Category Archive 'Left Think'
11 Aug 2018

Death by Fuzzy Thinking

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Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan. On July 29, in Tajikistan, five ISIS members deliberately plowed their car into the American couple and their two temporary cycling companions, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands.

Bruce Bawer is less than sympathetic.

Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, a young American couple, both graduates of Georgetown University, who decided to quit their humdrum office jobs and go on an epic bike ride and camping trip that would take them all over the world. …

Austin, a vegan who worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Geoghegan, a vegetarian who worked in a college admissions office, were both 29 years old – old enough, one would think, to have some idea of just how dangerous a route they had mapped out. …

Both Austin and Geoghegan were seasoned travelers, who had separately gone on backpacking adventures in exotic lands and, together, had recently biked across Iceland as a sort of prelude to their odyssey through Africa, Europe, and Asia. …

[T]o read Austin’s blog is to see no hint of hesitation, on the part of either of them, to keep on cycling – no sign of fear that their luck might run out at any moment. Their naivete is nothing less than breathtaking. “You watch the news and you read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” wrote Austin during their trek. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted….I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own.” This rosy view of humanity suffuses Austin’s blog. …

Austin’s blog also provides a window on his (and presumably her) hippie-dippy worldview and ultra-PC politics. Elephants, writes Austin, “may very well be a smarter, wiser, more thoughtful being than homo sapiens sapiens.” When white South Africans tell them “that the nation and its redistributionist government are making poor, ignorant choices,” Austin sneers at their “Eurocentric values” and their failure to realize that “[n]otions like private property” are culturally relative. This is apparently a comment on the South African government’s current expropriation of white farmers’ land without compensation. …

Austin also sneers at Thanksgiving, “a strange tradition built upon a glossy, guiltless retelling of a genocide, in which we show our appreciation for what we have by killing a quarter-billion turkeys, eating to the point of discomfort, queueing up outside shopping malls to buy electronics at reduced rates, and otherwise yearning for that which we do not have.” When President Trump announces his plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Austin and Geoghegan are in Morocco, where the people are outraged. Yes, because they hate Jews. But Austin’s response is to be so ashamed of his American identity that he tries “to disappear into the soft plush” of a couch cushion. …

The [August 7] Times article about Austin and Geoghegan drew hundreds of reader comments. A surprising number were by other people who’d bicycled or backpacked in far-off, dangerous places. Most saw Austin and Geoghegan as “heroic,” “authentic,” “idealistic,” “inspiring,” “a Beautiful example of Purity and Light.” Sample reactions: “Their candle burned brightly before it was extinguished.” And: “Good for them! They followed their dream.” Then there’s this: “I only see the beauty of two people taking steps to live the life they envision….The good experienced in their journey far far outweighs any negative.” Easy to say when you’re not the one in the body bag. “What is more dangerous,” asked yet another reader, “exposing yourself to the world and its dangers, and living a full vivid life, or insulating yourself in a safe box, in front of screens, where the world and its marvels and dangers cannot touch you? Jay and Lauren understood that safety is its own danger. They are awesome people.” No, they’re mangled, decaying corpses. “Safe boxes”? That’s what they’re both in now: boxes.

RTWT

I’m just waiting for the admiring article in Outside Magazine.

HT: Stephen Green.

23 Jun 2018

You Woke?

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22 Jun 2018

Exeter Prof: “Mathematics to Blame for Global Disparities in Wealth”

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Campus Reform shares the latest breakthrough in thought from today’s Academy.

In a chapter for a new textbook, University of Exeter professor Paul Ernest warns that mathematics education can cause “collateral damage” to society by training students in “ethics-free thought.”

He even argues that since money involves mathematics, math is “implicated in the global disparities of wealth” because math students are taught to value “detached” and “calculative” reasoning.

RTWT

22 Jun 2018

Leaked Memo Reveals ACLU Retreating on Free Speech

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Wendy Kaminer, in the Wall Street Journal, also reveals that the ACLU is now accepting the Hard Left notion that mere speech can inflict harm, even if one does not call someone pigeon pie and eat him up.

The American Civil Liberties Union has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm “marginalized” groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,” the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.”

This is presented as an explanation rather than a change of policy, and free-speech advocates know the ACLU has already lost its zeal for vigorously defending the speech it hates. ACLU leaders previously avoided acknowledging that retreat, however, in the apparent hope of preserving its reputation as the nation’s premier champion of the First Amendment.

But traditional free-speech values do not appeal to the ACLU’s increasingly partisan progressive constituency—especially after the 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The Virginia ACLU affiliate rightly represented the rally’s organizers when the city attempted to deny them a permit to assemble. Responding to intense post-Charlottesville criticism, last year the ACLU reconsidered its obligation to represent white-supremacist protesters.

The 2018 guidelines claim that “the ACLU is committed to defending speech rights without regard to whether the views expressed are consistent with or opposed to the ACLU’s core values, priorities and goals.” But directly contradicting that assertion, they also cite as a reason to decline taking a free-speech case “the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values.”

In selecting speech cases to defend, the ACLU will now balance the “impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression.” Factors like the potential effect of the speech on “marginalized communities” and even on “the ACLU’s credibility” could militate against taking a case. Fundraising and communications officials helped formulate the new guidelines.

RTWT

04 Jun 2018

If You Were Wondering Why Trump Won…

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03 May 2018

“The Most Successful Society in Human History” (If You are a Leftist)

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Ju/’hoansi Bushmen of the Kalahari, from the viewpoint of the Left: “the most successful society in human history.” Too bad for Athens, Rome, and Renaissance Italy!

Equality is the unquestionable, unexaminable Sumuum Bonum and absolute endpoint goal for the contemporary Left. James Suzman, in an essay in Aeon, lauds the “fierce egalitarianism” of the Stone Age Hunter-Gatherer Ju/’hoansi Bushmen, and identifies the key principle that makes their society what it is: Envy!

[R]esearch conducted among the Ju/’hoansi in the 1950s and ’60s when they could still hunt and gather freely turned established views of social evolution on their head. Up until then, it was widely believed that hunter-gatherers endured a near-constant battle against starvation, and that it was only with the advent of agriculture that we began to free ourselves from the capricious tyranny of nature. When in 1964 a young Canadian anthropologist, Richard Borshay Lee, conducted a series of simple economic input/output analyses of the Ju/’hoansi as they went about their daily lives, he revealed that not only did they make a good living from hunting and gathering, but that they were also well-nourished and content. Most remarkably, his research revealed that the Ju/’hoansi managed this on the basis of little more than 15 hours’ work per week. On the strength of this finding, the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins in Stone Age Economics (1972) renamed hunter-gatherers ‘the original affluent society’.

If a society is judged by its endurance, then this was the most successful society in human history

This research also revealed that the Ju/’hoansi were able to make a good living from a sparse environment because they cared little for private property and, above all, were ‘fiercely egalitarian’, as Lee put it. It showed that the Ju/’hoansi had no formalised leadership institutions, no formal hierarchies; men and women enjoyed equal decision-making powers; children played largely noncompetitive games in mixed age groups; and the elderly, while treated with great affection, were not afforded any special status or privileges. This research also demonstrated how the Ju/’hoansi’s ‘fierce egalitarianism’ underwrote their affluence. For it was their egalitarianism that ensured that no-one bothered accumulating wealth and simultaneously enabled limited resources to flow organically through communities, helping to ensure that even in times of episodic scarcity everyone got more or less enough.

There is no question that this dynamic was very effective. If a society is judged by its endurance over time, then this was almost certainly the most successful society in human history – and by a considerable margin. New genomic analyses suggest that the Ju/’hoansi and their ancestors lived continuously in southern Africa from soon after modern H sapiens settled there, most likely around 200,000 years ago. Recent archaeological finds across southern Africa also indicate that key elements of the Ju/’hoansi’s material culture extend back at least 70,000 years and possibly long before. As importantly, genome mutation-rate analyses suggest that the broader population group from which the Ju/’hoansi descended, the Khoisan, were not only the largest population of H sapiens, but also did not suffer population declines to the same extent as other populations over the past 100,000 years.

Taken in tandem with the fact that other well-documented hunting and gathering societies, from the Mbendjele BaYaka of Congo to the Agta in the Philippines (whose most recent common ancestor with the Ju/’hoansi was around 150,000 years ago), were similarly egalitarian, this suggests that the Ju/’hoansi’s direct ancestors were almost certainly ‘fiercely egalitarian’ too.

Ju/’hoansi egalitarianism was not born of the ideological dogmatism that we associate with 20th-century Marxism or the starry-eyed idealism of New Age ‘communalism’. There was no manifesto of ‘primitive communism’. Rather, it was the organic outcome of interactions between people acting explicitly in their own self-interest in a highly individualistic society. This was because, among foraging Ju/’hoansi, self-interest was always policed by its shadow, envy – which, in turn, ensured that everyone always got a fair share, and that those with the natural charisma and authority to ‘lead’ exercised it with great circumspection. This was best exemplified in the customary ‘insulting’ of the hunter’s meat.

Skilled Ju/’hoansi hunters needed a thick skin. For while a particularly spectacular kill was always cause for celebration, the hunter responsible was insulted rather than flattered. Regardless of the size or condition of the carcass, those due a share of the meat would complain that the kill was trifling, that it was barely worth the effort of carrying it back to camp, or that there wouldn’t be enough meat to go round. For his part, the hunter was expected to be almost apologetic when he presented the carcass.

Of course, everyone knew the difference between a scrawny kill and a good one but continued to pass insults even while they were busy filling their bellies. Hunters rarely took the insults to heart, and those dishing them out often did so through broad grins. This was a performance in which everyone played well-rehearsed roles. But it was also a performance with a clear purpose, as beneath the light-hearted insults lay a sharp and potentially vicious edge.

More than any other food, meat was capable of making the Ju/’hoansi forget their customary good manners, so it required extra diligence in distribution. It also meant that there was a risk that particularly skilled and energetic hunters might begin to consider others to be in their debt, so fracturing the delicate egalitarian balance that sustained band (or small kin-group) life. The insults ensured that individual hunters took care not to be so successful that they stood out or, worse still, began to imagine themselves to be more important than others.

There you have the essence of what Leftism stands for and has to offer: Envy and Stone Age equality.

RTWT

15 Apr 2018

“Civilizations”

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The late Kenneth Clark.

The BBC has decided to attempt to rebut Kenneth Clark’s magisterial tour d’horizon of Western Art, the 13-part 1969 television series “Civilization.” This rejoinder on behalf of our contemporary Woke Multicultural Establishment begins appearing Tuesday evening in the United States on PBS.

Kenneth Clark singlehandedly took viewers from Greek Antiquity to the 20th Century, but correcting Clark’s Eurocentric emphasis on Dead White Great Men apparently requires three presenters: Classicist Mary Beard, the talented (but respectably progressive) historian Simon Schama, and (the Nigerian and therefore full-fledged representative of the viewpoint of persons and cultures of Color) David Olusoga.

Andrew Ferguson, at the Weekly Standard, has seen the series, and warns us what to expect:

[Civilizations] is kind of Clark-like —a catalogue of glorious creations followed by a vision of an art form in an advanced state of spiritual exhaustion. The difference is that the decline of an art form saddened Clark. Each of the episodes of Civilisations that I’ve seen ends with a celebratory profile of a contemporary artist. Invariably their work suffers in comparison with what’s gone before—how could it not?—but the moments serve a summary purpose.

The episode called “How Do We Look?” closes with Kehinde Wiley, the artist who recently completed the official presidential portrait of Barack Obama. The narrator describes Wiley as a practitioner of “the modern art of the body,” which “draws its power” from “challenging the tradition of classical art.” Of course he lives in Brooklyn but “he has traveled all over the world to explore the legacy of colonialism and the different ways we see.” Suddenly we see him in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, moving from masterpiece to masterpiece. A tinny ensemble plays Vivaldi—a fusty reminder of the distant past. “I love the history of art,” he tells the camera. “I love looking at these beautiful images. But I also recognize that there’s something quite sinister about their past.”

“Sinister” sounds judgmental, doesn’t it? So judgmental indeed that I don’t think even Clark used it at all in his Civilisation. But it nicely summarizes the attitude toward the West that viewers of the new Civilisations will find unavoidable, even if they’re confident enough to find it unpersuasive.

Next to life-enhancing, the most important word in Clark’s account of civilization was confidence. Several things came together to make a civilization, Clark said: a measure of material prosperity, a sense of history, a range of vision, and a feeling of permanence, of being situated in a particular moment between past and future, that makes it worthwhile to construct things meant to last.

“But far more,” he said, “it requires confidence—confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, confidence in one’s own mental powers.” His program was an effort to persuade his audience that confidence in their inherited civilization was well-earned.

In the closing moments of the final episode of Civilisation, Clark intended to strike a note of optimism. “When I look at the world about me in the light of these programs, I don’t at all feel as though we are entering on a new period of barbarism,” he said. He shows us the campus of the then-new University of East Anglia. Apple-cheeked college students pop in and out of classrooms, labor over books—the baby boomers as Clark hoped they were in 1969. “These inheritors of all our catastrophes look cheerful enough. . . . In fact, I should doubt if so many people have ever been as well-fed, as well-read, as bright-minded, as curious, and as critical as the young are today.”

Watching at home, we can assume, was the 14-year-old Mary Beard, all a-tingle and raring to go to college herself, where she could use her curiosity and reading and bright-mindedness to prove the great man and his theory wrong.

RTWT

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A recent biography of Kenneth Clark and his “Civilization” series was recently discussed here.

07 Apr 2018

I’d Never Live in Britain

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Richard Osborn-Brooks

The Telegraph has another one of those stories which amazes and appalls.

A pensioner has been arrested after a suspected burglar was killed during a violent tussle at his home.

The 78-year-old was held on suspicion of murder after the 38-year-old died of his wounds in hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Police said the struggle broke out after the pensioner, named locally as Richard Osborn-Brooks, found two men inside his home in South Park, Hither Green, south London shortly after midnight.

One of the burglars, who was armed with a screwdriver, forced the homeowner into his kitchen while his accomplice went upstairs.

Detectives believe a struggle then took place between “one of the males and the homeowner” and the 38-year-old intruder was stabbed in the upper body.

He was later found collapsed in nearby Further Green Road by paramedics from London Ambulance Service, who took him to a central London hospital where he died at 3.37am. Police were unable to confirm whether the suspect had been stabbed with the screwdriver.

The second suspect fled the scene before police arrived and is now being hunted by the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.

Gordon Williams, a local resident, said: “I could hear people moaning in the street and just thought it was someone drunk. I saw the body laid in the street and another guy jump in a van and leave.

“I leaned over him and tried to reassure him. There was a lot of blood.”

In a statement Scotland Yard said: “At 00:45hrs on Wednesday, 4 April, police were called by a homeowner to reports of a burglary in progress at an address in South Park Crescent, Hither Green SE6, and a man injured.

“The 78-year-old resident found two males inside the address. A struggle ensued between one of the males and the homeowner. The man, aged 37, sustained a stab wound to the upper body.”

The home owner suffered bruising to his arms and his injuries are not life threatening.

Police arrested him on suspicion of grievous bodily harm before then arresting him on suspicion of murder.

He was taken to a south London police station where he remains at this time.

RTWT

05 Apr 2018

The Age of the Whiny Victim

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Brett Stevens points out that, in an Age of Leftism, everyone wants to be a victim.

It is amazing how many people will approve of a concept that “sounds good” without understanding what it means. Take, for example, the term “equality.”

On the surface, equality sounds like this: treat everyone the same regardless of their background, or in other words, be fair. People think that is all that it means, but forget that life does not happen in a single step, but in cycles.

Here is the equality cycle: when we declare equality, we are setting ourselves up for failure if results are unequal despite fair treatment. For that reason, we give the people who are not succeeding a little nudge, hoping it will make them rise at least to the middle.

If we do not do that, then unequal results make us question the term “equality” at all. When people talk about inequality in wages despite different rates of individual productivity, they are caught in this stage. Results did not match expectations, and so people seek to inject subsidies in the mix.

These subsidies can be as simple as giving the poor kid more leeway in grading his papers at school, as moderate as social services which are free but mostly used by lower-income people, or as extreme as taxing the upper half of society to subsidize the lower half. Yet they always seem to drift toward that level.

In that, we see the feedback loop: each time results do not match the theory, we tip the scales a bit, but that does not work either. We tip the scales more in consequence, and then begin the cycle again. It never ends until something like full Communism comes around the bend, and then everyone is finally equal in theory.

For those caught in the middle of these loops, only one solution presents itself: be a victim.

We know that “equality” invariably and inevitably becomes a pathology of taking from the strong to give to the weak, so the only safety is in finding some way to be weak. You can be a minority, gay, disabled, abused, addicted, ill or mentally ill, or even just depressed, but you need something or the mob of the weak will come for you.

Thus we create a culture of entitlement and victimhood where the victims are entitled and therefore being a victim is valuable if for nothing else in fending off the demands of others who want subsidies with what you have.

RTWT

17 Mar 2018

If Jeremy Corbyn Had Been PM During the Blitz

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Following Jeremy Corbyn’s recent defense of Mr. Putin in Parliament, Richard Littlejohn cannot help imagining the Labour leader as Prime Minister during the early part of WWII.

In the House of Commons today, the Prime Minister, Mr Corbyn, refused to join the chorus of condemnation which has followed repeated German bombing attacks on British towns and cities.

He said there was no conclusive evidence that Herr Hitler was responsible for the Blitz, which he speculated may well have been carried out by rogue elements in the Luftwaffe with the specific intention of damaging the international reputation of the Nazi regime.

Mr Corbyn insisted it was essential to maintain robust dialogue with Berlin and told MPs he was ordering the War Department to return any unexploded bombs to Berlin for further investigation.

Just because they were dropped from German planes, which took off in Germany, and had ‘Made In Germany’ stamped on them, that was no reason to leap to the conclusion that the German government was involved in any way.

The Americans could well be behind it, he suggested, as an excuse to get involved in another European war.

There would be no official response from Downing Street until the full facts could be established, he insisted. He said those bellicose Conservatives who wanted to fight the Germans on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields, the streets and the hills, were guilty of reckless provocation against one of our leading European partners.

Britain’s earlier decision to send 300,000 heavily armed soldiers to occupy the pleasure beaches at Dunkirk, without a League of Nations resolution, had only served to heighten tensions and may well be a war crime.

Challenged about German military expansionism, the Prime Minister said Herr Hitler had every right to annex Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, the Low Countries and the Sudetenland, as a vital bulwark against Western aggression.

Earlier, in an interview with the broadcaster Lord Haw-Haw on the wireless station Nazism Today, Mr Corbyn defended his official spokesman, Mr Milne, who had claimed that intelligence reports from MI5, MI6 and the Special Operations Executive were unreliable and ‘problematic’.

Mr Milne also suggested that Herr Hitler might be the victim of a smear campaign by Israel, even though Israel doesn’t actually exist yet.

Mr Corbyn has rejected out of hand widespread reports that millions of Jewish men, women and children across Europe are being rounded up by the Nazis. He said that was as absurd as trying to suggest that there was any anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

The Prime Minister further refused widespread demands to expel German diplomats from the Court of St James’s and intern any German citizens living in Britain. Mr Corbyn said the bombing had ‘nothing to do with Nazism’ and said he had asked Scotland Yard to be on full alert for any backlash against ‘the vast majority of peace-loving Nazis’.

Even as large swathes of Coventry, Plymouth and the East End of London are devastated by the nightly bombardment from the skies, with civilian casualties currently estimated at 50,000, Mr Corbyn vowed there would be no retaliation.

He has rejected a proposal from the Royal Air Force to launch 1,000 bomber raids on German cities, and has ordered Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons in the South-East to remain on the ground.

Mr Corbyn is adamant that the young German pilots crossing the Channel from France every day are not enemy combatants and must be considered refugees fleeing conflict and possible torture at the hands of the French Resistance.

Any who crash, or are captured, should be treated as asylum seekers and directed immediately to the National Assistance headquarters in Croydon. There will be no shoot-to-kill policy on his watch, Mr Corbyn stated.

The Prime Minister believes that the best way to secure a lasting peace in Europe is by inviting his ‘friend’ Herr Hitler to the Houses of Parliament for a nice cup of tea.

Mr Corbyn blamed the failure of diplomatic efforts thus far to end the bombing on savage spending cuts in the Foreign Office brought in after World War I.

RTWT

16 Mar 2018

The Pussification of Western Man

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From James Albert Stringer:

Woman #1: I don’t think I have ever met a man who is an extreme Leftie Democrat who isn’t a complete pussy. Why is it that virtually all males whose sentiments lay at that end of the political spectrum all seem to be girly men, gay, 98-pound weaklings, failures at business, librarians, fops, Ned Flanders, Hollywood entertainers who would not be employed otherwise, or ankle-biting sycophants? I’ve never met a man who calls himself a “feminist” or supports OxFam to be the least bit attractive. Is there a connection between low testosterone and supporting Libtard causes?

RTWT

13 Mar 2018

National Geographic Goes Gramscian: No More Brown-Skinned Boobs For You, Racists!

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The leftist nincompoops have captured another cultural landmark.

This month, Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg, accompanied by a specially-hired-for-the-occasion academic racial-grievances-mongerer with some Yale degrees, apologizes for the magazine’s traditional historic function: purveying photos of topless native girls in a respectable venue for men and boys to peruse while trapped waiting for their appointment in the doctor or dentist’s office.

Just listen to this crap:

[The black academic consultant] found… a long tradition of racism in the magazine’s coverage: in its text, its choice of subjects, and in its famed photography.

    “[U]ntil the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers,” writes Goldberg in the issue’s editor letter, where she discusses Mason’s findings. “Meanwhile it pictured ‘natives’ elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché.”

Unlike magazines such as Life, “National Geographic did little to push its readers beyond the stereotypes ingrained in white American culture,” Goldberg says, noting that she is the first woman and first Jewish person to helm the magazine – “two groups that also once faced discrimination here.”

All of which strongly suggests that previous hiring policies were a lot wiser and better.

To assess the magazine’s coverage historically, [the racial grievance specialist] delved into old issues and read a couple of key critical studies. He also pored over photographers’ contact sheets, giving him a view of not just the photos that made it into print, but also the decisions that photographers and editors made.

He saw a number of problematic themes emerge.

    “The photography, like the articles, didn’t simply emphasize difference, but made difference … very exotic, very strange, and put difference into a hierarchy,” Mason tells NPR. “And that hierarchy was very clear: that the West, and especially the English-speaking world, was at the top of the hierarchy. And black and brown people were somewhere underneath.”

For much of its history, the pages of National Geographic depicted the Western world as dynamic, forward-moving and very rational. Meanwhile, [the professional race warrior complained], “the black and brown world was primitive and backwards and generally unchanging.”

How did the obviously true magically recently become “problematic”?

One trope that he noticed time and again was photographs showing native people apparently fascinated by Westerners’ technology.

“It’s not simply that cameras and jeeps and airplanes are present,” he says. “It’s the people of color looking at this technology in amusement or bewilderment.” The implication was that Western readers would find humor in such fascination with their everyday goods.

Then there’s how the magazine chose its subject matter. Mason explains that National Geographic had an explicit editorial policy of “nothing unpleasant,” so readers rarely saw war, famine or civic conflict.

So the depiction of insufficiently flattering reality in the old days was just plain wrong. People of color, even if living in the Stone Age techologically, ought to have been touched up editorially into sophisticated and superior Wakandas, and the old family magazine ought to have been delivering a steady ration of Marxist agitprop supporting Third World revolutionary movements in every issue. Right!

Left-wing idiots screw up everything they get their hands on. With the old National Geographic transformed into Whining-About-Discrimination-and-Bitching-About-Western-Civilization-While-Arguing-How-Not-Only-Equal-But-Downright-Superior-People-of-Color-Everywhere-Are Geographic, my prediction is that it’s going to be a lot less pleasant to read and circulation is going to tank.

Who the hell wants to read a bunch of Virtue Signalling sermons on Intersectionality and Oppression, the Evils of White Privilege, and the Historical Crimes of Europe and America, while waiting for one’s root canal? That sort of thing simply gratuitously deepens and extends the whole root canal experience.

25 Feb 2018

The Snobbish Revolutionary Left

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Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, 1883, Tretyakov Gallery.

Jeffrey Folks has got the Social Justice Warriors, the Reformers and Improvers, the Holier-than-thous pegged.

For liberals, the distinction between the “dumb masses” and their enlightened selves renders life meaningful. Disdain for ordinary folks is not just an ancillary trait of liberalism. It is fundamental to the its nature.

At its heart, liberalism is a gnostic religion, and the essence of that religion is the believer’s faith that he possesses the means of changing the world for the better. The belief that the world must be changed requires there to be a mass of individuals whose lives are in need of change. Following this logic, it is the liberal, not those deplorables in need of change, who knows what must be changed. For liberals, there must be a mass of people in need of this knowledge for life to make sense.

Above all, liberalism is a hubristic faith. Its followers share the fatal flaw of pride in their own intellectual capacity. This is why liberalism appeals so strongly to those in the knowledge trades: teachers, journalists, writers, psychologists, and social workers. The sense of “knowing more than others” is its strongest attraction – particularly to the young, who otherwise know so little. Liberalism confers, or seems to confer, almost immediate power and authority to those who embrace it.

The left’s obsession with superior knowledge runs through its entire history. As Woodrow Wilson remarked, the “instrument” of political science “is insight. A nice understanding of subtle, unformulated conditions.” Lyndon B. Johnson thought “a president’s hardest task” is “to know what is right.” And the most hubristic of all is Obama’s “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Yes, we are wonderfully bright, and we’ve been waiting eons for ourselves to appear.

The problem for the liberal is that most people do not want to be transformed.

RTWT

22 Feb 2018

Space Travel = Colonialism & Male Entitlement

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Marcie Bianco, appropriately enough, has “Feminist Killjoy” tattooed on her forearm.

NBC recently published a particularly impressive example of left-think by Marcie Bianco, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford, currently managing editor at the “Clayman Institute for Gender Research” at Stanford.

Musk isn’t the only billionaire looking to enter the space race. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has his private aerospace company, Blue Origin, while Virgin’s Richard Branson, a prominent adventurer, created Virgin Galactic back in 2004.

These men, particularly Musk, are not only heavily invested in who can get their rocket into space first, but in colonizing Mars. The desire to colonize — to have unquestioned, unchallenged and automatic access to something, to any type of body, and to use it at will — is a patriarchal one. Indeed, there is no ethical consideration among these billionaires about whether this should be done; rather, the conversation is when it will be done. Because, in the eyes of these intrepid explorers, this is the only way to save humanity.

It is the same instinctual and cultural force that teaches men that everything — and everyone — in their line of vision is theirs for the taking. You know, just like walking up to a woman and grabbing her by the pussy.

It’s there, so just grab it because you can. …

[T]he impulse to colonize — to colonize lands, to colonize peoples, and, now that we may soon be technologically capable of doing so, colonizing space — has its origins in gendered power structures. Entitlement to power, control, domination and ownership. The presumed right to use and abuse something and then walk away to conquer and colonize something new.
Members of Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission return after collecting geologic samples for study at

The Friday before SpaceX’s launch, legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin reiterated to me over lunch that it is imperative that we talk about space exploration in terms of “migration,” rather than using words like “colonize” or “settle” when talking about going to Mars.

Through a feminist lens, Aldrin’s deliberate word choice revealed an important reality of the space race: This 21st century form of imperialism is the direct result of men giving up on the planet they have all but destroyed.

As if history hasn’t proven that men go from one land to the next, drunk on megalomania and the privilege of indifference.

The raping and pillaging of the Earth, and the environmental chaos that doing so has unleashed, are integral to the process of colonization. And the connection of the treatment of Mother Earth to women is more than symbolic: Study after study has shown that climate change globally affects women more than men.

RTWT

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Marcie Bianco was quite pleased with herself yesterday.

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She is entitled to be, I suppose. Her editorial is really a classic, landmark example of the inversion of values by Leftism.

Enterprise, technological achievement, courage, initiative, the opening of new possibilities for mankind, the extension of the reach of human civilization, the willingness to take risk, the drive to explore and the passion to build are all bad things, impertinent, hubristic expressions of intrinsically wicked patriarchy.

Human travel to Mars and potential future settlement would be a form of Colonialism, a violation of the rights presumably of Martian rocks and Martian dust to be left exactly as they are.

The absence of actual Martians makes Dr. Bianco’s implied lack of some sort legitimate right of access problematic, so –in classic Leftist form– she plays the Environmentalist card: We are only going to Mars, you see, because we have completely exhaustively exploited, ruined, plundered, and rendered unlivable the Earth, obliging us to “walk away… conquer, and colonize something new.”

Except, Marcie, old thing, when Europeans colonized places in the New World, in Asia, and in Africa, I’m afraid they obviously had not “abused” Europe to anything resembling unliveability or even lower real estate values. Europe is still doing just fine and people are still living there.

It is politically incorrect of me to say so, and today’s Academic world would howl, but it seems obvious, too, that the European patriarchy decidedly improved all of the more primitive regions of the world it colonized, rescuing the locals from primitive and despotic governments; delivering the rule of law; building roads and railways and finally airports; providing sanitation, education, and modern medicine; putting down the slave trade; even elevating the status of women; in India, ending suttee. The European patriarchy built cities and created civilized nations of millions upon millions of people living lives of comparative abundance and unprecedented intellectual accomplishment with much greater longevity, where previously tribes of Stone Age savages pursued incessant warfare and little bands of hunter-gatherers searched desperately for their next grub.

Frankly, Dr. Bianco, all your grievances are either wholly specious or preposterously trivial when set against the accomplishments of the European patriarchy.

The worst thing I can think of to accuse that patriarchy of is the admission of deviants, neurotics, malcontents, and crackpots like yourself to prestigious positions from which they can dispense your kind of malicious, mean-spirited, and perverse lunacy.

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