Saturday, December 31, 2016

American white women are dying younger

It's highly unusual for death rates to increase in first world countries - the usual trend is for people to live longer. However, American white women are now dying younger than they once did. This is particularly true for rural white women. Black women, in comparison, have continued the expected trend of living longer.

Here are some graphs from the Washington Post illustrating the phenomenon. The first one shows the changes in the mortality rates from 1990 onwards for those aged 30 to 34:

You can see that things have improved considerably for black men and women in that age group. For black women, for instance, the mortality rate has declined by 40%. The situation for white men improved until about the year 2000 and has then declined. For white women mortality has worsened by over 20%.

The situation is worst for white women living in rural areas or small cities:

You can see that the trends have been bad for all whites in this age group since about the year 2000. However, it is worst for rural women, whose mortality rates have increased by well over 40%.

Why are white women dying younger? For the 30 to 34 year olds, it is mainly due to drug overdoses, with suicide also being a factor. For older white women, cirrhosis of the liver (heavy drinking) is another big factor, as is heart disease.

The graph above shows those causes of death that have increased since the year 2000. You can see that for both urban and rural women aged 50 to 54 that there has been an increase in deaths from drug overdoses, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide, and also from various lung diseases.

The question that is not fully answered in the Washington Post article is why white women are succumbing to drugs, alcohol and depression - particularly at a time when black women's health outcomes are significantly improving.

I'm not going to attempt  to answer that question now. I'd just point out that feminism does not seem to be making white women any happier.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Feminist mother and son

Think of what feminists commonly believe:

1. Differences between men and women are not natural but exist because of the patriarchy.

2. Under the patriarchy the male is the human default setting, the female is therefore not thought to be fully human.

3. White males uphold the patriarchy to defend their privilege at the expense of women and people of colour.

If you were a woman and you really believed these things, would it not complicate your relations with men? Is it not possible that you would feel negatively toward men as a class?

Enter Polly Dunning. She is a third generation feminist (her mother is the feminist commentator Jane Caro). In a column for the Sydney Morning Herald she writes of how conflicted she felt when she learned that she was carrying a boy child rather than a girl:
I had never wanted a son. I wanted daughters...This seemed altogether to fit in with my feminism better. It was more comfortable to me. But when the sonographer pointed out my son's dangly bits in our 19-week scan, it was clear that I was going to raise a son. The anxious feeling I had about this daunting prospect lasted a few weeks as I came to terms with why I felt the way I did and how I could let it go.

There were two parts to the feeling: I had to mourn the life I thought I was supposed to have...and I had to come to terms with having a relationship with a son that I had never really considered. There were dark moments in the middle of the night (when all those dark thoughts come), when I felt sick at the thought of something male growing inside me.

The bolded part was noticed by a number of media outlets and seems now to have been edited (replaced by "when I felt sick with worry thinking about how I would go about raising a son.")

So what's a feminist to do? How do you reconcile the ideology with mothering a son? Polly Dunning's solution is the gruesome one of subjecting her son to a kind of feminist cleansing process:
In this patriarchal world, this world where even the best men (and women, for that matter) engage in casual and ingrained sexism, how will I raise a son who respects me the way a daughter would? Who sees women as just like him? As just human beings?

...People are constantly telling me "boys are easier" to raise (casual and ingrained sexism, anyone?), but I think they are much harder. How do you raise a white, middle-class boy not to think his own experience is the default experience of the world?

How do you counter a society that makes things easier for him than for others, and make him see it? See how it is for women, for people of colour?

Raising a boy who maintains the status quo sure would be easy, but I refuse to be satisfied with that. I will raise a feminist boy. Just like his father and grandfathers before him, but even better. I will point sexism out to him at every turn, and he will never get away with it without being called out. I will show him that girls are just people like him and that products and art targeted at them are no less valuable or enjoyable. He will be immersed in feminism by a family who models it in their everyday life.

She wants a son who will respect her, even as she points out his sexism and privilege at every turn. I don't like her chances. I know some feminist mothers and the usual result is an exasperated son who is "shorter" with his mother than boys usually are.

Polly Dunning is likely to love her son and repel him in equal measure.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What an American academic wants for Christmas

This is so predictable. There are some on the left who have convinced themselves that the only thing preventing the emergence of a free and equal liberal utopia is the resistance of (supposedly) privileged white people. Therefore, they are hoping for the demise of whites. Here, for instance, is the Christmas tweet of Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher of Drexel University in Philadelphia:

To make his meaning clear he followed up with this tweet:

The professor is referring here to the massacre of 4000 French men, women and children on Haiti during the revolution there in 1804 - a deliberate (and successful) violent act of genocide.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Chomksy on capitalism

Noam Chomsky is a well-known American thinker. He is, unusually, a left-libertarian and is therefore anti-capitalist, but without turning to a centralised state as an alternative, as most leftists do.

I came across a quote from Chomsky (from here) which reminded me a lot of James Kalb's criticism of modernity. Kalb emphasises the idea that liberal societies are regulated along a combination of market and bureaucratic lines and so are "technocratic" in a way that leaves little room for traditional institutions or understandings to have any authority.

I believe Chomsky is outlining a similar criticism of capitalism when he argues as follows:
Capitalism basically wants people to be interchangeable cogs, and differences among them, such as on the basis of race, usually are not functional. I mean, they may be functional for a period, like if you want a super exploited workforce or something, but those situations are kind of anomalous. Over the long term, you can expect capitalism to be anti-racist — just because it's anti-human. And race is in fact a human characteristic — there’s no reason why it should be a negative characteristic, but it is a human characteristic. So therefore identifications based on race interfere with the basic ideal that people should be available just as consumers and producers, interchangeable cogs who will purchase all the junk that’s produced — that’s their ultimate function, and any other properties they might have are kind of irrelevant, and usually a nuisance.

What is "functional" for capitalism is that we are available as sources of labour and consumption, not that we have particular identities and loyalties - the latter make no sense within a system organised around market participation (i.e. they have no function within such a system). Therefore, those particular loyalties and identities will seem irrational, inefficient and obsolete to those who want a society run along technocratic lines.

A couple of decades ago, most people on the right were reflexively in favour of a society organised along market lines, which was a weakness of the right, as the free market tends to dissolve the understandings that allowed a traditional way of life to flourish. I'm glad to say that some on the right are now taking a more nuanced view of the market.

So what then is the alternative? I would take a three-pronged approach. First, I would strongly reassert the view that there are important human needs that cannot be met through a streamlined technocratic organisation of society. Second, I would try to make sure that traditional loyalties and identities did have some "functional" value to the economic workings of the society. This could be done, for instance, by giving some sort of advantage to local producers (so that these producers had good reason to support traditional loyalties). Third, I would not allow larger corporate interests to dominate the media, nor would I allow these interests to control political parties (for instance, via campaign contributions). (Perhaps a fourth idea is to make sure that there exist in society non-corporate institutions with influence, that have the explicit purpose of upholding the traditional values of that society.)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Strange Privilege

Modern liberal politics is sometimes astonishing. Take the "privilege" concept. There has been a kerfuffle about the casting of white actress Tilda Swinton in the movie Dr Strange. Her character in the original comic book story was Asian, so it has been suggested that "white privilege" is at play. Margaret Cho, a bisexual Asian-American comedian and actress, criticised Tilda Swinton's casting on racial oppression grounds and she was supported by Omar Sakr, an Arab-Australian poet, in a column in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sakr really went the whole hog in his column. Some excerpts:
Of course Cho was polite in her emails; if people of colour weren't polite every time we're confronted with problematic behaviour by powerful white people, we'd be rioting every hour of every day.

...There is absolutely nothing surprising about Cho's emails or her account on the podcast; both will be familiar to anyone from marginalised backgrounds or who faces systemic discrimination.

...Plenty of people have come to Swinton's defence with variations of the line, look how genuine she is, isn't this what we want to see?...Personally, I think a privileged person approaching a member of the underprivileged, whom they don't even personally know, to say "please explain to me how I've participated in your oppression" isn't something to champion...the whole thing reeks of white guilt seeking to be absolved.

...Having plenty to say despite openly admitting you haven't read anything on the subject surely sums up the white condition in 2016 (see: Trump) - in addition to expecting random people to educate you. This, perhaps more than anything, is the most aggravating part of the exchange. The articles, essays, books, and speeches written by people of colour already exist, and the arguments have been made a thousand times. Breezily saying you haven't bothered with any of it is the epitome of privilege.

There's a lot more of the same. The gist of it is the idea that Asian women like Margaret Cho are oppressed by white women like Tilda Swinton and that the role of Tilda Swinton is to educate herself about what an oppressor she is, to admit fault, and to let Margaret Cho have what she wants (and then to get out of the way).

The irony of these "privilege" claims is that it is often the most privileged people in society who claim to be horribly oppressed. Margaret Cho works as an actress, a comedian and an author. She has a national (perhaps even international) audience for her political views. She doesn't stand out as an underprivileged person.

Nor do Asian American women in general. Consider the issue of income. Asian women earn a much higher median income than do white American women (to the point that Indian-American women earn more than white American men).

The following charts come from the United States Department of Labor (2013). The first one shows a comparison of earnings according to ethnicity. You can see that white Americans earn only 67% as much as Indian-Americans. To put that in context, black Americans earn 80% as much as white Americans and that is considered to be evidence for the oppression of black Americans. So you would think that white Americans earning only 67% as much as Indian Americans would be evidence for the oppression of whites. But instead it is the Indian Americans who get to be thought of as oppressed, with whites as the oppressors.

The second chart includes data based on sex as well as ethnicity:

The information here is striking. White males are told over and over that they are privileged both in terms of race and sex. And yet when it comes to median earnings they do less well than Indian women and only marginally better than Chinese women.

And Margaret Cho belongs to a group (Korean women) which clearly earns more money than the group Tilda Swinton belongs to (white women - though she is British rather than American).

Maybe it is time for Asian women like Margaret Cho to stop pretending that they belong to an underprivileged group.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merkel brings terror to Germany

Angela Merkel's decision to have open borders in Germany has, as predicted, brought terror to her country. Clearly, she is unfit to lead.

The Berlin attack, on a Christmas market, is only one of many that have occurred this year. The illustration below shows the main terror attacks in Germany in 2016 (it does not show the planned attacks that were foiled by police):

You have to add to these attacks the sexual assaults, rapes and murders of German women that have also taken place (a recent case being that of Maria Ladenburger).

The frustrating thing is that it was not difficult to foretell that these attacks would happen. When Merkel decided to open the borders, there were plenty of voices warning that it would lead to terror and crime. So why did she go ahead and do it?

There are a number of reasons to explain why Westerners like Merkel adopt foolish policies like open borders:

1. Emotional thinking. There are some Westerners who are guilty of emotional thinking. What matters to them is how something makes them feel in the moment. They feel good helping those claiming to be refugees, so they support open borders, without thinking realistically about the longer-term consequences. They feel bad when there is a terror attack, but without thinking about measures that could prevent future attacks. They will go back to feeling good about supporting refugees and open borders. They lack prudence, because what matters to them is what they are feeling right now.

2. Economic self-interest. Some big corporations support open borders because it increases the labour supply, thus forcing down wages. The economic costs of such migration, such as increased welfare spending, are "socialised" (borne generally by the taxpayer rather than by the corporation).

3. Political self-interest. Immigrants generally vote for the left. Left-wing parties are creating a new constituency by supporting mass immigration (the Democrat Party in the U.S. relies heavily on this).

4. Ideology. This is the big one. According to the liberal ideology, predetermined qualities aren't meant to matter. Therefore, nations are not supposed to be based on inherited factors like a common kinship, history, religion (i.e. they are not supposed to be ethnically based). So, for liberals, anyone can become a German, even if their culture and religion is at odds with what already defines being German.

Right-wing liberals tend to believe that what matters is how the individual creates himself in the market. For right-liberals, economic migrants are heroes as they are people who make an effort to improve their position in the market by moving to a more prosperous country. For left-wing liberals, inequality is explained in terms of white people holding down others to defend their unearned privileges. Therefore, white societies need to be deconstructed so that the liberal reign of freedom and equality can finally be ushered in.

Those holding to the liberal ideology, whether of the right or left varieties, will think it a moral thing to have open borders and to dissolve the historic German nation.

It is now up to ordinary Germans to break from all of the above in order to defend themselves from things getting even worse. Germans could, at least, support Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) which is the one political party strongly critical of Merkel's refugee/open borders policy. Another option is to support the German Identitarian movement, a group of activists with a more traditional understanding of national identity.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

American academic: I would make gender no more important than...

I posted recently on how determined liberals are to make our biological sex not matter. I want to give a second example of how they are campaigning for this. Here in Australia a campaign has been launched called "Buy a boy a Barbie" as part of the "No gender December" movement.

I looked up one of the "experts" behind the No Gender December campaign (she is an American academic) and her ideas are exactly what you might expect them to be - they are "reverse traditionalist". Dr Christia Spears Brown is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s Department of Psychology. In an interview about "gendered toys" she said this:
Some people think that boys and girls (and men and women) are so very different from each other that to ignore gender, we are ignoring a key part of who someone is. We think we can better understand someone if we factor in their gender. But the reality is quite different. Individual children naturally differ from one another...Knowing someone’s gender actually tells us very little about what that person is like and what they are good at.

So parents may think that raising kids without gender stereotypes limits their children, pushing them all into a beige world. Really though it is pushing unique, distinct individual children into a pink box or a blue box that is limiting. I don’t advocate gender-neutral kids. I think we should make gender irrelevant, because focusing too much on gender distracts us from focusing on our children’s individuality.

We really need to do away with the assumption that boys and girls are drastically different from one another...

This gets to the heart of the debate. She is right in one sense: traditionalists do believe that men and women are different and that to deny this, and to declare our biological sex irrelevant, is to ignore a key part of who someone is. We do not identify as "its" but as men and women.

Second, she is correct that the liberal view is that having our biological sex matter is limiting to the individual. Liberals often use terms like "prison" and "fetter" and "constraint" when talking about our biological sex.

She is also representative of the liberal view when she states that "we should make gender irrelevant". That is the liberal aim: to make our sex not matter.

Where she is wrong is in the idea that the existence of masculine and feminine essences (i.e. a quality or a principle within reality that men and women identify with and that connects us in our identity to larger, transcendent values) means that there cannot be overlap between men and women in some aspects of life.

Most people, I believe, have a sense at times of a deep gulf between the worlds inhabited by men and women (the men and women are from different planets experience). But we also have experiences of ways in which some men might have more in common with some women than with some other men. For instance, an artsy kind of man might share some attributes with artsy women that he does not share with a rougher kind of man. It is clear, too, that there are some men who "think emotionally" and some women who "think detached and analytically" - so it would not be a surprise to discover that there is some overlap when it comes to the scientific mapping of the male and female brain.

But the existence of this kind of overlap doesn't mean that our manhood or womanhood is not relevant to who we are, to our identity, to our social roles and life purposes, and to the virtues we strive to embody (and, for those of us with a religious view, to how we are made to glorify God).

Therefore, we cannot follow along with Dr Brown's liberal ideal of making our sex irrelevant, as when she declares that:
I would make gender no more important than height or hair color for guiding our assumptions about what children are like.

So I went and bought my boy a barbie

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hanna Lindholm's new video

Hanna Lindhom is a young Swedish woman with a talent for making political videos. In her first video she visited a Swedish University and asked students if they would accept her claims to identify as a man or as a Japanese person, or if they would accept her claim to be two metres tall. Many of the students felt that they must answer "yes" if that is how she defined herself.

She travelled to Budapest in Hungary to ask students there the same questions, but she wasn't taken seriously. So instead she asked the students to guess the ages of those claiming to be refugee children in Sweden ("unaccompanied minors"). The resulting video is really interesting, particularly at the end when the students give their opinions on Sweden's refugee policy (it's mostly in English).

The culture war continues

There was much distress on the left following the election of Donald Trump. But the reality is that the left is still happily pursuing the culture wars. Consider the issue of our biological sex, the fact of being male or female. For liberals, this fact is problematic. Let me briefly restate why:

1. Liberals assume that there is no objective truth that might guide or order our identity, purposes or roles in life.

2. Liberals assume that our dignity as humans rests instead on the freedom we have to autonomously choose our own identity and purposes.

3. Therefore, what matters is that we are able to freely self-determine who we are and what we do.

4. Therefore, predetermined roles, purposes or identities are looked on negatively as artificial constructs which limit or confine the individual. A left-liberal might add that these predetermined identities are designed to maintain the privilege of an oppressor group over those designated as the "other".

5. Our biological sex is predetermined. We don't get to choose whether we are male or female. Therefore, liberals believe that our biological sex has to be made not to matter. This can be done through social engineering to make sure that men and women choose the same life roles and have the same life outcomes. Or, more radically, it can be done by asserting that the "gender binary" (being male and female) is a social construct and that in reality we can express our own individual sexual identity ("gender diversity").

Liberals are serious about all this. They won't give up just because of a few electoral losses. For instance, in the news recently was a story that the Oxford University Student Union had distributed a leaflet pushing the use of the gender neutral pronoun "ze". The Student Union denied this:
We have not produced a leaflet implying that all students must use ‘ze’ pronouns to refer to others, or indeed to themselves. We believe the resources which are referred to within many of the articles could be support materials used by our student leaders and welfare representatives, which alongside other information and tips, reminds individuals of the importance of not assuming the pronouns of their peers while also aiming to normalise stating pronouns in introductions. Further to this, the assumptions made may in fact refer to a policy used with the Students’ Union Council, where it is asked (for accessibility and minuting purposes) that everyone who speaks states their name, college and pronouns. There is also a further possibility that our work and remit has been confused with the work of the wider University, whose Trans Policy and guidance does include a mention of neopronouns (pronoun sets like ‘ze/hir’, ‘ey/em/eirs’).

It's not exactly reassuring, is it? If you want to be in good standing with the Oxford University Student Union you have to start your presentations by stating your preferred pronouns. Even if most people get up and say they prefer "he" or "she," in doing so they will still be affirming the liberal idea that we get to choose our own sexual identity. It's a liberal win.

There have been other similar stories in the media lately which I will report on in coming days. I'd like to end by pointing out that the place for traditionalists to oppose these liberal measures is not in the details but at the liberal starting point (the assumptions that liberals begin with that I listed above).

We have to go back and assert, contrary to liberalism, that there are objective truths embedded within the biological/natural, social and spiritual aspects of reality which help to guide and order our identity and purposes so that we best fulfil who we are as men and women.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Cairo bombing

The Coptic Cathedral in Cairo has been bombed, it is thought by the Muslim Brotherhood, leaving 25 dead.

It is a strange time to live through, when Christians in the Middle-East have been under attack by Muslims, and yet the mainline Christian churches are falling over themselves to promote Islamic immigration to the West.

Why would you want to set the scene for the same things to happen here?

I know that part of the answer is that the belief systems dominating the West make it seem as if this is a virtuous thing to do. But I can't help but think as well that some people are motivated by their feelings, and this means that what matters to them is their own feelings in the moment, rather than a sober assessment of what the policies they support might lead to in 10 or 20 or 30 years time.

In other words, if you feel right now that you aren't threatened by open borders, and you get a good feeling right now that you are acting selflessly and beneficially to help others, then that is what matters to someone who is motivated by his or her emotions.

The problem is that reality will eventually make itself felt. Eventually mass immigration will transform your own suburb, not just someone else's, so that you yourself become the outsider looking in. And at some point the same negative social consequences of mass immigration will emerge here just as they have elsewhere.

Politics shouldn't be about feelings in the moment. Politics has to be long-sighted, and this requires a healthy dose of prudence.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Merkel's cap

From Happy Acres:

Old Trotskyists never die - they become teachers for refugees

There has been some controversy here in Melbourne about a group of teachers who plan to wear political T-shirts to class tomorrow. The teachers want to close Australia's offshore detention centres, meaning in effect open borders for those arriving by boat.

The spokeswoman for the group is Lucy Honan. It turns out that she is a member of a Trotskyist group. In other words, she is not so much a Cultural Marxist as a real bona fide Marxist.

Lucy Honan addressing a Trotskyist meeting

The little Trotskyist groups get involved in left-wing campaigns in order to recruit people. That is their primary aim. They often squabble with each other in the process (Trotskyist turf wars). One of the Trotskyist groups, Socialist Alternative, complained in a letter that another Trotskyist group, Solidarity, had attended a Refugee Action Collective (RAC) demo simply to pick a fight:
We are writing to you to protest in the strongest terms possible about your behaviour towards our organisation.

Your inexcusable disruption of the RAC speak out on Tuesday 7 February in Melbourne, which prompted this letter, is but the latest example of your disgraceful activities. At this event, several of your members spent the whole time loudly abusing, pushing, shoving and even punching Socialist Alternative members.

In particular, the behaviour of Tom Orsag was so appalling – constantly and loudly abusing our members – that he was repeatedly asked by activists (not SA members) to stop it and show some respect for the scheduled speakers, who he was drowning out. When the crowd were chanting “Free Ismail”, and “No deportations” Orsag tried to get a chant going against Socialist Alternative. All of this is particularly reprehensible [w]hen put in the context of Solidarity member Chris Breen’s admission that Orsag had only come to the speak out in order to harass Socialist Alternative members.

One of our women members was repeatedly pushed, shoved and punched by three Solidarity members – Chris Breen, Lucy Honan and XYZ (XYZ being the one who punched her). David Glanz went out of his way to approach Mick Armstrong to abuse and harangue him, adding to the disruption to the speak out.

According to the letter, the Trotskyist women, including Lucy Honan, had a pushing, shoving, punching fight during the refugee demonstration. It's credible, as this sort of thing happened back in the mid 1980s, when I was at uni - some of the names of the activists are familiar to me from back then. (The Solidarity group wrote a response blaming the Socialist Alternative leadership for instigating the fighting. )

Anyway, the moral of the story is that the refugee issue, in this case, is being pushed by Marxist activists who hope, above all, to recruit people to their little Trotskyist groups through their activism.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Merkel's ugly old right-liberalism

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has announced that she is standing again for election, despite the unpopularity of her open borders policy. Merkel is the leader of the CDU, a party similar to the Liberal Party here in Australia. It is a "centre-right" party, meaning it is a party of right-liberals.

At Gates of Vienna, there is a video of Angela Merkel being interviewed about her strategy. She is asked by the reporter whether she is going to change course politically and move rightwards to neutralise the opposition there, or seek refuge in the social democratic left. Merkel answers:
No. I am seeking a solution where the CDU has always firmly stood. That is the social market economy, the liberal-democratic state of laws.

So her first response to the great issues facing Germany is that the solution lies with the market. The market rules. The second response is that the laws of the liberal state will be upheld.

These answers might seem strange but they aren't surprising for a right-liberal. All liberals believe that what matters is the individual pursuing their own self-defined aims and identities. Left-liberals focus on the idea that the state can intervene in society to ensure that predetermined qualities are made not to matter so that everyone is equally free to pursue self-defined aims. Right-liberals focus more on Economic Man, on the ideal of individuals being self-made in the market. That's why our own PM, Malcolm Turnbull, said in his acceptance speech that:
This will be a thoroughly Liberal Government. It will be a thoroughly Liberal Government committed to freedom, the individual and the market.

That is what seemed important to a right-liberal politician.

The problem, of course, is that this type of politics turns a nation of people with a real, historic connection to one another into a collection of atomised individuals inhabiting the same market place. Angela Merkel goes on to say in the interview:
There will be no returning to the times before digitization, before globalization. But we must give people the impression — not just the impression, but solve issues — so that they have stability...City and countryside, the elderly and young people, those who have recently arrived and those who have been living longer with us, questions of freedom of religion, of security, internal security...It is about answering these questions.

Look at what she has done. With a turn of phrase she has obliterated the existence of the German people. The Germans have been reduced to the status of "those who have been living longer with us". The facts of history, kinship, religion and culture are swept aside.

She is being intellectually honest in putting things this way, because it fits in with the political assumptions of right-liberals. She would be lying if she claimed to see people as being embodied within a distinct tradition and identity; in her view, there are no such people, only individuals inhabiting the liberal state and fulfilling themselves as actors within the market.

It makes for grim reading, I know. But a couple of things to help you stay positive. First, right-wing liberalism does seem to be changing, though it's difficult to say yet to what extent. As liberalism itself veers into ever more suicidal territory, there does seem to be something of a rethink happening on the liberal right. Stay posted for updates on this.

Second, the AfD (a patriotic German party) is still doing well in the polls and might make further inroads in Germany's next election. In a recent survey in the German state of Saxony, the AfD had the support of 25% of the population and was the most popular party amongst those aged 35 to 49 (31% support).

We have to keep doing what we can to push back and to break the liberal monopoly on politics.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The unleashed family

This is happening more quickly than I thought it would. A judge in Argentina has ruled that a woman can marry her stepdaughter. Why? According to the judge:
The Argentinian constitution guarantees all its citizens the right to procure their own happiness, which carries with it the right to be treated with dignity by the laws of the country in all areas of life, including marriage.

You don't have to be a genius to figure out that by this logic any kind of consensual marriage is morally justified. It not only justifies two women marrying, it also justifies a woman marrying her stepdaughter and it also clearly justifies a man marrying more than one woman. After all, if a man believes that marrying two or three or four women will make him happy, then he is exercising his constitutional right to "procure his own happiness," is he not?

Unless liberalism is overthrown as the state ideology it is only a matter of time before polygamy becomes legal.

The one virtue of the liberal approach to morality is that it is simple. If it is your desire, and doesn't directly interfere with the desires of others, then it is moral. The alternative is more "intersectional" and therefore more complex for the reason that reality itself has different dimensions, each of which needs to be ordered within a common framework.

For instance, someone might recognise his larger communal tradition as representing an important good and therefore believe that it is important to ask whether a certain action will harm or serve this tradition. He might also recognise the existence of qualities that are inherently good and take these as a measure of the rightness or wrongness of an action. Or he might recognise a natural telos (a purpose or end) to who he is as a man and ask whether his desires are rightly ordered to fulfil this telos or not. Perhaps he has a sense of the sacred in life; of his own higher or lower nature; of what is either noble or base in human conduct; of whether an action produces consequences that harm the individual or the society he lives in, for instance, by leading to crime or instability or poverty or ill health.

Human desires are wayward. We can experience contradictory desires during the course of a day. It is the task of a culture to discipline these desires within a moral framework, one which aims to raise us toward our higher spiritual ends, to fulfil our created nature/telos, and to serve the larger communal tradition we belong to, identify with and love. A society can be measured by the degree to which it gets this moral framework right.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

We're meant to listen to this guy?

Adam Kotsko is a professor at Shimer College in Chicago. He is an open borders type and was distressed by Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. elections. He says this of those who voted for Trump:
...Many of us are so disgusted by their ability to ignore his hatred that it makes it difficult to forgive them for their vote. But, our nation’s future depends on our ability to confront Trump and his bigotry through dialogue with our fellow citizens. We must swallow our pride and begin conversation with them.

...Perhaps the burden I am referring to here falls primarily on people like me. People who can hopefully relate in some way to the Trump voter and begin a dialogue. I think as long as those like me check our privilege to be sure we are acting in service to social justice this could be a positive step.

Adam Kotsko believes that he is the right man for the job of relating to Trump supporters. This is despite the fact that last year he posted this on social media:

So he is happy to tweet that whites should commit mass suicide to atone for their privilege and that a white identity exists solely for negative purposes. And yet he is putting himself in charge of outreach to white voters? White voters are supposed to put their trust and faith in him?

Now, it is true that Professor Kotsko, after some criticism of his tweets, wrote a post explaining that he had been "impatient" in suggesting that whites should commit mass suicide, and that what he really meant is that the ultimate logic of the current model of individual justice leads to the idea of white mass suicide, but that he himself prefers a different model of social justice that doesn't logically require this.

Even so, it is obvious that people like Adam Kotsko don't understand the gulf existing between his view of the world and that of most other people. He thinks that by having a dialogue with ordinary whites, that they will suddenly come around to the idea that they should dedicate their lives to atoning for their "privilege".

I expect that most whites will go the other way. They will increasingly look on Professor Kotsko's ideology as being psychologically unhealthy, requiring as it does a willingness to hate and reject one's own identity and tradition. I'm optimistic that white people will increasingly return to a more positive sense of their own identity and heritage.

Melbourne Traditionalists Report

The Melbourne Traditionalists group had its final meeting for 2016 last night. It was another successful get together, with much enthusiastic discussion.

We have succeeded in our basic aim of establishing an offline group for traditionalists here in Melbourne. Although we're doing a few activist things, our primary aim for 2017 will still be to keep growing and consolidating. Another aim will be to improve our social media presence and maybe even to start publishing. There are opportunities as well to liaise with other traditionalists elsewhere in Australia.

Interested readers are welcome to contact either myself of Mark Moncrieff about the group. I can be contacted at, Mark Moncrieff at his website Upon Hope.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The era of feminised Christianity

Dalrock has an interesting post up about a shift in Christianity said to have taken place around the year 1800. According to Professor Callum Brown, the Britain of the period 1800 to 1963 was a religious one, but during this period Christianity was feminised. In the introduction to his work The Death of Christian Britain Brown writes:
...The book focuses considerable attention on how piety was conceived as an overwhelmingly feminine trait which challenged masculinity and left men demonized and constantly anxious. It was modern evangelicalism that raised the piety of woman, the ‘angel in the house’, to reign over the moral weakness and innate temptations of masculinity.

The typical understanding amongst Christians of the era was that women were naturally good, but that men were roughly natured and tempted to drink, gambling, womanising and so on, until the influence of a good woman brought them around.

I am not an expert on the religious history of the era, but this does explain some of the beliefs about masculinity that were present in the Australia I grew up in as a boy in the 1970s. There was an idea around back then that men were supposed to be more roughly natured than women, coarser in their manners, hard-drinking, brawling and so on. You can see it over and over in the Australian films of the 1970s. Only there was no being rescued by the influence of women; the idea of Christian conversion had dropped off by then.

It seemed a dodgy concept of masculinity to me at the time (drinking beer didn't seem much of a test of manhood) and this whole understanding of men and women has since come crashing down. It is now difficult to see women as more finely-natured, or naturally good or pious than men. What the modern era has revealed is that unless the men of a society are willing to establish a moral frame that supports a stable family life, then that society is likely to decline.

Dalrock has assembled much evidence that there are still church leaders who uphold the older narrative of women being naturally good and only being injured by men's failures, including conservative church leaders, some of whom are perhaps trying to conserve the view from the nineteenth century that really ought to be jettisoned.

One final point. The nineteenth century Christian view has survived in the secular world too. Think of all the TV sitcoms, including shows like The Simpsons, that portray a humorous and sanitised version of the idea that females are the naturally virtuous ones (think Marge or Lisa) and men the wayward, reckless ones captive to temptation (Homer, Bart).

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Kellogg's pumps $75,000,000 to radical left - time to boycott

I didn't realise that the Kellogg's cereal company was dedicated to radical leftist causes. It has all come out into the open because of the U.S. election. The left realises it no longer completely monopolises the media (just 90% of it). So they are now going after media sites like Breitbart and the Daily Mail.

As part of this push, Kellogg's decided to withdraw advertising from Breitbart. Breitbart fired back by publicising what the Kellogg's Foundation does with its money. It's astonishing. Kelloggs has announced that it is going to spend $75 million pushing left-liberal "whiteness" theories.

These theories begin with the liberal idea that we should be autonomous, self-determining individuals. Therefore, something predetermined like our race should be made not to matter. Why then are there differences in racial outcomes in a country like America? The leftist theory is that race itself has no biological basis but is a social construct designed by one group of people, "whites," to benefit from an unearned privilege at the expense of those designated as non-whites. The institutions of society, according to the theory, are racist in the sense that they are intended to perpetuate this racial privilege. All whites are implicated in benefiting from structural racism just in virtue of being white.

You can see the radical implications of the theory. It means that white America is, in its essence, a negative phenomenon that needs to be deconstructed. It means that a white identity is a shameful one, and that any defence of it is designed to perpetuate "supremacy". It means that if a white person achieves something it is at least partly undeserved - it has been gained at the expense of others. The role of a white person in life is an odd one of somehow trying to atone for who they are.

That's the ideological background to this announcement by Kellogg's:
Since the birth of America, racial privilege and structural inequities have influenced the nation's policies and social systems, from healthcare, education and child welfare to media, food consumption, justice and countless other facets of everyday life. In America, those who differ from the majority because of race, color, sexual orientation, religion, gender, weight and other characteristics face a deluge of outright discrimination and unconscious bias.

This paradox is routinely denied by its individual and institutional perpetrators, and sometimes even by its victims. But the impact is real. The social consequences of discrimination can be devastating for everyone, as its targets struggle to overcome barriers from artificial constructs, while those in the majority may consciously or subconsciously wrestle with the root causes of their behavior.

Thus, as the W. K. Kellogg Foundation implements a $75 million, five-year initiative to combat structural racism in America, healing the wounds of racism is a key component. "Our America Healing initiative is designed to give communities all over the country opportunities and resources to come together to undo the effects of centuries of racism and to heal the hearts," says Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. "We would like to think that twenty years from now racism will be a thing of the past and people will acknowledge that it not only existed but that there was a concerted effort to make it go away. We are proud to be part of that effort."

In effect, Kellogg's is paying $75 million to promote an anti-white political theory. In response there is a campaign gaining momentum to boycott Kellogg's. As I write this, #DumpKelloggs is the top trending hashtag on Twitter and the company's share price is falling.

I will be joining the boycott here in Australia - let's make it international. Kellogg's manufactures not only cereals like Corn Flakes, but also Pringles and LCMs. You can find a detailed list here.

Here are some Twitter posts on the issue:

There is also a petition you can sign here (at the time of posting it has about 150,000 signatures).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hand gluers disrupt Parliament

A group wanting to close down Australia's offshore detention centres brought about a stop to proceedings in Parliament today. Some of them even tried to glue their hands to the railings.

The protest garnered a lot of media attention but the timing was off. There have been a number of attacks by asylum seekers in the news lately. We have had:
  • 27 injured when a Muslim refugee from Myanmar set fire to a bank in the Melbourne suburb of Springvale
  • a Somali refugee mow down people with his car at Ohio State University before attacking them with a machete (he was brought to America by Catholic Charities - the Catholic Church seems to be heavily involved in pushing for Muslim immigration to the West)
  • 300 recently arrived African migrants in Turin, Italy, throwing bottles and stones at locals
  • an African refugee here in Melbourne sentenced to four years in jail for breaking into a home and assaulting a woman while she lay asleep next to her baby in bed
The protesters, who want to allow anyone to fly to Indonesia and then get on a boat to arrive in Australia, do not seem to care about the effects of open borders on existing populations. They cannot think of better alternatives to the refugee issue, such as resettling those claiming asylum somewhere closer to their country of origin - closer in distance, living standards and culture.

A couple of pictures from the protest:

The glued hand

Being escorted out

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Melbourne Traditionalists December meeting

Well, our last get together was terrific with three new attendees and some wide-ranging discussion. The next meeting is coming up soon in early December. If you'd like to attend please contact either myself ( or Mark Moncrieff via his website.

Lena's equality

I posted recently about Lena Dunham after she made a video with her father celebrating the impending extinction of white men.

Lena had promised to move to Canada if Donald Trump won the election but, unsurprisingly, has announced that she will not be fulfilling her vow. In her explanation of why she is going to stay in America she wrote:
I've realized I can survive, as a Jewish pro-choice sexual assault survivor with a queer family member and a belief that we are all exactly and beautifully equal.

On reading this, I thought that maybe she doesn't think white men are "exactly and beautifully equal" as she has extinction in mind for us. But leaving this aside the formulation that "we are all exactly and beautifully equal" struck me as odd.

It doesn't seem to be true. Some people are more low-minded, more criminally-minded and more selfish than others. Some people have evil in their hearts and minds. Some people dwell in what is squalid in life and never rise above it. I do not see how such people are "exactly and beautifully equal" to others.

We can be aware, even in our own lives, of the rise and fall in the quality of our thoughts, actions and feelings. One manifestation of who we are is not equal to another.

So why would Lena Dunham claim that people are exactly equal? You might think she means this in the sense that we are all equal in the sight of God (so that even those most alienated from the good, nonetheless retain an imprint of what is perfect and divine in their nature - even if this is difficult to discern on the surface).

But I doubt that this is it. I suspect the context for her is the liberal belief that there is nothing objectively right or wrong and therefore no way of measuring what is higher or lower in what people aspire to be or do. What liberals do instead is to assert that there is an equal dignity in people defining their own good, their own identity, their own lifestyle and so on. It makes sense, in this liberal context, to assert that people are "exactly equal," just as it is senseless to do so from a more traditional perspective.

The liberal approach to equality comes with problems. It doesn't change the fact that people seek distinction in life. But instead of seeking distinction by disciplining themselves to objective standards of character, they are left to do so in other ways. For instance, if there is no distinction to be had in the traditional moral realm, then material status takes on an even greater importance (educational and career status for the upper classes; phones, designer shoes etc. for those lower down the ranks).

In the moral sphere liberals seek distinction through virtue signalling, i.e. by knowing what political position to take to best represent the latest trends in liberal thought. This alone gives some people a sense of superiority over others.

There's another way for liberals to signal moral distinction/superiority. Liberals don't believe in an objective right or wrong. However, they do believe in a system in which we each define our own good, whilst respecting others' freedom to do the same. This means that it is virtuous in a liberal system to not interfere with how others define their own good. So it is considered especially moral to be non-discriminatory, inclusive, open and tolerant. Therefore, the most virtuous/superior liberal will be the one who is most inclusive to whoever is deemed to be the most "other".

In practice Muslims are usually tagged as the most "other" and so there are many liberals who believe that they are demonstrating moral distinction by being open to the Islamising of the West (the liberal churches seem to be especially prone to this - to promoting Muslim immigration as a great moral cause, even though this will eventually undermine the place of Christianity in the West).

Finally, liberals have brought in inequality via "intersectionality," in which membership of a group thought to be oppressed gives a person greater moral authority and status than those thought to be more privileged. This moral pecking order is taken very seriously by some liberal activists; in an odd way, group victimhood gives people a special place vis-à-vis others, to the point that it is thought that the others ought not to speak but to listen, or to take up less space, or to move aside.

So that is Lena Dunham's "beautiful equality." It is an equality in which people seek to be recognised as superior via such things as career status; politically correct beliefs; upholding the "other" regardless of the practical consequences of doing so; and claiming membership of oppressed groups.

It's a mess. It does not create equality and the drive toward distinction is mostly frittered away on things that do not really confer distinction. And, as for white men, we apparently do not even qualify to be part of Lena's system.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Australian Immigration Minister: mistakes were made

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has sparked controversy by saying that Prime Minister Fraser made a mistake in the 1970s by overriding departmental advice and allowing Lebanese Muslim refugees to come to Australia. Officials in the Immigration Department warned Mr Fraser that the largely uneducated, rural Muslim refugees would struggle to fit into Australia and might bring some of the violence common in their homeland to Australia.

As it happens, two thirds of those connected to terrorism in Australia are Lebanese Muslims; there has been a wave of crime gang related shootings amongst Lebanese Muslim communities in Sydney and Melbourne; 20% of Lebanese migrants still cannot speak English; many of those recruited to fight for ISIS have come from this community; and Lebanese Muslims are four times more likely to be on the disability pension than the general population.

So, although there have been some success stories as well, the department officials had a point.

What I'd like to focus on, though, is the bigger picture of what happens when you bring diverse groups of refugees to Western countries (i.e. refugees from very different backgrounds to the host country). For instance, one leader of the Muslim Lebanese community, Mostafa Rochwani, replied angrily to Dutton that it was Australians who pushed the Lebanese refugees into violence and crime:
These communities have faced cultural, political, economic and physical violence from a society that was hostile to any kind of encroachment on their grip on what it means to be Australian...Whether it is expressed in gang violence or in foreign fighters, these people are inherently just seeking what society was unwilling to provide them: their humanity, their worth being recognised.

Is the problem not obvious? Rochwani is saying that the price for integrating Lebanese Muslims is for the existing population to give up on their own sense of what it means to be an Australian. We have to give up our own identity, so that the refugees can then feel more included.

And, in a sense, he is right. It is human nature for people to want to feel a sense of identity and belonging in the society they live in. If you bring in people who are radically different ethnically, then you have an issue. Either the newcomers have to miss out in terms of identifying with the larger community, or else the existing population does. Someone has to lose out.

This is less of a problem for liberal whites, as they are committed ideologically to the idea of identifying only with themselves as individuals - although in practice they do seek out communities of white liberals to live amongst. But for most Westerners having to give up on their own identity, so that Lebanese Muslims are not radicalised, is not a great situation to be in.

That's why the whole project of flying refugees around the world to live in the suburbs of Western cities is a misguided one. It is part of a liberal denial of human nature.

One more example. Dutton was attacked in Parliament by Australia's first female Muslim MP, Anne Aly. Aly was self-conscious when she was a girl of not looking the same as others:
Australia's first Muslim woman elected to Parliament, the counter-terrorism expert said she had become aware of her own status as a minority at the age of six or seven.

Wondering why she didn't have a Barbie doll that looked like her, she was told by her mother thinking too much would make her go crazy

Anne Aly has been given every advantage in the Western world (a high flying career as an academic, employment as a government expert, a columnist for several leading newspapers, and now an MP) but she still does not identify with the Western tradition because she was self-conscious of looking different. And so she says things like "Let's disrupt, let's destroy the joint."

Again, the only way to make her feel better is for the traditional white Western populations to no longer exist in such numbers. Only then will those like Anne Aly no longer feel like a minority outsider. It is once again a terrible situation that Westerners have been put in by liberal immigration policies - go under, so that Muslim girls don't feel like they belong to a minority which looks different.

Anne Aly responding to Peter Dutton

One final point. In some ways, the politics of the left is forming around this dynamic. It was noticeable during the American elections that younger minority activists looked to white politicians like Hillary Clinton as their "allies" against the white majority. It puts the white leftists in an unusual situation. They are temporarily useful to those who see themselves as the new America, but they won't serve the same function in the longer term - they won't be needed anymore. If the white liberal left wins, and the demographic trends continue, then a tipping point will be reached at which the minority activists will feel confident that they can get the job done by themselves, without the need for the leadership of white liberals. Where then will the future Clintons of the world fit in on the left? In other words, if the point of leftist politics is to represent non-white activists against the white majority, then what will happen ultimately to the white left? They will not be natural leaders of this movement, not in the longer term. They are temporary stand-ins.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How are the big issues decided? Obergefell vs Hodges 2015

In 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States decided in favour of homosexual marriage (Obergefell vs Hodges). The decision was a close one (5-4). Both the majority opinion and the dissenting opinions were argued for in terms of first principles, which gives an unusually clear insight into what is thought to matter by those who matter. Let's begin with the majority opinion. The introduction to the ruling states:
The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs...

...The first premise of this Court's relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.

The more detailed part of the ruling begins as follows:
The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.

The petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex.

I'm going to pause here, because this is the state ideology in a nutshell. What matters, we are being told, is a liberty to define our own identity. This liberty must extend equally to all persons. That is how we get to be autonomous and to have dignity as a person.

Justice Roberts in his dissenting opinion makes an obvious objection to this view. He writes:
The majority opens its opinion by announcing petitioners' right to "define and express their identity." The majority later explains that "the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy."...One immediate question invited by the majority's position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people...It is striking how much of the majority's reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If "there is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices," why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry?

Isn't this right? If what matters is "a right to personal choice regarding marriage" that is "inherent in the concept of individual autonomy," then isn't my dignity being infringed upon if I cannot choose to marry two women?

And why should marriage be a lifelong union if what matters is a right to choice regarding marriage? If I want to choose to leave one woman and marry another, then aren't I being a good liberal in doing so? And why should marriage be an exclusive union? If my autonomy is at stake, then why shouldn't I define my identity in terms of having both a wife and a lover on the side? For that matter, why should the biological connection between myself and my children matter? Aren't we all autonomous individuals, defining our own identity? So why should paternity matter that much? Or maternity for that matter? And why should I be held to owe any duty of care to my wife or to my children? If I were to follow the logic of the Supreme Court, then I have no duty of care, but only a free choice to care, if that is what fits with how I choose to define my personal identity and beliefs.

And if the aim of my life is to maximise my autonomy, in which I have the greatest possible freedom to choose to act as I wish, then why would I even contemplate marriage in the first place? Why wouldn't I choose to live alone, free to pursue a single man/woman lifestyle, not having to compromise myself for another person?

Marriage only makes sense if the guiding principle of life is not, in fact, the idea that our dignity comes from a personal autonomy to define ourselves as we wish. Nobody limits themselves to one other person for the sake of autonomy. And you would be crazy to commit to parenthood in the belief that you would thereby maximise your personal autonomy.

When men believe that being a paterfamilias really matters, that it has meaning, then marriage flourishes. Men commit to this role, not out of a belief in autonomy, but because they believe that in doing so they are upholding some important part of their own manhood, one necessary to the wellbeing of their wife and children, and to the family lineage and national tradition that they belong to and identity with.

Family cannot be unsexed. It is a procreative union of a man and a woman that cannot endure unless men are absolutely persuaded of their own necessary role as husbands and fathers within it (and are confident in the support of the state in this role).

Homosexual marriage has the effect of unsexing the family. It forces us to believe that whether a family has a man and a woman, or two men, or two women is all the same. Therefore, a man being a man is of little consequence when it comes to family life. It means that a man is not expressing anything significant about himself as a man when it comes to what he does in or for a family.

Do we men really believe this to be true? Is the homosexual view really the truth about marriage and family? Is being a man something that is only incidental to our lives? Or is it perhaps something that is not expressed within a family, but only outside of it, in some other sphere of life? Could that really be the truth of things?

I just don't believe that this will ring true to most men. Most men have a profound experience of the way that men and women are called together to be in a procreative union with each other. It is part of the warp and woof of reality itself. And most men too have an instinct toward expressing some part of their manhood within a family, as a husband and father, and will, in most circumstances, be motivated to fulfil this instinct, even if this constrains their autonomy.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Whiteness is like...

Liberal Christians are increasingly becoming the worst, most extreme liberals. A case in point: the South African, Martin Young. He has written a newspaper column with the heading "Whiteness is like herpes". It opens like this:
You know now that you have it but prefer not to talk about it. Every now and then it surfaces like a rash, provoking discomfort, not in you, but in others. You have lived with it for so long that for most of your life you didn’t even notice it. In fact, you were surprised when someone, unable themselves by virtue of colour to have it, discovered that you did, and pointed it out. The diagnosis hurt. It was uncomfortable knowing that others saw in you something that was damaging to them, but not directly to you.

And now there are calls to have those with whiteness pay for the damage it has done to others. This makes you uncomfortable, knowing that, like herpes, you cannot eradicate whiteness from your own being. It is just there.

This is as spiritually sick as a person gets. A healthy positive identity is replaced with a self-hating, self-abnegating one. Martin Young really needs to choose a more fitting kind of hairshirt for himself.

While we're on the topic of South Africa, it's worth mentioning that Julius Malema, leader of a party with 25 seats, has called on his followers to occupy white-owned land:
South African opposition firebrand Julius Malema is telling his followers to seize any piece of white-owned land they want, defying a court trying him on charges of inciting violent property grabs.

Malema addressed cheering members of his ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party near the courtroom in Bloemfontein, after a judge adjourned the politically charged hearing.

'When we leave here, you will see any beautiful piece of land, you like it, occupy it...

Malema wants a situation like that in Zimbabwe:
They [the McKinnons] had resisted the pressure of the land invaders for many years, perhaps protected by Zimbabweans who saw them as “good” farmers because they employed 250 permanent and seasonal workers, grew much-needed crops and donated food to a local school and orphanage.

But in one incident in 2012, Mark McKinnon was kidnapped and tortured for 24 hours by dozens of young men, believed to be the sons of high-ranking officials who wanted his farm.

“I was badly beaten, and they broke all my teeth,” he said. “It was horrific. But farming is the only thing I know, so I stood up and fought for it.”

This year, the pressure grew worse. Local magistrates issued several eviction orders. He appealed to higher courts, obtaining an injunction against the orders. In July, invaders arrived and began drinking beer outside the house. His father picked up a gun and ordered them to leave. Police arrested him and his wife and jailed them for four days.

Meanwhile, a state-owned newspaper accused them of hiding an “arms cache” – ignoring the fact that their guns were licensed and Mr. McKinnon was a member of Zimbabwe’s national clay-pigeon shooting team, often competing in international championships.

In late August, men broke into the house and tossed their furniture outside. Their belongings, including photos and papers, were strewn across the bush.

“I just said, ‘No, it’s enough now,’” Mr. McKinnon said. “I didn’t want my children hurt like I was hurt. They would have locked us up on any trumped-up charges.”

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Iran catches Western bug

There's a fascinating article at the Los Angeles Times about a cultural shift amongst Iran's educated women. It seems that Western norms are taking hold amongst this group, leading to a declining marriage and birth rate in that country, as well as a higher divorce rate.

The article claims that the Iranian women are "liberated" but are held back by the men being too "traditional". But when you read through the interviews with these educated Iranian women a certain picture emerges. These women want things on their own terms. If the husband works too long hours, then they want a freedom to divorce him. But the husband has to accept it if she works long hours. They want a freedom to sleep around as they wish when young, but dislike it when they hit their 30s and want to marry and only meet men who want to sleep with them. An Iranian man in the comments also points out that they claim to want to be independent, but refuse to use their own earnings to contribute to household finances - they are suddenly traditional when it comes to men being the breadwinners.

I think it's evidence of just how easily a society can fall into a culture that is hostile to stable family formation.

Crime wave

More disturbing crimes in Melbourne to report on:
A woman has suffered spinal injuries and another received minor injuries after an attack involving up to 10 men of Sudanese appearance on a Melbourne beach.

The attack took place at Chelsea beach on Thursday night.

This isn't the kind of thing that Melbournians are used to - a gang of young men bashing women on a beach. This too is a different kind of crime:
A gang of 15 teenagers brazenly shoplifted from a Melbourne Officeworks store and left 'cheering and dancing' while holding the stolen items above their heads.

Witness Chris, who chose to keep his surname anonymous, said he went to the South Yarra store in the city's southeast to buy a computer at 4.30pm on Saturday when he noticed the youths, aged 13 to 17, taking headphones and speakers from the shelves.

He said the teenagers, believed to be members of the notorious Apex gang, were dancing down the aisles and walked out cheering a minute later, setting off the store alarms.

'They certainly weren't walking around with their heads down - they were happily ransacking the shelves,' he told 3AW on Monday.

But the latest and most disturbing crime took place yesterday:
The man suspected of setting fire to a Melbourne bank, leaving 27 people injured, is believed to be an asylum seeker who came to Australia by boat.

Federal government sources say the 21-year-old Springvale man is an asylum seeker from Myanmar living in the community on a bridging visa.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The European refugee situation

I don't think this will surprise anyone but a study by "Doctors of the World" has found that only 13% of the refugees who have entered Europe are fleeing from war. The majority had arrived for economic reasons.

Nor will it come as a surprise that an Arabic translator, who is Christian but who was assumed to be Muslim by those in the refugee centres, found that amongst themselves those working and living in the refugee centres were hostile to the host society. The translator reported that,
“Some women told me ‘We will multiply our numbers. We must have more children than the Christians because it’s the only way we can destroy them here”, she recalls.

It is more evidence that the refugee system needs to be reformed. These problems would not arise if refugees were resettled in countries with similar economic conditions and cultural/religious backgrounds. If there were no economic benefit to claiming asylum, then there would be no incentive for economic migrants to claim to be refugees. And if asylum seekers were resettled in countries with the most similar ethnicity, then there would no longer be a problem of assimilation (e.g. the issue of Muslims wanting to displace Christians would not arise).

Monday, November 14, 2016

On Jessica Valenti

Hat tip for this story to The Politically Incorrect Australian. Jessica Valenti is a prominent American feminist. She has written a memoir called Sex Object which has been memorably reviewed by Robert Stacy McCain. It's worth reading the whole review (it is blunt in its language).

Let me give the briefest of summaries of Valenti's life to date. She followed the modern girl path of spending her teens and twenties as a party girl seeking sex with the most alpha men she could get (she preferred tall, blue-eyed, fair-haired men) and taking drugs. She was snorting coke during the period she founded the feminist website Feministing. When she hit her 30s she did the done thing and got married. She has, apparently, been somewhat ruined for marriage though:
Andrew and I have been going to couple’s therapy, both for my anxiety and because Andrew is so mad at the space the anxiety takes up in our relationship. Our default mood is low-level annoyance toward each other with a propensity to turn into full-blown rage at the smallest thing.

I feel like I might hate him and I suspect he feels the same.

It reminds me again that we do not choose the best people to run our culture. Our young women are supposed to look up to and emulate someone with mental health issues and a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

If it were me, I would not be putting myself forward as a role model, at least not until I had got myself sorted out.

The other reminder is that we now have to deal with a culture in which there exist women who want to be players but who also want to keep the option of becoming wives and mothers. It's an odd game that modern feminists are playing: they want a player culture of their own, whilst stridently opposing one for men. Robert Stacy McCain touches on this in his review - he identifies the double standard by which it is "progressive" for women to act like players but "sexist" for men to do the same. To put this another way, the ideal for a feminist is to allow free rein to her own sexuality whilst keeping a lid on the expression of male sexuality (the traditionalist preference is for both to be directed toward higher ends).

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A validation gap?

A number of Clinton supporters have directed their anger at white women for supporting Trump. One of these Clintonistas is an American writer and feminist by the name of Lindy West. I found her thoughts on the issue particularly interesting, as she spelled out the underlying, psychological reasons for her passionate support for Hillary. In claiming that white women had "pawned their humanity" in voting for Trump she wrote:
I got up on Election Day and burst into tears — not a genteel twin trickle but a great heaving burst, zero to firehose. Tears spattered the inside of my glasses, dripped from my lips, and left mascara-tinged rosettes blooming black in my cereal milk.

“Honey,” my husband crooned to me. “Honey, it’s going to be O.K. The numbers are still good. It’s O.K.”

But it wasn’t the numbers. I wasn’t sobbing because I was afraid Hillary Clinton was going to lose. That would come later. I was sobbing Tuesday morning because, as I poured my coffee, I’d caught a glimpse of a cable news interview with Mrs. Clinton just after she voted for herself in Chappaqua, N.Y. She seemed breathless, exhilarated, a little overwhelmed. Over her shoulder, Bill Clinton stared at his wife and beamed.

My husband stares at me like that sometimes. It’s not just love — we expect husbands to love their wives — but something less traditional, more conditional and gendered. It’s professional respect. It’s pride.

We’re accustomed to that pride flowing the other direction, from wife to husband, because men in our culture get to be more than just bodies, do more than just nurture. Men get to act and excel and climb and aspire and thrive and win and rule and be the audacious, hungry fulcrum of public life. It is normal for men to have ambition. It is normal for women to stand aside.

...I cried because I want my daughters to feel that blazing pride, that affirmation of their boundless capacity — not from their husbands, but from their world, from the atmosphere, from inviolable wells of certainty inside themselves. I cried because it’s not fair, and I’m so tired, and every woman I know is so tired. I cried because I don’t even know what it feels like to be taken seriously — not fully, not in that whole, unequivocal, confident way that’s native to handshakes between men. I cried because it does things to you to always come second.

Whatever your personal opinion of the Clintons, as politicians or as human beings, that dynamic is real. We, as a culture, do not take women seriously on a profound level. We do not believe women. We do not trust women. We do not like women.

I understand that many men cannot see it, and plenty more do not care. I know that many men will read this and laugh, or become defensive, or call me hysterical, or worse, and that’s fine. I am used to it. It doesn’t make me wrong.

But maybe this election was the beginning of something new, I thought. Not the death of sexism, but the birth of a world in which women’s inferiority isn’t a given.

After I had read this it occurred to me that what she was really seeking in having Hillary elected was psychological validation. She has a hunger for validation. She wants her daughters to feel "that affirmation of their boundless capacity...from their world, from the atmosphere, from inviolable wells of certainty inside themselves". She is crying out "World please validate me and save me from feelings of inferiority". She believes that having a female president might deliver this.

Her quest for validation has led her to reject the feminine in favour of the masculine. She sees men shaking hands firmly, having self-confidence and energy and she is envious. She thinks that men are being given something by society, that they have been placed on a track by society that gives them this sense of inner validation. She wants it for herself. And so she wants to cast off the feminine and adopt the masculine.

In one sense, she's right. Men probably do have, on average, a more securely anchored sense of themselves and so do not seek external validation as much as women do. But I think Lindy West is wrong to assume that this is because society has empowered men to have ambition and denied this to women.

After all, we have had many female world leaders now; we have had women rising through the professions; we have had generations of girls raised to be ambitious at work. Lindy West herself has a relatively powerful and prestigious career as a journalist. If Lindy West were right, then women should now be amassing a treasure trove of validation, but instead Lindy West finds herself crying into her morning cereal.

And what of men? If Lindy West's theory were right, then ambitious, powerful men should feel validated, other men not. But it often doesn't work out this way. There are plenty of men working very humble jobs, who nonetheless have the self-confident, knockabout qualities that Lindy West seems so envious of.

So the question is this. How does an individual come to have a confident and secure sense of themselves as having worth as an individual?

There's no single thing, is there? If a son receives a good dose of mother love as a child, this helps. The same if a daughter grows up lovingly protected by her father. Genetics contributes something.

From here there is a gap between traditionalists and liberal moderns. Traditionalists can find worth for the individual in things that transcend individual life. For instance, if the masculine virtues have an inherent worth, and I as a man can embody some of these virtues, that then gives worth to who I am as an individual. Similarly, if there is a beauty in nature that has inherent value and I can perceive this and feel connected to it, then that too will add to my sense of worth as an individual.

For secular liberals, things are more difficult, as there is only the individual and his choices - there is no connection to things that have objective, transcendent value. So how do I prove my worth if I am a liberal? It has to be through things that mark out a purely personal, individual achievement, such as social popularity, sexual success, sporting achievements and, most of all, careers.

I can't be sure, but I suspect there is a major split between the kind of women who support Trump and those who support Clinton. The Clinton women are more likely to think that individual worth comes the liberal way (sexual conquests, social status, career advancement) and so are sensitive to the fear that they are being held back in achieving this because they are women. Lindy West is a case in point in how this is failing women. Despite women being given the green light to do whatever they want to, she still feels invalidated in her life. She hasn't gained a sense of worth from these pursuits alone and in seeking worth through these things she has turned on her own feminine identity.

The Trump women, I suspect, still look to more traditional sources of worth for themselves as individuals. Perhaps, they see a transcendent value in family and their own role in family life as wives and mothers. Perhaps they see a transcendent value in the larger communal traditional they belong to (i.e. in their identity as Americans) and don't wish to see this dissolved within a tide of globalisation and open borders. Perhaps they see a transcendent value in womanhood itself, and are uncomfortable with its declining status in the modern world or with the attempt to dissolve sex distinctions between men and women.

One final point. Liberal women see no reason to be loyal to the men of their own community. If all you are doing is pursuing sexual conquests; amassing likes on social media; and pursuing a career then why do you need to stand in solidarity with the men of your community? There's no logical reason to do so, especially if you believe these men are your competition.

Once you see yourself, though, as part of a family, a community, a culture and a civilisation, then you do have a reason for loyalty. And it is a good thing for men and women to be connected to each other in this way. It is an ugly part of modern life that men and women have been so set apart.