Thursday, April 20, 2017

Now even The Simpsons is mocking SJWs

What happens when nearly all university academics are left-liberals? You get a left-wing campus culture that is so ideologically divorced from reality that even The Simpsons considers it worthy of mockery:


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Startling bias on U.S. campuses

Yes, we all know that the left managed to march through the institutions and capture them, including the universities. But it is still staggering to read the research regarding the left-wing bias of academics. The following is from an article by Australian journalist Paul Kelly:
Haidt has produced staggering figures on the revolution of the past 20 years in the US university system. It is basic to the culture war now raging in America.

Haidt (not a conservative) says “very few people” in the US know the extent of left-wing conformity entrenched in the humanities and social sciences in the US academy. As late as the 1990s the left-right ratio in the academy was only 2:1 but 15 years later there has been a “transformation” with the ratio now 5:1, with “almost everybody on the left” — and this includes professors from dental, engineering and agricultural schools.

The bias is much worse in the humanities. Taking his own field of social psychology, Haidt found the most recent data was 17:1. He quoted one survey with 291 respondents showing 85 per cent left-liberal and 6 per cent identifying as conservative, a ratio of 14:1.

He then followed a more extensive survey (William von Hippel and David M. Buss) involving members of the academic body of social psychologists. Of the 326 respondents, 291 identified as left of centre, which was 89 per cent, and only 2.5 per cent identified as right of centre. This gives a left-right ratio of 36:1.

Asked who they voted for or would have voted for at the 2012 presidential election, 305 out of 322 said Barack Obama (94.7 per cent), four said Mitt Romney (1.2 per cent) and 13 said another candidate (4 per cent). This meant a Democrat-Republican ratio of 76:1. When a series of political questions were put and scaled the result was a left-right ratio of 314:1.

The campuses are becoming increasingly left-liberal. The chances of a student encountering even a right-liberal academic, let alone a traditionalist one, are slight.

At some point in time, this will have to be challenged. I doubt if it is the next step, though. It seems more likely to me that gains will be made in building up an alternative media, as this is more readily achievable than trying to crack the leftist orthodoxy amongst academics.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Diversity as weaponised politics

I know I've been running on the theme of weaponised politics for a while now, but I came across one more interesting example. Last year an editor at the left-wing Huffington Post sent out a tweet that was intended to showcase the wonderful diversity on the editorial board of the newspaper. Here is the tweet:



What is the politics of diversity really being used here for? It is not to create diversity, even if that were a good thing. Nearly all of the editors are very young white women. And yet the photo is supposed to celebrate "diversity".

In this case, the politics of diversity has been weaponised against men. A workplace without men is thought to be "diverse" and therefore progressive.

And if you find yourself in the position where a weaponised politics being used against you? The obvious thing to do is to no longer give that politics your support. Take away as much of its power as you can.

In particular, it is important to stop using the politics for virtue signalling. It's self-defeating for a man to try to signal his virtue by expressing support for "diversity" when that politics is then going to be weaponised against him.

One day we will get back to signalling our virtue by the strength of character with which we live our lives - and not by voicing our support for a left-wing politics that is aimed against us.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The values and vision of an American Democrat

Richard Fochtmann is a Democrat in the American state of Maine. He ran as a state senate candidate last year and lost. In the video below he is addressing an audience of Democrats at a Maine "values and vision" conference. Clearly, the Democrats are not trying to appeal to white male voters anymore.


Friday, April 14, 2017

You cannot stand alone

On Wednesday I wrote a post about weaponised politics:
I think it's true as well that politics can be weaponised. By this I mean that it is not just a case of pursuing abstract political principles and attempting to apply them logically and justly, but instead a means (a weapon) in pursuing group interests.

Politics today is being ominously weaponised against white people. The issue then becomes whether white people remain caught within a politics that aims to do them harm, or whether they see through the surface claims of a weaponised politics to the animosity and the malevolence underlying it.

The next day, as if to prove my point, The Huffington Post (supposedly a reputable news source), chose to run an opinion piece titled "Could it be time to deny white men the franchise?"

It's a disturbing read. The author, Shelley Garland, is apparently a white South African feminist woman (maybe even a troll, though the fact remains that the Huffington Post has chosen to run the piece).

Ms Garland is upset that white males voted for Brexit and for Donald Trump, thereby holding back the triumph of the progressive left. So she thinks it right that white males be forbidden from voting for 20 or 30 years. That would give progressives enough time to strip white males of their wealth.

This is politics weaponised against a particular group (white males). It has the aim of justifying seizing the assets of one group of people - white males - and transferring them to others.

There is a harsh reality at work here. We live in a world in which you need to be strong to defend your own interests and to keep yourself and your family safe. And it will not be enough to be strong as an isolated individual. A white man in the future might be personally resilient, a hard worker and physically courageous, but if he cedes political power to other groups he will nonetheless find himself defenceless. It is not possible to stand alone when other powerful groups are willing to organise against you.

To illustrate this point graphically, consider the following incident that took place this week in London. A couple of white men found themselves caught in a fight with a very large number of black men. As you can see in the video below, one of the white men is very strong and courageous but, inevitably, he is knocked out and then mocked by his attackers ("sleep tight").



White men are brought up to be individually strong, and part of the message is that you are strong if you are independent and able to succeed on your own. You are supposed to be self-reliant.

That can work in a highly homogeneous society, particularly if you are competing in the corporate world for success. But in an era of weaponised politics, it won't do. You cannot stand alone when a crowd of people wish to do you harm. In that scenario you need to organise with others to defend yourselves as a group.

The reality of the world is about to hit us hard. I hope that we can adapt quickly to the new situation we are going to find ourselves in. It's a little hard for us to imagine now what that future mindset will look like, as we have been influenced by an individualistic liberalism for so long and have become accustomed to living atomised lives, cut off from each other in our suburban homes.

In the coming world, we will need to more confidently assert a group interest, and we will need to find ways to organise so that we have a more effective means of defending ourselves from those who wish us harm (and, also, to maintain our own culture, values and tradition).

I can't be entirely sure what this will look like, but there are little groups of traditionalists springing up in Australia which represent one possible path toward this goal. If you're interested in them, the contact details are as follows:

Melbourne Traditionalists: You can contact me (Mark Richardson) via swerting (at) bigpond.com

Sydney Traditionalists: see here.

Perth Traditionalists: see here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Guillaume Faye: a return to values

Sydney Trads have a "quote of the week" feature at their website. I particularly liked this one by French writer Guillaume Faye:
Moreover, as the philosopher Raymond Ruyer, detested by the left-bank intelligentsia, foretold in his two important works, Les nuisances idéologiques and Les cents prochains siècles, once the historical digression of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has finally closed, with egalitarianism’s hallucinations having descended into catastrophe, humanity will return to archaic values, that is, quite simply, to biological and human (anthropological) values: distinctive sexual roles; the transmission of ethnic and popular traditions; spirituality and sacerdotal organization; visible and supervisory social hierarchies; the worship of ancestors; initiatory rites and tests; the reconstruction of organic communities that extend from the individual family unit to the overarching national community of the people; the deindividualization of marriage to involve the community as much as the couple; the end of the confusion of eroticism and conjugality; the prestige of the warrior caste; social inequality, not implicit, which is unjust and frustrating, as in today’s egalitarian utopias, but explicit and ideologically justifiable; a proportioned balance of duties and rights; a rigorous justice whose dictates are applied strictly to acts and not to individual men, which will encourage a sense of responsibility in the latter; a definition of the people and of any constituted social body as a diachronic community of shared destiny, not as a synchronic mass of individual atoms, etc.

I had to look up the meaning of the words synchronic and diachronic:

synchronic: concerned with something as it exists at one point in time.

diachronic: concerned with the way in which something has developed and evolved through time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weaponised politics

There is a website called Everyday Feminism that has about 5 million monthly visitors. Below is a screenshot of a recent homepage of the site:



You'll notice that the focus of the website is an animosity to white people. There is an offer of "healing from toxic whiteness training," a "reality check for your typical white men aren't the enemy objection," a "let's expose the white double standard" story, and a "white privilege explained in one simple comic" piece.

There are two ways of looking at all this. The first is to explain the politics behind it all. This can be done. If you are a liberal and you believe that equality is the natural state of affairs, and you then need to explain why racial outcomes are different, one option is to believe that one group has set itself up as a false racial category ("whiteness") to exploit other groups in order to maintain an unearned privilege. The point of politics is then to deconstruct whiteness so that the era of full human equality is finally ushered in. Hence, the unrelenting attacks on white people on the feminist website.

However, I think it's true as well that politics can be weaponised. By this I mean that it is not just a case of pursuing abstract political principles and attempting to apply them logically and justly, but instead a means (a weapon) in pursuing group interests.

Politics today is being ominously weaponised against white people. The issue then becomes whether white people remain caught within a politics that aims to do them harm, or whether they see through the surface claims of a weaponised politics to the animosity and the malevolence underlying it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Once more on the WQ

I'm never really confident writing on the Woman Question, so take what follows as speculative thought on the issue.

One thing that can disappoint men is that women aren't very attracted to masculine virtue. A man can be honourable, courageous and upstanding - but this is not what is likely to attract a female partner. But the thought occurred to me that perhaps the same thing is true when it comes to male attraction.

What men find attractive in women is something that could be described as an outflow of warm feminine emotion - of love, care, kindness and concern. A man is likely to think that a woman who shows this feminine quality is "nice" or "sweet" - as opposed to the opposite ("bitchy") - and this can become a man's moral framework in judging women. In other words, the nice woman is considered to be morally good, the harsh one to be morally bad.

But maybe this is, in part at least, confusing attraction with morality. Just as a woman might confuse a dominant masculine man with the idea of a "good man" - so too might men confuse the warmly or sweetly feminine natured woman with a "good woman".

This doesn't mean that it's of no concern whether a woman is attractive in her femininity or not - obviously men will want the women of their society to be attractive (and feminine attraction might be connected to a woman's ability to bond to her children etc.) However, what I am suggesting is that there needs to be a moral framework for women that stands apart from attraction.

Let's say that we have a woman who already qualifies as being feminine and attractive in the sense I set out above. She still requires a moral framework separate to this in order for her to make the right choices in her life, to contribute to her family and community, to retain the integrity of her personhood and so on.

For instance, a woman can be emotionally "sweet" but in her adult life she will need beyond this a moral framework that includes patience, forgiveness, industry, loyalty, humility and service (without these she is unlikely to be successful in her family commitments). Therefore, it is right for women to be judged on their possession, or lack of possession, of these virtues.

It seems to be the case as well that women, even more so than men, require larger commitments in order to fully establish a moral framework. If a woman commits to her family (i.e. she is proud of her family lineage and tradition and wishes to uphold it); or to her church and her faith; or to her nation and people - then this brings out her more serious moral commitments (which are not activated in a society based on the individual pursuit of happiness).

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Cardinal George: a tale of two churches

Shortly before his death, Cardinal George of Chicago wrote an insightful column on the position of the church in the United States.

Here in Melbourne the Catholic Church still seems to be trying to be an arm of the liberal state. I've long thought this to be unwise, given the incompatibility of liberalism with Catholic doctrine.

Cardinal George set out the problem with great clarity in his column ("A tale of two churches").

He begins with the claim that the liberal state in the U.S. once promised to protect all religions and not become a secular rival to them, "a fake church". He then adds:
There was always a quasi-religious element in the public creed of the country. It lived off the myth of human progress, which had little place for dependence on divine providence. It tended to exploit the religiosity of the ordinary people by using religious language to co-opt them into the purposes of the ruling class...It had encouraged its citizens to think of themselves as the creators of world history and the managers of nature, so that no source of truth outside of themselves needed to be consulted to check their collective purposes and desires. But it had never explicitly taken upon itself the mantle of a religion and officially told its citizens what they must personally think or what “values” they must personalize in order to deserve to be part of the country. Until recent years.

The situation now? According to Cardinal George:
The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.

He urges Catholics to resist yielding to the false state religion:
The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics. Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.

Most of the Catholic leadership here in Melbourne seem to be desperately trying to fit in with the state religion rather than taking a stance against it. They are doing this not by renouncing core theological positions, but by "reading" Catholicism as an SJW philosophy. (Says the modern Melbourne Catholic: "I will serve others by supporting SJW political campaigns.") This might temporarily avert a crisis of belief by realigning Catholicism with the Zeitgeist, but in the longer term it is helping to cement in place a liberal state religion that is deeply, philosophically at odds not only with Catholic theology but with the future existence of a Western culture and civilisation.

Monday, April 03, 2017

When you ignore biological reality

Liberals want to believe that our biological sex can be made not to matter. A lone refugee in Sweden begs to differ. He manages to beat off three female police officers and smash their car when they are sent to arrest him for arson:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Melbourne Traditionalists meeting

We have the next meeting of the Melbourne Traditionalists coming up early next week. I'd encourage interested Melbourne readers to come along, not only because it's always enjoyable to meet together with other traditionalists, but also because it's the next step along the way in building things up here in Melbourne.


If you think you might be interested you can contact me at swerting (at) bigpond.com or Mark Moncrieff at uponhopeblog (at) gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Union head thinks dresses worse than burqa

Sally McManus is the first female Secretary of the ACTU - Australia's peak trade union body. She is also an anti-male radical lesbian feminist who is critical of women wearing dresses.

And yet she has attracted support because she is willing to take a militant stand against Australian jobs being sent offshore.

It seems that the price of trying to defend your job, if you are an Australian worker, is accepting the leadership of radical leftist feminists who want to overthrow heterosexual culture and the family. Not much of a choice on offer.

There is a political vacuum here of the sort that Trump was able to fill in the United States.

Below is a clip of Sally McManus at a "defend the burqa" meeting. She argues on the grounds of liberal autonomy theory that the burqa should not be banned because "women themselves as individuals have the right to choose who they are and what they do".

As part of her argument she also outlines a series of things that Western women are allowed to do that she considers more oppressive than wearing the burqa, including wearing dresses, high heels and makeup, and going on diets - she complains that these are oppressive as they are not done for the sake of the women herself but for the sake of appealing to men.

(There is some logical consistency here. If you believe in liberal autonomy theory then you are supposed to only make choices that follow from the wants and desires of your own "authentic" self. So Sally McManus is suggesting that women are not choosing what they want, but what men want, i.e. that it is not their own wills, but men's wills, that are driving the choices being made.)

It's interesting to note that the radical union left in Australia is so orthodox in its liberalism, and also that liberal autonomy theory can be used to suggest something so counterintuitive, namely that it is more oppressive for a woman to wear a dress than a burqa.

It seems unlikely that women began to wear the burqa in the Middle East because of some authentic, autonomous, individual desire of their own to do so. I can think of two possible reasons for the burqa being imposed. The first is that if you have a polygamous society in which one older man can have up to four much younger wives, then there will be many sexually frustrated younger men. The husbands will then have reason to impose on their wives a much stricter form of modest attire in public than would be needed elsewhere.

The second is that when women dress beautifully it does give them a degree of power in the public square. Men do feel the power of feminine beauty and attraction. Perhaps the Muslim system was designed to very strictly limit this female power to the home.

The liberal approach to the issue doesn't help much, as it is artificial to say that we should make choices as if were atomised, blank slate individuals expressing unique desires within a moral vacuum. We need a standard to measure what we choose apart from "it's my own authentic will that I desire this".

Sally McMahon believes it to be wrong, a violation of autonomy, if a woman chooses to dress attractively for the sake of men. But it seems to me that if a wife dresses attractively because she thinks it is pleasing to her husband that this is a more moral reason than if she just arbitrarily wants to do so as part of her own will. At least she is acting for the happiness of another.

I don't have a carefully worked out position on the morality of feminine beauty, but my instinctive attitude is that the Western mind sees an inspiring good in it, which means that its erasure by the burqa is strikingly alien and confronting, and that just as any creature seeks to fulfil the potential within itself, so too is it to be expected that a woman would wish to embody feminine beauty.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Somewheres vs Anywheres

This is an interesting political conversion story. David Goodhart once saw himself as a member of the London liberal elite but has had a change of worldview. He describes the division in British society as being between "Anywheres" and "Somewheres":
The value divides in British society that led to Brexit, and may now break up the United Kingdom, stem from the emergence in the past generation of two big value clusters: the educated, mobile people who see the world from “Anywhere” and who value autonomy and fluidity, versus the more rooted, generally less well-educated people who see the world from “Somewhere” and prioritise group attachments and security.

Goodhardt believes that those who have "high human capital" (graduates of elite universities) are likely to thrive in open, competitive systems and so are more likely than others to support open borders. Similarly, such people are more likely to look to "achieved" identities (e.g. career) rather than "ascribed" ones (e.g. nationality). He believes, also, that the expansion of higher education has increased the percentage of such people in society, so that:
...over the past generation, it has dominated the political class and the national culture. Anywhere politicians who think they are governing in the national interest are, at least some of the time, governing in the Anywhere interest — in everything from the expansion of higher education to the unprecedented openness of modern societies.

So what led him to change allegiance, and to begin to see things from the point of view of the Somewheres? He believes that part of the reason is that his own upper class/Old Etonian social background always made him something of an outsider, which,
helped to make me aware of the strangeness of some of the instincts of my north London liberal tribe in the 1980s and 1990s: the far greater concern for suffering in distant lands than just around the corner, the blank incomprehension of religious or national feeling and the disdain for the ordinary people we were meant to champion.

Goodhardt wavers on whether he wants to reform liberalism or break from it. At times he writes of the possibility of a less individualistic and universalistic liberalism, one that might still uphold particular attachments and identities:
There were several lightbulb moments as I came to see past the narrative of progress that has helped to form the shallow liberalism that dominates our politics. This narrative sees race and gender equality as a prelude to the transcending of all exclusive communities, including the nation state. But the moral equality of all human beings — the beautiful, once utopian idea that became embedded in many western constitutions in the middle of the 20th century — does not mean we have the same obligations to all human beings.

This vital caveat to universalism keeps liberalism bound to the earth, to the reality of flesh-and-blood humans with group attachments and the need to be valued and to belong. Of course modern politics — the rule of law and more recently the idea of human equality — are partly designed to tame and constrain our tribal and animal emotions. But if politics disappears too far into the individualist abstractions of law and economics it starts to see society as just a random collection of individuals.

From this caveat can flow a more mature and emotionally intelligent liberalism that sees that there really is such a thing as society and one that functions well is based on habits of co-operation and trust and bonds of language, history and culture. Newcomers can be absorbed into such societies, and can retain some of their own traditions, but unless a critical mass of them embrace the broad common norms of the society, the idea of the nation as a group of people with significant shared interests — the idea of a people — will fracture.

...An emotionally mature liberalism must also accept that white majorities, not just minorities, in western societies have ethnic attachments too and an interest in a degree of demographic stability — and it is not shameful or racist for people to feel uncomfortable if their neighbourhood changes too rapidly, whether from gentrification or ethnic change.

Other things flow from the caveat, too — things that do not challenge the core beliefs of modern liberalism but temper and qualify their more dogmatic application. The belief, for example, that men and women are equal but not identical and that some sort of gender division of labour in the home and the broader society remains popular. That order and legitimate authority in families, schools and the wider society are a necessary condition of human flourishing, not a means of crushing it. That religion, loyalty and the wisdom of tradition deserve greater respect than is common among “blank sheet” liberals who tend to focus narrowly on issues of justice and harm.

As Haidt points out — contrary to the old claim that the right is the stupid party — conservatives can appreciate a wider range of political emotions than liberals: “It’s as though conservatives can hear five octaves of music, but liberals respond to just two, within which they have become particularly discerning.”

You do not have to be a conservative or a Conservative to see this and I would regard myself as a centrist, open to ideas from left and right. Indeed I am now post-liberal and proud, and feel that for the first time in my life I have had the confidence and experience to work things out for myself.

Am I trying to save liberalism or bury it? I am certainly trying to save it from the over-reach that has produced the Brexit/Trump backlash and want to convince as many as possible from my old tribe that we need a new settlement that is more generous to the intuitions of Somewheres. Come, join me, you have nothing to lose but your comfortably consensual dinner parties.

I know some of my readers would wish for a cleaner break from liberalism than this, but the important thing is the movement away from a dissolving liberalism and toward a politics that permits the existence of real, particular, localised attachments and identities.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Can medical science ignore sex distinctions?

Liberals hold that we should be autonomous, self-defining individuals, so that predetermined qualities like our biological sex should be thought not to matter.

One consequence of this belief is that liberals do not like to accept that medical science should consider differences between men and women, for instance, when testing new drugs. Hence this odd fact:
In 2015, when a female version of Viagra called Addyi was tested for potential side effects, it was tested on a sample of 25 subjects - only two of whom were female.

Claire Lehmann has written an excellent article on the resistance of liberals to accepting biological sex differences in medical research. (https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/the-xx-factor/).

She looks at some case studies where ignoring the biological distinctions between men and women has led to dosages being set too high for women, and she details the pressures placed on scientists to avoid research on biological sex distinctions.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cicero on human bonds

A reader sent in this quote from the Roman writer Cicero.  I like it as it avoids both an abstract individualism and an abstract universalism and attempts to describe instead the real, particular loves, loyalties and identities that are characteristic of human life:
This from Cicero in the 1st century B.C. (De Oficiis 1.53-54):
There are several levels of human society. Starting from that which is universal, the next is that of a common race, nation or language (which is what most of all holds men together). Further down comes membership of the same city; for citizens have many things in common - their town square, temples, covered walkways, roads, laws and constitution, law-courts and elections, customs and associations and the dealings and agreements that bind many people to many others. An even closer bond is that between relations: for it sets them apart from that limitless society of the human race into one that is narrow and closely-defined. Since it is a natural feature of all living beings that they have the desire to propagate, the first association is that of marriage itself; the next is that with one's children; then the household unit within which everything is shared; that is the element from which a city is made, so to speak the seed-bed of the state. Next comes the relationship between brothers, between cousins on the father's side and cousins on the mother's side; since the relatives cannot be contained in one household, they leave to found other households, just like colonies. Next, come relationships arising from marriage, which bring even more relatives. This extension and spreading of relationships is the basis of communities; for common blood forces men to help and care for one another.