Posts for November, 2002 



Here are the posts for November, 2002 from "Dissecting Leftism"

Blog Mirror 1
Blog Mirror for China
Mirror archive
Rightism defined
Right/Left wrong?
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psych of Left
Political Psych
Leftism is authoritarian
Status Quo?
Of Interest
Academic Papers
More Academic Papers
Older Wisdom
Old Blog site
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
General Backup


11 Day Emp
14000 Penn
Aaron rants
Always Right AMCGLTD
Am Realpolitik
Amish Tech
Bad Eagle
Betsys Page
Blissful K
Blogs of War
Brian's Educ
Sasha Castel
S Chapman
Chicago Boyz
Cindy Blogger
C Cramer
Colby Cosh
Cold Fury
Conservative Comment
Critical Mass
Cruel Shoes
Damian P
Dancing Dogs
Dean's World
Electric Venom
England's Sword
Ex Parte
V Ferrari
G Frazier
Free Whisky
Gene Exp
G Extremist
Good Turn
Gold Dog
Hello Bloggy
Heretical Ideas
Hitler's Leftism
Hoosier Rev
Innocents Abroad
Invisible Hand
Ipse Dixit
Jacob Levy
Jennie T
Judd Bros
Limbic Nutri
Light of Reason
Link Heaven
Liquid Courage
Little Green footballs
Lone Dissenter
Rachel Lucas
Mind Floss
Moderate Left
Muddy Shoes
C Murtaugh
R Musil
No 2 Pencil
Not A Fish
N.Z. Pundit
B O'Connell
Arlene Peck
Political Lom
Regions Mind
Bill Quick
Random Jot
Razor's Edge
Recovering lib
Redwood Dr
Revealed Truth
Right Thinking
Sean Gabb
Shiny Canuck
Silent Running
Sine Qua Non
Small Victory
N Solent
Steve Sailer
A Sullivan
M Totten
Townhall Clog
Useful Fools
Viking Pundit
Vodka Pundit
Rich Webster
Bill Whittle
Why read This
Wicked Thoughts
Wild Monk
Winds of Change
You Big Mouth

ABC Watch
A Anderson
The Australian Libertarian Society Bargarz
Angela Bell
A Oakley
Tim Blair
The Bunyip
M Darby
M Jennings
Media Dragon
B Monaro
Ken Parish
G Parker
Alex Robson
Wog Blog
S Wickstein
Weekly James
Whack Day
Paul Wright
Vigilant Zem
The Yobbo

Tim Dunlop

Front Page
Best of Web
National Rev
Fin Review
Business Review Week
Business Week
Free Republic

Asia Business Intelligence
Asia File
Asia Times
Asia Media
Big white guy
Black Man in China
Chi-Chu Tschang
China Hand
The China Hand
China Update
China Weblog
Gweilo Diaries
Hemlock's Diary
Micah Sittig
Lotsa links
Rice Cooker
Shanghai photos
Speak of China
Tiger Cafe
Taiwan news
Washington Post-China

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The Blogspot archiving system had something of a meltdown after Google took over. There is sometimes now no way of accessing most of the past posts from my blog. I am therefore putting up most of my past posts as separate sites. It seems to be the only way to keep them available.

In summary, my posts for 2002 are now available as follows:


The earliest postings on my blog -- from 10th July, 2002 to 31 October 2002 are sometimes available where they should be -- at http://jonjayray.blogspot.com/jonjayray_archive.html -- but they have also been reposted here.

The November 2002 postings on my blog have been reposted below:

The December 2002 postings on my blog have been reposted here.


Comments? Email me. See my most recent writings on my Blog HERE. See my Home Page Here. For a FULL MENU of my academic writings, see here or here.


30 November, 2002


As an Australian, I see considerable differences between US culture and my own Australian culture -- and I definitely prefer my own. Most people do prefer their own (Park, 1950). What I find hard to understand, however, is what the most generous nation on earth has done to deserve the hatred of it that is so routinely poured out in much of the world. If I were religious, I would be inclined to think that the America-haters were demon-possessed.

I was therefore touched to read this:

"It was impossible not to be moved last week by the sight in Vilnius of Lithuanians continuously interrupting George Bush's speech on human freedom to chant "Thank you" in Lithuanian"

As one of the former "captive nations", those guys knew from bitter experience what it is all about.

It was also heartening to read that 81% of Britons say they like Americans.

Park, R.E. (1950) Race and culture Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press



Jim Ryan of Philosoblog has recently blogged on why it is that youth tends towards the political Left. I sent him a note as a comment on his post and think it might be useful to expand on that here:

I think the first thing to do is to repeat an October 16th post from Jim Miller. I did reproduce this post previously (on 30th October) and I note that Andrew Sullivan has recently reproduced it too:

Young People and the Vietnam War: Andrew Sullivan makes a common error in his post on the Bali bombing, when he argues that young people were more likely to oppose the Vietnam war than older people. In fact, polls at the time showed that young people were "more supportive of the war than older people" [John E. Mueller, "War, Presidents and Public Opinion", p. 137]. Even more surprising to some, the more educated a person, the more likely they were to support the Vietnam war. There were similar patterns of support in World War II and the Korean War. The current tendency of young people to be more inclined to support a war with Iraq is consistent with the patterns in past wars, contrary to what Sullivan thinks.

So Jim Ryan seems to have a faulty first premise in his post. What we have to explain is not why young people in general become Leftist but why SOME young people become Leftist.

Just as a personal note there, I was at a large Australian university during the Vietnam war era doing a degree in psychology and there were huge antiwar demonstrations on campus at the time. Yet in my psychology honours class every single male member but one was, like myself, in the Army! The one exception was a Methodist minister who regretted that he could not join up because our unit had parades on Sunday morning and he obviously had other duties on that day! We were of course in the Army reserves rather than in the full-time Army but most of us did full-time duty from time to time too. (And I volunteered for full-time service in Vietnam! No-one can call me a "chickenblogger"). So Leftists may make a lot more noise but that does not mean that they are in the majority.

Jim Ryan's authority for his view about youth seems to be a variant on the much misattributed saying: "If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain." It might be interesting to note that the earliest version of this saying is by mid-nineteenth century historian and politician Francois Guizot, who said: "Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head". He was referring to the controversy over whether France should be a republic or a monarchy. France did of course have various experiments with monarchy even after the decapitation of Louis XVI. So foolish young people want Presidents and wiser old people want Kings? Maybe. So Jim could clearly have chosen a better authority for his view of the young

Nonethless, it IS true that people who are Leftist in their youth often become more conservative as they get older. In one of my research reports, I found in fact that most older people are quite astoundingly Right-wing (Ray, 1985). So how come?

I think that there are in fact two main reasons why the Left is more attractive to youth:

1). The young do not know much so try sweeping generalizations in order to help them understand the world. Leftists supply such oversimplified generalizations ("All men are equal" etc.). So some of the young are attracted to that. Most of the young do not bother, however. They are interested mainly in the opposite sex so just want politics not to bother them -- a thoroughly conservative response. Those who do adopt the Leftist simplifications do eventually find through experience that the world really is a complex place so tend to give up the simplifications and Leftism along with that. So the simplicity of Leftism is a big attraction to (some of) the young

2). The young are ambitious, want to have it all NOW and want to get the top -- so see "The Establishment" as an obstacle to that. So the more unscrupulous and vicious ones use any tool to attack it: Radicalism as a path to power -- a very familiar theme in history. Leftists are intrinsically power-mad -- as I set out at some length elsewhere.

Ray, J.J. (1985) What old people believe: Age, sex and conservatism. Political Psychology 6, 525-528.



Being a keen history buff, it has always interested me to analyse how the different characteristics of the various English-speaking nations arose. What makes, Americans and Australians (for instance) different from the English even when we share the same general ancestry? An important part of the answer lies in differences within England itself. It seems to be true, for instance, that Anglo-Australians originate mainly from the regional English working-class population whereas the origins of New Zealand are solidly middle-class. And that may in part explain why most New Zealanders seem to loathe Australians -- a dislike that is not reciprocated (despite jokes about Kiwi ovinophilia).

A subject of more moment, however, is how differences within Britain influenced the development of the United States -- and Jim Bennett, author of An Anglosphere Primer, is a mine of information on that. I reproduce here part of a recent email discussion with him on the topic.

(You will have to scroll down. The Permalinks are haywire)


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29 November, 2002


There seems to be a lot of nonsense around at the moment about offering education in a special mushy form so that "the lesser races" can understand it. Marc Miyake has been especially scathing about the situation in Hawaii, where it is now proposed that "Hawaiian" mathematics be taught in the schools.

Australia's WogBlog, however has done a delicious spoof of the whole idea in his post of 28th. It helps if you have ever been to the Western suburbs of Sydney to understand it all but I think most people will have a laugh anyway.



A few years ago, Pauline Hanson, a fish-shop proprietor in a traditonally working-class area, gave voice to what a lot of Australians were thinking at the time about official "racial" policy. The immediate popularity of her views in her area caused her to form a new political party called the "One Nation Party". Her basic call was for more restrictions on immigration and a cessation of affirmative action programmes for blacks.

After some striking initial electoral successes, the party broke up -- partly due to infighting among its leadership and partly because Australian politics as a whole took the hint and moved towards a stance more skeptical about immigration. One of my more learned correspondents has written at some length about the implications in the rise and fall of the party here.



The coverups we get subjected to by the Red/Green brigade in academia and the media never cease to astound me. Before reading this blog, who knew that Hitler was a Leftist or that low-dose nuclear radiation is beneficial, for instance?

I have just learnt of another big academic coverup. Who todays realizes that some of the early Australian Aborigines were pygmies? Yes. Like Africa, Australia too had its own pygmy race. I have seen some of the startling early photos of them. They had been wiped out or interbred in most parts of Australia before the white man came but small communities of them survived in the jungles around my own birthplace in Far North Queensland. This article summarizes the extensive scientific research on them that was done before the whole subject became taboo.

So why the coverup? Because THE PYGMIES WERE HERE FIRST. It is THEY who were the original inhabitants of Australia and the Aborigines we normally hear about are not. So the Aborigines are here by right of conquest just as we are and any claim that we took "their" country off them is false. If anybody has the right to "compensation" as the "original owners", it is the now almost vanished pygmies, not the Aborigines. What a blow to the current Leftist "Aboriginal industry"!

So you will now find references to the pygmies or "negritos" only in older books about Aboriginal Australia. Thank goodness for libraries!



There has been a bit of discussion on the blogs about autism. Clayton Cramer had a go at it here and here and now Gene Expression has weighed in. The big question is what causes it -- and there is no consensus. It seems to me that a big part of the problem is that two distinct disorders are usually grouped together under the one heading. There are the withdrawn autistics and the hyperactive ones (the latter sometimes being referred to as having "Asperger's syndrome"). I would be most surprised if these two very different disorders had a common cause but they are customarily lumped together as "autistic" because both feature pronounced social incompetence.

The theory that has most evidence behind it seems to me to be the theory that autistics have overdeveloped cerebral cortices. This accounts both for the larger heads that autistics tend to have and their often high intelligence.

The withdrawn autism at least does appear to be a type of overload protection. The autistic brain is getting too much stimulation so the autistic switches off to reduce the sensory input. So why is the autistic getting too much stimulation? Because the overdeveloped cortex is firing into the rest of the brain at a rate the rest of the brain cannot fully cope with.

The theory favoured at Gene Expression is that autism is exaggerated maleness of the brain. This may not clash with the theory I favour. From my neurophysiology classes back in the 60s I seem to recollect that females have smaller cortices -- which may account for there being proportionately fewer of them in the top IQ ranges.

Asperger H. (1944) Die "Autistichen Psychopathen" im Kindersalter. Arch. Psychiat. NervKrankh. 117, 76-136. (English translation in Frith, 1991)
Frith U. (Ed.) (1991) Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Cambridge University Press.



China hand has just put up a post on the attitude of young Chinese to the USA. It seems that they want to be friends.

For anybody else interested in China, some other China-oriented sites are
here and here and here. China will be dominating the world in various ways in 50 year's time so it may be worth knowing about.



Why does the US government pick people with the IQ of a flea to run airport "security"? With boneheads like this in charge, Americans would be safer if the whole lot were sent home to watch TV. This time a paperback NOVEL was deemed to be a deadly weapon. Watch your reading matter when you travel, folks!



"Senior investigators hired to root out fraud and corruption at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been fired -- just days after revealing what they knew to officials with the Department of Energy's inspector general." More here.

How can anyone NOT be a libertarian with so much evidence of official corruption and incompetence constantly coming out?



A US Dimocrat seems to think he has a right to be linked to somebody else's blog! How strange! Is there no end to Dimocrat nonsense about rights?


Comments? Email me: jonjayray@hotmail.com.
If there are no recent posts here, check my HomePage for a new blog address.


28 November, 2002


"Holiday greetings to the men and women of the Armed Forces, as you gather to celebrate this day of friendship and worship. Some are spending this Thanksgiving Day with family and loved ones; others of you are far from home, standing watch for freedom. Wherever you are, I want you to know that your country is grateful for your service and for your sacrifice. Each of you is in our hearts and our prayers as we give thanks today for the blessings in our lives. On this day sixty years ago, World War II was raging. American soldiers were spread across the globe. Many gave their lives to defeat the Axis powers and save the world from tyranny. Today, we are once again engaged in a battle -- this time it is a battle between freedom and terror, extremism and fanaticism. And today, once again, the men and women in uniform are risking their lives in the defense of liberty. In Afghanistan, you and our coalition forces defeated the terrorists, rescued a country and liberated a people. Today, you are on the ground in dozens of countries, and patrolling seas and skies, hunting down terrorists so that they too, cannot kill again. All Americans can give thanks that our freedom and way of life are defended by the strongest and most skilled military force in the world. And each of us can also give thanks for the American people, whose steadfast support is helping us accomplish our mission in the global war on terror. I salute each of you for your patriotism, your sacrifice, your dedication. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have a great deal to be thankful for. May God bless you all."

--Thanksgiving Message to the Troops from the Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld



Ira Straus points out that the Pilgrim Fathers were not the real founders of modern-day America and submits that their Puritan influence has been a negative for American thinking.

Alex Robson too is less than enamoured with the wisdom of the Pilgrim Fathers.

Regardless of what one thinks of their religion or of their politics, however, I think one has to admire the heroism and committment of those early settlers and their success at rising above great hardships.



The recent death of Leftist philosopher John Rawls seems to have caused even some usually sensible conservative bloggers to mourn the "loss". I suppose it is mainly De mortuis nil nisi bonum but I still think a dose of reality about Rawls is needed and in my blunt and irreverent Australian way I propose to supply it:

Rawls is a good example of what computer people call GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). If you start out with crazy assumptions you get crazy conclusions and in Rawls's case Leftist assumptions inevitably led to Leftist conclusions. Like all Leftists he was unable to deal with the complexities of the real world so he invented an imaginary and vastly oversimplified one wherein only Leftist criteria for a good world are even mentioned. So his basic proposition can be summarized simply: If I know nothing about myself and nothing about the world I am about to enter other than its degree of social and economic equality what sort of world would I choose? And the expected answer is? Wait for it! A world wherein everyone is as equal as possible. The compulsory Leftist conclusion has been reached! Good job, Johnny. So now let's make the real world as equal as possible.

But look at how crazy his criterion is. What if the "equal" world I chose turned out to be starving? Would it not make more sense to choose an affluent world, for instance? Or a world in which modern medicine and dentistry were available? Rawls of course would claim that he is speaking ceteris paribus but what if other factors CANNOT be held constant? What if very equal worlds turn out to be in general poorer or more tyrannical? -- as indeed seems generally to be the case.

But aside from that, we just do not live in the imaginary Rawlsian world. We DO know things about the world we are in and we DO know things about ourselves and that does and should influence the type of world we prefer. And even if we did not, it is one big assumption to say that we would choose an equal world. Gambling is a very human thing to do and it seems to me highly likely that many people would choose a world of IN-equality precisely because that would give them a chance of doing well and rising above the herd. And is not that in fact precisely the American Dream -- to start out at the bottom of the heap and by hard work and good thinking to rise to the top? Real people everywhere would like to get to good old unequal America so that they can have a chance of becoming rich. But none of the unreal people in the unreal world of John Rawls do. Funny, that.

Rawls is simply irrelevant. He is popular in academe only because his conclusions are Leftist.



There seems to be a bit of a hate campaign going on about Little Green Footballs -- with the accusation that it is a "racist" site. What utter nonsense! What it is, is a good mainstream conservative site with lots of interesting posts that are a tribute to the hard work of their author. As my comment on the matter, I have moved my link to the site to the top of my link list -- though the other entries on my list are not in any particular order.



One of my sources about the attacks on Little Green Footballs was Steven Den Beste. He is a strange mix. He writes at enormous and moderately well-informed length on military matters yet did not know what a permalink was and admitted that he does not know how to put up anything longer than the very short blogroll he currently uses!

As a "warblogger" he would also usually be seen as conservative yet he supports affirmative action -- and does so in a particularly illogical way. His humility in naming his site "USS Clueless" is then admirable.



Apparently the French sometimes describe UN head, Kofi Annan (a negro) as "une Anglo-Saxon."! I guess he does speak English but there is no doubt that the Angles and the Saxons would be amazed.


Comments? Email me: jonjayray@hotmail.com.
If there are no recent posts here, check my HomePage for a new blog address.


27 November, 2002


I have just had one of my posts put up on "Carnival of the Vanities" so have a look. The "Carnival" is where bloggers submit posts which they think deserved more attention than they originally got.



It looks like Australia is now as bad as Britain when it comes to forbidding free speech. An Australian conservative Senator gave a private interview in which he spoke disparagingly but not unreasonably or abusively of Australian blacks so was yesterday found guilty in the Federal Court of breaching the Racial Discrimination Act -- at a cost to him of $10,000. Maybe I will be in the firing-line myself now for reporting it. There is no doubt that Leftists are deadly enemies of our liberties.

See also Alex Robson for more details.



Church schools in the Australian State of Queensland have just had a narrow escape. The Labor Party government in Queensland was about to pass a law that would have forbidden them from rejecting gays as teachers in their schools. An escape clause for church schools (but not other schools) was built in at the last moment after some heavy lobbying. I suspect that a lot of conservative Roman Catholic Labor union leaders burnt the Queensland Premier's ear about the issue. Australia has a lot of Roman Catholic schools.



Ed Mick has just put up a great post comparing the way that the press writes about Islamic militants and the way it writes about the American militia movement.



Good news about the freeing up of world trade:

The Bush administration will seek to kick-start global trade liberalisation by announcing a plan to scrap all tariffs on industrial and consumer goods by 2015.
The White House plans to submit a proposal to the World Trade Organisation to eliminate $US18 billion ($32 billion) in annual tariffs, a move also seen as an American attempt to regain some credibility on the free trade issue after several recent protectionist moves. Administration officials were reported overnight as saying the plan was to "turn every corner store into a duty-free shop".



The alleged recent letter by Bin Laden stressing that it is mainly the existence of Israel that makes him hate the West does not to me sound authentic. Just about Bin Laden's favourite word is "crusader". He likes to fantasize that Israel is just a continuation of the old Christian crusades into the Holy Land back in the 12th century. Yet that word does not appear at all in the recent "letter". I think it just a hoax by some Palestinian.



The poor old Greenies! They can't take a trick! So many of their causes turn out to be absolute nonsense. Greenies have always been able to scare people with talk about what a HORROR nuclear radiation is and how no cost is too much for us to avoid even tiny amounts of it. Forget that there are large variations in earth's natural background radiation and that the people who live in "hotspots" (such as the inhabitants of the ancient and distinguished Scottish city of Aberdeen) are perfectly healthy by normal standards and forget that the incidence of abnormal births around Chernobyl has been no higher than usual after their reactor explosion. No. That is not the worst of it. There is now lots of evidence that low doses of radiation are actually BENEFICIAL!

Practically ever since radiation was invented, it has been used therapeutically, sometimes with remarkably good results. And in Germany to this day the government health service will PAY you to go and have a nice little radiation bath. Such treatments fell out of favour after the bombing of Hiroshima and the discovery of antibiotics but the fact that about half of those Hiroshima citizens who survived the immediate effects of the Hiroshima bombing are STILL ALIVE and that those who have died did so at a fairly normal age should make even a Greenie think. If being in the middle of a nuclear war is not all that bad for you as long as you escape a direct hit, why are we worrying about radiation at all?

The survival of Hiroshima has long been known, however. It is no radiation wasteland. I once owned a very reliable little 1984 Mazda car that was made there. The absolutely astounding and very little known feature about Hiroshima, though, is that those who lived on the outskirts of the city at the time of the bombing have actually had LESS illness than normal. And that finding is no one-off or isolated coincidence. There is now a huge mass of evidence about the therapeutic benefit of low-dose radiation that gets lost amid all the Greenie hysteria.

There is a heap of scientific links on the subject here but a Google search using just the term "hormesis" will turn up many more. "Hormesis" refers to the stimulatory (beneficial) effect that is observed for many poisons when they are administered in low does. It is the theoretical basis for homoepathic medicine -- which the "alternative" crowd love!


Comments? Email me: jonjayray@hotmail.com.
If there are no recent posts here, check my HomePage for a new blog address.


27 November, 2002


If there are any bookbuyers left out there in the Blogosphere, this book by Brink Lindsey looks worth considering. He points out that globalization is just an extension onto the international stage of the long struggle against government intervention in business activity generally. Now that we know how destructive and impoverishing government intervention in business is, we should not be surprised that government intervention in the international activities of business is equally counter-productive. Brink Lindzey also has an occasional blog here.



In his post of 22nd., Twin Ruler points out that the patriotism of the American Militia movement is just another example of "Ethnic Pride". Leftists are all very much in favour of ethnic pride but see the Militia movement as the incarnation of all that is evil. Clearly, being anti-white matters to them a lot more than being consistent.



I put up a link to an article about reform in North Korea recently and referred the story to Marc Miyake, who is one of the world's rarest people -- someone who reads the North Korean press daily. There would not even be many North Koreans who do that. He has replied that he sees NO evidence in the North Korean press of a shift towards capitalism. Sad.



Amax is pretty enraged at the total lies about global warming being broadcast by our ABC. His solution?

Australians deserve a better national broadcasting service, but in my opinion the only way to clear out endemic political bias is to shut the entire freaking commission down. Furthermore, because of the regular use of ABC broadcasts beyond our shores, our standing in the Pacific area is being compromised by witchdoctor predictions from unaccountable environmental nutters saying whatever they please. It is high time these people were shut down!

I am inclined to agree that a totally fresh start would be the only way to excise the bias in our public broadcaster. Perhaps we could call the replacement entity the "PBS" -- although the American PBS is hardly a flawless model either.



The Progressive Social Policy Centre has lots of good articles up on the need for rationality in politics. Their paper on the destructiveness of political correctness in Britain is particularly good and they also have lots on the way an understanding of our biology should influence the policies we adopt. "All men are UN-equal" seems to be their motto.



Here's a funny one! Michael Medved points out that American blacks watch MUCH more TV than whites. Yet our wiseheads believe that watching a lot of TV is bad for you. So maybe all that TV watching holds blacks back. But how can we blame THAT on whites? Nobody forces blacks to turn on their TVs. Medved's cheeky conclusion is that we should have FEWER blacks in US TV programs so that watching TV is less attractive to blacks!



"Foreign aid is the process by which money is taken from poor people in rich countries and given to rich people in poor countries.

Attributed to Peter Bauer on Samizdata.



Before the collapse of communism, this Russian guy loses his pet parrot. He looks everywhere, all around the neighbourhood, in the park, everywhere. He can't find the parrot. Finally he goes around to the KGB office, and tells the desk officer his problem.
The officer is a little puzzled. "Look, comrade, I'm sorry you lost your bird, but this is the KGB. We don't handle missing animal reports."
"Oh, I know that", says the guy. "I just wanted you to know, if you find my parrot... I don't know where he could have picked up all his political ideas."


Comments? Email me: jonjayray@hotmail.com.
If there are no recent posts here, check my HomePage for a new blog address.


25 November, 2002


Brian Micklethwaite is one of the Samizdata team. He has been interested in educational policy for a long time. I remember discussing such matters with him when I was in London in the 70s and 80s. The latest expression of that interest is a new blog devoted entirely to a discussion of educational policy.

His basic dilemma seems to be how to reconcile his strong libertarian principles with some rather conservative instincts about what an education should consist of. For instance, in response to a recent post of mine, he ended up concluding that a "Prussian" system of education has some merit!

I think Brian is crucifying himself unnecessarily, however. There is indeed a continuum of schools from "Prussian" to "permissive" but that is not the usual choice parents have. I can speak only of Australia from experience but certainly here most schools would be around the middle of the continuum. And in the grand old Anglo-Saxon tradition of compromise, I think that is a good place to be. Kids are not allowed to run riot nor are they oppressed.

Another issue Brian has is whether education should be compulsory. I think any libertarian would argue that it should not be compulsory but it is going to be compulsory forever and a day as far as I can see so the only issue that interests me is how to live with that. And maximizing parental choice seems to be the libertarian way to go there.

The USA is now just beginning to use "vouchers" to maximize educational choice but there is huge resistance to it. The Australian system is less purist but achieves something of the same ends with only token resistance. Here the Federal government simply gives subsidies to private schools -- subsidies that come pretty close to what is spent per pupil on government schools. So I send my son to a private school and it costs me a fairly token sum. So "choice" CAN be achieved within the existing system and I am happy to live in one country that has achieved a degree of choice.

Brian also has some grumbles about the bad effect of TV watching and computer games on education but he seems to be rethinking that one in the light of recent evidence that both are beneficial.

The big issue, however, is educational standards and there seems to be a widespread consensus on the conservative side of politics that standards are low almost everywhere these days -- a consensus in which Brian seems to participate. I do too. Education has definitely been "dumbed down" by our Left-leaning educators in recent decades.

The irony of this is that it is those for whom the Leftists claim "compassion" who are most hurt by this. Bright kids will do well in any system. My 15-year-old son, for instance, has written his first novel and dips into Homer from time to time -- and he was NOT taught to do those things at school! Nor did I suggest those things to him either. He just has an enquiring and creative mind.

But average kids who need to be LED into more intellectual effort just do not seem to get that these days. So the Leftists have, as usual, betrayed those they purport to help. I think parental activism is the only cure there. "Vegie" education is all that less gifted kids will get unless parents do start to protest in some way. (In case "vegie" is a solely Australian expression, what I mean is that the kids will be treated at about the level of vegetables).



This might be a bit obscure for many of my readers so I will make it brief:

Philosophers have long argued over how we decide that something "is good" or "ought" to be done. In particular, they obsess over whether we can derive an "ought" statement from an "is" statement. One Good Turn is cogitating on this at the moment and has some suggestions about how conservatives derive "ought" statements.

I had a paper published in one of the academic journals in 1981 that addressed that issue. In it, I looked at the view that "good", "right" and "ought" statements are all essentially pious frauds. They attempt to pass off personal preferences as if they were objective properties. So in the end there IS no real or separate "ought" or "good" or "right" -- only personal recommendations.

I see such a view of values as VERY consistent with the sort of skeptical view of the world that seems to underly conservatism. So conservatives just LIKE individual liberty. They do not feel the need to justify that liking by reference to something else -- though they can of course point out many consequences of it that they would expect to be widely popular.

Ray, J.J. (1981) The morals of attitudes. Journal of Social Psychology 115, 227-235.



Poor old Aaron Oakley! In his post of 23rd he once again goes to the trouble of setting out in some detail what is wrong with the various Greenie calls for use of "renewable" energy sources. He just does not seem to realize the depth of Greenie dishonesty:

Two of the most "renewable" sources of electricity are hydro-electric power and windmills. Yet hydroelectric power involves building dams and we know what a scenic HORROR Greenies think they are. Greenie activism has just about brought a complete halt to dam building worldwide. And windmill farms have come under attack too recently for ruining the scenery wherever they are located: They are "Visual pollution". Aaron just does not seem to realize that NOTHING will EVER make the Greenies happy. You cannot argue with them because we are not dealing with reasonable people there. Greenies are Luddites who just hate the whole modern world -- and nothing will change that.

I guess Aaron must be trying to persuade members of the public who may simply have been taken in by the Greenies. I hope that I can make some small contribution to that also.



I put up a link recently (22nd.) to an unusual claim that Japan is doing much better than we think. China hand is not very convinced by the argument and another of my economically sophisticated correspondents disagrees vigorously also.


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24 November, 2002


I got the following figures about convicted burglars from an email by Iain Murray (of England's Sword). He extracted them from "Crime and Justice in the United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96" by Patrick Langan of the Bureau of Justice Statistics and David Farrington of Cambridge University:

Months served before release:

1981 6.3
1987 6.6
1995 6.5

1981 17.1
1988 18.9
1994 18.0

The fact that the US could afford to keep its villains "inside" for three times as long would have protected its people from the villains concerned for three times longer. Nice. One would think that longer sentences would have a greater deterrent effect too.



Lots of people are now identifying China as being in a Fascist phase and a belief in your country's national distinctiveness and excellence is integral to Fascism so this post from Oxblog is highly relevant. It both confirms the racism of the present Chinese leadership and ridicules it.



Miranda Devine believes that people might be waking up to how irrational and dishonest Greenie activists usually are. Let's hope she is right.



About prominent French anti-globo, Jose Bove:

Activists have hailed Bov, as a leader of the fight against globalization ..... I've always found this absurd. Bov,'s decision to attack the MacDonald's in the first place was due to a U.S. decision, during a typical trade spat with the EU, to raise tariffs against French luxury goods. This had a devastating impact on Bov,'s livelihood, as "someone who supplies sheep's milk to makers of Roquefort cheese," according to the New York Times. In other words, the initial incident that triggered Bov,'s "protest" was a lack of globalization, not its acceleration. The fact that Bov, and other protestors concluded that the cure for Bov,'s ills was to halt the free flow of goods and services across borders even further is a testimony to the blinkered logic of the anti-globalization movement.

Quoted from Daniel Drezner



I haven't given "Bad Eagle" a plug for a while. He is a conservative American Indian (NOT an Indian-American) who has been up in arms lately about how people are trying -- in the name of political correctness!! -- to erase the memory of the "Red Indian" in US history.



For the benefit of my readers outside Australia, I thought I might mention that the most prominent politician of our Christian Right -- the Rev. Fred Nile -- has just called for Muslim women in Australia to be banned from wearing the Chador -- on the grounds that it could be used to conceal bombs and explosives. This caused the uproar that was to be expected and -- after an initial hesitation -- our conservative Prime Minister (John Howard) rejected the call. I suspect however that Fred's call will win him a lot of votes at the next election -- even from non-religious Australians.

I doubt that the risk is high enough for Fred's call to be implemented but I understand those who ask why we should pussyfoot around with Muslims when they subscribe to a religion that preaches hatred of us "infidels". If you want to send Fred a message, his website is here. I met Fred myself some years ago and found him to be a most reasonable and pleasant man.



A few people have commented on this interesting article by Jonah Goldberg here. He argues that we are now under so much government restraint (by way of laws and regulations) because most traditional sources of restraint on antisocial behaviour -- morality, customs, religion etc. -- have ceased to have much effect. He also argues that despite the unending hailstorm of regulation coming from our lawgivers, prosperity and technology have made us more free than at any other time in history. He has a point.

If I were British or if I were a US university student, however, I would be less sanguine. You can get put in jail in Britain just for saying "Muslims are scum" and saying the same in many American universities could have you in a whole heap of trouble too. And in Britain the rising tide of crime makes people much less free to go and do normal things whenever they want -- unless they want to be a crime victim. Going for a walk after dark in many parts of London, for instance, would be most unwise. The British government seems to be keener to stamp out political incorrectness (i.e. Leftist incorrectness) than they are to stamp out assaults and robberies.


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23 November, 2002


The idea that Leftism is a religion is an old and often recurring one. I have mentioned it myself on various occasions (e.g. here) Stanley Kurtz, however, has a particularly persuasive treatment of the idea in National Review -- pointing out that "liberalism" gives a feeling of mission, of belonging and of being on the side of the angels in a struggle with "demonic" conservatives. He also shows how it offers relaxing simplifications of the real complexities of life in the way that a religion does.



In my post on this blog of 11th, I pointed out that China was now more Fascist than Communist. Quite a few bloggers linked to that post at the time and I have noted a lot of other mentions of that idea on the internet since. The latest is an extensive article in The Spectator.



Gary of Public opinion has had another "musing" in which he came up with the proposal that Greenie activists are "romantics" and have a place as such, regardless of the general utility of what they do. He seems to understand that this is a pretty feeble defence of them and so adds that they are really fairly moderate people who mostly work within the system. Be that as it may, however, I think that people who constantly rely on gross distortions of the truth in order to get us to do useless things that we otherwise would not do must be constantly exposed as being the lying, attention-seeking, destructive misanthropes that they are.

The fact that in his "musing" Gary defends Greenies whilst at the same time disparaging passers-by and equating them with various breeds of dog does rather neatly illustrate what I mean by "misanthropes". Apparently to Gary, Greenies are people and others are dogs. Charming!

See below for just some of the latest demonstrations of how misleading Greenie claims are.



Amax is a good chap. He not only repeats my jokes but has also just put up some MORE embarrassing statistics for the Greenies. It seems that if we take a statistical series that does show a small amount of global warming over the last century and dissect out that part of the series that comes from the USA, we find that the warming has been least in the USA -- not most as the Greenie claim would require. In simple terms, the rest of the world has heated up a touch but the USA has hardly changed. Odd that, considering all those nasty polluting industries the USA has! Could all those nasty US industries actually be the good guys in the global warming picture? That's what the actual measurements of global temperature would seem to show.

John Daly also reports on a 50 year data series that shows the opposite of what the Greenies claim. Just when do facts begin to matter to Greenies? Never, it seems.



As is their wont, the Greenies and their media allies have exaggerated the importance of the recent oil-spill off the coast of Spain. Acidman has a relevant enquiry:

"What happened to all the oil spilled in the ocean during World War II? Back then, we dumped this kind of spill about once a week, because of Nazi U-boat attacks on our merchant marine fleet and great naval battles that sunk battleships and aircraft carriers. Where is that devastation today?

I hate to mention it but oil is a "natural" product and gets broken down by other natural processes.



"Jonathan Cross, a nine-year-old fourth-grader at the Fred A. Anderson Elementary School in Bayboro, N.C., wore his duck-hunting outfit to school the other day, WorldNetDaily reports:

"But there was something in his pocket he had forgotten about--a shotgun shell left over from an outing with his father and brothers last weekend.
His discovery of the item while on campus has left the straight-A student stunned with a five-day suspension, his teachers in tears, and his parents perplexed over the latest case of "zero tolerance" in the government school system."

We know what you're thinking: What the heck was Jonathan doing wearing a duck-hunting outfit to school? He was participating --we kid you not-- in the school's official Camouflage Day."

Quoted from Opinion Journal.

At least Australian schools are not that nutty. The USA has thousands of illegal immigrants flooding across its borders every day and they are going ballistic about an empty cartridge case in a kid's pocket! More "liberal" craziness at work, obviously.


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22 NOVEMBER, 2002


Read this and thank goodness for Australia's immigration laws! At least there is one Western country that has not thrown the floodgates wide open.



The "soft-on-crime" attitude and politically-correct police-bashing of the Left-leaning British government seems to have had the predictable effect: See here.



China hand is having a bit of fun at the moment about fashions in haircuts among the Communist Party elite in China.


NORTH KOREA GOING CAPITALIST? I cannot believe this. At this rate the US Democrats will end up the only Leftists worth abusing.



The conventional wisdom is that Japan has been in the economic doldrums for the last 10 years and that the Japanese way of doing business has finally hit a rock. There is a much different view here. It does sound as if we have been looking at the wrong statistics.



The "moderate" position in the nature/nurture debate was once that BOTH heredity and environment form what we are. Science can be very IM-moderate, however, and the science of behaviour genetics has long gone past that moderate conclusion. Over the years, scientists have succeeded in tracking down lots of identical twins reared apart and --- guess what? Identical twins reared apart are almost as startlingly similar as identical twins reared together. So upbringing has hardly any influence on what we become. This flies in the face of what humankind has believed for thousands of years but, as the Scots say: "Facts are chiels that winna ding".

The leading expositor of this new understanding is Stephen Pinker and, as this article shows, he is so hard to beat on the question that people complain about it.



This joke might be a little bit dated by now but not by much:

A mathematician and an accountant apply for the same job. The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks "What do two plus two equal?" The mathematician replies "Four." The interviewer asks "Four, exactly?" The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says "Yes, four, exactly."

Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The accountant gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says "What do you want it to equal?"


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21 NOVEMBER, 2002


I recently (on 19th) put up a post questioning Andrew Sullivan's claim that the British are "crude" and rude compared to Americans. My underlying point was that he was failing to give proper recognition to the stratified nature of both his own and British society and was making an unfair comparison between British working-class culture and his own no doubt much less working-class environment in the USA.

One of my regular Australian readers, however, has written in with a vigorous defence of Sullivan's claims that does appear to make a relevant comparison:

I worked in a trading room in NYC for 15 years and working in that environment allowed me to interact with the London desk very often. So as an Australian I had the unique experience of interacting with both cultures. You see the real animal instincts coming out, as nothing can really be kept in the dark for a long time in a trading environment.

Let me tell you, I found English traders and sales people the very worst group of people to work with. They are very rude and arrogant and need to be told to f*** right off very often. I found Americans to be on the whole a polite bunch who are very hard working and methodical.

I really think that the English do have a class thing about them. Whenever I visited London for business I experienced the true meaning of Yuppy and it wasn't pretty. You would never find an American talking incessantly about the new Porsche he bought or the jewels he bought his wife with the bonus he got -- as English traders did. Compared to NY, London seemed to me to be a very posy place. Maybe it is new money people. New money people in NYC take it in their stride whereas Brits have to be loud and show that although they don't have class ( whatever that means) they have money.

I know exactly what Sullivan is talking about and believe me, you just don't get a true understanding of Americans through short visits. You really have to live there for a while at least.

I must say that he has a point. Foolish boastfulness and arrogance among the English are certainly far from unknown.



Australian philosopher Peter Singer is something of a hero on the loony Left but he seems to have had an attack of good sense recently and come out IN FAVOUR OF globalization -- on the undoubtedly true grounds that it will reduce global poverty. This article by Greg Easterbrook (apparently a moderate Leftist) reviews Singer's book and even makes the point that, as globalization has been progressing, global inequalities in income have been DECLINING. It must be so sad for Leftists to hear even from their own that, under wicked old capitalism, the poor are getting richer, not poorer.



Men and women have always tended to think of one-another as silly. Men see things that women do as crazy and vice versa. But they mostly get on anyhow -- sometimes very well. For a long time women felt that they got the raw end of such comparisons -- being paid smaller wages for similar work, etc. Men, however, felt that they got the raw end of the deal in that they did not have the option of staying home rather than going out to work. And it is not only men who think that women get a good deal out of conventional arrangements. But anyway, feminists ended up persuading many of us that "sexism" is bad -- and so unequal payment to women in the workforce at least has now largely been eliminated.

Radical feminists (many of whom appeared to be lesbians), however, pushed things much further -- declaring men to be the "enemy". Many women love their men so do not agree with that but a watered-down version of that view has become common, in that many people -- male and female -- have been brought to believe that female ways of doing things are just better: Full stop. This is of course sexism -- prejudice based on sex -- but somehow seems to be permissible and applauded by our media and educational elites who otherwise deplore all forms of prejudice. Any thought that both males and females each have their own spheres of excellence and that both should be equally applauded seems to be abandoned.

This leads to some sad outcomes and I want to mention here just one small example: I recently read an article (not online) by Jannine Barron in the November, 2002 issue of Living Now -- a free newspaper of a distinctly "alternative" bent. The article is on p. 9 and is headed "The solicitor and the partner".

It is a nice human interest story: A group of women had been involved in a business partnership and decided to call it quits. They therefore wrote out an agreement to be signed by all which would terminate the arrangement. They decided that it should be vetted by a lawyer who would put in all the necessary legal bits. They took it to a lawyer and left it with him to do his part. When one of them called to pick up the revised agreement, however, the lawyer very kindly said that there would be no charge for his work. On being asked why he replied that it was because the agreement concerned was the nicest and most considerate partnership termination agreement he had ever seen.

Once upon a time that would have been the end of the story but on this occasion a generalization apparently had to be extracted from this one event. What conclusion would you extract? The only conclusion I would extract is that lawyer X was an unusually nice guy. Pushed hard, I might have added the jocular conclusion that even lawyers can be human sometimes. But what conclusion did the author draw? The conclusion was about "women" generally: That women do business "differently" -- and the difference was clearly outlined as being more lovingly, kindly etc.

Women are better -- get it? Prejudice in the media is fine -- as long as it is the "right" sort of prejudice.



Gary of Public opinion objects to environmentalism being classed as a religion and says that environmental debates are really debates between scientists -- not debates of science versus religion. Well, he is right about that. Many scientists do (for instance) say that humankind is causing global warming. But what sort of scientists are they? There are some indications of global warming and a lot of indicators of global temperature stability. What do real scientists do in that situation? I will tell you exactly what they do: They "accept the null hypothesis". They conclude that there is no systematic evidence of anything going on and therefore conclude that nothing is going on -- at least until better or clearer evidence is obtained. So scientists who say that there IS global warming going on when there is so much evidence that there is NOT are not acting as scientists at all. They may be defending their Greenie religion or (more likely) they may be defending their research grants but they are not giving a scientific response to the evidence.



I love this quote attributed to Michael Duffy by Gareth Parker:

"There are six times as many Indian restaurants in Britain than McDonald's. Why aren't you worried about Indian cultural imperialism as well as American?"



Two dyslexic bankrobbers walk into a bank shouting:
"Air in the hands motherstickers, this is a fuckup!"


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20 November, 2002


"The Tugboat Potemkin" had a couple of bad trips recently. It started out in a way that would have done Eisenstein proud -- with metaphorical sparks flying from its Soviet funnel. To wit:

"One of the nastier little half-truths circulating in some parts of the blogging world is that the African slaves of the 18th and 19th century were responsible, at least in part, for their own slavery. This plea of mitigation for the slave shippers and slave owners argues that whites only bought the slaves: it was Africans who sold them, so they must be held accountable too.

But our little boat promptly ran out of steam from that point on -- ending the post completely becalmed -- with the admission:

"Of course, like all arguments by analogy, this one will probably fail". Who am I to argue with that?

"But wait -- there's more" (as Tim Shaw used to say). On the "Potemkin's" next trip (post of 20th) we even find arguments that slavery was a good thing in some ways!! It certainly did not take much for me to win that argument (as it was my post of 16th. that the skipper of the "Potemkin" was originally referring to).



China hand is a bit irate at the moment because an ignorant Western journalist failed to realize the huge improvement that capitalism has brought to the lives of the average Chinese.


Thought for the day

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.



(Green on the outside, red on the inside): A great phrase from an excellent article by an Indian here on how the biotechnology that the Western watermelons despise is in fact India's best hope for sustainable agriculture.



I don't agree with Leftie economist John Quiggin very often but I think he was spot-on with this one:

"I picked up an ad for the Mitsubishi Verada in a magazine a while ago, and I couldn't resist mentioning it. It suggests the car might be perfect for an afternoon drive past the houses of:

(a) Your old economics teacher who said you'd amount to nothing
(b) Your first boss (ditto)
(c) Your ex-wife who left you for someone with better prospects

In other words, if you're an embittered loser who's willing to pay more than you can afford in order to impress people you don't like and who've probably forgotten you even exist, buy this car."



A good thought from Thomas Sowell:

The phrase "glass ceiling" is an insult to our intelligence. What does glass mean, except that we cannot see it? In other words, in the absence of evidence, we are expected to go along with what is said because it is said in accusatory and self-righteous tones.



The Brits often seem to be rather proud of their eccentrics but Australia has its fair share of lulus too. I am a 5th generation Australian with some convict ancestry so the following rant gave me a belly-laugh:

"From the first day the First Fleet unloaded its cargo of political prisoners on our shores in 1788, this nation was forged in a struggle against the British Crown and its associated City of London centered Money Power

It is a bit hard to know what brand of wacko is writing this but the term "money power" suggests a remnant of the old Douglas "Social Credit" outfit (mainly influential in New Zealand and British Columbia and generally right-wing in a crazy sort of way.)

Thanks to Samizdata for the link. They have a good sense of humour there as well as good minds.


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19 November 2002


In The New Republic of November 2nd., Andrew Sullivan put out an article in which he noted that crude British working class culture is now well displayed and catered for in the British media and that its export to the United States has been a great commercial success. But he took many paragraphs to say what I have just said in one sentence -- presumably because he took so long to bring himself to mention the word "class". Even after he has mentioned that naughty word, however, he still creates the vague impression that British culture as a whole has deteriorated rather than saying that upper and middle class British culture now has vigorous competition in the British media. His article oozed distaste for the British popular culture he was describing but his conclusion appeared to be ambivalent. He concluded that the culture concerned endeared the Brits to Americans.

A later post of 19th on his blog was much less reserved, however. He commented "What rubes and provincials the British often are".

As a product of the very blunt Australian culture I have got to laugh out loud at that one. If being a rube and a provincial means knowing only about your own neck of the woods, Americans are famed for it. Lots of Americans seem to think that Australia is a small country somewhere near Switzerland! And it seems to be a standard expectation among American tourists here to see kangaroos hopping down the main streets of our cities. Some Americans even have to be told that we speak English here.

But Sullivan does have a point. American tourists are a brassy lot but on the various occasions when I have spent time in the USA, it has always been apparent to me that Americans are much more polite and adept at hiding their real thoughts and feelings than either Australians or Brits. Sullivan sees that as a virtue. I hate to tell him, but Australians often see it as hypocrisy.

Would it not be wiser to can all such silly value judgements of one-another altogether? Politeness and reserve has its virtues. So does bluntness and openness. De gustibus non disputandum est.



I do occasionally get emails from Leftists. Here is an excerpt from one:

[Conservatives] do not think about how society has helped them get where they are and about maintaining a cohesive supportive society, but instead only think of what will immediately put more money in their pocket. The extreme example is the wealth childless business owner who feels that he should not have to pay taxes that go towards educating children that are not his. Yet he fails to realize that without a good education system, there would not be a large amount of reasonably priced skilled professional labor that makes his business run.

To which I replied:

Your thoughts about greed are reasonable IF and only IF you assume that government provision of education etc is important. Conservatives reject that utterly. Almost any conservative these days thinks that public schools are punk. That is why they want vouchers to help them choose a private school instead. The same goes for hospitals, health insurance, superannuation for old age etc. Conservatives object to being forced to pay in taxes money that they know will be spent stupidly. Passing a law to say that everybody MUST take out health insurance and age insurance (of their choice) would be as far as conservatives would like to go. If people got back what they now pay in taxes they would be a lot better able to afford it too.

I might add that the above reply was for what appeared to be an American reader. The Australian situation is a bit different. State schools here are generally quite reasonable -- perhaps in part because the government provides funding for private schools at a level not much lower than the level of funding provided to State schools. That means that the annual fees I pay to send my son to a large local private High School are only $800 (in US dollars).

Kids in almost all Australian schools do however get subjected to some level of lying Red/Green propaganda -- such as "global warming" and "blacks are just like us only browner". That in turn reflects the attitudes of those who teach the teachers -- our very Leftist universities and colleges.

Provision for old-age support is also slowly being privatized. For some years now, it has been compulsory for all Australian employers to put a proportion of all wages into a private superannuation fund of their choice on behalf of their workers.



The Australian media are showing signs of waking up to the awful abuse of the truth that constitutes most of today's "Green" movement. Our "60 Minutes" TV program last Sunday had a long interview with Bjorn Lomborg -- the fact-checking statistician that Greenies love to hate. This article sums it up well.

The disgraceful attempts that have been made to silence Lomborg are also briefly described. See also here for more on that.



Paddy McGuinness, in his usual incisive way shows that the victims of the terror-bombing in Bali recently were doing far more for the Third-world poor than are the "Rent-a-mob" who have been trying to disrupt the current World Trade Organization meeting in Sydney. For once the Australian Press has been almost universal in its condemnation of these brainless thugs.



John Weidner has just put up a good post asking why it is that a Republican President is pressing the issue of North Korea -- where a large part of the population is starving under a crazy Leftist dictatorship -- but not a peep is heard out of the supposedly "compassionate" Leftists. Many thousands of people dying of starvation is OK with Leftists? You betcha! What a fraud their "compassion" is!



And yet, in the four quarters since the [9/11] attack, the U.S. economy has posted an average growth rate of 3%. There's no comparing the characters of these two men, but on Greenspan's evidence, Osama bin Laden managed to do less harm to the U.S. economy than President Jimmy Carter.

From David Frum. Link via Bleeding Brain.



I did a post on October 24th in which I noted the great rise in average IQ that has happened in the last 100 years. I attributed it in part to the greater stimulation young brains now receive from modern entertainment media -- television and computer games in particular. Both have of course long been treated as evils by many of our professionally wise people -- who would keep kids away from both if they could.

I am pleased to see therefore that a new research report has just come out confirming what I said. Far from holding kids back, TV and computer games greatly improve their intelligence. The killjoys still mutter and grumble of course but I am happy to say that my very bright and creative son was always allowed to play as many computer games as he liked.



I imagine that the USA is the murder capital of the Western world (unless we include South Africa) but it looks like Australia is the Burglary capital. See here (entry of Nov. 2nd). There is no mystery why. Our courts just do not seem to treat burglary as a serious crime. I doubt that any victim of burglary shares that view, however. I think our judges need to be burgled a few times.


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18 November, 2002


In case you did not see it in today's papers



Orrin Judd put up some time ago an excellent review of De Tocqueville which shows just how prescient the old-timer was. His arguments sound right and relevant to this day: Excerpt:

"Individual alms-giving established valuable ties between the rich and the poor. The deed itself involves the giver in the fate of the one whose poverty he has undertaken to alleviate. The latter, supported by aid which he had no right to demand and which he had no hope to getting, feels inspired by gratitude. A moral tie is established between those two classes whose interests and passions so often conspire to separate them from each other, and although divided by circumstance they are willingly reconciled.

This is not the case with legal charity. The latter allows the alms to persist but removes its morality. The law strips the man of wealth of a part of his surplus without consulting him, and he sees the poor man only as a greedy stranger invited by the legislator to share his wealth. The poor man, on the other hand, feels no gratitude for a benefit that no one can refuse him and that could not satisfy him in any case. Public alms guarantee life but do not make it happier or more comfortable than individual alms-giving; legal charity does not thereby eliminate wealth or poverty in society. One class still views the world with fear and loathing while the other regards its misfortune with despair and envy. Far from uniting these two rival nations, who have existed since the beginning of the world and who are called the rich and poor, into a single people, it breaks the only link which could be established between them. It ranges each one under a banner, tallies them, and, bringing them face to face, prepares them for combat.



There is rather a good wrap on The Simpsons
here. Excerpt:

"Conservatives and libertarians should appreciate The Simpsons for regularly showcasing much that they hold dear.

"There's no ideological requirement to work here," executive producer Al Jean says by phone. Though free marketeers and liberals write the show, Jean says they agree on this: "We mistrust authorities and people who try to hold people down. We believe more in individuals and families."

The Simpsons are a nuclear family led by an atomic power-plant engineer and a stay-at-home mom. They regularly attend church and occasionally seek spiritual advice from their minister, Reverend Timothy Lovejoy. Marge Simpson even homeschools Bart when he is expelled for misbehavior."



Come to the good old US of A for a Fascist education! No, not in the 1930s -- right now. Jeff Jacoby sets it all out in detail.



Who would have thought that US universities would one day become hotbeds of antisemitism? Once they would have rejected antisemitism outright and condemned it as racism. Yet thoroughly antisemitic they are today -- as Arlene Peck sets out at some length.



I have always thought that it was something of a pity that the Cornish language died out but recent "success" in reviving it seems to me a rather big waste of time. I did however like this bit:

The collection of clergymen and antiquarians who reconstructed the language were helped in their efforts by John Davey, a schoolmaster in Zennor, the last person with sufficient knowledge of the old tongue to speak it. Davey, who died in 1891, is said to have kept his ability alive by speaking Cornish to his cat.

(From The Telegraph of 17th.)



Sasha Castel says lots of nice things about her fellow bloggers but I still rather like this blog being listed under the heading "Wunderbar" (German for "wonderful").



China hand has just tried to explain to us the varieties of Chinese writing but I am afraid that it is still all Greek to me! At least English is uniform in its craziness.


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17 November, 2002


At one time Leftists (and others) would condemn racism because it "categorized" people. Treating people as instances of some group to which they belonged rather than as individuals was widely seen as a VERY bad thing. Today that seems to be all turned around. Hatred of Israelis and Jews generally once again seems to have become de rigeur among many Leftists. Why?

One one level it is easily understood: Hitler was a socialist so it is surely no surprise that modern-day socialists should share his views.

It goes deeper than that, however. Leftists now LOVE categorizing people -- as long as the category is one that can be seen as at a disadvantage in some way. It does not even have to be a minority category. In most countries there are slightly more women than men but almost every Leftist will tell you that women everywhere are "oppressed". Middle-class white males of Anglo-Saxon ancestry living in the "Western" world seem to be just about the only category that cannot be classed as "oppressed". THEY are the universal ENEMY!

Enormously crass and silly though this all is, it seems to be taken as gospel by many members of the selfsame "enemy" class -- as long as they are also Leftists, journalists, university professors, mainstream clergy etc. Such people seek credit for themselves by treating all others outside their own self-proclaimed group as being especially privileged. Yes. Being in an "oppressed" class is seen by such people as earning the "oppressed" ones great advantages. It is, for instance, a "hate crime" to speak any ill of any member of such a class, but if you say exactly the same thing about any member of the "enemy" class, that is NOT a "hate crime". THAT is fair comment!

Such Leftist gyrations would once have been called double standards, prejudice and discrimination. Leftists are such moral and intellectual dwarfs that they simply replace hatred of blacks with hatred of whites.

Needless to say, this apparent self-loathing tends to be greeted with considerable glee by most of those upon whom it confers advantages. Why would it not? So we have a modern-day equivalent of a class-war or race-war which, as usual in such wars, is focused on just one enemy. But unlike most such wars, most of the attacking is being done by people within the "enemy" ranks! Fortunately, however, it is only a verbal and financial war. If it were a hot war the traitors would have to be shot!

It probably would be helpful, however, if the war-mongers concerned were seen for what they are -- People who foster intergroup hatred to serve their own self-glorifying ends. They are the modern world's equivalent of the racists of the past.

They would of course totally reject any parallel: They would say that racists sought the destruction of others whereas they want to foster harmony and help others. But hatred, prejudice and discrimination are strange tools to use if you really want to help others and foster harmony. Welfare programs, for instance, do not require those helped to be members of some "victim" class. Welfare can be targeted simply at need (e.g. level of income). So in the absence of any need for all the hatred, prejudice and discrimination, its widespread use by Leftists surely tells us yet again what is really in their hearts.

And, after all, Leftists have always loved "groupthink" (to use Orwell's famous term) and rejected the primacy of the individual so it is rather surprising that they ever rejected racism at all. That phase in their history would now however seem to be coming to an end -- showing that their opposition to it was only ever yet another attempt to gain kudos for themselves.



Quoted from Eric Hoffer, writing in the LA Times of 5/26/1968 but still relevant today:

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.

Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese-and no one says a word about refugees.

But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis



A little while ago, Gareth Parker noted that I had blogged on the historical evidence showing that Hitler was a Leftist. He then added his own comment to the effect that Leftists had long ago "excommunicated" Hitler. I thought that this was an excellent turn of phrase: Excommunicating your brother does not make him any less your brother. It just means that you do not acknowledge him as such.

Gareth's post did however cause a minor storm at Mental Space -- a Leftist blog complete with Stalinist iconography. They did not like my history lesson at all. The main thrust of their response does however seem worth a comment: It was claimed that it did not make Hitler a Leftist when he called himself a friend of the worker etc. It was pointed out that conservatives also claim to be friends of the worker etc. And that is true. Conservatives do claim to be good for the worker (and for others) in the long run.

But show me one conservative who claims to be a SOCIALIST friend of the worker! Hitler's party was a "Socialist Workers Party" ("Nationalsoziaslistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei"). How anybody can get anything but Leftism out of that escapes me.

Even the fact that Hitler added the word "National" into the name of his party does not bar it from being Leftist. There are several member parties of the Socialist International that have the word "national" in their names to this day.



The estimable Peggy Noonan has given an interesting dissection of Liberal motivations in her article on the "persecution" of smokers but I cannot agree with her conclusion that smokers have the right to impose their foul smells on others. As a libertarian, I am perfectly happy for smokers to practice their vice among consenting adults in private but it seems to me a serious and totally unnecessary attack on the right of others to breathe unpolluted air if they smoke in the presence of nonsmokers. Just this once, I think that the "liberals" have got it right.



Vin Ferrari has a fascinating piece on the latest Krugman diatribe in which Krugman implies that it is wrong that the political Right should get ANY support for their views via the media!!! Phew!! Welcome back, Stalin.


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16 November, 2002


I have often made the point that it is a love of individual liberty that is central to the political Right rather than opposition to change. Most "conservatives" I know would like to see a HEAP of changes in the world around us. So today, I want to give just two quotes to show that anti-State and pro-individual attitudes go a long way back in the history of the British Conservative (Tory) party.

This is about the earliest English Tories:

"Coleridge, the most profound and influential of these theorists, looked to the moral regeneration of the individual, not to the reforming State, and he envisaged the Church of England as the head of a paternalistic society. He despised what he called "act of Parliament reforms", and he exalted the Church as much as he feared the State." (Roberts, 1958).

Of a slightly later period we read:

"Only State aid to all voluntary schools could extend education, but the Tories would not tolerate State intervention in a sphere reserved for the Church. In a grandiloquent speech to the Commons, Disraeli played deftly on this deep jealousy of the State. He raised the spectre of a centralized despotism comparable to those which oppressed China, Persia and Austria, and sombrely warned that the grant would force a return "to the system of a barbarous age, the system of a paternal government"." (Roberts, 1958).

Roberts, D. (1958) Tory paternalism and social reform in Early Victorian England. The American Historical Review, 63, 323-337.



One of my readers is a college student who has been learning too much from my blog. In particular, he noted my post about slavery, where I made the point that it was mainly blacks who sold the slaves. Whites only bought them. He writes:

In a discussion, slavery and reparations was brought up. I brought up the responsibility of blacks for enslaving themselves and there was a full consternation.

He is having some fun with the Lefties but he won't get good grades!



Australia is a pretty irreligious place generally, courtesy of our British forbears, so lots of Australian conservatives are NOT religious. Here an Australian conservative Senator puts rather well how an Australian non-religious conservative responds to demands from the religious Right:

""I think living by a decent set of values is far more important than defending [religious] dogma. I'm confident that if you lead a good life and there is a kingdom of heaven you will be welcome. Your religion is your business and no one else's. My personal view is that when you make your religion an issue, you drag it into the political domain and you tarnish it. It follows that I attach very little importance to [such] arguments.

"My point is quite simple: each to his own religion. If you say to me that doing something is against God's will, then I will respond by assuring you that, if God is annoyed, God will punish whomever has done that thing. The state should never be used as God's enforcer. Over the years, as I have been approaching 50, I can assure you I have had every confidence in God's ability to settle accounts. It has not been my experience that he or she usually waits until you are dead. Many people who have done the wrong thing have met their maker in a practical sense while they were still alive ...

"I simply ask those who, because of their beliefs, have a very genuine concern about this bill, to accept that they are entitled to follow their beliefs. They are not entitled to demand, by legislation, that everybody else does the same."

Hear here!



There is a most heartening article in the Wall St Journal: 'Good News for Europe', which shows that, at least in the economic sphere, liberty is progressing steadily worldwide.

The article does not, however, really ask WHY some countries adopt economically sensible policies and some do not. Chris Brand thinks he knows why and has written a "Letter to the Editor" to tell us all why. I think, however, that Chris's letter will almost certainly NOT see print -- despite being as good an example of science as anything else to be found in the social sciences:

Dear Editor,
It is good to see the Heritage Foundation finding that freedom does countries good and is on the increase (Mary Anastasia O'Grady, 12 November). However, a markedly more important factor in national prosperity is intelligence, as has recently been documented by professors Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in their 2002 book 'IQ and the Wealth of Nations.' I will gladly supply a review of Lynn & Vanhanen for WSJ if desired, but the main finding is that IQ and Gross Domestic Product correlate at around .65 -- a very high correlation in social science.

In line with the IQ finding, Lynn & Vanhanen's data also show a racial link. Of the world's 21 countries which steadily tripled their Gross Domestic Product from 1983 through 1990 and 1993 to 1996, not one was on the African mainland; whereas of the 27 countries whose GDP decreased by 50% or more, ten were African (Angola, Burkina Faso, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Madagascar, Somalia, Sudan, Zambia and Sao Tome & Principe). The consensus of modern work is that the average IQ in sub-Saharan Africa is not much above 70. It is time for such realities to be taken on board if Africa is to receive more appropriate help in the future than economists have been offering through the last fifty years.
I am yours sincerely,
Chris Brand.



One of the few things that both the Left and the Right seem to agree on is that "community" is a good thing. And both Leftists and Rightists tend to deplore the destruction of a sense of community among people -- something that seems now all too common in the modern world. Steven Chapman explains what has been killing it:

"Could it be said that it is precisely the rise of the State - i.e. Statism - that has led to the erosion of community/society? Think of it this way: a community or society is, traditionally, an informal thing, depending for its existence on goodwill and mutual dependence among a group of people, however large or small. In a traditional society, everyone needs to stay on pretty good terms with their neighbour because, after all, you never know when you're going to need him/her. Then the State comes along, and tells you that, when the going gets tough, you can rely on it to get by. This new state of affairs relieves you of the 'burden' of maintaining the high degree of goodwill and mutual self-interest which maintains a community/society, and furthermore, because the state is a system rather than a person, no expenditure of goodwill on your part is necessary to get what the State is offering. All you need to do is fill out the relevant forms and provide the relevant supporting documentation to prove that you're entitled to the State's goodies."


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15 November, 2002


Razib at Gene Expression points out that in the recently released Index of Freedom, all the top countries seem to have a connection to the Anglosphere or are Germanic. India, of course, would usually be seen as part of the Anglosphere. This does tie in rather well with my contention made in previous posts on this blog and also here to the effect that the love of individual freedom that characterizes the English and their descendants elsewhere in the world is ultimately due to the Germanic ancestry of most of the English.



I wrote recently that Napoleon was the first Fascist. Arthur Silber has put up some excerpts from the recent biography of Napoleon by Paul Johnson that show how very Fascist Napoleon indeed was.



Twin Ruler has an interesting post about parallels between Asian Communists and Nazis.



I have received the following interesting email from Derk Lupinek in Japan:I have just read your piece on conservativism, and it seems to me that your disagreement with Philosoblog is more semantic than anything else. I live in Japan, and when I first moved here I found myself trying to decide whether the Japanese were deeply conservative, as I had been led to believe, or whether they were actually quite liberal, especially given their attitudes toward sex. They clearly do not value individual liberty, which would mean they are not conservative by your definition, but they seek to preserve their culture down to the most excruciating details, leaving me with the feeling that they are in fact deeply conservative, at least in the sense that Philosoblog intends. So, while I do agree with your definition as it relates to conservativism in the West, it certainly doesn't account for deeply conservative individuals in other cultures, and those individuals are indeed trying to "conserve" something. In other words, you seem to be using the term "conservative" to refer to a political movement that has occurred in the West, and Philosoblog is just using the term more generally to refer to a psychological mindset. Am I mistaken?

My reply: "Conservative" has come to have the lexical meaning of "opposed to change" but my point is that those individuals usually so labelled in the Anglosphere are motivated primarily by a love of liberty and that calling them "conservative" is a misnomer -- often a major misnomer given the changes that they favour. "Rightist" would be a less ambiguous and hence less misleading term for them.



Since my post on "reparations" for slavery, several people have written to me to ask" "What about the Arabs?". Arabs were slave traders and slave users for many centuries -- and by some accounts still are. And one might ask when did any Arab country fight an immensely destructive civil war to end slavery? And what Arab state used its navy to stop slave-traders? Lots of Arab states today are oil-rich so if anybody should be putting up "reparations" money they should be. So if the USA were to say "after you" to the Arab world that would surely be fair. Yet for some reason, Leftists never seem to mention Arab "guilt". I wonder why?



China hand thinks that China's Deng Xiaoping is one of the greatest men of the 20th Century. He rejects the notion that Deng had anything to do with the Tien An Men square massacre and posts that Deng was a pragmatist and realist throughout his career -- unlike Mao who was a crazy idealist. Jim Ryan of Philosoblog has argued that pragmatism and realism are the hallmarks of the conservative so perhaps Deng should be even more of a conservative hero than he now is. It is undoubted that it was Deng who took the lead in introducing capitalism back into China.



Although Marxism is now dead, its great role in inspiring Leftists for around 100 years still in my view makes the effort to understand it worthwhile. This quote from Cinderella Bloggerfeller does help:

"Marxism scores over traditional religion for a certain kind of person because in Judaeo-Christian thinking you are supposed to examine your own conscience and feel bad about yourself; Marxism allows you to place all the blame onto other people and feel proudly self-righteous and anti-bourgeois when you do so. 'Mea culpa' becomes 'tua culpa'.

(For those who do not know their Latin, "mea culpa" means "I am guilty" and "tua culpa means "You are guilty").



A fascinating article here showing that the compulsively Leftist Swedes are getting left way behind economically by the more conservative Danes. Link via Commonsense & Wonder.



I should ignore this stuff but the "Teutonic plates" gave me a laugh. And "manipulating" tectonic plates is nearly as funny. If it is not a spoof it ought to be.


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14 November, 2002


I seem to have gotten Jim Ryan of Philosoblog a bit confused now about what conservatism is so let me progress from poking holes in his arguments to putting forward my own:

I have shown in previous posts that there is large historical precedent for the current conservative dislike of big government and the concomitant conservative attachment to individual liberty -- and I have argued therefore that a love of individual liberty is a basic value for conservatives. It is reasonable to ask, however, whether this is FUNDAMENTAL to conservatism. Could there not be a deeper level of motivation that underlies a love of individual liberty?

We find one such proposal in the conclusions drawn by some historians of the British Conservative party -- who find a certain realistic, practical and pragmatic outlook as the main enduring characteristics of Conservative thought (Feiling, 1953; Gilmour, 1978; Norton & Aughey, 1981; Standish, 1990) and this is clearly a theory about the wellsprings of conservatism rather than a description of what conservatives have tended to stand for. And it is not at all difficult to see why such skepticism has led to doubt about the benefits of extending the inevitably ham-fisted activities of government ever further into the life of the community. So we might say that this proposal is that a certain STYLE of thinking leads to a predictable CONTENT in thinking.

While this is a reasonable proposal, it does have a large philosophical problem: How do we define what is realistic, practical and pragmatic? So while I think that this proposal may well be true, garnering evidence for its truth is too big a task at least for me.

A more important alternative theory for the origins of conservatism is one that is very often quoted and finds its principal exponents in Burke (1790) and Hayek (1944) -- though both of those thinkers in fact described themselves as "Whigs" rather than as conservatives. This theory also traces policy to a style of thought. The theory basically is that there is an underlying wariness and skepticism in conservatives that makes them question ANY political policies whatever -- including policies that call for change. Conservatives need good evidence that something will work well and have the intended consequences before they will support it. And for this reason conservatives prefer "the devil they know" and want any change to be of a gradual and evolutionary kind -- progressing by small steps that can easily be reversed if the intended outcomes are not realized.

And it is this preference for "the devil they know" that has led to conservatives being caricaturized as wanting NO change when in fact all that they insist on is CAREFUL change. From Cromwell on, conservatives have never been characterized by a rejection of change for its own sake. When a regime is clearly oppressive or an experiment has clearly failed (such as State ownership of industry) conservatives find no difficulty in abandoning it and changing to something else.

But this account of conservatism is insufficient by itself. It fails to ask what the CRITERION is in evaluating change. How do we evaluate whether a policy is beneficial or not? How do we define "beneficial"? And it is in answering that question that we come back to individual liberty as being a basic value. Conservatism is a broad church and conservatives will of course use many criteria in evaluating the desirability or efficacy of particular political policies but, in making such evaluations, it is the high value that one gives to leaving the individual free to make his/her own decisions and obtain his/her own preferences that makes one a conservative. Rejection of change may be an INSTRUMENT in protecting the individual but it is no more than that.

Burke, E. (1790) Reflections on the revolution in France. Any edition
Feiling, K. (1953) Principles of conservatism. Political Quarterly, 24, 129-133.
Gilmour, I.H.J.L. (1978) Inside right. London: Quartet
Hayek, F.A. (1944) The road to serfdom. London: Routledge
Norton, P. & Aughey, A. (1981) Conservatives and conservatism. London: Temple Smith
Standish, J.F. (1990) Whither conservatism? Contemporary Review 256, 299-301



There is a rather sad article here by David Stolinsky. He seems pretty sad at the way his "liberal" friends cannot stand rational argument and concludes from that that his friends beliefs are "religious" rather than rational. Yet he also notes that his other friends who profess theistic religions (Christians, Jews etc.) are perfectly polite to him and give him no trouble over their religions.

I think he has got it wrong. It is anger that makes you irrational, not religion. The sort of committed Leftists that Stolinsky speaks of are angry, hating people who need a vent for that anger and they will find that vent regardless of any argument that their anger is irrational. Thus we have Chomsky's insensate hate of everything about America (and America is the kindest civilization that has ever existed) and the mass murders committed by Communists everywhere. Some Leftists are well-meaning people but far too many are haters.

I personally do not hate anyone but those who do hate normally hate just individuals. Many Leftists, however, have a huge hate inside them that nothing could ever satiate. That is why arguing with them is so pointless.



Sydney today saw the usual disruptive protests that Leftists mount against any meeting of the World Trade Organization. Yet, as Robert Gottliebsen of Business Daily says in a circular just received:It is the WTO that offers most hope for less developed countries whose main source of wealth is agriculture. But effectively they are being blocked from developed country markets. The major countries spent US$27 billion on export subsidies between 1995 and 1998 90 per cent was paid by the European Union. Since then the United States has stepped up its farm subsides. These subsidies depress prices for agricultural commodities and make poor people in depressed countries even poorer. Most agree that export food subsidies should be eliminated ---- except the Europeans who have decided to maintain their present subsidies for another ten years. If the protestors were trying to help the underdeveloped countries they would be protesting against the Europeans. The Word Trade Organisation is really the only hope we have to remove this injustice and it's a tragedy that is work is being blocked. What the protests are really about is protecting the jobs of the middle and upper classes in Western societies..

Or as Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile put it:

"A European cow receives more (in subsidies, $4 a cow) each day than 3 billion people in the world's developing countries,".

Apparently the anti-globos want that to continue!

It is hard to believe that Leftists were once internationalists who believed in the breaking down of barriers between nations (which is what the WTO is also about). The modern world makes clear that demonstrating is a lot more important to Leftists than what they are demonstrating about.


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13 November, 2002


A current Leftist stunt is the claim that American blacks should receive "reparations" for the harm that their ancestors experienced as a result of slavery. This does of course go against a most basic principle of natural justice -- that people are not liable for the deeds of others -- even if those others happen to be our grandparents.

Let us however assume that this case is exceptional and that a doctrine of inherited guilt has to be accepted on this occasion. So who is guilty? Our ancestors who bought the slaves or the black chieftans who sold them to the slave traders? I think that the black chieftans are obviously at least as guilty as the white buyers and that that the guilt is therefore as much black guilt as white guilt.

Nigeria is the modern descendant of some of the early black nations that sold the slaves and Nigeria has lots of oil revenue so I propose that the reparations be shared by the descendants of both guilty parties: The US government and the Nigerian government. I am sure that if the US government offered to match dollar for dollar whatever the Nigerian government offered by way of reparations, the whole matter could be resolved very cheaply.



Government "protection" of an industry normally ruins the industry concerned in the long run. China hand gives a good example of the process from modern China.



North Korea is something of a mystery in the modern world. How come it survives (if surviving is the word for it) in what seems like a still pure Stalinist state? The other three notable surviving "Communist" regimes (Cuba, Vietnam and China) have had to embrace capitalism in various ways. How come North Korea is the only standout?

Hawaiian blogger, Marc Miyake has just sent me an email that serves to explain it all. Marc has an amazing grasp of Asian languages and one of them is Korean! He writes that North Korea's

"brand of Leftism is extremely nationalistic. I am a linguist who has published and presented papers on Korean, and I regularly read the North Korean press, in both the original Korean and its official English translation. My blog cites countless examples of North Korean propaganda in translations by me and their own translators. Here's a quick example:

"Editorial: The Number One Ideology of the Korean Race Is the Driving Force to Construct a Strong, Flourishing Great Nation of Socialism" [my translation]

The number of times the phrase "Korean race" or the like appears in their writings is nauseating. I almost feel like saying "koreanisches Volk" instead.

In many ways North Korea and, to a lesser extent, South Korea are intellectual heirs of Japanese Fascism, which in turn was influenced by Nazism. A lot of North Korean madness seems to be repackaged Imperial Japanese rubbish: e.g., the cults of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il resemble Koreanized versions of the Japanese emperor cult forced upon Koreans prior to 1945."

So that is it! North Korea has never really been Communist. It has always been Fascist: It has always combined Leftism with nationalism. And that is a magic mix when it comes to getting popular support (or at least popular acquiescence) -- as Hitler and Mussolini showed only too well. Communism crumbled in most of the world because in the end virtually none of its citizens believed in it any more. But nationalism is much more emotionally involving than Communism so it seems probable that many North Koreans still believe in "Juche" -- hence the survival of the regime.

Marc also notes that belief in their racial greatness is also widespread in both South Korea and Japan -- in a way that would be generally regarded as obnoxious in any European country. So Asia is a fertile ground for Fascism. Fortunately, however, both Japan and South Korea have recently seen opposition parties come to power through democratic elections so at least those countries seem to have passed the worst of their Fascist stages.



A short and simple site here about Islam. It is written not by Christians but by Zoroastrians -- the still-surviving remnant of the pre-Islamic Iranian religion. I have counted Zoroastrians among my friends for many years and have long noted that it takes a Zoroastrian to REALLY take the piss out of Islam. Be warned, however, the site contains a really disgusting photo that summarizes Islam better than any words could.



Dave Trowbridge of the "Redwood Dragon" is a bit unusual: He describes himself as both a monarchist and an anarchist. I am a bit that way myself. Anyway he is one of those who have linked to my recent post about modern China being more Fascist than Commmunist so he is obviously a good egg!



A few bloggers have noted with glee that even the idiotic Maureen Dowd seems to have come to her senses a bit after her recent trip to Saudi Arabia. I liked this bit:"Saudi Arabia is a thicket of unfathomable extremes. Lingerie shops abound, even though female sexuality is considered so threatening that the mere sight of a woman's ankle will cause civilisation to crumble. As one cleric put it, women can become "the most dangerous weapon of destruction" for Islamic nations"

I suppose one really should feel sorrry for anyone as messed-up as these Muslims seem to be. Perhaps they suspect that we feel sorry for them and that is why they hate us.

In historical terms, modern Western civilization is more Hellenistic than Hebraic -- and that takes us a long way away from Islam.


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12 November, 2002


I have nothing but goodwill towards Jim Ryan of Philosoblog but I seem to be doomed to giving him a hard time. In one of his recent posts he proposed that Conservatism is basically just a cynical, realistic, pragmatic approach to knowledge of and understanding of the world. More recently he posts that certain core belefs that conservatives hold -- such as the inherently greater wisdom of traditional arrangements -- are vital to being a conservative. Can he have it both ways? Is conservatism a style of thinking or is it what we think?

I think that there is a simple answer to that but I am not going to tip my hand just yet.



President G.W. Bush opposes affirmative action in theory but in practice has appointed a huge slew of women and blacks to senior positions. It is just good politics of course (there are a LOT of black and female voters) but Wendy Kaminer had rather a prophetic laugh about how it would undermine the Democrats here. The Democrats should now have learned that identity politics will not save them. They might have to come up with some other ideas now.

The idea that conservatism is inimical to women was always demonstrably a big laugh. British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is the obvious and highly significant counter-example but the rise of women to the Prime Ministership in such traditional societies as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is surely also of some relevance. But there is probably not one Democrat in a thousand who even knows that that happened.

Here is one Leftist who got the point quite a while ago:

"Some progressives, sensing their precarious position, are urging the Left's far-flung constituency of feminists, civil-rights advocates, gay-rights activists and others to abandon the politics of identity for the good of the commonweal.

Identity politics not only imperils the notion of community by fetishizing difference, they argue, it also diverts energy and attention from more immediate causes that cry out for action. Todd Gitlin's new book,
The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked By Culture Wars (Metropolitan Books), makes this argument most eloquently. "Instead of moving to organize against rock-bottom class inequalities and racial discrimination," Gitlin argues, "many activists [have chosen] to fight real and imagined symbols of insult." There is much to recommend that view.

In a fragmenting nation, the duty of progressives seems clear: halt the fragmentation. The logic of identity politics, and its multicultural offspring, seems to lead to chaos. If African-Americans can insist on Afrocentric curricula, for instance, what's to stop Lithuanian-Americans from demanding their own specific version of history? What about Korean-Americans? This cacophony of relativism would feed directly into the right's xenophobic agenda, progressives fear. Instead of uncritically celebrating the politics of difference, they argue, the Left should be exploring ways to more effectively bridge those differences."



The Leftist perspective of most late 20th century intellectuals has resulted in a general acceptance of the myth that Hitler's German Nazism and Mussolini's Italian Fascism were Right-wing -- regardless of the fact that Hitler called himself a socialist and that Mussolini was a prominent Marxist theoretician. The figleaf that such intellectuals use to hide Hitler's Leftism is the fact that he was also a nationalist. They blandly assert that you cannot be a Leftist and a nationalist too. They give no evidence for it but assert that somehow being a nationalist necessarily makes you a Rightist regardless of anything else that you might advocate or do. I have given many contrary examples from history showing that nationalism is in fact no stranger on the Left but perhaps the best known historical figure by way of an example of that is the original Leftist nationalist: Napoleon.

Napoleon Bonaparte was the child and heir of the very first Leftist revolution, the French revolution, and he is to this day lauded as the man who took the "ideals" of the French revolution to the rest of Europe. Yet he also took French nationalism and love of gloire to new heights. During his rule -- police state though it was -- he made the French feel that they were the greatest nation on earth. And they died in their droves in furtherance of that myth just as Germans later died in their droves for Hitler. Mussolini may have invented the term but it but it was really Napoleon who was the first Fascist. Since Napoleon is still a French national hero, it is no wonder that the Germans found it relatively easy to get the French to "collaborate" in World War II.



My post about antisemitism in the International Red Cross of a few days ago drew a number of interesting responses and I have now received from Jiri permission to reproduce his view of the matter:

While it would not surprise me one bit if the Red Cross really was anti-semitic and corrupt to the core, Arlene Peck's history is abysmal. The IRC commission toured the Theresienstadt ghetto, not the camp located outside of the town (which was was known as the "Little Fortress of Theresienstadt"). The two facilities had no connecting link, except that some "offenses" committed by Jews in the ghetto earned a ticket to the fortress.

As fate would have it, our family history has ties to both places. My paternal grandparents died in the ghetto within weeks of each other. Grandpa of a heart-attack, grandma of a typhoid fever. My Dad did time at the fortress which was one of the most horrendous camps around. The Kochs of Buchenwald, and Amon Goetz of Krakow, had a worthy competitor in the fortress' Kommandant Rojko, who tortured and slaughtered hundreds of prisoners. The Little Fortress was one the less known horrors of the Third Reich; in the stories of my father the place was indescribably psycho - and he did have Auschwitz, where he ended up later - to compare with.

The Theresianstadt ghetto was bad, as all ghettos were, but had none of the phantastic overcrowding of the larger Polish ones. The touring IRC was of course duped by the Nazis, especially about the availability of food and sanitation, but one cannot draw the conclusions about it that Ms Peck had. They are a product of a sad misunderstanding.

I did of course say in my original post that interpreting the WWII events was not my personal primary concern. It was the present-day discrimination by the IRC against Israel that I found clearly unforgivable.



I rather liked the following observation in an email I received from Marc Miyake in beautiful Hawaii:

""I have been sick of people who denounce Nazis and Fascists (since they're "Right" and therefore fair game) but ignoring similar offenses committed by the "Left". The percentage of people who realize that Nazi is from Nazionalsozialismus, particularly outside the German-speaking world, is probably pitifully small, though the name says it all. Labels do matter. Avoiding the "Rightist" label is a virtual license for evil."


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11 November, 2002


Chinese Communist Party boss Jiang Zemin is laying enormous emphasis at the moment on making China more capitalist. What he says is in fact quite startling for an alleged Communist. "Any road to wealth" seems to be his message. See here or here. There are still a lot of legacies of Communism in China but anything that impedes China's material progress seems set to go in the foreseeable future.

This heavy focus on national wealth, progress, power and prestige would seem to make it fair to say that post-Mao China has passed out of the hands of Communists and into the hands of Fascists. The first Fascist of modern times (Mussolini) started out as a Marxist too. And both Mussolini and Hitler showed how popular (and in many ways successful) a Leftist tyranny that is also nationalist can be.

I do not believe, however, that this development should worry us. Why? For two reasons:

1). Most people have now forgotten it (if they ever knew it), but of the three Southern European Fascist states in existence at the outset of WWII, one stayed neutral (Spain), one went over to Hitler's side only at the last minute (Italy) and one co-operated with the Allies to a degree (Portugal). So Fascism is quite clearly not INHERENTLY threatening to the Western democracies.

2). All former Fascist states are now democracies. If Fascism has always been a stage on the road to a firmly democratic system, we have no reason to believe that China will be different.

Besides, as Peikoff points out at length, we are all now to a degree Fascists. Even the United States now has a massive system of government intervention in almost all spheres of life -- from business to welfare -- that has been built up gradually by decades of "progressive" legislation. And a pride in America's greatness is widespread everywhere in America except among hard-core Leftists. All it needs is for US Leftists to learn Mussolini's lesson and become patriotic and the USA would be a classical Fascist State in everything except its system of government. Mussolini would really then have the last laugh. But libertarians like me would not be laughing.



China hand has just put up two new posts about life around him in modern China that show how much the social and economic system can influence behaviour. He shows that China's tyrannical "one child" policy has turned the normally placid children of China into spoilt monsters and he shows how the advanced capitalism of Hong Kong produces much more motivated and hard-working people than their fellow Cantonese in nearby China itself.

For those who are unaware of it, China is as diverse as Europe and people from the different areas of China speak quite different languages and see great differences between their various groups -- just as a Swede would see himself as being different from an Italian.



Jim Bennett, author of The Anglosphere Primer, has an interesting suggestion here. He looks forward to the continued prospering of the USA under the now reinforced Bush administration and also notes that the EU continues to wallow in economic stagnation under its huge load of bureaucracy. Given that the USA has recently shown considerable keenness for Free Trade agreements (agreements with Mexico and Canada now being in place and one with Australia under negotiation), Jim thinks that the USA should now try to "lure away" from the EU both Britain and Ireland. An economic union between North America and the British Isles would indeed make much more sense culturaly and institutionally than the present arrangements and would certainly be of greater economic benefit to the UK than the EU now is. And I am sure that most Brits would greet the idea with a huge sigh of relief.

Orrin Judd has a related idea:

"Now is the perfect time for the U.S. to end-run Europe and add Israel, Turkey, India, and Taiwan to NAFTA and to forge a new political/economic/military alliance of democratic states. These five countries already have interknit security ties; together (and hopefully adding places like Britain, Australia, Eritrea, Morocco, etc.) we would form a belt of democratic, capitalist, pluralist states that would serve notice to both the Islamicists and the Communists that they are badly outgunned and outclassed."



As expected, the Australians demolished the England team again yesterday: This time doing it in my home-town of Brisbane. With the possible exception of Burma, England must be the world's least competent sporting nation. And yet most of the sports that the world plays -- Soccer, Tennis, Golf, Rugby, Cricket -- were invented in Britain. Last time I checked, even boxing was done under Queensberry (British) rules in most places. What a paradox! I wonder how we explain that? Could it all be something to do with the British tradition of fair play?



John Weidner liked my inadvertent use of Australian slang in one of my posts yesterday.



A clever article by Christopher Hitchens in Slate about Leftist betrayal of their own alleged principles when it comes to Iraq.



Read this and know one reason why the Australian government locks up many of those who come here as "refugees"


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10 November, 2002


My various posts about the ultimately Germanic origins of British conservatism have produced a lively email correspondence. Two of the subtopics that have been prominent are the origins of religious tolerance in Britain and the origins of the traditionally strong British committment to individual liberty. I have posted an extract of one of my more interesting emails on the subject on my "other" website here. My correspondent delves deeper than I do into the origins of both phenomena.



Australian Prime Minister John Howard and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have consistently given wholehearted and vocal support to the US war on terror. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, by contrast, has made clear that it is only the UN that Canada supports, not the USA. So the traditional Canadian "Be kind to dictators" policy now seems to include not only Fidel Castro but also the sadistic Saddam Hussein. Is it cowardice? Or do they have no principles at all? Chretien's Liberal government must be a great embarrassment to many decent Canadians.



B. Monaro has some awkward facts to shove at the Leftist critics who have recently been accusing our Prime Minister of being "Anti-Asian".



"Godless" over at "Gene Expression" is very good on all things genetic but excels himself here with a proposal that morality has biological roots. You will need to put your thinking cap on to give it the attention it deserves.



From what it says here, it would seem that China is firmly set on the same "Third way" as Britain's Tony Blair.

[Present Jiang Zemin] says the new system will blend socialism and the profit motive.

The Swedes must be yawning. They have been doing it for years. The Third way is not of course as good at growing national wealth as more full-blown capitalism is but even a little capitalism can work wonders -- as China's experience so far has shown.

An email I have just received from one of my regular correspondents, however, stresses how far China has yet to go:

"Don't think for a minute that China is that much different than before. Sure they have a few freedoms that weren't there before but like all good Leftists they control pretty much everything that goes on.

I returned last week from a trip over there having accompanied an American delegation that was meeting with various officials. A senior person connected to the stock exchange gave us a pretty bleak summary of the economy. 75% of the economy is owned by the government.

If you look at the economic numbers closely you will see that the various sectors of the economy are really not doing too well. There are 400 companies on the Shanghai stock exchange. With the exception of 5 the rest are all government owned (60%).

The only growth experienced in China at the moment is in government spending.
All land in China is owned by the government and is leased out to the public on 40 year leases. You want to bet this regime is not Leftist!

China hand too is a bit skeptical about investing in China. He is a seasoned sharemarket investor himself so is well aware of the dangers inherent in the high PE ratios currently prevailing on the recently opened up Chinese sharemarket. He does however paint a picture of enormous industrial growth over there so investors willing to trade high risk for high profit might well come out ahead.



There is a good post on Clayton Cramer's blog in which he takes on Leftist economist Mark Kleiman over the issue of government funding for private schools. Now that support for educational choice by way of a voucher system is gradually being implemented in the USA, lots of people are asking "but where should we draw the line?" Some of my US correspondents have even asked me that. Should the US taxpayer support wacko schools that (for instance) teach Muslim fundamentalism? One is inclined to say "No" but if we do say "no" the danger is that we will give the green light for Leftist bureaucrats to set up another vast layer of bureaucracy that will end up withold funding for schools that the Leftists disapprove of: Which will effectively give them the last laugh. So the only safe rule is: "Draw no lines". Fund the lot. It's a pity that we cannot be more selective but ANY selectivity would be sure to have even worse results than giving open slather. If some fanatical parents use the chance to indoctrinate their kids into some wacko religion, the kids will probably just end up rebelling sometime in their teenage years anyway and modelling themselves on Homer Simpson instead. And as Clayton points out, the schools are ALREADY heavily politicized (in a Leftist direction) so we really have nothing to lose.

Here in Australia and New Zealand, schoolkids at the moment get fed a lot of nonsensical Greenie propaganda about global warming and the like. My impression, however, is that this serves mainly to bore the kids to death: Which I regard as not too bad an outcome. In the end propaganda is no substitute for real education.


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9 November, 2002


It is a marvellous tribute to President Bush's patience and good sense that he has now got the resolution he wanted from the UN about Iraq. After 9/11, he did not rush into action against the Taliban the way I would have done in his place but his patient approach was a famous success. I am sure he will now have equal success -- one way or another -- against Iraq. And I am sure that every former and serving member of the military will join with me in hoping that the approach via the UN will de-fang Saddam without the need for war and the inevitable casualties. If Saddam fails to comply with the new resolution nobody will be able to say that President Bush failed to explore all peaceful avenues for solving the problem of the Iraqui madman.

And I hereby call on all conservative bloggers to do all they can put a stop to this stupid Leftist stunt of referring to Britain's Tony Blair as "Bush's poodle". I am no friend of British Labour Party policies on things like education but no reasonable person can fault the way Tony Blair has vigorously and articulately supported the USA in the war on terror. Let's resurrect a famous old metaphor for Britain on this occasion and start referring to Tony Blair as "Bush's Bulldog".



I like a couple of the posts that Armed and dangerous has up at the moment: His analysis that it was their lack of any principle that has finally caught up with the Democrats and his comments on the still amazing vigour of the Lunatic Left in the USA.

I think I am a lot more relaxed about curry than he is, though! Make mine mild!



My recent posts tracing English conservatism to the individualism of their Germanic forebears have got a lot of response -- mainly by email but also see here.I should therefore note here that my thesis is, of course, not exactly original. Montesquieu, De Tocqueville and Jefferson all saw English exceptionalism and independence of spirit as tracing back to German roots and all relied particularly on Tacitus for their view of the early German character. The work of Macfarlane (1978 & 2000) is however probably the best modern reference on the topic.

It could also be said that the decentralized nature of the early German communities was no different from the decentralization in Greece before the Athenian Empire, the decentralization in Italy before the ascendancy of the Roman Republic or indeed the decentralization of the original Mesopotamian civilization. The important point, here, however is the much longer survival of that form of organization among Germans -- and it is certainly to Germans that the English must trace it.

Macfarlane, A. (1978) The origins of English individualism. Oxford: Blackwell.
Macfarlane, A. (2000) The riddle of the modern world. N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan



Jim Ryan of Philosoblog recently put up an argument that it is realism and pragmatism that make one a conservative. I think he has something there but I pointed out in a recent post that there are some difficulties in substantiating that account of things. My comments seem to have made him pull his horns in on that one a bit so I feel rather sorry about that. Just to encourage him to keep up the good fight, I reproduce below three references to work by historians of the British Conservative party which also conclude that a realistic and pragmatic attitude is the main enduring characteristic of conservatism. They are all "dead tree" references and we all now avoid those like the plague but maybe there are still some people who are dedicated enough to look them up.

Feiling, K. (1953) Principles of conservatism. Political Quarterly, 24, 129-133.
Gilmour, I.H.J.L. (1978) Inside right. London: Quartet
Norton, P. & Aughey, A. (1981) Conservatives and conservatism. London: Temple Smith



There is to much good stuff on today's Opinion Journal for me to excerpt any of it but it is not to be missed.



In a long line of people waiting for a bank teller, one guy suddenly started massaging the back of the guy in front of him.

Surprised, the man in front turned and snarled, "Just what the hell are you doing?"

"Well," said the guy, "you see, I'm a chiropractor and I could see that you were tense, so I had to massage your back. Sometimes I just can't help practicing my art!"

"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" the guy replied. "I'm a lawyer. Do you see me screwing the guy in front of me?"


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8 November, 2002


UK blogger, Andrew Ian Dodge, tell me that he positions his blog Dodgeblog as "The Bloggers blog". He certainly has a lot of links -- and a sense of humour. It would be a good place to go if you are looking for new sites.



My recent posts on Protestant/Catholic differences (differences which in my view are only marginal these days) have certainly got me a few emails.

One misunderstanding that has arisen is that I somehow seem to be seen as claiming that Protestantism is inherently more tolerant than Catholicism. Anybody who knows his history knows that to be not at all true, of course. Calvin burnt Servetus at the stake etc. I think it is fairly obvious that ALL Judaic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are inherently IN-tolerant. Jews believe that only they are "chosen"; Christ said that "He who is not for me is against me"; and Islam discriminates (to put it mildly) against "infidels". And Protestantism is certainly Judeo-Christian, whatever else it is.

No. What I claim is that Protestantism arose out of the traditional Germanic dislike of centralized authority -- but that reduced or decentralized authority has to be tolerant in spirit or in practice is no part of my claim.

On the other hand, at least in England, Protestantism did PRODUCE tolerance despite itself. The origin of Protestantism in a spirit of independence meant that Protestants were so fractious and unable to agree with one-another that in the end religious tolerance was the only practicable way they could get on with their lives. But it took a lot of wars and waves of persecution before they got to that point.



My thesis tracing both conservatism and Protestantism to an originally Germanic spirit of independence and dislike of centralized power or authority is of course well exemplified in the early history of the USA. At the time of independence, the USA was not only "Germanic" (in the sense of having a largely Anglo-Saxon population) but it was also literally German in that German ancestry was nearly as common among Americans at that time as was British ancestry. And what was the American revolution if not a rebellion against the centralized and remote authority of King George III? And what did the architects of the new American constitution set up if it was not a decentralized system -- with the Federal government at that time being little more than an appendage to the various State governments?



One of the classic tactics that Leftists use to attack people they disagree with is to do their best to portray their opponents as dumb buffoons. Almost any Republican President gets so labelled. President G.W. Bush gained a Master's degree from Harvard but even he gets portrayed as an airhead. And Republican Presidents are not alone in getting this treatment.

The people Leftists hate most are not in fact conservatives but rival Leftists. And guess how Leftists describe Benito Mussolini, the founder of the Fascist variant of Leftism? You guessed it. "Buffoon" is by far the most used word. Yet Mussolini read poetry and philosophy voraciously, including Socrates and Plato. He spoke several foreign languages, was always interested in discussing political and philosophical ideas with almost anyone, had considerable acceptance in his early days as a leading Marxist theoretician, wrote over 40 books, and was a tree-lover and environmentalist 50 years before Greenies were thought of. Dumb buffoon!

What this common Leftist tactic really shows, then, is that it is they who are the airheads with nothing constructive to say.

Tim Blair has a good comment on it too:

"Thus far, the reputed idiot Bush has graduated from Yale and Harvard, made a stack of cash in the oil industry, become the first consecutive-term governor of Texas, defeated a dual-term VP for the Presidency, and led his party to yesterday's extraordinary triumphs. Let his opponents keep calling him stupid."

To be a little parochial about it, something similar used to happen in my home State of Queensland (Australia). Queensland was run for many years by the very conservative Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen ("Joh" for short) who was routinely derided by media commentators and the Leftist opposition as an inarticulate country bumpkin -- even though he had been an innovative and successful businessman before he entered politics.

But the ordinary people of Queensland did not think he was a buffoon. At one stage (in 1974) they gave his government 59% of the popular vote -- an almost unheard of majority in a Westminster democracy. And the fact that he ran Queensland for nearly 20 years gave him the last laugh too. I am proud to say that I was a member of his Party at that time.


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7 November, 2002


China Hand has just put up some amusing stories of how the new capitalist attitude has transformed telecommunication and banking services in China: From a bureaucratic nightmare to service that is in some ways better than what we get. Under socialism they talked about serving the people: Under capitalism they really do.



My pick of the latest quotes from the "Fed":

"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. [They] justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." -- T. S. Elliot

"If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time a tremendous whack." -- Winston Churchill

"I know what it's like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great." -- Ronald Reagan

"The bottom line is that Democrats have no solutions for economic stagnation, unbalanced budgets and threats to our national security, so they're reduced to obstruction and negativity, and the public smells it, which will have major consequences in the elections." -- David Limbaugh



An amusing comment on the last-minute Clinton pardons here -- from Big Gold Dog.



Dave Mecklenburg of Sabertooth Journal has for some time taken an interest in the relationship between the churches and politics so he had a couple of good points to make to me in an email about my recent posts on Catholic/Protestant differences.

He rightly took me to task for speaking of Protestants "negotiating" their salvation with God directly. That WAS a bit flippant. I am afraid that the atheist in me peeps out at times. Protestants of course believe that salvation is by God's grace and not the product of negotiation. What I should have said of course is simply that the Protestant feels no need of an intermediary between himself/herself and God.

He also pointed out that my claim that Protestantism is a "decentralized" faith sits poorly with the existence of "National" Protestant churches in England and the Scandinavian countries. My response is that the degree of centralization that he refers to was in part a defensive move on the part of Protestants. Protestant England was under very real threat from Catholic France and Spain (remember the Armada?) and the North German and Scandinavian States had to fight the famous Thirty Years War (1618-1648) to retain their independence from the Catholic Hapsburg Empire in the South. So unity was strength.

Also, of course, at that time Princes and Kings decided and people obeyed. If the local Prince or King decided that his subjects were to be Protestant (or Catholic) wise men just fell into line. Those who stood up for their faith against Royal or Princely edict were only ever a small minority -- albeit an heroic and important minority. So it is an immense tribute to the popularity of Protestant thinking in Germany that it broke through all that at all. Protestant sentiment was so popular that various Princes saw political advantage in giving it their seal of approval and protection. But, once the Prince came to his decision, it was of course "one in, all in". Those who REALLY disapproved of their Prince's choice could move to another nearby State that had a Prince with a different policy. And in England, of course, even Royal edict never succeeded in bringing about anything like religious uniformity.



Philosoblog has been putting libertarianism to the sword a bit lately and is now trying to define conservatism. The definition given is a bit partisan and probably untestable but it has a lot of resonance nonethless. The core of it seems to be:

What makes a conservative: undaunted acceptance of fact and devotion to truth, plus allegiance to traditional, tried-and-true values, as long as they are not found to be refuted by the facts

The trouble with defining conservatism as pragmatism and realism about the world is not that it is untrue (I believe both to be as central as the Philosoblog author does) but that it is always going to be contentious to define what the reality of any given situation is. Whereas if we define conservatism as suspicion of big government, people on both sides of politics will tend to nod wisely in recognition of an obvious truth.

So that seems to make me meta-conservative: If conservatism is pragmatism, I am even being pragmatic about defining conservatism. In other words, regardless of what the direction of causation (if any) is, I think we would get further by proposing realism and pragmatism as attributes of conservatives rather than using them to form a definition of conservatism.


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6 November 2002


China Hand has just put up some more vivid word-pictures of his day-to-day life in modern China.



Because I have made a considerable attempt to define and investigate what Leftism is, I also of course have had to define what conservatism is. And the definition I have offered traces right back to the English Parliamentarians who in 1649 beheaded King Charles 1st. They very explicitly did so in defence of traditional English liberties against the tyrannical "Divine Right of Kings". And that central conservative idea of defending the individual citizen from government tyranny still has not changed. Courtesy of Culpepper, note this excellent statement of the conservative mission:

"Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.

Fellow Republicans, it is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism. It is the cause of Republicanism to ensure that power remains in the hands of the people. And, so help us God, that is exactly what a Republican president will do with the help of a Republican Congress.

It is further the cause of Republicanism to restore a clear understanding of the tyranny of man over man in the world at large. It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the illusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression - and this is hogwash.

And who said that? It is from the acceptance speech by Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican convention which nominated him as its candidate for President. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans did not vote for Goldwater. They got Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson and disaster in Vietnam instead.

So, for over three centuries, the central values of conservatism -- at least in the English-speaking world -- have remained the same.



I believe that I have had more papers about racism published in the academic journals of the social sciences than anyone else ever -- so that should make my conclusions about the matter of some interest. But what I conclude is in fact also what many of my fellow academics specializing in the topic conclude: That human beings are inherently tribal and that they therefore very easily develop group loyalties, including "racial" loyalties. In other words, some form of "racism" is normal and universal. Putting it yet another way, we are all racists but some of us are better at hiding or suppressing it than others.

Unfortunately, this would seem to make it highly likely that the ancient and cruel folly of antisemitism will be forever with us too. The crumb of comfort that I think I can offer, however, is that not all racists are equal. Some are more benign than others. I have previously pointed out here at some length that a 20th century socialist and exponent of big government (Hitler) was a world apart in his racism from the 19th century English conservative racists who made a Jew (Disraeli) one of their most distinguished prime ministers. Instead of exterminating him and his family, they made him a Lord instead.

Looking further back in English history we find another interesting contrast. The powerful Plantagent King Edward 1st expelled all Jews from England in 1290 AD. And it was the regicidal champion of Parliamentary government, Oliver Cromwell, who invited them back again in 1655 AD. And Jews have lived relatively unmolested in England ever since.

Again as I have previously argued, the Parliamentarians who went to war against the Stuart despot in 1642 under the able leadership of Fairfax and Cromwell were England's first conservatives. Conservatives can fight wars for their causes too. So it was a despotic and centralized authoritarian government that was responsible for expelling the Jews and an anti-centralizing and anti-despotic conservative government that invited them back. Once again we can see that it is the individualistic conservatives who are infinitely more tolerant than the exponents of unlimited government power.



Leftists and Greenies are very similar in that they both are constantly advocating vast amounts of destructive government meddling in our lives. So I feel that I have to do my bit to show up Greenie lies for what they are from time to time too.

The global warming scare seems to be the most entrenched Greenie nonsense at the moment. They even teach it to our kids in school as if it were gospel. So let me excerpt briefly a recent summary of the science of the matter:

"The author of this recent scientific analysis noted that .... a net sea level lowering by the year 2100 is as likely a mathematical possibility as a sea level rise. In other words, no scientific case can even be made to predict a global sea level rise due to CO2-induced changes in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. ...The IPCC ... was generating a scare scenario of a melting Greenland ice sheet, despite the well-known geological evidence demonstrating that the Greenland ice sheets have been stable for at least the last few interglacial periods - about a few hundred thousand years"

And there is much more data to the same effect in the full article. I am sure that the article would immediately be dismissed by many "Reds" and "Greens" (with typical illogicality) as just being Right-wing white supremacist talk -- so it is fortunate that the article comes complete with a picture of the author.

One thing that "Reds" and the Greens" have in common is a vast lack of interest in the full facts of anything they discuss. They need to be that way. The facts are SO inconvenient.

John Daly's "Greenhouse" site has lots of new facts and figures about the real truth that Greenies are so dishonest about too. It is almost laughable the way Greenies distort the truth.


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5 November, 2002


Is nothing sacred? I always thought that the Red Cross was an impeccable humanitarian organization. I had no idea of its antisemitic bias but Arlene Peck lays it all out here. Please read it.

OK. I understand about the Red Cross in WWII. The Red Cross is headquartered in Switzerland and Switzerland had a very frightening neighbour at that time so Swiss pandering to Nazism could be understood. But they are still at it today! I will never again donate anything to the Red Cross.



I now have two articles on my "Other" website about the recent British ban on foxhunting: One written by an Australian and one written by an American! See here and here. My "other" website is where I post a few articles written by people other than myself that I would not like to see disappear from sight.

In my view, the British ban on foxhunting was just another example of hate-filled Leftism at work but the two articles I have posted have a broader perspective on it.



Saddam grew up as a cadre in the highly ideological and dogmatic Baath party structure. His speeches, from the time he entered government in 1968 until today, have had a consistent ideological, pseudo-intellectual character, even if in the past decade a layer of Islamist rhetoric has been added. From his first declarations to his last, he has always presented the Arabs as the master race, whose history and accomplishments are glorious. He has always had a mystical belief in self-purification through violence, the notion that the soul is elevated through warfare and killing.

And who created Saddam's Baath Party? One Michel Aflaq:

MICHEL AFLAQ was born in Damascus in 1910, a Greek Orthodox Christian. He won a scholarship to study philosophy at the Sorbonne sometime between 1928 and 1930 (biographies differ), and there he studied Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin, Mazzini, and a range of German nationalists and proto-Nazis. Aflaq became active in Arab student politics with his countryman Salah Bitar, a Sunni Muslim. Together, they were thrilled by the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, but they also came to admire the organizational structure Lenin had created within the Russian Communist party.

Excerpts from The Weekly Standard. And -- need we add? -- Saddam hates Jews too. Europe of the 1930s lives on in the Arab world. Except that Saddam himself says that Hitler was "too mild"!

Ever since World War II the Western Left have all claimed to regard Fascism and Nazism as evil incarnate yet they somehow do not want us to touch Saddam. How curious! It does rather support the point I have often made about the historical affinity between Fascism and modern Western Leftism. Is the Left rediscovering its old prewar enthusiasms (which included antisemitism)? Has the "dog returned to its vomit", as the Bible puts it?



In response to my post yesterday about the similarities between Roman Catholicism and Leftism, a correspondent pointed me to the idea that the Left's "Third Way" (exemplified in Britain's Tony Blair) is in fact an old Catholic idea stemming from the famous pro-labour encyclical "De rerum novarum" of Pope Leo XIII in 1891. There is an interesting link from a Leftist source about the history of it here.

Famous though it is, many people will not know what "De Rerum Novarum" says. It rejects Marxism but justifies intervention by the State on behalf of the workers and proposes that the best solution for working-class poverty would be some sort of combined action of the Church, the State, the employer and the employed. Such "corporatist" solutions were of course put faithfully into practice by various good Catholic sons -- such as Italy's Benito Mussolini, Spain's General Franco and Portugal's Antonio Salazar.

Tony Blair is an Anglican so he is more moderate and democratic than Mussolini or Franco but he too rejects the old Marxist nostrum of having government run industry while at the same time still using the power of the State to redistribute wealth from those who have earned it to those who have not. So the British Left's "Third way" and the current "American way" are now just about identical. Roman Catholicism is, after all, America's biggest religious denomination. And a majority of them probably still vote Democrat.


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4 November, 2002


China Hand has just put up an interesting portrait of the Chinese city where he lives. It sounds dynamic -- and very capitalist.



It seems obvious that a distrust and dislike of big government is central to modern-day conservatism. So it is interesting that what modern-day Rightists of the English-speaking world are traces right back to the German invaders (Angles and Saxons) who overran Celtic Britannia around 1500 years ago and made it into England. They brought with them a very decentralized, largely tribal system of government that was very different from the highly centralized Oriental despotisms that had ruled the civilized world for most of human history up to that time. And they liked their decentralized system very much. So much so that the system just kept on keeping on in England, century after century, despite many vicissitudes. Only the 20th century really shook it.

Tracing the traditional English dislike of unrestrained central power to the ultimately German descent of most of the English population might seem colossally perverse in view of Germany's recent experience. Was not Hitler a German and was he not almost the ultimate despot and centralizer of power in his own hands?

The important thing here, however, is to see things with an historian's eye and realize that recent times are atypical. Right up until Bismarck's ascendancy in the late 19th century, Germany was remarkable for its degree of decentralization. What we now know as Germany was once always comprised of hundreds of independent States (kingdoms, principalities, Hanseatic cities etc.) of all shapes and sizes: States that were in fact so much in competition with one another in various ways that they were not infrequently at war with one-another.

And it was of course only the fractionated and competing centres of power existing in mediaeval Germany that enabled the successful emergence there of the most transforming and anti-authority event of the last 1000 years: The Protestant Reformation. Despite the almost immediate and certainly widespread popularity of his new teachings among Germans, Luther ran great risks and would almost certainly have been burnt at the stake like Savonarola, Hus and his other predecessors in religious rebellion had it not been for his (and our) good fortune that he was a Saxon. His Prince, Frederick III ("The Wise") of Saxony gave him constant protection. As one of the Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick was strong enough and independent enough to protect Luther from Pope, from Emperor and from other German potentates.

So only after Bismarck engineered the defeat of the French at Sedan in 1870 did most of Germany become unified -- with the Germans of the Austrian lands remaining independent even then. And to this day Germany has a Federal system very similar to that of their largely Germanic brethren in the United States, Canada and Australia -- a system of State governments which markedly limits central (Federal) government power. So the German origins of the English do make their historic dislike of concentrated power at the Centre just one part of a larger picture.

In 1066, William of Normandy disrupted the traditional decentralized and competitive power structure of England to some degree but by the time of King John and Magna Carta it was back with a vengeance. And the ascendancy of Simon de Montfort not long after that also displayed the traditional English belief in the limited nature of central government power. Even in the reign of that great Tudor despot, Henry VIII, there were still in England great and powerful regional Lords and many less powerful but numerous local notables representing local interests that the King had to take great care with. Even Tudor central government power was highly contingent, far from absolute and much dependant on the popularity of the ruler among ordinary English people. And when the Stuarts, with their doctrine of "the divine right of Kings", ignored all that and tried to turn the English monarchy into something more like a centralized Oriental despotism, off came the head of the Stuart King.


Luther has been mentioned as a beneficiary of Germanic power decentralization but Luther's message received wide acclaim in Germany generally so it seems reasonable to say that German distrust of centralized power not only protected Protestantism but was was in fact a major cause of Protestantism. Because what is Protestantism after all if it is not a rejection of centralized religious authority? So in that sense, conservatism and Protestantism are twin children of Germanic suspicion of centralized power. Looking at it another way, we could say that conservatism is a political expression of religious Protestantism.

Further, where the Roman Catholic believes that the sacraments administered by a religious authority are essential for his ascent into heaven, the Protestant believes that he can negotiate his salvation with the Almighty directly. Catholicism fosters habits of submission to authority whereas Protestantism inculcates hardy independence. So acceptance of government authority over oneself should come as naturally to the Catholic as it is alien to the Protestant.

So German history could at a pinch be seen as a struggle between native decentralizing tendencies and Catholic centralizing tendencies --- with the German lands closest to Rome remaining Catholic and Imperial while the (Northern) German lands farthest from Rome remained independent, Protestant and decentralized. And the struggle the North had to resist the Imperial South was indeed a titanic one.

As some evidence that there is still something left of that difference, it might be noted that, in interwar Germany, the Protestant North was largely "Red" (revolutionary) whereas the Catholic South was largely Nazi -- i.e. more prepared to operate within the existing power structures and more prepared to accept the Church. Hitler did after all have a Catholic education.

So how do we account for the fact that "Christian Democratic" (i.e. Catholic) political parties seem generally to be the major conservative forces within modern European politics? And how indeed do we account for the fact that at least 50% of Germans are to this day Catholic?

A essential part of the answer is of course the counter-reformation -- a process that began in response to Luther and which restored the acceptabity of Catholicism to many Germans. This reform process within the Catholic church may have begun in response to Luther but has in fact been an ongoing process within the Catholic Church ever since --- with the relatively recent Vatican II ecumenical council being a particular highpoint of the process. So the Catholic church could only combat the power of Luther's message by partially bending to it and thus becoming itself to a large degree Protestantized and weakened in authority. And the way a huge proportion of otherwise convinced Catholics now disregard the teachings of their church on such matters as contraception shows vividly that the authority of the Church is now in fact mostly an empty shell.

So in various guises Germanic Protestantism has won the day over Roman authority in the religious sphere just as Germanic conservatism has won the day over socialism in the political sphere. We now have Protestantized Catholics and "Thatcherized" socialists in much of the world.

Nonetheless, even in a weakened form, the Catholic church offers a model of "top down" social organization that must make it easier for Catholics to accept political arrangements of a "top down" sort. If you look up to the Pope as an essential part of your salvation in the spiritual sphere, to look up to the government as an essential agency in securing your material wellbeing is surely only a small step. So the fact that the vast majority of Europeans are still Catholic (even if the Catholicism is much watered down from what it was) should make Europeans more accepting of all-pervasive government than Anglo-Saxons would ever be. And so, of course, it has come to pass. In Bismarck, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Salazar and Papadopoulos Europe has had authoritarianism in government on a scale unknown in the English-speaking world.

So how conservatism has evolved in the modern-day English-speaking world is rather different from how conservatism has evolved in Europe. Anglo-Saxon conservatism benefited greatly from Henry VIII, who made England almost totally Protestant. Protestants in Germany failed to achieve this dominance and so England has been better able to stay close to its Germanic and Protestant roots -- whereas European conservatism has never totally escaped Catholicism. European conservatism has therefore mostly lost its anti-centralization principles and conforms much more closely to the stereotyped image of conservatism as being merely a defence of traditional arrangements generally. This of course makes it a much weaker form of conservatism and the huge bureaucratization that now characterizes the European Union is vivid evidence of that. European conservatives have been much less effective as opponents of big government because opposition to big government is much less of a central position for them.


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3 November, 2002


The above is the topic of an excellent article by Michael Warby that I have referred to in several of my online publications. In the past however, I have only referenced the dead-tree version of it: Very remiss of me. I have just heard from a frustrated reader who has been searching in vain for the online version so here is the link. A highly recommended read.



Another example of how all-pervasive the Leftist bias is in what we read in print:

The 17th edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is out, and this time the Gipper gets his due. When the 16th edition was published in 1992, conservatives were incensed that none of Ronald Reagan's great utterances were in it -- not even his famed exhortation at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate in 1987, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" At the time, editor Justin Kaplan -- a staunch Cambridge liberal -- conceded that the omissions weren't inadvertent: "I'm not going to disguise the fact that I despise Ronald Reagan," he said. Ten years later, Kaplan has had a change of heart -- not about Reagan, but about succumbing to his own ideological animus. "I admit I was carried away by prejudice," he told USA Today last week. "Mischievously, I did him dirt."

A rare admission but again one has to say: "Thank goodness for the internet".
Quote from Jeff Jacoby.



I have blogged a couple of times about economist-turned-propagandist Paul Krugman. Because he sounds unusually rational and factual for a Leftist, I felt that his diatribes deserved some reply. I will make no further such attempts, however. There is a blog here that makes a repeated point of dismantling Krugman's specious arguments. I will leave the whole nasty job to them in the future.



Natalie Solent has a few stories about the horrors that political (i.e. Leftist) correctness can inflict on innocent people but this is the most frightening. Truth is absolutely no defence in the court of political correctness. It makes me glad that I am retired and therefore hard to victimize.



An old friend of mine has just started a new blog with a focus on China and economics. In his student days he became a Maoist but was one of that rarest of rare breeds -- he actually put his money where his mouth was and moved to China. He has now become persuaded of the virtues of free markets, however, and is lecturing in business studies at a Chinese university -- where he now gives his students a good dose of capitalist economic theory. I doubt that anyone could have made a longer journey from Left to Right than he has. His current observations are here. From what he tells me it is amazing how capitalistic China has become.



There is another blogger here who has made the journey from Left to Right -- though in her case more recently. And she is quite scathing about the double standards of some of her former "friends" on the Left.



Thanks to a nudge in the right direction by The Bunyip (how likeminded can two bloggers be when they even use the same template!), I now have the usual all-purpose list of links down the side of my page but I thought it might still be useful for me to give my weekly update of what blogs I am at the moment following more or less regularly:

Dr Bunyip
James Morrow
Alex Robson.
Gareth Parker
Ken Parish
Alan McCallum
Bizarre Science
Jason Soon
Scott Wickstein
Gene Expression

New Zealand:
NZ Pundit
Silent Running

Not A Fish

Cinderella Bloggerfeller
England's Sword
Steven Chapman
Conservative Commentary.

Light of Reason
Pejman Pundit
Dr Weevil
Clayton Cramer
Common-sense and Wonder
Judd Brothers
Vodka Pundit

Enter Stage Right

Token Leftist:
Prof. Quiggin


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2 November, 2002


Gordon at NZ Pundit has a great link about the mess that Euroland is in. Britain has done well to stay out. Maybe Imperial Preferences should be revived! (Just kidding). But it does give the British Tories an issue they might be able to beat Tony Blair on. Self-interest is a powerful persuader.



I think I owe Jason Soon a small correction. He has written to assure me that he does not at all go along with all of the views of his fellow bloggers at Gene Expression. He is much more dubious about the importance of genetics in explaining human differences generally. At least none of the group can be accused of being white supremacists: Of the team, Jason is of course East Asian, one is a Tamil, two are Bengalis, one is a Persian and one is Jewish.



If anybody is still in any doubt about what postmodernism is, they should have a look at this and this. Both articles are quite brief and tell us what postmodern art is by way of some choice examples. Normal people would simply be be disgusted by it all. AND THAT IS THE POINT. Postmodern art aims to get attention at all costs. I have argued elsewhere at some length (here and here) that Leftists are basically unoriginal people who are desperate for attention and postmoderns are clearly an extreme example of that. They are people driven to desperation by having nothing to say or contribute yet also having a great longing for attention -- and in that situation any attention will do, even if all they manage to do is to disgust people.

Once again, thanks to Arthur Silber for suggesting the links.

Cameron Pritchard sums up the desperation of the modern Left well too.



Given my career in the social sciences, the prevailing Leftist bias in the social sciences is no news to me. Leftists everywhere have a huge talent for distorting eveything to suit themselves and you can certainly rely on most psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists to find only what suits Leftist beliefs. Since that is probably less well-known to others than it is to me, however, I thought this example was worth a mention. The example also shows that Leftist bias in the social sciences has been with us for a long time. Excerpt:

PHILADELPHIA -- Nearly a century ago, Franz Boas, the man known as the founder of modern anthropology, launched a study of cranial measurements of 13,000 people and concluded that skull shapes are determined more by environment than by race. It was a powerfully influential finding, because at the time, skull size and shape were thought to be connected to intelligence.

Now, though, a new analysis suggests the distinguished anthropologist got it wrong: Race or, more properly, ethnicity is a bigger determinant than environment.

Whether Boas deliberately distorted his findings is not clear. But researchers think he may have had preconceived ideas about what the data should show. "It's pretty clear that Boas was in the forefront of racial equality and sex equality, and it's pretty clear that he was in the forefront of rejecting the ideas of racial typology and scientific racism that existed in the early century," University of Tennessee anthropology professor Richard Jantz said. "It wouldn't be hard to imagine that he had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to get out of this study, but I wouldn't want to say we know that's true."

Jantz also said that Boas was "seriously hamstrung because he couldn't analyze all that data with the resources available to him at the time." In Boas' day, the general view was that Europeans were the dominant race, an argument often based on brain size. For decades, scholars opposed to such notions have cited Boas' study of immigrants and their offspring.

Note that the guys Boas was trying to stymie were right after all. Bigger heads do tend to go with greater intelligence. See here.

Thanks to NZ Pundit for energizing me on this topic.


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1 November, 2002


Wow! Jason Soon has just written to me to draw attention to his "other" blog -- one he shares with a group of writers. I must confess that Jason had always seemed a bit wishy-washy to me (though as "Catallaxy" he is on my list of links) but his "other" blog is full-on and pulls no punches about the truths of racial differences and genetics. Have a look.



I also have to endorse Scott Wickstein's description of "Bitchin' Monaro" as "link central" for Australian bloggers. I have never seen so many links. There's at least a year's reading for anyone there. If ever you are looking for somebody's site you would have the best chance of finding the link you want there. There is also a huge list of links to what looks like all the world's online media.



I have always thought that Fukuyama's "End of history" thesis was a good attention-grabber and not much else but a lot of sensible people seem to take him seriously. There is what I think is a well-balanced consideration of it all here.



As usual, there are some more great excerpts on the latest issue of the "Fed". My picks both have to do with the recently captured "snipers" (two blacks, one an illegal immigrant and another named Mohammed) who killed at random in the Washington D.C. area:

"Can you imagine if a profiler had tried to get on, even Fox News, let alone the other networks, and said, 'You know what, I suspect it's a Nation of Islam member and an illegal alien who are doing this killing.' They never would have let them on TV."

"I have never in my life seen a faster and bigger 180 on the death penalty than among white liberals in Virginia, Maryland, and the D.C. area."



As I mentioned yesterday, the Summary from my recent article in "Front Page", which showed that modern-day Leftism consists largely of recycled Fascist ideas, was reprinted by Sylvia Finlayson in her corner of "Meridian", a Mormon magazine. Sylvia has now kindly forwarded to me another response from her readers -- this time one from CB, a history enthusiast. Since CB puts the case rather well, I reproduce his words below:

Of course Mussolini's ideas were forerunners of modern Western Leftism -- he was a modern, Western Leftist! Italy is, after all, a Western country and Fascism is a very Leftist political-economic system. On a politically right-to-left scale, Fascism falls somewhere between "simple" socialism and full-bore Marxist-Leninism. But all are clearly Leftist!

The two most defining differences between Fascism and Communism are scope and ownership of the means of production. Marxism, the most extreme of the two, crows that the State must own all means of production (but only for the protection and good of the People). Also, Communism is globalist in its view: all peoples everywhere will (must) eventually see the wisdom in its philosophy and adopt its creed in order that everyone will have peace and prosperity.

Fascism, on the other hand, does not require State ownership of any aspect of the economy. But it will control by fiat the key sectors of the economy. And nationalism is a primary tool for Fascists to rally the people to its cause. Mussolini challenged Italians to regain the glory that was Rome's; Franco appealed to Spaniards' memories of the faded Catholic Majesty that was 16th century Spain; Hitler created a Third Reich, aping the Germanic Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne, and trading on a mythical race of supermen.

The labels became clouded when Italian, Spanish, and German Fascists went head-to-head with Russian-backed Communists after World War I. It was the Russian Communists who styled the Fascists as "right-wing". (From a Marxist point of view, Fascists are somewhat Right -- but just barely!) The Western Fascists of the last century fought the Russian communists not so much over differences in theory as tradition and culture. Certainly, Germany and Russia have warred for centuries. But, Communism is foreign-based and dictated, while Fascism is usually home-grown. It may even be true that the rise of Fascism in these countries was precipitated by Russian-exported Communism taking advantage of war-shattered economies and governments.

The Weimar Republic in 1920s Germany was so-named because it could not operate
from the traditional capital in Berlin. Berlin and other cities had been overtaken by Moscow-backed German communists, who declared them Soviet Socialist Republics. Mussolini, Franco, and (especially) Hitler wanted none of that!

It is also somewhat amusing to read that young Leftists go about protesting
(rioting) against globalization. The foremost proponents of globalization are, of course, dyed-in-the-wool Marxists! Where the two sides differ is just who will run the world: the capitalist West, or the Communist East?

The fact that young idealists have no concept of what they aid and abet is testimony to the success of traditional Russian deception. This is a skill developed over many centuries and pre-dates Russian Marxism by a millenium. The "Big Lie" wasn't invented in Nazi Germany. It was adapted from the successes of Germany's Marxist neighbor to the East. And it still works today.



As usual, Opinion Journal has some good laughs today but I wonder how many will get the one that ends: "Shouldn't the delegation include someone from Chad?"


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