From all of us at Social Matter, we bid you a Happy and Prosperous New Year! A preternaturally quiet week around the sphere in this interregnum betwixt Christmas and New Years. I didn’t get a lot of notices of new articles, and nearly half of them were from Arnold Kling finding every way possible to not understand bitcoin, and a few impossible ways. I won’t bother linking those, but his ruminations upon 2018 as a year of resistance is spot on.
Over at American Greatness, VDH has a history lesson with some striking parallels today: Back to the Future: From Scooter Libby to Donald Trump. History is what VDH does best… This too: The Bigmouth Tradition of American Leadership. We don’t have quite the admiration Hanson does for certain less than stoical figures of American History—nor a fortiori the stoical ones—but he provides an excellent set of vignettes with analysis.
Let’s see… what else was going on?
Well, it may have been a light week, but a significant fraction of what did get published was of extraordinarily high quality. Shylock Holmes has distinguished himself in the ‘Sphere with his on-going etiological study of auto-genocidal birth rates in the West. This week he looks at Feminism and Birthrates. First, the meta problem:
It is the rich and educated who are having the least children. We are not just shrinking, we are getting dumber to boot. If you doubt me, I’ll gladly stake a wager on whether you should expect to see more articles about “The Flynn Effect” or “The Reverse Flynn Effect” over the next 20 years. One does not have to be a HBD fanatic to observe that, if current trends continue, it is hard to see a scenario where this ends well.
Next a litany of possible causes, which zeroes in on the runaway inflation of the price of “good schools”. This he sees, in large part, as fueled by feminism, which broke down the social equilibrium in which almost everyone benefited by living on one income…
[T]he norm that, in general, women don’t work, was a reasonably strong Schelling point around which to co-ordinate. As long as everyone stuck to the deal, you could afford exactly the same house and school district as before, but now there was someone at home to make dinner, keep the house clean, look after the kids when they came home from school.
As the Schelling point collapsed, we got the school district arms race. The first couple to have dual incomes can move up a long way in the school district/land rat race, but it wasn’t stable. Other people joined in, and before you know it, everyone has to have two incomes just to afford the same house that they would have had before until a single income model.
Which skews birth-rates way down among those most likely to have children that raise average general intelligence. Superb work from Holmes, which garners him an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Silver Circle Award☀.
At Generative Anthropology, Adam has earned his reputation by veiling one of the most radical critiques of modernity under a scrupulously polite and measured discourse. (This is his superpower. Shhh.) This week the fangs show just a little bit in The Counter-Inquisition.
Liberalism has infiltrated all institutions, but it can never completely conquer them because liberalism is intrinsically parasitic: it needs a center to be de-centered. Counter-infiltration therefore involves holding the center, even if the center is just basic competence, which we now know is equivalent to whiteness. I call victimary moral panics the “Inquisition,” with apologies to the real thing, because they function essentially as human rights show trials. The discourse is prosecutorial, with the charges constructed out of what would be the “pre-crime” of earlier, successfully prosecuted offenses […]. So, accusations with follow-up questions presupposing the legitimacy of the accusation. “When did you stop beating your wife” become “when did you stop the silent, implicit abuse of not believing all women everywhere”? The crimes are all necessarily made up, as terms like “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” etc., function in exactly the same way, and have exactly as much conceptual content, as “counter-revolutionary” did in the USSR. They are simply ways of identifying enemies of the people.
Actually, that’s more than a little fang bearing. So what if we turn the inquisition around?
If women can’t co-exist with men in public spaces without constantly falling victim to all manner of sexual assault, shouldn’t rigorous regulation of sexual relations, to the point of not allowing unmarried individuals of different sexes to be alone, be put in place? No, the answer will be, we just need to stop white privilege and toxic masculinity. But where is the boundary between white privilege and plain old whiteness, between toxic masculinity and the new and improved non-toxic alternative? Not only is drawing a line here impossible because of the basic incoherence of the categories, but it’s undesirable because it would inhibit further movement, which is to say, it would block the flow of power, undermining the very purpose of these categories in the first place.
I can’t remember the exact quote, but in the Hacker News where Curtis Yarvin was discussing his own disinvitation from the Strange Loop Conference a couple years ago, he wisely said something like: “OK, show me the positive propositions I must assent to.” Not in those words, but that was the gist. To the believer in actually rational discourse, this is perfectly acceptable request. You’re saying I have evil opinions, let’s nail those “correct” opinions right to the floor here and maybe I’ll assent to them after all. Needless to say, his offer was not taken up. What the liberals want is power, and the freedom to insist “Ever-lefter” is the very source of that power. To spell out a specific orthodoxy once and for all dooms the project. This is why “Content of Character”, color-blind avenues of argumentation is racist. Because your cultural masters said so! Anyway, Adam has much much more here, and I urge folks to RTWT! This one takes the ☀☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Award☀☀.
Imperial Energy offers some more Tough Questions for Neoreactionaries, stemming from Darwinian thought, not so much what as how. The Big Question: Is American, pace James C. Scott, in reality a barbarian nation, thus eviscerating the Menciian Critique? I cannot hope to answer the charge fully here, but I think the answer is contained in Moldbug: There has always been two Americas—the Civilized (centralized, pacified, scrupulously law abiding) Massachusetts America and the “Barbarian” (libertarian, seat of the pants, uncultured) Everywhere Else America. And these two Americas have always been at war, and the “Civilized” side keeps on winning. But they haven’t seen fit to try to wipe out the “uncivilized” claimants for over 150 years. So statistically speaking, much of Barbarian America remains. This is in contrast to Europe, where the Blue Empire literally genocided Barbarian Europeans.
Alf surveys Thee Current Year that was over at Alfa NL. This column, qua Schelling Point, gets a mention. Alf has one of the better senses of humor in the ‘Sphere, and is always a worthy read, even when he’s (rarely) wrong about stuff—especially when he’s (rarely) wrong about stuff. Speaking of which… he’s definitely not wrong here as he pits the Jimian versus Heartistian viewpoints: Heartiste’s 1 pretty lie. I don’t want to steal his thunder, but this is a pitch perfect formulation…
Heartiste gives you tools to get laid in the age of thots.
Jim gives you tools to end of the age of thots.
This one was an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Nick Land is well enough to post a (criminally sane) Quote Note.
American gun rights are enshrined in the Second Amendment and are by far the strongest of any major country in the world.
In Russia you need to fill out reams of forms just to get a hunting shotgun. All handguns, magazines with a capacity of more than ten rounds, fully automatic weapons, and open carry are illegal.
By way of Isegoria… Doc, how do I know where I should shoot? On the ambiguity of “hunter-gatherer”; on so how do you handle an Eric Garner-sized man who won’t comply?; on Combining endurance and strength training has always been tricky—or impossible; and an endorsement of a sort: He who does not know foreign languages does not know anything about his own.
Cambria Will Not Yield was reverently silent for this holy week.
This Week in Jim Donald
An abbreviated week from Jim, no doubt he was busy preparing for the new year in the traditional Australian fashion. I don’t know what the traditional Australian fashion is, but I have to assume it involves excessive alcohol consumption, and the world’s deadliest collection of spiders, snakes, and trees. However, Jim did pen a brief reminder that yes, all women are like that. What are all women like? Glad you asked.
Women are attracted to arrogant violent men. They are attracted to IQ<80 criminals because criminals are allowed to be violent, while high status males are not, with the result that the status hierarchy as perceived by women winds up upside down from the status hierarchy as perceived by men. AWALT. All women are like that. When people say that not all women are like that, NAWALT, it is like aging fat feminists saying that different men have different types so you can’t say one type of beauty overrules the others. Not so: Men want to fuck young, beautiful and fertile women. Women want to fuck arrogant, violent, criminal men. That is all there is to it. We may nuance after accepting that, but only after accepting that.
Providing that nuance is left as an exercise for the reader, but in order for you to do that successfully, Jim has to hit you with the hard stuff first. It’s for your own good.
Which unfortunately is anti civilizational and counter civilizational. Hence the need to modify civilization so that high status males get to perform more private violence. It is easier to have more private policing, to make male status hierarchies more convincing to women, than it is to make women have sex with the men that they should, and refrain from having sex with the men that they should not.
When affluent respectable middle class white males beat misbehaving daughters and wives, and receive any necessary public assistance in so doing from police and authorities, while low lives do not receive similar assistance, then IQ<80 criminals will stop being so strangely attractive to women, and the guy in the corner office will find himself receiving hot letters from women he has never met.
Now, look, no one, least of all Jim, is advocating beating women as an end in itself. It is an unfortunate measure that must be employed to get the situation back in hand, for the greater good of restoration of a decent civilization that is not hellbent on suicide. It is the fact that we allowed other men to remove the real threat of beatings that makes beatings temporarily necessary. The “other men” point is significant. As commenter Coke put it:
Just as nonwhites are fundamentally irrelevant to the political balance of power, women are fundamentally irrelevant to the sexual balance of power. Feminism is nothing but a club with which some men strike down other men.
If this surprises you, meditate upon it until it no longer does.
This Week in Social Matter
Things remained rather slow around here, but the West Coast Guyz™ run the Myth of the 20th Century podcast like well-oiled machine. This week’s history-packed recording: Episode 50: Storm Of Steel—The Great War.
This Week in Kakistocracy
Porter took the week off. This should not be construed as a lack of things to be outraged about…
This Week in Evolutionist X
Evolutionist X kicks off the week with another invaluable Cathedral Round-Up #28: They’re not coming for George Washington, that’s just a silly right-wing conspiracy…
I’m old enough to remember when George Washington was admired for freeing all of his slaves in an era when most people took slavery for granted. Today he is castigated for not having sprung from the womb with a fully modern set of moral opinions.
Yes, they are coming after George Washington. So predictably, in fact, that it makes the Archie Bunkers of the world look like geniuses. Mrs. X snags an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for her tireless and crucial work here.
And for Anthropology Friday, more excerpts from (and commentary on) Frank Lucas’ Original Gangster.
This Week at Thermidor Mag
The year has come to a close on a light week over for our sister publication Thermidor. Jake Bowyer starts things off with Third World Creepin’. Bowyer ponders the grim history and present of the great city of Chicago.
For Europa Weekly we have The Lost Legions of Christmas.
Next up is a reprint of Billy Pratt’s The Narrative of Heartbreak and “Big” (1988).
And finally, rounding out the year is N. T. Carlsbad with Geneva 1782. Carlsbad revisits the Geneva Revolution of 1782, a short-lived and lesser known precursor to the French Revolution.
This Week Around The Orthosphere
Cologero is winding things down over at Gornahoor. Tho’ we hate to see him go, this may prove a salutary boon to many who haven’t been reading him since 2006(!!), as he promises a final series of digests and distillations. This week he tackles The Order of Things.
According to Kristor, The New Castellation of the Eurosphere hearkens back to reconquista fortifications and foreshadows a new crusade.
Bonald discusses the antimaterialist sentiment of Heisenberg’s Physics and Philosophy (1958).
Perhaps science does not provide a complete picture of reality because such a picture does not exist (at least for minds like ours), and perhaps religions speak in myths and parables not because they are false but because there are truths that can be expressed in no other way. Perhaps there are even resources here for wider rapprochements between rival religions and philosophies.
A relatively quick read, this one snagged an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
J. M. Smith demonstrates a historical context where the new mass migrations should be considered Seeds of Sedition.
Matt Briggs, reporting on the media, raises this alarm: Washington Post to Christians on Christmas Morning: Jesus Didnít Exist. And in light of the President’s wildly successful first year, it seems that Underestimating Trump is His Biggest Advantage. Also at Briggs, Ianto Watt writes more about the history between east and west, its relevance to the present, and the religious Signposts pointing toward the future.
Mark Richardson calls out liberal conservatives, and particularly Jordan Peterson, because he is Not a true outsider? Then he writes more on the corrosive nature of liberalism, on which train There is no brake.
William Wildblood also rails against liberalism this week, calling it A Bad Bargain – Our Spiritual Destruction.
The Western world is having the spiritual life sucked out of it. The rest of the world follows in the wake of the West. Our minds have been deconstructed and are in the process of being reassembled to reflect a false reality, but we are so deluded that we regard this as progress. We have rejected truth and eagerly embraced a soul-destroying (quite literally so) lie. We are becoming shadows of real human beings.
The Sydney Trads’ 2017 Symposium
On Christmas Eve, the Sydney Trads released its symposium of longform essays on leadership and strategy within this restoration movement. Each one of these essays is worthwhile and important. Valdis Grinsteins writes Ideas are for Action as the Bow is for the Arrow, which focuses on the qualities reactionary leaders should exhibit.
If you want your activism to be practical and effective, first study and analyze your adversary, be bold and creative in your actions, do not be discouraged by enemy propaganda or initial set-backs and defeats, and look for funding in places where you can build community without having to be dependent on a few big donors or the state. Perhaps most importantly, pray.
Mark Richardson describes the development and criticizes weaknesses in liberalism, predicting The Future Belongs to Us (if we want it to).
Our main competition is right liberalism because it acts as a distraction from the civilisational defining questions that only non-liberal political theory has the courage to address. In other words, our greatest opponent is ill-equipped to deal with the very things that have motivated us towards various forms of activism, be they explicitly political or cultural. However, the right liberal camp is no longer as solid as it once was. Yes, there are some who remain comfortable with what the nations of the Anglosphere and the West have become. But it is notable that others have drifted into the Dissident Right (or even the Alternative Right) because they too are alarmed by trends within the mainstream liberal culture and see the failed attempts to stop this by conventional conservatism.
Thomas F. Bertonneau points to a path of scientific development directed toward traditional anthropology when he asks, Is Practicality Practical?
Praxis, for modernity, means doing things with the minimum of energy at the front-end (although that minimal quantity of energy might be quite large) so as to insure the maximum of physical results at the back-end. Any human concern is external. When modernity apprehends such non-physical notions as spiritual efficacy, cultural significance, and cosmic attunement, however, it knows not what to make of them; it would instinctively never assign them within the circle of practicality, but would laugh them out of court. … A mechanism, no matter how subtly wrought, that did nothing in the world of matter but let us say claimed only to generate metaphysical significance would likely strike a Twentieth-Century mentality as a gimmick, like a magic eight ball, but it could never truly understand it.
Barry Spurr provides some broad context regarding the problems in academia, hopefully leading toward Reclaiming the University.
The source of the range of problems besetting the contemporary university, as of so many problems in contemporary society, is to be found in the 1960s. The previously unheard-of idea was introduced, then ñ in that period of immense social upheaval, when radical notions were taken to their extremities and often beyond, into the la-la land of plain absurdity ñ that ëeverybody should go to universityí. We are paying a tremendous cost today for the commitment to this fatally flawed notion, which, it was maintained, would be a Great Leap Forward for equality and a formidable challenge to whatever remained of the wretched elitism and exclusivity in the world of higher education. No one promoting this nonsense paused for a moment to query whether making higher education available to anyone who wanted it might have the disastrous effects that, indeed, it has had on standards, right across that system: that so far from raising everybody up to a stellar level of intellectual attainment, it would drag all but the most resilient and talented (that is, those who should be at a university in the first place) down to the lowest common denominator of so-called achievement.
James Kalb lays out a plan for Dissolving the Black Hole of Modernity, which culminates in an argument for the widespread readoption of Catholicism.
Without an understanding of human nature, the world, and the particular tradition of which we are part that ties social goals and traditions to the structure of reality and thus turns them into objective standards, there is no reason to interpret a tradition one way rather than another, or to take allegiance to a particular society, political regime, or civilization seriously. We might prefer this interpretation or that, or recognize allegiance as socially beneficial, but why not bail out when thereís a serious personal cost? Also, the current public order is based on a particular understanding of reality. To overcome it we need another that is more adequate to human nature and the world and is capable of inspiring an overriding allegiance. That again means religion.
Kristor J. Lawson pushes Toward A New Aristocracy and gets real about how to actually build a viable ruling class.
If we are to generate nobility then, we shall have to do it from the ground up. To put that another way: we shall have to do it ourselves; and what is more, we shall have to do it to ourselves. We shall each have to become as noble as we can.
Frank Salter brings up some particular “Strategic Considerations for Anglo-Australian Identitarians.” But don’t let the title fool you, universal political principles are described, and the high point is a rare taxonomy of nationalisms. Part 1 and Part 2.
Here we shall examine six types of nationalism popular in Australian history ñ ethnic, liberal, economic, republican, civic and reactive. In the following discussion I argue that an identitarian variant of the liberal type is the most balanced, capturing elements of the other positive types while retaining the authenticity and prudence of the Anglo Saxon political tradition.
This Week in Arts & Letters
Chris Gale has thoughts (and art and quotes) for St. Stephen’s Day—aka. “Boxing Day”. Inspired (apparently) by E. A. Gray’s piece last week, Gale digs up a gem from Wallace Stevens: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. A psychiatrist’s own lament on Opioids and Millstones. He has a bit of John Donne with timely admonishment To the Young Gentlewomen. And for New Year’s Eve the obligatory Sunday Sonnet, courtesy of Hilaire Belloc.
Over at Imaginative Conservative this looks quite promising: “The Habsburg Manifesto”: A Conversation in Four Acts, an excerpt from Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna’s independent film project: The Habsburg Manifesto: How Modern Democracy Ruined My Life and How I Got Revenge. Promising, indeed! Pearce pulls from Joe Sobran in identifying Big Brother in the Classroom. Malcolm Guite offers an original sonnet (with audio) for The Feast of St. John the Evangelist. Filed under Pretty Much Completely Different: Sympathy for the Devil: The Tragedy of the Altamont Concert—a review of the Rolling Stones’ documentary film: Gimme Shelter, which presents an utterly undigested view of the counter-culture, and why you don’t invite the Hells Angels to do stage security.
Also there, they have the full text of Viktor Orbán 2017 Christmas Address: “We Europeans Are Christians”—bracingly parochial: What’s not to like? Theologically literate to boot.
Up a City Journal, a review of various Words of the Year. The impeccable Merriam-Webster people named “feminism” Word of the Year 2017. Yes, really. Clearly, it was a post-humous award. Husock explores one of the most delicious benefits of the Tax Reform Bill, i.e., who it really hurts. And Stefan Kanfer has a thus-far review of BBC’s The Crown.
Richard Carroll has two year-end summary posts: one 2017: The Speed at Which Cherry Blossoms Fall is a review of the blog and his writings elsewhere; the second a review of the Books He’s Reading. And that dude reads a lot!!
A quiet week (after several very hectic ones) over at The Logos Club. Kaiter Enless kicks off a new sci-fi series: Reclaimer: Episode I.
Chris Morgan offers a one act play of sorts: Dark Interests.
Finally this week in Parallax Optics, Paul Overstreet presents a valuable primer On Beauty. In which he introduces three possible sources of beauty (subjective, intersubjective/socialized, objective) and evaluates their explanatory power. Facial attractiveness is seen to be almost entirely objective, as it is so heavily hardcoded in humans by natural history. A properly nuanced piece, which impressed The Committee, to the tune of an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
This Week in the Outer Left
Another light week from the left, hopefully they will return to their former levels of… interestingness in the New Current Year.
However, there was one pretty bright spot this past week. Rob Horning, writing at The New Inquiry, offers a ‘review’ of The Last Jedi. Those scare quotes are very much intentional, because this piece is less review than it is honest, albeit confused, investigation of the collective neuroses of the bugmen. I will quote it at some length, as is my wont.
We went to see The Last Jedi last week, out of an obscure sense of obligation (how else would I be able to participate in society?), and throughout its seemingly endless running time, I kept reminding myself that we chose to be here, we chose to see this, and that they made this movie no better than it needed to be.
Emphasis is mine, and pay attention to that bit, it’s important.
I began to interpret the entire film, its plot and its character development and not just its mere existence, in light of this feeling. That is, I began to see the movie’s story as a comment on its own existence (maybe all films work this way?) and the stakes of it as whether we should ever have to watch another Star Wars movie again. Of course, Disney is going to make them. That is certain, but do I have to go and watch them? Do you?
…[w]e are shown a planet full of fat-cat arms dealers who outfit both sides of the conflict, who don’t care who wins the light-saber battles, and who no one with the full flowering of the Force flowing through them seems to have ever thought to struggle against before. If the rich people who fund and profit from “the struggle between good and evil” will survive and thrive no matter who wins, then what difference does that struggle make? Maybe Driver and Ridley really should be joining forces, as Driver proposed, so they can take the fight to the real Darth Icky: capitalism
This scene renders everything else we have ever seen in the Star Wars films moot. None of the ostensible storylines about a quasi-religious struggle over the power of the life force in the universe ever mattered, because behind all those were a cabal of greedy industrialists who truly dictated the action — in fact there has been a star chamber of producers and technology makers who have orchestrated this battle to perpetuate it for their own ends. It’s almost as if the true villain is Hollywood.
Yes, that’s right, literally nothing matters except the struggle against capitalism. This is what socialists (claim to) really believe. But wait, it gets even better, and it is the following that renders these proceedings pure bugmannery, in light of the opening.
At times, I could almost believe The Last Jedi wanted to set its audience free, that it wanted to offer a new hope. But if the backlash is any indication, that audience is not interested in freedom. Most likely, I too will go to see the next film in the series, as if it were some sort of civic duty, and I will be just as disgruntled with it then as I am now. I’ll still want what they are punishing us for wanting, and I’ll still be hoping they can make a better spectacle out of it.
And there it is. The feminized impotence of the bugman on full display, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Capitalism is so evil and fighting it is the only thing that matters, but it’s just too much work to not go see a movie, after all, what will people think? Mr. Horning, I rarely indulge women or children in this lenient a manner, so consider yourself fortunate that I’m extending you this courtesy: on behalf of all reasonable people, I give you permission to save your money and not go see any more Star Wars movies. If you still cannot bring yourself to engage in this simple action, successfully performed by 99.99% of all humans who have ever lived, then I’m afraid the malaise you feel in life is terminal.
Elsewhere… a Mediumite is very—very piously—concerned about “Our Democracy”: Is Social Media Replacing (Real) Self-Governance? Real. Self. Governance. Like we had back in… never. There are probably a million good reasons to nuke social media from orbit. Rescuing our faux democracy is not one of them. (There may be a good half-dozen or so reasons not to nuke it from orbit, too.)
This Week… Elsewhere
Roman Dmowski has a quick update on The Russian Collusion Nonsense.
Al Fin takes a rather disturbing—and shockingly plausible—look at the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: What Breed of Human Can Survive in the Future Commons?
Unorthodoxy (who appears increasingly orthodox… small-o at least) has a superb bit of art for St. Stephen’s Day. See also: Feast of the Holy Innocents. And the small-o orthodoxy is looking more and more like a pattern with: Saint Thomas Becket.
Over on Medium, this was pretty interesting Bitcoin as the first anti-fragile economic entity. A bit boostery: Bitcoin might “usher in World Peace”? LOL. But still a worthwhile read overall.
This week in Zeroth Position, Insula Qui has quite a bit to say On Individualism and Nationalism. He attempts a synthesis of the two. We wonder: Why not neither?
Greg Cochrane identifies two Strategies for human sexual reproduction. Exactly two. Plus errors.
That’s all we had for this week. Many thanks to our faithful TWiR staff who contributed at least two-thirds of all the words herein: David Grant, Egon Maistre, Hans der Fiedler, and Aidan MacLear, I really couldn’t do it without you. Here’s to the Best Current Year ever… Keep on reactin! Til next week: NBS… Over and out!!