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Asabiya

Peter Turchin reintroduced me to the concept of asabiya in his War and Peace and War. 

Asabiya is a term borrowed from the Arabic philosopher of history Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406). Asabiya is the power of a society to accomplish things collectively, such as build an empire, a cathedral or a bridge, or fight a war. If you want to experience the power of asabiya, just consider how the entire British nation and its institutions buried their monarch. mourned her loss, televized the funerals, held complex ceremonies in centuries-old churches, organized 4000 soldiers, sailors and airmen and the the top ranks of the governing classes into parades, solemn processions, and ceremonies of the state church, as the people organized themselves into disciplined throngs of hundreds of thousands enduring hours of patient waiting in order to flow past the coffin of the dead Queen.

 

Says Turchin:

“Different groups have different degrees of cooperation among their members, and therefore different degrees of cohesiveness and solidarity…. Asabiya refers to the capacity of a social group for concerted collective action. Asabiya is a dynamic  quantity; it can increase or decrease with time. Like many theoretical constructs, such as force in Newtonian physics, the capacity for collective action cannot be observed directly, but can be measured from observable consequences”.

Great Britain manifestly has huge asabiya. So does the United States or Japan. Canada had asabiya. It demonstrated this in two world wars. Whether it still has asabiya is doubtful. It is rent by too many ethnic fissures, and the group most asabiya-endowed,  English Canada, is constantly denigrated and weakened by the governing Liberals as a matter of multicultural policy. “Diversity is our strength.”  The French Canadians fear English Canada’s asabiya and seek always to diminish it. For that matter, all of woke ideology is an attempt of the political left and their black allies to weaken the asabiya of the American people – “white fragility”, “systemic racism”. So is the attack on organic sexual divisions in the species a different form of attack on asabiya, as the idea of fixed sex roles, indeed fixed anything, goes against the idea of personal choice.

Life is not a matter of expressing our puny selves. It is a matter of belonging  to something great. Think if the political left as being in a permanent war against every other kind of asabiya but their own, when theirs is a weak and hate-filled search for enemies.

Asabiya is real, though not material.

 

 

 

 

 

Go away and come back

Monday 12 September 2022 at 7:45 in the morning

We went away this past weekend to a fishing camp which was located at the end of a fifty minute drive along a rough track over Laurentian rock. We drove at somewhat better than a walking pace. I recommend the periodic withdrawal from wider society, and the fishing camp was the perfect retreat: no yoga, no periods of silence, no meditation. Just reasonable people conversing on a dock and occasionally going boating on paddle boards and canoes. No fish were caught or harmed, it being the wrong season for trout on the surface . Plentiful food, wine and booze, though less than we  did in our forties.

In the time away, Her Majesty the Queen died, the Russians suffered a large defeat in Ukraine, and Pierre Poilievre was decisively affirmed as Conservative leader.

I don’t think that it is possible to exaggerate the immense stabilizing influence of Queen Elizabeth on the United Kingdom or the world. For seventy years she maintained a discreet and effective role as advisor and occasional admonisher to the great. She lived a life of unimpeachable dignity while still showing that she was not deceived by earthly pomps and quarrels. She was a devoted Christian and I think some of her annual Christmas messages were in fact sermons of profound relevance.

When we got the news we were in a restaurant in the village of St Jean de Matha, surrounded by French Canadians having lunch, who treated the matter, as I suppose legions of other nations would have,  with courtesy and respect. The Queen had earned the respect of people of many nations, including republicans of the breakaway United States. I think everyone naturally measures life ‘s events in terms of the life and death of Sovereigns, however powerless they may be in constitutional terms. Like the passing of Queen Victoria, the death of Queen Elizabeth will be marker between one era and the next.

Then we left the village to go to the the fishing camp. We drove along an atrocious rock- strewn path at 10 kilometers an hour. An hour and a quarter later, we unloaded cars and went by pontoon boat to the ancient fishing camp, an artifact of the era of lumber barons picking out choice lakes for their buddies to fish in. Huge beams, gas mantle lamps, and low to non existent internet connectivity, coupled with copious quantities of alcohol and food.

 

We heard the news of Poilievre’s decisive victory on Saturday night, by which I was greatly gladdened. Unfortunately I was surrounded by five  devotees of the milquetoast conservatism – if that is what it is – of Jean Charest, who are persuaded that Poilievre is the sure path of defeat for the Conservative Party. You know the type, I am sure: all reform is acceptable short of actual change. In terms that a western Conservative would be happy with, they were perfect exemplars of the Laurentian consensus. Highly intelligent people of good faith, the lot of them, but politically clueless, as far as I am concerned. If Poilievre fails, they will be sure to crow about my so called radicalism in leaving the sure path of Jean Charest. 68.15% of my fellow conservatives agreed that Poilievre was the better candidate, which should be enough to silence the whining of advocates of the losing candidates, even in a party that romanticizes losing.

Predictions are difficult, especially about the future. Nevertheless I think that the abhorrence I feel for the current Liberal government in Ottawa is shared by a possible electoral majority. We will either succumb to the Woke shit of Trudeau the Lesser, after we go down fighting it, or we will rescue the country. The Liberals and their media allies are asking us to acquiesce in the ruin of Canada,  and I for one will not abide it.

As to the Russian defeats in Ukraine, I am as surprised as I am pleased. I had thought that the Russians would take over Ukraine in six weeks.  The fact that large piles of equipment are being abandoned, so much so that this offensive marks the largest weapons transfer by far since Lend Lease, indicates that Russian morale is collapsing. In World War 2 , Allied soldiers noticed that the German soldier began to abandon usable equipment only in the Falaise Pocket in July-August of 1944, six years into the war. The Russians may rebound; the war is by no means over, but I think the recent defeats of Russian arms show that the era of Russia as a great power is over.

It is evident that the drone has come to be decisive. In many case the drone is substituting for an air force at a small percentage of the cost. Russians are abandoning equipment because, if they flee in their trucks and armored vehicles, they will be killed by drones. So they flee on foot. Drones are still not cheap enough to waste on individuals. They are however, sufficiently cheap to offer the less powerful an air force at a price they can afford. Much as I loved them, the tank has become too cheap to destroy relative to its utility as an offensive weapon. They talked of the foolish bravery of Polish cavalry attacking columns of German tanks; they will soon talk of the folly of tanks attacking across open fields  against anti-tank missiles and drones.

 

 

Nitrogen oxide has become a greenhouse gas – policy to follow

 

Canada is heading in the direction of Holland. The latest turn is to blame nitrogen for climate change. Forced reductions of nitrogen outputs caused the Dutch farmers’ revolt. Now the Canadian Agriculture minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau has announced plans to reduce fertilizer usage.

The Toronto Sun says

“The federal government is looking to impose a requirement to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizers saying it is a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. While the Trudeau government says they want a 30% reduction in emissions, not fertilizer, farm producer groups say that at this point, reducing nitrous oxide emissions can’t be done without reducing fertilizer use….

The Trudeau government is demanding an absolute reduction in emissions, which farmers say will result in less food being produced at a time when the world can ill afford it…

Farm groups, like the Western Canadian Wheat Growers, have said the federal plan will reduce crop output, reduce income for farm families and increase food prices in Canadian grocery stores.

While [agriculture] ministers Thompson, Horner and Marit all ran successful farming and ranching operations before entering politics, Bibeau was an international development bureaucrat and operated a tourism-related small business.”

 

The net direction of global warming policy is deliberate impoverishment. It intends to impoverish us through controls of fertilizer, heating fuel, electricity and every other way they can. Prevent protest by limiting travel (Covid passports) and by freezing bank accounts (truckers’ convoy). Freezing. cold, miserable, and artificially poor. Then demoralize the industrious by blaming it all on white people’s racism. Increase the number of state dependents while reducing the yeoman class of society. Lower birth rates through despair rather  than through prosperity. It seems to be working.

The exterminationist impulse behind global warming hysteria is something I have observed for along time. The net tendency of the greens  is becoming more and more apparent to ordinary people through actions taken to implement “climate” policy.

Two man made catastrophes are in lay here: global warming hysteria and COVID. Each is being used as a pretext for imprisoning and impoverishing the productive parts of the world.

 

 

What I believe is going on: COVID and the Liberals

New rules going after blockade financing an overreach, critics say | CTV News

 

I believe the following to be, roughly and in the main, true. I cannot prove some assertions but I believe them on what I think are reasonable grounds.

  1. COVID originated in a lab leak.
  2. The Wuhan virology labs were conducting gain of function research on behalf of American health agencies.
  3. It is almost certain that Fauci was involved in the approval of this research, but that is not relevant to the thrust of what I am saying.
  4. The COVID pandemic was used to accustom people to mass surveillance and visible compliance with government orders: isolation, masks (vexatious and close to useless), and lockdowns.
  5. Vaccines for COVID are neither safe nor particularly effective, though they may have had good results for the first few months, after which their effectiveness wears off rapidly.
  6. The vaccinated  transmit the disease as readily as the unvaccinated, or nearly so.
  7. Booster shots are designed to hook the general population onto the need for government-approved mandatory drug therapies (of highly dubious effectiveness).
  8. COVID’s effects are extremely age-stratified. That is, deadly at 80, serious at 60, and a bad cold you would not wish on your enemy at 50 and inconvenient at 30. Measures appropriate to an older age group are out of place for the young. This fact has not be reflected in public health responses, so that children and even infants are being vaccinated, contrary to  the medical evidence of dangers from the vaccines themselves, and the superfluousness of vaccines among the young.
  9. Year over year mortality rates across the world will show that there has been a massive death toll from all causes (excepting COVID), and that all the anecdotal evidence that far too many young and vigorous people dying of heart attacks will be shown to be part of a large scale mortality upsurge. There may also be shown a significant decline in fertility (birthrates).
  10. So that, in addition to the short duration of vaccine effectiveness, it will become evident that COVID vaccines are themselves the cause of these deaths. The implications of these facts will be opposed vigorously.
  11. Canadian government measures were designed to isolate and humiliate those who refuse the vaccines. You are free to disobey them, says our Prime Minister, but you will lose your job and must be isolated from other people. These measures are vindictive acts of malice against the unvaccinated population, based on pseudo-science,
  12. To pay for the massive unemployment engendered by lockdowns, governments printed billions  of dollars to pay for the emergency measures they devised.
  13. Inflation has been the inevitable result of too much money pursuing too limited investment opportunities.
  14. Coincidentally, and for reasons dissociated from COVID, but accelerated by the responses to the pandemic, we are experiencing a massive transfer of wealth upward from the 99% to the 1% and further concentrations of wealth from the 1% to the 0.1% of society.
  15. Our governments and public health authorities are acting in a way that is best explained by active malignance towards the general population, and not merely incompetence.
  16. This is especially so in Trudeau’s Canada, where the Liberals continue to engage in all sorts of measures to denigrate English Canada with fantastic contrivances like Indian residential school death tolls, maligning patriotic expressions of revolt like the trucker’s convoy, and generally fabulating the existence of  right wing white male extremism as a general excuse for repressive measures. I would add the deliberate demoralization of the armed forces by means of accusations and dismissals for sexual impropriety.
  17. Government in western countries, and particularly in Canada, are intent on passing legislation controlling what is said and who sees what on the Internet, by means of massive expansion of regulatory authority over private communications (viz, Bills c-11, C-18, on line harms Act, subsidies for newspapers,) to keep the press compliant and the people quiescent.

Consequently, I realized last night why Pierre Poilievre was going to be the next leader of the Conservatives, and quite possibly the leader of the country. His theme, which he expressed from the moment the leadership race started, was to “take back the power.”

I realized that if I, establishmentarian and patriot as I am, had reached this stage of concern for the country, then the relevant political choices lay between Pierre Poilievre, the official Conservative, and Mad Max Bernier of the even  more disenchanted Freedom Party.

I will be thought nutcase by those still in the grips of the Establishment Laurentian view. Yet as Orwell says, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to see what is plainly before our eyes. To this observer, the current Trudeau government has gone beyond total incompetence into malignance. I want a divorce from these people. I think they are evil, not just bad in the usual human way that people can be.

 

 

My sentiments exactly: the catastrophe that is Canada

My consternation about the descent of Canada into politically generated distrust, fascism and chaos are well expressed in the video conversation above. The press is bought. The opposition from the Conservatives is weak and tepid. The NDP is a lapdog of the Liberals. The government is unhinged. It believes – or acts as if it believes – that the Canadian working class is a force needing suppression. I am out of words.

Then, having discussed Canada,  they get on to the real issues driving the whole mess: the World Economic Forum, the capture of the elite by the global warming madness, and the measures that have been taken by the federal government to ruin the oil and gas industries. Note that the attack on the Coastal Gas Pipeline construction site was mentioned only 24 hours after it happened by State News under the caption “alleged attack” on pipeline worksite.

Canada’s GDP per capita has remained at about $45,000 for a decade, while the US figure has gone from about that level to about  $67,000 per capita. Canada is stagnating.

Watch this for confirmation.

us gdp per capita – Google Search

 

 

Stuart Parker deserves your attention

Stuart Parker, previously unknown to me, has precisely described the dynamic driving Canadian cultural and ideological conformity.

Quote-

As I predicted back in 2008, the people who now hold this belief that anything less than total control and absolute discipline is a sign of weakness and illegitimacy are now what pollsters politely call “the centre-left.”

Sadly, as with all broadly held cultural assumptions, these values concerning control, submission and dissent eventually escape their original context and run rampant through society. If people become convinced of a new moral order for how the world above them should run, it ultimately shakes down to the world below.

And we see this here with centre-left reaction to the national truckers’ protest in Ottawa. No permanent organization is running this protest, which appears to be built around social media, a GoFundMe page and a loose affiliation of local leadership groups developed in provincial protests by truckers over the past few years.

And of course, it does not represent all or even most truckers in the industry. The crew who are in Ottawa are whiter, more rural and more right-leaning than the industry as a whole, which is, in turn, whiter, more rural and more right-leaning than Canadian society as a whole. The folks in Ottawa are also more likely to be “owner-operators,” who have financed their heavy equipment through financial institutions. Those driving trucks owned by extended families or by trucking companies directly are much less likely to be part of the protest.

There is no doubt that a small fraction of these individuals are members of Canada’s tiny fascist militias, the Sons of Odin, the Proud Boys and other far-right political groups and that a disproportionate number voted for the People’s Party. In addition, the spirit of the protest and the issue it is taking up, vaccine passports, have attracted members of right-wing groups that are not themselves truckers but wish to express solidarity or see the protest as an organizing and recruitment opportunity.

Those of us who cut our teeth in the 1980s peace movement know this story well. The Vancouver Peace March used to attract 10% of the city’s population (50,000 protesters at its peak) for its annual walk across Burrard Bridge to support global nuclear disarmament. And, consequently, the vanguard of the march comprised the Trotskyites, Maoists and other communist sectarians and foreign dictator fan clubs who saw this as their big annual opportunity to radicalize and recruit ordinary anti-nuclear activists.

snip

Because Canadians, as a whole, but especially centre-left voters have now come to believe that the legitimacy of a movement inheres not in its size or the diversity of people and views it represents but rather in its ability to discipline and control its supporters, this protest looks both illegitimate and frightening. Not only is this protest not controlling the speech and signage of its members; it is celebrating its refusal to control these things and instead sticking to the basics of making sure protesters are nonviolent and law-abiding.

And, in progressive, urban Canada, this broad-brush guilt-by-association strategy exhumed from the 1980s appears to be working, no matter how intellectually lazy its journalistic practitioners are being.

snip

I am not writing this piece to advocate for the protest and its participants. I am writing this piece to ask Canadians like me whether we want our future protests to be judged and covered by standards applied to the truckers today. I am asking us to think about what happens to the horizon of possibility for mass organizing when we throw in with the idea that actual, authentic grassroots protests are a thing of the past and the only legitimate public demonstration is one choreographed from above, its participants carefully disciplined into reading from an identical script or into silence.

snip

As a person who, because I dissented from the progressive consensus on a single issue, has been smeared as a transphobe, homophobe, pedophile, white supremacist, racist and ableist in the past year and a half, I can no longer simply accept the opinion of centre-left media on whether someone is a dangerous, bigoted member of the alt-right. I can no longer trust the government-financed Canadian Anti-Hate Network on whether someone is a dangerous hatemonger because many of my comrades and I are on their list. And not everyone is going to be like me and check those claims against the facts. Most people will just start ignoring those claims.

There is a high price to pay when you decide to cry “wolf” over fascism in a political situation like our own, where the authoritarian threat is real and society-wide.

More importantly still, I am trying to sound a cultural alarm bell about the exaltation of order, disciple and control as Canadians’ primary political values. The fact is that those values are authoritarian. In a nation wherein rapid, dramatic change is not just a moral necessity but an ecological one, we need to retain the capacity for mass mobilization and our capacity to resist an authoritarian regime, irrespective of whether it calls itself progressive or conservative.

<end>

Amen

Your daily dose of doom

HD wallpaper: skeleton chair ruin hdr, abandoned, obsolete, damaged, decline  | Wallpaper Flare

Sean Speer interviews Andrew Potter. Potter sets out his case:

“Here are the factors. One is what Tyler Cowen, the economist, calls the “great stagnation” to convey the three- or four-decade-long stagnation in technological development, innovation, and economic growth that has been going on since the 1970s.

Second, I think Benjamin Friedman, the economist, doesn’t get enough credit for connecting the dots between economic stagnation and its socio-political effects. He wrote a really interesting book about 15 years ago called The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, where he says, “Look, growth is great not just because it gives you stuff and raises your standards of living, but it also makes you better people.” That is, it makes you more open to immigration, more tolerant and open to diversity, less risk-averse, and generally less fearful about the future. In effect, it makes you more cosmopolitan and less Hobbesian about the world.

This points to the other key factor in what is going on, in addition to the “great stagnation”, which is almost a downstream effect, which is the rise of conservative populist politics. Right-wing populist politics is, in many ways, a consequence of economic stagnation, including in household incomes.

A third element is the rise of the internet and social media, which a lot of people thought was going to amplify productivity and democracy, but which has had the opposite effect. I used to be pretty optimistic and even cavalier about the effect of the internet on our civil discourse, but now I’m very, very pessimistic.

So, together with a stagnating economy, the rise of populist politics, and the toxic effects of social media, you get this toxic brew of lack of trust: lack of trust in institutions, a lack of trust in experts, and a lack of trust in one another.

Finally, there is another element in all of this, which J. Storrs Hall, an engineering sort of tech guy, reflected in his bookWhere Is My Flying Car?: A Memoir of Future Past, where he argues, “The great stagnation actually became the great strangulation.” That is, what’s standing in the way of growth is not the fact that we just plucked off the low hanging fruit and we can’t figure out new sources of economic growth, but it’s because we’ve buried our economy in a big mass of regulations and risk-averse bureaucracies. So even if we could resolve the political problems that have arisen in the last few years, there’s a more longstanding issue about whether we’re even capable anymore, as a society, of getting anything done.”

___________________

The Hub bears watching.

Hugs, handshakes across the aisle mark passage of bill banning conversion therapy

Blair Atholl comments:

“A bill that prevents people from voluntarily seeking counseling – even from priests. Meanwhile, say once at nine years old that you wish you were a girl and the state will happily cut your dick off. Fuck the CPC and their morally degenerate leaders.”

-from a life long conservative

And this is Dalwhinnie talking: the guy who increasingly seems to be talking a language I agree with is Mad Max Bernier. Kind of like the slow growth of mindshare held by Ronnie Reagan before his Presidency. Though Max will never be Prime Minister of Canada absent a cultural revolution.

 

 

Automated censorship, COVID, and Bill C-10

 

The idea that COVID was a bioweapon, and that it was unleashed accidentally, has gone from heresy to orthodoxy in the course of the last 18 months.  The chain of events is documented in Ron Unz’s American Pravda here. 

The transformation has taken slightly less than a month. On May 2 Nicholas Wade, the science writer, published a careful essay on the subject in a low impact website and which was then augmented in subsequent places and by significant endorsements.  Unz describes the amplification which the theory has received in various articles since then, which it is not my purpose to recapitulate.

As Unz writes about Wade’s work:

“Although nearly all the facts and evidence that Wade discussed had already been publicly available for most of the past year, his careful analysis and considerable journalistic credibility quickly transformed the intellectual landscape. He began his long article by explaining that from February 2020 onward a huge ideological bubble had been inflated by political propaganda masquerading as science, a bubble that was afterwards maintained through a combination of journalistic cowardice and incompetence. President Donald Trump had proclaimed that the virus was artificial, so our media therefore insisted that it must be natural, even if all the evidence seemed to suggest otherwise.”

If Trump had said that gravity worked, a host of science reporters would have denied it and called it “problematical”. The Office of the Holy Inquisition – AKA Facebook – changed its policy on COVID’s origins on May 28th, a mere five days ago.

Unz again:

“By May 28th, the Wall Street Journal carried the headline “Facebook Ends Ban on Posts Asserting Covid-19 Was Man-Made,” so that in less than one month a self-published article had already changed what nearly three billion individuals around the world were allowed to read and write. This illustrates the totalitarian control of information on the Internet held by American’s huge Tech monopolies, which determine the limits of permitted discussion worldwide at the flip of a switch. Can there be any better example of the ridiculous, Stalinesque climate of intellectual censorship currently enforced by those corporate giants?”.

Indeed.

And this brings me around to Canada’s Bill C10, an Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act. It is currently stalled in the House of Commons Committee on Heritage. This is a relief. What C10 seeks to do is to bring the large platforms, and everyone else communicating across the Internet, into the legal regime of “broadcasting”. There are two regimes of communication, essentially: printing and broadcasting. Printing requires no licence and makes you liable for what you have said after you have said it. Broadcasting requires a licence and imposes heavy consequences for “broadcasting” without a licence or contrary to the terms of the regulations under which you are privileged to communicate.

Publishing is a right, broadcasting is a legal privilege, like a driver’s licence. If Zoom calls are broadcasting, then you are subject to complex and expansive regulations, just as radio and TV are. C10 could well make zoom calls “broadcasting”, at the discretion of the regulator.

It is bad enough that the platforms have the power to automate the censorship of unpopular or unfashionable opinions, and I would be first to argue that something ought to be done about that power. However, the case for regulating the platforms, and user-generated content, is not to control the power of the platforms. No no no. It is to use the power of the platforms in conjunction with state policy to “harness” the Internet – to use a favourite terms of the CRTC – to public purposes. In truth the Liberal government intends not to curb the power of the platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, but to enage their power to shape public discourse in the way that government desires. The censorship is outsourced to the agencies with the power to effect it. Putting it more crudely, the government intends to deputize the platforms to perform the censorship that government has not the tools to do for itself.

Anyone who thinks that the power of the platforms will be curbed under C10, if it passes into law, is gravely mistaken. The platforms will become a new form of CBC adapted to the Internet age. The platforms will consult the government and be consulted by the government. The directives that will issue from the CRTC will be generated after public hearings, at which the platforms will be the dominant voices. The censorship will be smooth and oh so Canadian. Anyone who thinks the CRTC does not control content has not seen the system at work.

 

 

 

People who live in glass houses: Bill C10 continued

I was talking to my old colleague Blair Atholl the other day. He had an acute observation about the backers of C10, the federal bill which seeks to make the Internet conform to Canadian broadcasting rules and ideas.

It is apparent that the only backers of this bill, apart from the Canadian ministry of Heritage, are the official lobby groups of those who are set to draw more income from the eneactment of this legisaltion, or so they believe.

Blair Atholl said of the kind of people who back this legislation that “they are used to speaking in a cancel-culture political environment. Their speech is constrained in many ways. They don’t realize that most people exchange opinions in a much freer way than they can. Normal people exchange views that would put their hair in fire. So they don’t understand what all the fuss is about. If my speech is self-censored, why shouldn’t your speech be censored too?”.

And while we are on the subject, Dr. Jordan Peterson reminded us that he has a million more subscribers to his YouTube channel than does the CBC. This makes him a bigger “broadcaster” than the CBC, it would seem.