Saturday, 14 April 2018

Syrian strikes prove certainty is the secret sauce of geopolitics


Wait, something's wrong with the reporting here.

Not only does Washington apparently know the Syrian regime conducted the alleged chemical weapons attack (it couldn't confirm this only 12 hours ago), sources now say there were 50 similar chemical attacks since March 2017.

Who believes this nonsense? Who can believe anything that comes out of Syria anymore?

This afternoon, US President Donald Trump ordered precision airstrikes targeting facilities in Syria linked to the government's chemical weapons programme. He says the strikes were conducted in a combined effort with the UK and France, and that the operation against Syria's chemical weapons capabilities would be sustained, integrating "all instruments of national power."

British Prime Minister Theresa May aligned with the White House statement, clarifying that the strikes were intended to be "limited and targeted" and are not about intervening in Syria's civil conflict. Pentagon officials confirmed that normal deconfliction channels with Russia were used, but that the Russians were not notified of target sites in advance and they did not attempt to intervene in the strikes, as had been expected.

And a good thing too, because if Russian air defence systems had activated and attempted to shoot down the incoming coalition missiles - and missed - it would have looked pretty bad. The Russians are competent fighters in the grey zone where it's not clear if troops on the ground are regular Russian forces or "deniable" green men without insignia. Russian troops are everywhere, but the Kremlin can't claim this because that would place Russia firmly in the conventional army category, which would mean competing with the US.

Do I really have to explain how Russia isn't capable of going toe-to-toe with the US?

The coalition factor is important. In 2017, US destroyers pushed dozens of cruise missiles through a robust Syrian air defence umbrella. Not only did the US learn about what Russian-built SAM systems could cope with and how much they could see, US platforms gathered crucial data on whether their stand-off arms work. Syria is not an easy target for suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD), and the presence of Russian systems in port and airbases compound this.

This time, it wasn't only US missiles. The UK and France ordinance made it through Syrian air defences (Russian supplied) and through land-based Russian air defence systems. It's unclear whether the Russians turned on their early-warning radar before the strike, but the message is clear: Russian systems can't even stop British and French unmanned aerial vehicles. That should unnerve Russia.

The fact that Russian operators weren't even confident of their own systems' success is a strategic revelation for the EU and how Brussels might choose to deal with Russian aggression in eastern Europe. Everyone just saw that not even the top Russian-supplied air-defence systems, no matter how layered they may be, can stop ordinance from passing through - even from the UK and France. That's big news.

And yet I still think there's a distraction here.

Go back to geopolitics. Syria is a battlefield, not a country. And it won't be a coherent country ever again. I have never seen so many interests competing in one battlespace as in Syria. Every major country is involved in some form, from China to North Korea to Russia and Australia. Syria is a patchwork of spies and lever-pullers.

But the most important players are Turkey, the US and Iran. The Iranians are in the ascendency in four Arab capitals – Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana’a. That should be scary to anyone watching from Washington, which it clearly is. Whatever reasons the Saudis had to move into Yemen – good or bad – the Iranian involvement there was far less dramatic than the Saudis portrayed it. And yet the Saudi intervention may have set in motion things that didn’t have to occur. However bad it was before, Yemen has now become a Sunni-Shia front and the Saudis are proving to be an incompetent fighting force.

Tehran can see that Mr Trump is conducting his presidency like a business because, well, that's what he says he's doing. Mr Trump knows real estate and television. In those businesses, the path to success is in matching the talent to the job. If you have a bridge to build, you don't hire high-rise engineers. And if you need a skyscraper, a team of bridge architects aren't going to get you far. Same with movies.

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson was hired because of his Russia contacts back in his ExxonMobil days. To create the US-makes-friends-with-the-Kremlin movie, Mr Tillerson was the obvious director choice. But the movie couldn't be made. Now, the president needs two new movies filmed - North Korean denuclearisation and the Iranian nuclear deal - neither of which Mr Tillerson can direct. So, Mr Trump removed him and replaced him with someone who might be able to direct those movies - Mike Pompeo.

The Iranian nuclear deal movie needs to be made. The American-Iranian problem sits in three baskets: first is the nuclear deal; second is what comes after the nuclear deal 10-15 years in the future; and third, everything else. Mr Trump knows he needs to be aggressive with the Iranians in a whole bunch of places and he knows Washington is giving Tehran a free ride in Syria and none of the people who matter - Turkey included - are happy about Iran's crescent of influence from Manama to Latakia.

This is why the coalition strike itself isn't important: it is the type of target that is key.

The Pentagon listed the targets as a scientific research facility in Damascus officials say was involved in producing chemical and biological weapons, as well as a chemical weapons facility near Homs, and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and a military command post near Homs involved in the most recent attack.

An RAF Tornado prepares for takeoff
This means the audience wasn't Russia or Syria, but two countries with similar controversial scientific facilities - North Korea and Iran. Regardless of Tehran's huffing and puffing, everyone knows it continues to develop nuclear weapons. The key word here is "develop." Iran doesn't actually want nuclear weapons, because that would invite a US attack. What matters is the programme, which it can always bargain away.

Same with North Korea, which has requested five concessions in exchange for denuclearisation. The US knows the North Korean definition of denuclearisation is very different from its definition. The DPRK believes denuclearisation means a peace treaty with the US, the withdrawal of all of American forces from Korea and the removal of US security guarantees to the Republic of Korea. But the fact that Pyongyang is talking about how to denuclearise - not whether it should - is a clear sign Mr Trump's message of resolve is getting through.

Kim Jong Un's control over his own state is, as far as outsiders can tell, terribly insecure. He is surrounded by a world that considers his rule illegitimate and is no doubt very happy to work with any insider ready to risk Kim's wrath and plot a coup. And in fact there seem to have been quite a few attentats in the last decade or so. Everything in Kim's regime is subordinated to the goal of maintaining internal security. If he relaxed for a second, I'm sure he would end up like Ceausescu.

Does anyone really think this man believes in socialism? He believes in himself. He believes in Swedish hookers and Dom Perignon. Kim would love to liberalise and set up controlled capitalism as the PRC has. That would certainly earn him a lot more luxury goods. The reason he doesn't is almost certainly because he's afraid to. There have actually been some attempts to set up special economic zones in the DPRK, but these piss off the Chinese for obvious reasons.

The real tragedy is that, due to its fanatical commitment to human rights, the West or South Korea can't simply buy North Korea from its rulers. I'm sure Kim would be delighted to spend the rest of his life as a billionaire ex-King of Korea, mixing it up with the other playboys in Portofino. But in real life, he has only two options: tyranny or death. It is quite understandable that he chooses the first.

So, these latest missile strikes, I think, clearly give Tehran and Pyongyang legitimate reasons to alter their framework of reality. For the last ten years, both countries have lived in uncertainty with a US president who said one thing and did another. Now they are dealing with a president who actually does what he says. Certainty allows people to plan and ironically makes the world safer.

Again, Syria is not a country - it is a battlespace of multiple sovereign interests competing, not for control over that desert country, but for political and military influence in their own near-abroad. The US has shown it is serious about removing the supply-chain of forbidden weapons and is proving it can reach through any system of protection and reduce to rubble any facility it wants to. That's the kind of lesson only a world-class battlefield playground like Syria can offer, and it helps Mr Trump film his next movie on Iran and Korth Korea.

What would we do without internationally-agreed warzones?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Hate crime laws are still stupid

Even after a century of dumb ideas, people seem to really want hate crime legislation.

Hate crimes will never deter people from targeting a group for violence when existing laws against violent crime already fail as a deterrent. Just because a law makes something illegal doesn't stop that thing from happening. Secondly, hate crimes require an actual crime. Even with legislation, it remains perfectly legal to say, very publicly and vocally, that some group is evil, subhuman, should be dead, deported or whatever. Although, I'm sure the democratic totalitarians want to penalise that too.

Hate crimes laws already exist in many developed countries. They have not in any way reduced the amount of hate. Hate crimes are pointless because they don't alter the social dynamic in any positive way. They are also counterproductive by implying that a violent crime against an individual - because that person is a member of a protected group - are somehow worse than the same violent crime against the same individual because they are a member of a group that the law does not designate as special.

We also must remember that hate crimes only target certain kinds of hate. Consider the following example:

A white man who attacks, robs and kills an old black woman because she is black is guilty of a hate crime. A black man who attacks, robs and kills an old white woman because he assumes old white ladies are easy targets for robbery is not guilty of a hate crime. Both men are racist. But only the former has committed a hate crime. Does this seem reasonable?

In the real world, it should be as simple as saying, "people are not free to assault or kill." I can replace "assault or kill" with a variety of other actions and my activity against homosexuals, for instance, becomes perfectly legal ("mock," "parody," "campaign against"). But there is nothing I can replace in the latter part of that statement (after "kill") that makes it legal. You can't "go out and assault and kill" anyone. Period. No matter the target. It's always illegal.

Let me diagram this:

Law 1: It is criminal to do X. Doing X is punishable by Y years in prison.
Law 2: It is criminal to do X if motivated by reason R. Doing X motivated by R is punishable by Z years in prison.

Z is greater than X. The difference between Z and X is due entirely to R being the motive for the crime. This is true for all values of R, especially the R's you personally agree with. Not just the R's you don't like.

Is that really a path you want?

We already recognise different categories of assault and homicide. That's why there is more than one degree of murder. There is absolutely no reason a judge can't take the motive of a crime under advisement during sentencing. There doesn't need to be a separate law in place for him to do so.

I've heard it said that a person committing a hate crime does it not to assert their own identity, but to refuse the validity of another’s. The problem is we don't actually know why someone commits a hate crime. We think we know, but we want to criminalise based on a) the speculation and b) that speculation is okay if you are doing it. I could argue the person committing a hate crime does so to suppress her own identity. In other words, hate crime legislation creates the impression that what is being criminalised is the hate because the act itself - the assault or the murder - is already criminalised.

Calling something a hate crime confuses "intent" with "motive." The motive is not an element of any crime. We don't care why someone killed someone else, just whether they intended to do it or not. Hate crimes very clearly criminalise motive, which is a dangerous step because it tells a minority group that the majority explicitly condemns criminal action against them.

Since when is it a laudable goal to use the law to deliver the messages of the majority? The purpose of the law is to temper the will of the majority against the minority. The purpose of hate crime laws is not to remedy the situation where crimes motivated by hate went unpunished. In fact, when those situations did happen, legislation was not the solution. There already are laws demonstrating "the majority explicitly condemns criminal action" against anyone, which inherently includes the minority.

Using legislation to send messages is a terrible idea. People do not receive the same common message. If you want to deliver a message, then deliver it. Clearly. Buy a billboard or something. Start a newspaper. Get a Twitter handle. Hate crime laws aren't the way to do this.

I think what people don't realise is that hates crime legislation creates a precedent for bringing motive into the elements of a crime. No one can predict or control how this precedent is used, and it will almost certainly spiral in a way they won't like.

By that time it will be too late to repeal.

The easiest of all hunting expeditions

In November 2016, 60% of America went nuts when Donald Trump was elected president. It's hard to see it as anything other than a mass hysteria. Don't worry, I can fix this.

The election violated a large swathe of East/West Coast progressive's sense of how the world works in a dramatic fashion. By every metric, these people were supposed to get what they wanted. But when the reality was revealed to them as obverse to their assumptions, their brains tried to rationalise what happened by grasping for any explanation they could find. For at least a year - still continuing in some places - these people went to the streets to protest thinking they had elected Hitler. It was pretty funny to watch.

Now, 18 months have gone by and the worst of the Hitler predictions have not come to pass, which means the same people are completely and totally wrong again. That's gotta suck. US president Donald Trump is doing plenty of unpopular things at the White House, but even those have a pretty good rationale if they are considered at the national level, rather than political.

For instance, a lot of the country hates what he's doing on immigration, but most people can understand that the fundamental description of any country is its borders. Those people might not like the idea of a trade war with China, but they understand why Mr Trump is pushing in that direction.

Let me make a prediction. By the end of 2018, Russia collusion will not be a story anymore. So anyone who was absolutely positive that the only way to explain why they were wrong in 2016 was because Russia helped Mr Trump, is going to be wrong - again. But it gets worse. If the economy is still strong by Christmas and North Korea is denuclearising verifiably and if China decides to negotiate on the tariff lines, then people will think something is working at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Even here in April, it looks like all the big things in the US are lining up to enter a Golden Age. I know that's a big call, but I'm sitting comfortably at zero shocks right now.

The anti-Trump faction, if all this happens, could be in for another major cognitive shock. This will be the fourth or fifth major shock in less than two years.  First, there was the election shock, then came the "he's not Hitler" shock, followed by "the country is doing great" shock and finally the "North Korea is being fixed" shock. That's enough to break anyone, adding "he's not a Russian agent" or "the country is still booming" shocks is going to really hurt. This wouldn't be a problem if these people had worked through the mourning process after the first shock. Instead, they shift their energy to the next shock like children, desperately believing that Santa still exists even though they've just seen Dad place the presents under the tree.

This kind of thing is extremely unhealthy and dangerous for society. And the only way to solve a shock that threatens to splinter a community is to create an offramp for the collective brains. Those who have been wrong about everything can't escape that mode of thinking because they don't have a scapegoat. There's no way for them to keep believing they are still smart, even as the world proves them wrong on every model.

The country needs a new thing to be angry at to move their emotions to the next stage. The anti-Trump emotions aren't going away like magic. They need to be redirected and scapegoats do actually work like magic. When a community fights over the same object, blaming the conflict on one thing tends to have a strange, almost divine, effect of calming the community and bringing it together again.

A war would do this. It's worked in the past. But the US doesn't need a war to create the scapegoat effect. All it needs is a person to perform the ritual. And the best person to do this is Hillary Clinton (or maybe Facebook). Yet as long as Hillary stays in the news, complaining at conferences about all the hallucinatory reasons she lost the election, then she is not letting the people ritually murder her (figuratively, of course). She's feeding on the energy when she should be letting that energy flow through her as blame for why everyone got everything so wrong. This would work because Hillary's mere existence explains why there is a president Trump.

Human culture was built on the foundation of the ritualised scapegoat. Rene Girard, the great French ethnologist, wrote that humans tend to imitate each other in their desire for the same objects and lifestyles, inevitably leading to conflict. Human beings, contrary to romantic myth, have no "authentic" core, no deep source of original, self-invented desire. We desire what other people desire, which means other people are the obstacle. We fight because we are the same, not because we're different.

He called the resultant conflict the "mimetic crisis" and to dispel the energy the imitators must turn their conflict upon an agreed third party - the scapegoat. Killing this third party allows the competitors to avoid changing themselves - their anger, carnivorous love of fighting, mimicry and refusal to think for ourselves - by lumping the conflictual energy onto an innocent person or animal. Once that happens, an indescribably ethereal peace settles over the community - even though the object of desire remains - repairing the group. M Girard says this magical effect is the foundation of all religion and human culture, and I tend to agree.

The effect is nullified, however, if people consciously know they are scapegoating a person. It looks fake and loses its potency. The Democratic Party must deliver Hillary metaphorically burn her at the stake to expunge the anger and confusion. This won't fix people's arrogance, but the emotion must go somewhere, otherwise, this whole thing explodes: "when the whole world is globalised," Girard warned, "you're going to be able to set fire to the whole thing with a single match."

Coming together -  the "United " States - is a quintessentially American and Puritan idea stemming from faith in universal values and community. But if the finding a scapegoat only manufactures cohesion, rather than forms it, then is it worth metaphorically or literally killing a scapegoat human just to bring the community together? "It is not killing the innocent as an innocent which dooms a society," wrote the Breton poet Chateaubriand, "it is killing him as guilty."

Maybe it's time the Americans saw that living apart - but in cooperation - might actually be the best way forward. Forget all this union and community nonsense. I know that won't happen. After all, there are two kinds of people in the US: those who want to be left alone, and those who won't leave others alone.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Not with a British bang, but a London whimper

I

While in London, news broke of thousands of white girls abused, raped and killed by Pakistani Muslim men in another British town called Telford.

This horror took place over 40 years without anyone doing anything to stop it. And yet, aside from a handful of polite protests, everyone in Britain seems to just shrug their shoulders. Actually, I must be clearer – white men don't care.

II

Believe me, I didn’t want to write about this. I didn’t even want to think about it. The story was just too disturbing. But what I'm most struck by is my desire to rationalise it all. To find some reason for my disgust, aside from the obvious. I reach for the politics, immigration, progressivism, academia, idealism, religion or even social welfare. I analyse and deconstruct the ruling ideology and blame the media, politicians and the -isms. I pull at the threads of society as though my disgust can be found in rationality.

But if I’m honest, I just don't like Arabs or Africans. It’s not coloured people I don’t like – Indian chicks are super-hot – it’s the coloured men. The Telford story fires the sexual competition pathways in my hind-brain in an unmistakably natural and primal way. That feeling – protection mixed with violence and sacrifice – isn’t something my brain can easily fake. I know that's a real feeling. I don’t like the idea of men who aren’t part of my tribe – or, more precisely, aren’t me – having sex with women who are part of my “tribe.” Sex between white women and coloured men, rape or consensual, stirs within me a primal competition motive in a frightful and actionable way.

A racist is someone who prejudges people of a certain colour with character traits. Modern people say a racist is the worst thing a human can be. But if I stand quietly, I know I’m a racist. There’s no other option except to lie. I could ask why, but the only correct question is: what now? Racism is part of being human, which means the true pejorative isn’t “racist,” it should be “human.” My disgust at the Telford horror emerges from a very old mythology, integral to men of all colours, which promises that if he were to fight against the Other, he could win the admiration – and therefore the sex – from the females under threat. Pick up any book, that story is what makes us human.

It is here I can see that while my racism is real, it's not the core problem. No matter how successful a man is in the sex game, he will always know that it’s a woman’s choice in the end as to whether he can have sex. Women hold the valuable prize and wear their value on their bodies. But men are interchangeable, at least initially. And although women want the highest-value man, they can’t tell just by looking. So, men must create games to sort out who is more valuable. All games have a prize, and all games have winners and losers. Men don’t want to play, we have to play, because women require it.

III

That's why I know my racism is just a defence against change.

I did martial arts for three years. I trained twice a week in one-on-one lessons with a sensei, practicing both ninjutsu and Brazilian jujitsu (merging the stand-up with the ground), not to mention the practise and reiteration performed by myself on other days. It was fun, and I learned a lot about who I am.

The most crucial lesson I discovered was that real fighting has no rules – if it does, it’s sport. Boxing is a sport, so is MMA. The purpose of fighting is to end the combat as quickly as possible. The martial is not “art.” The ninja in Japan was always outnumbered heavily by the samurai, so on the battlefield, the entire game was to kill at least two others before being killed oneself, preferably more. That was the only way the ninja could survive. The samurai followed a long list of rules about honour and courage. But the ninja only had one rule: there are no rules.

My disgust at the Telford rapists is set in a world that is based on rules. British civilisation, of which I am a member, dictates that men are to play games to determine their sexual value for women, but they must follow the rules. “All’s fair in love and war” is tossed aside otherwise, men are told, this world would be a free-for-all and rip society apart. If every man desires the same object, then conflict is imperative. Rules ensure clarity of the losers and winners so they don't have to kill each other just to get a vagina.

Muslim men aren't playing by Western rules. They have circumvented the ritualised game of sex to secure the valuable objects (white women). But if following the rules is for losers, I am confronted with the reality only of my inadequacy to play the game correctly. It’s not the breaking of rules in Telford that angers me, it is the fact of the rules that frustrates me. My anger is revealed simply as sexual inadequacy, racism is merely my projection of it.

I can pick up women and still think I can't pick up women. I know I'm not alone in feeling like this. I'll always have an explanation for why each pick up didn't count: she was drunk, she was on the rebound, she was slumming it, she was trying to make her boyfriend jealous. I want to believe that men are naturally sexually aggressive, or that coloured men have fewer sexual inhibitions, or that society/women put limits on men's natural impulses. I don't just want to believe this is true – I wish it were true. Because then the problem isn’t my own inability to pick up any chick I want.

Notice I didn’t say “have sex with.” The point of isn’t the act of sex, it is the power to convince someone to have sex with you. It is the winning of the game – playing by the rules – that is the measure of my value as a man. The problem is not the game, it is that my value as a man is determined by someone else – the woman. The sex is irrelevant. To read about coloured men pushing rules aside and taking sex when and how they want reveals the truth: I need the rules just to compete.

I’m not able to take what I want in open combat. Power can only be taken, never given. Fighting is not sport. Telford has me asking: In a world based on rules, how would I know if I am a loser? Could I fight in a world without rules?

Now comes the answer:

No lieutenant, your men are already dead.

IV

The only question that matters is: “what next?” What do I do with this knowledge of myself?

I have never felt so alone in a city of 8 million. Every person around me has been lying to themselves for 60 years. You can feel it. Lying oozes from London's glass skyscrapers and the half-smiles of busy little bees on the Tube.

Each white man believes he is not racist, that he lives in a post-racial society. Yet this is something only white men believe. No, they’re not propagandised to feel “white guilt.” They simply refuse to accept their inherent racism because that would require accepting their inadequacy as men. Weak men never act, they only react.

London is full of Tall Children who would rather play Xbox than become. Back home, I'm surrounded by weak men who never say what they're really feeling. Men who never say “shut up” in case it offends someone. Men who won’t do what makes them happy. Men with no desire, no hunger, no anger or ambition – loving in ways they are told, not in ways they feel. #MeToo

In the void they have left, women are trying to control the world, but it's like tuna running the ocean. Men are sharks who have removed their own teeth to let tuna run the ocean. Now the tuna are sitting around asking where all the good sharks have gone because the ocean isn’t what it's supposed to be.

Tuna don't know how to be a tuna unless sharks are being sharks. Women want to run the world, but they bleed every month for no reason, have babies and sit down to pee. They want one foot in the running-things world and one foot in the regular woman world. They want to feel like they're in charge, but also want to know a man will take care of her. Women say they want a dog, and the problem is that white men at some point in the last 50 years decided to roll over and play Fido.

And it’s not surprising. Maintaining society and culture is tough work. Being a man isn’t easy. Building thing isn’t easy. Playing the game to rise above the mass just to reach the sexual value that a woman has just by existing is exhausting.

When men had the chance to let women sit in the driver’s seat, most said: “finally, now I can get back to playing Xbox.” We believe women know what they want. But tuna don’t want to be sharks. That’s why you’ve never met a happy female boss. She doesn’t want to be there. She doesn't want men to be leaders, she wants her man to be a leader. Controlling men isn’t what women actually want. She thinks you’re a bum, a loser, if you let her run your life.

V

I'm convinced this whole feminism thing is a culture-wide punk test.

Back in my suburb growing up, I used to play with other kids on the soccer field or whatever. There was always one or two kids who would turn up and start sneakily stepping on toes, bumping shoulders, then trip us up. Depending on how we reacted, the game would either dissolve into fighting or the insurgents would decide to go elsewhere.

But I remember after one particular break up of our games, a friend of mine was confronted by one of the insurgent kids in the street and had his iPod stolen. The insurgent knew he could get my friend to cough up because he hadn’t pushed back during the game. My friend had failed punk test, proving himself to be an easy target – a victim.

Women are constantly testing their man to see if he’s the man she needs him to be. For the last few decades, women asked for and got more power. They told us it would make them happy. But it was a punk test. And that means Telford is being viewed backwards. It’s not the migrant’s fault this happened, this is the result of British white men failing the punk test.

VI

UK women say they want “vulnerable” and “caring” men, or that “toxic masculinity” is, well, toxic. But now women complain there are no real men to either defend girls from rape or make decisions. Yet women aren’t fighting back against the Muslim gangs either. There are enough women to do this. If they all picked up clubs and subsumed the fury of Athena, they could chase every single rapist back into the Channel. And yet, nothing. Just silence. Why?

Women are still the same creatures they were one million years ago, with all their natural impulses and attraction mechanisms. Women say they desire vulnerable but strong men. They're goofy like that. I know they find something appealing about Muslim men, not because of those monobrows, but because those men haven't been fooled into thinking that women know what they want.

Now, there is an undiscussed factor among women called the rape fantasy. I'm not saying this is what's happening in the UK, but I must explain what that fantasy is.

A rape fantasy for a girl appears because she refuses to take responsibility for anything in her life. It is an abdication of personal agency. She wants a man to rape her so that it's his fault for her being a whore. No one can misconstrue what I just wrote. When a girl says a rape fantasy is about "letting go," that's just diversionary nonsense. Letting go means being free and letting it all hang out, but that's not what's going on. A rape fantasy is when a girl knows she's being a whore, but she wants to find a way to be a whore without being seen as a whore.

So the idea of rape – not the act of rape itself – is a convenient get-out-of-jail-free card. It's the normal female lack of responsibility for her actions. Don't let her use semantics to dance out of being a whore. She wears revealing clothes to get a man's attention because she lacks any skills to get a guy. She wants to make it the man's fault that she never developed beyond the value of her vagina.

Maybe women are powerful. Maybe they don't need men to protect them. Maybe they do, actually, want vulnerable men and not the strong, take-what-they-want men. But then, why didn't the women just rise up?

I'm not sure anyone wants to hear the answer.

VII

Weak men make hard times, but narcissistic men destroy civilisations.

If I'd asked all the white men in a 500m radius of Piccadilly Station why they pack like batteries into the arteries of the Underground every morning, I might get one who'll say he does it from a vague notion of British nationalism, religion or desire to further human flourishing.

Everyone else would say it's simply to earn money, retire wealthy, buy better stuff, send their kids to a good school (why?), build a house or go on a holiday. Me, me, me, I, I, I. Nothing exists beyond the billboard-driven self. How could any woman or immigrant think London is worth maintaining if the descendants of the men who built it don’t care?

You can't kill mass numbers of strong males in two major world wars, and not expect consequences. It’s no accident that London is full of weak men. Strong men who believed in something bigger than themselves trudged off to fight – as strong men should  – and were churned up in the maw of artillery and rifle fire. Very few returned. The industrial-scale slaughter left behind mostly the cowardly, the weak, or the lucky. Today there is something foul and submissive about white British males. It will take more than three generations to repair.

I know this is true because, like I said above, I am one of those men. I am the descendant of men who survived or never participated in the carnage of WWI and WWII. My family’s men aren’t the kind who go quickly to the ramparts. I’d like to think I would do my part if I lived then. But I don't know. I can't know. The question is unanswerable. London's docile narcissists couldn't find purpose in a dictionary with a highlighter. I couldn't help but feel lonely in a place like that.

Perhaps this is the logical end-point of the individualism. At least it would be consistent. I know some strong men but they are few and far between. Mostly, the descendants of weak white men all around me stare into the digital void all day – and the void talks back, telling them the source of their frustration is black people, women or They. Anything except the truth.

They prefer, like all weak men do, to care for the sick, the infirm and the marginalised. Weak men say we can never go to the stars while even one person is left suffering on earth, guaranteeing neither will be achieved. This is not morality. This is the selfishness disguised as ethics. It is weak men rejecting the burden of effort and responsibility. He has no time to apply himself or become something – he has a beggar to help!

In the weak man's rusting conscience, the "social" is more important than civilisation.

VIII

London’s white men have failed to care for anything other than themselves. But what else could we expect from the descendants of losers?

Their lives are pointless and barren, bereft of responsibility and the meaning that it brings. The modern weak man does not know the difference between work and a job. He can't see that a job is how he earns money, but work is what maintains the culture that created his job. He couldn’t care less.

How can they read about systemic rapes and simply shrug their shoulders? I’d call them pathetic, but that’s actually a vowel off.  They are apathetic precisely because it avoids conflict – the worst of all states for the modern weak man. Weak men may not be afraid of fighting, they are afraid of there being a fight. To a weak man, violence itself is to be avoided, regardless of the moral importance of fighting.

Responsibility is the only antidote for atrocity. I bet every single British battery on those trains would rush to flick a coin to a vulnerable beggar, convincing themselves of their virtue. And yet, a full 100% of white men failed to defend thousands of their own sisters and neighbours, not just once, but over decades. It turns out masculinity is an achievement, of which all have fallen short. No wonder London looks at immigrant rapists and hates itself for wanting what those men represent: strength and the confidence to make or break rules. We all want what we know we should have.

But I’ll admit it’s easier to blame “the system” for the Telford horror. At least then you won't be late for your meeting in Canary Wharf.


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Hey, London! Orwell wasn't writing instructional manuals

I

London is a miserable city.

I have met UK citizens who have decided permanently to flee the country in disgust, due to some mixture of politics, weather, society, cultural change or general miserableness. It seems to be the only developed country suffering from this (so far). Some liberal Americans left the US because of Republican administrations, some Aussies and New Zealanders flee because of boredom. But I’ve never found another country which can generate such general abhorrence in its own citizens as the UK.

After travelling there recently, I now know why. I haven’t the slightest intention of moving to that 50 shades of grey, cold and sad city, with faceless corporates drinking alone in front of pubs at five o’clock, exhausted by the lifeless office politics of countless MBA graduates eager to succeed through Powerpoint in this “city of choice.” No way.

I’ve heard it said that the reason the sun never set on the British Empire, was because God would never trust an Englishman in the dark. And neither should you. London is ok for a visit, but you wouldn’t want your kids to stay there…

II

London is a vacuous, homogenous, crowded, violent and apathetic city proudly being transformed by progressives who wish only to reach Year Zero. Because they hate it so much, I love to tell them this transformation can be traced to a decision made 65 years ago by the Federal Council of Churches – an organisation of mainline Protestant sects with Calvinist roots – which endorsed a system of world government supported by right-thinking Londoners everywhere.

TIME magazine described this programme as "super-protestant," and if you’re baffled by this term, you can read Richard Gamble's The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation, which moves the clock for this decision back another 30 years, and is full of bloodcurdling Calvinism in a much more militant vein. This same strand of “secularism” ruling London today reaches back to Beecher's Bibles, the Puritans, Cromwell and his republic of saints, and ultimately, of course, Calvin himself.

But somewhere in the last 60 years, this strand vanishes – which should make everyone suspicious. We don’t have to look very far to see where it went, though.

The modern descendant of "super-protestantism" is American progressivism. Now and then, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, it will claim to "take back Christianity," but such audacity is rare, and generally these people call themselves "secular." They all think this political model was born adult in 1945, springing like Minerva from the head of Zeus. Or maybe they’ll say the idea had always existed, or perhaps old versions are fabricated in previous generations. Ah, classic Whig history.

What they hate me for pointing out is that this secularisation is just an extension of ecumenism (the principle or aim of promoting unity among the world's Christian Churches), which is the process that gave us the Federal Council of Churches in the first place. In the 20th century, rationalism – the claim that one's beliefs are derived from reason and science – will always outcompete justification from revelation. I know a genuine freethinker doesn’t have to believe this at all. But nor does a genuine Methodist have any reason to shake hands with a genuine Presbyterian…

Another benefit of secularisation is that progressivism, unlike "super-protestantism," can twist free-speech and the general humanist tradition of religious tolerance into a weapon to assault its enemies – those dastardly unreformed Trinitarian Christians that decided to vote for Brexit. Progressivism rose to power through Christianity, WWII and used liberal weapons like free speech to break into power. But when it got to power in the 1950s it simply pulled up the ladder – a classic Machiavellian manoeuvre. Now the Trinitarians and Nationalists are being prosecuted for free speech.

III

Of course, these changes are adaptive, rather than conscious. There is no plot. The Illuminati is not involved in the destruction of London’s heritage and the dissolution of its culture. Basically, the modern world has replaced "religion," defined as the veneration of paranormal beings, with idealism, defined as the veneration of mysterious universal principles.

But I’d understand if people suspect a George Soros-type figure behind this mess. I guess that’s the miracle of evolution: its results are indistinguishable from the product of an intelligent designer. Or, in this case, an intelligent conspirator. Humans are pattern-seeking creatures and hate to think that, little by little, we take on the ideas of our rulers until we support concepts 20 years ago we would have died to fight against. But as usual, the left wins by the slow drip-dripping of erosion over time.

The secularisation mutation of Christianity now gripping London, like the human lactose-tolerance gene, it has arisen spontaneously more than once. The relationship between Calvinism and Rousseauvianism is remarkably like that between progressivism and liberal universalism.

Rousseau came from Geneva, and Robespierre used Rousseau's nominally non-Christian message of universal love to establish a reign that made Calvin look like Coolidge. In fact, through Hegel, Rousseauvian idealistic nationalism was a major contributor to the progressive Christianity of Woodrow Wilson, which created "super-protestantism." Like languages, ideas tend to have family trees.

Yet I’m happy to say there are two Britains. One, centred in London, is a snapshot of progressive utopia (eww), while the other, located just beyond the city limits is a snapshot of Britishness. It was beautifully British in Canterbury and gorgeous in Bletchley. This was the Britain I wanted to see. The only pretence to Britishness in London were the attempts at politeness and an accent.

IV

I wanted to see the England that contributed so much to the world. The English were nicer to their geniuses than other countries. The Channel allowed it to worry less about common enemies, and is the reason the rich and powerful let their geniuses be geniuses without looking at them askance for not turning their talents towards military problems.

Unfortunately for posterity, even stubborn and loveless Leonardo da Vinci often worked for the defence contractors of his day, and the great Raphael and Michelangelo both worked for the Roman equivalents of dreary four-star Pentagon generals. Imagine if they had been born in England? How any one of them could have painted a breathtakingly beautiful Rosalind in a nightingale-haunted moonlight glade (leaving poor Mona Lisa in the shade) or a happy Hamlet climbing for the first time the Northern stairs to the battlements, his noble spaniels happily climbing with him under the starlight?

But it wasn’t just British thought that lifted them – and the world – out of poverty. The key step was the steam engine.

London’s galleries and museums still pay homage to this technology, as if they sense an important link to the past that’s not quite ready for snipping. The original steam engine (Watt’s engine) is of little importance today. However, its offspring – gasoline, diesel, steam, gas and water turbines – power the relative prosperity we all enjoy today. Not that you’d guess from all the angst and resentment outside the museums.

Maybe there’s a lesson here. Why did the steam engine take off first in the UK? Geology, not politics ruled. The UK was unique in having many geographically-distributed coal seams located close to the surface which made possible large-scale coal use as early as 1200 AD. By 1500 AD, coal already supplied a significant fraction of Britain’s energy. By 1700 AD, coal accounted for half of all energy consumed in the country.

The UK’s coal seams allowed for large-scale, distributed consumption of coal. However, the coal deposits closest to the surface were quickly depleted. Plenty of coal existed at greater depths (30 metres back then), but water tended to fill the mines. The first steam engine, Thomas Savery’s “Miner’s Friend,” was invented in 1698 to pump this water out from the coal mines. It was quickly superseded by the Newcomen (Thomas Newcomen) engine in 1712. Much later, in 1765, a canny Scott called James Watt devised a new and improved steam engine. His new technology triggered an industrial and economic revolution that has transformed the world. Global economic output is perhaps 500+ times higher now than in 1765.

V

Of course, to progressives, none of this is worth thinking about because it risks encouraging traditional thought – which basically is just Nazism.

To them, Britain is just London surrounded by a barren moonscape where only trolls and hobbits live. For the average progressive in London (and the progressives are very average) this might as well be true. The rich and powerful have zoned themselves in and imported cheap labour. Said another way… they built local walls and tore down national walls.

What effect has this resentment had on the once-great city? Read this.

Now, I don’t believe in original sin, but I do believe in human biology. The doctrine of original sin was an excellent way to bring a little reality into the wishy-washy lovefest of Jesus’ more hippiesque ideas. Since the UK fell into the hands of the Nonconformists – aka the progressives – its crime rate has gone up by a factor of about 35. Now there’s some sin for you, original or not.

In 1893, the annual number of recorded robberies in England and Wales fell below 400. There were then never as many as 400 recorded robberies a year in the whole of England and Wales until 1941.

Ladies and ladies, I give you: Crime in England and Wales in the Nineteenth Century (1876). From 1860 to 1874, there are an average of about 4165 class 1 and class 2 crimes per year, in a (young, rapidly-growing) population of about 20 million. This equates to about 21 per 100,000. These classes include:

1st – OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON – Comprising murder, attempts to murder, stabbing or wounding with intent to maim, manslaughter, rape, assaults with intent to ravish, carnally abusing girls between ten and twelve, assaults, etc. (I love the old descriptions!)

2nd – OFFENCES AGAINST PROPERTY WITH VIOLENCE – Comprising burglary, house-breaking, breaking into shops, robbery, assaults with intent to rob, misdemeanours with intent to commit the above offences, etc.

3rd: OFFENCES AGAINST PROPERTY WITHOUT VIOLENCE- Comprising cattle, horse, and sheep stealing, the various kinds of larcenies, or in other words thefts not of an aggravated kind, embezzlements, receiving stolen goods, etc.

I’m not sure if people can understand intuitively how low those numbers are. So, let’s compare them to some figures from the modern, advanced, low-crime United States, in which everything is getting better all the time and always has been (sarcasm).

Hoyle’s category 1 seems roughly comparable to the FBI’s category of violent crime at about 1,400,000, or about 470 per 100,000. Whereas Hoyle shows 2300, or about 12 per 100,000.

The FBI’s property crime index blurs the Victorian categories 2 and 3, but the FBI has 10 million, or about 3500 per 100,000. Whereas Hoyle’s category 2 shows 1846, or about 9 per 100,000, and Hoyle’s category 3 is about 12,500, or about 62 per 100,000.

To put this in context, from February to December 2001 there were never as few as 400 recorded robberies a month in the London Borough of Lambeth alone. That was 20 years ago. Has it gotten any better? Nope. Relative to the UK a century ago, crime has gone up by about 5000%.

In a civilized modern society, the risk of suffering human-on-human predation should be only slightly higher than the risk of being attacked by, say, a grizzly bear. And yes, you should be able to park your bike without locking it. Relative to Somalia, or Manhattan in the ’70s, sure, crime in the UK today is not a problem. But relative to Japan at any period, it’s a tremendous problem.

VI

The former Met Police chief superintendent Leroy Logan told the BBC recently that “London’s violent traits have become a virus.” Of the 44 murder investigations the police have launched in 2018, 31 have been a result of stabbings. A century ago, a single stabbing would have been front-page news in London. Today, it might be mentioned in a police report column.

The fact that, in London in 2018, there are go areas and no-go areas, places you can go in the day but not at night, places you can’t go at all – would astonish and appal our great-great grandparents. So, please, let’s not hear it about “hysterical” fear of crime in the past. You’d need to ramp it up about five orders of magnitude to get to hysteria level.

But what’s crazy is that the situation is not one of hysteria, but of anesthesia – not overhyping, but self-coordinating censorship by everyone on the street. As usual, reactionary reality is seeping back into the system. 100 years ago, the UK was the least Americanised of nations; today it is arguably more Americanised than America. To see the transition described, have a look at Peter Hitchens’ Abolition of Britain. You might also find yourself engaged by his Brief History of Crime.

To see just how screwed up this situation is, check out the Wikipedia article on Crime in Japan: Few robberies are. In 1989 Japan experienced 1.3 robberies per 100,000 population, compared with 48.6 for West Germany, 65.8 for Great Britain, and 233.0 for the United States.

My unscientific guess is these levels are roughly comparable to those in a civilised European country of a century ago. Do you have any idea how much the government and society of Britain changed between 1960 and 1990?

How do you anesthetise a population? When it reacts normally to crime, convince it that it’s being hysterical. It’s much easier to do when journalists believe in the ruling ideology as well.

VII

The elephant in the room is that maybe – just maybe – London shouldn’t have let in millions of people who subscribe to a religion created as a black flag against European Christianity. Maybe.

But whose fault was that? There are many explanations for the decline in London’s public safety over the 20th century – but they all come back, in the end, to a case of government failure. It’s no coincidence that the 20th century was also the century in which it was thought that government policy should and could be planned by statistics, rather than phronetic decision, common sense and tradition – “by steam,” in Thomas Carlyle’s phrase. Or perhaps it’s not a coincidence.

Even a quick jog through the British museum would prove that Europe became generally more orderly from 1500 to 1900, and generally less orderly from 1900 to 2000, especially after 1950. If you want to know why, I would say: because order is a product of coherent state authority, and coherent state authority strengthened from 1500 to 1900 and weakened after 1900. And if you wanted to know why this happened, I would say: read some history.

VIII

Britain once had a long tradition of responsible public service, which could not be corrupted overnight by American political correctness, mendacity and bureaucracy. London is what happens when the old British civil service turns into something much more like a Communist state. Britain has never really seen anything quite like NuLabor progressivism.

The British literally invented modern policing. As you’d expect. Note how the 8th principle says: “absence of crime and disorder.” As in, you know, absence. In the “modern” era, crime has been rising vertiginously – 4700% in Britain overall. How can any descendant of the inventors of the police be proud of anything today? In Britain, everything is policed except crime.

When you read British writing about America in the 1850-1950 era, the Brits are simply amazed that such a thing as organized crime can be allowed to exist. Dr Moriarty, the spider at the centre of the web of crime, was a fantasy. Whereas now, at least according to the Times, there are 2800 gangs in Great Britain. No word on how this statistic was compiled, but I suppose it is probably accurate to within an order of magnitude or two.

So, here I sit, having returned from a city I grew up adoring. And I am torn between hoping the English come to their senses and fight off the progressive invaders before it's too late and hoping they get what they deserve for letting it get to this point.

London is a miserable city.