–in the form of navies–to suppress piracy and smuggling in the Gulf and Caribbean–chiefly by executing pirates and imprisoning smugglers.
When the government decided that companies couldn’t use IQ tests in hiring anymore (because IQ tests have a “disparate impact” on minorities because black people tend to score worse, on average, than whites), in Griggs vs. Duke Power, they didn’t start hiring more black folks. They just started using college degrees as a proxy for intelligence, contributing to the soul-crushing debt and degree inflation young people know and love today.
Not an argument against government—an argument against government commanding the sea. And an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Next Mrs. X notes: Terrorists are getting better at Terrorism. But I have huge questions about that data. Of course, one always gets more of what they pay for.
Anthropology Pirates Friday, she has Letters of Marque and Reprisal: A Quick History. For example,
By the 16th century, the Letters [of Marque] had shifted from serving purely personal interests to allowing private shipowners to become a kind of auxiliary navy, capturing the ships of enemy nations and profiting from the sale of their goods.
Business could be quite profitable for these “legal pirates”–for example, the tiny, Channel Island of Guernsey netted 900,000 Pounds worth of American and French ships during the American Revolution.
This Week in Quas Lacrimas
Quincy T. Latham has a minor, but nevertheless interesting, note Equations. At issue is the notion of functions: in math a purely abstract map from domain to range, but linguistically and philosophically a map of causation—or at least that’s how we think.
Latham offers more, much more, commentary on TQ’s Trifunctional Model. The TQ in question, for those who cannot keep all the reactionary pseudonymns involving the initials T and Q straight, is Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus, and the trifunctional model in question comes from Cincinnatus’ award-winning essay: Three Types of Societies, Three Types of Governments. Very technical, but very valuable comments from Latham here. He describes a socio-cultural phase transition thus:
[I]f you divide any sort of cultural system (a language, the conventions of body language and gesture, food, dress, hobbies…) into a large but finite repertoire of action-reaction pairs, and assume that everyone will personally prefer to respond in the way that the majority of their neighbors do and will prefer to interact with people who respond the same way they do, then over time most people will be completely surrounded by a network of people who act the same way they do, but where two expanding neighborhoods of local consensus meet, there will be a boundary characterized by low interaction-density and a sudden transition from homogenous adherence to one system to homogenous adherence to the other system.
Which pretty much describes the relationship between South Orange, NJ and East Orange, NJ. You’ll have to read both essays to keep up with the discussion, but Latham offers many gems in his analysis. Like:
Monarchy is as important a bogeyman (a fnord) in progressive political ideology as the Holocaust is in their cultural ideology. It is a pseudo-reductio, a stick with which to beat cringing conservatives. (“They may take our freedoms, but at least we’ll still have The Federalist Papers!”) “But couldn’t you use the same argument to defend monarchy?” is just one step up from drivel like “But couldn’t you use the same argument to defend Hitler?” To which the only proper response is: Huh, wow, I guess you’re right: looks like we’re going to need a lot of pesticide…
If you don’t like the rhetorical strategy, leave it to people who relish it. There’s nothing wrong with monarchy, in principle (here TQ and I agree, of course). The only way to get it through thick shitlib skulls that we despise their fnord is to ostentatiously emphasize that yes, monarchy is definitely on the table and we’ll be keeping it strictly Salic this time around. Some people thrill to the sight of ermine more than others, but I doubt that even Nigel holds that all government must be monarchic.
The “Nigel” in question being, presumably, Nigel T. Carlsbad, who at least has the virtue of not having “Q” as an initial. Q. T. Latham snags himself an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for this one.
Latham offers a corrective to Jim (!!) on the topic of Revolts and Riots. Sometimes the oppressed masses matter he thinks. Not usually, of course. But sometimes.
Finally, a helpful Index to my Religion Posts, for the Quas Lacrimas completist, as well as the casual browser. Quincy Tiberius Latham has done most of the heavy lifting on theory of church and state for our sphere for at least the past year. Nice to see a map of it.
This Week at Thermidor Mag
Our sister publication Thermidor has a number of contributors to the chorus this week. K. R. Bolton discusses Charlottesville in a global context with Charlottesville: The Left In Excelsis; Nathan Turner wants More Than Damore, Less Than Charlottesville; Jonathan offers some suggested Rules For Right-wing Radicals.
N. T. Carlsbad is back to his old self with an analysis of Hubbard Winslow and 19th century Boston Brahminism. Carlsbad takes aim particularly at the notion of the “informed and socially active citizen”:
Our “informed citizen,” whenever he turns around, finds a myriad of things to complain about. The rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes!
That man is hiring children! That other man is an unlicensed street food vendor!
Now, certainly, some of these could constitute public safety issues worthy of the civil magistrates. However, the ultimate result of our “informed citizen” declaring crusades on every slight private vice is to weaken the same private associations that act as a countervailing power to the polis, by having their functions slowly nationalized. Informal social bonds are dissolved to make for a polity of nothing but formal contractual relations.
Carlsbad gets a nod from The Committee with an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Next up, Jake Bowyer analyzes liberalism in 20th century science fiction and especially Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone fame. Contrary to his measured and subdued appearance, Serling was a ferocious Leftist, and his ideology was the driving force behind his creativity. There is good stuff in The Twilight Zone but Serling’s venom must be drawn out with care.
H.D. Aleman wraps up the week with Wittgenstein and the Global Form of Life, a meditation on how Wittgenstein’s changing circumstances influenced his philosophical work.
This Week Around The Orthosphere
Based Cardinal Sarah “We Christians Need the Spirit of the Vendeans!” An African conservative for Pope would solve a lot of problems for the Church. Any that it might cause would be positively niggling by comparison.
At the Orthosphere proper, Kristor argues Liberty Is the Fruit of Sovereignty as every individual is constrained by the order of some sovereignty. And J.M. Smith comments on how the university is not a place where anything can be debated, but that it is rather limited by the progressive winds in “Vir Prudens Non Contra Ventum Vingit.”
What’s Wrong With a Little Political Correctness? According to Richard Cocks it is inherently against any semblance of individualism and free thinking. Then he writes on the virtues and morals of Free Speech.
If academia in general would teach as well as Bertonneau’s First-Day Lecture to the Lit Crit Students, much would be cured regarding the general academic landscape. In it he provides a detailed account of what a real literary critic does:
A literary critic is foremostly an independent and cultivated person. He is not a bureaucrat. He is not first an organization man, a functionary, a partisan, or that insurrectionist creature, the homme de la barricade, and only then a literary critic. He is rather the nucleus of a passion, the passion being the same, and being set at the same high pitch as, his curiosity.
This Week in Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP): Quack Cures For What Doesn’t Ail Us Part I, Matt Briggs dissects arguments based on precautionary principles and the doctrine of unexpected consequences. Read it or else you could be culpable for an alien attack! Then, in Part II, he elaborates on the nature of theory, the neccesity of evidence, and how changing one’s mind requires a fundamental change. Next, Briggs answers the question, “Why Is A Living Planet A Heresy?.” Then he comments on Haaretz: “Dirty Jews” and the Christian Right and how some secular, American Jews are equating secular Jewishness with obscenity. Then he makes the “ironclad” argument, if you’re white, You’re A Racist
The irrepressible Ianto Watt provides insight behind the masks of the Masons in “Would A Secret Society Lie? The Freemasons Part I.”
James Kalb asks, Should Catholics favor democracy?, and discusses how Education and civilization are intertwined and how we must no longer ignore reality, as the post-modern agenda pushes us to do, but rather orient ourselves and education towards truth.
Bonald analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of Leibniz and his great task, and ponders Bishop Dukes’ good idea and the reason for segregation and why the left would never allow it.
Who do Liberals step up the abolition of sex distinctions? Mark Richardson reports on the societal distortion.
Sydney Trads provide a Guest Video: “Can Foreigners Wear Kimono?” which shows how foreign the cultural concepts of the Alt-Left are to the rest of the world. Then, Thomas Sowell in “Intellectuals and Race” takes us through some eye-opening racial statistics.
In 1910 black unemployment was slightly lower than whites and marriage rates were slightly higher than whites.
This refutes the notion that high unemployment and single-parent households are the result of slavery and racism.
… to say nothing of the notion of widespread improvement in black living conditions.
This Week in Arts & Letters
This week, Youtuber Reactionary Expat explored the question of Culture Creation on the Alt-Right in a marathon four-and-a-half-hour hangout. It’s good to see this subject receiving so much careful consideration nowadays.
At City Journal, Heather Mac Donald surveys a, thankfully, failed attempt to boycott the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, for their having had the temerity to invite Dennis Prager to conduct, arguing Culture, Not Culture Wars, please. David Black recounts a local history of Hudson, New York, and charts its changing fortunes in a time of revival as The Sixth Borough. Mark Pulliam observes the shady practices of Provocateur Journalism, charting the dismal influence of the SPLC’s agenda on the fourth estate. Bruce Bawer with a firsthand account of the European situation in the aftermath of the Barcelona attacks: No Place Truly Safe. Harry Stein restores a modicum of common sense to coverage of Charlottesville, retraining focus on the real, and thoroughly unobjectionable, issue of sane opposition counter-civilizational vandalism, Who’s Next? George Washington. And finally, Seth Barron is concerned about the possible enduring influence of the Shadow President still haunting the chambers of Washington.
Richard Carroll celebrates ten years of his bibliophile’s journal, with a retrospective offering insights, and maybe some inspiration for new voices, on the development he has made since beginning his blogging career, all those years ago. Here’s to ten more years, Richard. Keep up the good work!
Fencing Bear touches on the preposterous push against Medievalism for having too many white, male scholars, who *shock, horror!* ‘appreciate its link to Christian values’. Nevermind that since medieval European literate culture is ecclesiastical by definition, any who didn’t might find themselves in a rather impoverished state; one hopes this sorry agenda is quietly and decisively stamped out, though recent history doesn’t augur well. Also this week, an extensive article in which she lays out the chorus of disapproval following on from Charlottesville and relates it to the original persecution of The Witches of Salemville. Some adages it seems are doomed to repeat themselves, first as tragedy, then…
Chris Gale reminds us to stay determined and steadfast against the destructive entrainment of the elites’ grand folly, marking the cost of the narrative: the cost for the rich; admires Briggs’s logical consistency, Truth is a Harsh Standard; and since ‘hard, harsh unforgiving’ truth is ineluctable, let virtue itself, true virtue, be your guide. A brief note on the potential discrepancy between technological promise and its actual scientific value: watch this neuroimaging space. The probable passing of a local tradition. A musical interlude. E. Anthony Gray passes on a poem of Jeffers and the usual Sunday Sonnet.
A busy week over at Albion Awakening. First, William Wildblood argues that with a proper disposition we can find an Impression From Above as the spiritual world aids in our salvation.. He appreciates an uncharacteristically non-pozzed Radio 4 play about Tolkien in Love.
Bruce Charlton explores the metaphysical significance of this week’s solar eclipse—either be a natural means of experiencing ultimate reality or a means of avoiding the spiritual. He explains the differences between numerology and prophecy—and living well, here and now, returning to Rudolf Steiner’s 1918 lecture, on The Work of the Angels in Man’s Astral Body; which is as good a reason as any to revisit Charlton’s previous thoughts on this subject while we’re here. And he argues that the ‘insane world of lies’ we are living in is all the proof you need that our awakening is needed.
Some wise words from the late William Arkle on the restorative and creative value of letting go. Finally, William Wildblood on The Rebellion of the Left and not falling into the error of one’s enemies, even as you deplore that error in them.
A new look for the Logos Club, which this week sees Kaiter Enless exploring Machinic Horror, and discussing Charlottesville with Gio Pennachietti. Meanwhile “Angry Spirit” laments its organizers’ engagement of cultural warfare, arguing instead Toward a Policy of Cultural Isolationism.
Also this week, Enless offers an excellent analysis of the progressives’ Dark Idol of “racism”, its peculiar ability to shut down reason and discourse, and ultimately to eclipse Logos itself:
Fault was laid rather predictably upon the Dark Idol of racism and foundationless hatred who looms oíer the world like a colossus, straddling the globe and strangling all good mirth and camaraderie with his steely, vice-like grip. No protestation shall avail you once that terrible entity clasps its hands about your throat! All but the bravest (or most foolish!) fall silent beneath the throttling.
This was a particularly fine rant from Enless, which impressed The Committee to the tune of an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
And over to Imaginative Conservative, where this week Leo R. Ward asks, Why Chesterton?, before ranging over the hugely popular appeal of this giant man of letters. Brad Birzer celebrates an unsung hero in How Christopher Dawson Tried to Save History from the stranglehold of progressive consensus. Darrell Falconburg wonders, Who Reads Robert Nisbet Anymore?. Corey Latta explores C.S. Lewis’s great gift in the Cultivation of Imagination that inspired both his books and their readers in turn. Birzer returns with an analysis of Bruce Timm’s Batman reboot, as a barometer for Virtue in a Fallen World. Gleaves Whitney with another instalment in the series on Stephen Tonsor, To Hone One Mind Against The Gritty Stone of Another. Richard Nilsen praises Paul Cezanne, whose signifance extends far beyond the ontogeny of modern art. Stephen Klugewicz explores the true significance of the Confederate statuary under assault from the vandals of the Left, while Longenecker trains his eye on another statue, asking What is the Meaning of Michaelangelo’s David? Joseph Pearce addresses The Challenge of Real Masculinity, among the principal problems of perennial concern; meanwhile Jacoby Sommer asks In What Way Should We Imitate Abraham?. And a coda in some verses of R. L. Stevenson’s reminding gratitude for the abundance of the late Summer Sun.
This Week… Elsewhere
Real Gary (Seven) provides a bit of Context for a potential geopolitical conspiracy theory, which could be effectively true even if the particulars aren’t really there. Also: Political Correctness is Biological Warfare—in more ways than one no doubt.
Zeroth Position remarks On The Relationship Between Libertarianism and Fascism. They are certainly not, he thinks, diametrically opposed. (We agree.) Heck, “liberty” means the natural right to be fascist on your own land if it means anything at all. Now couple that with uninhibited freedom to buy up more land, hmmm… You see where this is going, right?
I have a couple of quibbles with Zach Kraine’s Social Archeofuturism, but you can probably already guess what they are. Hint: people only say they want to see proof. (What they actually want has nothing to do with truth.) Also, Allan C. Carlson, inter alia, has been publicizing high quality empirical studies in support of broadly socially conservative norms for decades. It’s simply not true that Social Conservatives tend to support their views by religious arguments. The dumb ones might. But they’re not the ones publishing high quality journals like First Things. Also from Dark Age News, a short story: A hero and the succubus waiting at the door.
Over at Man-sized Target, Dmowski says Goodbye to All That. Particularly well-put:
Liberalism is a crucible and it reduces everything in it to a single moral value to the exclusion of all other concerns, including honoring talent, bravery, courage, loyalty, and one’s ancestors. The narrative on the confederacy has changed from a tragic war of brother against brother and a post-war-consensus where we honored the bravery of the southern soldier as part of national reconciliation, to one where racism=bad=confederates=Nazis=off-to-the-gulag.
… or whatever other narrative happens to keep the Harvard Moral Jackboot™ stepping on your face.
Well, that’s about it folks. Huyuuge week. Lots of Charlottesville. Lots of good theory. A fair amount of good theory about Charlottesville. A tip of the Sombrero to the Very Based TWiR Staff, without whom this brief recounting would not be possible: Special thanks to David Grant, Alex Von Neumann, Hans der Fiedler and Aidan MacLear for their invaluable help. Egon Maistre was off this week for personal reasons. We look forward to welcoming him back soon. Keep on reactin! Til next week: NBS… Over and out!!