Category Archives: Society and Culture

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, […]

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 […]