Category Archives: de-civilisation

On the Copernicus Moment


This is the last of a set of seven essays, in which I have been trying to understand and to diagnose the political, economic and ethical ills of our times. Today, I’ll try to pull together all the strands I have explored, and to sum up where we are today. And I’ll seek to “turn the corner” towards the not so small matter of how to cure these ills.
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Starve the System, Feed Yourself: The Joys of Buying Second-Hand


Starve the System, Feed Yourself:
The Joys of Buying Second-Hand

Sean Gabb
26th June 2019

This Book is Free
Get a Copy

Though not at all rich in terms of income, I think my net wealth is somewhat above the average for men of my age. I have achieved this by spending less than I earn and by avoiding debt. Of course, I wish I could earn more than I do. A newer car than the one I have driven for ten years would be nice. On the other hand, I have not had a conventional job since I resigned in 1990, and I have spent the past generation mostly doing things that I enjoyed or that contributed to less immediate enjoyment. In this essay, I plan to make one explicitly political point. For the rest, I will explain one of the strategies by which my women and I live well and within our means. Read more

Bernie’s Degeneracy: What Would George Canning Say?


©By ilana mercer

BERNIE SANDERS, the senator from Vermont, said he thinks “everyone should have the right to vote—even the Boston Marathon bomber … even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope.”

Bernie is right about a “slippery slope.” But the befuddled Bernie is worried about the wrong slope.

Denying the vote to some and conferring it on others is not a “slippery slope.” It’s exercising good judgment.

Insisting that the vote in America belongs to everyone, irrespective: now that’s a slippery slope, down which the slide is well underway.

As it stands, there are almost no moral or ethical obligations attached to citizenship in our near-unfettered Democracy.

Multiculturalism means that you confer political privileges on many an individual whose illiberal practices run counter to, even undermine, the American political tradition.

Radical leaders across the U.S. quite seriously consider Illegal immigrants as candidates for the vote—and for every other financial benefit that comes from the work of American citizens.

The rights of all able-bodied idle individuals to an income derived from labor not their own: That, too, is a debate that has arisen in democracy, where the demos rules like a despot.

But then moral degeneracy is inherent in raw democracy. The best political thinkers, including America’s constitution-makers, warned a long time ago that mass, egalitarian society would thus degenerate.

What Bernie Sanders prescribes for the country—unconditional voting—is but an extension of “mass franchise,” which was feared by the greatest thinkers on Democracy. Prime Minister George Canning of Britain, for instance.

Canning, whose thought is distilled in Russell Kirk’s magnificent exegesis, “The Conservative Mind,” thought that “the franchise should be accorded to persons and classes insofar as they possess the qualifications for right judgment and are worthy members of their particular corporations.”

By “corporations,” Canning (1770-1827) meant something quite different to our contemporary, community-killing multinationals.

“Corporations,” in the nomenclature of the times, meant very plainly in “the spirit of cooperation, based upon the idea of a neighborhood. [C]ities, parishes, townships, professions, and trades are all the corporate bodies that constitute the state.”

To the extent that an individual citizen is a decent member of these “little platoons” (Edmund Burke’s iridescent term), he may be considered, as Canning saw it, for political participation.

“If voting becomes a universal and arbitrary right,” cautioned Canning, “citizens become mere political atoms, rather than members of venerable corporations; and in time this anonymous mass of voters will degenerate into pure democracy,” which, in reality is “the enthronement of demagoguery and mediocrity.”  (“The Conservative Mind,” p. 131.)

That’s us. Demagoguery and mediocrity are king in contemporary democracies, where the organic, enduring, merit-based communities extolled by Canning, no longer exists and are no longer valued.

This is the point at which America finds itself and against which William Lecky, another brilliant British political philosopher and politician, argued.

The author of “Democracy and Liberty” (1896) predicted that “the continual degradation of the suffrage” through “mass franchise” would end in “a new despotism.”

And so it has.

Then as today, radical, nascent egalitarians, who championed the universal vote abhorred by Lecky, attacked “institution after institution,” harbored “systematic hostility” toward “owners of landed property” and private property and insisted that “representative institutions” and the franchise be extended to all irrespective of “circumstance and character.”

Then as now, the socialist radical’s “last idea in constitutional policy” is to destroy some institutions or to injure some class.” (Ibid, p. 335.)

And so it is with the radical Mr. Sanders, who holds—quite correctly, if we consider democracy’s historic trajectory as presaged by the likes of Lecky and Canning—that a democracy must be perpetually “expanded,” and that “every single person does have the right to vote,” irrespective of “circumstance and character.”

The vote, of course, is an earned political privilege, not a God-given natural right, as Bernie the atheist describes it.

The granting of political rights should always be circumscribed and circumspect; it ought to be predicated on the fulfillment of certain responsibilities and the embodiment of basic virtues. “Thou shalt not murder,” for example.

Indeed, the case of the Boston Bomber is a no-brainer.

Tsarnaev came from a family of Chechen grifters. He got the gift of American political and welfare rights, no strings attached, no questions asked. That’s how we roll. That’s how little these rights have come to mean.

Yet Dzhokhar Tsarnaev didn’t merely pick a quarrel with one or two fellow Americans or with their government; he hated us all. If he could, Tsarnaev would have killed many more of his countrymen, on April 15, 2013.

But for a radical leveler like Mr. Sanders, virtue has no place in a social democracy. Sanders’ project, after all, is “legislating away the property of one class and transferring it to another.”

Since Bernie Sanders was so perfectly serious in protesting the removal of the Boston bomber’s political privileges—he should not be taken seriously.

***

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube

Quantitative easing was the father of millennial socialism


By Andy Duncan

Is the Financial Times going all Austrian on us? The overall trend in global societal time preferences has been declining for thousands of years, as civilisation has grown and spread, particularly from ancient and classical Greece, which had writing, money, robust law, and best of all, an enduring tradition of freedom. But since the coming of fiat money, particularly from the inception in 1913 of the Federal Reserve, widespread money printing has caused huge time preference spikes, in our something-for-nothing society. With socialism being the religion of high time preferences and civilisational decay, to my mind the two are absolutely linked. For the FT to spot this is quite the revelation!

Here’s a quote from their recent article, which is outside their usual pay wall:

“The 2008 crash itself didn’t destroy wealth, but rather revealed how much wealth had already been destroyed by poor decisions taken in the boom. This underscored the truism that the worst of investments are often taken in the best of times.”

Remarkable. Of course, Mises was writing similar statements to this in 1912, before the birth of the Fed, in his epic master work, The Theory of Money and Credit:

It’s only taken a hundred and seven years for the FT to catch up!

Wage Walls, Not Wars


A “Big League Politics” Interview about paleolibertarianism

ILANA MERCER 

BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: Being a preeminent paleolibertarian thinker today, how would you define paleolibertarianism and how does it differ from standard paleoconservatism?

ILANA MERCER: First, let’s define libertarianism. libertarianism is concerned with the ethics of the use of force. Nothing more. This, and this alone, is the ambit of libertarian law. 

All libertarians must respect the non-aggression axiom. It means that libertarians don’t initiate aggression against non-aggressors, not even if it’s “for their own good,” as neoconservatives like to cast America’s recreational wars of choice. If someone claims to be a libertarian and also supports the proxy bombing of Yemen, or supported the war in Iraq; he is not a libertarian, plain and simple.

As to paleolibertarianism, in particular, and this is my take, so some will disagree. It’s how I’ve applied certain principles week-in, week-out, for almost two decades. In my definition, a paleolibertarian grasps that ordered liberty has a civilizational dimension, stripped of which the just-mentioned libertarian non-aggression principle, by which all decent people should live, will crumble. It won’t endure.

Ironically, paleoconservatives have no issue grasping the cultural and civilizational dimensions of ordered liberty—namely that the libertarian non-aggression principle is peculiar to the West and won’t survive once western civilization is no more. Which is why, for paleoconservatives, immigration restrictionism is a no-brainer.

By the way, the statement is not meant to be culturally chauvinistic. There are indigenous tribal people (say, in Brazil) who’re peaceful and pastoral. I mourn their culture’s near-extinction, as well.  Where such extinction has been brought about by the West’s chauvinism—it must be condemned.

In any event, paleoconservatives would typically grasp that libertarian principles would not endure in certain cultures. Libertarians, on the other hand, have had a hard time linking civilizational issues with the libertarian axiom of non-aggression. What do I mean? Libertarians will chant, “Free markets, free minds, the free movement of people.” Let’s have ‘em all.

They don’t always explain how these principles are to endure once Western societies are overrun by individuals from cultures which don’t uphold these principles. (From the fact that our own societies are turning out liberty hating individuals—it doesn’t follow we should import more.)

On the other hand, paleoconservatives are far less focused on the state as an evil actor and often appear more concerned with culture wars: gay marriage, cannabis, pornography, abortion. The paleolibertarian rejects any attempts by the state to legislate around the issues of:

Abortion: Completely defund it is our position.

Gay marriage: Solemnize your marriage in private churches, please.

Drugs: Legalize them and stop the hemispheric Drug War.

Wage walls, not wars.

As a creedal paleolibertarian, I see the road to freedom, primarily, in beating back The State, so that individuals can regain freedom of association, dominion over property, the absolute right of self-defense; the right to hire, fire, and, generally, associate at will.

Foreign policy—specifically, no meddling in the affairs of other countries!—is the be all and end all of both paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism. Don’t let any of the radio or TV personalities fool you.  If he or she liked, justified or rationalized Bush’s Middle-Eastern wars or Trump’s dabbling in Niger—he or she is no paleolibertarian. (Tucker Carlson is a fabulous paleoconservative.)

Both variants are for small government and big society. Again, more so than the paleoconservative, the paleolibertarian is radical in his anti-state position, sometimes even advocating a stateless society.

BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: In what ways does your political thought differ from CATO institute libertarianism?

ILANA MERCER: CATO’s political thought is left-libertarianism. I call it “lite libertarianism.”  Lite libertarians equate liberty with abstract, lofty ideas, which—against all evidence, historic and other—purport to work magically when applied to every individual in the world.

You can say that the crucial difference between lite libertarians and the Right kind is that, to the former, the idea of liberty is propositional–a value, an idea that’s untethered from the realities of history, hierarchy, biology, tradition, religion, culture, values.

Bluntly put, the principles of American freedoms were not developed by progressive, libertine ladies, marching in pussy dunce caps; by the suffragettes or the LGBTQ community and their program. Are those significant facts? You bet!

The garden variety libertarian, CATO and Reason types, see liberty as a shared, universal quest. They appear to think that inside every Afghani or Yemeni or Iraqi is a Jeffersonian waiting to break free.

In essence, this left-libertarianism is one that underplays, underestimates or just plain refuses to recognize what I just referred to as “liberty’s civilizational dimension.”

Notice how similar are left-libertarians to neoconservatives in the tendencies just described.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY. Lite libertarians also tend to blame governments, principally, less so the individual, for barbarism in certain parts of the world. Your regular libertarian’s attitude to personal wrongdoing often runs to what I’ve characterized as a form of social determinism: “The state made me do it.”

In other words, if for the sins of man the left is inclined to blame society; a lot of libertarians fall into the same methodological error when they implicate the State. The conservatively minded paleolibertarian will recognize humanity’s innate, biblical capacity for evil.

Both factions (left-libertarians and neoconservatives) are short on punishment, individual responsibility and agency, all preconditions for ordered liberty.

RACISM. And this is vitally important: A lot of establishment libertarians have joined the neoconservative and neoliberal establishments in the habit of sniffing out racists. Sniffing out racists is an absolute no-no for any and all self-respecting libertarians.

True libertarians don’t, or should not, prosecute thought crimes or persecute thought “criminals.” Period.

BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: Which conservative thinkers resonate most with your beliefs?

ILANA MERCER: John Roanoke, John Calhoun, Edmond Burke, Russell Kirk, Frank Chodorov, Felix Morley, James Burnham (once a leftist), Paul Gottfried, Clyde Wilson, Samuel P. Huntington.

**

 This interview was conducted by correspondent Seth Segal for Big League Politics. A version was published on Nov. 23, 2018.

 

 

 

Obama Ignores Genocide In South Africa


By ilana mercer

Once upon a time there were two politicians.

One had the power to give media and political elites goosebumps. Still does.

The other causes the same dogs to raise their hackles.

The first is Barack Hussein Obama; the second Vladimir Putin.

The same gilded elites who choose our villains and victims for us have decided that the Russian is the worst person in the world. BHO, the media consider one of the greatest men in the world.

Obama leveled Libya and lynched its leader. Our overlords were unconcerned. They knew with certainty that Obama was destroying lives irreparably out of the goodness of his heart.

Same thing when Obama became the uncrowned king of the killer drone, murdering Pakistani, Afghani, Libyan and Yemeni civilians in their thousands. That, too, his acolytes generally justified, minimized or concealed.  

In June of 2008, Obama marked his election as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” Media did not mock their leader’s delusions of grandeur.

All the estrogen-oozing amoebas of mainstream media would do in response to the Obama charm offensive was to turn to one another and check, “Was it good for you? Did he make the earth move and the oceans recede for you, too?”

Recently, Obama romped on to the Third World stage “bigly.” He delivered an address in this writer’s birthplace of Johannesburg, South Africa. The occasion: the centennial commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

On that occasion, Obama praised “the liberal international order,” which is founded on inverted morality: Good is bad and bad is good.

Small wonder, then, that nobody—broadcaster Tucker Carlson excepted—was willing to shame Obama for lauding genial thug Cyril Ramaphosa as an inspiration for “new hope in [his] great country.”

President hope-and-change Ramaphosa has gone where his four peer predecessors had not dared to go. He led a wildly fruitful effort to tweak the already watered-down property-rights provision in the South-African Constitution. Theft of land owned by whites will now be permitted.

Other than their modern-day-messiah status, BHO and his hero Mandela share something else. Both were silent about the systematic ethnic cleansing and extermination, in ways that beggar belief, of South-African farmers, in particular, and whites in general.

Does the barefaced Barack care that white men, women and children are being butchered like animals, their bodies often displayed like trophies by their proud black assassins?

An example among thousands are Kaalie Botha’s parents: “You can’t kill an animal like they killed my mom and dad. You can’t believe it.” The Achilles tendons of Kaalie’s 71-year-old father had been severed by his assailants so he couldn’t flee. He was then hacked in the back until he died, his body dumped in the bush. The head of wife Joey had been bashed in by a brick, wielded with such force that the skull “cracked like an egg.”

A day in the life of farming South Africa.

Yet, there was Mr. Obama touting the new South Africa as the instantiation of the ideals promoted by Mandela.

Mind you, Obama might be on to something, in a perverse way. As stated, Mandela was mum about these killings, labeled genocidal by the expert Dr. Gregory H. Stanton.

As for “Madiba’s” fidelity to the cornerstone of civilization, private-property rights: In September of 1991, “Mr. Mandela threatened South African business with nationalization of mines and financial institutions unless business [came] up with an alternative option for the redistribution of wealth.

Had he lived to 100, Mandela would likely be cheering Ramaphosa for authorizing a free-for-all on white-owned private property.

You know who’s not ignoring or minimizing those ongoing attempts at extermination and immiseration in South Africa? President Putin.

Russia has purportedly offered to give shelter to 15,000 white South African farmers, so far, recognizing them for the true refugees they are.

But Mr. Putin must be a racist. At least that’s what the cruel and craven African National Congress (Mandela’s party) dubs any nation daring to succor white South-Africans. The very idea that black Africans would persecute white Africans is racist in itself, say South Africa’s ruling Solons.

In fact, the ANC regularly intervenes to set aside findings made by Refugee Boards across the West in favor of South Africa’s endangered minority.

Putin, of course, has a history of such “racism.” Take his “unhealthy” fixation with saving Christians in Syria. Yes, that community is thriving once again because of the Alawite and Russian alliance.

True to type, “racist” Russia is now looking out for the Afrikaner settlers of South Africa.

In 2011, when “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” was published, there were approximately 40,000 commercial South-African farmers who remained on the land of their ancestors. Minus about 3000 slaughtered.

The total number of commercial farmers who feed South Africa is now less than half the number of “refugees” the US takes in each year. To date, “there has been a trickle of South Africans applying for asylum in the United States on the grounds of racial persecution. Almost all have been deported.”

It should be news to no one that American refugee policies favor the Bantu peoples of Africa over its Boers.

As Obama would drone, “It’s who we are.”

Whichever way you slice it, on matters South Africa, Russia is the virtuous one.

 

***

ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube

On Cars, Pollution and Common Sense


June 2018 was a good month for those of us on the side of truth and common sense in environmental matters. In the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore has written of the decline of media interest in the mantra of “saving the planet.” In the Wall Street Journal, Steven F. Hayward has gone further. He tells us of “the descent of climate change into the abyss of social-justice identity politics,” and says “climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue.” Meanwhile, a so-called wind drought has caused the UK media to wake up at last to the fact that wind power is useless for generating the base load energy that is vital to our civilization. And even the government are talking of bringing nuclear power back into the mix.

But in at least one other area the greens’ assault on our lifestyles and freedoms is still growing. I refer, specifically, to their attacks on cars and car drivers. Not only is the mayor of London already making it impossibly expensive for all but the very rich to drive their cars in London. Not only is he seeking to widen further the range of his plundering schemes. But the anti-car lobby in the UK are seeking to restrict, and eventually to ban, car use on a national scale. And in this effort they are using a particular kind of pollution, called PM2.5, as their poster child.

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