Monthly Archives: October 2017

As It Will Be In The Future, It Was At The Birth Of Man

From Albion’s Seed, page 896: There is a cultural equivalent of the iron law of oligarchy: small groups dominate every cultural system. They tend to do so by controlling institutions and processes, so that they tend to become the “governors” of a culture in both a political and a mechanical sense. The “iron law of […]

Goodbye, Columbus

Everywhere you look, the Admiral of the Ocean Sea is out, and Indigenous Peoples are in. (Well, the indigenous peoples of Europe, not so much…) Those of us who don’t get all our history from Howard Zinn, however, know that the Noble Savage was a good deal more savage than noble. Some details here. Related […]


Here’s an interesting Twitter thread, from Thomas Wictor: the world’s leading authority on WWI flamethrowers, and a most unusual fellow.


The volcanic island of La Palma (one of the Canary Islands) is in the news after an earthquake swarm. Why “yikes”? See here.

The Marshmallow Test

I’ve finally been reading David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. (I’ve known for years that this book was essential reading for anyone interested in the cultural history of the United States, but late is better than never.) The book is delightfully engaging. I just came across this, in a chapter on […]

Outline For A Diagnosis Of Late Modernity: Part 1

After the Las Vegas shooting, I noted that when I was a boy guns were a common and unremarkable part of normal American life: I grew up in a rural area of west-central New Jersey. When I was a boy, all the households around me had a gun or two. We boys used to stack […]

The “Irrational” Slur Against Trump Voters

With a hat-tip to Bill Vallicella, here’s a long and detailed assessment of the claim that Donald Trump’s voter-base — middle- and working-class Americans — made an irrational choice that was contrary to their own interests. The author demonstrates that this view is unsupportable, and that those who make it are usually applying a standard […]

Eastward Ho!

Sorry for the lack of substantial content around here lately. From time to time I become so weary of the passing scene that I hardly know what to say about it. I’ll be back to normal soon, I expect. Meanwhile: Diplomad is kissing California goodbye. Can’t say I blame him. Related content from Sphere


As the gun-ban furor continues, here are two more items you should read: I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise. Mass Shootings Are A Bad Way To Understand Gun Violence Related content from Sphere

The X Factor

Just after the slaughter in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton (remember her?) took to Twitter to offer this tendentious and ignorant comment: The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get. In Ms. Clinton’s moated and wholly self-referential mind, […]

Don’t Kid Yourselves

In the wake of the LV massacre we hear the usual outcry from gun-rights opponents. It’s just another instance of the great and widening chasm separating the two Americas, and as always the hue and cry will simply push the two sides farther apart. In confronting this act of evil, the “progressive” mind leaps reflexively, […]

Straight Into Darkness

Sorrow is everywhere today: following on the sickening atrocity in Las Vegas is the news that Tom Petty — one of the greatest rockers and songwriters of my generation — has died. Related content from Sphere

Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off

I’m still waiting for the Muse to return from vacation. Meanwhile, here’s a fine post on disagreement by our friend Bill Vallicella. Note the link in Bill’s post to the acerbic NRx blogger ‘Porter’. I’d earlier called Bill’s attention to Porter’s post on the NFL brouhaha, which you might enjoy also. Related content from Sphere