Archive for April, 2015

Quote note (#158)

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1994):

In De Regimine Principum (II.3) of St. Thomas, we find a pronounced antipathy toward traders whose profession he considered immoral. In the period between the two World Wars, the old ban on usury, officially lifted only in 1918, was propagandized in certain Catholic circles by “anti-capitalist” enthusiasts, including myself. Today I am thoroughly ashamed of my immature presumption, but, like many among us, I was then honestly convinced that there simply must be a third way. Of course, there is none. The means of production belong either to individuals, to groups of individuals, or to the state which simply conducts state capitalism. (“Publicly” owned enterprises exist on paper only, and “society” always remains an abstraction. It cannot own anything.)

April 4, 2015admin 29 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Zack-Pop II

Zack politics is interesting enough to have generated concern:

Zombie apocalypse logic inevitably paints humans — the ones who survive, anyway — as selfish, dangerous, and ready to turn on one another when confronted with hardship. It’s a vicious, social Darwinist vision of a society that unravels quickly and easily; the only things apparently holding us together are police departments and electricity. […] … The basic tenets of zombie logic also track with ​hardline conservative principles (self-sufficiency, individualism, isolationism), which have been increasingly forcefully articulated over the last fifteen years. In his 2012 book, Thomas Edsall examines the work of Wharton professor Philip Tetlock, which found that conservatives “are less tolerant of compromise; see the world in ‘us’ versus ‘them’ terms; are more willing to use force to gain an advantage; are ‘more prone to rely on simple (good vs. bad) evaluative rules in interpreting policy issues’ are “motivated to punish violators of social norms (e.g., deviations from traditional norms of sexuality or responsible behavior) and to deter free riders.” Sound familiar? Pretty much describes the moral compass of successful zombie survivors. Funny, then, that Republicans actually​ tend to hate the Walking Dead. […] Regardless, the proliferation of zombie culture, at this point, is mind-boggling. How are we, as an audience, still enthralled by the same scenario, the same brain-dead villains, the same emptied wastelands? “It’s feeding back on itself,” [Daniel] Drezner said. “Every time someone says we’ve hit peak zombie, something else comes along.”

The provisional XS hypothesis: Zack-prep is the commercial-aesthetic response to the death of conservatism. The progs can’t be stopped by any political mechanism yet installed, so it’s time to stock the basement with ammo and beans. Naturally, they’re going to say: you shouldn’t be thinking like that! It’s encouraging that so many people are.

April 3, 2015admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Zombie
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Sentences (#16)

Zizek hasn’t quite got there yet, but NRx is clearly where he’s heading:

It’s my belief that modern capitalism is developing in a direction in which it functions better without a fully developed democracy.

Some additional snippets: “I think what we are feeling is not a question of yes or no to capitalism, but that of the future of our Western democracy. Something dark is forming on the horizon and the first wind storms have already reached us. … The rise of the so-called capitalism with Asian values in the past 10 years at the very least raises doubts and questions: What if authoritarian capitalism on the Chinese model is an indication that liberal democracy as we understand it is no longer a condition for, and driving force of, economic development and instead stands in its way? … The 20th century is over.”

(Of course, this is mainly trolling by a “eurocentric leftist” — but one who (though demented) is perceptive enough to let things creep in.)

April 2, 2015admin 9 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Sentences
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Shrunken Brains

Gregory Cochran brusquely dispatches what might be the most incompetent piece of ‘scientific’ reasoning in recent years (although the competition for that honor gets ever more intense). The discovery — brains of poor children are statistically smaller. The insane leftist inference passed into the public realm as a logical conclusion: poverty shrinks brains. I’m not going to insult XS readers by laboring over the mistake here (Cochran does it succinctly enough, and with appropriate biting contempt). It’s utterly horrifying, from any remotely objective viewpoint, that such blatant stupidity could ever borrow the robes of science, even momentarily. This is what collapse looks like (and most probably our brains are shrinking).

(I was aiming to do some kind of April Fool’s thing here today. Sadly, this isn’t one.)

ADDED: Thompson patiently picks through the mess. “The paper and the comments will lead readers to believe that lack of money is stunting the brains of poorer children. This is possible, but not proved by this study because of obvious genetic confounders.”

April 1, 2015admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Collapse
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