Category Archive 'Der Untergang das Abendlandes'
05 Jul 2018

Žižek on Houellebecq

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Michel Houellebecq

Slawomir Sierakowski interviewing Slavoj Žižek back in 2015 after the Charlie Hebdo murders.

Do you see common ground between you and Michel Houellebecq, with his critique of Western liberal societies, combined with no justification for reactionary alternatives like Islamist or Russian ones?

Yes, definitely. Crazy as it may sound, I have much respect for the honest liberal conservatives like Houellebecq, Finkielkraut, or Sloterdijk in Germany. One can learn from them much more than from progressive liberal like Habermas: honest conservatives are not afraid to admit the deadlock we are in. Houellebecq’s Atomised is for me the most devastating portrait of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. He shows how permissive hedonism turns into the obscene superego universe of the obligation to enjoy. Even his anti-Islamism is more refined than it may appear: he is well aware how the true problem is not the Muslim threat from the outside, but our own decadence. Long ago Friedrich Nietzsche perceived how Western civilization was moving in the direction of the Last Man, an apathetic creature with no great passion or commitment. Unable to dream, tired of life, he takes no risks, seeking only comfort and security, an expression of tolerance with one another:

    A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end, for a pleasant death. They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health. “We have discovered happiness,” — say the Last Men, and they blink.

RTWT

10 Jun 2018

Houellebecq Says

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18 Mar 2018

Modernity Killing Western Man

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Eric Fischl, The Old Man’s Boat and the Old Man’s Dog, 1982. –Our time’s version of The Raft of the Medusa.

Brett Stevens notes that the birthrate of Europeans (and that of the more elite sectors of the American population) has fallen below replacement and he blames Modernity itself.

Modernity is killing us. As Plato intuited, the problem with bad systems is not solely that they are inept, but that this ineptitude shapes people. It causes people to despair. They then die out, much as Western Europeans are in Europe and North America. Why strive if life is fundamentally empty, miserable, and filled with neurotic worry?

Just as with animals, when we are in a good environment, we thrive; when we are confined, hopeless, cornered, despairing, miserable, or in pain, we will ourselves to death. Western European people worldwide have been living in a state of constant hopelessness since the end of WW1, but our doubt about life itself goes much deeper.

Modernity arose with the French Revolution. Away went the little villages ruled by gentle lords, the customs and culture, and the sense of purpose and faith in life itself that quelled our existential suffering. Before the Revolution, we knew we were doing the right thing if we lived according to our tradition.

After the Revolution, in came bureaucracy. Cities replaced the towns. Mass culture and mass mobilization replaced intelligent leadership. There was constant infighting, from the politics of elections to the churn among companies trying to decide who would control large swathes of the economy.

Our once-intelligent society had become shocking dumb. Not only did the stupid but obedient thrive in the age of managerial control, because every manager loves a low-risk worker even if that worker is not particularly good at anything, but all public opinions had to pander to a crowd with the collective intelligence of the audience for an amusement park.

Spread by social coercion, this stupidity quickly absorbed every institution in the West so that they got dumb together. Government got dumb at the same rate that the church, art scene, schools, professionals, corporations, and non-profits did. We kept pace as we rushed into the abyss.

By the time 1968 came around, ready for the coup de grâce, the West had given up on itself for three generations. They had nothing to believe in because modern life was really not all that much fun. Sure, it was prosperous, but everyone spent their time in mindless unnecessary jobs, maintaining glitchy gadgets, babysitting third world or low caste labor, dealing with government and our crazy fellow citizens, filing paperwork, and otherwise being forced into confronting the tedious, ugly, and faith-crushing every day.

This delighted the Left, who are fundamentally neurotics that are motivated by a desire to destroy everything beautiful, good, and true because they do not detect those things in themselves. Solipsism, it turns out, is a form of neurosis where we mistake ourselves for the source of reality itself, when we are really only mirrors.

Our modern world makes us hate life. We spend way too much time working in jobs that are jails, then must live in ugly cities where most people are neurotic or otherwise low-grade mentally disturbed, and participate in a process of life that is designed to humble, humiliate, bore, and subjugate all of us. No wonder people are not reproducing.

RTWT

09 Feb 2018

Sweden Appoints Pakistani-Born Muslim Head of Swedish Heritage Board

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Qaisar Mahmood

Front Page:

Qaisar Mahmood, a Muslim born in Pakistan, is the new head of the Swedish National Heritage Board. This is an extremely anomalous appointment, since he readily admits that he has not read anything about Sweden’s cultural heritage. But his new job is not really about preserving and protecting Sweden’s cultural heritage and historical sites at all.

Qaisar Mahmood, who once rode his motorcycle around Sweden in an apparently failed attempt to discover what being Swedish consisted of, is using his position as head of the Swedish National Heritage Board not to highlight and celebrate that heritage, but to downplay Sweden’s cultural heritage and history, and to create a false narrative that will help compel Swedes to accept mass Muslim migration. He says he doesn’t want simply to alert people to Viking artifacts and the like, but to use Sweden’s history to “create the narrative” that will make Muslim migrants “part of something.”

We have already seen how that works. Remember the fake news story about the Viking burial cloth bearing the word “Allah”? Last October, a Swedish researcher gained international headlines by claiming that burial costumes from Viking graves dating back to the ninth and tenth centuries had been found to be inscribed with the name “Allah.” The intent of this was obvious: to convince Swedes that Islam had always been a part of Sweden, all the way back to the days of the Vikings, and so they should not be concerned about the mass Muslim migration that was now bringing Sweden unprecedented rape and other crime rates. Islam has always been a part of Sweden! Stop opposing mass Muslim migration!

The Viking burial cloths didn’t really feature the name “Allah” at all, as Stephennie Mulder, an associate professor of Medieval Islamic art and archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin, proved shortly thereafter, but by then the damage had been done. The idea had entered, however dimly, the popular consciousness: the Vikings were really Muslims. Islam is Swedish. Sweden was Islamic before it was Christian. The Muslim migrants are Swedes.

The “Allah” Viking burial cloth propaganda offensive was one manifestation of what Qaisar Mahmood and others like him are doing. There is no Muslim history in Sweden, but Qaisar Mahmood is working to change the very idea of cultural heritage and fabricate fictions about a historical Muslim presence in Sweden in order to advance his political and sociological agenda.

Qaisar Mahmood, as a Pakistani, of course has no Swedish heritage of his own. His admitted lack of knowledge of Swedish heritage and history ought to have disqualified him from his position, but this is how Sweden is obliterating itself and committing cultural and national suicide. After all, Swedes appointed Qaisar Mahmood to this position. It is Swedish leaders who want to destroy Swedish cultural and national identity.

RTWT

18 Aug 2017

Flying, 1954

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Design is Fine:

KML Royal Super Constellation, cabin interior design by Henry Dreyfuss, from Revue der Reclame, 1954. Netherlands. Source. Pic 2/5: Club Lounge Pic 4: The Flying Chef offers a 7-course champagne dinner.

01 Apr 2017

Today’s Students Not Part of Our Common Culture

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Patrick Deneen has more bad news from the Academe.

My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.

It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame. Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them: they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject); they build superb resumes. They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though easy-going if crude with their peers. They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically). They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting to run America and the world.

But ask them some basic questions about the civilization they will be inheriting, and be prepared for averted eyes and somewhat panicked looks. Who fought in the Peloponnesian War? Who taught Plato, and whom did Plato teach? How did Socrates die? Raise your hand if you have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Canterbury Tales? Paradise Lost? The Inferno?

Who was Saul of Tarsus? What were the 95 theses, who wrote them, and what was their effect? Why does the Magna Carta matter? How and where did Thomas Becket die? Who was Guy Fawkes, and why is there a day named after him? What did Lincoln say in his Second Inaugural? His first Inaugural? How about his third Inaugural? What are the Federalist Papers?

Some students, due most often to serendipitous class choices or a quirky old-fashioned teacher, might know a few of these answers. But most students have not been educated to know them. At best, they possess accidental knowledge, but otherwise are masters of systematic ignorance. It is not their “fault” for pervasive ignorance of western and American history, civilization, politics, art and literature. They have learned exactly what we have asked of them – to be like mayflies, alive by happenstance in a fleeting present.

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide.

Another must-read.

31 Mar 2017

“Fewer Than 1% of Papers Published in Today’s Scientific Journals Follow Scientific Method”

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Breitbart has some really bad news.

Fewer than 1 percent of papers published in scientific journals follow the scientific method, according to research by Wharton School professor and forecasting expert J. Scott Armstrong.

Professor Armstrong, who co-founded the peer-reviewed Journal of Forecasting in 1982 and the International Journal of Forecasting in 1985, made the claim in a presentation about what he considers to be “alarmism” from forecasters over man-made climate change.

“We also go through journals and rate how well they conform to the scientific method. I used to think that maybe 10 percent of papers in my field … were maybe useful. Now it looks like maybe, one tenth of one percent follow the scientific method” said Armstrong in his presentation, which can be watched in full below. “People just don’t do it.”

Armstrong defined eight criteria for compliance with the scientific method, including full disclosure of methods, data, and other reliable information, conclusions that are consistent with the evidence, valid and simple methods, and valid and reliable data.

According to Armstrong, very little of the forecasting in climate change debate adheres to these criteria. “For example, for disclosure, we were working on polar bear [population] forecasts, and we were asked to review the government’s polar bear forecast. We asked, ‘could you send us the data’ and they said ‘No’… So we had to do it without knowing what the data were.”

According to Armstrong, forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) violate all eight criteria.

“Why is this all happening? Nobody asks them!” said Armstrong, who says that people who submit papers to journals are not required to follow the scientific method.

A must-read.

13 Jul 2016

Hard Reboot Required

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AmericaReboot

16 Apr 2016

The Struggle to Find a Respectable Three-Button Suit

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ThreeButtonSuit

Harry Mount is frustrated to find that most tailors have succumbed to the two-button suit trend.

Last week I walked along Jermyn Street, spiritual home of the gentleman’s suit, and noticed something shocking. The jackets in the shop windows had lots of materials — tweed, cotton, wool — in all colours, shades and checks. But every single jacket had two buttons.

When did tailors get so boringly uniform? Why has the three-button suit — the classic style that dominated the 20th century — been wiped off the map? As a diehard three-button man, am I a fogeyish dinosaur, a walking Bateman cartoon: ‘The Man Who Wore a Three-Button Suit in the 21st Century’?

I seek solace (and a new three-button suit, in storm- grey, 13-ounce birdseye wool) from Tina Loder, a tailor for more than 30 years, and one of the few women tailors on Savile Row. ‘We’re going through a two-button cycle, just as we went through a three-button cycle a decade ago,’ she says. ‘Two buttons signal a casual informality and egalitarianism.’

But what if I don’t want to look casually informal and egalitarian?

Read the whole thing and insist on three-button suits.

Hat tip to David Wagner.

27 Feb 2016

Women Are Destroying Civilization

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Previously cited by Vanderleun and the News Junkie.

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Waylon Jennings made a similar point:

13 Dec 2015

The Victorians Were Probably Smarter Than People Today

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benjamin-jowett
Benjamin Jowett 1817-1893


My name is Benjamin Jowett.

I am Master of Balliol College.

What there is to know, I know it,

And what I don’t know isn’t knowledge.

Nobody would write a poem like that about Yale’s current president Peter Salovey.

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A recent paper in the journal Intelligence is titled:

Were the Victorians cleverer than us? The decline in general intelligence estimated from a meta-analysis of the slowing of simple reaction time


Highlights

• Simple reaction time has slowed since 1889.

• Psychometric meta-analysis reveals a decline in g of − 1.16 points per decade.

• The decline between 1889 and 2004 is − 13.35 points.

• The decline between 1889 and 2004 is − 12.45 points.

• This is the first direct measurement of a probable dysgenic trend in IQ.

Abstract:

The Victorian era was marked by an explosion of innovation and genius, per capita rates of which appear to have declined subsequently. The presence of dysgenic fertility for IQ amongst Western nations, starting in the 19th century, suggests that these trends might be related to declining IQ. This is because high-IQ people are more productive and more creative. We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations, using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study. Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence (g) and are considered elementary measures of cognition. In this study we used the data on the secular slowing of simple reaction time described in a meta-analysis of 14 age-matched studies from Western countries conducted between 1889 and 2004 to estimate the decline in g that may have resulted from the presence of dysgenic fertility. Using psychometric meta-analysis we computed the true correlation between simple reaction time and g, yielding a decline of − 1.16 IQ points per decade or − 13.35 IQ points since Victorian times. These findings strongly indicate that with respect to g the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations.

20 Nov 2015

Light Reflected from City Skyscraper Buckles Bodywork and Mirror of Businessman’s Car

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Walkietalkie1
Walkietalkie2
Walkietalkie3
Walkietalkie4
Walkietalkie5
Walkietalkie6

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Daily Mail story

28 Oct 2015

They Have the Russian Shaking in his Boots

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08 Sep 2015

Europe Welcoming Muslim Refugees

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TrojanMigrants

Clarice Feldman finds the recent mass invasion of Europe by Islamic refugees reminds her of a certain apocalyptic novel she read way back in the early 1970s.

Not one of the rich Gulf States has offered to take in a single Syrian refugee. The U.S., which already spends one billion dollars a year on refugee resettlement and countless more in welfare benefits, is being asked to take in more of these refugees. This would further burden those already at the bottom of the labor market.

Either the West turns them away or it ceases to exist. It’s that simple. The EU and the U.S. had the chance to fight on foreign soil or accept an invasion of their own lands, and chose poorly. Their choice now is to refuse social welfare benefits, scratch multiculturalism, and require assimilation instead of kowtowing to demands for disparate treatment, or die.

This result is not one unforeseen. Over four decades ago, this development was foreseen among others by Jean Raspail, a French author, of The Camp of the Saints, a novel of Europe being overrun by refugees from the Third World. The left’s favorite hate group designator, the Southern Poverty Law Center, attacked the author, the book, and its publishers. “The book is a racist fantasy about an invasion of France and the white Western world by a fleet of starving, dark-skinned refugees, “a haunting and prophetic vision,”SPLC says, “of Western Civilization overrun by a burgeoning Third World population.”

Some fantasy. At the moment about 300,000 immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa have poured into Europe:

    More than 300,000 people have crossed into Europe by sea — most of them from Libya to Italy or from Turkey to Greece — and 2,600 have died in the attempt. Thirty to 40 drowned Friday after a boat carrying more than 120 Somalis, Sudanese and Nigerians deflated off the coast of Libya.

    The migrants who manage to get to Greece must then begin a difficult trek across Macedonia and Serbia before sneaking into Hungary in hopes of getting, eventually, to preferred destinations like Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, which are prosperous, offer the chance for jobs and have been more welcoming than other nation.

The pictures show the immigrants are almost entirely men and young boys and once they’ve been granted asylum, there surely will be a call to admit their wives and children and parents and other family members, most of whom will require substantial social welfare services. If history is a guide, most will be inassimilable and reside in self-contained ghettoes, demanding ever more concessions for benefits and special treatment.

Read the whole thing.

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