Category Archives: Society and Culture

It’s All Too Much

Richard Fernandez: Some social commentators have noted a mood of disillusionment. “Millennials report depression in higher numbers than any previous generation”, up to one in five. People appear to be tuning out of politicized “comedy”, sports and entertainment, exhausted by the public frenzy. It’s a direct consequence of the fall of the Narrative. The irony […]

Dangerous Game

There’s a been a fuss about President Trump’s plan to remove the Obama-era ban on elephant trophies. Bien-pensant liberals greeted the news with uncomplicated moral revulsion, along the following lines: 1) Elephants are marvelous, beautiful, intelligent animals. 2) Hunting marvelous, beautiful, intelligent animals is always morally wrong. Therefore: 3) Supporting a policy that endorses, or […]

Veritas

Worried that our culture is in decline? Relax. In fact, the more you can relax, the less this will hurt.

Somebody’s Gotta Do It

The key weakness of liberalism — which, to be fair, has at times done much to improve society — is that it must assume as “given” the existence, and the continuing existence, of the society it hopes to improve. But liberalism, by its very nature — its pacifism, its sentimentalism, its opposition to hierarchy, its […]

The Nettle Ungrasped

A few days ago I mentioned a manifesto called the Paris Declaration — signed by, among others, Roger Scruton — and gave it two-and-a-half cheers. I did allow that I had a “quibble or two”, but in general I thought — and I still do think — that it was an important step in the […]

¡Math Is Hard!

From Campus Reform: Prof: Algebra, geometry perpetuate white privilege The story is about one Rochelle Gutierrez, a professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois. We read: “On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of […]

Turn And Face The Strange

Here is David Bowie, in a 1999 interview, predicting in considerable detail the transformative, revolutionary effect of the Internet on media and culture.

‘A’ For Effort

Ah, Diversity. How its worship enriches us! It doesn’t, of course. But it does, at least, make for some last-minute entertainment, here on the deck of the Titanic. There are some areas of human activity that lie forever beyond the reach of heartfelt wishes and fond imaginings: places where reality is still there even after […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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

Europe: Prostrate And Bleeding

File this under “Diversity and its Blessings”. I’m off to Vienna and Prague tomorrow; I’ll let you know how things seem there.

Blood Sport

Mencius Moldbug on fascist-hunting: Unfortunately no central statistics are kept, but I wouldn’t be surprised if every day in America, more racists, fascists and sexists are detected, purged and destroyed, than all the screenwriters who had to prosper under pseudonyms in the ’50s. Indeed it’s not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of […]

Arcs And Circles

Victor Davis Hanson (my emphasis): For the last decade, we were lectured that the arc of history always bends toward our own perceptions of moral justice. More likely, human advancement tends to be circular and should not to be confused with technological progress. Just as often, history is ethically circular. No Roman province produced anyone […]

Meanwhile…

Our discussion of “white supremacy” continues, over at Bill Vallicella’s place.

Diversity For Dummies

I’ve said quite enough about Diversity lately, so here’s statistician William Briggs to help shoulder the load.

Soft Construction With Boiled Beans

  Pax Dickinson gives his eyewitness account of what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, here. [A quibble: Mr. Dickinson writes that the chaos created by the police stand-down (and the apparently deliberate throwing-together of the “Unite The Right” demonstrators with the hungry Antifa mob) “ultimately led directly to the vehicular incident that killed a woman […]

The Narrowing Effect Of Diversity

I’ve just read an article at Crisis magazine called The Day the Music Died. (Hat-tip to Bill V.) From the article: When pursued to its logical conclusion, multiculturalism leads to monoculturalism, and eventually to a monochrome society. That’s because without a common culture to unite them, multicultures break down into competing subcultures. When this happens, […]

I Repost It Thus!

With a hat-tip to our e-pal David Duff, here’s a tasty little post by “Theodore Dalrymple” on the lasting value of Samuel Johnson’s clarity and insight. Dalrymple notes Dr. Johnson’s observations about the utopian busybodies and professional uplifters of his day: We must snatch the present moment, and employ it well, without too much solicitude […]

Imagine

Making the rounds recently: an excellent article at Quillette about the ongoing purge of moderates and conservatives from the social sciences. After beginning with some evidence that the purge itself is real, accelerating, and is driving the academic community sharply to the left, the author, Uri Harris, compares two ideological narratives. The first is the […]

CNN Delenda Est

Here’s RamzPaul commenting on CNN’s publicly threatening to dox a meme-creator they don’t like. Normally I wouldn’t pay an awful lot of attention to this sort of thing — it is simply a given that mainstream news outlets like CNN are Cathedral clerisy, and will say and do whatever they believe advances their religious hegemony […]

Racism And Murderism

Here is a brilliant piece by Scott Alexander on what we mean by ‘racism’. It’s long, but you should read it all. It also includes this gem, right at the end: I don’t want civil war. I want this country to survive long enough to be killed by something awesome, like AI or some kind […]

Rise And Fall

Over at Jacobite magazine, Nick Land has posted an item called Modernity’s Fertility Problem. It addresses a liability that, although it presents itself in an especially virulent form today, is hardly unique to modernity, and has been the death of high civilizations since antiquity. We read: Modernity has a fertility problem. When elevated to the […]

That Ship Has Sailed

Our previous post mentioned an article at National Review by David French. I’d also like to comment on another item by Mr. French, published two days earlier. The piece was a commentary on Wednesday’s rifle attack, by left-wing kook James Hodgkinson, on Republican members of Congress as they practiced for a baseball game. Mr. French […]

The French Defense

You may have heard about a depressing criminal case here in Massachusetts, in which a young woman, Michelle Carter, was accused of involuntary manslaughter for talking her boyfriend into killing himself. Ms. Carter was found guilty just the other day. There’s no question that Ms. Carter did an evil thing. I had serious misgivings about […]

Cold Civil War Heats Up

A disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporter directed rifle fire at a Congressional baseball-team practice in Alexandria today. The House majority whip, Steve Scalise, was shot in the hip, and several others were injured as well, including two Capitol policemen. The gunman, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, was killed. He had apparently asked Rep. Ron DeSantis, […]

Cower Of London

Here’s Ed West, writing in the “Speccie”: The reason we keep on hearing about ‘British values’ uniting our nation is precisely that they don’t; communities that genuinely do have a sense of group feeling don’t need to go on about a set of values that supposedly binds them. Why would they? This is not just […]

Any Questions?

If you’re planning to major in political science at New York’s Hunter College, you can earn three points by taking a course called “Abolition of Whiteness“. You may now be thinking something like this: “Wow, that’s some pretty blatant racism there; it almost sounds like a call to genocide. Somebody should ask these people: what […]

The Church of Christ Without Christ

I’ve just run across a really excellent essay, from 2014, about our hegemonic modern religion — a religion that the author, Joseph Bottum, correctly identifies as deracinated Protestant Christianity. The essay is long, but there is very little in it for me to disagree with. To the neoreactionary reader it will sound some very familiar […]

It’s Turtles All The Way Down

From the Federalist: a reasoned response to a student’s claim that quiet, wood-paneled rooms at universities are a form of oppression. The problem, of course, will be that the very idea of persuasion by “reasoned response” is itself an oppressive cultural artifact. And so it is: it is how our culture oppresses unreason. Unfortunately, this […]

Facing Down The Witch-King

Following on our previous post, our reader and commenter “Whitewall” has sent along a link to a post by the professor of history at the University of Chicago who was, as it turns out, the object of Dr. Karl Seigfried’s fulminations. The post, a brave and rational woman’s response to a darkening madness that seeks […]

The Very Model Of A Modern Marxist Jabberwock

Our reader and commenter Robert, a.k.a. “Whitewall”, has sent along an item from the University of Chicago Divinity School’s newsletter Sightings. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the postmodern cult-Marx priesthood that haunts the halls of the 21st-century Cathedral. (That is to say, the ones who are responsible for the grooming and education […]

One Thing Leads To Another

“If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls […]

Emmanuel Goldstein Murray

Recently the social-sciences scholar Charles Murray was assailed by a hate-filled audience at Middlebury College. It happened again today in a Congressional committee room. Watch the video here.

The Future, By The Numbers

Making the rounds is a video by Mark Steyn in which he discusses the demographics of Europe and Africa, and Steve Sailer’s “Most Important Graph In The World“. Take particular note starting at 9:55, if you’ve been wondering why Europe’s leaders don’t seem to give a damn about the future. Related content from Sphere

Stuff To Read

I’m busy in the obvious ways this Mothers Day (Mother’s Day? Mothers’ Day?), so I’ll just pass along two articles that are worth your time: Angelo Codevilla on our cold civil war, and Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn on three ways that democracies become tyrannies (the Tocquevillean model, quoted here just recently, is number three). Related content from […]

A Bit More Optimistic?

I just paid a visit to Bill Vallicella’s website — I hadn’t stopped by in a couple of days — and saw that he had mentioned me in a recent post. Bill quoted a remark he had made in a comment-thread back in 2015: We need a broad coalition of the sane which would include […]

The Science Guy

Once you have listened to the podcast offered in our previous post — a thoughtful and informative discussion of complex topics by two thoroughly civilized adults — I invite you, for perspective, to watch this video by the latest champion of our dying society’s hegemonic cryptoreligion. I refer to that grimacing ectomorph, Bill Nye, who […]

The Serpent

Here’s an excerpt from a column by Ulrich Baer – a “vice-provost for faculty, arts, humanities, and diversity” at NYU — in yesterday’s New York Times: The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the […]

Altar-ed State

Mencius Moldbug: …in many ways nonsense is a more effective organizing tool than the truth. Anyone can believe in the truth. To believe in nonsense is an unforgeable demonstration of loyalty. It serves as a political uniform. And if you have a uniform, you have an army. With that in mind, here’s a good item […]

Into The Sunset

This from our e-pal Bill Keezer just now: California Senate OKs statewide illegal immigrant sanctuary bill Educated readers will recall that United States history already includes some examples of such “nullification”; for fans of peace and order, or of the Union as presently constituted, the precedent is not particularly encouraging. Leaving that aside, however, one […]

Class and Mobility

Sturdy class structures, although they may diminish individual opportunity, keep superior genes, when they arise, within each class. In doing so, then, they strengthen classes at every level. High social mobility, by contrast, tends to “boil off” superior individuals, who, when they are given the opportunity to do so, move up and out — taking […]

… As Usual

We’ve heard an awful lot about how the election of Donald Trump has emboldened and “enabled” hate-filled right-wingers to express themselves with vandalism and assault. In particular there’s been a rash of swastika-scrawling, and of bomb-threats against Jewish centers. When these things happen, we on the dissident Right simply wait, knowing that the odds are […]

Across The Great Divide

Well, here is something quite remarkable for our time: an actual “conversation about race” in which two people, with completely incommensurable axioms and worldviews, discuss the topic for a full hour without shouting each other down, or resorting to violence. (Astonishingly, there isn’t even any mention of Hitler.) The interlocutors are Jared Taylor, of American […]

Arms Race

We’ve devoted some space lately to the mutated and camouflaged religion (and not just any religion!) that goes by the name of Progressivism. (Once you’ve spotted it, you can’t un-see it; it’s as plain as this owl.) But why the camo in the first place? Moldbug explains: The question is: why? How did we fall […]

Who Rules?

The political right is aboil over the latest judicial interference with President Trump’s efforts temporarily to restrict immigration from dangerous and unstable Muslim territories. The question is framed in terms of a heated battle for sovereignty in America, with the sense that the judiciary — which is to say, individual judges, with nothing to check […]

Can Progressivism Really Be A Kind Of Religion?

William Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, having read my own recent item on William Deresciewicz’s article about Progressivism-as-religion, has just offered a post expressing his disagreement. Bill writes: It is true that leftism is like a religion in certain key respects. But if one thing is like another it does not follow that the first is […]

There Is A Tide

In order correctly to understand the modern Left, it’s important to recognize it as a secularized religion. Tracing the development of this religion, from its origins in Protestantism, then Puritanism, then through its many transmutations in America — from sixteenth-century Massachusetts, through its northern and western Protestant expansion, through the “Awakenings” of the seventeenth and […]