Category Archives: Society and Culture

Paul Gottfried’s Latest

Paul Gottfried has a new book out. I’ve mentioned Professor Gottfried here before (in particular, I strongly recommend his books Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy and After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State); his latest is called Fascism: The Career of a Concept. The word “fascism” has become little […]

A Mint, Mr. Creosote?

When you are spending other people’s money, there’s very little incentive to cut costs. With a hat-tip to Michelle Malkin, here’s a splendid example: a million-dollar coin-toss. If ever there was a huge, complex, brittle, and unstable system in need of a reboot, well, folks, you’re living in it. Related content from Sphere

B.L.M. vs. Reality

A good piece by Heather Mac Donald, here.

Inequality is Forever

Inequality is intractable. I’ve written about this often. Innate inequalities — the unequal distribution of superior qualities — naturally create social and economic inequalities, and the only way to level these natural differences is by the creation and imposition of new inequalities of power. It follows, then, that a social movement (or, properly understood, a […]

Tractatus Logico-Multiculturalus

(1) One of the most important ways that cultures differ is in their normative biases. (2) When composing a multicultural Venn diagram, the intersection can only contain non-contradictory elements of the cultures being combined. (3) Norms are often contradictory in a way that, say, food is not. (Food, and music, the most commonly cited blessings […]

The Real Victimhood

Our recent post, Douthat and Reaction, featured a link to a video clip of a young woman disrupting a speaking event at the University of Massachusetts. She is seen flailing her arms and shouting obscenities — in short, having a child’s temper-tantrum. The video clip has gone “viral”, and its star has been the object […]

The Citadel Lives Up To Its Name

Here’s a gratifying item from today’s news: The Citadel Denies Prospective Student’s Request to Wear Hijab Whether this will stand — and whether it is actually an early indication of some kind of limit having been reached at last, or simply the corpse of the West giving a little twitch — remains to be seen. […]

On Genetics and Intelligence

From Stephen Hsu’s blog, here’s a video of an hour-long panel discussion with Dr. Hsu, Steven Pinker, and Dalton Conley on the subject of genetic engineering and the heritability of human traits, particularly intelligence. This topic is a minefield in the West, and so great care is taken, and necessary pieties uttered — and some […]

Blue, Red, Black

I’ve often mentioned a popular neoreactionary metaphor, the “red pill” (in fact I did so just two posts ago). Now, with a hat-tip to the latest edition of Nick Steves’ weekly roundup, we offer you an essay by Brett Stevens about another existential medicament: the black pill. What is the black pill? In a word, […]

Energy Is Life

I’ve mentioned the fossil-fuels advocate Alex Epstein several times in these pages, most recently back on April 13th. Here he is making his case last week before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Note in particular the odious, and evidently wholly unlettered, Senator Barbara Boxer mocking Mr. Epstein (at 7:20, and again at the […]

One Cheer for OSU

With a hat-tip to our reader Henry, here is a link to a video of an Ohio State University employee explaining to a group of student protestors that if they do not vacate the building they are occupying, they will be arrested and expelled. It’s a beginning, and a welcome one, although in my opinion […]

Equal Time

It’s “Equal Pay Day”, so here’s a video by Christina Hoff Sommers on this evergreen gripe.

Low Ceiling

Our previous post — a link, with excerpts and brief commentary, to an essay by Dennis Prager on how leftism and statism step in to fill the void left by religion — seems to have left some readers puzzled. Here are some further thoughts of my own: The religious impulse, the need for sacred objects, […]

Bend That Arc!

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act made it the law of the land that owners of property could not refuse to sell or rent it on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. In 1988 the list was expanded to include family status and disabilities. Absent from this list of criteria was […]

It Was a Bright Cold Day In April

Here’s the latest really cool thing that you absolutely must have. It just stands in your room, listening to everything you say, and transmitting it over the Internet to… someplace. It’s only $129, and it’s “always getting smarter”! Crisp Dolby Sound! Everybody’s going to want one. Don’t be left out! Related content from Sphere

Nice Work If You Can Get It

And, as the old song goes, you can get it if you try. Story here. This should be instructive! (Economics 101: If you subsidize something, you get more of it.) P.S. Nick Land comments here. Related content from Sphere

Yarvin On Moldbug

Curtis Yarvin, perhaps better known to some of you as ‘Mencius Moldbug’, is, in real life, a computer scientist, and, as far as I can tell, rather a gifted one. (For a while I shied away from using his real name, in order to protect his identity, but I think that cat is thoroughly and […]

Me Me Me Me Me Me

Here’s our Gentleman-In-Chief getting off the plane today in Cuba:   Notice anything?

I would use this Ring…

In yesterday’s post about the encryption controversy, I wrote: My own feeling is that, death-by-government having had a vastly higher body count over the past century or so than even the bloodiest wars (and astronomically higher than any act of terrorism), we should choose to protect our privacy. Just in case. A commenter argued for […]

The American Nations, 2016

With yet another hat-tip to hbd*chick, here’s a very interesting item from “Jayman” on Trump, democracy and demographics.

Tales From Decrypt

By now you have all heard of the DOJ’s effort to force Apple to unlock a phone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terror attack. Here again we have an example of technology advancing far too quickly for our sluggish political institutions to keep up. Codes and ciphers are as old […]

Who? Whom?

The Washington Post asks: Trump has lit a fire. Can it be contained? This isn’t arson. It is the inevitable combustion of an oil-soaked pyre exposed to a continuous shower of sparks. The Post should be asking: who built that pyre? It’s been long in the making, and its existence is due neither to accident […]

Truth And Consequences

With a hat-tip to our e-pal hbd*chick (whose blog you should be reading), here’s an article called The Bermuda Triangle of Science. It’s about a dangerous place where careers go to vanish. Related content from Sphere

Merciful and Mighty

There’s a good article by Mark Yuray, over at Social Matter, on making a career out of secular holiness. A longish excerpt: More than 1 million illegal Middle Eastern and African migrants entered Germany in 2015, with the invitation of the German government. This year, hundreds of thousands have already arrived and a 1-2 million […]

I Kid You Not

Feminist glaciology. Not a parody. Here.

Festering Europa

Gates of Vienna has posted two video clips taken from a discussion panel at the latest CPAC conference. The subject was the fate of Europe. (At this point it might well be a post-mortem; Europe has already gone far beyond the “tipping point”, and is now, barring a full-on revolt by its indigenous peoples, nothing […]

Rise and Fall

I’ve lived in the same brownstone building in Park Slope, Brooklyn, since March of 1982. (Geological notes about the area here.) When the lovely Nina and I first moved here, it was a sketchy neighborhood, having fallen into serious decline during the city’s general depression of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The neighborhood’s gracious architecture was […]

Is Wisdom Obsolete?

Our previous post argued that because the world is now changing faster than it ever has, with even the pace of change itself accelerating sharply, any conservative or reactionary ideology that seeks simply to roll back the clock is doomed to fail. What I said was that any hope for an effective New Right depended […]

Another Post About Physics

The results are still coming in as I write, but it seems Donald Trump has scored another crushing victory, this time in Nevada. It is becoming increasingly apparent that his campaign is, if anything, gaining momentum, and that he will likely be the one to take the field against whichever champion the Democrats put up […]

The Rump Court

What does Antonin Scalia’s death mean for the action of the Court? In the broadest terms, there are four scenarios; three of which are unaffected, at least in purely numerical terms: The Supreme Court reviews lower-court decisions. Let us call decisions that would be upheld by conservative justices (Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and, generally speaking, Roberts) […]

It Was A Bright Cold Day In April

Here’s your frisson du jour.

Yeah, Yeah

The other day our President, Barack Hussein Obama, took time out of his busy schedule to visit a Baltimore mosque. There he delivered an obsequious panegyric about the glorious role of Islam in America’s history. (If there is a major, or even mid-tier, religion that has in fact played a lesser role in America’s founding, […]

Confess!

We’ve written often (for example, here) about the unbroken ideological and doctrinal thread connecting the Puritanism of the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the modern, secular religion of the Left. The “mission into the wilderness” continues unabated, its outward forms unaltered. All that changes is the temporal object of the mission: the MacGuffin varies from picture […]

Circling The Drain

I meant to comment on this when it happened a few days ago: Rome’s nude statues covered up ahead of Rouhani visit In further concession to Iranian president, official dinner with Italian PM does not include wine on the menu What a craven, flabby, neutered thing our civilization has become. This is what ACID syndrome […]

The Thucydides Trap

In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes wrote the following about why humans fight: ‘So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second for safety; and the third for reputation. The first use violence, to make themselves masters […]

David Bowie, 1947-2016

I was shocked and saddened to read this morning that David Bowie has died of cancer at age 69. He was one of the greatest artists of my age. He touched nothing that he did not adorn. I consider myself enormously fortunate to have had a slight personal acquaintance with Mr. Bowie. (I met him […]

An Onomastic Oversight

In a post a few months ago, while developing a metaphor involving collapsing stars, I commented on the vulnerabilities of the load-bearing structures that support a civilization’s weight: Given that what gives a culture its form is essentially ‘memetic’ — an aggregation of ideas, lore, mythos, history, music, religion, duties, obligations, affinities, and aversions shared […]

A Ghost of Christmas Past

It being Christmas Eve, earlier this evening I found myself humming the “Christmastime Is Here” song from the old Charlie Brown Christmas special. (The show originally aired in 1965, when I was nine, and Vince Guaraldi’s beautiful score has stayed with me ever since.) The tune got me thinking about the show itself, which is […]

Headlights On For Safety

I’ve written before about the transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom. His work is concerned with the long-term prospects of the human race, with particular interest in the future of artificial intelligence, and its perils. In these pages we’ve mentioned his suggestion that we might already be living in a computer simulation (see here and here), as […]

We Are The Enemy

Headline at Salon today: White men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it Salon is not a “fringe” publication. (Would that it were.) Apparently it has no qualms about declaring race war. As Saul Alinsky said in his Rule 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Comparisons […]

Stockholm Syndrome

Writing for the Gatestone Institute, Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist describes the situation in her homeland — which for most of my lifetime was the holotype and exemplar of the advanced, peacable modern Western nation — as it sinks into darkness and disorder, thanks to its mass importation of wholly alien, mostly Muslim, immigrants. Swedish citizens, […]

Can We Talk?

During last night’s debate Carly Fiorina, whose chances are roughly equal for the Republican nomination and Prva HNL Player of the Year, suggested that we ought to make her President because she’s a woman. Let’s leave aside the reaction were a male candidate to try such a thing, and try to get the gist of […]

The All-Union Academy Of Climate Sciences

Yesterday the United States Senate held a hearing on the magnitude of human impact on climate change. Giving testimony were some Actual Climate Scientists. I would like very much for you to read and carefully digest their testimony. I will excerpt some of it here, in what will be a longish post — but please, […]

This Ain’t No Disco

In a recent post I remarked that, with bitterly opposing forces tearing at our rotting social framework, every public shock — in this case, the San Bernardino jihad assault — is a hammer-blow that “strains the joints and widens the cracks”. “Each time,” I remarked in a subsequent comment, “we split apart a little more.” […]

Sturm Und Drang

Jim Geraghty of NRO (yes, you folks in the NRx mutaween, I’m linking to NRO again) posted a good newsletter this morning about the San Bernardino shootings. (In case you’ve just emerged from a coma, or a two-day shift in a zinc mine, there was a mass shooting by two or more Muslims in California […]

More On “Universal” Values

The Maverick Philosopher, William Vallicella, has responded to my own reply to his thoughts on the universality of Western values. I’ve just posted a longish comment over at his place. Read Bill’s post here. Related content from Sphere

The “Refugee” Question: Further Thoughts

In the discussion thread under our previous post, a commenter directed our readers’ attention to an article by Megan McArdle on the question of settling “Syrian” “refugees” in the United States. Further discussion ensued. Ms. McArdle’s essay is helpful in that it identifies six low tactics that proponents of Syrian refugee resettlement have been using: […]

Pardon-Begging

When I was a young man (and dinosaurs trod the earth), if a person found himself accidentally obstructing someone’s way, he said: “Excuse me.” This is no longer so. Now, everyone says: “Sorry”. Why is this? When I first noticed this change, a year or two a ago, I thought nothing much of it. Now […]

Are Values Universal?

Writing at his blog The Maverick Philosopher, our friend Bill Vallicella gave our “What Now?” post a commendatory link. I thank him for that. Bill is a serious thinker — a highly trained expert in thinking itself, with a professional philosopher’s expertise in detecting and clearing away rubbish — and I’m always glad to have […]

Le Meta-Petard

In an essay about the Paris attacks, Richard Fernandez writes: The dilemma the West now faces is that it cannot survive on the basis of the platform which its elites have carefully constructed since WW2. They are being beaten to death with their own lofty statements. They must either continue to uphold the vision of […]