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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ancient history


Did you know that the US government used to enforce the public charge doctrine?

Do you know what the public charge doctrine is?

The Chief Kakistocrat explains.

For every action there is an equal and opposite inaction

A lot of ugly things are happening in the world right now. In what used to be Syria and Iraq, an army of Muslim men have carved out their own homeland and are giving Christians three choices: flight, fight or assimilate. As I've mentioned, I thought it was a pretty big deal when two fairly large nation-states fell apart and some obscure Muslim radical just decides to carve out his own country, complete with oil wells. But everybody pretends not to notice. People like being comfortable; they don't like thinking hard about uncomfortable things so they pretend they don't exist. Libertarians are a good example. The fact is a lot of people are incapable of civilized, cooperative existence. If you don't lock them up or keep them out, they'll take all your stuff. If you don't feed them, they'll starve. So instead, libertarians just go on and on about the awful State and how great it would be if all the nice, smart people had their own society. (Actually, we did have that. It was called the West.) Liberals have this characteristic in spades. Liberals don't talk about how appallingly promiscuous homosexual men really are, or that an 87 IQ white is going to have obvious physical and communicative limitations but an 87 IQ black is going to be verbally fluent and comparatively more functional. Conservatives are pretending not to notice that they're outnumbered and it's too late to change anything by voting.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State are a clear demonstration of the paralysis of Western Christians with their intellectual abstractions in the face of men with guns and the will to use them. The only way you are going to stop ISIS is by killing ISIS fighters. Western governments aren’t going to do it; Western Christians aren’t going to do it. We have become too prosperous and comfortable.

This paralysis is playing out in a lot of different areas. Immigration is a good example. Mass movements of people across national borders used to be called ‘invasion,’ and it was repelled by men killing the invaders. Fighting, dying, being permanently maimed or disabled is ugly stuff, so after two world wars, Westerners built this civilization of legal abstractions: the rule of law, the proposition nation. In reality, we're just dressing up the same old conflict that’s always been around: people and territory. Or, more poetically, blood and soil. Even 'gentrification' is really 'ethnic cleansing,' just without the rifles and the camps. As Vox Popoli and Kakistocracy point out, it's just the Law of Rule, and always has been. "Rule of Law" just means the more intelligent and civilized people have the guns.

But as we see in the Middle East, every now and then that elaborate construct we've erected to pretend biology doesn't exist slips, and decidedly less abstract thinkers are able to exert their will. The Middle East is the reality where a lot of beloved Western abstractions just blow away like smoke. So even as people wring their hands and talk about these terrible events, nobody does anything or even thinks too hard about them.

We’re nice, comfortable people who don’t want to recognize that a lot of phenomenon will not cease unless we do some very ugly things. We won’t, so they won’t.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Migration


"Migration" is the politically correct term for invasion immigration, the desired nuance being that it's just some natural, tidal phenomenon, like the wildebeests or the Arctic terns. (It's also an appallingly patronizing way to regard people who are otherwise deemed to have moral agency, but let's keep this brief.)

If there's any doubt remaining among any readers that this is nothing less than the welfare state recruiting more constituents, consider that your tax dollars are about to be put to work making sure our future vibrancy can bypass Mexico altogether. We are not the world's policeman, the Left intones. Indeed not, we are the world's social worker.

One under-remarked point: Mexico is not "dangerous." It has abundant resources, jet travel, hospitals, indoor plumbing, a middle class and many very wealthy people. Even granting the wildly hyperbolic first premise--that Honduras and Guatemala are so dangerous life without physical assault is impossible--there is no reason that Hondurans and Guatemalans cannot stop there.

Why are people losing their minds over this? We have ZERO moral obligation to take these people in, no more than you have an obligation to give every homeless person out there a rent-free night on your couch. And the future consequences are going to be awful; we owe no future consideration to our children and grandchildren and the kind of society we leave them?

This is just mass psychosis. I've never seen anything like it.

Folks, you don't have to take my word for it. You can read Alexis du Tocqueville, Hillaire Belloc, William Schwenck Gilbert, Rudyard Kipling, Enoch Powell. This has all been pointed out over and over. What's that old definition of insanity?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five more days

... until the 100th anniversary of the end of Western Civilization. Via Rorate Caeli.



About the time I posted this, a friend made a lengthy comment on Facebook, exhorting everybody to vote, hope and pray. American conservatives are in their ghost dance phase.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The perfect as the enemy of the good


And with this Daily Article from Mises.org, the remaining Lew Rockwell-sponsored site leaves the blogroll:
One area where many otherwise-correct free-market thinkers and libertarians stumble is in the area of right-to-work laws, now gaining considerable popularity across the nation. These laws come in a variety of forms, but in most cases a state that adopts right-to-work laws makes it illegal for employers to require union membership as a condition of employment. So far, twenty-four states have adopted these laws and the state legislature in Missouri has plans to make that state a right-to-work state sometime early next year.

Right-to-work laws are attractive to some because they help undercut the monopoly powers granted to labor unions by government. They also appeal to the more pragmatic minded because of the distinct improvements in economic growth. A recent study by the National Institute of Labor Relations Research found that, over a ten year period, states with right-to-work laws experience significant growth in manufacturing output and GDP compared to non-right-to-work states. This is, of course, the result we would expect from diminishing the power of government-created monopolies such as those granted to labor unions.

But utilitarian concerns aside, free-market advocates must ask whether these laws are the right way to reduce government power, and whether they satisfy the moral and ethical criteria at the root of free-market and libertarian thought. Is it right to restrict the freedom to contract in order to counteract existing restrictions on that same freedom?
Libertarians - boldly answering the question nobody asked. Indeed, with that starting point (people are free to contract, period!), one may ask whether it is right to prohibit trade in slave-manufactured goods in order to counteract laws granting chattel rights in human beings? The libertarian, hogtied in his logic trap, can only answer one way: no, no and a thousand times no!

The author acknowledges, as he must, that unions operate ab initio from a government-granted privilege: if employees can form a collective bargaining unit, the employer cannot refuse to bargain with them. Since there will always be more people looking for jobs than people with jobs to give, it's pretty easy to predict that in an unhampered market, unions simply would not exist in their current form. They'd be specialized guilds, company unions or labor pools.

Right-to-work takes the government's thumb off the scale--if you don't want to join the collective, you don't have to as a condition of employment. In other words, it's a law that rolls back the interventions of another law. And consequently, unions are pretty scarce in right-to-work states.

I'm not necessarily anti-union; I've encountered some top-notch union labor. I've also seen the scum of the earth hanging around union locals. And, I've seen plenty of stupid, greedy, shortsighted employers.

The bottom line is the world is just too complicated and has too many novel situations and too many wildly differing viewpoints for some Grand Unified Theory of Everything to apply every single time. For that matter, how does a libertarian regime stay libertarian? Does it have to pass a law outlawing people getting together and passing laws? Why isn't a law just a covenant that a group of people agreed would run with the land instead of everybody drafting contracts with everybody else? What sort of long-term investment is even possible in such a situation? Wouldn't the libertarians still find themselves marking out borders and patrolling them with machine guns to keep the non-libertarians from stealing their stuff?

Lew could have garnered a lot more influence and respect for his Mises Institute just sticking with praxeology. But apparently this crew just can't help themselves, so they lurch into political debate for which they are not at all equipped, even as they hilariously and scrupulously avoid any meritorious debate on genetics, race, community, human sexuality or culture.

There is one area where Mises.org's frantic clampdown on discussion--as where the topic at hand might venture too near the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of Unthinkables--has never taken place: abortion is the one controversial topic that the site's sponsors have always made sure gets a full, comprehensive and open airing.

Some possible substitutes for Mises.org could be Cafe Hayek, Wolf Street, Robert Murphy's blog or David Stockman's Contra Corner.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tone deaf

What's also called a "tin ear." I'm actually using this phrase in the context of people who seemingly do not even read or hear what they're saying. Two examples:

1. Tyler Cowen is an active, engaged intellectual who posts on countless topics at his Marginal Revolution. However, he seems strangely incurious about the Middle East beyond the confines of a certain ethno-nationalist state. In fairness to Prof. Cowen, there is a strange incuriousness across the entire media spectrum over the fact that several new countries are being born in the region and the borders blithely drawn up by the retreating British and French are being reworked.

Except, of course, when the wretched flotsam interred in the Gaza Strip--a piece of useless geography connected to nothing--happen to lob a few rockets across the Israeli border. Then, Tyler's intellectual curiosity blossoms. How intriguing. How should Israel respond? What are the implications?

These issues weigh heavily on the minds of Ashkenazi economists here and here.

As I note on the linked threads, Israel is where all that warm, fuzzy-wuzzy talk about open borders, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism just evaporates into thin air. Once the subect of Israel comes up, then all these economists who are otherwise tearful, Kantian, handwringing towers of Jell-O at the thought of MS-13 gang members being turned away at the Rio Grande suddenly find their blood-and-soil cojones.

The entire region actually seems very instructive on Cathedral tenets of multiculturalism, open borders, democracy and Islamic rule. Of course, that is precisely why everybody is doing backflips around it.

2. Here's kind of a quaint story about a 19-year old Englishman trying to fumble his way back to some sense of ethnic identity and pride, complete with a LARP Knights-of-St.-George getup. The young man is running for a local council seat and voices the unspeakable.
“You can walk down parts of London and not see a white face. That’s not acceptable.

“Havering’s lucky: we have a low level of ethnic minorities here, but that’s changing.

“I can see the change and I don’t want that to happen. It’s not the future I want for my children.

“It’s a bloodless genocide where no one’s really dying but a whole race of people is dying out by forced race mixing.

“It’s done subliminally through advertisements. The average is usually a white 
female and a black male and a mixed race child.

“Because it’s shown 24/7 there’s no escape. They all have the same brain-washing TVs saying this is normal.”
His older, wiser opponent magnanimously refrains from calling for the young man's drawing and quartering, and makes this contribution to the battle of ideas:
“It’s nonsense, his comments are completely ignorant and I find it very offensive,” he said. [White people, of course, positively tingle at the prospect of being offended.]

“The issue really is not multiculturalism but the way we need to expand public services to meet increase in public 
demand. Havering is becoming more multicultural and those who come and work beside us, we would want to have a peaceful existence with them.”

Now if the old fool actually listened to what he was saying, he'd recognize that he has just acknowledged multiculturalism as a consumptive doom loop that ends when all the net payors either move away or are assimilated downward, and the beloved diversity is left stewing in its own juices. And "peaceful existence" means paying the Dane-Geld to keep your unassimilable and implacable enemies quiescent.

None so blind...

Monday, July 14, 2014