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Monday, June 30, 2014

Tyler Cowen finally notices the Middle East


Five years later.

Meanwhile, there are three countries trying to be born where Iraq and Syria used to be, including a Sunni caliphate funded by the houses of Saud and Thani. Also, glorious, open borders, as migrating jihadists economic units freely travel from Britain, Minnesota, Libya, Chechnya and the Arabian peninsula to match their skills with labor-starved employers.

Tyler is shocked, appalled to find violent mercenaries acting like violent mercenaries. But the US government has to defer to Blackwater because that’s where the real warriors are ending up, as the government’s employee-military degenerates into a gay, female, affirmative-action pageant.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cheap labor

You know how economists are always reminding us there ain't no such thing as a free lunch? I think there's a corollary: there ain't no such thing as "cheap" labor.

Cheap labor and cheap quality, via iSteve.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on reparations for African-Americans, via NPR.

Can anybody tell me how we come out ahead importing cheaper workers with darker skin to do work we can't be bothered to figure out how to automate or how to increase output with the extant labor force? Don't we just end up paying for the increased public goods, conflict management, welfare, etc.?

By the way, this doesn't translate into an argument for a fifteen-dollars-per-hour minimum wage. At that wage rate, fast food workers will be humanities majors overseeing a bank of robotic hamburger assemblers. And the current workers in those name-tag jobs will be unemployed.

Another topic where, alas, I repeat myself.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scientism

[Let's try this post again, shall we?]

Lies and the lying liars who tell them.

True story: a rather technical-minded colleague and I were driving in rural Georgia while he Googled our route. I stopped on the short side of a T-shaped intersection facing a bank of road signs and private frontage. My friend, eyes glued to his iPhone, said "Go straight."

I didn't throw him out of the car, but suggested that maybe we ought to orienteer our way out of the situation.

In the course of some conversation with other friends, I mentioned uber-PC academic Noam Chomsky's venerable finding that homo sapiens appears biologically wired for abstract language. Not so, I was assured, based on more modern researchers' computer models of brains (as opposed to, say, actual human and animal brains).

I have previously posted on climatologists, trapped in pack ice which their computer models told them could not exist.

And here is genetic anthropologist Jennifer Raff, Ph.D. arguing that traditional racial groupings based on phenotypes and geography (i.e., what is plainly observable) are wrong because at the molecular level the groups roughly classed as "Asian" or "African" are actually more diverse, or less diverse, or something. Raff actually argues herself in a complete circle--the data she sees every day shows genetic diversity. Somehow we're supposed to conclude that calling Jennifer Raff ("white" and Michelle Obama "black" is just some arbitrary grouping that non-scientists pulled out of their hat. (And we know where that leads!)

Dr. Raff is noticeably absent from the follow-up thread.

Just imagine those pathetic old, white males up against the current crowd of Scientists running their computer models: Johannes Kepler, peering for hours through a crude telescope and working out the math with pencil and paper; Charles Darwin, tramping around the south Pacific, concluding that an orchid with an extraordinarily long nectary must be being fertilized by a nocturnal moth with an extraordinarily long proboscosis, and he was right; Louis Leakey, painstakingly digging a centimeter at a time in the Olduvai Gorge.

Which brings me back to orienteering. What a supremely elegant and literally "grounded" term--the sport and craft of taking out a map, orienting it and one's self to the actual geography, and plotting a route to take advantage of the terrain.

Modern scientists (and economists) remind me of my technical-minded colleague, going where his gadget told him to go instead of where his eyes could plainly tell him. The computer model has replaced the reality, a totalitarian's dream. Thus, human biodiversity does not exist, because our computer models tell us it does not. Global temperature rises are correlated with rising CO2, because our computer models tell us they are. Saving is bad for the economy because hey, ... computer model!

That is the whole goal and method of the Scientists: to administer their sacred, secret rites away from the uninitiates, out in the real world where people actually see things. Only the cognoscenti running their computer models in the inner sanctum hold the Real Truth. Gnosticism is an old heresy, and the Church has always been right to condemn it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

America has got to go

This started as a comment from this minor thread, which I've expanded into a post:

Scotsman observes the contrived role-playing by Orthodox converts, excepting me from their company. However, I don't want to mislead anybody. I married a cradle Orthodox after my conversion.

Porter sizes it up: the folks in the linked thread are Anglos who want a liturgy that belongs to them instead of to somebody else. Unfortunately, these are also people who in the same breath wring their hands over "right-wing" European politics. If only we could do multiculturalism as well as the Americans! Well sure you can: just get a bunch of white people together and invent nukes. Just be sure to dismantle them before things get a little too democratic.

The Western Rite debate is an arcane issue of Christian liturgics. I just have not seen anybody make a good case for an "Orthodox Western Rite." The West has been schismatic (from my perspective) for a thousand years, and the pre-Schism rite is fragmented and incomplete. What remnants are still around are unknown to anybody but a few academics and hobbyists. There is nothing of Orthodox Western liturgics to "reclaim" for Orthodoxy because the West has forgotten them.

So, why not become a traditionalist Catholic? First, because I had a choice, and having weighed competing doctrines and prayed about things, I chose Orthodoxy. (But, I cannot stress this enough, that's just me. Anybody else crawling away from the Protestant wreckage who became Catholic, go forth and be a good Catholic.) Second, because the traditionalist Catholics are fighting the same rearguard action as their Anglican cousins. I chose what seemed to be the last redoubt of robust Christianity. And frankly, Orthodoxy is probably just the tertiary holdout against the secular American miasma.

The Slavs started with the Byzantine forms and evolved their own national and cultural expression of Christian worship over centuries. That's the direction we should be heading. Orthodoxy in America is a missionary Church, not diaspora (a previously unknown concept in Christian ecclesiology). Americans will not and should not have to learn Greek or Slavonic in order to worship. But, America is a Masonic regime. As the Matthew Heimbach episode showed, the American secular canon is superior to the Orthodox one. Orthodox converts are frankly horrified at the prospect of growing an organic, inter-generational Church on this soil. The idea of an American or English ethnos that might merit their own Church in the same measure that Greeks, Slavs and Arabs merit their own Church is apparently unthinkable. Somebody even piped up on Marginal Revolution when I took an opportunity to plug these ideas.

America, where everything goes to die.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iraq, continued

Another post on Iraq, from the esteemed Jerry Pournelle. Please click through and read. He agrees with me, so he is clearly a man of wisdom.

Also, I somehow ended up in a pissing match in a remote corner of the Internet. Here's somebody accusing me of hating white people.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Birth of a nation(s)


Srdja Trifkovic, on the Ever More Complex Levantine Puzzle, via Ad Orientem.

The British and French got out their rulers and drew lines on a map to create the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. While they were at it, they carved off Antioch from Syria and gave it to Turkey, and pretended that Kurdistan, a geographically, linguistically and ethnically contiguous nation in its own right, did not exist.

Current events show there are three nation-states struggling to be born in this region: a Shia/Alawite dominated polity on the Mediterranean coast, a Sunni nation stretching eastward into Iraq, and a Kurdish nation in the northern latitudes. (There are doubtless local subtleties of which I'd have no knowledge.)

The foreign policy goal of the former Imperial powers and of the US, since 1945, appears to be the preservation of the borders drawn up by the Sykes-Picot Agreement. Paradoxically, the result of this specious stability is instability. Increasing resources are required to maintain this arrangement. A confounding factor is the efforts of the ruling clans of Saud and Qatar to re-establish the Sunni Umayyad.

One solution would be for an overwhelming foreign force to carve up the resource-rich areas and parcel them out among the competing nations, but I doubt any foreign actors have the will or necessary insight to do that successfully.

I think the best anybody can do is assure the parties that they will get neutral trade agreements and whatever humanitarian aid anybody sees fit to give them. Otherwise, the conflict will be quarantined--no emigration and no materiel--and they will just have to sort this out for themselves.

That's my geopolitical analysis. Can I bill NATO for this?

UPDATE: War Nerd on I.S.I.S.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Allah Akbar




Smart, disciplined, fit and well-armed. And absolutely motivated.

Modern Christendom has no response to such men. They are the hammer of God.

Tyler Cowen really wants to keep writing columns for the New York Times


He's had to delete two-thirds of this comment thread.

Here's Tyler burnishing his credentials:
By the way, he should learn to write “Deirdre McCloskey,” (p.60) instead of “Donald-Diedre McCloskey.” LBGT rights remain a neglected issue outside of “the Left,” but they are a good barometer of our overall degree of tolerance as well as a desirable policy in their own right. I am not sure it is an issue Brat is so likely to be good on or to make a priority.

As Sailer points out, having won World War G, the Left mans the ramparts for World War T.

Specific to Tyler's comment, "tolerance" is not an end in itself. Manics will give you an impassioned list of reasons why you should give them money and otherwise indulge their whims. For the most part, we don't tolerate them; we prescribe treatment.

The line that LGBT rights are "a desirable policy in their own right" is pure throwaway. There is zero reason to award such a dysfunctional, marginal minority positive rights, and Tyler doesn't bother to give any.

Buried in the comment thread is the line that "the State should get out of marriage all together." This is half-right, and not in the way people think: the State cannot settle the question of which copulations merit legal recognition. Best to let such antithetical worldviews go their separate ways. Of course, that's actually the sexual deviants' worst nightmare, because without sufficient healthy, reproducing heterosexuals, they're a one-generation experiment.

What is it with these creepy old men suddenly deciding they're women?

Somebody help the Republicans out


Republicans seek answers
Republicans, including the vanquished majority leader himself, on Sunday considered Rep. Eric Cantor's primary loss last week to a little-known tea party challenger and what it means for the GOP heading forward.

The monumental rejection of House Republicans' No. 2 lawmaker left many in Washington stunned
Stunned.
and searching for a way to prevent another upset.
The Republican party must do everything possible to prevent rank-and-file Republicans from determining who will be their candidate for a Congressional seat.

At least we know what the answer is not.
"I know it's our inclination to look at races and suggest that somehow a national movement is causing what occurs," Romney said.

Instead, Romney and others urged, party leaders need to consider all of the factors that went into Cantor's loss.

"I don't think Eric got beat because of his stand on immigration. I think he got beat because of his lack of defining himself on immigration," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Graham knows the true stakes here.
Graham faced much the same criticism that Cantor faced over stalled immigration proposals but spent heavily, campaigned hard and avoided a runoff against a crowded field of underfunded rivals.

"Politics is war in another form," Graham said.
Yes, senator. Yes, indeed.

At this point, it's just dress rehearsal for the civil war.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"The Apocalypse is now."


And not what you think it is. An excellent reflection from Fr. Stephen Freeman:
America was founded by religious people – their imagination became a nation. Among their most powerful ideas was an apocalyptic hunger: they believed God was doing something new in the world and that they were its harbingers. One visionary described his colony as “a city set on a hill.” It’s a heady thing to invent a nation.

Nothing is more “modern” than the belief in “something new” coming. Progress is the unceasing movement towards the better. On the level of technology this belief is mildly entertaining, and even beneficial. But this fails to capture the deeper currents of the apocalyptic hopes (and fears) of the American heart.

In its most extreme form, the American apocalyptic mind is deeply fearful. The dark images in the Book of Revelations and Daniel provide a wealth of material that feed our anxieties of things to come. A large proportion of the population fully believes that the present world will end in disaster. American foreign policy in the Middle East for the past half-century has drawn on a well-spring of popular support that is rooted in specific beliefs regarding the nation of Israel’s role in an apocalyptic future (as well as the belief that we are already entering that future). There is now an entire subculture in America known as “Preppers” who are making practical plans and stockpiles of materials in order to survive a coming apocalypse. Americans are also quite vulnerable to political promises: the New Deal; the Great Frontier; the War on Poverty; the City on a Hill, etc.

A downside to this popular Apocalypse is the deafness it creates to the true Apocalypse within the Scriptures. What is it that is to come?

The word “apocalypse” simply means “to reveal.” It is to take something out of hiding and show it to others. Thus we have in the Scriptures (and a number of other books) accounts of “hidden things” being shown to certain individuals: Enoch, Ezekiel, Daniel, St. John.
***
As Fr. Alexander Schmemann used to say, sacraments do not make things to be what they are not – it reveals them to be what they truly are. This is true of the Christian faith: it reveals the truth of all things.

That truth is made known to us by the only one who could open the “sealed” mystery: the “Lamb who was slain.” It is Christ crucified, at the very heart of St. Paul’s gospel, that is the revelation of the eternal purpose of God. The crucified Christ is not a salvage operation on God’s part, launched in order to rescue a world gone wrong. The Lamb was slain, “From the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

The mystery of Christ’s crucifixion reveals that God purposed through the humility of the Cross to reconcile all things to Himself – to unite all things, “things in heaven and things on the earth.”

It is this same hidden mystery that is revealed in the Holy Eucharist – in which we “proclaim [καταγγέλλετε] the Lord’s death ‘til He comes.” This “proclamation” is only rightly understood in the context of that which was hidden. It is the revealing of the Lamb of God, the present manifestation of the eternal Son of God, crucified in time and yet already slain before the foundation of the world. Those who reduce the Liturgy to historical remembrance destroy the true apocalyptic character of the Christian faith. It is little wonder that they have created a time-bound expectation of future events. They watch the newspapers for the coming of Christ and dismiss his true parousia even as the religious leaders of Israel two-thousand years ago failed to understand the mystery that was present in their midst.

The apocalypse is now.
This was the sense I felt upon conversion to the true faith: a revelation of the world behind the world, where saints and angels intercede in ways we do not know and the prayers of monks hold back chaos. Not a gnostic election into hoarded secrets, but a revealing of the world as it truly is. So too, the original Christian missionaries were able to show the pagans the truths hinted at in their cycle of solstices and feasts. The modern pseudo-pagan's bowdlerized "As above, so below" is actually a pretty good way to put it.

We all err by losing that present-centeredness Fr. Stephen is talking about. The Protestants gaze distractedly to the far eschatological future; the Orthodox and Catholics cling to their vanished Imperial past.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Fall of Iraq


Sunni Militants drive Iraqi Army from Mosul, via Vox Popoli.

And, via Rod Dreher, is Baghdad about to fall?

Time for a review:

1. Democracy is a process.
2. Multiculturalism is a ticking time bomb.
3. Ethnic nations exist; propositional nations are imposed.
4. When the State's ersatz civil order breaks down, libertarian ideology is not what results. Rather, the police and military leave to go protect their families.
5. Americans make terrible imperialists.

It would be nice to rush to the roof of my house and scream "We were right!" through a megaphone, but that would be unseemly and inconsequential.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why student loans are evil beyond measure

College loans make family formation less affordable

Sailer knocks another one out of the park:
The current system is a machine for creating Democratic voters. But Republican politicians have been bought off by its semi-privatized nature, which creates a lot of for-profit opportunities for firms employing Republican lobbyists. The solution is perhaps to let the Democrats de-privatize the system, and then the Republicans can oppose it on general principles.

As the economists are fond of saying, incentives matter. If you want a future-oriented, fiscally prudent, stable populace, in short, a conservative populace, you have to increase the incentives for being conservative. Men have to earn money in order to to carve out a little slice of land for themselves, attract a wife, and start a family. Ergo, keep land cheap and wages high. Eschew credentialism in favor of meritocracy.

On crucial policy issues, for Republicans (the nominal "conservative" party) the way forward is clear. Immigration needs to be sharply reduced to boost worker wages and reduce demand for land and public goods. Taxes on business entities need to be reduced if not eliminated as business taxes are ultimately regressive. Unstack the deck in favor of large, publicly traded corporations by reducing the regulatory burden and tell them to figure out their own ways to protect "intellectual property."

Specific to this topic, the Republicans should outbid Obama on the student loan issue. As Vox Popoli points out, the Obama plan to reduce student loan payments is just a stopgap to make valueless assets appear valuable. But for central bank intervention, these loans would never be extended much less collected. Make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. Dissolve Sallie Mae and flat out tell the Fed they can no longer print money to buy student loans. Two-thirds of colleges and their atrocious Departments of Cultural Marxism vanish overnight.

This should be pretty obvious to any thinking person. If you hit your prime marrying years $50K in debt acquiring a credential that signals nothing more than that you are reasonably intelligent and focused, you are obviously less attractive to prospective mates. The hottest date around at that point is Uncle Sugar. Likewise, if you open the borders, all you do is put your citizens in a race-to-the-bottom with the global poor for wages and the global rich for housing, and provide a big, fat raison d'etre for the national security state.

Instead, student loans are trumpeted as a purported "free market" solution to the pseudo-problem of the fact that a minority of people get a bachelor's degree. Immigration becomes recast as freedom of contract rather than privatizing profits and socializing costs. Bought-and-sold Republicans are naturally unable to articulate a single principled reason to oppose both.

The easiest conclusion is that the Republicans are not actually a conservative party but the party of certain non-Democrat moneyed interests. If anybody has another explanation, I'm all ears. I will also give a courteous and completely skeptical hearing to the claim that Democrats are actual economic populists.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Who is so great a God as our God


On a more triumphant note, for the leave-taking of Pentecost:



Who is so great a God as our God?
Thou art the God who workest wonders.

I like the Byzantine melody much better than the Slavonic, but was unable to find an English version sung with my preferred level of fortissimo for a triumphal hymn. My priest sings it very loudly.

UPDATE: I missed this one on my initial search. Very nice:


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Christendom, currently

Bert suggests there's too much Orthodoxy around these parts. Point taken. "You're starting to sound like the fatass Daniel Larison..." Ouch. I try to be the Anti-The American Conservative.

Commenter IA says, "I for one find relating race and christianity very interesting indeed. I believe the current zeitgeist in the west hasn't the foggiest idea what it is going to replace christianity with."

And, simultaneously, Christendom hasn't the foggiest idea what it is going to replace the Holy Roman Empire with.

The Roman Church has struggled with a Europe--her former proud heart--permanently traumatized by two world wars. Europe, outside a surprisingly vigorous Lutheran/Evangelical/Catholic remnant, is largely atheistic, with a growing Muslim minority. +Benedict (Ratzinger) was the last of his kind. His successor, +Francis, is an Argentine South American. +Francis's successor will be South American, or Filipino or African. Rome looks to the Global South and social democracy.

Byzantium has withdrawn deep into its Hellenistic past. Byzantium is delusional. If they can snap out of it, they should just all decamp to Athens. Except the Greek economy is no longer creating any jobs.

I have no idea what's going on in Potato Land (traditionalist bastion or pathetic Slav shithole--I hear both versions.) My impression is the old fire still smolders in Catholic Poland, Orthodox Serbia and Russia and elsewhere. They may be a bunch of vodka-swilling rednecks with family feuds but they have something we don't: the Church still retains the loyalty of their elite, and there is no question as to her place in the public square.

Right now, America is the most important country in the world. We are living in the Pax Americana, which started in 1945. In US cities, you can drive ten blocks in any direction and run into a church. On my route to my church, I pass in the following order, a Jehovah's Witness hall, a Baptist church, a Lutheran church, a Melkite church, a Mormon tabernacle and an Episcopal church. The Episcopal and Catholic cathedrals are literally one block from each other, with a large Baptist church between them. This is why Christian evangelism is finished in the United States.

America is also schizophrenic. America is a Christian fortress, but its elite are universalist atheists. Support for American power is support for universalist atheism. Eventually, America's non-elite will figure this out.

I could write about this all day. Somebody could put together a really good book on Christendom, along the lines of Gibbon's work on the Roman Empire. Christendom was THE phenomenon, like the Muslim explosion in its latitudes. It's important stuff, because in our culture Christianity is the last tie to the metaphysical. (Think about the last secular ceremony you attended and how sterile it was. Contrast that with a wedding, funeral or baptism.) If Christendom disappears, the present is all there is and it is lights out. TFR craters and you're replaced by a non-secular culture. We're in the interregnum between Christendom and whatever comes next.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Glorious news

Armenian Church in Canada has new Primate
On Saturday, June 2, the Canadian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church elected the Very Rev. Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan as its Primate. His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America wrote a congratulatory letter to the newly elected Primate wishing him renewed strength and vigor in his Primacy as the spiritual leader of the Armenian-Canadian community.

Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan was educated in Armenia and Austria and was ordained to the Sacred Order of the Priesthood in 1996 at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He has served as Pastor of the Holy Savior Church in Batoumi; as diocesan vicar of the Diocese of Georgia and of the Diocese of Syunik and has served in the Diocese of Canada.

From 2011 to 2014, Father Abgar served as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Bulgaria.
Why is there an "Armenian Church in Canada?" Why wouldn't Armenians in Canada answer to a Canadian primate? Wasn't there something that happened in 1872 that addressed this sort of thing? I assume it was important, because when some young American-convert-nobody makes noises about a "white" Church in America drawn around Anglo-European lines, he gets excommunicated.

I assume, therefore, that this passes canonical muster because Canada is not a nation but empty terra nova, enabling the Armenians to set up their own nation within the geographic coordinates known as "Canada."

By the way, what is the "Diocese of the Armenian Church of Bulgaria?"

Of course, the Armenian Church is a non-Chalcedonian Church, so presumably in the absence of any other non-Chalcedonian Churches, they get to set one up on Canadian soil. But it turns out there's also the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawehedo, and there's also the Assyrian Orthodox. And the Egyptian Copts.

Maybe it's just time to admit that diverse nations need their own Church with their own cultural expressions.

iSteve's new home

Sailer appears to be transitioning to a permanent home at Unz.com. Here's a good post at Steve's new stomping grounds on the meaning of race, that is, with whom you share your ancestors. This apparently befuddles a lot of people, including anthropologists like Jennifer Raff, Ph.D. There is a long comment thread by very savvy people. I ask some questions at the (current) very end:
Do dog breeds exist, or are they a social construct? We can breed wolves with dogs, does that mean the wolf/dog distinction is useless and irrelevant?

If we can breed canis lupus familiaris for behavioral traits, why not homo sapiens?

If intelligence aids survival and reproductive fitness, wouldn’t it have a genetic component, just like strength, agility, lactose tolerance, etc.? (Humans consistently mate within about a half-SD on the IQ curve, by the way.)

I can look at a picture of Jennifer Raff and a picture of Rachel Jeantel and tell you what genetic testing would confirm: Jennifer has fewer ancestors in common with Rachel than she does with other Anglo-Europeans. It’s not just a social construct.
We seem to have all gotten along a lot better when we took as a given what our eyes told us: we are more closely related to some people than to other people. As I keep asking, where else does "diversity" come from?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Death of the West, in one sentence


Further to my previous post, commenter Steve_Barrie at Byzantine, Texas sees no reason for Orthodox to actually make their own babies:
Why bigger families? What about all the unwanted children of the world. Why not adopt?
Why, indeed? Why raise your own flesh and blood--raise somebody else's flesh and blood! The off-screen parents get the roll in the hay, you get the abandoned child, the lifelong expense, and raising an exotic genotype in an alien culture. Family's just a construct--we make it whatever we want, right? What could possibly go wrong?

So Orthodox women, continue to take synthetic hormones. Postpone marriage and childbearing for your graduate degree and all-consuming career. Orthodox men, work hard so you can afford to raise the fruit of another man's loins!

I mean, holy shit, when I rattled a phrase off about American converts hostile to the notion of large, extended families in the pews, I really was just speculating. But this stuff apparently writes itself.

I'm with Derb on this: What in God's name is wrong with white people?

Here comes the future


The Amish future (Sailer, at Taki's):
Harpending and Cochran hypothesize that the Amish are genetically distinct not only because of “founders’ effects”—idiosyncrasies in the genes of the 200 original American Amish – but also because they are increasingly becoming more Amish genetically due to “selection effects.”
First, they are likely getting more fertile. The U. of Utah anthropologists go on:
Second, and more interesting, the Amish have probably experienced selection for increased Amishness—an increase in the degree to which Amish find their lifestyle congenial, since those who like it least, leave. We have called this kind of differential emigration “boiling off”. Obviously, if some of the soup boils off, what is left is more concentrated.
They theorize the existence of an Amish Quotient:
One could, with difficulty and a lot of investment, identify dimensions of a hypothetical AQ. It would likely include affinity for work, perseverance, low status competition, respect for authority, conscientiousness, community orientation, and so on.
If the Amish community has typically lost the 10% of its population least Amish by nature, the average AQ would have increased by about 1 AQ point for each of the ten generations in America: that’s nine or ten points in total so far.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Ashkenazi Jews, whom Cochran and Harpending argued in their 2005 paper Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence have undergone Darwinian selection for traits conducive to success at white collar business, appear to average about ten IQ points higher than gentile Europeans.
The future belongs to those who show up, as even Orthodox clergy are beginning to realize:
Orthodox birth rate numbers are awful almost everywhere (with some notable exceptions). If you add our equally atrocious post-primary school graduation attrition rates, you have a recipe for disaster. It's a topic at the pan-Orthodox level that will be discussed at the upcoming Great Council and deservedly so.
Maybe the Orthodox need more support for young families and the provision of real social and economic community and a vision of extended families in the pews instead of a tourist trap for middle-aged converts.

In a lot of different contexts, people are realizing the future belongs to those who show up. Now we are behind the eight ball, and the clergy belatedly realize that they have made a horrible and perhaps irreversible miscalculation. (The Levantine Christians thought their amiable, Meditteranean lifestyle would go on forever, while the Sunnis were busy cranking out four to eight children for their zero to two.)

Americans with their Puritan, propositional, city-on-a-hill mentality seem to harbor a visceral dislike for anybody else's attempts to fumble their way toward a more traditional vision of large, extended families living and dying as a group in the Church, and practicing assortative mating. After all, it doesn't take too many generations of such practice to get from family to Family, and loyalty to anything but the secular democratic State is an appalling hatecrime in the US.

Porter, on divergence


Porter comments on the great divergence of our time: technological advances that formerly powered such developments as reduction in infant mortality, less communicable disease, food abundance and the staples of bourgeois existence now descend to base production of baubles like Facebook, internet porn and console games.

I can think of an important exception, that being the immense amounts of capital which Amazon devotes to realizing more and better ways to bring whatever product you need right to your door. And the talented people at that company are just getting started; at some point you will get your groceries from them as well.

And then there's the cornucopia of private entertainment on offer--iTunes, Roku, cable, internet streaming.

Note that the customer service interface for these transactions can be (actually, is) completely automated.

Add telecommuting, homeschooling for your kids, liberal gun laws, an advanced and sophisticated security market, and you need never leave your house.

Which, it struck me in a moment of jaw-dropping realization, is the whole point: you need never leave your house.

Go to your local shopping mall and soak up the atmosphere over a weekend. Don't let the uber models in the slideshow at that link fool you--malls would kill for actual demographics like that. Then contrast your mall experience with online purchases from your living room, decorated and climate-controlled to your own specifications, around family and friends of your choosing.

App by app, automated process by automated process: technologically-savvy whites are withdrawing.

The campaign is so concerted and energetic, I wonder if it's instinctive.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Updates

1. I read LewRockwell.com so you don't have to. I had previously banished LewRockwell.com from this page. Old habits die hard, as I have been reading Lew since the early 1990's. Here's Butler Shaffer, channeling Whittaker Chambers:
I have just learned of the death of George Anastaplo, a 1951 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. He was 88 years old when he died. George was best known for his refusal to answer, to the Illinois state bar examiners, whether he was a member of the Communist Party. Anyone who knew the man was aware that he was about as far removed from being a communist as one could be. His objection to answering this question was a principled one: the government had no business inquiring into the beliefs of anyone. (Bear in mind, this occurred during the peak years of McCarthyism.) George took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court (In re Anastaplo) where he lost...I met George while I was still in law school at the U. of Chicago. He and I were friends of the greatest professor of anything under whom I had studied, a master of the Socratic method of learning, Malcolm Sharp. George once told me that, being unable to get licensed to practice law in Illinois, he took a job driving a taxi-cab...
The Illinois State Bar is a government guild. (As are taxi-cabs.) If that guild qualified its membership on the absence of hostile, alien, anti-free market ideology, I'm glad somebody did. It's certainly not the case any more. Shaffer neglects to mention that McCarthy was right. Anyway, LewRockwell.com's disengagement from relevancy continues.

2. Matthew Heimbach. Apparently the best argument anybody can come up with is that he's been excommunicated for violating the American secular canon. More "debate" at the Ochlophobist.

3. I haven't posted in a bit because frankly I'm repeating myself: multiculturalism is a slow-motion train wreck; female empowerment will literally make us extinct; we can't print money and buy our own debt with it. One newer theme is my view that Christian evangelism needs serious re-thinking. And along those lines, Antioch seems to be hunkering down.