Facts about our country

From Isegoria, a very good post which points out some often-overlooked facts about our country. It’s very easy to get caught up in a web of pessimism about our future (and the situation does look very bleak) but we might be prone to forget some of our strengths.

A quote from Jared Diamond is the basis for the post, and it calls forth some good comments from the blog’s readers. Let me say first of all I haven’t been a fan of Diamond and his idea that environment, not genetics, influences the development of peoples and nations, but in his book Upheaval (no link to Amazon, sorry) he addresses how we and others are responding to the ‘civilizational crisis’ we are facing. Are we mindful of the assets we do have, what with the grim news stories that are staring us in the face every day? Diamond points out, among other things, that we have a resource-rich country, with ‘excellent real estate’, in the temperate zone.

He says we are “self-sufficient in food and most raw materials.” Are we? I’ve had this conversation with friends, and it seems that we have made ourselves dependent on other nations, such as Mexico and China, in that we seem to import much of what we need from them, such as foods, while we export our best produce, meat, etc. elsewhere, it seems.  We can’t get locally grown produce, having to import it. It makes no sense. And of course it’s well-known that we no longer manufacture much of anything, having to make do with shoddy (and sometimes toxic) goods from our ‘friends’ on the other side of the world.

Will we ever return to being relatively self-sufficient? We are vulnerable to the extent that we rely on others for a great percentage of our consumer goods. But then this was the idea: to make the whole world ‘interdependent’ so that we would be ‘one world,’and theoretically less likely to war against each other. Right.

A commenter on the Isegoria blog offers an apposite quote about another strength we seem to have overlooked: the little fact that this country was, originally, meant to be a united country, composed of people with a common ancestry, religion, and customs. ‘A band of brothers’ as John Jay wrote in Federalist No. 2.

The right in America seems lost in cynicism and sour grapes about the America that once was, or that should be now. As the consensus seems to be that we cannot retrieve or preserve anything of that America, then all is lost, so says this line of thought, and it’s actually for the best anyway as the original America was flawed and corrupt from the get-go. I don’t see any value in adopting that attitude; it can only foster more bitterness and fatalism.

It seems much of the right, bizarrely, shares the left’s attitude that our country should just be written off, and replaced with something ‘better’ – but then we are entering into the Left’s territory if we think we can do better than our ancestors — who, it appears, were far wiser than we are today.

It may be that all is lost, but we can’t know the future, so why proceed as though our situation is beyond repair?

 

Censorship continues

Even Pinterest is eager to get in on the action: Project Veritas reports that
Pinterest has been censoring pro-life and pro-conservative commentary. This is really no surprise, given that all the social media platforms seem to exist only to promote certain ‘lifestyles’ and points-of-view, as we can observe from the monolithic popular culture around us.

Some while back Pinterest was banning anything pro-Confederate or even pro-Southern. Now it appears that they are increasing their censorship to include pro-life items posted there, classifying it with porn. This is absurd.

They are also according the article, blocking the word ”Christian” from the auto-complete. Christians are being intentionally marginalized and restricted; we are made unwelcome, regarded as offensive, while all things outrageous, crude, and deviant are allowed as ‘freedom of expression.’

With all this outright hostility to anything vaguely ‘right-wing’, it’s hard to understand why more people are not dropping out of ‘social media’ and boycotting businesses who are participating in this aggressive trend.

I had a Pinterest account, posting mainly images related to my personal interests, mostly apolitical in nature — except for my board about the South, which included some pictures or quotes that ‘offended’ someone, so my board was made to disappear. So even though I had been inactive on Pinterest, I did close my account officially. That’s the extent of my career in ‘social media’.

It seems most people are pretty sanguine about this censorship spree, though it appears to be accelerating, and that’s bad. Where does it lead? Where will it end? Amazon is purging items that don’t conform to the leftist code, whatever that may be on any given day. Local libraries have purged most old books, to make way for trashy ‘fad’-type books  that will likely be forgotten five years from now. It’s almost as if these PC commissars are trying to completely shape and control our thoughts and ideas.

Or is that last statement a ”conspiracy theory”? Our moral betters have decreed that ‘conspiracy theories’ fall under their rubric of ‘fake news’ and must therefore be suppressed. And where was that decision cooked up? Behind closed doors, not in public in an open discussion, just as Pinterest’s decisions involved a small group of ‘insiders’, and kept from public view until whistle-blowers obtained documents.

And everyone knows about Facebook, Twitter, et al, and their arbitrary bans and shadow-bans.

Right-wing ideas and opinions are also unwelcome on certain blogging platforms and the slow-motion purge of non-PC bloggers seems to roll on. Who will be next? And will anybody in a position of power ever speak up against this censorship trend, or champion our ever-dwindling free speech?

“Fair, modern, and lawful”

President Trump has been touting his ‘new’ immigration plan, which is being described as ”fair, modern, and lawful”. Who could object to that?

In recent tweets he is saying that his plan will ”transform” our immigration system into something that will become the ”pride of our nation.” In other statements he has said that our system is ‘dysfunctional’. Somehow the rhetoric sounds very much like what we heard during George W. Bush’s terms, when the immigration system was said to be ”broken”, and in need of fixing — by means of declaring an amnesty. Somehow fixing immigration never means controlling our border or enforcing the existing laws.

Now I am not saying that Trump is promoting amnesty, but the message seems to be about increasing legal immigration from existing levels — 1 million+ per year, which is what it has been, officially, for some years, according to most sources I’ve consulted. And does that ‘legal’ number include ‘refugees’ or asylum-seekers, or people who overstay their visas? Somehow I think that the 1 million or 1.5 million is a lowball figure.

Trump also stated he wanted to promote ‘equality and opportunity for all’ with his new immigration system. What does that imply? Will we still continue to give preference to the same people who make up the majority of our immigrants now, or would we become more truly inclusive? The Emma Lazarus school of immigration policy has us literally asking for the world’s ‘huddled masses’ and ‘wretched refuse.’  Will that continue?

Trump also mentions the bonds of citizenship and of how they will bind us together as a ‘national family.’ Shades of Steve Sailer’s ‘Citizenism’.

The thing that I find unsettling is that Trump seems to be making converts among some on the right; that is, those people who might otherwise shy away from ‘civic nationalism’ and ‘paper Americans’ are now willing to accept the idea that embracing certain tenets or propositions makes us all equally American.

It also appears that the President is of the opinion that ”as long as it’s legal, it’s good’, which is a persistent trope that I’ve been challenging for years now, to no effect.

I notice that Trump uses a lot of the rhetoric about the ‘bonds of citizenship’ uniting us all, and makes us all a national family. Isn’t this just a replay of our policy over the last almost two centuries of immigration? Take civics classes and ESL, learn to spout the cliches about democracy and equality, and voila, a new American is born.

Obviously Trump is a civic nationalist (at best), and I get the feeling that nothing substantial is going to change for us, the legacy Americans; it will be more of the same.

I don’t like to rain on the MAGA parade but so far I don’t see any signs of a real change in our policy, and in the prospects for our posterity, and that’s what I am most concerned about.

 

 

 

‘Spiritual Optimism’

Bruce Charlton, in another good post, addresses the error of the ‘New Age’ movement in being too spiritually optimistic.

The basic stance of this movement was that modern people had spiritually progressed beyond those of the past; that there had been and was ongoing a transformation and advance in human consciousness – with all kinds of new information, experiences, possibilities.

Having been, as I’ve disclosed before, involved in that New Age movement in my younger and more foolish years, I believe Dr. Charlton is right. There were many books written by people who were active in that movement which were based on that spiritual optimism, and on some theory that mankind was ”evolving” spiritually, growing closer and closer to pure spirituality, destined to be ‘gods’ one day. Just a look at the headlines and a glance at the ever-darker world around us gives the lie to that belief, but the smug new-age believers refuse to take reality into account. Their belief system is based on naive wishful thinking.

That idea of ‘spiritual evolution’, with humankind growing ever more wise and spiritual with each generation does seem to lead towards the belief, held by many Western people, that we are all ‘better’ than our ancestors, because after all, our ancestors were ape-like creatures, or, if you want to go back to the supposed beginning, they were amoebae or something, having hatched out of a ‘primordial soup.’ Even most ‘Christians’ believe in evolution, or as one non-believer said, ‘Darwin’s conjecture.’

The idea that each generation of humans is more advanced and more wise than their forebears is very common among those of the younger generations who are so vocal in their contempt for their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. In my lifetime I’ve never seen so much vitriol directed at one’s elders. It seems to be growing. Where does this idea of the superiority of the younger generations come from?

Does this belief come from the New Age system? Some might be skeptical, thinking that the New Age beliefs aren’t so widespread as to be very influential. However, many people who don’t identify as ‘New Age’ followers do in fact hold many of the cardinal beliefs of New Agers, such as reincarnation, ”karma”, and a belief that we can ‘create our own reality’ by our thoughts, or bring misfortune on ourselves by wrong thinking. The idea that we can will ourselves to be whatever we choose is popular.

A Pew Research study from 2018 showed that New Age beliefs are very common in American society; in fact, people who do not hold those beliefs are exceptions to the rule.

“New Age beliefs are held by members of all groups. Even 32 percent of Sunday Stalwarts believe psychics are genuine. Approximately 42 percent of Americans hold the belief that physical objects possess spiritual energy. It is an opinion of a few scholars that society is not becoming more secular, but the traditional religions have conceded their ground to new varieties of spirituality which supplant but does not replace visiting the church.”

In other words, in those church pews on Sunday morning, there are people who identify as Christians but who hold to New Age beliefs, and those ideas have their origin in a combination of Eastern religions of all sorts,  ”Native American” practices,  and a sort of cobbled-together neo-paganism. And let’s not forget good old pop psychology, which is in itself a kind of religion in America, and one with a pernicious influence, removing morality from the picture altogether, if taken to its logical conclusion.

So it can hardly be said that American Christians, especially the younger ones, are free of any New Age influence. Sadly as observers have written about the Pew Study results, the Christian church leadership have fallen in with the New Age beliefs, attempting to ‘baptize’ them by incorporating and re-labeling them. For Christians this compromising is not allowable — but for many Americans, returning to the ‘Old Paths’ is not even worth considering, seeing as how most Americans seem to have rejected anything to do with the past. Tradition is not to be honored — unless it’s somebody else’s exotic traditions. The younger generations don’t quote the wisdom of our elders (dead old White guys, after all) but they love to quote Gandhi or Rumi or Thich Nhat Hanh.

We in the Western world have our traditional faith, the one which was at the heart of European society, and the faith which our colonist forefathers practiced; we were at our peak when we held to the faith of our fathers.  And yet that faith has been discarded, in spirit if not in fact, by many of us.

As to the errors of the New Age movement, along with the absurd belief that mankind is progressing, there is the glaring error of believing that evil does not actually exist; the belief that mankind is essentially good, not flawed, not ‘fallen’ as Biblical Christianity tells us.  Evil is only an ‘illusion’, it’s only apparent. Good and evil are relative, or they are two sides of one coin. There are many contradictory ideas among New Agers (including Christian New Agers); they will say that evil is just ‘maya’ or illusion, but on the other hand we all have a ‘shadow side’, which causes us to do bad things, and we have to embrace our ‘shadow’ side and not reject it.

And yes, much of the New Age movement, like the rest of Western society, tends toward hedonism, libertinism, and materialism — or let’s just say, more bluntly, lust and especially greed. Many New Age ‘celebrities’ charge exorbitant fees for their public appearances or ‘seminars’; many of the best-known have lavish lifestyles while they extol someone like Mohandas Gandhi who supposedly owned nothing except a pair of sandals, a bowl, and a loincloth.

The New Age movement panders to the worst side of modern Western society; it’s become popular in part because in our age of ”diversity” worship, people want to feel good by embracing exotic practices and rituals. It would be an easy path from where the Christian church is now to a ‘One-World’ faith, some syncretistic blend of various exotic religions. Remember ‘Chrislam’, that supposed blend of Islam and Christianity? It appears Rick Warren, he who started the ‘Purpose-Driven’ craze, is involved in that Chrislam hybrid.

We are in an age which is desperately in need of a spiritual awakening and a return to the Old Paths — but it seems our society as a whole, and our folk, are going in the opposite direction. Increasingly it seems that the answer is not more of the same. Christians know what the answer is — or do we?

 

Losing our freedom of speech

It’s no news that our freedom of speech is in jeopardy, and has been for some years. But it seems that suddenly, with the news of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, we are under pressure to avoid ‘accusing’ Moslems, even though they are the suspects for good reason. After all, as I pointed out, a great many churches in France have been vandalized or set afire. And going back to 2016, an elderly priest was killed while saying Mass. The guilty parties? Guess.

There are reports that Fox News show hosts, namely Neil Cavuto and Shepard Smith, both interrupted guests who violated the taboo on criticizing, one of the guests being a French Deputy-Mayor. The quotes from Shepard Smith reveal that he was quite abrupt and rude in silencing his guest who mentioned possible Moslem involvement in the cathedral fire. Please notice, too, that the linked article refers to these mentions as ‘conspiracy theories.’ This Orwellian practice is a way of trying to stifle any mention of conspiracies, under the idiotic precept that conspiracies don’t exist, and never happen. Sadly much of the American population reacts the same way, jeering at anything they perceive to be a ‘conspiracy theory.’ Have people lost common sense? No wonder we are in such a predicament, we in the Western countries.

I’ve spent more time than usual reading blog discussions of the Notre Dame fire and there are quite a few people, even on ‘right’-leaning blogs, striking a superior pose by saying the usual thing: “we mustn’t jump to conclusions, we have no evidence, it could have been an accident, it could have been atheists or Satanists who did it” — well, we could just as well say Mrs. O’Leary’s cow could have caused it. So why are all these people leaning over backwards to appear ‘even-handed’ or fair?

Even Christian commentators are not immune to the urge to do this. One of the Christian commentators I follow made a great show of saying that we have to be fair. To me, this looks like a kind virtue-signalling: “I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, unlike you xenophobic bigots out there.”  So if he feels the need to strike such a pose, more power to his left elbow, but I don’t want to see it become a new restriction on our free speech.

People have always speculated about any kind of disaster or crime in which deliberate human action could be involved. People, at least in this country, have always reserved the right to voice their own personal theories or speculations about such things. But now, suddenly, we are expected to pretend that the cause of this is an utter mystery, or just a random accident? That insults our intelligence. So many incidents over the past few weeks and this incident is just a random one-off, unconnected? That stretches credulity.

I remember during the first Gulf War, in 1990-91. When talking about the subject, no one was expected to be politically correct or to hold their tongues lest they ”offend” somebody. But after innumerable ‘incidents’ there is, paradoxically, more pressure on us to be ‘tolerant’ — no, that’s not the right word. Tolerance was once the watchword, now we have to wholeheartedly embrace whatever agenda is being imposed. Now we are compelled to keep silent if we can’t convincingly adhere to the script, and say only the politically correct things that are inculcated by means of the media and the ‘educational’ system.   Remember when we were children we were told that ‘if you haven’t got any thing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ And some groups are protected from criticism or even scrutiny. Some are ‘more equal than others.’ Be politically correct, or be silent.

There’s a slow-motion purge of dissident right bloggers, with such political views coming closer to being defined as ‘criminal’, as in Europe. These things happen by degrees, and we become acclimated to our loss gradually.  Anybody on the ‘right’ who is promoting this ‘silence’ policy is a party to our loss of free speech.

Notre Dame Cathedral

I was shocked — though maybe I shouldn’t have been — to hear of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Without cable TV it’s possible to be out of the reach of the 24/7 news cycle for a while, and I missed the initial reports,  only learning of it online.

Over at the Reference Frame blog, there is a good piece about the incident, with blogger noting that the burning of the cathedral is symbolic of what’s happening to Western civilization now. Truly, that’s a good point. Also noted in the piece is the apparent reluctance of the controlled media to stray from the official line, that line being that the fire was nothing more than an unfortunate accident.

Even Fox News which some still persist in considering ‘conservative’, shut down any alternative explanations before they were fully voiced. That doesn’t surprise me, and now I am going to keep tabs on how many dissidents get de-platformed/banned for suggesting anything else.

Apparently some reactions to the fire amounted to cheering. This is disgusting, especially when it comes from Westerners, all of us who are heirs of Christendom. I did have a fleeting thought that maybe post-Christian Europe may not appreciate their heritage, because as of this moment, it’s considered de rigueur to regard Christianity and all its outward symbols as merely reminders of a dead and useless past, one which all ‘hip’ people find embarrassing and backward. Our ancestors were so bigoted and narrow you see, and we disown them, being too sophisticated to do otherwise. This attitude exists in all countries which were once Christian. This makes us ripe for being culturally conquered, open to capitulating to the ‘vibrant and diverse’ communities which have been planted in our midst. And few among us seem to see the incredible loss we are suffering by abandoning or being shamed out of our heritage.

So will the ‘news’ commissars try to stifle any further discussion of the causes of the fire? And can it really be a coincidence that the fire follows in the wake of so many vandalism incidents and fires, involving churches in France?  I have a feeling that the questions will not be welcome, so as not to offend the communities. So much the worse for free speech and freedom of thought in our former Christendom.

Meantime, what happened to Notre Dame saddens me in a way I can’t quite explain. It’s part of our past. Our ancestors labored to build these great cathedrals over the span of generations. Maybe many people don’t appreciate the effort, the labor, and the care that went into those cathedrals. Our ancestors built for the centuries, for the future, and to think that their work might so easily be destroyed by malice plus indifference is sad, beyond sad.

 

 

 

Another one missing

To my dismay, one more of our number seems to be missing.  CWNY’s blog seems to have disappeared, or perhaps he was ‘disappeared’, after what, 12 or 13 years of blogging? I always admired his dedication, the way he kept soldiering on when many others might become demoralized and stop blogging — as I did (and sometimes still feel like doing). Maybe he will be back elsewhere on the web. Until then I am sure he is very much missed; his inspirational posts often lifted my spirits when I needed encouragement.

Where is the ‘right’ going?

Lately it seems to me as if the right, or what passes as the ‘right’ is rather undefined at the moment. The whole political scene seems to be in disarray, on both sides. The left is off the rails, but for that matter, it’s always been so, but lately the left seems to have strayed completely outside the bounds of reality and decency, not to mention common sense.

Not so many years ago, the right consisted mostly of the old-fashioned Republican right, with its country-club faction, it’s ‘Main Street’ types, and then of course the Neocons, who had ensconced themselves in order to change the direction of the real right. The sanest people on the right, in my opinion, were the ‘Paleocons’, the old right which tended to be non-interventionist, America-First types. I didn’t agree with everything they believed; I’m not doctrinaire but they made more sense than the others. When I started blogging circa 2006 the Borders issue was heating up and a lot of new bloggers were immigration patriots, resisting the pro-Bush status quo as well as opposing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Most of us, myself included, walked away, or were made unwelcome by the GOP because of those issues.

The ‘Alt-right’ was the media’s flavor-of-the-month in 2016, drawing a lot of interest from the media, in part it seems because they thought it would damage Trump to be associated with the ”deplorable” Alt-right. But now, a couple of years after Trump took office, it seems some of the Alt-right supporters have lost faith, and there seems to be no focus for many, except for the usual discussion of the JQ, as well as plenty of elder-bashing, which is now a staple of the average right-wing blog. But what does the right, “Alt” or otherwise,  stand for now, if not for ethnopatriotism?

Lately there are headlines about how ‘White nationalists’, or at least those defined by the controlled media as such, are now following Andrew Yang, the Chinese-American Presidential aspirant. It seems his take on the ”accelerationism” philosophy, which seems to be a rather hard-to-follow school of thought, would include a Universal Basic Income. I haven’t read enough about his proposals; for example is this $1000 handout to be recurring or permanent or a one-shot thing? This part of his plan seems to be the biggest draw for some people on the right. What is in this for WNs, if they are in fact supporting Yang as some media sources say?

Maybe it’s the influence of American Renaissance, but it seems the younger right has long had a soft spot for Asians, seeing them as being allies or kindred spirits to Whites, even those Whites who consider themselves pro-White. But if one’s own people aren’t given preference, what about ethnocentricism and ethno-loyalty? I would say those last two qualities are the sine qua non of being any kind of nationalist, but then I don’t get any of the purported enthusiasm for Yang.

The ‘accelerationism’ thing, when explained, seems like a very intellectualized concept, dreamed up by intellectuals with too much time on their hands. I have no time for ideologies. If it’s boiled down to a very simplified form, it seems somewhat akin to the stale old idea of ”worse is better”, which some WNs used as a pretext for voting Democrat in 2008 and 2012 — though many wouldn’t admit to having done that afterward. But the idea of handing out money to everybody — which is a bad idea on its face for a number of reasons — in order to hasten a collapse of ‘the system’ is just a variation of the old lefty Cloward-Piven strategy, as explained at length by Glenn Beck, at his chalkboard. Now, I suspect the average person’s explanation of Accelerationism is somewhat misinterpreted, but understandably, since it is a very abstruse philosophy and hard to grasp for many people.

I sense that in all the chaos of today, people are reaching, grasping for something, anything to believe in, or they are drifting, without a coherent belief system of philosophy to guide them.

I’m not a believer in ‘-isms’ or ideologies, but as the old saying goes, if we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for everything.

We find ourselves in a very crazy time period, in which little seems to make sense, and we can’t guess at what insanity tomorrow will bring. Many of us feel the lack of leadership and inspiration, or guidance. As for me I won’t jump on any bandwagons.

Our ‘Grey Champion‘ hasn’t yet appeared, though he’s long overdue. But then, the Champion in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story was honored for his age and wisdom, but if such a grey-haired figure appeared now he’d be scorned; no grey headed oldsters need apply.  But we do need leadership, and it seems the pickings are slim.

Maybe Yang’s appeal is also that he is young, and it seems the young will accept none but one of their own age cohort; no one else is welcome in their clubhouse. It’s said that we get the leaders we deserve. Heaven help us.

Politically correct GOP, at it again

I don’t know who started the meme, but there’s one going around (sorry, I still can’t post graphics here for whatever reason) which depicts some mounted CSA soldiers, apparently led by General Lee, though he’s obscured by the text. Anyway, the text says ”Demorcrats [sic] haven’t been this mad at Republicans since we freed their slaves.”

This just seems to be another attempt at the lame ‘DR3’ theme, that is: ”Democrats ‘R’ the Real Racists.” That idea, which amounts to trying to out-PC the Democrats/leftists, is a non-starter. It never succeeds in embarrassing the left, because they are congenitally incapable of shame or embarrassment, so sure are they of their virtue. And it’s lame as a strategy because to try to shame progressives as hypocrites and ‘racists’ is historically incorrect here. We could say the Republicans of that time period were anti-White considering their punitive and vindictive treatment of Southrons.

If I were a member of the GOP today (which I’m not) I would not be too proud of the role played by Republicans (aka ‘Radical Republicans) during the era of the War Between the States. Under Radical Republican control the shameful era of Reconstruction was imposed on the South. But few people know the story of that episode in our past.

I suppose it’s too much, to hope that these present-day Republicans, so proud of the radical Republican abolitionists, might learn actual history instead of accepting the PC narrative which is pounded into everyone’s heads via bad history and Hollywood propaganda. Only the misinformed ”right”  would be proud of the Radical Republicans. To put the situation in perspective we could simplify things by saying that the two parties swapped places: the Republicans of yesteryear were ultra-liberal humanist ideologues, while the Democrat Party was more like a populist party.

Can’t somebody on the Republican side get a clue about the history of this country, and stop trying to play at the left’s poisonous name-calling and cringe-worthy virtue-signalling?

There are so many good historical sources written in a saner era, before Political Correctness clouded everyone’s brains. Archive.org, my favorite source of reading material, can educate those who were never taught proper history. And now that Amazon is purging its non-PC books and materials, and our local libraries are quietly removing old books in general, who knows how long Archive.org will still have truthful books, containing materials that ‘trigger’ those who are allergic to truth. Truth is getting scarcer these days as censorship and enforcement of an official ‘narrative’ are being imposed on a wide scale.

Truth needs as many rescuers and defenders as we can muster, before the lights go out on our once-free civilization.  ‘Memes’ may be cute but unless they are truthful and honest they need to be countered.