Friday, January 15, 2010

A destructive white god?

Maxine Beneba Clarke is a woman of West Indian descent living in Melbourne. She responded to the Haiti disaster by writing a poem, which was published on the website of Overland, a leading left-wing literary journal.

The gist of the poem? God and Jesus must be white men. That would explain their visiting of death and destruction on brown people. She asks the "pale trinity" if crushing Haiti felt as good as similar acts visited on coloured peoples, such as the tsunami.

The poem attracted one comment, from a white reader, which was just as bad as the poem itself:

I think destruction comes naturally to us white men. It is almost like a religion to us that we will worship, forever creating new and more devastating ways to blow shit up.

The bonus is, when armagedon comes, it will be us what brings it and we’ll dance and sing and laugh at all the pretty flashing lights caused by the world falling to pieces as lava advances on the homes of those too poor to fly off to the moon where the best seats for the show will be.

That’s very well said Maxine, personally I don’t like to point the finger at God for natural disasters. Maybe because I’m a atheist.

Right. So white men worship destruction like a religion. We'll laugh when we finally destroy the world, just before we fly off to the moon, leaving the poor to their fate.

Overland, by the way, gets funded by the Federal Government, the Victorian Government, Arts Victoria, Victoria University and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Update: The actor Danny Glover has claimed that the Haiti earthquake is a consequence of global warming. A reader, Ned Wilobane, has written some lines to Gaia in response. His poem is beautifully subversive of Maxine Beneba Clarke's original:

Seems Gaia
That big Momma
that swallows us whole dying
must be a commie / to me
else what the hell she want / taxing
the hell outa
the brave
& the free
the state entity
takes my money in their fist
did it feel as good in
Russia / Germany / or China
what tickles her the best
giant cavernous devouring,
swallowing down the free man
Gaia is a commie / i’m sayin
Gaia is now a commie / to me

94 comments:

  1. I emailed Larry Auster today about Monbiot's deranged column on Avatar. There's a howler in every paragraph! His view is that Avatar is "profoundly silly" because it has a "happy ending" (American militarism is crushingly defeated), in contrast to the real history of the conquest of the New World, in which genocidal Europeans destroyed "everything and everyone they encountered." And worst of all, greedy imperialist genocide "hasn't yet ended"!

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  2. James,

    That is indeed an extraordinary column. Monbiot grabs at every atrocity story he can find and uses them, in compressed form, to make up a narrative about colonisation in the Americas.

    It's a narrative in which evil, backward, underachieving Europeans arrive in the beautiful, peaceful high-achieving Americas and immediately set out destroying and eradicating everything in sight.

    Europeans only got ahead, continues Monbiot, by acts of pure evil and destruction. And we're still doing it today.

    Why? Why write this sort of stuff? I presume the underlying message, the message that Monbiot wants us to get without it being openly stated, is that this justifies why Europeans and Westerners deserve to go. There's no defence for us. We ought to remain disarmed and morally subdued in the face of our own demise. And we ought to hand over what we've got to others.

    In short, the aim is to demoralise. And, unfortunately, I think it will have that effect on some - at the very time when we most need Westerners to stand up confidently for their own tradition.

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  3. ""Overland, by the way, gets funded by the Federal Government, the Victorian Government, Arts Victoria, Victoria University and the Australia Council for the Arts.""

    And this is why until someone cuts off all these tax gobbling bodies who fund the destruction of our culture, our people, our communities and our country this rot will only continue.

    Thats why I lean towards libertarianism, it would indeed be lovely to turn off the tap of all that money and then give it back to the people who earned it so they can buy giant houses that the previously taxpayer funded arts aristocracy find rupulsive and tacky.

    MMmmmmm.... lovely just thinking about it...

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  4. Westieboy,

    I'm not sure the libertarians would have you. Community, country and people matter to you in a way that libertarians generally don't accept.

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  5. And this is why until someone cuts off all these tax gobbling bodies who fund the destruction of our culture, our people, our communities and our country this rot will only continue.

    You do realise that Quadrant has also been sucking on the public teat for some decades now?

    As for Maxine's poem - you may not be aware of the context. One of your conservative brethren named Pat Robertson explicitly attributed the recent disaster to the Haitians having made a pact with the devil, insofar as they sought independence from the French some 200 years ago.

    Haiti basically had it coming, according to this chap:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ4dA6kZsEs&feature=player_embedded#

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  6. Anon contrarian,

    You're right that Pat Robertson claimed that Haitians have been cursed for making a pact with the devil (with voodoo gods) at the time of the revolt against French colonial rule.

    But how does this justify Maxine Beneba Clarke's poem?

    Perhaps you're suggesting that there are similarly unappealing viewpoints on the right. But Robertson's views aren't being published in a prestigious literary journal that is circulated amongst academia on Australian campuses. Nor do Robertson's views express (in more radical form) ideas that are commonly held on the right.

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  7. Come to think of it, anon contrarian, there's a more important difference between Robertson and Clarke.

    Pat Robertson's position might be unappealing. But he is not saying that Haitians are a cosmic enemy of humanity, that they are the root cause of the oppression and injustice suffered by others. He is arguing that they themselves are the victims of a lack of orientation to God. His views are not, therefore, likely to invoke hatred or opposition to the Haitians, and Robertson himself is involved in the efforts to help repair the damage caused by the earthquake.

    Clarke's views are the more dangerous ones as she portrays whites as a cosmic enemy, responsible for the injustice and oppression in the world. If you were to take her views seriously then it might seem like a righteous thing to attack and harm whites, and in fact she has written a poem suggesting that Germaine Lindsay, a Jamaican who was one of the London bombers, was acting the only way he knew how against white oppression.

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  8. It's difficult to take seriously the idea that Maxine Clarke's poem, destined to be read by (at most) a few thousand people, is more 'dangerous' than Robertson exercising his schadenfreude via the mass media.

    And I know some conservatives hate the education system, but as bad as you may think it is, it normally teaches kids around grade five that the 'I' of a poem or narrative is not identifiable with the author's person. Edgar Allan Poe never had a conversation with a raven, Shakespeare probably never laid eyes on Venice or Verona, Stairways cannot literally be built to Heaven and Maxine Clarke can hardly be read as attempting serious theology here.

    Considering the brutal interference that Haiti has suffered throughout its history, it wouldn't be at all surprising if some Haitians felt, at a personal level, that perhaps they've been shafted by both god and the white man. It doesn't take a great deal of poetic imagination to then put the two together, when you've got the likes of Robertson drawing the link himself, speaking explicitly as a Christian and political commenter, in a clip that will be viewed by millions around the world.

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  9. If you were to take her views seriously then it might seem like a righteous thing to attack and harm whites, and in fact she has written a poem suggesting that Germaine Lindsay, a Jamaican who was one of the London bombers, was acting the only way he knew how against white oppression.

    I'm sorry, but this is nonsense. Adopting the viewpoint of one's subject doesn't not, in art, necessarily mean endorsing that subject. From the bomber's point of view he may well have thought he was doing the right thing. Tom Waits has a song, some verses of which are written from the perspective of a Palestinian suicide bomber - does that mean that Waits ought to be considered a menace to decent society?

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  10. Anon contrarian,

    But Maxine Clarke's poem doesn't stand by itself. If it were just one poem I wouldn't take it seriously. But the ideas it contains are held widely on the left, including the idea that whites are uniquely guilty of racist oppression of others (which is the basis of whiteness studies courses now being taught at campuses both in Australia and the US).

    I agree that the poem is not to be read as an expression of Maxine Clarke's personal theology. Nonetheless, it does express her politics.

    She sees the world through the lens of white oppression and black victimisation.

    For instance, here is an expression of her rage against Anglos; it seems that a KFC ad in which someone offers chicken to West Indian supporters is grounds for such grievances that it explains a Jamaican terrorst planting bombs on buses in London.

    (She doesn't like the calypso stereotype of West Indians. Fair enough. But it's a bit like Australians being portrayed in popular culture as ockers. This is sometimes aggravating, sometimes humorous and sometimes close to home. But it's hardly grounds for rage and dark thoughts of terrorist reprisals.)

    Then there's this poem, in which Clarke imagines Santa Claus acting from the perspective of a black mama's justice. The black boy gets presents even though he kicked his bedroom wall in because he has a troubled home life. The white child was good but doesn't get anything because he can have anything he points to and is too right wing.

    Is there not a pattern in these poems?

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  11. She is a typical solipsistic lefty toad. Move along, there's not much to see here.

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  12. I should add, the poet in question is of Carribbean origin, and probably has a personal stake in some of the issues you raise.

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    Replies
    1. Other Caribbean commentators saw nothing wrong with the KFC ad and recognised it as an invoking a national rivalry, not a racial one. The author was looking to be offended.

      Delete
  13. American Actor Danny Glover said, “When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I’m sayin’?”

    In response I was moved to write these lines.

    Seems Gaia
    That big Momma
    that swallows us whole dying
    must be a commie / to me
    else what the hell she want / taxing
    the hell outa
    the brave
    & the free
    the state entity
    takes my money in their fist
    did it feel as good in
    Russia / Germany / or China
    what tickles her the best
    giant cavernous devouring,
    swallowing down the free man
    Gaia is a commie / i’m sayin
    Gaia is now a commie / to me

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  14. You do realise that Quadrant has also been sucking on the public teat for some decades now?

    Not every tax gobbling body is Lefty, but most of them are. Get rid of them and it will be a vast net plus for the Right. It's time for the Right to figure out that it can't beat the Left with Lefty methods (like stealing taxpayer money), anyway.

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  15. OTH

    Maxine could be right

    Civilization at War with Itself

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/

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  16. And on Haiti, Haiti's consul in Sao Paulo who had the following to say;

    The consul of Haiti in Brazil, George Samuel Antoine, said the tragedy was being good for the country, which was becoming known. The statement was given on Thursday, not realizing that he was being recorded...

    The consul also said that the earthquake may have been caused by "voodoo". "De tanto mexer com macumba...não sei o que é aquilo. O africano em si tem maldição", comentou momentos antes da entrevista. "From both mess with voodoo ... do not know what that is. The African itself is a curse," he said moments before the interview.

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/

    The consul was unaware that he was being recorded.

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  17. To be truly symmetrical here, we'd have to first claim that Ned's doggerel was 'dangerous', and then pretend that it's representative of conservatives, that 'the ideas it contains are held widely on the right'. We'd also need some tabloid pastor making comments of similar imbecility to your comrade, Robertson.

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  18. Well, I don't know 'bout y'all but if you'll accept that

    1. Gaia is fanatic enviromentalism.
    2.Neopagan liberals would sooner listen to a celebrity then a religious figure.
    3. Global Warming is just an excuse for wealth redistribution and global regulations.

    then I'd say its pretty damn close for an off the cuff doggerel parody. It also helps that Ms. Clarke isn't near as intricate as some in her versifyin'
    Cheers

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  19. Though I'll admit there is a slight blurring between Gaia and totalitarianism going from lines 11 and 12 to the rest of the poem that doesn't quite follow.

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  20. "Not every tax gobbling body is Lefty, but most of them are. Get rid of them and it will be a vast net plus for the Right. It's time for the Right to figure out that it can't beat the Left with Lefty methods (like stealing taxpayer money), anyway."

    Wasn't this attempted in the 1980s under the banner of 'neoliberalism.' I seem to remember the liberal left easily dodged attempts to downsize it's pet projects (hence the continued funding of whiteness studies) and that most of the downsizing occured in industry, farming, fishing, r and d funding and small town infrastructure.

    You can't win the culture wars unless you actually take part in them, hiding behind economics won't cut it.

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  21. Wasn't this attempted in the 1980s under the banner of 'neoliberalism.'

    No. Maybe the idea was out there, but it certainly wasn't even tried in a practical sense.

    We do not starve the tax gobblers of money because it is easy - we starve the tax gobblers of money because it is hard!

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  22. No one should be allowed to use the "Western imperialism" excuse about Haitians or Caribbean people in general without first reading the Bernard Dieterich / Al Burt biography of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, widely available via any online used-book store. Duvalier was merely the most spectacular and disgusting of Haiti's modern home-grown tyrants (if not quite as spectacular and disgusting as the Dominican Republic's Trujillo across the border). His biographers actually spent time in Haiti during his reign (1957-1971), so we are not talking about the sort of journalist who merely rewrites government press releases while getting sloshed in Harry's Bar.

    The political genius of Duvalier lay not only in carrying out the slogan of Paradise Lost - "Evil, be thou my good" - but in doing so via making voodoo into a national religion, or at least a national religion of equal authority with Papa-Doc-worship. And I do mean worship, as in, rewriting the Lord's Prayer to put Duvalier in the place of God. So Pat Robertson spoke better than he knew.

    Accordingly Duvalier blackmailed not one but four US presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon) into grovelling to him over and over again. It must've worked because he achieved the almost unique Haitian presidential distinction of dying in bed.

    What Papa Doc did, nearly every other Haitian ruler (and absolutely every other black, as opposed to mulatto, Haitian ruler) has also tried to do. One of the goons of 19th-century Haitian revolutionary leader Jean Jacques Dessalines proclaimed: "To write this Act of Independence we must have a white man's skin for parchment, his skull for an inkwell, his blood for ink, and a bayonet as pen."

    But there, there, doubtless to Anon Contrarian, it's always whitey's fault, isn't it. And when Haiti's latest Idi Amin lookalike (I neither remember nor care about his name) embezzles all the Oxfam / Red Cross / United Nations earthquake aid, that'll be whitey's fault too. Well, tell it to the Melbourne Sunday Age, baby, because on the Internet, research-free self-hatred just does not cut it. Does. Not. Cut. It. Have we cleared that up?

    Mark Richardson, on the strength of his writings, is a Christian gentleman who tells the truth. I merely tell the truth.

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  23. "But Robertson's views aren't being published in a prestigious literary journal that is circulated amongst academia on Australian campuses."

    Hear Hear.

    I'm inclined to agree on the comment of the culture wars having to be fought. If we tried to starve the lefties out we'd have to close the universities.

    On AC's point, the influence of these right wing boogie men is masifely overstated. What would you do if there were no Pat Robertson's out there? I mean I know you think you're rebelling against the mainstream but even in America Pat Robertson isn't the mainstream.

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  24. Arnold Reeves,

    I haven't read the book you refer to, but out of curiosity I had a quick look at Papa Doc on wikipedia and even that was an eye opener.

    I hardly even know what to make of this (could it be true?):

    "Barbot started on a plot to remove Duvalier from office by kidnapping his children. The plot did not succeed, and Duvalier subsequently ordered a massive search for Barbot and his fellow conspirators.

    During the search, Duvalier received information that Barbot had transformed himself into a black dog. Duvalier then ordered that all black dogs in Haiti be put to death.


    Or how about the election Duvalier staged in 1961:

    The official count was 1,320,748 votes for Duvalier and none against. Upon hearing the results of the election, Duvalier proclaimed: "I accept the people's will. As a revolutionary, I have no right to disregard the will of the people."

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  25. From memory, both the Barbot business and the election business are cited in the book that I mentioned. Certainly there is a great deal about Barbot's downfall.

    This 1964 piece from TIME magazine - which, like all TIME articles from before the 1970s, has no byline - could well have been written by Diederich himself; the dates of his TIME employment fit. (Earlier I misspelled his name as "Dieterich". Sorry about that.) The OUT in this piece's first paragraph is, as the context makes clear, a scanner's misprint for OUI.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,898166,00.html

    So once right-liberals and left-liberals have alike digested this account of Haiti's most effective black nutbag, they can all have another two-minute hate-session against ... Franco. Or Pinochet. Or Verwoerd. Or Salazar. Or Pauline Hanson. Or Nick Griffin. Honestly, it's so hard to keep up with the "new Hitler" hit parade.

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  26. On AC's point, the influence of these right wing boogie men is masifely overstated. What would you do if there were no Pat Robertson's out there? I mean I know you think you're rebelling against the mainstream but even in America Pat Robertson isn't the mainstream.

    Exactly the same could be said of all of you, given that you're busy demonising a minor Melbourne poet and pretending that she is the voice of the left. One has an audience of millions, but it's the other who has you clutching your pearls because (gasp!) an academic somewhere may read it.

    Mark Richardson, on the strength of his writings, is a Christian gentleman who tells the truth. I merely tell the truth.

    That may well be true of Mr Richardson, and it certainly isn't for me to judge. However, it's not true of you, Jeeves, as evidenced by your latest outburst. Would that you were born a Haitian, that you could then give us sermons on 'whitey' having nothing to do with your plight, and colonisation being a cakewalk.

    It's interesting, if somewhat bizarre, that you are so heavily identified with colonialism as to regard any criticism of it, however factually based, as 'research-free self hatred'. It's a kind of spiritual emaciation, Jeeves. We in Australia have had virtually nothing to do with Haiti. The facts of the matter are that the US supported atrocious dictatorships in Haiti (and elsewhere) for the sake of Cold War hegemony, and for economic control. More recently, the US deposed Aristide, despite his being the democratically elected leader. Nonetheless, you smugly prattle on about liberals, whilst issuing apologias for this sort of thing (not to mention Franco, Pinochet, and Nick Griffin - nice).

    If there's one point that you've successfully proven amongst your blathering, Jeeves, it's that conservatives have no clue when it comes to art. Not a jot. Even the likes of Raphael or TS Eliot were not, at heart, conservatives. You'd have to go back before the Renaissance to get anything like conservative art. Which means that having a 'conservative gentleman' like yourself expound on poetry is rather like setting a pig loose in the Louvre.

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  27. If what AC means is that Eliot was not so crass as so confuse art with propaganda, then I agree entirely. Its a pity that there are so few like him nowadays.

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  28. To AC

    "Exactly the same could be said of all of you, given that you're busy demonising a minor Melbourne poet and pretending that she is the voice of the left."

    Saying that there is a white god who loves killing black people is a ridiculous "artistic" sort of attempt at an otherwise normal left wing staple, that white guys are bad and enjoy/cause the suffering of others. You can hardly say conservatives sit around talking like Pat Robertson.

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  29. http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/pcourrielche/2009/10/05/the-big-truth-selling-white-house-policy-through-art/

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  30. Jesse, I think the poem in question is an entirely reasonable and 'human' response to a disaster (and also, of course, to Robertson's comments). Yes, it is a political poem, but you can't seriously claim that leftists are pushing ideas about a vengeful white god.

    (As a tangential point, Christ has always been racialised and politicised in art. Botticelli paid homage to Firenze's Medici family by depicting them in his Magi painting. Christ himself has typically been painted in Western Europe as having blonder hair and blue eyes, which is hardly realistic for a middle eastern man of his time. Finally, Christ and Christianity have repeatedly been used an abused in the ideology underpinning racist colonisation. It's not for nothing that more than a few missionaries lost their heads).

    I don't really have much more to day on this thread, so perhaps I'll finish with a couple of points. One, you've stripped the poem of its immediate context (the disaster and Robertson's comments, which none here have criticised at all) and its historic context (colonial rule, followed by local military juntas backed by the US, followed by overthrow of a popular government and subsequent occupation by the US). Some commenters here like to indulge their racial fetish, yet all have passed by the fact that the poet in question here is a young woman of black Carribbean extraction, preferring instead to claim that she is some archetypal leftist. Poetry has been quite wilfully portrayed as outright political commentary, and a relatively unknown writer has been deemed 'dangerous' in a manner that would have done Torquemada proud.

    It's all a rather shameful state of affairs. However, given that the poet in question has posted online on an open forum, do any of you have the cojones to go tell her she's a stooge for whatever communist or 'liberal' plot you think the lizard men are hatching today?

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  31. aying that there is a white god who loves killing black people is a ridiculous "artistic" sort of attempt at an otherwise normal left wing staple, that white guys are bad and enjoy/cause the suffering of others.

    Also, you do realise that this is a straw man, and an utterly false fabrication of what leftists actually purport to believe. There isn't a leftist alive who would endorse the above.

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  32. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noel_Ignatiev

    among thousands of others

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  33. Tom Waits has a song, some verses of which are written from the perspective of a Palestinian suicide bomber - does that mean that Waits ought to be considered a menace to decent society?

    Yes.

    If we tried to starve the lefties out we'd have to close the universities.

    You say that like it's a bad thing!

    If we did that, we would find out just how useless and irrelevant university education really is. Even my engineering degree had (and has) little practical relevance to my daily work. If my employer had taken me on as an apprentice at age 18, I'd probably be in the same place doing the same work.

    Anyway, closing them is not necessary. Simply firing everyone who currently holds a professorship, and refusing to employ them in academia ever again, would do nicely.

    Would that you were born a Haitian, that you could then give us sermons on 'whitey' having nothing to do with your plight, and colonisation being a cakewalk.

    The idea that only non-whites can say true things about colonialism is stupid, false, and racist.

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  34. Anon contrarian,

    No, no and no.

    I think the poem in question is an entirely reasonable and 'human' response to a disaster

    No, it's a poem that clearly vilifies whites. Just like many other poems by Maxine Clarke, on many different themes.

    Yes, it is a political poem, but you can't seriously claim that leftists are pushing ideas about a vengeful white god.

    The vengeful white god was a stand in for the idea of evil white men who oppress non-whites.

    Poetry has been quite wilfully portrayed as outright political commentary

    Clearly the poem, like much contemporary art, is political commentary. You yourself stated above "Yes, it is a political poem".

    this is a straw man, and an utterly false fabrication of what leftists actually purport to believe. There isn't a leftist alive who would endorse the above.

    AC, you really think that there are no leftists who believe that white guys are bad and cause the suffering of others? Really?

    At the school I teach at, this is the leftist belief that the students are heavily indoctrinated in. You could almost rename the English faculty the "White guys are bad and cause the suffering of others" faculty. I know (white) teachers whose sense of self and life purpose is heavily bound up in the idea of white oppression of others (and their own moral superiority in standing against this).

    The assumption running through nearly all leftist thought is the idea that whites invented race in order to win an unearned privilege over those groups of people who were thereby racially "othered".

    This leads on to a series of claims that we often hear made, including:

    a) whiteness is a mere social construct
    b) whiteness needs to be deconstructed as an act of liberating progress
    c) whites who defend their own traditions are motivated by a desire to uphold supremacy
    d) inequality between the races is due to the effects of white racism, white colonialism etc
    e) whites are the ones to be categorised as privileged, dominant; non-whites as historically victimised.

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  35. The assumption running through nearly all leftist thought is the idea that whites invented race in order to win an unearned privilege over those groups of people who were thereby racially "othered".

    We have sunk so far that this absurd line of thinking actually masquerades as a serious intellectual discipline. My own view is that this "discipline" is nothing more than a classic conspiracy theory. All you need to do to appreciate this is read any of the "whiteness studies" screeds and replace "white" with "Jew" and "non-whites" with "Aryans".

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  36. I was so appalled by her poem and commnet regarding why some countries have the resources to help, that I wrote on her site:

    "he social and historical origins of this power is due to many factors, including increased selection for intelligence over 50,000 years. See the paper 'Whole Brain Size and General Mental Ability' (2009) Internation Journal of Neuroscience 119, 691-731.

    More specifically, this illustrates why whites should re-visit their obligations to african countries. The racial resentment obviously runs deep & immigration and aid should be reduced as a result.

    I will certainly be forwarding it to people advising that they don't provide too much in aid."

    http://slamup.blogspot.com/2010/01/earthquake-in-haiti.html#comments

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  37. "whiteness is a mere social construct "

    Anyone who believes this needs to read:

    Steve Hsu's comments on race & genetics

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2007/01/metric-on-space-of-genomes-and.html

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2008/01/no-scientific-basis-for-race.html

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2008/11/european-genetic-substructure.html

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2009/06/genetic-clustering-40-years-of-progress.html

    Good links to a great post by David Friedman about leftist's claiming to accept evolution but not its implications. Also links to studies showing recent positive selection for genes affecting brain function in some way, and the important paper by Hawks et al about recent acceleration of adaptive change.

    http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/005501.html

    This blogger has put together an 'HBD summary'.

    http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2009/05/quick-easy-to-understand-primer-on.html

    Discussion with Professor Jonathan Marks (who takes the Laden approach)

    http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2009/11/professor-jonathan-marks-responds.html

    Interesting site & discussions.

    http://liberalbiorealism.wordpress.com/

    Good discussions about complex traits.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/12/complex_traits_evolution.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/12/complex_traits_evolution_1.php#more

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  38. Cynic,

    Yes Darwinism is good because it explains creation without God, removes morality from its dominant station (ie we can do whatever we like because we're animals) and is clothed in an irrefutable authoritative source, science.

    Social Darwinism, not good, because it provides justifications for inequality, allows successful people to feel guilt free and justifies ruthless competition and a general lack of compassion, "I may have screwed you to win but I still won and therefore I'm more evolved". Of course it also has not a "shred" of evidence to support it, see craniology and Lombroso's criminal profiling.

    Evolutionary arguments seem to me to have more to do with political/ideological justifications than actuality. I'm not saying that evolution doesn't exist but lefties in actuality only like science when it supports their views. Otherwise they're positively against it, eg objectivity is a crank, science is man's arrogant/foolish attempt to control nature, global warming is happening no matter what the data says.

    Everyone wants to lay claim to science to support their views.

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  39. The notion of racial or religious self-hatred will mystify me as long as I live. Even in my pretty silly social-democratic Whitlam-supporting childhood (I was never an actual leftist), it never once occurred to me that the proper response to Rhodesia or about Biafra - those names will show my age - was endless breast-beating against the "evils of white imperialism". Why do white people even think, let alone utter, the sort of remarks we get from "Marc" on the Overland site ("I think destruction comes naturally to us white men")?

    Really I would love to know this question's answer; but I don't. Malcolm Muggeridge talked about the "liberal death wish". Sorry, Malcolm, I don't buy that in this particular case. A "liberal death wish" is above all a liberal death wish. It implies a sense of philosophical sophistication totally absent from, e.g., "Marc"'s comment. There's always such an emotive quality involved with self-flagellation like that of "Marc".

    The older I get, the more inclined I am to think that the phrase "the personal is political" is true, but in a sense very different from the one that counter-cultural zombies used to give it. And the more disposed I become to concluding that racial and religious self-hatred springs totally from private and apolitical causes. If it were to turn out that "Marc" (of whom I of course know nothing) had a terminal gambling problem or a taste for prohibited sexual practices, I would be far less surprised by confirmation of either hypothesis than I would be by the notion that he had ever read a book, let alone a book by Malthus or Marx or Marcuse.

    As usual Waugh has pre-empted me, and as usual he was onto something when he wrote: "the intellectual communists of today [this was in 1937, during the Spanish Reds' zenith] have personal, irrelevant grounds for their antagonism to society, which they are trying to exploit."

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  40. No, it's a poem that clearly vilifies whites.

    No, in reality I challenge you to find a word in there that 'vilifies' anybody, without relying on the tortured logic of somebody with a persecution complex. Far from being proud 'whites', the crowd here seem increasingly like hunchbacks or dwarfs, eying all comments from strangers with the utmost suspicion, apt to take offence at anything.

    It's clear from your commenters that the conservatives here are basically anti-art. As such, anything they say about this poem ought to be taken with a shovel-load of salt.

    AC, you really think that there are no leftists who believe that white guys are bad and cause the suffering of others? Really?

    You're straw-manning the argument again. No leftist on earth pushes the line that only 'whites' are capable of evil, whilst everybody else is an innocent. Most people are, however, aware of some basic historical facts (even if conservatives choose to deny them) namely, that modern colonisation occurred from Europe, wasn't terribly pleasant for the locals, and has had long-standing ramifications. These are elementary empirical facts that the white pride crowd seem unable to accept. This is what you appear to be calling 'indoctrination'.

    whites are the ones to be categorised as privileged, dominant; non-whites as historically victimised.

    Okay, let's take this statement seriously for a moment. In what way are whites 'victimised? I mean, seriosuly? Is it lke jews in the holocaust, kulaks under Stalin, Catholics in Belfast, Aboriginals in the early years of white settlement? Do you honestly believe that a 'whiteness studies' course or some criticism of colonialism is equivalent to persecution? It's like a kind of victim-envy here.


    More specifically, this illustrates why whites should re-visit their obligations to african countries. The racial resentment obviously runs deep & immigration and aid should be reduced as a result.

    Who said that conservatives cannot be as individualistic as the next liberal?

    Good links to a great post by David Friedman about leftist's claiming to accept evolution but not its implications. Also links to studies showing recent positive selection for genes affecting brain function in some way, and the important paper by Hawks et al about recent acceleration of adaptive change.

    Cynic ought to know, having had his
    arse handed to him on Maxine's site, that genetic difference within a 'race' is at least as variable as that between races, making a lot of these pseudo-scientific accounts look like the racist, troglodytic swill that they are.

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  41. Yes Darwinism is good because it explains creation without God, removes morality from its dominant station (ie we can do whatever we like because we're animals) and is clothed in an irrefutable authoritative source, science.

    Jesse, if we want to be precise about this things (and I think we should) then Darwinism as such does not exist today. Darwin's theories - and he was not alone is trying to identify models of biological change - have been absorbed into modern theories of genetics. Darwinism says absolutely nothing about 'creation' because it is purely about change, not creation. Whilst evolution itself may take millions of years, natural selection is empirically observable.

    Social darwinisim is something different altogether. It's basically an attempt to provide ideological cover for entrenched inequality. In it's heyday, it could as easily have been used by the ailing aristocracy to oppress the lower orders as between races.

    Evolutionary theory has virtually nothing whatsoever to say about politics. Indirectly, it may suggest some things about the need for adaptation, or even for cooperation, but belief in evolutionary theory certainly doesn't imply a political position.

    lefties in actuality only like science when it supports their views.

    Any examples of this? Do leftist engineers construct bridges out of deconstructionist chewing gum?

    And the more disposed I become to concluding that racial and religious self-hatred springs totally from private and apolitical causes.

    It's a double-edged sword, however, and the same could be said of racial and religious bigotry, the more so since criticism of one's country's leaders of 200 years ago is not actually 'self-hatred', except in the feverish paranoid minds of some.

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  42. "lefties in actuality only like science when it supports their views... Any examples of this? Do leftist engineers construct bridges out of deconstructionist chewing gum?"

    AC do you even read these posts? I just gave you three examples, the relentless war against objecivity which is the backbone of science, the idea that industrial science is destroying the planet and the complete ascientific hysteria over climate change.

    What did we just witness in Copenhagen? Debate about the west cutting emissions and payouts to the poorer nations. If Global warming is such a threat why aren't scientific solutions front and centre in the debate? Why don't you support sequestration? Because the at would be too much like buisness as usual. Why don't you support nuclear power? Because nuclear power is too smart by half. We'll all irriadiate ourselves, even though France and Germany have dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh the nuclear waste, that can't be stored safely. Where does Uranium come from again? That's right from the ground where it doesn't irraidate anyone and where nuclear waste can be easily put too.

    We know the global warming science is a joke and whole industries of scientist's careers' now depend on pushing the slightest evidence of global warming as absolute fact. What about the influence of the sun? What about the choice of start dates for measuring global warming which shows over the long term no increase in temp. Why don't you watch this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stij8sUybx0&feature=related

    What about nuclear fusion? No you're not interested in that or any other real scientific/technological solution you want natural remedies. Solar, wind, more recycling, less use. You're pathetic.

    On the point about evolution no it doesn't explain "creation" as such but it does explain the creation of humanity. The consequences of it are also VERY political. The Nazis based their racial policies in part on it. Social Darwinism wasn't "something totally different" but an application of the theory to the soical realm and every leftist will tell you that man was created by evolutuon not in the garden of eden or some other creationist myth, therefore God doesn't exist QED.

    Whether you agree with evolution or not it has clear social as well as religious implications and that was why the believing Darwin was so reluctant to put it forward publically.

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  43. Bear in mind, Jesse, I've not advanced any positions on the environment, and don't care to open up that debate whilst another is happening.

    I just gave you three examples, the relentless war against objecivity which is the backbone of science, the idea that industrial science is destroying the planet and the complete ascientific hysteria over climate change.

    And I called you on your examples. Second and third are basically two aspects of the same thing, and that thing flies in the face of most scientists. The first is a typical conservative canard, and is utterly baseless. Where are these leftists who believe you can have subjective science? Yes, philosophers of science have attempted to put it in its context, but that is not anti-objectivity, but the logical extension of objectivity. I can assure you, it isn't leftists who are opening up Creationist theme parks.

    What did we just witness in Copenhagen?

    We witnessed a lot of hot air. In response to your concerns about subsidies being given to developing coountries - no, this isn't yet another chapter in the Holocaust against oppressed whites. Basically, industrialisation is necessary for a better quality of life. Western countries have been industrialised for years - Asian and Latin American countries are still in the process, and some countries, particularly in (but not restricted to) Africa, have barely begun. It would be somewhat hypocritical, would it not, to deny these nations the tools for enriching themselves when we in the West have used these very tools ourselves. Please bear in mind also that we can afford subsidies to poor nations (whether for climate change or anything else). Many developed nations have handed over trillions to bail out failed financiers. A few million here or there is hardly going to set off the apocalypse.

    What about nuclear fusion? No you're not interested in that or any other real scientific/technological solution you want natural remedies. Solar, wind, more recycling, less use. You're pathetic.

    No, you're shadow-boxing again. As I said, I have little interest in environmental debates. My understanding is that nuclear is not even remotely close to being a competitive option in Australia at this time. Significant further work is required before it can be considered a serious option here, irrespective of one's ideology.

    On the point about evolution no it doesn't explain "creation" as such but it does explain the creation of humanity.

    It does no such thing. There's nothing at all inconsistent with regarding 'humanity' a miracle and adhering to evolutionary theory. As I explained, evolution pertains only to biological change. It is far less sweeping than you imagine it. That's why even most major religions accept evolutionary theory (a few crackpots and extremists aside).

    Two final points - you seem to think that leftist don't believe in god. This is utter rubbish - plenty religious folk of all stripes are leftist. Somebody has to minister to the poor and sick whilst the conservatives are busy trying to ban sex ed.

    Secondly, 'social darwinism' was more prominent in the UK and US than Nazi Germany. The racial theories of the Nazis owed less to Darwin than the Germans' peculiar history of anti-semitism and nationalist ethos, combined with the after effects of WWI. It's true that a couple of half-hearted attempts were made to convert Nazi ideology into something 'scientific', but at bottom, Nazism (and fascism more generally) was an aesthetic phenomenon.

    It goes without saying, of course, that evolutionary psychology is utter rubbish in its entirety.

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  44. "My understanding is that nuclear is not even remotely close to being a competitive option in Australia at this time. Significant further work is required before it can be considered a serious option here, irrespective of one's ideology."

    Like I said there are dozens of plants in France and Germany. Nuclear isn't "competitive" here in Australia because we have so much coal. I love the "at this time" addition. Nuclear must be considered but not implemented at "this time". When? At no time. Raise a possibility to appear open minded and then discard it.

    "Somebody has to minister to the poor and sick whilst the conservatives are busy trying to ban sex ed."

    Sex sex sex. People on the front foot of sex issues today are going to be your sisterhood, not the conservative movement. Although conservatives are happy not to push promiscuity, which of course you'd call prudery. Yes somebody has to administer to the poor and the sick. I don't know, maybe somebody like Mother Terresa does that? Who incidentally is considered a monster by people like Christopher Hitchens because she doesn't support abortion. The Salvation Army perhaps? Last time I checked they were a bit conservative. Conservatives are also generally happy to help the in need for far less pay than your average NGO worker receives.

    "Two final points - you seem to think that leftist don't believe in god. This is utter rubbish - plenty of religious folk of all stripes are leftist."

    Not in the Marxist party.

    "We witnessed a lot of hot air. In response to your concerns about subsidies being given to developing countries - no, this isn't yet another chapter in the Holocaust against oppressed whites."

    Are you kidding? Its one thing to help out developing countries, its another to have a guilt pushed shake down. You mentioned massive bailouts to the banks. At least they're our banks. Our nation hasn't set up an industry of aid begging from others. Why were developing nations so supportive of China during Copenhagen again? Oh that's right China gives plenty in aid, or specifically large no questions asked grants to nation's leaders.

    "A few million here or there is hardly going to set off the apocalypse."

    Agreed. It does stick in your craw though to be called an asshole no matter how much money you hand over.

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  45. These comments from AC deserve attention I think.

    "Far from being proud 'whites', the crowd here seem increasingly like hunchbacks or dwarfs, eying all comments from strangers with the utmost suspicion, apt to take offence at anything."

    People by their nature are generally spurred on to a defensive response when the language directed at them seems snide or flippant. The sort of quality responses you regret receiving too few of require the maintenance of a civil, good faith dialogue.

    "It's clear from your commenters that the conservatives here are basically anti-art. As such, anything they say about this poem ought to be taken with a shovel-load of salt."

    A golden literary opportunity to employ "philistines." A near-criminal oversight.

    "*AC, you really think that there are no leftists who believe that white guys are bad and cause the suffering of others? Really?*"

    "You're straw-manning the argument again. No leftist on earth pushes the line that only 'whites' are capable of evil, whilst everybody else is an innocent."

    Where in the cited quote does it say "only" whites? It is not a race-exclusive statement.

    --leadpb

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  46. Re: Monbiot's over-the-top article, I looked up the Sand Creek Massacre on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_Creek_massacre

    By this account it was a truly horrific atrocity committed by half-drunk American troops under an apparently renegade commander. No justice was ever meted out in spite of Congressional recommendations.

    What caught my attention was the fact that mention was made of several retaliatory raids by the Cheyenne involving "deaths" of white settlers and militia, but virtually not a word as to how they were killed or if they were (similarly) scalped, mutilated, etc. This stands in radical contrast to the graphic and gruesome details of the deaths of the Indians camped at the Creek.

    --leadpb

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  47. Good points, Anonymous and Jesse7, but I fear you are talking to a brick wall while "Anon Contrarian" not only hides his identity but uses a pen-name so obviously unjustified by anything he says.

    If he (I say "he" because no female could be that philosophically inept) were to call himself "Anon Stooge of the Pagan-Marxist Enlightenment Project As Filtered Through The Conduit Of A Suburban Aussie Campus" or "Anon Purveyor of Complete Irrelevancies" (Raphael's politics? Raphael and T. S. Eliot in a post about the Caribbean for Pete's sake?????) or "Anon Who Demonstrates On This Website That He Doesn't Know Jack About Allende's Marxism" or just "Anon Failed Comedian Who Thinks It's Funny To Spell Reeves as Jeeves", we might get somewhere.

    With "Anon Contrarian" we are not dealing with T. H. Huxley or Ernest Renan or H. G. Wells or some other pagan intellectual whom it is possible to respect. If we pretend we are, we only harm ourselves.

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  48. AC wrote "However, given that the poet in question has posted online on an open forum, do any of you have the cojones to go tell...?"

    A discussion was attempted and it didn't seem to farewell. She wasn't very open to criticism.

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  49. There was a bit of tension over politics apparently.

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  50. "Cynic ought to know, having had his
    arse handed to him on Maxine's site, that genetic difference within a 'race' is at least as variable as that between races, making a lot of these pseudo-scientific accounts look like the racist, troglodytic swill that they are."

    A.C., there is a feature on Mr. Richardson's comment section called "Preview" which allows you to review what you have written before you post it. I would suggest you start using it. Also, if we are all as defensive as you say, then it's because you've been more than a little offensive, no? After all, in what way does the phrase "had his arse handed to him" qualify as civil?

    Your incivility aside, the argument you're making here doesn't really hold water. Let me show you how by making one slight change to your sentence:

    Everyone knows that "genetic difference within a 'sex' is at least as variable as that between sexes, making a lot of these pseudo-scientific accounts look like the sexist, troglodytic swill that they are."

    To put it another way: it's true that any two women, just like any two whites, will vary a lot from each other. And sometimes you might find a woman and a man or a black and a white that are in, say temperament, much more alike than two men or two blacks. But that hardly means that the distinction between male and female holds no significance. And likewise, it hardly means that the distinction between black and white (and other races) holds no significance.

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  51. A.C. wrote,

    "Basically, industrialisation is necessary for a better quality of life. Western countries have been industrialised for years - Asian and Latin American countries are still in the process, and some countries, particularly in (but not restricted to) Africa, have barely begun. It would be somewhat hypocritical, would it not, to deny these nations the tools for enriching themselves when we in the West have used these very tools ourselves."

    "Western countries have been industrialised"?? Gee, A.C., I wonder who industrialized them? Whites? Huh, but how did they manage to do that without some other rich civlization's giving them the "tools of enrichment."

    The logic here is pretty basic, A.C. If whites industrialized themselves, why can't blacks and browns do the same?

    "It would be somewhat hypocritical...to deny these nations the tools for enriching themselves..." blah, blah, blah.

    Where did the "tools" come from A.C. and why do only whites have them? I suppose our poet believes the "white god" rained them down from heaven unfairly on Europe, but what about you? And why are whites able to keep something from blacks/browns, etc. which black and browns are just as able to provide for themselves? And if blacks and browns cannot provide these things for themselves, well why not?

    See how many interesting questions you can come up with just by changing your post up there from the passive to the active voice?

    Stop abusing the passive voice, and your reasoning capacity shall improve immensely, A.C. That's what that evil, "prescriptive" grammar teacher was trying to teach you all those years ago.

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  52. 'Everyone knows that "genetic difference within a 'sex' is at least as variable as that between sexes, making a lot of these pseudo-scientific accounts look like the sexist, troglodytic swill that they are."'

    Haha good one. Where have you been dude?

    Now before we're all jumped on, yes there are differences between members of a sex but also "gender qualities" which aren't that easy to erase nor are they just social conservative constructs. Stop being so sexist Bartholomew! lol.

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  53. But that hardly means that the distinction between male and female holds no significance. And likewise, it hardly means that the distinction between black and white (and other races) holds no significance.

    This is a false analogy, Bartholomew. Males and females have some fairly obvious biological/anatomical and genetic differences. The different 'races' do not. Somebody should take you through the birds and the bees sometime.

    The logic here is pretty basic, A.C. If whites industrialized themselves, why can't blacks and browns do the same?

    Many of them have already. What you are driving at, however, is the idea that colonialism is not the culprit for the 'uneven' development of the third world. In addition to this denial of past atrocity, you find with some 'conservatives' the paranoid and imbecilic position that whites are uniquely victimised. It's a kind of victim-envy, as I pointed out above.

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  54. "What you are driving at, however, is the idea that colonialism is not the culprit for the 'uneven' development of the third world. In addition to this denial of past atrocity"

    Oh dear oh dear. Work for me now, more on this latter.

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  55. AC wrote,

    "This is a false analogy, Bartholomew. Males and females have some fairly obvious biological/anatomical and genetic differences. The different 'races' do not."

    Well, now you're just lying. I submit the question to other commenters whether the various races have no "fairly obvious biological/anatomical and genetic differences." Just as brothers share more DNA than fourth cousins, so fourth cousins share more DNA than, say, the pygmies of New Guinea.

    Ah, but this was my favorite. You wrote, "Many of them have already. What you are driving at, however, is the idea that colonialism is not the culprit for the 'uneven' development of the third world."

    Huh. I wonder how many of the clueless you're able to snag with this ol' bait and switch.

    Earlier you wrote, "and some countries, particularly in (but not restricted to) Africa, have barely begun." Now suddenly, "many" are already developed. I'd advise you to stick with your first story. The truth of course is that the Africans have NOT developed themselves.

    That is true now as it was true when whites arrived on the shores of Africa in the 1500's. Think about it, a second: if the whites and blacks were equal in the 1500's, why weren't just as many whites enslaved as blacks? Why weren't the Zulu sailing up the Thames?

    You know the answer. Quit lying.

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  56. Jesse wrote,

    "Stop being so sexist Bartholomew! lol."

    Haha, hey Jesse, glad to hear from you. Yeah, I've been buried under homework, regular work, etc. and just haven't had a chance to post. That was good, though: it's been fun just to read everyone else.

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  57. A.C. wrote interpreted my comment thus:

    "What you are driving at, however, is the idea that colonialism is not the culprit for the 'uneven' development of the third world."

    By the way, whom are you quoting, A.C., when you say "uneven"? Wasn't that your assertion, your idea, your complaint? Why, then, the scare quotes?

    Do you or do you not believe that the Third World is less developed than the West?

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  58. Think about it, a second: if the whites and blacks were equal in the 1500's, why weren't just as many whites enslaved as blacks? Why weren't the Zulu sailing up the Thames?

    Why don't you tell us, Bart. Let's hope the answer doesn't rely solely on crank racial theories.

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  59. A.C. wrote,

    "Why don't you tell us, Bart. Let's hope the answer doesn't rely solely on crank racial theories."

    No, why don't you just answer the question.

    I'll ask you again:

    If whites and blacks have always been equal, why weren't the Zulus sailing up the Thames in the 1500's? Why hadn't they even left Africa?

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  60. No, why don't you just answer the question.

    I'll ask you again:

    If whites and blacks have always been equal, why weren't the Zulus sailing up the Thames in the 1500's? Why hadn't they even left Africa?


    It's your rhetorical question, Bart.

    Perhaps the answer is that the Zulus didn't want to sail up the Thames. Certainly the Zulus did not build an economy based on colonialism in the way in which Britain did.

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  61. "Certainly the Zulus did not build an economy based on colonialism in the way in which Britain did."

    Um ok, tell that to all the tribes they defeated and enslaved.

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  62. Jesse, I don't think the tribal warfare of the Zulus is even remotely comparable to the British empire at its peak. And whilst I don't know enough about Zulu economics to know for sure, I'd be very surprised if the Zulus had an economy that was anything like that of say, the 19th century Brits, either in size or structure.

    Whilst the British were far more technologically advanced than the Zulus (and most everybody else at the time), they were certainly no less barbarous. The Brits engineered mass starvation in India, trialled the use of chemical weapons, and invented the world's first concentration camps in Africa. There's an irish rebel that mockingly references the Brits' conquests in Africa and the Middle East, as the Brits attacked unarmed/poorly armed natives, and 'bravely faced one/ with a 16-pounder gun'.

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  63. I guess you win anon, I don't feel like debating right now. But I'll say this. The Zulus were smaller than the British so that's allright? In India are you referring to the mutiny? Of course the 'concentration camps" of SA were the internment camps for supporters of the Boers. It was British criticism against the conditions in these camps that caused the uproar. British criticising themselves for poor treatment of enemy supporters? Doesn't sound too barbarous to me.

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  64. That the colonial project ought to be condemned doesn't justify every other form of slaughter.

    There's a famous line by Nietzsche:

    “"I have done that," says my memory. "I cannot have done that" -- says my pride, and remains adamant. At last -- memory yields.”

    It was later quoted by Freud in connection with repression. I wonder if something akin to that is in operation when it comes to this denial of colonial atrocities. I really don't understand it. It's not as if the present generation was responsible for these things.

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  65. That's a good quote by Nietzsche by the way. But if we're going to talk about colonialism and atrocities we have to talk about the communists. You've been awfully quiet on that front.

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  66. Jesse, I don't think that anybody denies the atrocities committed under communist rule. Even in the former communist countries themselves, people are well aware of the brutality of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

    Some folk in these countries are, IMO, a bit more in denial when it comes to the imperialism of the old regimes (for instance, China in Tibet, or the USSR in Hungary and Czechoslovakia).

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  67. I watched a fair amount of the recent program on HG Wells on tele. Initially he was very in favour of WWI as he saw it as a way of removing the "bad old Kaiser regime" and that would result in future peace, progress and prosperity. After a visit to the front he realises that the real enemy is not the Kaiser but war. Not only the cost of the current conflict but the costs of conflicts to come would be ruinous. Nationalism he concluded leads to war and so the only way to achieve world peace is to do away with nations and support a universal world government. The world government will enforce peace.

    What we have here is a prioritising of peace over everything else. You've said that no brutality is justified and that applies to others as well as us. However, what disasters are pursued in the name of peace? Communism was justified as not only creating equality between the classes but also as a way of ending war. No more economic "imperialism", exploitation of others which is the root cause of war etc. Communism could only come about by force because it was so ghastly and so communist war (on other countries as well as the endless war against its own citizens) became a ghastly mockery of its initial promise.

    Additionally the desire for "peace" at any price results in arguments for unilateral disarmament, large concessions to hostile nations and an endless self focus of "what have we done wrong?" if someone is aggressive towards us.

    Isn't it possible that peace can only come about in an ordered society. To quote the judge in "And Justice for All" as he pulls out a pistol "There's law and there's order, this is order".

    There has been a modern move for peace and international brotherhood and harmony. The modern UN is one expression of this aspiration. But isn't the UN movement only really possible because of the peace that the Americans have created? US carrier groups patrol the seas and this allows for the conditions of world organisations to come together and talk of world peace.

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  68. Well, I don't regard myself as a pacifist. I believe in self-defence. Even a pre-emptive strike might be justified, if it isn't based on fabricated evidence. There's a tendency, I think, for some of the pro-war crowd to conflate heroism with aggression. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising ought not be put in the same category as the US/Allies invasion of Vietnam.

    Communism in Russia was definitely a response to WWI. This was a disgraceful war - the ruling powers of Europe were dividing up their empires, and ordinary people paid the price. Amidst the chaos, corruption and starvation, 'Peace, bread and land' understandably had a biut of traction.

    I don't disagree that the Soviet movement failed miserably, both on its own terms, and anybody else's. Rejecting a failed model, however, doesn't necessarily mean that we should go to the other extreme - alienated individualism, subordination of everything to the interests of capital, prioritising markets over 'values', however we define these, and so on. The fight to ensure that everybody has a full belly and a roof over their head is a just one, communist or not.

    The UN has been a failure. I can't see real democracy emerging from the UN structure. It's ludicrous to expect that 1.3 billion Chinese (or 22 million Australians, for that matter) are somehow going to be represented by a single functionary behind a US desk.

    I agree that we need order, but I don't agree that this derives solely from authority and coercive power. And the US has been an abuser as much as its been an enforcer when it comes to international law. Sure, it's not as bad as Iran or Sudan, but that's hardly a civilised yardstick.

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  69. To AC:

    “The Warsaw Ghetto uprising ought not be put in the same category as the US/Allies invasion of Vietnam.”

    I’m a bit confused by this point what were you trying to say about the Ghetto uprising? Also the US didn’t invade Vietnam they were asked into South Vietnam to support that government.

    “Rejecting a failed model, however, doesn't necessarily mean that we should go to the other extreme - alienated individualism, subordination of everything to the interests of capital, prioritising markets over 'values', however we define these, and so on.”

    As was stated I think conservatives would agree with that, although I don’t think conservatives are as hostile to markets or prioritise markers in the same way as the left does.

    “I agree that we need order, but I don't agree that this derives solely from authority and coercive power. And the US has been an abuser as much as its been an enforcer when it comes to international law. Sure, it's not as bad as Iran or Sudan, but that's hardly a civilised yardstick.”

    Obviously pure power is not what we want. In regards to the US I think that’s a very harsh statement and I don’t agree with it.

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  70. AC wrote,

    "Perhaps the answer is that the Zulus didn't want to sail up the Thames. Certainly the Zulus did not build an economy based on colonialism in the way in which Britain did..."

    Yes, and why?

    The question here is not who was more evil. I don't think you mean to argue that the Zulus somehow have a lower capacity to commit evil than the English. So why didn't they sail up the Thames?

    Saying that they didn't want to is misleading. Jesse has pointed out rightly that the Zulu conquered and warred as much as any other nation. If they could have come up with a way to conquer one of the greatest, richest cities (London) on earth, why wouldn't they have done it? Can you point out an example of such self-restraint among the African nations today?

    Your answer is like that of the dunce who claims his Algebra homework is too "boring" when in fact it is too hard.

    Finally, you wrote,

    "I'd be very surprised if the Zulus had an economy that was anything like that of say, the 19th century Brits, either in size or structure."

    Huh. And why is that? Are you suggesting that the Zulu just didn't feel like making money either?

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  71. "Your answer is like that of the dunce who claims his Algebra homework is too "boring" when in fact it is too hard."

    Haha.

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  72. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  73. Now, now, AC Bartholomew's point was legitimate. If someone has less capacity than another that doesn't mean they're better or worse merely that they have less capacity. The Zulu's had their own empire and their own barbarous practices. Which would probably not look too good in comparison with the British.

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  74. AC wrote,

    "Bart, I answered in good faith - why don't you do the same?"

    I'm not so sure about that. Here's your answer:

    "Perhaps the answer is that the Zulus didn't want to sail up the Thames."

    And I pointed out that answer was bogus:

    "If they could have come up with a way to conquer one of the greatest, richest cities (London) on earth, why wouldn't they have done it?"

    To which I have yet to hear a cogent reply. Is that what you meant by answering my question in "good faith"?

    To say that the Zulu didn't want to sail up the Thames(but could have!), you'd have to say the Zulu were morally better than the English. You'd have to say that the Zulu had all of the same fantastic technology-- caravels, long guns and cavalry (proof?)--but were too moral to use them.*

    That's absurd on the face of it: have you taken a look at, say, the murder rate in South Africa lately, where modern technology is everywhere but moral restraint is a bit scarce?

    It makes more sense to acknowledge that the Zulu didn't sail up the Thames because they couldn't sail up the Thames.

    It's one or the other, AC. Either the English were particularly evil or the Zulu were particularly primitive. It's an either/or, and neither is especially "egalitarian."

    *I'm assuming here your axiom that colonialism was evil.

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  75. Also, I don't particularly enjoy arguing the primitiveness of others' ancestors any more than you enjoy hearing it, AC.

    But you have only yourself to blame for this unpleasantness. You and the Left have presented whites with the option of either accepting that they have been particularly evil or arguing that others have been particularly primitive. Given that the latter is true and the former is dangerous, I have no idea why you expect me or anybody else to argue otherwise.

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  76. AC, I had to delete your last post for violating the ad hominem rule - you'll have to think of a different way of addressing Bartholomew.

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  77. "That's absurd on the face of it: have you taken a look at, say, the murder rate in South Africa lately, where modern technology is everywhere but moral restraint is a bit scarce?"

    Oh snap! But once we start to look into these things too closely the left have to argue along the lines of "Oh Black culture has been brutalised by the white man and so they lash out in confusion and rage". Or some other such nonsense. "Its a symptom of poverty", that works well up to a point but then you just have to compare white and black neighbourhoods. "They suffer from a lack of education?" So well meaning teachers flock to the projects to help out before quitting because they're tired of having things thrown at them. "So we need, culturally appropriate teaching". We try that for two minutes and then throw up our hands say, let the underclass kill each other and we'll live in a gated community. Those who get out we'll bump up with affirmative action and scholarships or just lower the standards of the tests to make them look better.

    Sorry we're blending SA into the "challenged" areas of the US and Oz there.

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  78. Jesse, a couple of brief points:

    Denying the impact of colonialism on present troubles is dishonest and idiotic. Haiti was a disaster before the earthquake hit, and whilst local tyrants must share some of the blame, they did not get there without the support of wealthy allies, and that's before we even look at Haiti's colonial past. Trauma and decades of economic decay won't disappear merely because conservatives pretend they don't exist. And have a look at media coverage of black uprisings for instance - all you see are black guys waving weapons and shouting, completely decontextualised, as if they're not upset about some concrete political problem but merely like rioting for its own sake. Even the Cronulla rioters got more sympathetic coverage than that.

    Secondly, if we take your arguments seriously, its worth considering the levels of Anglo crime in some areas. I've been told on good authority by some police who work in this field that the highest rate of sex offenders in the Southern hemisphere hail from a Anglo enclave around the Mornington Peninsula. The area is slummy and poor, and is hardly multicultural. This sort of material doesn't even make the news, but any Somalian who sneezes the wrong way gets front page.

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  79. "I've been told on good authority by some police who work in this field that the highest rate of sex offenders in the Southern hemisphere hail from a Anglo enclave around the Mornington Peninsula."

    I can't debate that "white" crime doesn't exist although I don't know what specifics you're referring to. You MIGHT be able to say that in Australia in certain instances but noone in America will take you seriously.

    "Trauma and decades of economic decay won't disappear merely because conservatives pretend they don't exist."

    What is this trauma? Having a white distant master living on the hill somewhere rather than a black one? What if the white run societies ran better? Still traumatic? CIA somewhere in the background, traumatic?

    "Haiti was a disaster before the earthquake hit"

    Would it be possible to say Haiti was a "disaster" before white people arrived? I know that would be hard for you.

    What is your definition of "disaster" anyway? Not having a western standard of living? Is everywhere a disaster unless they live like us? It seems white people like to go to Haiti and cry. I visited the Solomons not that long ago and found out that low and behold, they were pretty resourceful. They could make their own houses, would hunt and grow food if they didn't have paid jobs and were generally pretty handy. I'm sure the people in Haiti will bounce back pretty quickly with or without all the hand wringing aid workers.

    Why do these countries have problems? For one if your "entrepreneurial" class are all in government trying to gouge it then not surprisingly you're not going to see that many services. They're struggling to pay back debt? Well who lent them all this money? Jerkoffs in the 60's and 70's who thought the quickest way to development would be to dump cash on them.

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  80. What is this trauma?

    It's hard to take the question seriously. Do you think that years of bloodshed through coups and bloodshed, consequent to colonial slavery is some kind of walk in the park?

    Would it be possible to say Haiti was a "disaster" before white people arrived?

    It was probably quite poor, but almost certainly better off than in most of its post-colonial history.

    I visited the Solomons not that long ago and found out that low and behold, they were pretty resourceful.

    The debate isn't whether people are resourceful. Most people on the planet are 'resourceful', though this latter trait is a lot easier to cultiavte when people aren't shooting you.

    They're struggling to pay back debt? Well who lent them all this money? Jerkoffs in the 60's and 70's who thought the quickest way to development would be to dump cash on them.

    Specifically, it's the IMF who lend the money, and in some instances (like Argentina) its folk on Wall St. Not exactly bleeding heart lefties...

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  81. AC, I would be mightily surprised if the police were right about that enclave in the Mornington Peninsula.

    South Africa is usually considered the country with the highest rate of rape in the world.

    Last year 1 in 4 South African men interviewed in a survey admitted to having raped a woman. 1 in 3 South African woman in a survey ten years ago said they had been the victim of a rape. (see here and here).

    As for colonialism being to blame for poverty in the third world, consider the case of Zimbabwe. It was a prosperous country during its colonial period - the bread basket of Africa.

    When Mugabe took over, then you had the ethnic cleansing of whites, the handing over of productive farms to Mugabe's political cronies, followed by increasing poverty. Zimbabwe has had to rely on food supplied by aid agencies.

    So in terms of development it is not colonialism, but the rule of Mugabe which has seen a decline in the fortunes of Zimbabwe.

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  82. "Specifically, it's the IMF who lent the money, and in some instances (like Argentina) its folk on Wall St. Not exactly bleeding heart lefties..."

    Not bleeding heart lefties just corporate/liberal lefties. Blokes like Robert McNamara.

    "It's hard to take the question seriously. Do you think that years of bloodshed through coups and bloodshed, consequent to colonial slavery is some kind of walk in the park?"

    Other people were stuffed around too (I'd use stronger language if I could). And yet they didn't turn their neighbourhoods into shooting alleys. Coups? Big deal every country has blood in its history. Haiti isn't going anywhere soon no matter what aid or assistance is given to them. Increasingly black people are saying that current aid systems are holding them back.

    "Most people on the planet are 'resourceful', though this latter trait is a lot easier to cultiavte when people aren't shooting you."

    Nobodies (no white people) are shooting at them now.

    Mark said,

    "When Mugabe took over, then you had the ethnic cleansing of whites, the handing over of productive farms to Mugabe's political cronies, followed by increasing poverty. Zimbabwe has had to rely on food supplied by aid agencies."

    What's happened in Zimbabwe is a bloody disgrace. Although its not just a black thing, its a black communist thing. Communist takeovers are usually disastrous.

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  83. AC wrote,

    "Denying the impact of [white] colonialism on present troubles is dishonest and idiotic."

    So it looks like you'll be opting for the "English [here: whites] are particularly guilty" argument. There's not much evidence for it, but hey, it's an argument.

    What it is not however, and what is dishonest and frankly evil of you to continue to insinuate is that this argument is racially egalitarian. It isn't.

    This argument holds whites as whites to be particularly morally deficient. The traditional argument has been that in fact nonwhites, as nonwhites, are particularly technologically deficient. But both arguments mean that racial differences exist and matter. As I said above: Either the English were particularly evil or the Zulu were particularly primitive. And this either/or is a disjunction: it's one or the other, and neither is racially egalitarian.

    Let me repeat: you aren't a racial egalitarian.

    If you don't 'fess up to this, AC, you will prove yet again Mr. Richardson's contention that you do not own up to your own politics. I don't see how you can expect anyone to take you seriously if that is true (which is why, for instance, that I don't take you seriously).

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  84. So in terms of development it is not colonialism, but the rule of Mugabe which has seen a decline in the fortunes of Zimbabwe.

    It's not difficult to find examples of corrupt or brutal local rulers, none of which mitigates the impact of colonialism.

    AC, I would be mightily surprised if the police were right about that enclave in the Mornington Peninsula.

    You may be right. The police in question from a child sex offence squad, and my memory is sketchy on whether they were referring to all sex offences, or just those against children.

    Coups? Big deal every country has blood in its history.

    Yes, a coup or dictatorship is no big deal. Do you think the same thing of Stalin or Ceausecu, or is only the murderers of black folk whose actions are trivial?

    If you don't 'fess up to this, AC, you will prove yet again Mr. Richardson's contention that you do not own up to your own politics. I don't see how you can expect anyone to take you seriously if that is true (which is why, for instance, that I don't take you seriously).

    Bart, you remind me of Freud's joke about the borrowed kettle. A man returns a broken kettle to his neighbour, and upon being asked about it, says (1) I never borrowed a kettle from you, (2) I returned it to you unbroken, (3) the kettle was already broken when I got it from you.

    You take basically the same denialist attitude with respect to colonialism.1) Colonisers (Europe in the 19th Century, the US more recently) either did nothing, or did nothing that the colonised weren't doing themselves; 2)colonisers did colonise, but have since left the country in a pristine state, with no residual effects, and only the colonised themselves are to blame for their plight; 3) Colonised countries were destroyed even before colonisers came along.

    None of these points of yours are correct, and none of my rebuttals are equivalent to blaming the English particularly. Your arguments constitute nothing more than a desperate series of blanket denials, intellectually and morally equivalent to those of David Irving. My guess is that your too ignorant to even recognise the depths of your casual contempt for victims of colonialism (though, by your vocal pieties, you know doubt consider yourself a Christian without any trace of irony).

    The fact is that you and your comrades here have failed to 'own p
    top your own politics, and have squibbed on all the tough questions. If the 'races' cannot comingle harmoniously, why aren't you openly pushing segregation? If other 'races' do not share in Australia's 'values', why aren't you arguing for them to be deported, or at least denied the vote? What we have here is all the rhetoric that one might find at Stormfront or some other white pride clique, but then a strange shyness when it comes to articulating the logical conclusions of your positions.

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  85. "Yes, a coup or dictatorship is no big deal. Do you think the same thing of Stalin or Ceausecu, or is only the murderers of black folk whose actions are trivial?"

    Yes get over it. European/anglo saxon history has had its coups, big deal.

    "If the 'races' cannot commingle harmoniously, why aren't you openly pushing segregation?"

    Here's some segregation for you. Limit immigration.

    "(1) I never borrowed a kettle from you, (2) I returned it to you unbroken, (3) the kettle was already broken when I got it from you."

    We'll refer you to this next time you make an idiotic statement, like there is no left wing bias in the universities or the ABC.

    "My guess is that you’re too ignorant to even recognise the depths of your casual contempt for victims of colonialism "

    Southern Italy and Sicily was colonised by the Normans. Are they in a corner in the foetal position? Oh Britain was colonised by the Normans same applies. Aisa is not a craphole, were colonised. You overstate the influence (negative) of colonisation to your peril. What we will have is the prospect of "recolonisation" in places like Zimbabwe or Sudan where the locals are desperate to have a functioning government. Is this step 2 on the kettle I'm doing? I can ASSURE you the Aussie presence was very popular in the Solomon Islands and they grew by 10% a couple of years ago. Its so nice when there's law and order people can just get on with their lives and businesses. Today's "colonisation" is very much about helping the locals more and enriching us less (we gain from things like regional security). However, if we (England) had never left the Island we would have gone down to someone else more powerful. For that I, nor do I think many people here will apologise.

    I would advise both you and Bartholomew not to take this conversation personally.

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  86. "For that I, nor do I think many people here, will apologise."

    Whoops, will not apologise.

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  87. AC wrote

    "Bart, you remind me of..."

    Irrelevant, pointless stalling tactic.

    "Colonisers (Europe in the 19th Century, the US more recently)...and none of my rebuttals are equivalent to blaming the English particularly."

    So, you say that the colonizers were exclusively white, but you aren't blaming white people for anything (say colonization) in particular? Lies.

    "The fact is that you and your comrades here have failed to 'own p
    top your own politics..."


    ="I know you are, but what am I". Make a serious argument or shut up.

    "If the 'races' cannot comingle harmoniously, why aren't you openly pushing segregation?"

    I'm not falling for your traps. If you want to know my views on this subject, I get them from God, specifically Genesis chapter 11.

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  88. Jesse wrote,

    "I would advise both you and Bartholomew not to take this conversation personally."

    That's solid advice, Jesse. As I've said before, one of the things I've always liked about this blog, in addition to Mr. Richardson's excellent insights, is the intelligence and civility of its commenters. I certainly don't want to mess that up.

    So, what do you say, AC--shall we bury the hatchet and resume civil conversation?

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  89. In the spirit of what I have proposed (in hopeful optimism that AC will accept), I will suspend my disbelief and once again take AC's argument at face value.

    AC wrote,

    "What we have here is all the rhetoric that one might find at Stormfront or some other white pride clique, but then a strange shyness when it comes to articulating the logical conclusions of your positions."

    This is too far. No one here has screamed "kill the Jews" or "kill the __(pick a nonwhite group)__" etc. If you mean by this that conservatives want to see the return of all white Western countries regardless of the cost to nonwhites living in those countries, then you have misunderstood us, I think. But I will speak for myself.

    Foreign and domestic policy are not the same and should not be treated as such. Traditional conservatives have never been shy about all-white immigration ("White Australia" in Aus., National Quota Act in the U.S., etc.), so I don't know why you say otherwise. I am very bold in arguing for exclusively European immigration to the U.S., no exceptions.

    But domestic policy is a different matter, and I have never argued a clear policy on this because I don't have one. The logical conclusion of love for one's own is not hatred or mistreatment of others, so no, I do not have a hidden Stormfront agenda.

    What would I like to see happen domestically in the US? Well, this is pretty far OT, but, I'd start with immediately repatriating (deporting if you prefer) all illegal aliens and offering taxpayer-funded incentives to legal immigrants to return home (libertarians: it's cheaper than welfare). Beyond that, I don't know; I'm open to ideas in accord with traditional Christian principles.

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  90. One more thing: I wrote,

    "I'm not falling for your traps. If you want to know my views on this subject, I get them from God, specifically Genesis chapter 11."

    That was a bit bold. I will say that I have derived the principles which guide my views on race, nationality, etc., to the best of my understanding, from God's word, including Genesis chapter 11.

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  91. "Beyond that, I don't know; I'm open to ideas in accord with traditional Christian principles."

    Hear, Hear.

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