Archive for August, 2013

Camp of the Saints

Who could have guessed?

(More here.)

August 20, 2013admin 23 Comments »
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Suicide Express

In an intriguing post on migration and ‘expressive voting’ in Alsace-Lorraine  after the 1871 annexation, Bryan Caplan notes that although “over 90% of the new citizens of the Second Reich voted for … anti-Prussian regional parties” only 5% decided to emigrate back to France. Clearly in this case, migration patterns revealed genuine commitments — based perhaps on economic opportunity — while elections were merely an occasion to express ethnic emotionalism without consequence. As usual in human affairs, microeconomics was aligned with approximate reason, whilst politics was possessed by destructive irrationality, redeemed only by its impotence.

It’s hard to imagine what Caplan is seeing as the politically-correct take-away from this example. What it demonstrates starkly is that even populations characterized by scrupulous rationality in their private economic affairs will exploit electoral opportunities to vote for insanity — as judged by their own revealed preferences. Expect even model immigrant workers to expend their votes signalling an adherence to ethnic zealotry and ruinous economic populism — and in particular, the reproduction of exactly those social pathologies they have migrated away from. Like the French in post-1871 Alsace-Lorraine, they’ll probably vote as if they want to live somewhere they manifestly don’t want to be. (But that’s not supposed to be the message, is it?)

August 19, 2013admin 12 Comments »
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Reactionary Horror

Within the Western tradition, the expedition to find Kurtz at the end of the river has a single overwhelming connotation. It is a voyage to Hell. Hence its absolute importance, utterly exceeding narrow ‘mission specifications’. The  assigned  objectives are no more than a pretext, arranging the terms of approach to an ultimate destination. The narrative drive, as it gathers momentum, is truly infernal. Dark Enlightenment is the commanding attraction.

There are no doubt species of reactionary political and historical philosophy which remain completely innocent of such impulses. Almost certainly, they predominate over their morbid associates. To maintain a retrograde psychological orientation, out of reverence for what has been, and is ceasing to be, can reasonably be opposed to any journey to the end of the night. Yet such a contrast only sharpens our understanding of those for whom the disintegration of tradition describes a gradient, and a vector, propelling intelligence forwards into the yawning abyss.

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August 18, 2013admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror , Neoreaction

Quote notes (#21)

A glimpse into the anarcho-capitalism of the dark web:

Despite his caution, [Dread Pirate] Roberts’ personal security remains an open question. But the potential lifetime in prison he might face if identified hasn’t slowed down his growing illegal empire. “We are like a little seed in a big jungle that has just broken the surface of the forest floor,” he wrote in one speech posted to the site’s forums last year. “It’s a big scary jungle with lots of dangerous creatures, each honed by evolution to survive in the hostile environment known as human society. But the environment is rapidly changing, and the jungle has never seen a species quite like the Silk Road.”


August 17, 2013admin 4 Comments »
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Quote notes (#20)

Sailer’s review of Blomkamp’s Elysium is indeed a “self-recommending” masterpiece, and not just for this:

The notion that art is about equality and niceness is just a cover story put out by artists to keep us poor schlumps from realizing what they are up to. Art, from the Great Pyramid on down, is actually about the most talented and/or self-confident bullying the rest of us into furnishing them with the resources to realize their visions, while the nice liberal dweebs pass on to us the artists’ self-serving justifications.

[There’s even a jolt of Kurtz to keep the horror flowing]

August 16, 2013admin 7 Comments »
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Quote notes (#19)

Adam Garfinkle:

Might doesn’t necessarily make right — that’s not at all how Islamic jurisprudence on such matters reads — but it’s good enough for government work …

August 16, 2013admin No Comments »
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Democratization is Done

The idea that political seriousness can be evacuated from any situation by invoking (purely procedural) ‘democratic’ norms was always an evasion. It was a way to avoid the reality of ‘who-whom’, and thus dependent upon a haze of Cathedralist insincerity. The implicit selling point — “Don’t worry, the rabble will accept representatives that we can work with” — isn’t bought by anybody anymore. Things have gone wrong badly enough, often enough, for such promises to have been discounted down to zero.

If you don’t want the rabble in power, you have to keep them from power. That’s the simple, and now overt, understanding of the dawning post-demotic age. Michael Hirsh doesn’t like it at all:

As the Egyptian military consolidates control by murdering pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters and declaring a state of emergency, we may be witnessing the most dangerous potential for Arab radicalization since the two Palestinian intifadas. Despite the resignation Wednesday of Mohamed ElBaradei, the vice president, in opposition to the Egyptian junta’s action, the discomfiting fact is that most of Egypt’s liberal “democrats”—along with the United States—have never looked more hypocritical. If the bloody crackdown is allowed to continue while the U.S. and West do nothing, the actions of the Egyptian military could de-legitimize democratic change in the Arab world for a generation or more.

Read without judgement, Hirsh’s article is a fascinating document, punctuated by a raging despair that marks a transition of aeons. “Egypt’s liberal ‘democrats'” can either change course in accordance with their name (as Hirsh would like, but does not expect), or they can teach the world that ‘liberal democrats’ know nothing of global political reality, and need to call themselves something new. A sound name would describe a plausible, though ambitious, aspiration: Modernity in Power (freed of democratic dreams). It will still be a while before we hear anything of this kind, but its intimations are not — any longer — difficult to detect.

ADDED: Crossing the Rubicon: “While we Americans are babbling about a new politics of ‘inclusiveness’, even some of the Twitter-Facebook liberals of Tahrir Square are coming to see Egypt as it is. Us or them.”

August 15, 2013admin 16 Comments »
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Quote notes (#18)

John Lloyd on the other (and bigger) ‘no borders’ movement — the pink wedge:

Not so long ago how a country’s administration handled its ‘homosexual problem’ would be thought of as its business. Many still think that way. But most Western democracies don’t. They haven’t just adopted legislation that enjoins equality of treatment for all, irrespective of sexuality. They have taken seriously, for the most part, the claims made by gay organizations for many years: that discrimination against gay men and women is an affront to civil liberties, and that when some states pursue discriminatory policies, those who do not should make their disapproval clear. Gay rights are now part of the world’s clash of cultures.

Is Political Correctness emerging as an even more significant factor in international relations than it is in domestic cultural reconstruction?

ADDED: Jim Goad comments

August 15, 2013admin 15 Comments »
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Antechamber to Horror II

Some scene-setting extracts from H.P. Lovecraft’s review essay Supernatural Horror in Literature:

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. These facts few psychologists will dispute, and their admitted truth must establish for all time the genuineness and dignity of the weirdly horrible tale as a literary form.


The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from every-day life. Relatively few are free enough from the spell of the daily routine to respond to rappings from outside …

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August 13, 2013admin 22 Comments »

Quote notes (#17)

At Cato, Patrick J. Michaels in (supportive) response to this superb lead essay:

Imagine if a NASA administrator at a congressional hearing, upon being asked if global warming were of sufficient importance to justify a billion dollars in additional funding, replied that it really was an exaggerated issue, and the money should be spent elsewhere on more important problems.

It is a virtual certainty that such a reply would be one of his last acts as administrator.

So, at the end of this hypothetical hearing, having answered in the affirmative (perhaps more like, “hell yes, we can use the money”), the administrator gathers all of his department heads and demands programmatic proposals from each.  Will any one of these individuals submit one which states that his department really doesn’t want the funding because the issue is perhaps exaggerated?

It is a virtual certainty that such a reply would be one of his last acts as a department head.

The department heads now turn to their individual scientists, asking for specific proposals on how to put the new monies to use. Who will submit a proposal with the working research hypothesis that climate change isn’t all that important?

It is a virtual certainty that such a reply would guarantee he was in his last year as a NASA scientist.

(Don’t miss Jim on the same topic, here.)

August 13, 2013admin 4 Comments »
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