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The pointlessness of the Anglosphere Right

Many of you will have read Fraser Nelson‘s article in the Spectator already, so in a somewhat similar vein…

The refusal of Mr Cameron (and co) to talk in terms of limited government principles may have been a calculated decision or it may have been ignorance (it is hard to know), but with someone like Chancellor Hammond it is indeed very clearly ignorance. The Mansion House speech (not an off-the-cuff conversation when Mr Hammond was very tired or ill, but a formal speech – indeed the most formal speech of the year) showed a degree of basic ignorance, and an influence of socialist and interventionist philosophy, that was very grim. To Mr Hammond any improvement in the human condition must be the result of government spending or edicts (such as the Minimum Wage Law – now at such a level that employers are even starting using automation that works incredibly badly, rather than human employees) – private production and wealth (including his own?) is wicked and corrupt greed, to be condemned. The logical response for anyone who believed in the doctrines outlined in this speech (and other such speeches – or the Conservative Party Manifesto) would be to vote for the Labour Party – but the “Red Tories” do not understand this.

The philosophical bankruptcy of “interventionism” or “middle of the road thinking” and how it leads to socialism, was explained by Ludwig Von Mises almost a century ago, and (indeed) was exposed by Herbert Spencer in “The Man Versus The State” way back in 1883. But to the modern “educated” class the name of Mises is basically unknown and Herbert Spencer was just an evil “racist” (that Herbert Spencer was passionately ANTI slavery and war, and despised the idea of treating people differently on the basis of “race” is unknown to the “educated”). The ordinary public know nothing – but they also know they know nothing, the “educated” know all sorts of things that are just-not-true. In the time of Spencer or even Mises the government had not yet usurped all the basic functions of civil society and non state associations (such as churches and fraternities) were still strong. Now there are just “atomised” individuals and the state – today such things as churches are in terrible decline (even in the United States) and fraternities are mocked as things like Laurel and Hardy’s “The Sons of the Desert” – hardly anyone remembers that it used to be normal for ordinary people to belong to fraternities and friendly societies – now the state controls everything from the “cradle to the grave” (the totalitarian, total state, vision of Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” 1887). Even the family itself has been undermined by the social revolution promoted by the Frankfurt School of Marxism (especially from the 1960s onwards – when resistance to the left, in the churches and so on, essentially collapsed).

The once strong families of Britain and the United States have been replaced by atomised individuals – who look to the state (not the family or private associations) for all their basic needs – from education to healthcare to old age provision. So taxation and government spending have increased from around a tenth of the economy (what it was even as late as the 1920s in the United States – it was only 20% of the economy as recently as 1950) to around half the economy in most Western nations today.

The logical end point of the interventionism (the endless government spending and edicts of George Osborne and, even more, Philip Hammond and co) is socialism – they do NOT want socialism, but that is the place their policy will naturally lead. And the young are there already – as Ludwig Von Mises pointed out, the young socialists (both Nazi and Marxist) were just taking the interventionism of their teachers to its logical end point.

If I was young (alas I am not) I would echo David (he hated “Davy”) Crockett and say to the “educated” – “You can all go to Hell – I am going to Texas”, but I doubt that even Texas will survive the decline and fall of Western Civilisation.

Perhaps isolated pockets of Western Civilisation will survive – for example the Mormons of Utah and the Jews of Israel (both of whom have proved resistant to the “acid effect” of the attack on the family and private associations), but in a world increasingly dominated by both the People’s Republic of China (a vicious dictatorship bent on expansion) and the forces of Islam, it is doubtful that such remnants of the West will be allowed to survive. There will be no Ireland in the new Dark Age.

It is hard to see how Western Civilisation can be saved. To take but one example – if there was real hope then the Economist magazine (supposedly the leading free market publication on the planet) would denounce the American Senate Bill as a hollow fraud that does not really roll back either the regulations or the government spending of Obamacare. And the Economist magazine does indeed denounce the Senate Bill – but it denounces it for not being socialist enough, for “taking away the health care of millions of people” (because of the promise to do something – sometime in the 2020s, if anyone believes that promise I have a nice bridge to sell you). There is no real difference between the ‘free market’ Economist magazine and the socialist BBC – indeed their coverage is often word-for-word the same, which should come as a shock to no one as their senior staff (not the cleaners and security guards, who may be sensible people, but the staff who actually make the decisions) are “educated” in the same places. There may be a few non interventionist senior staff – but I suspect one could count them on the fingers of one hand. And Chancellor Hammond (and Mrs May) would nod with agreement at much of the ravings of the BBC and the Economist publication – just as “moderate Republicans” (read “Fabians who do not even know they are Fabians”) would do in the United States.

It is the same in the rest of the West – those who look for a real roll back in government spending in the nations of Europe and so on, will not find it.

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84 comments to The pointlessness of the Anglosphere Right

  • bob sykes

    “atomised individuals”

    If there is any political philosophy that glorifies atomized individuals it is libertarianism, which is in agreement with communism in that regard.

  • Paul Marks

    I do not agree bob sykes – voluntary association (the family, church, mutual aid associations) was at the heart of the thinking of many libertarians – for example Mrs Thatcher’s father Alfred Roberts (a Classical Liberal) a man who did not have to pretend to believe in such things as objective morality and Free Will (the things that F.A. Hayek seems to believe in “The Road to Serfdom” but which it turned out he was only writing “as if” the basic, foundational philosophical assumptions of the OLD Whigs as Edmund Burke described them, were true), he really did believe in them – so his, Alfred Robert’s, attacks on the “totalitarian” (he used the word) Fascists, National Socialists and Marxists in the 1930s were not secretly undermined by sharing some of the philosophical assumptions of the totalitarians (no objective moral right and wrong, and humans not really beings – just flesh robots) that undermined people educated in early 20th century Vienna.

    There are many decent people about – people who share the basic assumptions of the Tory Dr Johnson and the Old Whig Edmund Burke – objective moral right and wrong (that does not depend on some “historical stage” or “race” or “class” interest) and the human soul (the “I” – Free Will, agency). Natural limited government types.

    Most (but not all) of these people are in the Conservative and Unionist Party (it still said those words on my first Conservative Association membership card in Kettering back in 1979), we have our victories (for example 1989) and our bad periods (for example now).

    How will things turn out in the end? Well the end for me will be soon enough (I am not exactly a healthy man – in the same way the Atlantic Ocean is not exactly dry), but Western Civilisation may prove a lot more robust (and capable of recovery) than sick (in body – and mind, depressed, melancholia) people like myself think it is.

    A good sign would be if American Republicans would stop throwing tax money at the education system (which they are – even in conservative States such as South Dakota and Texas)- throwing yet more money at a system that brainwashes your children to hate-and-despise everything you stand for (and to hate their parents personally – as “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic” space monsters) is not sensible. And it does NOT start at university – it starts at kindergarten, and on the television shows for young children (thanks to the FCC regulation changes pushed in the early 1960s – which gave a monopoly of entertainment television to a handful of people at the networks, and forbad outside companies having editorial control of the shows they paid for.

    By the way people – read this week’s Spectator magazine (I hope no one will dispute that the Spectator is a magazine – yes it publishes every week, but many magazines do), yes the various articles on the “Death of the Right” makes grim reading – but we need to know where we are if we are to get out of this mess.

  • PeterT

    Well, maybe; you never know do you. There are some positives. I don’t think politicians in this country have ever been held in such low regard as they are currently and Brexit is not likely to go smoothly – whichever way it goes badly (crash out or crash back in) politicans are not likely to be popular and a revolution could be on the cards.

    Technology has opened up new avenues for escapism (virtual ‘Galt’s gulches’), and sometime in the next few decades the prospect of not working at all (and hence not paying tax) will become feasible due to new technology (actually, returning to dystopia, I don’t find it implausible that the government may one day try and draft people to clean old people’s bed pans etc. That will go down like a cup of sick).

  • If there is any political philosophy that glorifies atomized individuals it is libertarianism

    Paul beat me to the punch. Clearly Bob Sykes has no idea what libertarianism is actually about.

  • Mr Ed

    ‘Atomised’ implies a change away from molecules. Whereas elemental Helium exists as single atoms, it is not atomised as its genesis (e.g. alpha-decay) is that it starts off and carries on as an atom.

    Whereas Hydrogen and Oxygen exist typically (in life-supporting atmospheres, I necessarily am telescoping much down) as diatomic molecules H2 and O2 in a nice, stable-ish association, until something better comes along.

    But whereas humans can exist (taking this further) as complex molecules of families and societies, the plasma of the state ionises all and reduces us to charged individual atoms, trapped in an unpleasant, hot frenzy.

  • Mr Ed

    Basically, Heath, Major, Cameron, May and Hammond and to a lesser extent Mrs Thatcher, particularly later on, looked at what Labour proposed and say “We will copy your policies, but we don’t like the rhetoric that much.’, and then proceed to put Labour in power when the Conservatives were in office.

    It does not seem to occur to them to eliminate or reduce the funding and privileges of their enemies.

  • Mr Ed (June 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm): “…It does not seem to occur to them to eliminate or reduce the funding and privileges of their enemies.”

    This is sadly true: the government, even when nominally friendly to us and (therefore) possessed of an obvious and strong political interest of thier own – it would be easier to get re-elected – is supine (all Tory administrations but Thatcher’s) or are outmanoeuvred through their over-reliance on the state (Thatcher introduced the ‘National Curriculum’ – which the Sir Humphrey Applebys control – instead of education vouchers which we would have controlled).

    As perhaps our philosophy should make us expect, such liberation as welve had came from such things as the web, in ways unforeseen by governments, right or left.

    That said, I prefer to look on the bright side. Brexit and Trump won. Of course our enemies fight back, turning what look like decisive victories into ‘two steps forward, one step back’ whenever they can. As Churchill said: “For myself, I am an optimist. There does not seem much point in being anything else.”

    BTW Churchill complained bitterly of the way the BBC had censored him in the 30s, and that may have influenced allowing commercial television. Its news was less PC in the Thatcher years but now has flipped to being more so than the BBC – who are very slightly less bad than in the turn-of-the-millenium Greg Dyke years.)

  • QET

    In 1844 Max Stirner observed that the State cannot tolerate the unmediated relation of man to man.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    I am libertarianish. Yet even this website produced negative and “let them eat cake” responses when I suggested we could could start to solve the “cost of social care in old age” problem.
    I think everyone is at least a little bit corrupted by the “state can/must do it” mentality.
    It seems to me that the answer is “not the state but us, as individuals embodying society”, which some may think is insufficiently libertarian.

    I’m beginning to think that the only answer is a steampunk, neo-Victorian regime like the one in Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age.

  • Paul Marks

    Clovis Sangrail – the Queen of France never said “let them eat cake”. The line was attributed to someone a century before – and even that person said it (doubtful) they were referring a specific French food that (a century before Queen M.A.) really was cheaper than bread.

    As for Social Care – it used to be dealt with by grown up children looking after their parents in their old age (in theory I came back to Kettering to look after my parents – but actually they looked after me more) and by voluntary association – both charitable and mutual aid. Even in Scotland (which was poorer than England) there was no compulsory poor rate (tax) in most of Scotland till 1845. Even in the early 20th century only about one or two percent of the population were on the Poor Law (one third of them in workhouses – two thirds of them not).

    In 1907 only about one in a hundred people in Britain got money from the state (other than those employed by it) – it is more like one in three (or more) now – with free health care on top of that. Are we so much poorer as a society than we were in 1907? surely technology should have made us richer, not poorer.

    Still I AGREE with you – one has to start from where we are (not where we used to be), people now depend on the state (for just about everything) and non state civil society has declined – horribly declined.

    How do we dig ourselves out of this mess before society collapses? For it will be THE POOR (the poor, the old, the sick) who will suffer most if everything falls apart.

    Especially as things will get much worse (more difficult) when the world Credit Bubble economy collapses.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “[As for the people,] truly I desire their liberty and freedom as much as anybody whomsoever; but I must tell you that their liberty and freedom consist in having of government, those laws by which their life and their goods may be most their own.” – King Charles I, 1649 on the occasion of his execution.

  • Chip

    I despair for the West as well. The Left has been playing the long game with control over education, mass migration from statist cultures and the introduction of ‘free’ entitlements that are never removed (see the GOP and obamacare today).

    I hold out hope for parts of the US and possibly Australia and Canada. But it’s a bleak future for Europe, its dependency culture and deference to authorities who are inviting – sometimes literally – hundreds of millions of migrants to cross the sea.

    Will the U.K. escape? Not likely. Did anyone blink when that fellow was jailed last week for positing anti-Islamic statements on social media at the same time the media were fawning over a mosque that has a Hamas commander on its board.

    A person can return from a war where they happily fought for an army that decapitates Englishmen and be welcomed into the generous arms of the welfare state, but throw some bacon at a mosque and you’re jailed (this particular person was killed in prison so it was a death sentence).

    The culture was is being lost so completely and quickly that Corbyn – a an utter imbecile with sympathies for terrorists – is the most popular party leader in the U.K.

    From Churchill to Corbyn in a generation.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @Paul Marks
    Yes, we must work from where we are. However, I don’t see why a mutual, self-help, friendly society aimed at insuring against excess care costs in old age is anti-libertarian at all. Of course the state would disapprove and the BBC would rant but those are just added benefits.

  • Alisa

    Who said it was anti-libertarian?

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    June 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    “A good sign would be if American Republicans would stop throwing tax money at the education system (which they are – even in conservative States such as South Dakota and Texas)- throwing yet more money at a system that brainwashes your children to hate-and-despise everything you stand for (and to hate their parents personally – as “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic” space monsters) is not sensible.”

    Orthodox Jewish girls school faces closure for refusing to teach children about homosexuality.”

    “A private Orthodox Jewish elementary school called the Vishnitz Girls School in Hackney, north London, is facing closure by the British government because it does not include curriculum that teaches children about homosexuality and gender reassignment surgery.”

    “According to Heat Street, a report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools (Ofsted) says that the Vishnitz Girls School does not teach its 212 attending children — aged three through eight — “a full understanding of fundamental British values.””

    Paul, I only raise this because you specified Americans in your comment.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Paul, if you really feel that large sections of society are going to collapse, then set up, now, the framework of a better society that is ready when the collapse comes. Milton Friedman, and others, developed the tools to fight stagflation before it occurred, and these were ready for governments to use when they wanted something. Perhaps you could start a barter society under an innocent-sounding name (The Gold Appreciation society?), and you and other libertarians can prepare for the collapse, trading among yourselves with gold, or other metal, coins. Just a thought.

  • Lee Moore

    I see in bobby b’s story about the Vishnitz Girls School an opportunity to leap onto one of my favourite hobbyhorses and point my lance at a windmill or two.
    I am stupendously moderate, way way way to the statist of the average samidata-ite. And way way way to the classical liberal of the average British voter.

    So I recognise that in the real world, the state will intervene in things. Like children. Whether and how much to pluck decisons about their upbringing from parents, how much to expend on their education, how much to direct their education, and so on. Of course some folk, including me, would like rather a little state intervention. And some folk would like rather a lot. The question for me is, accepting that it is going to happen, what structure is most likely to achieve state intervention to only a modest degree. We’ll take the licensing of schools like the Vishnitz Girls School as an illustration.

    1. Obviously it would be way better if the imposition of rules such as indoctrinating the children with “a full understanding of fundamental British values”, if such indoctrination cannot be avoided, was done at local rather than national level. So that if Hendon is willing for the Vishnitz Girls School to omit mention of homosexuality to its 3-8 year olds, but Hackney is not, then at least the Vishnitz Girls school has the option of relocating rather than closing down. But that’s not my hobby horse.

    2. This is my hobby horse. Such things should not be left to majorities, even local majorities. If they aren’t to be left to individuals and the state must intervene, it should intervene only on some kind of supermajority. If the Vishnitz Girls School’s educational practices are so abhorrent that say 80% of the public is not prepared to put up with them, then OK, move the bulldozers in. But 50% is not enough.

    I don’t envisage a referendum on every question, I simply envisage an elected panel (elected by some form of PR) which has to vote say 80% in favour before the state can close you down. Thus if your behaviour is so far outside the Pale that not even 20% of the people’s representatives are willing to let you do your thing, tough. But if 20% think what you’re doing is acceptable, tough on the nannies.

    This will obviously go dow like a lead ballon on Samizata, because obviously the activity shouldn’t be regulated at all. But IMHO an 80% hurdle is a lot better than a 50% hurdle, and the best is the enemy of the good.

  • Mr Ed

    So that if Hendon is willing for the Vishnitz Girls School to omit mention of homosexuality to its 3-8 year olds, but Hackney is not, then at least the Vishnitz Girls school has the option of relocating rather than closing down

    This rather falls down when it is a national government body, OFSTED, applying the rules, purporting to implement national legislation, so moving borough would simply give the recipient borough a chance to refuse registration.

    If a state school were implementing traditional ‘British values’, it would regard the topic as not one for polite conversation, still less for forcing on infants. For ‘British values’ read ‘socialist dogma’. I would hope that the Conservatives are too dim to see that they have been tricked into this, rather than that they intend it. It is all about doing nothing about radical Islamic influence in schools whilst appearing to do so, and cracking down on the good and harmless.

  • bobby b’s story is a good example of the inequality of the hate speech laws, intended from the first. A Jewish school is threatened with closure for not sexualising its age 3-8 pupils but as regards effective supervision of muslim schools it’s all

    An when Inspectors gi’e a ca’
    He tak’s them roun to dine
    And aye the upshot o’ it’ a’ –
    “The bairns are daein’ fine!”

    Translation available on request for any who need it. 🙂

    Of course, when the hard left bullies a Jewish school, I would make a small wager it is an example of more than mere PC imbalance.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    @Ailsa
    No names, no pack drill.
    When I raised this on a previous thread, I was told by more established commenters that it was simply a matter of saving enough [if that were possible] and my suggestions of mutualism were inappropriate (I paraphrase wildly, of course).

    I probably expressed myself badly and triggered certain, well-justified, reflexes.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – I apologise for implying the problem is just an American one, indeed the problems tend to be more severe outside the United States (those who think that Americans either invented P.C. ideology or that P.C. doctrine is more dominant in the United States than elsewhere are wrong – twice wrong).

    Clovis Sangrail – how horrible, I hope I never implied that mutual aid societies (fraternities and so on) were bad (they are good). If I ever did imply that – I apologise to you as well.

    S.M. – a good quotation from Charles the First, and one I first used in pubic speeches in 1978 (in a couple of speeches I made against Oliver Cromwell in public speaking events – I was a vastly better speaker in those days). We do not always disagree. Freedom is indeed about limiting government (and limiting private criminals also) – not controlling the government. The point is to prevent a government (be it King OR Parliament) abusing people – hence the Great Charter of 1215 and all that. And (contrary Imperial Roman law) the King is NOT above the law. The Rule of Law is not the whims of the state (it is, contrary to Tnomas Hobbes and other beasts, not the “will” or “commands” of the state), here I trust we agree.

    Nickolas Gray – alas I am in no position to do the things you describe.

    But you are – you are (I believe) Australian.

    There is no reason why either Australia or New Zealand should collapse (“Mad Max” style) just because the world Credit Bubble economy collapses. You will be much poorer – it will be a return to the 1930s for Oz and New Zealand, but you can feed yourselves and make stuff in factories (you have the food the raw materials – and the skills), if you have sensible policies (a huge “if” of course) you will survive.

    As for the Welfare State – Australia did not really have one till after World War II, indeed it was quite limited up to the 1970s.

  • Alisa

    You are still one of the best speakers I’ve heard, Paul.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    June 28, 2017 at 10:25 am

    ” . . . a couple of speeches I made against Oliver Cromwell in public speaking events – I was a vastly better speaker in those days . . . “

    You shouldn’t need to apologize if you’re a bit rusty three hundred some years later.

    😉

  • Shlomo Maistre

    S.M. – a good quotation from Charles the First, and one I first used in pubic speeches in 1978 (in a couple of speeches I made against Oliver Cromwell in public speaking events – I was a vastly better speaker in those days). We do not always disagree. Freedom is indeed about limiting government (and limiting private criminals also) – not controlling the government. The point is to prevent a government (be it King OR Parliament) abusing people – hence the Great Charter of 1215 and all that. And (contrary Imperial Roman law) the King is NOT above the law. The Rule of Law is not the whims of the state (it is, contrary to Tnomas Hobbes and other beasts, not the “will” or “commands” of the state), here I trust we agree.

    There are some differences between our perspectives but we certainly do not always disagree. I used to be a libertarian. I still think that personal liberty is a good thing but now I view it as a favorable consequence of stable and secure governance. We do share quite a bit in terms of how society ought to function in relation to its government. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we both see great value in the welfare state becoming vastly smaller, the state letting civil society flourish, public debt declining, reducing dependency on government welfare programs, government getting out of the business of educating children, and abolishing most central bank practices and returning to sound money.

    Much, though not all, of what we disagree about has to do not with how we ought to be able to get from here to there but how it is in reality possible to get from here to there.

    And here is where we diverge.

    In my view, government cannot limit itself, which is to say that government by its nature simply cannot be limited de jure. There must be a person (or far more commonly a collection of persons even in monarchies where it was generally the King’s court or council of advisors) who is/are the final or ultimate authority. Devolution of powers, balance of powers, federalism, constitutional monarchy, rule of law – these are all buzz words that mean nothing and warp most people’s understanding of how the real world not only works but must work.

    Ink blots don’t rule men because only men (or women) CAN rule men.

    Rights – true, genuine rights – grow overtime organically and are earned not by a decree of ink set down on paper but by the rules of how society functions incorporating said right into its constitution (not Constitution) of power.

    The idea that nobody is above the law is to imply that law can be formed out of nothingness a priori and enforced by a magical power without biases, prejudices, interests, or humanity. This is perhaps paradise, but certainly not reality. In reality, there is always one or more individuals who, well, make law and are by definition above it.

    Individual freedoms, personal liberty, property rights, privacy, the right to bear arms, freedom of speech (both de jure and de facto) are all good things and they are neither genuinely established by nor effectively protected by putting ink to paper in a so-called Constitution. They are primarily consequences – consequences of stable, centralized, and secure government. Democracy (whether a direct democracy, a so-called “constitutional republic”, or anything of that sort) is effectively ongoing, organized civil war and is antithetical to personal liberty and individual rights in the long run.

  • Lee Moore

    Clovis : When I raised this on a previous thread, I was told by more established commenters that it was simply a matter of saving enough [if that were possible] and my suggestions of mutualism were inappropriate (I paraphrase wildly, of course).

    You probably mean me, though I don’t think “established commenter” quite fits the bill. Perhaps “conservative heckler” might fit it better. In any event you should certainly never take what I say as libertarian orthodoxy. I am a conservative who is sympathetic to libertarian ideas. But not aways convinced by them.

    I probably expressed myself badly and triggered certain, well-justified, reflexes

    Perhaps, perhaps not. My recollection (and I certainly haven’t bothered to check) was that you invited libertarians to offer some kind of insurance plan that would solve the problem of care costs. And yes, you probably triggered the reflex “Oh God, not a plan ! Please not another plan !” I’m not big on plans.

    I don’t believe that I suggested that insurance was a silly idea, merely that it was one of several irons which individuals might select for their approach shots to planning their care or the care of their families. Saving more was another of the options*. (Just for the avoidance of doubt, y’all will have noticed that plan word cropping up again. I’m not against people making their own plans, o lordy no. I’m just veeeeeery sceptical about the government making grand plans for the nation.)

    But in passing, I will take a little sideswipe at insurance. I’m not against insurance, it has its value. But it isn’t a panacea. It suffers from the microeconomic disadvantage of (once you’ve paid your premiums) A (the insurer) spending money on behalf of B (the insured.) Your own money spent on you is the most efficient spending. The least efficient form of spending is somebody spending somebody else’s money on another somebody else. Insurance comes somewhere in between. (This is one of the reasons why the US wastes so much money on health costs. Reliance on insurance rather than paying out of your own pocket, encourages wasteful spending.)

    * I note you doubt the possibility of “saving enough”, but the money has to be found somewhere. Either people in general need to save more. Or the Peters need to save a lot more so that they can be robbed to pay for the care of the Pauls. Either way, if lots is to be spent on care, somebody needs to do some more saving.

  • NickM

    It is generally assumed (especially by the likes of Peter Tatchell) that homosexuality is inbuilt and not a choice. I think it is a choice in exactly the same way my choice of wife (she also chose me – God help her!) because I am not heterosexual. We will shortly be celebrating our eleventh wedding anniversary. We are doing something right aren’t we? The point is I didn’t choose “a woman” and she didn’t choose “a man”. I fancy women, not men but I don’t fancy most women either. If I walk through the streets of Manchester (for example) most of the womb-owners are just as unacceptable to me as the cock-mongers. I made a choice. My choice was Elizabeth.

    I dunno what the future holds but I will do everything in my power to ensure it has her as my bird. I am very odd – I am Lizzysexual. Out of seven billion we chose each other. Call me a romantic but if Galadriel herself came onto me I’d have to say no. Except it isn’t romantic exactly. She’s the only arts grad I have ever met who read The Lord of The Rings. That is my wife who is from Derbyshire and not Lothlorien.

    At least it means I don’t have to fight Gimli with axes.

    Which is a good thing.

    Is there a point to this. Yes. Sex Ed. Yes it ought to be taught. It is a critical thing in biology. But, like so many things, the practicalities are best learned by things like falling in love with someone. I mentioned seven billion didn’t I? Somehow we figure this out. And we clearly have done since before Jeremiah Corbyn or the half-wits teaching PSE. They only teach it because they are thick commies. Oddly enough a lot of the sex ed is taught by people who very clearly couldn’t get a fuck in a monkey whorehouse if they turned-up with a Transit van full of ‘nannas. Most of us learn about sex and relationships by having a boyfriend or girlfriend. That works much better and is generally much more fun.

  • Lee Moore

    NickM : It is generally assumed (especially by the likes of Peter Tatchell) that homosexuality is inbuilt and not a choice

    It can be not a choice without being inbuilt.

    I am not heterosexual. ….I am Lizzysexual

    You know your own mind better than I do, of course. But I am mildly sceptical. Before you met your Derbyshire lass, you presumably looked around. Were you completely uninterested – I mean completely – in anyone before you met her ? If not, did you notice any tendency in your interests – did you tend to be interested more in males or more in females, or in both ? Or sheep perhaps ? You mentioned that most womb-owners are as unacceptable to you as cock-mongers. Does that mean that even now, though you have no interest in consummating anything with anyone but your wife, there are some womb-owners who can claim your gaze more than most cock-mongers ? You may be, as you say, very odd, but if it’s really the case that you’ve never had any sexual interest in anyone or anything other than your wife, then you deserve a place of great honour in the rolls of odd folk.

    the practicalities are best learned by things like falling in love with someone

    I believe that the contrary view is that it is often wise to listen to a few tips before driving off, rather than just starting the motor and seeing how it goes. If you ever find out how to start the motor that is.

  • Watchman

    As a committed liberal with a destructive bent, why would we allow an orthodox Jewish girls school anyway – it’s not doing the kids going there any favours (from my perspective, other than having less violent extremists in the UK, there is not much to choose between orthodox Jewish and separatist Islamic communities – they all fuck up their kids by imposing collectivist beliefs). Kids need to be able to make their own choices, and religion is one of those as far as possible, so having a school reinforcing a religion telling girls they are lesser and subservient that they are already suffering at home for the purpose of reinforcing the patriarchial power structures of that community (and yes, the feminists’ favourite term can be correctly used in these contexts) and therefore removing individual autonomy, is fucking ridiculous.

    If you want to see a failure of the Anglosphere right, it is in its accomodation to religious groups and corporations, rather than an aggresive focus on the individual – it should be about us (as in a lot of individual mes (there doesn’t seem to be a plural of me that isn’t us, which is a failing of Indo-European as far as I can see…)) versus them (the people who want to control us). As it is the right often seems to be some of us versus others of us, and that is where it has failed. It is not an appropriation of socialism or a commitment to statism that has really hurt so much as a tendency for politicians to seek funders and groups of supporters. Which does at least make Trump a hopeful sign – he hasn’t exactly played to lobbyists or identity groups to reach power (and it is interesting to see that his opponents have to assume he has done so).

  • Watchman

    Lee Moore,

    As a teenager I had no trouble getting the starter handle ready at least regardless of training – stories around which might explain my current personality if you are a Freudian…

  • Alisa

    As a committed liberal with a destructive bent

    I agree about the destructive bent, and LOLed at the liberal bit.

    why would we allow an orthodox Jewish girls school anyway

    Because that’s what their parents want for them?

    it’s not doing the kids going there any favours (from my perspective

    Your perspective is totally irrelevant to how others want to raise their kids.

    Kids need to be able to make their own choices

    Yes, when they grow up.

    so having a school reinforcing a religion telling girls they are lesser and subservient that they are already suffering at home for the purpose of reinforcing the patriarchial power structures of that community

    So are you Jewish, or is it just that some of your best friends are?

  • gunit

    If there is any political philosophy that glorifies atomized individuals it is libertarianism, which is in agreement with communism in that regard.

    I was going to write in support of this obviously true observation, but why bother when Watchman already did.

    Kids need to be able to make their own choices, and religion is one of those as far as possible, so having a school reinforcing a religion telling girls they are lesser and subservient that they are already suffering at home for the purpose of reinforcing the patriarchial power structures of that community (and yes, the feminists’ favourite term can be correctly used in these contexts) and therefore removing individual autonomy, is fucking ridiculous.

    Libertarianism is the most elegant form of Leftism, but it is Leftism none the less.

  • If there is any political philosophy that glorifies atomized individuals it is libertarianism, which is in agreement with communism in that regard.

    Indicating a total lack of understanding not just of libertarianism but of communism too.

    Libertarianism is the most elegant form of Leftism, but it is Leftism none the less.

    What does leftism even mean then?

  • Watchman

    Alisa,

    Apart from some very distant cousins I have no Jewish connections, which is totally irrelevant. I am not a politician, but have views on politics for example … And I was attacking all extreme religious education (I have the benefit of a Church of England education for my primary days, so I am not opposed to all religious eduction per se) not just manifestations of Judaism. Indeed, much of my anger is aimed at Islamic schools in the UK which somehow manage to exist despite not giving their pupils anything like a reasonable education in a British understanding of the word, but I am not so blind as to ignore the same fault exists across all religions.

    I am liberal in that I view communities enforcing their views as being as illiberal as governments doing so. Children are not the possessions of the parents, merely the responsibilities, and if they choose to abuse their responsibilities by brainwashing them so they are not able to function normally, then the parents are the enemies of liberalism. It is hardly liberal to support arranged marriage, child abuse or other tendencies of religious communities is it. If we don’t hold this principle, then how can we logically complain about schools being forced by parents to teach that socialism is correct (not something they are allowed to do yet, believe it or not) and that everyone should work for the state. It is simply another extreme form of belief being imposed on children – religion and ideology are effectively the same thing in practical terms (if you want to differ, I’d be interested in knowing the basis for that).

    Incidentally, I agree kids make their own choices when they grow up – but that means not letting others make the choices for them by indoctrination. And I am aware that in practical terms this is an impossibility – there is no neutral position – but that does not mean we tolerate positions that are far from acceptable simply because there is no way of determining the exact location of acceptable: we know what region it sits in and it is actually an area we can broadly agree here and even with most statists I’d have thought. It basically involves individuals being equal and treating each other with respect.

    In essence, it is not possible to promote freedom if we consign the future of the children of those who oppose freedom to the beliefs of their parents. That is the protection of ideological slavery, not some form of freedom of belief, which is a personal thing anyway, and not something the parents should have the right to determine by closing off discovery of alternative viewpoints (which is what a monoculture of a single religious interpretation at school and at home will do).

    And yes, I am a parent. And I want my son to grow up to be like him, not like me, just as my Dad let me grow up to be me, not him (with all the pointless and simplistic arguments he had to put up with as a result). It’s called encouraging thinking and education – it is how we defeat all evil ideologies in the end.

  • Watchman

    Alisa,

    PS Note I was talking of Orthodox Judaism, and a fairly rigorous strand of it at that. In the same way as I have no problem with personal beliefs in Christianity (I’m married to a believer…) or Islam, Budhism or animism, I have no concerns about people being Jewish – it’s their choice to follow the religion or not. So long as it is really their choice.

  • Watchman (June 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm) “As a committed liberal with a destructive bent, why would we allow an orthodox Jewish girls school …”

    As libertarians of any degree of commitment whatever, why would we approve anyone’s thinking that a Jewish school for 3-8 year olds, approved by its parents and not a crime scene, needed them to ‘allow’ it?

  • Alisa

    Apart from some very distant cousins I have no Jewish connections, which is totally irrelevant.

    It is very relevant, as you express notions of Judaism which show zero knowledge or understanding thereof.

    I am not so blind as to ignore the same fault exists across all religions.

    About which you presumably know about as much as you do about Judaism?

    it’s their choice to follow the religion or not. So long as it is really their choice.

    And so long as they don’t try to pass it to their kids, especially the girls.

    BTW, who is this ‘we’ you keep referring to in your comments, especially the ones in which you make a point of condemning collectivism?

  • gunit

    What does leftism even mean?

    A political philosophy that starts from the premise that people are equal (either meaningless or demonstrably false depending on how the term is used) and they have certain rights (which vary infinitely between different brands of Leftism for the obvious reason that they don’t exist).

    The history of the last 200 years is Leftism becoming ever more insane whilst adherents of older forms of Leftism say ‘no fair!’ to no effect whatsoever.

  • Paul Marks

    “People are equal” – if you mean that we all have a soul (which is of equal value in the sight of God) then both Christianity and Judaism are forms of “leftism”. And such things as the First Book of Samuel, Chapter Eight, are clearly “political leftism”, by your odd definition.

    “And have rights” – I see so the Great Charter of 1215, and even the Edict of Q of 877 which accepted (as an “old right”) that even a King of France could not take the land of one person and give it to another, is “leftism”.

    Well I am glad we have got that sorted out – everything is “leftism”, and everyone (Cicero and….) is a “leftist”.

  • Paul Marks

    SM

    “The rule of the law” (and virtually everything decent) “is just buzz”.

    I apologise, to the universe, for being polite to you. Go away Sir.

  • Schrodingers's Dog

    At least the Anglosphere does have a Right.

  • A political philosophy that starts from the premise that people are equal

    Equal in what way? Libertarians & conservatives typically believe people must be equal before the law, but otherwise have very little interest in most notions of ‘equality’. Or do you mean people have a right to equality of life’s outcomes? No actual libertarian subscribes to that notion, but it is one of the Left’s defining ideas.

    …and they have certain rights

    Most libertarians & conservatives (though not all) subscribe to some variation of the idea of ‘Natural Law’, which is to say ‘rights’ that are not simply a gift from the state. The left typically views rights (not just enforcement thereof, but the actual rights themselves) as being a consequence of political action, therefore there can be no unpopular rights (I am of course making gross generalisations given that this is an exchange within a comment thread).

  • Shlomo Maistre

    SM

    “The rule of the law” (and virtually everything decent) “is just buzz”.

    I apologise, to the universe, for being polite to you. Go away Sir.

    Triggered like an SJW.

    Libertarians/classical liberals/old whigs are leftists – the original leftists of the Enlightenment. When exposed to views that challenge their fundamental beliefs libertarians/old whigs/classical liberals are triggered emotionally and unable to engage in genuine and open dialogue just like their SJW intellectual descendants. Sad but not unexpected since, well, the limits of knowledge are those of its nature.

    It’s not in everyone’s nature to seek out offensive, unfashionable, contrarian, derided, obscure, mind-bending, nuanced and castigated political and philosophical views.

    It is in my nature.

  • Julie near Chicago

    People are equal: Yes. As Paul explains, equal in the sight of God.

    But what if one is not a theist? People are still Equal in their humanness, for one thing, and humanness is a thing to be honored, respected, valued, whatever the moral state of a particular human or the members of a particular human group whose members have an outlook and and objectives in common. But no one is in the right if he makes an a priori claim that he is “better,” that is “more fully human,” than another person, or than other people.

    One of strongest potentials in human nature — in humans’ natures — is to value humanness in and of itself, and in healthy circumstances this potential is realized in the presumption of human value that we extend to others simply because they are human. That’s not to say we find much of value in the brute fact of technical humanness in Mao or Al Capone, but before we learned how they actually acted and what they actually believed, we’d have assumed that we should respect their humanness.

    Also, as a purely technical, scientific matter of biology, people are “equal” in the sense that they all have human DNA. This might change through genetic engineering (recombinant DNA, so forth, if it exists), but that’s the fact so far.

    .

    Also, just because there are all kinds of theories of morality doesn’t mean that some of them aren’t better than others at nurturing cooperation and benevolence among the members of a society.

    The same is true of Natural Rights. Just because some people, e.g. (most) lefties, but also many libertarians, don’t understand the concept and don’t recognize that some rights — that is, those that flow from the ultimate Natural Right, which is the right of self-determination — doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    What does leftism even mean then?

    Without going that far into the rabbit hole…

    The Right is aligned with hierarchy, stability, order, truth, beauty, unity.

    The Left is aligned with equality, disorder, lies, ugliness, and divisiveness.

    Leftism is relatively more interested in ought statements – coming up with them, thinking about them, debating them, glorifying them, perfecting them, idealizing them. Leftism determines how man ought to be first and looks at how man is in reality second if at all. Leftism is about fundamentally remaking the world in the image of man’s ideals. Leftism is about improving the world according to man-made ideas and Enlightened thought.

    Libertarianism, a breed of Leftism, is infused with religious dogmas that prescribe how the world ought to function – according to individual rights, personal liberties, freedoms, etc.

    The Right is about unity. It is about order. It is about identity and blood; language and culture. It is about obedience. it is about hierarchy. It is about tradition. It is about tribe, blood, fatherland, heritage, sacredness, language, borders, identity, soil, and lineage. Libertarianism has nothing to do with the real Right.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Most libertarians & conservatives (though not all) subscribe to some variation of the idea of ‘Natural Law’, which is to say ‘rights’ that are not simply a gift from the state. The left typically views rights (not just enforcement thereof, but the actual rights themselves) as being a consequence of political action, therefore there can be no unpopular rights (I am of course making gross generalisations given that this is an exchange within a comment thread).

    The Right is basically dead. Yes, the “right” (read: reluctantly left-wing as opposed to passionately so) does believe in “rights” hence why they succeed in democracy and fail in achieving “limited government” or “strict constructionism” or a less quickly growing federal expenditure (let alone a balanced budget lol). Examples: the US’s GOP, UK’s Tories, Canada’s Conservatives, France’s Republicans, etc are about 20 to 40 years behind the Democrats, Labour, Liberals, Socialists, respectively, in terms of their policy positions and election platform. Pretty much the same in virtually all Western countries except a very limited few.

    There are some glimmers of hope – Marine le Pen, Naftali Bennett, Viktor Orban. These beacons of hope do not believe in natural rights or similar nonsense. They believe in order, heritage, truth, beauty, and identity. They are the Right. They are not Libertarians or classical liberals. They know that Satan was the first Whig.

  • Paul Marks

    Rights do not “grow organically” – that is the counter history of F.A. Hayek, which is really the counter history of David Hume. Indeed if people do not make a conscious stand based upon principles (what SM calls “jazz” or “ink blots”) freedom naturally DECLINES over time – the price of liberty is conscious human choice and human effort based upon principle, which is why the philosophy (philosophy – not economics) of Hume and Hayek is so lethal in practice. A single generation can throw away the work of thousands of years – and it does so by simply doing nothing. All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for “good” men to do nothing. And if they do nothing (if they do not make a stand against evil) they are not good at all.

    Natural law (natural justice) is the non aggression principle (do not aggress against others – not their bodies and not their goods, see Bastiat “The Law” – although he was saying nothing that had not been said centuries before) – rights derive from this principle of natural law (if they do not – they are not real rights).

    They apply in practice because people are willing to make a stand.

    For example the people who demanded that Charles the Bald (back in the 870s) formally accept that he had no rightfully power to take land from one person and give it to another person. And that he formally accept that he had no power to interfere in Church doctrine either.

    The Barons in 1215 risked death – and the rape of their daughters (yes King John was “into” that sort of behaviour) – and they were convinced that they could not demand freedom for themselves without demanding it for all free men, later people pointed out that the PRINCIPLE was not consistent with serfdom or slavery, but people need to POINT THAT OUT – make-a-stand-for-it. The same is true for the struggle against slavery (future Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in the United States and William Wilberforce in the United Kingdom – someone who does not understand that William Wilberforce was a CONSERVATIVE is ignorant indeed, he was a conservative, just as John Wesley was a conservative in his stand for Free Will against the evil that George Whitfield’s determinism represented).

    On limited government – Dr Bohham’s case (Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke) was not “200 hundred years ago” – it was 400 years ago. And it was against both King AND Parliament.

    It is a funny sort of “right” that upholds absolute monarchy – as if Louis XIV (the Sun King) was a traditionalist, not what he actually was, a radical “reformer” claiming powers for the monarchy that it had NOT traditionally had.

    Trusting the King to limit himself is like trusting a fox in a hen house.

    The law must be above the King – and those who dismiss the PRINCIPLE of the law (the non aggression principle) as being just “jazz” or “ink blots” deserve only contempt.

    I will not pretend to respect people whom I despise – and whom it is morally correct for me to despise. As Aristotle understood – righteous ANGER is correct.

    Chief Justice Sir John Holt (Chief Justice from 1689 to 1710) had rather harsh words for such people, and he was correct to use them. And the “Old Whigs” were willing to back up their words with sword and pistol – but (alas) their foes, at least David Hume, kept avoiding a fight with “politeness” even as their “philosophy” undermined the very principles of moral personhood.

    People who can, for example, hold the Constitution of New Hampshire (the right of revolution and so on) of 1784 as “ink blots” or “jazz” deserve contempt – and that contempt should be openly expressed.

    For many years I sat silent (as a COWARD) while certain people undermined the basic principles of liberty (both moral and political), and some of those people called themselves “libertarians” and carried out their deeds right in front of me – whilst I sat silent and did not denounce them.

    I will not do that any more – I will push up daisies before I let such wicked folk have their way.

    Sometimes one has to be a “Redneck” – whether it is the Ulster Division of the First World War (who started as a private army before the First Word War) or the frontier “Scots-Irish” (who were actually from all sorts of places), at the Battle of King’s Mountain in the American War of Independence – for as Edmund Burke pointed out, it was the Americans who were the conservatives, and Lord North and co who were the “reformers”.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Bob Sykes writes: If there is any political philosophy that glorifies atomized individuals it is libertarianism, which is in agreement with communism in that regard.

    Incorrect. Libertarians don’t say people have to exist in isolation from others or not co-operate, form teams, groups, etc; the key is that such actions are voluntary, not organised from the top down by the state. This point has been made quite a lot and yet people still repeat the canard that libertarians applaud the idea of the “atomized individual”. It seems nothing really sinks in and people like to think in cliches.

    What libertarians want above all is a society grounded on the notion of voluntary association or indeed, where necessary, disassociation. This is not exactly a difficult idea to grasp for anyone thinking in terms of good faith.

    Paul Marks: well said. It tells me all I need to know about Shlomo M. that he might refer to principles and notions of rights as “inkblots” or “jazz”. What is the Bible then – the complete works of Dizzy Gillespie?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Shlomo M has at least done us the favour of giving an excellent summary of a form of fascism, in which he believes, as as also shown by a previous set of comments in which he applauded the institution of chattel slavery.

    The Right is about unity. It is about order. It is about identity and blood; language and culture. It is about obedience. it is about hierarchy. It is about tradition. It is about tribe, blood, fatherland, heritage, sacredness, language, borders, identity, soil, and lineage. Libertarianism has nothing to do with the real Right.

    This is at odds with classical Anglosphere conservatism (Burke et al), where notions of “ordered liberty” – hence the importance of property and those “little platoons” were central. “blood and soil” my arse.

  • I see Shlomo Maistre is channelling Julius Evola again.

  • PeterT

    The Right is about unity. It is about order. It is about identity and blood; language and culture. It is about obedience. it is about hierarchy. It is about tradition. It is about tribe, blood, fatherland, heritage, sacredness, language, borders, identity, soil, and lineage.

    Shlomo was alt-right before there was an alt-right. Although I value some of their writings (Zman has good days and bad days) it is this kind of crap that turns me off them. I may not like the soft left wing nonsense of Theresa May’s Toryism, but I am under no illusion that living under Le Pen or Orban would either make me more free or more wealthy. As I see it the only difference between Le Pen and May is that the former comes with more flags.

    They know that Satan was the first Whig

    Quoting the ‘end the austerity’ leaflet lady I had an interaction with this morning: “don’t be silly”

  • Alisa

    the only difference between Le Pen and May is that the former comes with more flags.

    Stealing 😛

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Paul Marks: well said. It tells me all I need to know about Shlomo M. that he might refer to principles and notions of rights as “inkblots” or “jazz”. What is the Bible then – the complete works of Dizzy Gillespie?

    The point is that written documents do not rule because they cannot rule. When the ACLU or NRA or whoever fights for legal rights in, for example, the USA, the final authority after endless appeals is a collection of nine humans called the Supreme Court of the United States. If they “misinterpret” the law you can’t appeal to the Constitution or any law or any other legal document because laws do not rule; people rule. This may seem to be sp obvious to be unnecessary to mention but understanding that law does not rule because it cannot rule is a key first step to realizing the inherent benefits to society wrought by order-conserving centralized power.

    The Torah is of the Creator.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    This is at odds with classical Anglosphere conservatism (Burke et al), where notions of “ordered liberty” – hence the importance of property and those “little platoons” were central. “blood and soil” my arse.

    Translation: Statement X someone says conflicts with an article of faith I have. Therefore, statement X must be false.

    I once “believed” in Anglosphere conservatism of Burke. Then my soul matured.

    Name some books or essays you have read that were specifically opposed to the American revolution.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    SM, of course a document by itself has no power: if belief in the freedoms and restrictions that document embodies declines, it will lose its power. But the very fact that such a document and such laws are pronounced in the first place, and command the respect of millions – as they have – puts them above mere “inkblots”.

    And frankly, I prefer such an approach to blood-and-soil atavism. You write admiringly of “obedience” – what happens if people don’t obey their betters, I wonder?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Shlomo M has at least done us the favour of giving an excellent summary of a form of fascism, in which he believes, as as also shown by a previous set of comments in which he applauded the institution of chattel slavery.

    There are many fundamental differences between monarchy and fascism. I’m not terribly fond of the latter, but I quite like the former.

    Contrary to what CNN and the BBC has taught you, fascism has far more in common with democracy than monarchy. Aristocrats were se of Hitler’s most fierce enemies. And though he never won an election, Hitler rose to power in a democratic system. Political Leaders in democracy copy and emulate the campaigning, public relations strategy (conventions and rallies), propaganda, soaring inspirational oratory, flags at rallies, etc used by fascist leaders. Public education and state controlled indoctrination of youth far more prevalent in democracy and fascism than most traditional monarchies (with some exceptions granted).

    And where did I applaud the idea of chattel slavery? That’s preposterous.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    And frankly, I prefer such an approach to blood-and-soil atavism. You write admiringly of “obedience” – what happens if people don’t obey their betters, I wonder?

    You don’t understand. All government depends on obedience whether you like it or not. You write as if anyone who notices how the world works (sovereignty is preserved and depends on obedience at all times in all nations through all history) is determined to take away rights or oppress people.

    I want people to have freedom of speech both de jure and de facto. I want property rights to be protected. I despise eminent domain. I want contracts to be upheld come hell or high water. I want the government to stop printing currency out of thin air. I want people to be able to fly on an airplane without being harassed by the TSA. I want gays to be able to fuck each other in their bedrooms. I want people to feel free to engage in polygamous polyamorous etc relationships so long as they are consensual and no coercion is involved. I want taxes to be vastly lower than they are now. I want the IRS, department of education, department of energy abolished.

    Am I the bad guy?

    All societies in all of human history have depended on obedience. When ther is not obedience there is war or chaos or rebellion. now, sometimes rebellion is justified, but usually it’s not and generally obedience is good.

    But it’s just fucking hilarious to me that you castigate and condemn me because I notice a little aspect of reality that disturbs your precious, delicate, manicured understanding of reality.

    The Right is about obedience. Obedience is generally good. Yes ther are exceptions, but nuances are for those who can comprehend shit more complicated than Moses and Rothbard.

    Go back to your safe space.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Mises* not Moses.

    Intellectually, Moses is to Ludwig von Mises as Theresa May is to a cockroach.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course there is a difference between monarchy and tyranny – such as Fascism.

    And one need not take examples from Christian Europe to show these differences – although it is my habit to do so.

    For example, Aristotle explained the difference between monarchy and tyranny – under a monarchy (as opposed to a tyranny) there is the Rule of Law, and the King is subject to the law. the “will” of the King is not law.

    However, this is exactly what SM rejects – not once, but many times (and in very strong terms – “jazz” “ink blots” and so on, for moral reason).

    This is very serious – as the very people who should be trying to save us from the prospect of tyranny (either of one man – of or many, for I AGREE with SM that unlimited democracy is just as bad as unlimited one person rule) have allied themselves with tyranny.

    SM is not alone – nor is he the worst example.

    Take the example of Paul Gottfried – who really does give “intellectual” ammunition to the Fascists and National Socialists (I come upon them citing him – almost every day).

    The fact that the first action his friends would take if they came to power is to GAS HIM (as he is a Jew) is something that Paul Gottried does not appear to understand.

    In the end a man or the woman either stands for moral agency (the ability of humans to find basic moral principles and to choose to act upon them – against our bestial desires) and the Rule of Law (which is base on moral agency – Free Will) or they do not stand for the Rule of Law.

    And if someone does not stand for the Rule of Law they are part of the problem – not part of the solution.

    And I have long passed the stage where I would act “as if” such people are friends – they are enemies, and should be treated as enemies.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I apologize for saying the “go back to your safe space” line. That was rude and unnecessary.

    I do think that it’s important to realize that obedience to sovereignty is endemic to any society not in a state of war. War is not bad, it’s pretty much the worst. Obedience helps prevent war, which is one reason why it’s actually quite a good thing.

    For instance, I disagree with trumps policy on X but I’m not going to engage in violence as a result even though that policy is state-sponsored violence against me. Instead of violence like black lives matter (or worse), I obey. I obey power even when I know it’s rather absurd.

    The Right is associated with obedience and obedience is generally good. Noticing that obedience to authority is in evidence in any society not at war (and that this is one reason why obedience is good since war is so very horrific) through all human history doesn’t make me evil. It makes me accurate.

  • Paul Marks

    One of the most interesting examples of an armed revolt to establish the Rule of Law (at least partly – and for some people) was from Japan – not in 1867-8, but many centuries ago.

    The government of Japan was copying China – the idea that the will of the ruler was the law and (for example) the land itself could be “distributed” and “redistributed” by the will of the ruler.

    There was a revolt against this – led, in part, by a famous female warrior (whose name I will not try to spell – the lady used a light long spear-sword which is still taught to some Japanese girls in school to this day), which established the legal principle that at least Samurai had rights – that their land could not be just “redistributed” on the whims of the ruler or rulers.

    Applying the law (the true law – the non aggression principle) to wider groups – to women, to slaves and so on, has always been a difficult task.

    The Japanese had a saying (alien to Chinese thought – and worth thinking about).

    “No arms without learning – and no learning without arms”.

    “No arms without learning” is easy enough – for a warrior without “learning” (without moral reason) is a monster – a destroyer.

    But remember the other half of the saying – “no learning without arms”, without arms learning is helpless. The books of the philosophers the first Emperor of China did not like he just burned, and the philosophers were helpless (indeed the Emperor had philosophers he did not like burned as well – as well as any person who spoke in their defence). That the “First Emperor” is a hero to the people’s Republic of China regime, shows just how evil this regime is.

    To the Japanese, at least to a section of Japanese thought, a person who seeks moral enlightenment should also seek the way of the warrior – not just to defend themselves, but to defend others who are unjustly attacked. Actually the mass conscript armies (and mass conscript “education system”) established in Japan in the late 19th century (from the 1870s onwards) was a step away from this and a Bad Thing (TM). Although the old regime had also lost its way (in various respects – in regard to ordinary people), it had not always been like this. Such things as restricting arms to the Samurai had NOT been the case in previous centuries in Japan – indeed it was once held that every person had the moral duty to come to the aid of someone unjustly attacked (including by the state).

    Thought further away from the Chinese “Legalist” (horribly misnamed) School of Philosophy, or from Thomas Hobbes and David Hume, would be hard to imagine.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I AGREE with SM that unlimited democracy is just as bad as unlimited one person rule

    Where did I say that unlimited democracy is as bad as unlimited one person rule?

    One (unlimited democracy) is an unmitigated disaster for all good things – order, beauty, unity, peace, civil society, property rights, tolerance, family formation, private industry, faith.

    The other is, eh, usually mediocre. Sometimes you get a shit King and sometimes you get a great one. Usually they are basically mediocre and get to bang a lot of chicks and life goes on.

    On another note, unlimited democracy implies a belief in such a thing as limited democracy (hence the notion of America being a “constitutional republic” lol) Anyway, democracy is like sewage. There’s no such thing as a little because any amount of it poisons the orange juice or Stella or whatever

  • Paul Marks

    I apologise (to the universe) for treating you too lightly SM.

    You really are no good.

    Part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Just another enemy of liberty, civilisation and “all good things”.

    If too many libertarians are corrupted into being “Alt Right” types who support (or at least do not oppose) the tyranny of the such rulers as the “First Emperor” of China and such Roman Emperors as Diocletian, then all-hope-is-dead.

    I will not make the same mistake with S.M. that I made with Sean Gabb – long ago.

    I denounce you – Sir.

    May you burn in Hell – Sir.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Im not your enemy Paul. I want de facto Liberty to be enjoyed in society by all. But this comes as a consequence of stable and secure centralized rule, not written law.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And there are no safe spaces there.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Triggered again.

    Im not your enemy Paul. We have different ways of getting to somewhat similar destinations.

    I want de facto Liberty to be enjoyed in society by all. But this comes as a consequence of stable and secure centralized rule, not written law. Yes there are golden ages that last a few decades but in general in the long run: Democracy is antithetical to genuine freedoms being established and enjoyed in society.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And there are no safe spaces there. I could survive without safe spaces but as for you, well, be sure you don’t end up there.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    SM, you are startled that I said you admire slavery. Well, in a recent set of comments, you unconvincingly asserted that no major civilisation (as defined by you as “great”, anyway) succeeded without slavery. Since you presumably like greatness, as opposed to the opposite of smallness, it follows that you regard slavery as a necessary evil, and that attempts to remove it are foolish.

    The thing is, Shlomo, is that I remember stuff like this, and thanks to the glories of the internet, it is so easy to refer back to such comments so that people can check on what people have said before.

    And a man who lauds “obedience” and atavistic bollocks about “blood and soil” and who dismisses notions such as rights, equality before the law, etc, is clearly someone comfortable with subjugation of people by others.

    Paul Marks’ disdain for you is one that I share. You are an enemy, an enemy as contemptible as Mr Corbyn and his gang.

  • Martin

    “The results should have been predictable, since a human being has no natural rights of any nature.

    Mr. Dubois had paused. Somebody took the bait. “Sir? How about ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’?”

    “Ah, yes, the ‘unalienable rights.’ Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What ‘right’ to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken his cries. What ‘right’ to life has a man who must die if he is to save his children? If the chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of ‘right’? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man’s right is ‘unalienable’? And is it ‘right’? As to liberty, the heroes who signed the great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is the least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.

    “The third ‘right’ — the ‘pursuit of happiness’? It is indeed unalienable but it is not a right; it is simply a universal condition which tyrants cannot take away nor patriots restore. Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can ‘pursue happiness’ as long as my brain lives — but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it.”

    – From that evil blood and soil fascist Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers 😆

  • Paul Marks

    You are my enemy S.M. – and your lie “I am not your enemy” makes it worse. Between someone like you and someone like me – war (total and absolute war) is the only logical relationship.

    Your position on the Rule of Law and Constitutional Government (Constitutional Monarchy or other forms of Constitutional Government) it is exactly the same as that of Nazi thinker Carl Schmitt – namely that the Rule of Law does not and can not exist (just the rule of Warlords – called King, or “Leader” or whatever).

    “I can not be a Nazi – I am a Jew”.

    Sadly some Jews do embrace the Nazi view that there should be no such thing as the Rule of Law and limited government and embrace dictatorship – and you are one of them Sir.

  • Paul Marks

    Martin.

    Robert Heinlein played with ideas – the words of his characters must not be confused with his own opinions. But then you know that.

    And if you really do not understand that your hunger does not give you the right to kill and eat another person then you are an evil person – and if you carry out your ideas (by murdering and eating another person to satisfy your hunger) then you should be hanged by the neck till you are dead.

    Just as Carl Schmitt or SM should, IF THEY PUT THEIR IDEAS INTO PRACTICE BY FORCE, be hanged by the neck till they are dead.

    With such people there can be no peace – for they deny the basic foundations of Civil Peace, for example the Rule of Law as opposed to the rule of the arbitrary whims of the “King” or “Leader”.

    Sadly IF PEOPLE SUCH AS SM SEEK TO PUT THEIR IDEAS INTO PRACTICE BY FORCE the only logical relationship with them is kill or be killed.

    I repeat my previous point – the corruption of some libertarians by the “Alt Right” (i.e. by the Nazis) is a very serious matter, it may cut off the last hopes of Western Civilisation.

    If people are led to believe that despotism (the rule of the leader – not the Rule of Law) is the only possible form of government, then all hope for restoring our civilisation is lost.

    Make no mistake – SM and the rest of the “Alt Right” Nazi movement do not want to restore the Rule of Law and Constitutional limited government, they want to DESTROY what little is left of these principles. With the Nazi “Alt Right” there can be no peace.

  • Paul Marks

    I recently put up (on Facebook) a talk on conservatism by the Canadian Jordan Peterson (I had been directed to it by another Samizdata person).

    Professor Peterson denounces modern Canada, specifically the “Social Justice tribunals” in Ontario, for violating the basic principles of the Rule of Law. To SM and the rest of the “Alt Right” Nazi movement the principles of the Rule of Law either can not, or should not, exist. This, in a nutshell, is the difference between a Conservative and a Nazi – the Conservative wishes to restore the principles of the Rule of Law and Constitutional Government, whereas the Nazi ridicules these principles.

  • gunit

    “People are equal” – if you mean that we all have a soul (which is of equal value in the sight of God) then both Christianity and Judaism are forms of “leftism”. And such things as the First Book of Samuel, Chapter Eight, are clearly “political leftism”, by your odd definition.

    The biblical concept of the soul is equivalent to what we would call ‘life force’. Biblically speaking, it makes as much sense to say we are all equal in that we have a soul, as to say we are equal in that we are alive. Rabbinic Judaism has a vague and undeveloped concept of the ‘soul’ as we know the term, but I’m afraid to inform you that it’s not equally distributed, especially in the more developed versions. Most Christian thinkers believed in some version of predestination (not double predestination, although more believed that than people realise). The idea that people are equal because they all have one equal soul is a produce of a certain branch of Protestantism. It would be fair to call that branch of Protestantism Leftist, but more accurate to say Leftism is a subdivision of that branch of Protestantism.

    “And have rights” – I see so the Great Charter of 1215, and even the Edict of Q of 877 which accepted (as an “old right”) that even a King of France could not take the land of one person and give it to another, is “leftism”.

    The Magna Carta enshrines the privileges of a hereditary caste. What are you trying to prove?

    Well I am glad we have got that sorted out – everything is “leftism”, and everyone (Cicero and….) is a “leftist”.

    Cicero owned slaves. If he was here today you’d get all triggered at him and call him a Nazi. In fact pretty much anyone who lived before 1960 was a Nazi to you. It would be trivially easy to pick any one of your Whig heroes and pick opinions of his that you would denounce as Nazi. The only real difference between you and the most extreme SJW is a few decades.

  • gunit

    Professor Peterson denounces modern Canada, specifically the “Social Justice tribunals” in Ontario, for violating the basic principles of the Rule of Law.

    Professor Peterson is #4848343433433 on the list of retro-leftist telling contemporary leftists to tone it down. He will be as successful as the rest and in 50 years time anyone espousing the opinions of Professor Peterson will be ostracised from society as a Nazi, if he is lucky.

    You can’t fight Leftism with older Leftism. Perhaps things are so far gone, you can’t fight Leftism at all. Perhaps, it’s not even desirable to win. The last time the Right got its act together ended very badly indeed. But at least you can lose knowing why you lost.

  • gunit

    The only difference between Le Pen and May is that the former comes with more flags.

    Or the difference between your grandchildren (if Libertarians have any) growing up in a third world slum, or not.

    Suggested responses:

    (i) It doesn’t matter if your country takes limitless amounts of third world migrants because EVERYONE IS THE SAME AND YOU ARE A NAZI!!!
    (ii) It doesn’t matter if your country takes limitless amounts of third world migrants because when it all kicks off the right to bear arms will protect you.
    (iii) COLLECTIVIST!!!!
    (iv) I can’t even.

    Let’s save time by just picking one.

  • Alisa

    This is the talk by Peterson to which Paul was referring. I’d skip the 15-minute-or-so introduction, the talk itself is very worth watching.

  • PeterT

    Gunit,

    For France, maybe. For the UK, not so much. May is hardly intent on importing the entire middle east and unlike France we don’t actually have a large muslim population.

    In any event, I wasn’t going for this angle.

  • PeterT

    SM, I am not triggered by your remarks and think Paul (and Johnathan !?) are going overboard (although I admit I’ve done some skimming). I think some of your points are valid but then you ruin it all by saying things such as ‘blood and soil’, which is very scary nonsense that brings to mind the national socialist party of Germany or their modern day equivalent in Scotland.

    Ironically the strong leader that you seek is more likely to emerge out of a society in distress – i.e. disorder. Dreaming about a return to monarchy is just that, dreaming, and it is a waste of everybody’s time, including your own, thinking about it.

  • gunit

    For France, maybe. For the UK, not so much. May is hardly intent on importing the entire middle east and unlike France we don’t actually have a large muslim population.

    Did I say something about Muslims? The population of Africa will be 4,000,000,000 by the end of century, except that it won’t because a good 2,000,000,000 of that will decamp to live somewhere else. Whether May is intent on importing them or not, they are intent on coming and the UK is the second most desirable location after the US.

  • gunit

    What do Libertarians have against soil, anyway? Are you all seasteaders? And blood? When you brother calls you up and asks you for help, do you tell him to get lost?

    Heaven forfend, though, that anyone should accuse you of favouring atomized individualism.

  • Paul Marks

    In case anyone honestly does not know.

    The right to life is nothing to do with a right to free food (still less a right to eat human flesh) – it is a “negative” right not to be murdered, derived from the non aggression principle.

    “The soul is a religious concept….”

    Not necessarily – for example it is not in Aristotle.

    Even the great “Commentator” or Aristotle, Alexander of Aphrodisias held that the soul (personhood) died with the body. And Ayn Rand was actually a militant atheist.

    One can believe that humans are human beings (persons – have free will) without holding that humans are immortal, or that there is a God.

    And as the Scholastics said of Natural Law (in moral terms – derived from human personhood, the “I” in the natural world) “Natural Law is the law of God – but if God did not exist, Natural Law would be exactly the same”.

    “Paul you have said all this a million times before”.

    Yes – but new people around.

  • Paul Marks

    As for believing in a all powerful dictator – an unlimited monarchy, a despotism rather than a “feudal” monarchy, whose “will” is law.

    Well anyone can play this game – I declare myself King Paul the First and the cat in the garden my first minister. And anyone I happen not to like will be burned alive – because my “will is law” (Legal Positivism – Thomas Hobbes and Jeremy Bentham), and all property is to be “redistributed” according to my will – like so many Chinese Emperors and Islamic Caliphs.

    If anyone thinks this is a good idea – then you are (to use technical and scientific language) NUTS. And I am not going to pretend to respect people who deserve to be despised.

    That path, of false respect, leads to disaster.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    You are my enemy S.M. – and your lie “I am not your enemy” makes it worse. Between someone like you and someone like me – war (total and absolute war) is the only logical relationship.

    Someone who is in my judgment fairly intelligent, quite knowledgeable, and relatively thoughtful person and who (according to my understanding) considers himself to be an old Whig/libertarian/classical liberal is condemning me to hell and claiming that I’m his enemy.

    Why?

    Is it because I notice that obedience is an aspect of any stable and secure society? Is it because I realize that in all cultures in all regions across all human history obedience to sovereignty helps preserve peace and tranquility? Is it because I understand liberty, real actual individual freedoms to result from stable and secure rule and not pro-liberty political rallies, pamphlets, pro-freedom books, and speeches, and education? Is it because I realize that “rule of law” does not exist because what the law is is decided by human beings – even in America where these humans are called SCOTUS?

    What’s interesting is that Paul doesn’t seem that interested in proving that I am wrong about reality.

    He isn’t saying “Shlomo Maistre is wrong – law can over-rule SCOTUS such as in year X” or “you don’t need widespread obedience to sovereignty for a society to be secure – consider for instance the nation of Y in the year of Z”

    Instead he is reacting to my message by attacking the messenger. He is reacting emotionally and not rationally. He is reacting as a religious person reacts to someone who shits all over his sacred cows.

    I desire less government. I want taxes, government spending, welfare dependency, and public debt all dramatically reduced. I want the departments of education, agriculture and energy abolished without replacements. I want the IRS abolished. I want people to be free to engage in any kinds of relationships they want, form whatever kinds of families they want. I want free speech de facto and de jure to be enjoyed by all. I want most drugs legalized for adults. I want prostitution to be legal. I want most Federal Reserve functions to be ended and a return to sound money.

    Am I really an enemy of libertarians or old whigs or classical liberal given these policy preferences?

    It is my side, not Paul’s, that is the side of peace because peace stems from order and order stems from the Right.

    Peace, liberty, and freedoms do not come from Tea Party rallies, Reagan Revolution, libertarian pamphlets, old whig history, pro-freedom books, liberty-supporting think tanks, or political campaigns. They come from the order afforded by secure and stable rule.

    I recognize certain aspects of reality that do not accord with certain religious beliefs Paul Marks has about the world. I do not say that these things ought to be only that they are. And when I point out these realities Paul Marks becomes emotionally unhinged and declares me his enemy.

    As for violence. Power does not flow to the violent. Power flows to the worthy.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    SM, you are startled that I said you admire slavery. Well, in a recent set of comments, you unconvincingly asserted that no major civilisation (as defined by you as “great”, anyway) succeeded without slavery. Since you presumably like greatness, as opposed to the opposite of smallness, it follows that you regard slavery as a necessary evil, and that attempts to remove it are foolish.

    The thing is, Shlomo, is that I remember stuff like this, and thanks to the glories of the internet, it is so easy to refer back to such comments so that people can check on what people have said before.

    And a man who lauds “obedience” and atavistic bollocks about “blood and soil” and who dismisses notions such as rights, equality before the law, etc, is clearly someone comfortable with subjugation of people by others.

    Paul Marks’ disdain for you is one that I share. You are an enemy, an enemy as contemptible as Mr Corbyn and his gang.

    Johnathan Pearce is unable to substantiate his claim that I have ever said “I admire slavery”. Nowhere in that thread you link to did I say that or something like it.

    To say that I’m clearly comfortable with subjugation of people by others based on your absurdly shallow understanding of my understanding of the importance of blood and soil in the human experience betrays a profound inability to parse nuance, address complexity but an eagerness to label others with labels that mean “bad things to most good people”. Congrats. You have convinced me of nothing except your own intellectual immaturity.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    By the way what I did say in the thread to which you refer is not that I admire slavery. I never used the word “admire” at all.

    I said the following and I stand by every bit of it.

    What I did say:

    So I presume you do not dispute the reality that the Roman Empire would not have developed into one of the most extraordinary empires the world has ever seen without slavery.

    Anyone who thinks that the Roman Empire could have stretched from London to Jerusalem without using a ton of slaves is living in a dream world.

    Indeed, as Angry Tory has pointed out, most (virtually all) of the great civilizations in all of human history have used slaves en masse to become great.

    and:

    Citing the Mongol and British Empires to disprove the assertion that great civilizations depend on the use of slaves is… not persuasive at all.

    and:

    My assertion was: “Without slaves the Roman Empire would not have become one of the most prodigious civilizations in all of history, stretching from London to Jerusalem.”

    The basis for that statement was (primarily) the reality that the Roman Empire practiced slavery on a widespread basis and benefitted economically from said practice in a very substantial way, which helped fuel the rise of the Roman Republic/Empire and (with other factors) enabled the civilization to eventually stretch from London to Jerusalem.

    Slavery does generate larger economic surpluses faster for the elites, particularly pre-industrial revolution, which enables allocation of greater economic wealth per elite person to undertakings that elites want to do to become more powerful such as preparing for war and waging war – two very expensive activities. Slavery also enables the construction of infrastructure and maintenance of cities in a world that does not have the most basic technologies. The widespread use of slaves have sundry other benefits for the elites (and other citizens) such as freeing up more time and capital for leisure, the arts, philosophy, academic pursuits, etc.

    Rome was the center of civilization for a reason and sending capital to employees would have meant far less capital (both proportionally and absolutely) for great libraries, great schools, great aqueducts, great cities, and, of course and above all, great armies.

    You have cited the Mongols and the British Empire even though both of those Empires benefitted quite significantly from the widespread use of slavery. I’m not really sure why you even brought up those examples as they certainly do not disprove my thesis.

    Since both before and after Augustus Rome practiced slavery in a huge way, the onus is on you (not on me) to provide evidence that this was not beneficial. I’m not seeing any evidence from you.

    There’s a pretty big difference between saying “X is a great thing” and “X made Y great”. I’d expect most intelligent people to be able to tell the difference. Johnathan Pearce, evidently, is not “most intelligent people”.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Earlier in this thread I said:

    This is at odds with classical Anglosphere conservatism (Burke et al), where notions of “ordered liberty” – hence the importance of property and those “little platoons” were central. “blood and soil” my arse.

    Translation: Statement X someone says conflicts with an article of faith I have. Therefore, statement X must be false.

    I once “believed” in Anglosphere conservatism of Burke. Then my soul matured.

    Name some books or essays you have read that were specifically opposed to the American revolution.

    Johnathan Pearce has yet to name any books or essays he has read that specifically opposed the American Revolution.

    Maybe he has read some; maybe he never has. Either way his religious allegiance to certain ideas (including to an extent Anglosphere conservatism) and his branding of statements about how reality is that conflict with his beliefs as “bad things” advocated for by “bad people” betrays an intellectual maturity incapable of properly comprehending those books anyway so he should probably just stick to reading stuff that won’t offend his delicate sensibilities. Red pill ain’t for everyone and safe spaces have ponies, rainbows, and Ludwig von Mises books.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Shlomo M has at least done us the favour of giving an excellent summary of a form of fascism, in which he believes, as as also shown by a previous set of comments in which he applauded the institution of chattel slavery.

    I have never applauded the institution of chattel slavery. In the thread to which you linked I explained to you and others that:

    Without slaves the Roman Empire would not have become one of the most prodigious civilizations in all of history, stretching from London to Jerusalem.

    And I stand by that.