Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Retired, sometime civil servant, sometime consultant, active intellectual, former lawyer, active property manager, and on rare occasions in the past a political activist. He has recovered from the experience.

Retired, sometime civil servant, sometime consultant, active intellectual, former lawyer, active property manager, and on rare occasions in the past a political activist. He has recovered from the experience.

Bari Weiss Resigns from the New York Times

Her resignation letter is fascinating, and what we suspected is happening, is. Calling it American Pravda is not an exaggeration.

 

“….a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.\…”

“Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

“All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.”

To mark the 12th of July

Can you imagine? There used to be Orange Lodges and 12th of July parades in Canada. In a town up the Ottawa Valley, the United and Anglican Churches stood near one another on a hill overlooking the town bridge, and an old cannon stood between them, pointing at the bridge. The Masonic Lodge also stood atop the hill by the churches.  One of the locals told me, “The Protestants were on this side of the river, and the Catholics the other. We kept the cannon in case they ever tried to cross the bridge in force.” I am not making this up. He was only partly joking.

 

I first became a fan of folk music through the early albums of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. I recommend them for their fine collections of rousing Irish songs.

Ireland, where even the songs of religious bigotry are witty and fun.

 

The Old Orange Flute

In the county Tyrone, in the town of Dungannon

Where many a ruction myself had a hand in

Bob Williamson he lived, a weaver by trade

And all of us thought him the stout orange blade.

On the twelfth of July as it yearly did come

Bob played on the flute to the sound of the drum

You can talk of your lyre, your piano or lute

But there’s none could compare to the Old Orange Flute.

But Bob that deceiver he took us all in

For he married a Papist named Bridget McGinn

Turned Papist himself and forsook the Old Cause

That gave us our freedom, religion and laws.

And the boys in the place made some comment upon it

And Bob had to fly to the province of Connaught;

he left with his wife and his fixins, to boot,

And along with the latter, the Old Orange Flute.

At Mass the next Sunday, to atone for past deeds, S

aid Paters and Aves and counted his beads

Till after some time at the Priest’s own desire

Bob went with his flute for to play in the choir.

Bob went with his flute for to play in the mass

But the instrument shivered and cried.”O Alas!”

And try though he would, though he made a great noise,

The flute would play only “The Protestant Boys”.

Well up Bob he jumped with a start and a flutter.

He threw the old flute in the blessed holy water;

He thought that this charm would bring some other sound,

When he tried it again, it played “Croppies Lie Down!”

Now for all he would finger and whistle and blow

For to play Papish music, he found it “No Go”

“Kick the Pope” to “Boyne Water” it clearly would sound

But one Papish squeek and it could’nt be found.

At a council of priests that was held the next day

They decided to banish the Old Flute away;

They couldn’t knock heresy out of its head

So they bought Bob a new one to play it instead.

Now the poor was doomed, and its fate was pathetic

‘Twas fastened and burnt at the stake as heretic.

As the flames soared around , you could hear a strange noise

‘Twas the Old Flute still a-whistlin’ “The Protestant Boys”.

They can’t help themselves: the divine right of being Liberal

I used to be the token conservative at a weekend gathering of Liberals in the lakes south west of Ottawa. It gathered a good bunch of people for talk, silly clever  word games, and more talk. They belonged to the Martinite faction of the Liberal party of Canada. This means that they had lost to the Chretien-ite majority. Some leading members of the group left for Reform, and stayed there. They were regarded by the remainers as lost sheep, but they were accepted. But on the whole the group had been young activists in the Trudeau the Greater period, ministerial assistants, activists, and they had all the virtues of the Canadian Liberal; bright, optimistic, active, and connected.

Several years of close acquaintance on these pleasant autumn weekends have led me to certain conclusions, and I have never had any reason to recant or modify them. And please recall these were the better sort of Liberal. I have met much worse and they share this characteristic I am about to describe.

They feel themselves to be morally superior. They are Liberal because they are morally superior. And they are morally superior because they are Liberal. This is the core belief. This explains many things about them. In policy terms they can switch from nationalist to free traders, from low tax libertarians to high tax collectivists, without any qualms. Because policy as such has no importance to them. What matters is being Liberal. To be Liberal is to be a better sort of person.

So of course they are not to be assessed by the outcomes of their actions. That would be unfair. They are to be measured by their good intentions. This is why I say about them that they cannot help themselves.

The unelected Liberal Kielburger brothers and the Liberal politicians Trudeau and Morneau are not to be judged by the obvious corruption of the financial arrangements between the WE charity and Trudeau’s family. They are to be judged by the obvious good intentions of the charity that the Kielburgers run. Of course Justin Trudeau is not corrupt, nor is his mother Margaret, nor his brother Sascha, the fanboy of Fidel Castro.

If you feel that you enjoy the divine right of Kings, you behave like Charles I. If you find yourself on trial for treason to the state, as King Charles did, your answer would be: “I am the state”.

If you feel you enjoy the divine right of being Liberal,  you do not need explanations, excuses, or reasons. What you do is for the best, by definition. So what I suggest, for the betterment of our country, is a state trial of Trudeau and Morneau for corruption. Where is our Cromwell?

“The self-flattery of the vision of the left gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left and regardless of its disastrous consequences.” – Thomas Sowell

The Vision of the Anointed: Self -Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, 1996

 

I am reaching the point where this man makes sense

It is not about your health.

I spent an evening with a well-meaning Torontonian lady last night, in an over-priced restaurant serving pretentious food. Her entire conversation was focused on COVID avoidance procedures here and in Toronto. Every aspect of family life and education has been re-organized to avoid COVID, including a changing station for clothes when the kids come home from outside. From her conversation it would appear that most other families of her social class are equally as vigilant in protecting against the contagion. She spoke of widows not even able to see their husbands in their dying moments and unable to mark their deaths with a funeral.

As Rebel Yell has tirelessly shown,  a huge gap exists between the actual risk and what is the perceived risk of getting sick, let alone dying from COVID. If Toronto remains enslaved to these avoidance practices, we will never recover our  society and economy.

I keep thinking the COVID scare is a dress rehearsal for totalitarian social control. That is what the man in the video above has concluded. I don’t know whether all that he says is true, but the suspicion is growing.

In the meantime the Trudeau Family Regime (TFR) gets away with $250,000 in speaker’s fees from the self-promoting Kielburger brothers. Noting to see here. Move on. Parliament is not in session. Indeed, maybe Parliament can be permanently dispensed with.

It is not about your health.

The other suspicion that I have is that the people who run the world got so freaked out over Trump’s election that they have panicked and gone overboard. They are now running a candidate who is obviously demented in senility, and they are not even pretending that he will be President for long if he wins. We are in very dark place right now, and it will get worse.

Social distancing for everyone except protesters at Black Lives Matter rallies. 

After all, we have to respect the historic moment.

 

 

Our Orwell, who art in Heaven

The events of the past months – murders, riots, firings for writing that all lives matter, statue shattering – reveal that the Leftist war on the past is total. The Left seeks power for ever, by erasing the past. The coverage of Trump’s speech before the Mount Rushmore monument showed that patriotism is now considered by the New York Times, the Washington Post and their ilk to be white supremacy. White supremacy is touted when there has never been less chance of encountering even so much as white self-respect. White idiots are kneeling before black people seeking forgiveness. Useful idiots every one.

Faced with my incapacity to say anything sufficient to the occasion, I refer to George Orwell for relevant insights and quotations, This one is from “the Prevention of Literature”

 

“Literature has sometimes flourished under despotic regimes, but, as has
often been pointed out, the despotisms of the past were not totalitarian.
Their repressive apparatus was always inefficient, their ruling classes
were usually either corrupt or apathetic or half-liberal in outlook, and
the prevailing religious doctrines usually worked against perfectionism
and the notion of human infallibility. Even so it is broadly true that
prose literature has reached its highest levels in periods of democracy
and free speculation. What is new in totalitarianism is that its
doctrines are not only unchallengeable but also unstable. They have to be
accepted on pain of damnation, but on the other hand, they are always
liable to be altered on a moment’s notice. Consider, for example, the
various attitudes, completely incompatible with one another, which an
English Communist or “fellow-traveler” has had to adopt toward the war
between Britain and Germany. For years before September, 1939, he was
expected to be in a continuous stew about “the horrors of Nazism” and to
twist everything he wrote into a denunciation of Hitler: after September,
1939, for twenty months, he had to believe that Germany was more sinned
against than sinning, and the word “Nazi”, at least as far as print went,
had to drop right out of his vocabulary. Immediately after hearing the 8
o’clock news bulletin on the morning of June 22, 1941, he had to start
believing once again that Nazism was the most hideous evil the world had
ever seen. Now, it is easy for the politician to make such changes: for a
writer the case is somewhat different. If he is to switch his allegiance
at exactly the right moment, he must either tell lies about his
subjective feelings, or else suppress them altogether. In either case he
has destroyed his dynamo. Not only will ideas refuse to come to him, but
the very words he uses will seem to stiffen under his touch. Political
writing in our time consists almost entirely of prefabricated phrases
bolted together like the pieces of a child’s Meccano set. It is the
unavoidable result of self-censorship. To write in plain, vigorous
language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one
cannot be politically orthodox. It might be otherwise in an “age of
faith”, when the prevailing orthodoxy has long been established and is
not taken too seriously. In that case it would be possible, or might be
possible, for large areas of one’s mind to remain unaffected by what one
officially believed. Even so, it is worth noticing that prose literature
almost disappeared during the only age of faith that Europe has ever
enjoyed. Throughout the whole of the Middle Ages there was almost no
imaginative prose literature and very little in the way of historical
writing; and the intellectual leaders of society expressed their most
serious thoughts in a dead language which barley altered during a
thousand years.

Totalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an
age of schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structure
becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost
its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a
society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become
either tolerant or intellectually stable. It can never permit either the
truthful recording of facts or the emotional sincerity that literary
creation demands. But to be corrupted by totalitarianism one does not
have to live in a totalitarian country. The mere prevalence of certain
ideas can spread a kind of poison that makes one subject after another
impossible for literary purposes. Wherever there is an enforced orthodoxy
–or even two orthodoxies, as often happens–good writing stops. This
was well illustrated by the Spanish civil war. To many English
intellectuals the war was a deeply moving experience, but not an
experience about which they could write sincerely. There were only two
things that you were allowed to say, and both of them were palpable lies:
as a result, the war produced acres of print but almost nothing worth
reading.”

Berlin 1928

I have been reading the wonderful, and last, book of the late Philip Kerr, called Metropolis. Kerr died untimely at age 62 in 2018. Metropolis is set in Berlin, in 1928. The Nazis and the Commies are engaged in street fighting. The political order is delicate. The government can barely summon a majority of centrist parties. Jews, many of whom are in senior positions in government, carry pistols for self protection. Jew hatred is rife; it has become socially normal in broad sections of the public. In Berlin, homosexuality both male and female is broadly tolerated and almost normal. The nightclubs offer British and other foreign visitors the same kind of sex tourism we have heard about in Thailand. Veterans in tattered uniforms without legs or arms beg in the street. Gangs of young thugs prowl the city looking for people to beat or rob. The police are barely able to keep a lid on the chaos.

Into this mess steps the young Bernie Gunther, newly appointed to the murder section of the Kripo, the criminal police. Bernie is a veteran of the trenches, and has a drinking problem. He lives in a boarding house. He is a widower. A man is killing and scalping young whores, and leaving behind false clues that take up police time in wild goose chases. Another killer is putting bullets into the heads of veterans begging on the streets, and sending taunting letters to the police department mocking their inability to catch him.

Many  scenes are set in various night clubs where, if the shows are not sexual they involve cruelty and degradation of the performers or of the audience. As I read one particularly horrid passage, where the talentless were humiliated before a howling audience, I thought of the idea of a stand up comedian telling the audience, in 1928, just for laughs, what would happen to Berlin and Germany in the next thirty years. I wonder if such a comedian could make it sound funny. I bet you he could carry it off for a while.

  • within the next 5 years, Hitler would bring the Nazis to power (scattered boos, plenty of applause)
  • The night clubs of Berlin would be shut down immediately after the Nazi take-over (much booing, scattered applause)
  • Germany would absorb Austria, repudiate the Versailles treaty and re-arm (more applause)
  • Jews would be publicly humiliated, their wealth ripped off by the Nazi state, and they would be disbarred from public office (mixed applause, nervous laughter)
  • The Sudetenland would be absorbed into Germany, and Czechoslovakia would be dismembered (more applause)
  • The British and French reaction to the rearmament and these events would be supine passivity (wild applause)
  • Hitler and Stalin would make a non-aggression pact, as Great Britain dithered too long in its dealings with Stalin  (scattered shouts of disbelief) leaving Hitler a free hand in the East (strong applause)
  • In 1939, only eleven years into the future, Poland would be invaded and crushed in weeks, while 240 French divisions  do nothing on the German border. Some French troops march ten miles into Germany and then march out again. (cries in incredulity, scattered applause)
  • In 1940, Germany invades France through the Ardennes and conquers France in six weeks using a combination of tank and airpower to achieve paralysis of the French ability to combat the Germans effectively. (wild applause)
  • The English manage to get out of France by a massive sea lift from Dunkirk, leaving their equipment behind. (cheers, boos)
  • The German air force fails to suppress the British air force, and gradually calls off major air operations over England by 1941 (boos)
  • Winston Churchill is made British Prime Minister, and offers his people nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat”. (more booing)
  • Hitler invades the USSR in 1941 and nearly reaches Moscow. The Soviets reel and fall back, but do not give up. German casualties approach 1.5 million dead. (silence, some booing)
  • Having engaged Germany in a two front war, Hitler declares war on the United States after the Japanese neutralize the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, in December 1941. (Stunned silence)
  • Hitler launches an attack into the Caucasus, and sets the Sixth Army into Stalingrad on the Volga. In late 1942 the Sixth Army is surrounded and forced to surrender, with 600,000 prime German troops marched into captivity, from which maybe 15,000 would ever survive. (Boos, calls of “traitor”, and moves to get the comedian off the stage)
  • North Africa, Sicily, southern Italy reclaimed by the Allies in 1943. (more booing, hoots of derision)
  • Decisive defeat of the Germans at the battle of Kursk in 1943 (throwing of objects at the comedian)
  • Mass slaughter of Jews and Poles continues in captured Polish territory from 1942 onward. (silence)
  • Allies land in France in 1944 at the same time as German Army Group Centre collapses in Byelorussia in a military catastrophe so large it still does not have a place name assigned to it.
  • Russians conquer Berlin by May 1945 (gasps of horror, boos, calls to get the damn fool off the stage)
  • Communism imposed on eastern Germany, parliamentary government in the west  by late 1940s (boos).
  • Europe divided between communist east and capitalist west until 1989, when Russia throws in the towel and European Communism disappears as an effective force (the few communists in the audience boo, the rest give tepid applause)
  • Germany re-unites as a federated democratic republic. (tepid cheers, scattered boos)

At this point the Nazi sympathizers in the audience haul the comedian off the stage and beat him. Communists join in.

The point of this recitation of facts is that it would have been completely incredible to the louche and worldly audience in a Berlin nightclub in 1928, even as the chaos of Berlin was immediately before their eyes.

And I think that equivalent, and equally incredible, things are happening in western society today. The undermining of the host society by the termite forces of leftism is now revealing itself everywhere: abolition of the past, hatred for one’s own culture, anti-white racism, banning and exclusion of any thought that contradicts the Black Lives Matter narrative, total corruption of universities, firings, shamings, Maoist insurrections, the long horrid consequences of Jacques Derrida and the French nonsense machine, third rate Nietzscheans all. Prof. Gad Saad speaks of idea pathogens.

Where will it end? Either in revolution or in counter-revolution.

When will it come? The revolution is underway already.

The counter-revolution is not far behind.

Only those with impoverished imaginations fail to see it coming.

As Orwell said, sometimes it takes all our powers to see what is before our eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

before they take it down, read this

I copy a letter that purports to be from an African American professor of history at UC Berkeley.

 

UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality And Cultural Orthodoxy

The following letter was allegedly written by a UC Berkeley history professor and shared among his or her colleagues anonymously (source / archive link):


Dear profs X, Y, Z

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email.

Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black. Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.

If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam. These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.

Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.

I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.

The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.

No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.

Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by successive Democrat administrations.

The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you. The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes, carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.

There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.

Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist. MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?

As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors.

And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species. I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.

It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.

The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating. No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites. No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.

I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM. I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party’s uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic. I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end.

I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free.

UPDATE #1:

Wilfred Reilly@wil_da_beast630

I can confirm that the letter in the thread below was sent to me and Tom Sowell. It’s really worth reading, in a time of widespread panic. https://twitter.com/tracybeanz/status/1271219776606687233 

Tracy Beanz@tracybeanz

Thread: I was sent this and felt the need to thread it here on Twitter. It will be long. It is purported to be an anonymous, open letter from a professor at UK Berkeley in the History Department. The only comment I will make is to say it is worth every moment of the read.

1,089 people are talking about this

UPDATE #2:

UC Berkeley History@UCBHistory

An anonymous letter has been circulating, purportedly written by a @UCBHistory professor. We have no evidence that this letter was written by a History faculty member. We condemn this letter: it goes against our values as a department and our commitment to equity and inclusion.

Eric Weinstein stands up at the right moment

I am overwhelmed by the amount of things to blog about. Riots, mayhem, pandering to blacks, moral posturing, Black Lives Matter, professors being fired, diversity inclusion and equity, anti-white ideology.  But I can raise a hand to salute Eric Weinstein on his balanced and incisive attack on the movement to defund police, and the reasons why it is nonsense.

On the other hand, he takes twenty minutes to say what the redneck cracker said in twenty seconds.  But he takes an adult and balanced approach. Moral posturing is the death of the search for the right moral balance. “You are opening the gates of hell” says Eric. And indeed we are.

 

 

War after Civilization

Thomas Hobbes - Wikipedia

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Some redneck speaks the truth (below) about defunding police.  I find that the best exponents of what it would be like to live in the “nasty, short and brutish” world of a sovereign-less world envisaged by Thomas Hobbes are Americans, perhaps because they are so close historically to a world without externally imposed order. Some of them escaped authority at the time of the Revolution and have never been tamed since. The redneck in question bears a surprising resemblance to Thomas Hobbes, portrayed above. Coincidence?

 

 

War Before Civilization: the Myth of the Peaceful Savage

Lawrence Keeley’s book, War Before Civilization: the myth of the peaceful savage, is perfect. It cannot be improved upon. I shall explain.

The basic assertions of the book are that war before civilization – which means written records –  was frequent, endemic, extremely violent, total, murderous, and that it engaged  the whole population of the tribes and family groupings involved, men women and children, and involved high proportionate fatalities. It was not ceremonial, ineffective, and rare, nor did it touch only the young men of the tribe. Peace was difficult to negotiate for many reasons, including because the reparations involved could generate new causes of war, for non-payment. There was always another death  to avenge.  No sovereign interposed itself because such a sovereign required statehood, and statehood lay far into the future. So deadly and ubiquitous was the violence that many peoples accepted European colonial justice readily as the less horrible solution to endemic violence.

The author shows the archaeological evidence of bones, arrowheads, spear wounds, fortifications, mass graves of men, women and children. He also relies on the accounts of witnesses from the “primitive” tribes themselves as they were recorded by Europeans in the early stages of first contact.

He also examines the economic rationales for pre-civilized bands to wage war, which are powerful and many. Winning societies gain access to resources by driving off competitors, whether for arable land, hunting grounds, or resources, such as obsidian for weapons or salt deposits.

Professor Keeley confronts the vast efforts of denial attempted by western anthropologists to disguise the war-like history of mankind prior to European colonial contact, and the absurd denials of reality. He argues against what he calls the “pacification of the past”.

He writes:

“The doctrines of the pacified past unequivocally imply that the only asnwer to “the mighty scourge of war” is a return to tribal conditions and the destruction of all civilization. But since the primitive and prehistoric worlds were, in fact, quite violent, it seems that the only practical prospect for universal peace must be more civilization, not less.” (p179)

Keeley situates the issue of war in the context of a continuing debate between the realists, who are, roughly speaking, followers of Thomas Hobbes, who felt that, tp achieve peace,  only the interposition of a powerful sovereign  could solve the problem of human violence, and followers of the illusory twaddle of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who felt that civilization was the source of all our discontents.

“If Westerners have belatedly recognized that they are not the crown of creation and rightful lords of the earth, their now common view of themselves as humanity’s nadir is equally absurd.”

Why is this book so perfect?

  1. It is directed to the general audience of intelligent readers.
  2. It is only two hundred pages long. Brevity is the soul of wit.
  3. It is does not divert from the issue into irrelevant matters, or academic asides.
  4. It is well researched, but not pedantic.
  5. It confronts an important issue – the untruth of the pacific human past – and demolishes it.

The book is an antidote to all thought that the absence of police will engender a state of peace between people and peoples.