Category Archives: Society and Culture

Well Said, Fred

I haven’t linked to Fred Reed in a while, but he continues to do what he does best: writing plain common sense. His latest, from the first of this month, is about gun control. Excerpts: The two most heavily armed countries in the world are (still, I think) Israel and Switzerland. In Switzerland, men of […]

In Science Consensus Is Irrelevant

I’ve been on the road today, with no time for writing. So for tonight we have for you an evergreen speech by the late Michael Crichton on how real science works. Money quote: In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke […]

Flags, Speech, and Symbols

Not long ago I had a little rhubarb on Twitter with my old e-pal Kevin Kim on the subject of flag-burning. Kevin had quoted George Carlin’s remark that he preferred to leave symbols to the “symbol-minded”. The meaning of Mr. Carlin’s remark, and of Kevin’s quoting it, is clear enough: that the flag is just […]

This

With a hat-tip to our friend Bill Keezer, we give you a rousing essay by Daniel Greenfield on what has just happened in America. It begins: This wasn’t an election. It was a revolution. It’s midnight in America. The day before fifty million Americans got up and stood in front of the great iron wheel […]

Tilting At Windmills

I (and many others) have written often about the obvious religiosity of Progressivism, and about its being, quite plainly and transparently, a secular continuation and direct descendant of the Puritan “mission into the wilderness”. A particularly instructive aspect of this atheistic quest for holiness and salvation is the patently crypto-religious “climate-change” crusade. Early last year, […]

To-Do List

From Patrick Buchanan yesterday: a call to action in the wake of victory. Here. This “magnanimity” business is certainly attracting a lot of attention. (More on that later.) Meanwhile, see the discussion at the Maverick Philosopher, here. Related content from Sphere

Ignoracracy

It’s awfully (though darkly) amusing to hear, in the wake of Mr. Trump’s election, all the cries from the streets denouncing his supporters as ‘Fascists’. The word, of course, has nearly been drained of all meaning, and like ‘racist’, is now little more than a cudgel for the faithful to use against anyone from whom […]

The Morning After

Well! Here we stand, on the morrow of our victory. In this glorious dawn, let us survey the battlefield. The Clintons are finished, done. Their political careers are over, and the parasitic criminal syndicates they run, which draw their life’s-blood by selling access to power, have been expelled by the host. Each of them has […]

Sobornost

I have noted often in these pages that in the absence of a natural and organic social framework, order must be imposed artificially from the “top down”. Here, for example, is an excerpt from a 2014 post, The Death of Culture: To create the new metaculture, muticulturalism cannot not add cultures together, due to the […]

We Need to Start Leaving Each Other Alone

It should be obvious to all at this point that a very great part of our nation’s political sickness is due to the ever-increasing concentration of power in the hands of the Federal leviathan in Washington, at the expense of local government. (That this is, even at this late stage of the disease, not obvious […]

The American Heartland As Viscoelastic Liquid: A Case Study

From the Wall Street Journal today: Places Most Unsettled by Rapid Demographic Change Are Drawn to Donald Trump ARCADIA, Wis.—Small towns in the Midwest have diversified more quickly than almost any part of the U.S. since the start of an immigration wave at the beginning of this century. The resulting cultural changes appear to be […]

Forensic Entomology

From the Express: A migrant turf war erupted into violence on the streets of one of Paris’ trendiest neighbourhoods early this morning as asylum seekers beat each other to a pulp with wooden clubs. Story and video here. A defining characteristic of a living organism is the maintenance of its internal order, and of its […]

Sublime Injustice

In a post from 2013, we quoted Will and Ariel Durant on the persistent delusion of Equality. The pursuit of an unattainable equality has been a reliable political implement throughout the modern history of the West, despite the natural impossibility of its achievement. Since Nature (here meaning total reality and its processes) has not read […]

Caste And Character

Tonight’s reading assignment is an outstanding essay, Weaving the Basket of Deplorables, recently posted at the site The Dissenting Sociologist. Its epopseudonymous author (sorry, but I felt the need for a name that’s both an eponym and a pseudonym), whom I shall call DS, has done a masterful job of distilling and clarifying some core […]

Got Me!

Just now I put up a post linking to a Washington Post article about simulated violence in football. “Not parody”, I said, and mocked its author. I’ve changed my mind, and taken down the post. The article is parody — well done, and richly deserved. A good example of Poe’s Law, either way. Related content […]

P. P. P.

When the Rachel Dolezal story popped up in June of 2015 (if you’re fortunate enough to have forgotten this one, she was a “black” activist who turned out, embarrassingly, not to be black at all), I wrote a little post about real versus fictional privilege. An excerpt: Once upon a time, people of mixed race […]

After The Republic

It’s September, and the lovely fall weather is here. Feeling refreshed and optimistic? Well, snap out of it. Need some help with that? This jeremiad, by the distinguished scholar Angelo Codevilla, ought to do the trick. Related content from Sphere

How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Alt-Right?

Milo Yiannopoulos explains. (He’s happy to do so, because he knows the Left won’t take his advice.) An excerpt: As well as jokes, there’s something else that establishment elites need to stop demonizing as racism: national pride. During the 2015 election in England, a left-wing candidate for parliament called people who fly the English flag […]

All Power Rests In Belief

The American author Lionel Shriver recently gave a keynote speech at a writers festival in Brisbane, Australia. Rather than give the talk she had advertised, she decided to say a few words about the victimological specialty known as “cultural appropriation”. She denounced and anathematized it root and branch, and said, very clearly and correctly, that […]

One Way — Or The Other

One thing that should be clear to all in this election cycle: either Hillary Clinton is going to win this election, or Donald Trump is. The chance of any other outcome is effectively zero. If you are any sort of conservative — and if you believe, as I and millions of others do, that the […]

Temporal Provincialism

Our reader Robert, a.k.a. Whitewall, posted in the comment-thread to our previous post a link to an editorial piece from The New Criterion (by way of Instapundit; the original is here). It deserves promotion from comment to post. The piece, which is presumably by Roger Kimball, the editor of New Criterion, uses a beautiful phrase […]

Paul Gottfried on the “Alt Right”

Here are some trenchant remarks on the Alternative Right from Paul Gottfried, the man who coined the name. I have spent the evening with Professor Gottfried on a couple of occasions, and I can assure you that he is the farthest thing imaginable from the sort of neo-Nazi hothead that the mainstream media would have […]

Proof Of Concept

We’re still in Vienna; heading back to the States on Saturday. What a calm and orderly place this is! It may be otherwise in corners of the city we haven’t visited, but so far as I can tell Vienna, and the other little Austrian towns we’ve been to, are everything you’d imagine: polite, law-abiding, efficient, […]

Duh

Over the transom today from our reader Henry is this piece by Thomas Sowell. The points it makes are utterly simple and obvious — and utterly at odds not only with our prevailing social orthodoxy, but with the stated policies of the Obama administration, and even the recent jurisprudence of our Supreme Court. How long […]

The Siege of Istanbul

I’m off to Vienna later this week; it seems timely. After the Turks were driven back from the heart of Europe, progressive modernism gradually expanded its range. The Sublime Porte’s senescence deepened — the shrinking Ottoman Empire began to be known as “the sick man of Europe” — and finally the unthinkable happened: the last […]

Mr. Nice Guy

Yet another jihadi massacre in France last night. Eighty-four are dead as I write; the number will rise. What can I say that I haven’t said before? Not to worry, though — the Huffington Post has the answer:   Yup, we’ve got ’em right where we want ’em. Some prayers, a hashtag or two, lots […]

Science!

Some science items for today: With race front and center in every news cycle, it’s good to be prepared for encounters with those who insist that race is “only a social construct” (many of whom also spend all their waking hours totting up accounts of how one race is doing compared to another). Readers of […]

The Problem

Scott Adams (a keen observer whom you may know as the creator of Dilbert) offers an interesting explanation as to why the Democrat-Republican dispute over gun control is so intractable: On average, Democrats (that’s my team*) use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime. On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and […]

Race, Violence, and the Police

Despite more than seven years of enlightened rule by a saintly mixed-race President, race relations in America seem worse than ever. Celebrities take to the national airwaves to blame “whiteness” for all the world’s ills, and in particular for all the frustrations, disappointments, and social afflictions of everyone who isn’t white. Moreover, if you were […]

The Stock In Each Man Is Small

“You see, Sir, that in this enlightened age I am bold enough to confess that we are generally men of untaught feelings: that, instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree; and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the […]

Good Diversity, Bad Diversity

Much is being made of the Brexit vote as symptomatic of a rising tide of nationalism. So it is, and so much the better. Anyone who appreciates diversity — the glorious variety of human cultures, customs, and folkways — should applaud, not condemn, the natural human yearning of every people to have a homeland in […]

Delivering Us Bound To Our Foe

I do enjoy a good polemic, and Fred Reed’s rants are among the best. His response to the recent act of jihad in Orlando is a fine specimen. Some excerpts: Orlando? So what else is new? Why the excitement? I am puzzled that everyone is distraught over a perfectly ordinary act of terrorism by a […]

Trump and Curiel

I know I’m late to the game here, but I find this ginned-up outrage over Donald Trump’s comment about Judge Curiel tremendously irritating. I would chalk it all up to mere cognitive dissonance, of the sort that is essential to maintaining a modern Leftist worldview, but it is really nothing more than another salvo in […]

Goodbye, Columbus

Cambridge, Massachusetts, today joined the list of communities that have renamed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Related content from Sphere

It Can Happen Here

In San Jose last night, supporters of Donald Trump were assaulted by an angry mob as they left a campaign rally. Nobody should be surprised by this. It is all a perfectly conformant and predictable manifestation of the West’s rapidly advancing social and political disease. It will continue to get worse, probably much more quickly […]

The Death of Culture

A German newspaper editor, Anna Sauerbrey, posted a chilling opinion piece in the New York Times the other day. It illustrates with depressing clarity a recurring theme of this blog: the necessarily destructive effect of multiculturalism upon human societies. Her piece begins: In Germany, a big question is back on the table: What is German […]

Creative Destruction

Here’s a question for abortion absolutists: A woman wishes to write a book about abortion. In order to give her work perspective and authenticity, she decides to become pregnant in order to experience an abortion herself. Being of independent means, she will pay all of the medical expenses. Is there anything morally wrong with what […]

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, […]