This week in American Greatness, Roger Kimball considers The Left’s Hostile Takeover of Corporate America. Not sure how hostile it was… or whether it was ever a takeover, but that the left is in charge of it now—see James Damore and David Gudeman’s class action complaint against Google—seems quite undeniable.
Our friends in the Great White North poked their heads out from under the ice shelf to deliver a review of a collection of essays: The Other North America—including an extensive recount of the conflict between the ideas of radical Thomas Paine and loyalist Charles Inglis, who ultimately fled America for Canada during the Revolution, becoming Canada’s first Anglican bishop. Inglis’ forthright rebuttals of Paine’s godless nonsense are alone worth the price of admission. Mark Christensen snags an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for his high quality work here.
VDH makes the case in The Great Experiment that Trump’s governance has been as “hard right” as Obama’s was “hard left”. Aside from rhetoric, one wonders how terribly hard right or left respectively each one actually was/is. But Hanson is a very worthy interlocutor on the subject, and certainly presents a strong case.
Let’s see… what else was going on?
Shylock Holmes graces us with a second essay in as many weeks: On the Dying of the Darkness. He contemplates the not unalloyed good of city lighting, and what a lack of a view of the heavens just might cost. This too was an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Antidem emerges to tell the story of Big Bill’s Black Mama Vs. The SJW Cat Ladies—tho’ I much preferred “short-haired white lady brigade” as official moniker. It’s probably speculative fiction… but not very speculative.
This week in Generative Anthropology, Adam goes very meta in Absolutist Epistemology. Meta on meta(!!), but it’s probably unavoidable when talking epistemology.
Back (by popular demand?) at Alf’s: The next installment in the Orb of Covfefe series: Part VII—Life or Death. Riveting.
Imperial Energy unveils the next installment of his “STEEL-cameralist Manifesto”: Part 6C: STEEL Reaction III STEEL-cameralism
Over at Jacobite, Jacob Phillips meditates on his experience working nights in Escape and Inexorability, wherein he reaches surprisingly deep conclusions about the future of human society.
When the promise of escape meets the inexorability of unassailable forces, hybrid life forms come to the surface. If the forces of capitalism are immutable, if the markets really are minds which now—fired by digital technology—that must mean that the unending commodification of everything and the rewiring of our brains with fiber-optic neuroreceptors, then maybe the battle of this century won’t be between capitalism and one of its alternatives, but between what form of capitalism should take hold, or rather, more precisely, how capitalism can and should relate to nature. The challenges will involve not so much finding alignment with our biological ordering, but defining the parameters of human life so it is intertwined with the natural in a way which can parallel the homogeneous unity of nature and spirit in premodern metaphysics.
Friend of Social Matter, Anatoly Karlin, has some observations about female suffrage. None of his points should be news to you, but they are worth repeating.
In the West that would be the culturally pozzed mainstream, i.e. anything but nationalism or the hard right.
However, what constitutes “handshakeworthy” has differed down the ages.
Two to three generations ago, it was well known that European women voted relatively more for Christian conservative parties. In most countries, more women than men consider themselves religious, while far more men subscribe to outright atheism; a vast socio-demographic echo from centuries past, when religion was the bedrock of society as opposed to just another consumer item.
In Russia, the handshakeworthy electoral choice is the conservative/patriotic “party of power” United Russia, but not so much the nationalist LDPR, the communist KPRF, or Navalny’s liberals.
Everyone backs the strong horse, the winner, the mainstream conventional wisdom to some extent, but women do so to a greater extent. Be the strong horse, be the winner, be the conventional wisdom. All of which, eventually, we shall be.
By way of Isegoria… Tyler Cowen and Andy Weir discussing space governance. On needing some rules to make some rules. Would you pay $70,000 for a lunar vacation? On understanding the mechanics of radicalization. Jordan Peterson’s 42 rules for dealing with Life, the Universe, and Everything; How Professional ironists love drug history (and how it seems likely that Steve Sailer reads Isegoria); finally, some decent-ish news by way of Audacious Epigone: A remarkably mild dysgenic trend—among whites that is.
Finally, CWNY returns after Christmas Break with an epistle on The Extremism of European Christianity.
This Week in Jim Donald
A short week from Jim, covering one of his usual bailiwicks: the Woman Question. Jim claims that the vast majority of rape accusations and the vast majority of rape convictions are false. Understand, reader, that Jim is more hardcore on the Woman Question than you, and always will be. Once you accept that, it leaves you with a certain sense of peace with yourself. This particular piece is so hardcore that we’ll leave the excerpts to our readers’ discrete imaginations. It’s fairly brief anyway, so just RTWT.
This Week in Social Matter
Activity picked up in these parts with (finally!!) a new installment of our podcast: Descending The Tower—13, 2017 Year In Review, Part 1. Anthony, E. Antony, and I were joined by Harold Lee, Jim Donald, Alistair Hermann, and newcomer Gerald Mann. Michael Perilloux will be joining us in Parte Deux.
The junior podcast at Social Matter is, of course, Myth Of The 20th Century (which has outgrown it’s elder by a solid 5 stone). This week they step out of the 20th Century for Episode 51: 2017—Year In Review.
Returning Friday, William Fitzgerald has an excellent article here In Defense Of Academic Economics. Which you probably weren’t expecting to see here. But…
If the claims of some economists are stupid, they are also bad economics. Economics aims to describe the world around us, and if it fails on those terms, it deserves to be criticized on those terms. The aim, however, is defensible. Even if one believes that there is a progressive influence of poor reasoning, economics is a field worth defending, rather than ceding wholesale to the enemy.
Good point. Fitzgerald takes up may controversial, but otherwise worthy, points defending Misean thought, which is a heckuva lot more mainstream, academically speaking, than Paul Krugman would care to admit. The Committee tapped this one for an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Silver Circle Award☀.
This Week in Kakistocracy
Porter took another week off this week. We trust all is well down there. Or up there. Or wherever he is.
This Week in Evolutionist X
Evolutionist X asks: Do Sufficiently Large Organizations Start Acting Like Malevolent AIs (and Society is an Extremely Large Organization)? In two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. The crux of the possibility comes down to the following relatively uncontroversial statements:
[A]s we add more people to a group–beyond a certain limit–it becomes more difficult for individuals with particular expertise to convince everyone else in the group that the group’s majority consensus is wrong.
The difficulties large groups experience trying to coordinate and share information force them to become dominated by procedures–set rules of behavior and operation are necessary for large groups to operate. A group of three people can use ad-hoc consensus and rock-paper-scissors to make decisions; a nation of 320 million requires a complex body of laws and regulations.
Of course, this brings up the question: do 320 million people actually make decisions, or do groups as small as 3 (or 7) do so? If the former, then the argument that society itself is at least a non-benevolent AI would be frighteningly accurate: All algorithm, no actor. The truth must be at least somewhat in-between. No dictator makes every single decision in a society, nor do 320 million people vote of what to do if the Norks launch a nuke. The question of what jeans look good this year, or which hip-hop act is all the rage is pure malevolent AI. Economic aid to Israel, however, still seems to be under human agency. I urge you to RTWT. In an agonizingly close vote this week, The Committee awarded this series the ☀☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Award☀☀.
Mrs. X closes out the week with Anthropology Friday and a conclusion to Frank Lucas’ Original Gangster.
This Week at Thermidor Mag
Alex Nicholson kicks off the new year at our sister publication Thermidor with Iran, The Last Gasp of the Anglo-Zionist Empire? Nicholson analyzes the fallout from the defeat of ISIS with particular focus on the recent protests in Iran.
If the Anglo-Zionists do find it harder to raise mercenary armies and goad paramilitary groups into launching revolts, then we may be witnessing the effective end of the empire, or at least, like a virus, a new less lethal phase. The public will simply not stand for big Iraq-like invasions, and if Syria marks the end of the “arms-dump + mercs” strategy that took out Libya and carved Croatia off Yugoslavia, then the only card left is the “Color revolution.”
Nicholson impressed The Committee with this one and earned an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
Next up, Walter Devereux takes a trip “down the rabbit hole of Anime productions” in Blood, Soil, and Anime: Studio Gainax and German Occultism. Devereux examines three notable anime for Teutonic inspiration—easy enough to find—specifically occult influences. This too was a darkhorse contender and an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀.
And finally, Nathan Duffy returns to provide a friendly critique of Adrian Vermeule with Exiled in Place.
The character of the Church as a sojourning society having no permanent home in the fallen world of our age can’t be denied. […]
But this truth must be held in tension with the reality of human beings as particular creatures embedded in a physical world, wherein the maintenance of life only comes by way of attachment to certain places. Just as we don’t take Christ’s “hate father and mother” statement as an abrogation of the command to “honor father and mother,” (instead recognizing it as a relativizing of family commitments in comparison to allegiance to Christ), neither is the understanding of the Church sojourning as exiles through this world to be taken to undermine the realities of embodied physical life, and thus the importance of place and its capacity to be sanctified.
This Week Around The Orthosphere
Cane Caldo recommends Jim Kalb’s contribution to the Sydney Trads 2017 Symposium: Dissolving the Black Hole of Modernity. As do we. Not sure if we mentioned it last week, but mentioning it again can’t hurt. It’s a clear-headed analysis of anti-civilizational trends and a practical what-do guide all in one. Superb!
J. M. Smith warns, Don’t Expose Yourself to demons or romanticized rationalism. Smith is rereading Dostoyevsky’s Demons, and his thoughts inspired therewith are not to be missed:
When Dostoyevsky says that the romantic liberals of the 1840s gave birth to the murderous nihilists and anarchists of the 1870s, he means that their dreamy idealism burned through traditional Russian culture like a wildfire through a forest, destroying as it went all the righteous sentiments of national pride and religious faith. Yet all of the noble ideals of these liberals turned out to be nothing more than the smoke of this fire, so that when the fire had burned out and the smoke had dissipated, all that remained was a charred landscape of blackened stumps and shifting ash.
Dr. Smith garners an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Honorable Mention☀ for this one.
Also at The Orthosophere, Kristor prescribes Islam Delendam Esse, which is Latin for “Islam must be destroyed.”
Bonald reviews the book Before Church and State by Andrew Willard Jones, about power dynamics in medieval France.
Jones notes that the inquisition has tended to have a bad reputation with historians, while King Louisí reforming enqueteurs are praised for helping to build the French state, but in fact they were the same sort of people doing the same sort of thing in service of the exact same project.
Matt Briggs gives his new year’s predictions and invites everybody to Register Your Predictions For 2018. Then he answers How’d We Do On Our 2017 Predictions? Next, he distinguishes between Real Versus Fake Fake News. Finally, science makes having children immoral, the new church of AI and its worshippers, public sex education becoming more graphic, and a transgender toddler’s book, all in this week’s Insanity & Doom Update XVII.
Guest posting for Briggs, The Blonde Bombshell explains Why People Seek Out Alt-Media despite its low reputation, including a little about how it got such a bad rep. Also, Kevin Groenhagen has an idea Why Most Members Of The Media Are Leftists.
As a journalist, Cronkite tended to focus on “what is,” and, as a result, became one of the most trusted men in the country. After leaving journalism, he was much more open about his liberalism and started talking more about “what should be.”
Today, it is obvious that many journalists would rather focus on “what should be” instead of “what is.” “And I believe that good journalism, good television, can make our world a better place,” CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour said in 2000. Of course, it’s not the job of a journalist to make the world a better place, i.e., changing the world from what it is to what it should be. Nevertheless, many journalism schools and media outlets echo Amanpour’s sentiment.
And how else is a journalist supposed to get a gold star on the Sunday School cork-board?
It was the sophists? Mark Richardson is surprised at the origin of the notion of an amoral so-called “natural man.” Then he writes On white knighting and its utter counterproductivity as a mating strategy and suggests better ways to channel the protector instinct.
Who was hurt most by the new tax bill? According to Dalrock, even though it’s still men, it’s being reported that it’s the Women hardest hit. Because, after all, what else can you expect from a thoroughly patriarchal misogynist society?!!
This Week in Arts & Letters
PA has another poem from Zbigniew Herbert, complete with translation from the original Polish (I think).
Richard Carroll has made a name for himself as a Reader of Old Books™ in a wider sphere of People Who Read Old Books™. The Bible, of course, is an old book too. On his way through that, he pauses to take note of Human Sacrifice in the Book of Judges.
Imaginative Conservative has some poetry from Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “Ring Out, Wild Bells”. Orestes Brownson’s 1843 address to Dartmouth students on the Scholar’s Mission. A traditional hymn (which was new to me): “The Seven Joys of Mary”. As well,
“The Gloucestershire Wassail”: A Carol for Epiphany, with embedded video. Finally, Respighi’s “The Adoration of the Magi”, music inspired by Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli.
Also there: thoughts on Why Conservatism Appeals to Young People—a very erudite essay explaining how young people are more fscked than ever before. And someone who doesn’t get talked about nearly as much as he deserves: Charles Lindbergh and his Philosophy of Vital Instinct
Over at City Journal, Heather Mac Donald looks at the hatefacts to explain why The Critics of Proactive Policing Are Wrong. Stefan Kanfer offers a eulogy of sorts: “Wild Books, Homeless Books”. And Guy Sorman discusses French economist Jean Tirole’s Economics for the Common Good.
Finally, this week at Logos Club, Kaiter Enless begins with the somewhat baffling First Precepts of the Et Ferro. His Reclaimer fiction series continues with Episode 2. And he proposes a host of aphorisms—some baffling, some fist-pumping—for the discriminating Reactionary.
This Week in the Outer Left
As hoped, this week picked up a bit on the Outer Left, and there was no shortage of interesting fare.
Rachel Bryan writes in The Baffler on the duality of the Southern thing. I have to light up the Southern Reaction (#SRx) signal for this one, because they will recognize exactly what it going on here. I went to high school with people like Rachel Bryan, I know her type. RTWT, and you will too.
It’s something to build on: poor and working-class voters in Alabama could foreseeably be rallied by the Democratic Party—but only when Southern poverty is no longer the punchline of a joke.
Over at The Awl, there were multiple interesting articles this week. First up is the continuation of their ongoing color series, rose madder, the pinky red of Stephen King’s worst novel and Hieronymous Bosch’s perverted playground. You guys know the drill by now, nothing too political here, just the history of a color. RTWT if that sounds interesting to you.
And then we turn to the typical bugman perspectives one expects from The Awl. Consider the adults who love Disney. Let me make it clear right out of the gate that this is not referring specifically to childless adults who love the Disney theme parks, so this is a level beyond mere Disney film fandom.
36-year-old Joe DeCarolis grew up with the average American Disney exposure—watching the movies and heading to Orlando on vacation with family—but he didn’t feel a real emotional attachment to the amusement destination until he returned as an adult with his then-girlfriend. The unreality of it all resounded enough for he and his wife to regularly make the trek from New Jersey to Florida for the last 15 years.
“It’s its own sequestered part of the planet where the street signs look different and there’s music everywhere and everyone’s nice—and you’re aware that it’s because of their job—but it still has the intended effect on me,” DeCarolis says. “[At home,] I miss that pleasantness where there’s no sarcasm and ironic detachment. It became this place where it’s my mental escape from the anxiety of real life.”
The bugmen have made the world into their own image, and now they turn away in disgust towards the idealization of Main Street USA that Walt Disney created for children. Sad, many such cases!
Last from The Awl is one I am actually kinda conflicted about. Jennifer Schaffer-Goddard reviews a smartphone app called Forest, an app that wants you to plant a tree and get on with your life. The basic idea of this game is to plant a virtual tree and then not access your phone, or the game will punish you by eventually killing your tree. The longer you ignore your phone, the bigger the tree grows. I hate to admit it, but as much as I want to make fun of people for using such an app, I might actually try it out myself. There are times when you really want to spend time without checking your phone, and a little gamified disincentive might be just the thing for it.
Self-improvement is a long, hard journey. Easy fixes are almost impossible to come by, self-discipline must be gained through hard labour and practice.
Very well said, and I can’t be wholly opposed to things that help build up that practice. Self-discipline is a muscle and you have to start somewhere to work it.
This Week… Elsewhere
Friend of this blog, Lawrence Glarus alerts us to the existence of Spotted Toad. If you haven’t been reading it—and you probably haven’t—you probably should. I’m hesitant to classify the blog as I just found out about it, but it appears to be a very high quality, acrimony-free, and data-packed social science resource. This week’s offerings for your perusal: California Here We Come—an in-depth look at California’s race to the achievement bottom as it “browns”; The Mormon Church is Not Responsible for a Nationwide Increase in Teen Suicides—in case you thought otherwise; and Black Magic Woman—which casts a boatload of nuance on NYC’s famously falling murder rate. Great find! Thanks, Lawrence!!
Nullus Maximus has a (pretty much exhaustive) round-up of Zeroth Position’s The Not-So-Current Year: 2017 In Review. Also there, Benjamin Welton has a view on the little-reported news: Nepal Has Fallen, i.e., into Chi-Com hands. Welton documents the history of Nepal’s precipitous decline from monarchy through democracy to Maoism in little more than a generation. An excellent read and an ☀“Official” #NRx Best of the Week Silver Circle Award☀ winner.
PA has a surprising (and surprisingly positive) review of The First Three “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” Movies.
Another thing I liked, was the stories’ treatment of antagonists. What always sat wrong with me in American youth comedies, is that the bad guy was almost invariably annihilated, completely. Presumably to the audience’s catharsis, but not to my moral instinct. Watching those comedies back in my school-kid days, I thought, “OK, the guy is an asshole, but he’s just a teenager. Is it necessary to so viciously humiliate and destroy him?” I didn’t enjoy one-dimensional villains and always preferred man vs. man conflicts resolved with the two rivals reconciling and learning from one another. And in the Wimpy Kid movies, unsympathetic characters were handled fairly enough.
I think we’ll be checking these out.
Al Fin asks: Can Africa Rise Above Its Poverty and Low IQ? He’s not sanguine about the prospect. One wonders, however, what damage might be stopped if the West stopped acting as a brain on sub-Saharan Africa. The population most necessary to drive up average IQ is constantly leaving. Related question: Are People with Low IQs Doomed to be Left Behind? Here, Fin is much more optimistic.
Heartiste has a link plus a boatload of perspicacious commentary on Technology And Female Hypergamy, And The Inegalitarian Consequences.
Zach Kraine makes The case for cultural primitivism.
Peppermint is so wide of the mark here that it is worthy of note: Platonism is the cancer killing the West.
For the Muh Moar Data minded… Random Critical Analysis takes a painstaking, and utterly compelling, look at what really correlates with national per capita healthcare spending, and what doesn’t. Number 7 will shock you! No, it won’t. But it’s good to have these facts safely tucked away in one’s mind the next time a Cathedral Cleric blathers on about economics and “healthcare”.
This week in 80-Proof Oinomancy, Ace makes an thoughtful return, with some weighty resolutions attached.
Welp… thanks for reading everyone. Many thanks to my tireless staff: David Grant, Egon Maistre, Aidan MacLear, and Hans der Fiedler, I couldn’t get this done without them. Happy New Year everyone… Keep on reactin! Til next week: NBS… Over and out!!