Don’t worry, it’s changing

But virtually no one is going to enjoy what will replace it, however briefly.

The former vice-president Joe Biden condemned “a white man’s culture” on Tuesday night as he lashed out against violence against women and, more specifically, lamented his role in the supreme court confirmation hearings that undermined Anita Hill’s credibility nearly three decades ago.

Biden, a Democratic presidential prospect who often highlights his white working-class roots, said Hill, who is African American, should not have been forced to face a panel of “a bunch of white guys”. …

Later in his Tuesday remarks, Biden called on Americans to “change the culture” that dates back centuries and allows pervasive violence against women. “It’s an English jurisprudential culture, a white man’s culture. It’s got to change,” Biden said.

There is another word for “white man’s culture” and that is “Western civilization”. And that civilization is vanishing, particularly in the United States, which is rapidly being transformed into post-Western barbarism everywhere from New York City to the sewage-filled streets of San Francisco.

But the post-Western diversity won’t last long and order will again reassert itself, most likely with a level of ruthlessness that will make the Mongols look merciful. That’s why Facebook is now frantically banning all mention of white separatism and white nationalism as well as white supremacy, and why it will soon be banning Christianity and genuine nationalism too.

The proverbial Saxon has already begun to hate, but he hasn’t begun to feel that he has nothing to lose yet. Once that point is reached, the global convulsions will begin.

You failed parenting

I don’t even know where to begin with this:

In her practice, Dr. Levine said, she regularly sees college freshmen who “have had to come home from Emory or Brown because they don’t have the minimal kinds of adult skills that one needs to be in college.”

One came home because there was a rat in the dorm room. Some didn’t like their roommates. Others said it was too much work, and they had never learned independent study skills. One didn’t like to eat food with sauce. Her whole life, her parents had helped her avoid sauce, calling friends before going to their houses for dinner. At college, she didn’t know how to cope with the cafeteria options — covered in sauce.

That’s one benefit of having been raised in a family with a Marine Corps tradition. From childhood, one is informed that there is always and only one answer to every obstacle: improvise, adapt, and overcome!

Moral and intellectual bankruptcy

What, precisely, comprises “elite” status in the USA today?

Lessons? Here are two. First the good news: We are shocked by the actions of these parents precisely because there is so little corruption in America. If the problems were as systemic as some on the Internet believe, they would hardly raise such an outcry. Denizens of countries where bribery is a way of life look at us and say, “Amateurs.”

The second lesson is not as comforting. Operation Varsity Blues is further evidence of the bankruptcy of American elites. For over a decade now, the legitimacy of elites in politics, foreign policy, central banking, journalism, religion, and economics has crumbled as reality failed to match their rhetoric. Education is the latest sphere where elites have betrayed our country’s institutions and our country’s people by using wealth and connections to rig the rules of the game.

The scandal also points to the flagrant hypocrisy of Hollywood liberalism. No class is more moralistic, more hectoring, more obnoxiously activist than the Hollywood left. They barrage Americans with displays of their virtue, their calls to humanitarianism, their paeans to multiculturalism and feminism, their slanders of President Trump, Vice President Pence, Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular. And they have great sway in national politics. A Democrat’s future depends on the beneficence of Hollywood donors—donors who were well represented among the individuals charged in Operation Varsity Blues.

The entertainment industry liberals talk a good game. But look at their actions. Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are synonymous with predation. Jussie Smollett was a B-list celebrity until he faked a hate crime against himself and blamed it on supporters of Trump. Now we have actors breaking the law so their kids can go to USC.

Why on Earth should we take political cues from these people? By what right do they portray themselves as enlightened, as advanced, as more sophisticated than half the country, even while they lie, cheat, steal, and assault?

There is nothing genuinely elite about the modern faux-elite. They are not our moral, intellectual, or even physical superiors. They are uniformly frauds, from their dyed-hair on the top of their heads to the lifts they wear in the soles of their shoes. Most of them are not even very attractive or physically fit.

Not-Americans embrace socialism

It’s hardly a surprise that the least American generational cohort in US history is also the most socialist-friendly:

Generation Z has a more positive view of the word “socialism” than previous generations, and — along with millennials — are more likely to embrace socialistic policies and principles than past generations, according to a new Harris Poll given exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: The word “socialism” does not carry the same stigma it did in the past, now that it has been resurrected by celebrity politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Young people’s political views often change as they grow older, but their support for socialistic policies is a sign that the old rules of politics are changing fast.

And they’re also increasingly tribal. One positively wonders what could possibly come after the inevitable failure of Neo-Palestinian rule. Such a mystery….

Fundamental to whom?

I have said to people when they ask me, if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain would be our commitment to our aid, I don’t even call it our aid, our cooperation with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.
-Nancy Pelosi, 2018 IAC National Conference

Translation: “I can haz donations?”

I’m pretty confident that when the US empire collapses and Washington DC crumbles, there will be no more cooperation with Israel or any other nation. Anyhow, it will be both ironic and informative if Omar comes out of this outrage cycle as the most popular new politician in the Democratic Party.

Late-stage imperial transition

This is a useful summary of the axiomatic foundation of Yuval Hazony’s The Virtue of Nationalism:

The order of tribes and clans is the proto-political order. The state developed out of the weakness of this order, because this order of tribes and clans is held together in a way that makes it difficult to achieve peace, because you have these warring tribes and warring interests. It is also difficult to achieve justice because you have capricious leaders and you have a system where it is very hard to achieve justice where people are fundamentally at war—because justice becomes weaponized and justice cannot really arbitrate when there is no fundamental peace at the root of society. And so, there is a need to move beyond this tribal order. This proto-political order then leads to the development of the state, whether that is a free state as different tribes join together willingly, or a despotic state as certain tribes dominate over others and establish rule through military might.

Now, these different sorts of institutions can be distinguished from each other. So, a family is not like a business. A business is held together by financial interest. Within them individuals are fairly dispensable. You can hire and fire, and little loyalty exists. People are not going to work for their business at great personal sacrifice themselves, not usually. Except in certain extreme cases, people do not have a deep sense of loyalty to their company or to the boss that they work for. Families, however, are different. They pass on a legacy from generation to generation, and there is a sense of deep loyalty and mutual connection within these contexts.

The empire is a state that is, in principle, boundless. It is an amorphous collective. And so, it does not have the same structures of loyalty at its heart. There is a difference between tribal order and the order of the empire that is not just one of scale. So, it is not just that we relate on a very local scale in the tribe, or the clan, or the family, and then that is just scaled up and up until you get the nation, and then the empire. Rather, the empire is a fundamental shift in the notion of order. It is the difference between loyalty to familiar individuals, to one’s neighbors, and loyalty to the abstract imperial project, its ideology, and to a generic humanity—a humanity that is not particular, that is not the humanity of one’s neighbor but is just a humanity in general, an abstract humanity. It is often an ideologized humanity, a humanity that appears as such within an ideology that can often exclude certain people as falling short of the true reality of that humanity.

The tribal person who places loyalty to their family and their clan over loyalty to empire will be seen by an imperialist as pathological. Tribal order is vulnerable, as I have already noted, to war, to capricious rule, and to injustice, and to the inability to obtain justice. Imperial order, by contrast, establishes an expanding realm of peace at the cost of independence and self-determination. The principle of the unity of humanity encourages violation of the boundaries of other people in order to expand rational government order over all of them. And so, the empire works in terms of abstract and universal categories of humanity. It works in terms of concepts of justice that are universalized and detached from any sort of distributive sense of justice. It is universal human rights, that sort of thing.

And an empire will usually have a particular ruling nation at its heart. Even as they champion the universal interests of humanity, the domination of one particular group or the hierarchical superiority of that group tends to be advanced.

It’s a long piece, but well worth reading. I think the key to understanding the fate of the U.S. empire going forward is that it no longer has its original ruling nation advancing its interests, but a replacement foreign nation doing the same. The ritual of genuflection before AIPAC performed by Republican and Democratic politicians is one indication that this transition has already taken place, the control of the financial and cultural high ground is another, and the growing number of anti-BDS laws is a third. As, of course, is the pious fiction of “Judeo-Christian values” so fervently avowed by conservatives.

The transition from native to foreign elite is a normal development in a late-stage empire and customarily precedes the gradual decline and collapse of the empire. Philip the Arab became the first non-Latin emperor of Rome in 243. Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, was crowned the first Latin emperor of the Byzantine emperor in 1204.

Marcus Julius Philippus was born in Arabia the son of Julius Marinus. Philip entered a military career and was on the campaign in 243 AD against the Persians led by Shapur. Timisitheus was the Praetorian Commander in charge and he successfully defeated the Persians at Rhesaina. However, Timisitheus suddenly became ill and died during the campaign. Philip I the rose to the rank of Praetorian Commander under Gordian III. Philip was more interested in taking the throne than in destroying the Persians.

Philip’s intentions were clear. Her instigated whatever he could to create disloyalty among the troops against the 19-year-old emperor Gordian III. In a last and sad attempt to maintain locality, Gordian III addressed his troops. He finally told his men to chose between himself and Philip. He gamble failed and the troops openly selected Philip and Gordian III was murdered. Despite a monument being raised to Gordian III on the spot that he died, and his body being taken back to Rome for burial, Philip never looked back.

Philip was eager to take the reigns of power in Rome so much so that he quickly agreed to a peace treaty with the Persian king Shapur. The terms were widely viewed as a sign of defeat on the part of the Romans. Philip gave Shapur a down-payment of 500,000 denarii in addition to an annual indemnity. No Roman emperor had ever agreed to such a deal, but Philip was more interested in getting to Rome….

The reign of Philip I marked the true collapse of the denarius as a regular issue within the monetary system. As inflation soared, the denarius no longer became a viable denomination and it was virtually replaced by the antoninianus. All subsequent reigns that followed Philip I issued denarii very sparingly if at all.

Refusing to learn from history

How do the experts expect to be able to learn anything from history when political correctness prevents them from looking at the causal factors.

The first way to look at past civilisations is to compare their longevity. This can be difficult, because there is no strict definition of civilisation, nor an overarching database of their births and deaths.

In the graphic below, I have compared the lifespan of various civilisations, which I define as a society with agriculture, multiple cities, military dominance in its geographical region and a continuous political structure. Given this definition, all empires are civilisations, but not all civilisations are empires. The data is drawn from two studies on the growth and decline of empires (for 3000-600BC and 600BC-600), and an informal, crowd-sourced survey of ancient civilisations (which I have amended).

Collapse can be defined as a rapid and enduring loss of population, identity and socio-economic complexity. Public services crumble and disorder ensues as government loses control of its monopoly on violence.

Virtually all past civilisations have faced this fate. Some recovered or transformed, such as the Chinese and Egyptian. Other collapses were permanent, as was the case of Easter Island. Sometimes the cities at the epicentre of collapse are revived, as was the case with Rome. In other cases, such as the Mayan ruins, they are left abandoned as a mausoleum for future tourists.

What can this tell us about the future of global modern civilisation? Are the lessons of agrarian empires applicable to our post-18th Century period of industrial capitalism?

Collapse may be a normal phenomenon for civilisations, regardless of their size and technological stage

I would argue that they are. Societies of the past and present are just complex systems composed of people and technology. The theory of “normal accidents” suggests that complex technological systems regularly give way to failure. So collapse may be a normal phenomenon for civilisations, regardless of their size and stage.

We may be more technologically advanced now. But this gives little ground to believe that we are immune to the threats that undid our ancestors. Our newfound technological abilities even bring new, unprecedented challenges to the mix.

And while our scale may now be global, collapse appears to happen to both sprawling empires and fledgling kingdoms alike. There is no reason to believe that greater size is armour against societal dissolution. Our tightly-coupled, globalised economic system is, if anything, more likely to make crisis spread.

Read the article and notice what factors just happens to be omitted: immigration, identity politics, and foreign leadership. Now consider this description of the Crisis of the Third Century that nearly brought down the Roman Empire.

The Crisis of the Third Century was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of barbarian invasions and migrations into Roman territory, civil wars, peasant rebellions, political instability with multiple usurpers competing for power, growing influence and Roman reliance on barbarian mercenaries, and commanders nominally working for Rome, but increasingly independent, plague, debasement of currency, and economic depression. The crisis began with the assassination of Emperor Severus Alexander by his own troops in 235, initiating a 50-year period during which there were at least 26 claimants to the title of emperor, mostly prominent Roman army generals, who assumed imperial power over all or part of the Empire. The same number of men became accepted by the Roman Senate as emperor during this period and so became legitimate emperors.

By 268, the empire had split into three competing states. Later, Aurelian reunited the empire; the crisis ended with the ascension and reforms of Diocletian in 284. The crisis resulted in such profound changes in the empire’s institutions, society, economic life and, eventually, religion, that it is increasingly seen by most historians as defining the transition between the historical periods of classical antiquity and late antiquity.

Is this starting to sound familiar? Both the UK and the USA are empires with foreign leadership that has no love for the native populations over which it rules, and unlike the Jurchen tribe which created the Manchu Dynasty that ruled over the Han for 268 years, those that currently rule the two Western empires actively seek to destroy their historical culture, religion, and native peoples.

Fixing conservatism to save the West

The author of The Virtue of Nationalism, Yoram Hazony, is attempting to define a viable alternative to the neo-liberal world order.

The present moment is one of growing discomfort, both in America and in Europe, with the regnant liberal political theory often described as liberal democracy. It is frequently said that the only genuine alternatives to liberal democracy are Marxism and Fascism, but I don’t believe this is true. I want to sketch an alternative viewpoint that I will call conservative democracy. This ­position is closer to the spirit of traditional constitutionalism in both America and Britain than the liberal political theories of our day. Moreover, it is far better equipped to maintain the free institutions of these nations than liberalism.

There are prominent scholars and public figures who are convinced that “things are getting better” in almost every way. As for me, I find it difficult not to see the Western nations disintegrating ­before our eyes. The most significant institutions that have characterized America and Britain for the last five centuries, giving these countries their internal ­coherence and stability—the Bible, public religion, the independent national state, and the traditional family—are not merely under assault. They have been, at least since World War II, in precipitous ­decline.

In the United States, for example, some 40 percent of children are today born outside of marriage. The overall fertility rate has fallen to 1.76 children per woman. American children for the most part receive twelve years of public schooling that is scrubbed clean of God and Scripture. And it is now possible to lose one’s livelihood or even to be prosecuted for maintaining traditional Christian or Jewish views on various subjects.

Add to this the fact that the principal project of European and American political elites for decades now has been the establishment of a “liberal international order” whose aim is to export American norms and values to other nations, and you have a stunning picture of what the United States has become—a picture that in certain respects resembles that of Napoleonic France: an ideologically anti-religious, anti-traditionalist universalist power seeking to bring its version of the Enlightenment to the nations of the world, if necessary by force.

I applaud Hazony’s efforts. They are without question an improvement on the current situation. But his efforts are not going to work because Christianity is an integral component of Western Civilization and Hazony’s habitual conflation of Judaism with Christianity is far too akin to the anti-Western Judeo-Christianity that is one of the primary causal factors of the decline of the USA and the West. Hazony even appears to understand this on some level:

What is now called “liberal democracy” refers not to the traditional Anglo-­American constitution, but to a rationalist reconstruction of it that has been detached from Protestant religion and the Anglo-American nationalist tradition. Far from being a time-tested form of government, this liberal-democratic ideal is something new to both America and Britain, establishing itself as authoritative only in recent decades.

Traditionally, Americans referred to their form of government as republican government. Indeed, insofar as usage is concerned, the term “liberal democracy” does not become more common in public discussion than the traditional term “republican government” until the 1960s. And it does not achieve its present dominant position in discourse on forms of government (overwhelming even the expression “democratic government”) until the 1990s.

This shift in language is not arbitrary, but reflects a profound reconfiguration at the level of ideas as well: a reconfiguration of what kind of government is considered desirable and legitimate. Roughly speaking, the dominant position of the term “republican government” corresponds to the period in which the Anglo-American conservative tradition remained to some significant degree intact, and so was able to serve as a bulwark against too great a penetration of liberal axioms into public life.

What was a “republican government” in the traditional American conception? A republican government in America was, among other things, one that could see itself as reflecting and reinforcing the values of a “Christian people” (to use a famous phrase of the Supreme Court that continued to be reaffirmed through the 1930s). Indeed, in 1942, FDR was still speaking of the United States as a nation that “hold[s] to the old ideals of Christianity.”

But by 1948 we find, for the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court banning voluntary religious education in public schools that offer simultaneous Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish classes.

Almost everyone wants the fruits of Western Civilization less whatever aspects make them feel uncomfortable or excluded. But they will never attain them, or even preserve them, without accepting and embracing every aspect of it, even if it leaves them on the outside. In any event, it’s a well-written article and it’s interesting to see an Israeli intellectual defending both nationalism and American Christianity, as well as highlighting the mythology of the “proposition nation”. And he is correct to observe that the survival of the West will require the rejection of what he describes as the closed liberal axiom system of Enlightenment-rationalist principles.

Global enstupidation

Forget the myth of progress. The entire world is literally getting dumber every day:

Wherever you look: junk science, universities corrupted with bogus “studies” departments, politicians peddling discredited nostrums a moment’s critical thinking reveals to be folly, an economy built upon an ever-increasing tower of debt that nobody really believes is ever going to be paid off, and the dearth of major, genuine innovations (as opposed to incremental refinement of existing technologies, as has driven the computing, communications, and information technology industries) in every field: science, technology, public policy, and the arts, it often seems like the world is getting dumber. What if it really is?

That is the thesis explored by this insightful book, which is packed with enough “hate facts” to detonate the head of any bien pensant academic or politician. I define a “hate fact” as something which is indisputably true, well-documented by evidence in the literature, which has not been contradicted, but the citation of which is considered “hateful” and can unleash outrage mobs upon anyone so foolish as to utter the fact in public and be a career-limiting move for those employed in Social Justice Warrior-converged organisations. (An example of a hate fact, unrelated to the topic of this book, is the FBI violent crime statistics broken down by the race of the criminal and victim. Nobody disputes the accuracy of this information or the methodology by which it is collected, but woe betide anyone so foolish as to cite the data or draw the obvious conclusions from it.)

In April 2004 I made my own foray into the question of declining intelligence in “Global IQ: 1950–2050” in which I combined estimates of the mean IQ of countries with census data and forecasts of population growth to estimate global mean IQ for a century starting at 1950. Assuming the mean IQ of countries remains constant (which is optimistic, since part of the population growth in high IQ countries with low fertility rates is due to migration from countries with lower IQ), I found that global mean IQ, which was 91.64 for a population of 2.55 billion in 1950, declined to 89.20 for the 6.07 billion alive in 2000, and was expected to fall to 86.32 for the 9.06 billion population forecast for 2050. This is mostly due to the explosive population growth forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa, where many of the populations with low IQ reside.

This is a particularly dismaying prospect, because there is no evidence for sustained consensual self-government in nations with a mean IQ less than 90.

But while I was examining global trends assuming national IQ remains constant, in the present book the authors explore the provocative question of whether the population of today’s developed nations is becoming dumber due to the inexorable action of natural selection on whatever genes determine intelligence. The argument is relatively simple, but based upon a number of pillars, each of which is a “hate fact”, although non-controversial among those who study these matters in detail.

Fourmilab’s reviews are always insightful and worth reading in their entirety. And I don’t just say that because he has spoken well of one or two of my books.

Cognitive catastrophe

A new book confirms and explains the cognitive collapse of the West:

Today we can confirm that hereditary intelligence has been declining. Dutton and Woodley summarize the evidence, which includes deterioration in simple reaction times, color discrimination, the use of “difficult” words, working memory, special perception, child developmental schedules and—most critically—frequency of macro-innovations. In 2017, an Icelandic study found the first direct genetic evidence that a set of alleles predictive of g has been declining in frequency in that country’s population. More such studies can be expected in the years ahead.

According to a 2015 meta-analysis of studies conducted since 1927, IQ in the USA and the UK appears to be declining at a rate of 0.39 points per decade. Declines are also reported in Russia and a number of non-Western countries.

The authors emphasize five reasons (besides improved public health) why this is happening: 1) naturally gifted people have a tendency to trade mating and parenting opportunities for the opportunity to develop their abilities, e. g., through higher education; 2) being forward-thinking, such people are likelier to use contraception; 3) the modern welfare state taxes the more successful in order to support single mothers, who can often increase their benefits by having more children; 4) the modern movement for sexual “equality” has encouraged the brightest women to pursue careers and postpone marriage, often until it is too late; 5) finally, and most unforgivably, Western elites are now deliberately sponsoring the colonization of our nations by vast numbers of low-IQ persons from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Declining general intelligence has been masked during the Twentieth Century by the so-called Flynn effect, an improvement in specialized mental skills independent of g. This may be one factor which made possible the continued technological progress of the twentieth century. But there is good evidence that the Flynn effect has now done about all it can do, and lower genotypic intelligence will increasingly make itself felt.

I calculated this several years ago in Cuckservative. The affects of our cognitively-challenged societies are already beginning to make themselves felt. The Age of Progress is over.