Tuesday, December 06, 2016

We're meant to listen to this guy?

Adam Kotsko is a professor at Shimer College in Chicago. He is an open borders type and was distressed by Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. elections. He says this of those who voted for Trump:
...Many of us are so disgusted by their ability to ignore his hatred that it makes it difficult to forgive them for their vote. But, our nation’s future depends on our ability to confront Trump and his bigotry through dialogue with our fellow citizens. We must swallow our pride and begin conversation with them.

...Perhaps the burden I am referring to here falls primarily on people like me. People who can hopefully relate in some way to the Trump voter and begin a dialogue. I think as long as those like me check our privilege to be sure we are acting in service to social justice this could be a positive step.

Adam Kotsko believes that he is the right man for the job of relating to Trump supporters. This is despite the fact that last year he posted this on social media:

So he is happy to tweet that whites should commit mass suicide to atone for their privilege and that a white identity exists solely for negative purposes. And yet he is putting himself in charge of outreach to white voters? White voters are supposed to put their trust and faith in him?

Now, it is true that Professor Kotsko, after some criticism of his tweets, wrote a post explaining that he had been "impatient" in suggesting that whites should commit mass suicide, and that what he really meant is that the ultimate logic of the current model of individual justice leads to the idea of white mass suicide, but that he himself prefers a different model of social justice that doesn't logically require this.

Even so, it is obvious that people like Adam Kotsko don't understand the gulf existing between his view of the world and that of most other people. He thinks that by having a dialogue with ordinary whites, that they will suddenly come around to the idea that they should dedicate their lives to atoning for their "privilege".

I expect that most whites will go the other way. They will increasingly look on Professor Kotsko's ideology as being psychologically unhealthy, requiring as it does a willingness to hate and reject one's own identity and tradition. I'm optimistic that white people will increasingly return to a more positive sense of their own identity and heritage.

Melbourne Traditionalists Report

The Melbourne Traditionalists group had its final meeting for 2016 last night. It was another successful get together, with much enthusiastic discussion.

We have succeeded in our basic aim of establishing an offline group for traditionalists here in Melbourne. Although we're doing a few activist things, our primary aim for 2017 will still be to keep growing and consolidating. Another aim will be to improve our social media presence and maybe even to start publishing. There are opportunities as well to liaise with other traditionalists elsewhere in Australia.

Interested readers are welcome to contact either myself of Mark Moncrieff about the group. I can be contacted at swerting@bigpond.com, Mark Moncrieff at his website Upon Hope.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The era of feminised Christianity

Dalrock has an interesting post up about a shift in Christianity said to have taken place around the year 1800. According to Professor Callum Brown, the Britain of the period 1800 to 1963 was a religious one, but during this period Christianity was feminised. In the introduction to his work The Death of Christian Britain Brown writes:
...The book focuses considerable attention on how piety was conceived as an overwhelmingly feminine trait which challenged masculinity and left men demonized and constantly anxious. It was modern evangelicalism that raised the piety of woman, the ‘angel in the house’, to reign over the moral weakness and innate temptations of masculinity.

The typical understanding amongst Christians of the era was that women were naturally good, but that men were roughly natured and tempted to drink, gambling, womanising and so on, until the influence of a good woman brought them around.

I am not an expert on the religious history of the era, but this does explain some of the beliefs about masculinity that were present in the Australia I grew up in as a boy in the 1970s. There was an idea around back then that men were supposed to be more roughly natured than women, coarser in their manners, hard-drinking, brawling and so on. You can see it over and over in the Australian films of the 1970s. Only there was no being rescued by the influence of women; the idea of Christian conversion had dropped off by then.

It seemed a dodgy concept of masculinity to me at the time (drinking beer didn't seem much of a test of manhood) and this whole understanding of men and women has since come crashing down. It is now difficult to see women as more finely-natured, or naturally good or pious than men. What the modern era has revealed is that unless the men of a society are willing to establish a moral frame that supports a stable family life, then that society is likely to decline.

Dalrock has assembled much evidence that there are still church leaders who uphold the older narrative of women being naturally good and only being injured by men's failures, including conservative church leaders, some of whom are perhaps trying to conserve the view from the nineteenth century that really ought to be jettisoned.

One final point. The nineteenth century Christian view has survived in the secular world too. Think of all the TV sitcoms, including shows like The Simpsons, that portray a humorous and sanitised version of the idea that females are the naturally virtuous ones (think Marge or Lisa) and men the wayward, reckless ones captive to temptation (Homer, Bart).

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Kellogg's pumps $75,000,000 to radical left - time to boycott

I didn't realise that the Kellogg's cereal company was dedicated to radical leftist causes. It has all come out into the open because of the U.S. election. The left realises it no longer completely monopolises the media (just 90% of it). So they are now going after media sites like Breitbart and the Daily Mail.

As part of this push, Kellogg's decided to withdraw advertising from Breitbart. Breitbart fired back by publicising what the Kellogg's Foundation does with its money. It's astonishing. Kelloggs has announced that it is going to spend $75 million pushing left-liberal "whiteness" theories.

These theories begin with the liberal idea that we should be autonomous, self-determining individuals. Therefore, something predetermined like our race should be made not to matter. Why then are there differences in racial outcomes in a country like America? The leftist theory is that race itself has no biological basis but is a social construct designed by one group of people, "whites," to benefit from an unearned privilege at the expense of those designated as non-whites. The institutions of society, according to the theory, are racist in the sense that they are intended to perpetuate this racial privilege. All whites are implicated in benefiting from structural racism just in virtue of being white.

You can see the radical implications of the theory. It means that white America is, in its essence, a negative phenomenon that needs to be deconstructed. It means that a white identity is a shameful one, and that any defence of it is designed to perpetuate "supremacy". It means that if a white person achieves something it is at least partly undeserved - it has been gained at the expense of others. The role of a white person in life is an odd one of somehow trying to atone for who they are.

That's the ideological background to this announcement by Kellogg's:
Since the birth of America, racial privilege and structural inequities have influenced the nation's policies and social systems, from healthcare, education and child welfare to media, food consumption, justice and countless other facets of everyday life. In America, those who differ from the majority because of race, color, sexual orientation, religion, gender, weight and other characteristics face a deluge of outright discrimination and unconscious bias.

This paradox is routinely denied by its individual and institutional perpetrators, and sometimes even by its victims. But the impact is real. The social consequences of discrimination can be devastating for everyone, as its targets struggle to overcome barriers from artificial constructs, while those in the majority may consciously or subconsciously wrestle with the root causes of their behavior.

Thus, as the W. K. Kellogg Foundation implements a $75 million, five-year initiative to combat structural racism in America, healing the wounds of racism is a key component. "Our America Healing initiative is designed to give communities all over the country opportunities and resources to come together to undo the effects of centuries of racism and to heal the hearts," says Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. "We would like to think that twenty years from now racism will be a thing of the past and people will acknowledge that it not only existed but that there was a concerted effort to make it go away. We are proud to be part of that effort."

In effect, Kellogg's is paying $75 million to promote an anti-white political theory. In response there is a campaign gaining momentum to boycott Kellogg's. As I write this, #DumpKelloggs is the top trending hashtag on Twitter and the company's share price is falling.

I will be joining the boycott here in Australia - let's make it international. Kellogg's manufactures not only cereals like Corn Flakes, but also Pringles and LCMs. You can find a detailed list here.

Here are some Twitter posts on the issue:

There is also a petition you can sign here (at the time of posting it has about 150,000 signatures).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hand gluers disrupt Parliament

A group wanting to close down Australia's offshore detention centres brought about a stop to proceedings in Parliament today. Some of them even tried to glue their hands to the railings.

The protest garnered a lot of media attention but the timing was off. There have been a number of attacks by asylum seekers in the news lately. We have had:
  • 27 injured when a Muslim refugee from Myanmar set fire to a bank in the Melbourne suburb of Springvale
  • a Somali refugee mow down people with his car at Ohio State University before attacking them with a machete (he was brought to America by Catholic Charities - the Catholic Church seems to be heavily involved in pushing for Muslim immigration to the West)
  • 300 recently arrived African migrants in Turin, Italy, throwing bottles and stones at locals
  • an African refugee here in Melbourne sentenced to four years in jail for breaking into a home and assaulting a woman while she lay asleep next to her baby in bed
The protesters, who want to allow anyone to fly to Indonesia and then get on a boat to arrive in Australia, do not seem to care about the effects of open borders on existing populations. They cannot think of better alternatives to the refugee issue, such as resettling those claiming asylum somewhere closer to their country of origin - closer in distance, living standards and culture.

A couple of pictures from the protest:

The glued hand

Being escorted out

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Melbourne Traditionalists December meeting

Well, our last get together was terrific with three new attendees and some wide-ranging discussion. The next meeting is coming up soon in early December. If you'd like to attend please contact either myself (swerting@bigpond.com) or Mark Moncrieff via his website.

Lena's equality

I posted recently about Lena Dunham after she made a video with her father celebrating the impending extinction of white men.

Lena had promised to move to Canada if Donald Trump won the election but, unsurprisingly, has announced that she will not be fulfilling her vow. In her explanation of why she is going to stay in America she wrote:
I've realized I can survive, as a Jewish pro-choice sexual assault survivor with a queer family member and a belief that we are all exactly and beautifully equal.

On reading this, I thought that maybe she doesn't think white men are "exactly and beautifully equal" as she has extinction in mind for us. But leaving this aside the formulation that "we are all exactly and beautifully equal" struck me as odd.

It doesn't seem to be true. Some people are more low-minded, more criminally-minded and more selfish than others. Some people have evil in their hearts and minds. Some people dwell in what is squalid in life and never rise above it. I do not see how such people are "exactly and beautifully equal" to others.

We can be aware, even in our own lives, of the rise and fall in the quality of our thoughts, actions and feelings. One manifestation of who we are is not equal to another.

So why would Lena Dunham claim that people are exactly equal? You might think she means this in the sense that we are all equal in the sight of God (so that even those most alienated from the good, nonetheless retain an imprint of what is perfect and divine in their nature - even if this is difficult to discern on the surface).

But I doubt that this is it. I suspect the context for her is the liberal belief that there is nothing objectively right or wrong and therefore no way of measuring what is higher or lower in what people aspire to be or do. What liberals do instead is to assert that there is an equal dignity in people defining their own good, their own identity, their own lifestyle and so on. It makes sense, in this liberal context, to assert that people are "exactly equal," just as it is senseless to do so from a more traditional perspective.

The liberal approach to equality comes with problems. It doesn't change the fact that people seek distinction in life. But instead of seeking distinction by disciplining themselves to objective standards of character, they are left to do so in other ways. For instance, if there is no distinction to be had in the traditional moral realm, then material status takes on an even greater importance (educational and career status for the upper classes; phones, designer shoes etc. for those lower down the ranks).

In the moral sphere liberals seek distinction through virtue signalling, i.e. by knowing what political position to take to best represent the latest trends in liberal thought. This alone gives some people a sense of superiority over others.

There's another way for liberals to signal moral distinction/superiority. Liberals don't believe in an objective right or wrong. However, they do believe in a system in which we each define our own good, whilst respecting others' freedom to do the same. This means that it is virtuous in a liberal system to not interfere with how others define their own good. So it is considered especially moral to be non-discriminatory, inclusive, open and tolerant. Therefore, the most virtuous/superior liberal will be the one who is most inclusive to whoever is deemed to be the most "other".

In practice Muslims are usually tagged as the most "other" and so there are many liberals who believe that they are demonstrating moral distinction by being open to the Islamising of the West (the liberal churches seem to be especially prone to this - to promoting Muslim immigration as a great moral cause, even though this will eventually undermine the place of Christianity in the West).

Finally, liberals have brought in inequality via "intersectionality," in which membership of a group thought to be oppressed gives a person greater moral authority and status than those thought to be more privileged. This moral pecking order is taken very seriously by some liberal activists; in an odd way, group victimhood gives people a special place vis-à-vis others, to the point that it is thought that the others ought not to speak but to listen, or to take up less space, or to move aside.

So that is Lena Dunham's "beautiful equality." It is an equality in which people seek to be recognised as superior via such things as career status; politically correct beliefs; upholding the "other" regardless of the practical consequences of doing so; and claiming membership of oppressed groups.

It's a mess. It does not create equality and the drive toward distinction is mostly frittered away on things that do not really confer distinction. And, as for white men, we apparently do not even qualify to be part of Lena's system.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Australian Immigration Minister: mistakes were made

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has sparked controversy by saying that Prime Minister Fraser made a mistake in the 1970s by overriding departmental advice and allowing Lebanese Muslim refugees to come to Australia. Officials in the Immigration Department warned Mr Fraser that the largely uneducated, rural Muslim refugees would struggle to fit into Australia and might bring some of the violence common in their homeland to Australia.

As it happens, two thirds of those connected to terrorism in Australia are Lebanese Muslims; there has been a wave of crime gang related shootings amongst Lebanese Muslim communities in Sydney and Melbourne; 20% of Lebanese migrants still cannot speak English; many of those recruited to fight for ISIS have come from this community; and Lebanese Muslims are four times more likely to be on the disability pension than the general population.

So, although there have been some success stories as well, the department officials had a point.

What I'd like to focus on, though, is the bigger picture of what happens when you bring diverse groups of refugees to Western countries (i.e. refugees from very different backgrounds to the host country). For instance, one leader of the Muslim Lebanese community, Mostafa Rochwani, replied angrily to Dutton that it was Australians who pushed the Lebanese refugees into violence and crime:
These communities have faced cultural, political, economic and physical violence from a society that was hostile to any kind of encroachment on their grip on what it means to be Australian...Whether it is expressed in gang violence or in foreign fighters, these people are inherently just seeking what society was unwilling to provide them: their humanity, their worth being recognised.

Is the problem not obvious? Rochwani is saying that the price for integrating Lebanese Muslims is for the existing population to give up on their own sense of what it means to be an Australian. We have to give up our own identity, so that the refugees can then feel more included.

And, in a sense, he is right. It is human nature for people to want to feel a sense of identity and belonging in the society they live in. If you bring in people who are radically different ethnically, then you have an issue. Either the newcomers have to miss out in terms of identifying with the larger community, or else the existing population does. Someone has to lose out.

This is less of a problem for liberal whites, as they are committed ideologically to the idea of identifying only with themselves as individuals - although in practice they do seek out communities of white liberals to live amongst. But for most Westerners having to give up on their own identity, so that Lebanese Muslims are not radicalised, is not a great situation to be in.

That's why the whole project of flying refugees around the world to live in the suburbs of Western cities is a misguided one. It is part of a liberal denial of human nature.

One more example. Dutton was attacked in Parliament by Australia's first female Muslim MP, Anne Aly. Aly was self-conscious when she was a girl of not looking the same as others:
Australia's first Muslim woman elected to Parliament, the counter-terrorism expert said she had become aware of her own status as a minority at the age of six or seven.

Wondering why she didn't have a Barbie doll that looked like her, she was told by her mother thinking too much would make her go crazy

Anne Aly has been given every advantage in the Western world (a high flying career as an academic, employment as a government expert, a columnist for several leading newspapers, and now an MP) but she still does not identify with the Western tradition because she was self-conscious of looking different. And so she says things like "Let's disrupt, let's destroy the joint."

Again, the only way to make her feel better is for the traditional white Western populations to no longer exist in such numbers. Only then will those like Anne Aly no longer feel like a minority outsider. It is once again a terrible situation that Westerners have been put in by liberal immigration policies - go under, so that Muslim girls don't feel like they belong to a minority which looks different.

Anne Aly responding to Peter Dutton

One final point. In some ways, the politics of the left is forming around this dynamic. It was noticeable during the American elections that younger minority activists looked to white politicians like Hillary Clinton as their "allies" against the white majority. It puts the white leftists in an unusual situation. They are temporarily useful to those who see themselves as the new America, but they won't serve the same function in the longer term - they won't be needed anymore. If the white liberal left wins, and the demographic trends continue, then a tipping point will be reached at which the minority activists will feel confident that they can get the job done by themselves, without the need for the leadership of white liberals. Where then will the future Clintons of the world fit in on the left? In other words, if the point of leftist politics is to represent non-white activists against the white majority, then what will happen ultimately to the white left? They will not be natural leaders of this movement, not in the longer term. They are temporary stand-ins.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How are the big issues decided? Obergefell vs Hodges 2015

In 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States decided in favour of homosexual marriage (Obergefell vs Hodges). The decision was a close one (5-4). Both the majority opinion and the dissenting opinions were argued for in terms of first principles, which gives an unusually clear insight into what is thought to matter by those who matter. Let's begin with the majority opinion. The introduction to the ruling states:
The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs...

...The first premise of this Court's relevant precedents it that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.

The more detailed part of the ruling begins as follows:
The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.

The petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex.

I'm going to pause here, because this is the state ideology in a nutshell. What matters, we are being told, is a liberty to define our own identity. This liberty must extend equally to all persons. That is how we get to be autonomous and to have dignity as a person.

Justice Roberts in his dissenting opinion makes an obvious objection to this view. He writes:
The majority opens its opinion by announcing petitioners' right to "define and express their identity." The majority later explains that "the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy."...One immediate question invited by the majority's position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people...It is striking how much of the majority's reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If "there is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices," why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry?

Isn't this right? If what matters is "a right to personal choice regarding marriage" that is "inherent in the concept of individual autonomy," then isn't my dignity being infringed upon if I cannot choose to marry two women?

And why should marriage be a lifelong union if what matters is a right to choice regarding marriage? If I want to choose to leave one woman and marry another, then aren't I being a good liberal in doing so? And why should marriage be an exclusive union? If my autonomy is at stake, then why shouldn't I define my identity in terms of having both a wife and a lover on the side? For that matter, why should the biological connection between myself and my children matter? Aren't we all autonomous individuals, defining our own identity? So why should paternity matter that much? Or maternity for that matter? And why should I be held to owe any duty of care to my wife or to my children? If I were to follow the logic of the Supreme Court, then I have no duty of care, but only a free choice to care, if that is what fits with how I choose to define my personal identity and beliefs.

And if the aim of my life is to maximise my autonomy, in which I have the greatest possible freedom to choose to act as I wish, then why would I even contemplate marriage in the first place? Why wouldn't I choose to live alone, free to pursue a single man/woman lifestyle, not having to compromise myself for another person?

Marriage only makes sense if the guiding principle of life is not, in fact, the idea that our dignity comes from a personal autonomy to define ourselves as we wish. Nobody limits themselves to one other person for the sake of autonomy. And you would be crazy to commit to parenthood in the belief that you would thereby maximise your personal autonomy.

When men believe that being a paterfamilias really matters, that it has meaning, then marriage flourishes. Men commit to this role, not out of a belief in autonomy, but because they believe that in doing so they are upholding some important part of their own manhood, one necessary to the wellbeing of their wife and children, and to the family lineage and national tradition that they belong to and identity with.

Family cannot be unsexed. It is a procreative union of a man and a woman that cannot endure unless men are absolutely persuaded of their own necessary role as husbands and fathers within it (and are confident in the support of the state in this role).

Homosexual marriage has the effect of unsexing the family. It forces us to believe that whether a family has a man and a woman, or two men, or two women is all the same. Therefore, a man being a man is of little consequence when it comes to family life. It means that a man is not expressing anything significant about himself as a man when it comes to what he does in or for a family.

Do we men really believe this to be true? Is the homosexual view really the truth about marriage and family? Is being a man something that is only incidental to our lives? Or is it perhaps something that is not expressed within a family, but only outside of it, in some other sphere of life? Could that really be the truth of things?

I just don't believe that this will ring true to most men. Most men have a profound experience of the way that men and women are called together to be in a procreative union with each other. It is part of the warp and woof of reality itself. And most men too have an instinct toward expressing some part of their manhood within a family, as a husband and father, and will, in most circumstances, be motivated to fulfil this instinct, even if this constrains their autonomy.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Whiteness is like...

Liberal Christians are increasingly becoming the worst, most extreme liberals. A case in point: the South African, Martin Young. He has written a newspaper column with the heading "Whiteness is like herpes". It opens like this:
You know now that you have it but prefer not to talk about it. Every now and then it surfaces like a rash, provoking discomfort, not in you, but in others. You have lived with it for so long that for most of your life you didn’t even notice it. In fact, you were surprised when someone, unable themselves by virtue of colour to have it, discovered that you did, and pointed it out. The diagnosis hurt. It was uncomfortable knowing that others saw in you something that was damaging to them, but not directly to you.

And now there are calls to have those with whiteness pay for the damage it has done to others. This makes you uncomfortable, knowing that, like herpes, you cannot eradicate whiteness from your own being. It is just there.

This is as spiritually sick as a person gets. A healthy positive identity is replaced with a self-hating, self-abnegating one. Martin Young really needs to choose a more fitting kind of hairshirt for himself.

While we're on the topic of South Africa, it's worth mentioning that Julius Malema, leader of a party with 25 seats, has called on his followers to occupy white-owned land:
South African opposition firebrand Julius Malema is telling his followers to seize any piece of white-owned land they want, defying a court trying him on charges of inciting violent property grabs.

Malema addressed cheering members of his ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party near the courtroom in Bloemfontein, after a judge adjourned the politically charged hearing.

'When we leave here, you will see any beautiful piece of land, you like it, occupy it...

Malema wants a situation like that in Zimbabwe:
They [the McKinnons] had resisted the pressure of the land invaders for many years, perhaps protected by Zimbabweans who saw them as “good” farmers because they employed 250 permanent and seasonal workers, grew much-needed crops and donated food to a local school and orphanage.

But in one incident in 2012, Mark McKinnon was kidnapped and tortured for 24 hours by dozens of young men, believed to be the sons of high-ranking officials who wanted his farm.

“I was badly beaten, and they broke all my teeth,” he said. “It was horrific. But farming is the only thing I know, so I stood up and fought for it.”

This year, the pressure grew worse. Local magistrates issued several eviction orders. He appealed to higher courts, obtaining an injunction against the orders. In July, invaders arrived and began drinking beer outside the house. His father picked up a gun and ordered them to leave. Police arrested him and his wife and jailed them for four days.

Meanwhile, a state-owned newspaper accused them of hiding an “arms cache” – ignoring the fact that their guns were licensed and Mr. McKinnon was a member of Zimbabwe’s national clay-pigeon shooting team, often competing in international championships.

In late August, men broke into the house and tossed their furniture outside. Their belongings, including photos and papers, were strewn across the bush.

“I just said, ‘No, it’s enough now,’” Mr. McKinnon said. “I didn’t want my children hurt like I was hurt. They would have locked us up on any trumped-up charges.”

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Iran catches Western bug

There's a fascinating article at the Los Angeles Times about a cultural shift amongst Iran's educated women. It seems that Western norms are taking hold amongst this group, leading to a declining marriage and birth rate in that country, as well as a higher divorce rate.

The article claims that the Iranian women are "liberated" but are held back by the men being too "traditional". But when you read through the interviews with these educated Iranian women a certain picture emerges. These women want things on their own terms. If the husband works too long hours, then they want a freedom to divorce him. But the husband has to accept it if she works long hours. They want a freedom to sleep around as they wish when young, but dislike it when they hit their 30s and want to marry and only meet men who want to sleep with them. An Iranian man in the comments also points out that they claim to want to be independent, but refuse to use their own earnings to contribute to household finances - they are suddenly traditional when it comes to men being the breadwinners.

I think it's evidence of just how easily a society can fall into a culture that is hostile to stable family formation.

Crime wave

More disturbing crimes in Melbourne to report on:
A woman has suffered spinal injuries and another received minor injuries after an attack involving up to 10 men of Sudanese appearance on a Melbourne beach.

The attack took place at Chelsea beach on Thursday night.

This isn't the kind of thing that Melbournians are used to - a gang of young men bashing women on a beach. This too is a different kind of crime:
A gang of 15 teenagers brazenly shoplifted from a Melbourne Officeworks store and left 'cheering and dancing' while holding the stolen items above their heads.

Witness Chris, who chose to keep his surname anonymous, said he went to the South Yarra store in the city's southeast to buy a computer at 4.30pm on Saturday when he noticed the youths, aged 13 to 17, taking headphones and speakers from the shelves.

He said the teenagers, believed to be members of the notorious Apex gang, were dancing down the aisles and walked out cheering a minute later, setting off the store alarms.

'They certainly weren't walking around with their heads down - they were happily ransacking the shelves,' he told 3AW on Monday.

But the latest and most disturbing crime took place yesterday:
The man suspected of setting fire to a Melbourne bank, leaving 27 people injured, is believed to be an asylum seeker who came to Australia by boat.

Federal government sources say the 21-year-old Springvale man is an asylum seeker from Myanmar living in the community on a bridging visa.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The European refugee situation

I don't think this will surprise anyone but a study by "Doctors of the World" has found that only 13% of the refugees who have entered Europe are fleeing from war. The majority had arrived for economic reasons.

Nor will it come as a surprise that an Arabic translator, who is Christian but who was assumed to be Muslim by those in the refugee centres, found that amongst themselves those working and living in the refugee centres were hostile to the host society. The translator reported that,
“Some women told me ‘We will multiply our numbers. We must have more children than the Christians because it’s the only way we can destroy them here”, she recalls.

It is more evidence that the refugee system needs to be reformed. These problems would not arise if refugees were resettled in countries with similar economic conditions and cultural/religious backgrounds. If there were no economic benefit to claiming asylum, then there would be no incentive for economic migrants to claim to be refugees. And if asylum seekers were resettled in countries with the most similar ethnicity, then there would no longer be a problem of assimilation (e.g. the issue of Muslims wanting to displace Christians would not arise).

Monday, November 14, 2016

On Jessica Valenti

Hat tip for this story to The Politically Incorrect Australian. Jessica Valenti is a prominent American feminist. She has written a memoir called Sex Object which has been memorably reviewed by Robert Stacy McCain. It's worth reading the whole review (it is blunt in its language).

Let me give the briefest of summaries of Valenti's life to date. She followed the modern girl path of spending her teens and twenties as a party girl seeking sex with the most alpha men she could get (she preferred tall, blue-eyed, fair-haired men) and taking drugs. She was snorting coke during the period she founded the feminist website Feministing. When she hit her 30s she did the done thing and got married. She has, apparently, been somewhat ruined for marriage though:
Andrew and I have been going to couple’s therapy, both for my anxiety and because Andrew is so mad at the space the anxiety takes up in our relationship. Our default mood is low-level annoyance toward each other with a propensity to turn into full-blown rage at the smallest thing.

I feel like I might hate him and I suspect he feels the same.

It reminds me again that we do not choose the best people to run our culture. Our young women are supposed to look up to and emulate someone with mental health issues and a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

If it were me, I would not be putting myself forward as a role model, at least not until I had got myself sorted out.

The other reminder is that we now have to deal with a culture in which there exist women who want to be players but who also want to keep the option of becoming wives and mothers. It's an odd game that modern feminists are playing: they want a player culture of their own, whilst stridently opposing one for men. Robert Stacy McCain touches on this in his review - he identifies the double standard by which it is "progressive" for women to act like players but "sexist" for men to do the same. To put this another way, the ideal for a feminist is to allow free rein to her own sexuality whilst keeping a lid on the expression of male sexuality (the traditionalist preference is for both to be directed toward higher ends).

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A validation gap?

A number of Clinton supporters have directed their anger at white women for supporting Trump. One of these Clintonistas is an American writer and feminist by the name of Lindy West. I found her thoughts on the issue particularly interesting, as she spelled out the underlying, psychological reasons for her passionate support for Hillary. In claiming that white women had "pawned their humanity" in voting for Trump she wrote:
I got up on Election Day and burst into tears — not a genteel twin trickle but a great heaving burst, zero to firehose. Tears spattered the inside of my glasses, dripped from my lips, and left mascara-tinged rosettes blooming black in my cereal milk.

“Honey,” my husband crooned to me. “Honey, it’s going to be O.K. The numbers are still good. It’s O.K.”

But it wasn’t the numbers. I wasn’t sobbing because I was afraid Hillary Clinton was going to lose. That would come later. I was sobbing Tuesday morning because, as I poured my coffee, I’d caught a glimpse of a cable news interview with Mrs. Clinton just after she voted for herself in Chappaqua, N.Y. She seemed breathless, exhilarated, a little overwhelmed. Over her shoulder, Bill Clinton stared at his wife and beamed.

My husband stares at me like that sometimes. It’s not just love — we expect husbands to love their wives — but something less traditional, more conditional and gendered. It’s professional respect. It’s pride.

We’re accustomed to that pride flowing the other direction, from wife to husband, because men in our culture get to be more than just bodies, do more than just nurture. Men get to act and excel and climb and aspire and thrive and win and rule and be the audacious, hungry fulcrum of public life. It is normal for men to have ambition. It is normal for women to stand aside.

...I cried because I want my daughters to feel that blazing pride, that affirmation of their boundless capacity — not from their husbands, but from their world, from the atmosphere, from inviolable wells of certainty inside themselves. I cried because it’s not fair, and I’m so tired, and every woman I know is so tired. I cried because I don’t even know what it feels like to be taken seriously — not fully, not in that whole, unequivocal, confident way that’s native to handshakes between men. I cried because it does things to you to always come second.

Whatever your personal opinion of the Clintons, as politicians or as human beings, that dynamic is real. We, as a culture, do not take women seriously on a profound level. We do not believe women. We do not trust women. We do not like women.

I understand that many men cannot see it, and plenty more do not care. I know that many men will read this and laugh, or become defensive, or call me hysterical, or worse, and that’s fine. I am used to it. It doesn’t make me wrong.

But maybe this election was the beginning of something new, I thought. Not the death of sexism, but the birth of a world in which women’s inferiority isn’t a given.

After I had read this it occurred to me that what she was really seeking in having Hillary elected was psychological validation. She has a hunger for validation. She wants her daughters to feel "that affirmation of their boundless capacity...from their world, from the atmosphere, from inviolable wells of certainty inside themselves". She is crying out "World please validate me and save me from feelings of inferiority". She believes that having a female president might deliver this.

Her quest for validation has led her to reject the feminine in favour of the masculine. She sees men shaking hands firmly, having self-confidence and energy and she is envious. She thinks that men are being given something by society, that they have been placed on a track by society that gives them this sense of inner validation. She wants it for herself. And so she wants to cast off the feminine and adopt the masculine.

In one sense, she's right. Men probably do have, on average, a more securely anchored sense of themselves and so do not seek external validation as much as women do. But I think Lindy West is wrong to assume that this is because society has empowered men to have ambition and denied this to women.

After all, we have had many female world leaders now; we have had women rising through the professions; we have had generations of girls raised to be ambitious at work. Lindy West herself has a relatively powerful and prestigious career as a journalist. If Lindy West were right, then women should now be amassing a treasure trove of validation, but instead Lindy West finds herself crying into her morning cereal.

And what of men? If Lindy West's theory were right, then ambitious, powerful men should feel validated, other men not. But it often doesn't work out this way. There are plenty of men working very humble jobs, who nonetheless have the self-confident, knockabout qualities that Lindy West seems so envious of.

So the question is this. How does an individual come to have a confident and secure sense of themselves as having worth as an individual?

There's no single thing, is there? If a son receives a good dose of mother love as a child, this helps. The same if a daughter grows up lovingly protected by her father. Genetics contributes something.

From here there is a gap between traditionalists and liberal moderns. Traditionalists can find worth for the individual in things that transcend individual life. For instance, if the masculine virtues have an inherent worth, and I as a man can embody some of these virtues, that then gives worth to who I am as an individual. Similarly, if there is a beauty in nature that has inherent value and I can perceive this and feel connected to it, then that too will add to my sense of worth as an individual.

For secular liberals, things are more difficult, as there is only the individual and his choices - there is no connection to things that have objective, transcendent value. So how do I prove my worth if I am a liberal? It has to be through things that mark out a purely personal, individual achievement, such as social popularity, sexual success, sporting achievements and, most of all, careers.

I can't be sure, but I suspect there is a major split between the kind of women who support Trump and those who support Clinton. The Clinton women are more likely to think that individual worth comes the liberal way (sexual conquests, social status, career advancement) and so are sensitive to the fear that they are being held back in achieving this because they are women. Lindy West is a case in point in how this is failing women. Despite women being given the green light to do whatever they want to, she still feels invalidated in her life. She hasn't gained a sense of worth from these pursuits alone and in seeking worth through these things she has turned on her own feminine identity.

The Trump women, I suspect, still look to more traditional sources of worth for themselves as individuals. Perhaps, they see a transcendent value in family and their own role in family life as wives and mothers. Perhaps they see a transcendent value in the larger communal traditional they belong to (i.e. in their identity as Americans) and don't wish to see this dissolved within a tide of globalisation and open borders. Perhaps they see a transcendent value in womanhood itself, and are uncomfortable with its declining status in the modern world or with the attempt to dissolve sex distinctions between men and women.

One final point. Liberal women see no reason to be loyal to the men of their own community. If all you are doing is pursuing sexual conquests; amassing likes on social media; and pursuing a career then why do you need to stand in solidarity with the men of your community? There's no logical reason to do so, especially if you believe these men are your competition.

Once you see yourself, though, as part of a family, a community, a culture and a civilisation, then you do have a reason for loyalty. And it is a good thing for men and women to be connected to each other in this way. It is an ugly part of modern life that men and women have been so set apart.