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Steven DenBeste: one of the OG bloggers passes

Steven DenBeste, who ran a blog called USS Clueless back in the early days when we were all known as “warblogs”, has pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del and gone to the great blogroll in the sky. Steven and I often agreed on things, for he was certainly not an ‘idiotarian’, but we often crossed swords as well. Like me he was an atheist but nevertheless, Godspeed Good Sir, you were part of the social media New Wave before anyone called it social media.

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29 comments to Steven DenBeste: one of the OG bloggers passes

  • George

    All Hail!
    vale!

  • Alisa

    Wow. Wow. How very, very sad. RIP.

  • When Steve quit U.S.S. Clueless, it was like a death in the blogging family. Now it’s a real death, and it just plain sucks. As several people have commented, 2016 is turning into a Very Bad Year.

  • Alisa

    I understand his server died recently as well, and so the link to his article from Perry’s old post above is dead now as well. Oh, and I originally found the link to SI on Steven’s old blog so many years ago. What Kim said. Damn.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    RIP to by all accounts a fine man.

  • Vinegar Joe

    RIP. I first knew of him thru the old newsgroup: comp.os.os2.advocacy He was a good writer. An archive of his blog USS Clueless is here: https://erbosoft.com/ussclueless/

  • Alisa

    Thanks for the link, VJ.

  • Alsadius

    This makes me really sad. Den Beste was a great blogger, and he’ll be missed.

    And yes, I think he planned for this when he stopped USS Clueless. He allowed people to download the archive way back then, for fear that the site would someday go down. I did, and I still have it, because I always want to be able to read that writing.

  • Den Beste had not only intelligence – he had wit. We’re the poorer for his death.

  • […] Update: Perry de Havilland pays tribute, too. […]

  • Joe Blow

    Master wordsmith
    Deeply insightful
    A daily read
    Was sorely missed when he shuttered USS Clueless

    A Diamond geezer now of blessed memory

  • Mary Contrary

    Perry appropriates Christian culture. Oh my God! (Oops!)

    More seriously, I read the comment you linked to with interest. It was from quite some time ago. I can’t help wondering, do you stand by it in its entirety? Or, with the passage of time, do you find you’ve shifted your position slightly, to recognise that Wahabbism cannot (and, more particularly, will not) be left alone in its desert holes, and that we need to do more to root it out than you then believed? In short, have you moved, in time, any closer to DenBeste’s view than you were at that time?

    PS (thanks to the new post-edit system): For what it’s worth, I certainly have changed my own view, from very similar to what you wrote, to one in which I am no more optimistic for the prospects for success for military occupation, but much more willing to accept the Islamists as a clear and present threat to our own civilisation. As such, at the time I would have just said “Amen” to what you wrote; now, not so much.

  • I can’t help wondering, do you stand by it in its entirety?

    Pretty much. I was in favour of the judicious use of military force back then and still am to some extent, albeit now very tempered by the realisation that the US government is vastly more inept at dealing with the aftermath than even I thought possible, rendering the value of even wildly successful military ventures rather moot. And my next point is not unrelated… I still think by far the most important battle is the cultural one, because unless that is won, we could literally glass over the Middle East and kill a billion Muslims and still lose because we destroy ourselves. By far the most dire enemies in that struggle are not to be found in Riyadh but in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington DC, and they are not Muslims (at least for the most part). Islam needs to be neutralised culturally, but the precondition to that is defeating those who would destroy our ability to win culturally, via ‘hate’ speech and ‘discrimination’ laws that prevent us from even fighting back, let alone winning.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I still think by far the most important battle is the cultural one, because unless that is won, we could literally glass over the Middle East and kill a billion Muslims and still lose because we destroy ourselves. By far the most dire enemies in that struggle are not to be found in Riyadh but in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington DC, and they are not Muslims (at least for the most part). Islam needs to be neutralised culturally, but the precondition to that is defeating those who would destroy our ability to win culturally, via ‘hate’ speech and ‘discrimination’ laws that prevent us from even fighting back, let alone winning.

    1. Freeze the current demographic makeup of the Western world forever and the current laws as they are written and enforced in the West now for perpetuity. What do you have? A reasonably liberal, open, tolerant society with some significant but not damning flaws – at least according to most libertarians.

    2. Take step 1 and just add a bunch more dumb discrimination and hate speech laws than there are now and you still don’t have such a terrible dystopian world – at least as compared to what is actually coming.

    3. The real conflict is not cultural but demographic. Within a few centuries the Western world will not exist in most of Europe. Sharia Law will rule what is now called Europe. Our great great great grandchildren will long for the days when the biggest worry was “hate speech” law..

  • 3. The real conflict is not cultural but demographic

    No, this is a fundamental error. Islam and indeed any crap idea is not genetic. Demographics are only a problem if the host society is prevented from assimilating them & just turning them into more of us, by political elements actively working to dislocate and weaken the host society.

  • The last toryboy

    Very sad. His was the first blog I ever really read. I recall back before social media there really was a golden age for blogging and he was right there in the middle of it.

    RIP, crabgrass Jacksonian. 🙂

  • Snorri Godhi

    Demographics are only a problem if the host society is prevented from assimilating them & just turning them into more of us, by political elements actively working to dislocate and weaken the host society.

    Well said, but one must also ask what motivates our enemies in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington DC. Fighting them at a purely intellectual level is unlikely to do much good.

    It must also be said that demographics is not a problem anyway, if fertility rates converge for native and immigrant populations. People like Mark Steyn seem to assume that fertility rates are fixed, in spite of the obvious fact that they are constantly changing.

  • People like Mark Steyn seem to assume that fertility rates are fixed, in spite of the obvious fact that they are constantly changing.

    Quite, and the evidence is overwhelming they do start to converge over time. It is yet another reason I stopped taking Steyn seriously even if I agree with some of what he says.

  • […] Stephen DenBeste, appearing quite often among the blogs I did read.  I read yesterday over at Samizdata that Stephen had died, which is causing a lot of sadness among the bloggers of that era who used to […]

  • bobby b

    People like Mark Steyn seem to assume that fertility rates are fixed, in spite of the obvious fact that they are constantly changing.

    I don’t know that the argument is that they never change, so much as they likely won’t change in time.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Demographics are only a problem if the host society is prevented from assimilating them & just turning them into more of us, by political elements actively working to dislocate and weaken the host society.

    Demographics are also a problem when the host society is at below-replacement level birth rate, lacks socially congealing spiritual beliefs, and lets in whoever wants to live there. The potential for assimilation in such circumstances is a myth (even excluding the third condition).

    The reason why the hate speech and anti discrimination laws are being put into place is the same reason why if they were not put into place Islamists (and to an extent Muslims more broadly) would not be assimilated anyway. That reason is that Westerners believe in nothing and Western society is rotten.

    So in a way you are right. At bottom it’s a cultural war but the cultural war was lost centuries ago (in 1789 by many accounts but I’d argue for 1517) which is why the West is slowly & inevitably losing the demographic war now.

    Libertarians who think that the way to prevent Shariah Law from ruling European soil is to repeal a few dumb and recent laws are living in a dream world.

  • Nico

    I used to read his every post. We’ll miss him.

  • “People like Mark Steyn seem to assume that fertility rates are fixed, in spite of the obvious fact that they are constantly changing.” (Perry de Havilland (London), October 26, 2016 at 11:32 am, quoting another’s post)

    Mark is obviously aware that fertility rates change; after all, he knows that the western rate today is well below what it was. He may simply think that it is at least as likely to fall as to rise, and unlikely to rise fast anytime soon. If anyone has cause to think that’s wrong, do tell (I could use the good news 🙂 ).

    “Demographics are only a problem if the host society is prevented from assimilating them” (Perry de Havilland (London), October 26, 2016 at 9:58 am)

    which it is indeed prevented from doing today. Political correctness teaches incomers to despise the host society and charges the hosts with hate speech if they argue. Victorian society could and did assimilate hordes of incomers, but victorian values are illegal today.

    As Mark said, “The future belongs to those who show up for it.”

  • which it is indeed prevented from doing today. Political correctness teaches incomers to despise the host society and charges the hosts with hate speech if they argue. Victorian society could and did assimilate hordes of incomers, but victorian values are illegal today.

    Which is exactly my point.

    As Mark said, “The future belongs to those who show up for it.”

    But it is not a truism. That is only true whilst the above is quote of yours remains true, it is not an immutable given as Steyn seems to suggest. Aspects of immigration are *only* a problem because of our own political class: they are the enemy who needs to be defeated.

  • Quentin

    So, who has an archive of this blog?

  • Alisa

    There is a link posted in the comments here earlier.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    Christ, how did I miss this? I read him frequently, before he switched to anime blogging. RIP.

  • Quentin

    No, not an archive of USS Clueless but an archive of Samizdata.

  • Alisa

    Sorry for misunderstanding, Quentin.