Inherit the Science

Smarmy evolutionists and socially handicapped atheists almost invariably bring up the Scopes trial when confronting religious individuals or anyone skeptical about the theory of evolution by (probably) natural selection. Of course, as is reliably the case, they know next to nothing about it, it is merely a social marker upon which they’ve learned to place importance in the course of their cultural indoctrination. Jonah Goldberg brings to our attention a few of the more interesting aspects of the science that the defenders of the secular faith still deem so vital to teach in public schools:

“The Races of Man. – At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest race type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America….

Improvement of Man. – If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of men and women on the earth might be improved by applying to them the laws of selection. This improvement of the future race has a number of factors in which as individuals may play a part. These are personal hygiene, selection of healthy mates, and the betterment of the environment.

Eugenics. – When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, syphilis, that dread disease which cripples and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent children, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science of being well born is called eugenics.”

The Remedy. – If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with success in this country.
– George William Hunter, A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems (New York, 1914): pp. 193-196, 253-254, 261-263.

So, the next time someone smirks and brings up Scopes, the monkey trial, or Inherit the Wind in an attempt to assume a posture of scientific superiority, don’t forget to ask them which aspect of elementary biology they deem the most important to teach to American schoolchildren, the mechanism of natural selection, the moral imperative of artificial selection, the criminalization of unfit breeding, the forcible placement of the inferior in asylums, or the supremacy of the white race.

An Irish Hitler?

Economist Barry Eichengreen reconsiders the European Union:

It pains me to say this. I’m probably the most pro-euro economist on my side of the Atlantic. Not because I think the euro area is the perfect monetary union, but because I have always thought that a Europe of scores of national currencies would be even less stable. I’m also a believer in the larger European project. But given this abject failure of European and German leadership, I am going to have to rethink my position.

The Irish “program” solves exactly nothing – it simply kicks the can down the road. A public debt that will now top out at around 130 per cent of GDP has not been reduced by a single cent. The interest payments that the Irish sovereign will have to make have not been reduced by a single cent, given the rate of 5.8% on the international loan. After a couple of years, not just interest but also principal is supposed to begin to be repaid. Ireland will be transferring nearly 10 per cent of its national income as reparations to the bondholders, year after painful year.

This is not politically sustainable, as anyone who remembers Germany’s own experience with World War I reparations should know.

I like Eichengreen’s work, but he is incorrect. The failure of the European Union is not a failure of French and German leadership, it is the structural failure of yet another European experiment in authoritarian, anti-democratic, centralized empire. Now, I tend to doubt that Ireland is going to develop into the 21st century version of National Socialist Germany for numerous reasons, chief among them the fact that it is an island without a navy. But given the harsh burden being imposed on the Irish people by their European and Irish governments for the foreseeable future, one can see where The Economic Consequences of the Peace might make for a timely read right about now.

Mailvox: Hollywood history

Hitler was not the German National Socialist Workers Party. Nor was the converse true. Imprecision in language often leads to needless confusion, which is why DJ felt it necessary to ask for clarification regarding an apparent historical contradiction:

In your book The Irrational Atheist, you mentioned that Hitler received 95% of the vote at one time. On Bill Maher’s show Mr Reiner mentioned that he never received 33% of the vote, which is correct?

In general, if there is a discrepancy between something I have written and something that a Hollywood figure assserts on Bill Maher’s show, I suggest it is entirely safe to assume that the Hollywood figure is incorrect. It never hurts to check, of course, but seriously…. In this particular case, Mr. Reiner happens to be wrong, and wrong on no less than three levels. The Weimar Republic was a parliamentary system, not a presidential one, so the German electorate was not voting for Hitler in the national elections to which Mr. Reiner is clearly referring; they were voting for National Socialist parliamentarians. That’s a mere technicality and would not normally justify comment except that Mr. Reiner’s statement is more than a little misleading given the American context of his remarks; keep in mind that Margaret Thatcher, (or more precisely, the parliamentarians of the Conservative Party, a group which included Mrs. Thatcher), only won 35.8% of the vote in the 1979 UK election.

Moreover, the statement also happens to be factually wrong. The National Socialists won 43.9% of the popular vote in the March 5, 1933 election, taking 288 of the 647 seats (44.5%) in the Reichstag. And that 1933 election was actually the third straight one in which the National Socialists won more than 33% of the popular vote, as they had won 37.3% and 33.1% in the previous two national elections. There was nothing democratically illegitimate about the National Socialists; the hitherto dominant Social Democrats (SDP) never controlled more than the 39% of the parliamentary seats that they won at the peak of their electoral strength in 1919.

As for my statement, I was not referring to the general elections, but rather to the four post-1933 national plebiscites that retroactively combined the offices of Reich Chancellor and Reich President and transferred the joint authority of the combined office to Adolf Hitler, approved the Austrian Anschluss, undsoweiter.

“What’s staggering about Hitler’s democratic appeal is not that he managed to win an average of 95.9 percent of the vote in the four plebiscites, but that he did so with 95.5 percent of the registered voters showing up to vote. That’s a serious democratic mandate!”
– The Irrational Atheist, p. 188

Mailvox: fixing historical illiteracy

BN inquires on where to start:

I was wondering if you’d be kind enough to suggest a starting point for a person like myself who has become more and more interested in fixing my historical illiteracy problem. I’m looking for both advice on what to read in terms of a decent survey of world history and also what particular portions of human history are worth diving into and reading up on in finer-grained detail than the survey level. I’m not even sure where to start because it seems like drinking from a fire hose with all the possible resources out there. Any advice?

I would start by dividing up world history into sections and deciding where to go from there. Here is how I tend to think of them.

Ancients: Greeks, Romans, Egyptians.
Medieval: England, Crusades, France, Germany
Renaissance: England, Italy, Netherlands
Generals: Alexander, Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon
Asian: China, Japan, Post-WWII
American: Colonial, 19th Century, Civil War, 20th Century

While one could argue in favor of the Khmer kings or the Mayan empire, if you are up on those six general topics, you will at least be much more historically literate than nearly anyone you will encounter in casual conversation. For a brief overview, I would start with something like The Columbia History of the World. Then pick whatever topic looks most interesting at the moment and select two books/series for each of the subsections that I listed above, one historical and one original.

For example, if you picked Ancients, an excellent start would be Plutarch’s Lives, which pairs the lives of famous Greeks with famouse Romans. Then, for an original document, I would suggest reading Caesar’s Commentaries on the Conquest of Gaul and the Civil Wars. More to come….

Notes from Cicero

For some time now, I have been intending to make notes on the various bits and pieces I pick up while reading and post them here for whatever edification they might happen to offer you. And I very much recommend Mahan’s two-volume Life of Nelson; unfortunately I failed to mark any of the salient points it contained while I was reading it. But here are two little things that caught my attention in my present reading, which is the first volume of Cicero’s extant letters:

1. Those who believe in the New Economics aka Keynesianism will find it somewhat difficult to explain how despite more than two thousand years of technological development and the advancement of economic science, interest rates are still pretty much the same. As of this week, a 30-year fixed-rate mortage is around 4.5 percent. Plus ça change….

To P. Sestius in Macedonia: “In point of fact, money is plentiful at six per cent., and the success of my measures has caused me to be regarded as a good security.”

2. Deflation has not always been considered a disastrous thing by the educated classes, at least by those not beholden to the bankers. And it is ominous to note his optimistic description of Rome and compare it to the present state of our latter-day Rome on the Potomac.

To Atticus in Epirus: In short, I was cheered to the echo. For the subject of my speech was the dignity of the senate, its harmony with the equites, the unanimity of Italy, the dying embers of the conspiracy, the fall in prices, the establishment of peace. You know my thunder when these are my themes.

Immigration and the fate of empires

Sir John Glubb on how immigrants do not strengthen an empire, but rather transform it, weaken it and ultimately help bring about its demise:

The Influx of Foreigners

One of the oft-repeated phenomena of great empires is the influx of foreigners to the capital city. Roman historians often complain of the number of Asians and Africans in Rome. Baghdad, in its prime in the ninth century, was international in its population – Persians, Turks, Arabs, Armenians, Egyptians, Africans, and Greeks mingled in its streets.

In London today, Cypriots, Greeks, Italians, Russians, Africans, Germans, and Indians jostle one another on the buses and in the undergournd, so that it sometimes seems difficult to find any British. The same applies to New York, perhaps even more so. This problem does not consist in any inferiority of one race as compared with another, but simply in the differences between them.

In the age of the first outburst and the subsequent Age of Conquests, the race is normally ethnically more or less homogeneous. This state of affairs facilitates a feeling of solidarity and comradeship. But in the Ages of Commerce and Affluence, every type of foreigner floods into the great city, the streets of which are reputed to be paved with gold. As, in most cases, this great city is also the capital of the empire, the cosmopolitan crowd at the seat of the empire exercises a political influence greatly in excess of its relative numbers.

Second- or third-generation foreign immigrants may appear outwardly to be entirely assimilated, but they often constitute a weakness in two directions. First, their basic human nature often differs from that of the original imperial stock. If the earlier imperial race was stubborn and slow-moving, the immigrants might come from more emotional races, thereby introducing cracks and schisms into the national policies, even if all were equally loyal.

Second, while the nation is still affluent, all the diverse races may appear equally loyal. But in an acute emergency, the immigrants will often be less willing to sacrifice their lives and their property than will be the original descendants of the founder race.

Third, the immigrants are liable to form communities of their own, protecting primarily their own interests, and only in the second degree that of the nation as a whole.

Fourth, many of the foreign immigrants will probably belong to races originally conquered by and absorbed into the empire. While the empire is enjoying its High Noon of prosperity, all these people are proud and glad to be imperial citizens. But when decline sets in, it is extraordinary how the memory of ancient wars, perhaps centuries before, is suddenly revived, and local or provincial movements appear demanding secession or independence. Some day this phenomenon will doubtless appear in the now apparently monolithic and authoritarian Soviet empire. It is amazing for how long such provincial sentiments can survive.

As I noted in a previous post, the influx of Irish, German, and Scandinavian immigrants distinctly transformed the political culture of America in a fundamentally anti-Constitutional manner, not despite but because of their assimilation. In this essay, we can see the way in which the Jewish European immigrants of the post-WWII period have had a predictably inimical effect as well as predict the ultimate outcome of the much larger and more recent wave of Central American immigration. I find this piece to be fascinating because while I hadn’t read Glubb before, I had reached very similar conclusions on the basis of my own historical readings.

The important thing to note is that none of this has anything to do with racial or cultural superiorities, but rather the mere fact of racial and cultural differences between immigrant cultures and host cultures playing out in a repetitive and entirely predictable manner. There’s no point in attempting to assign particular blame to any specific immigrant group, much less to decry awareness of historical patterns as being somehow anti-Irish, anti-semitic, or anti-laraza. If the same pattern has played out everywhere from Asia to Europe and now America over three thousand years, there isn’t any rational grounds to believe that the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture upon which the American Empire was originally built was going to be harmed significantly less by the immmigration of smart Russian Jews and hard-working Swedish Lutherans than it is by involuntarily imported African slaves, uneducated Mexican Catholics or half-barbaric Somali Muslims.

The theory points to a very different conclusion than the multiculturalist critic will likely assume. Contra the fevered fears of violent reaction they imagine it will inspire, this theory of imperial decline actually indicates that there is no point even attempting to restrict immigration at this late stage because the imperial culture of America has already been fatally diluted and is now well into the final stage of decadence. The time in which an imperial culture can be preserved is during the Ages of Commerce and Affluence; if the preservationist forces wait until the Ages of Intellect or Decadence to react to immigrant-driven transformations, it is already too late.

What applying Glubb’s theory to the present situation indicates is that those who value the historical imperial culture of America would do much better to focus on building anew on a smaller scale rather than wasting time, money, and opportunity cost on futile attempts to regain what has already been lost. There is a lot to contemplate there, and much of it is not terribly pleasant, but the fact that his historical conclusions happen to point in exactly the same direction as independently developed economic conclusions tends to indicate that they merit more than simply being brushed aside unconsidered.

VDH piles on

He addresses Krugman’s WWII stimulus argument from the historian’s perspective:

I’m not an economist, but as an historian, I consider this an abject misreading of the postwar period, at least through the early 1950s. The war years were characterized by frenetic hyperactivity: Americans worked long hours, women were brought into the work force, new towns and manufacturing centers sprang up, and people gave up necessities — all on the assurance that this furious pace and consumer scarcity would be short-lived.

As WWII ended and the clean-up began, there was an enormous amount of pent-up global demand for goods. Given the wreckage in Europe, Japan, and Russia and the underdevelopment of India, Asia, and South America, we were about the only ones with the industrial and commercial wherewithal to supply the world rebound — often receiving cheap oil, gas, minerals, and interest in exchange, which supplemented our own vast supplies of comparatively cheap and easily recoverable resources. Nor should we forget the psychological element: Americans, after winning two wars, were enormously confident about their newfound international stature and influence.

At home, four years of consumer deprivation during the war and the weak demography of the 1930s had combined to create huge demand, all while society was increasingly leaving the farm for good and becoming suburbanized. The result was that in the late 1940s and 1950s, the birth rate soared and consumers enthusiastically made first-time purchases of washers, dryers, fridges, cars, etc. Thus, the American economy grew by leaps and bounds.

Today’s situation is not comparable: We are in hock to foreign creditors for trillions and have not been a net creditor since the 1980s. A China, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, or India is as or more likely to supply recovering demand for food, steel, or electronics.

Krugman should be careful what he wishes for. England, the Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, and Italy all engaged in massive WII spending; England did so to a much greater extent than the USA ever did. And how did it work out for their postwar economies? The Broken Window fallacy only isn’t a fallacy when you win a war while incidentally breaking all the windows and killing all the glaziers in the neighboring towns. And the history of warfare declares that this doesn’t happen very often even when you are fortunate enough to win.

Arson-free prophets

Mencius Moldbug explains why it is vital to read history’s losers:

This power, which the old States of Europe expended such rivers of treasure and blood to curb, at the beginning of the century, had transferred its immediate designs across the Atlantic, was consolidating itself anew in the Northern States of America, with a wealth, an organization, an audacity, an extent to which it never aspired in the lands of its birth, and was preparing to make the United States, after crushing all law there under its brute will, the fulcrum whence they should extend their lever to upheave every legitimate throne in the Old World.

Hither, by emigration, flowed the radicalism, discontent, crime, and poverty of Europe, until the people of the Northern States became, like the rabble of Imperial Rome, the colluvies gentium. The miseries and vices of their early homes had alike taught them to mistake license for liberty, and they were incapable of comprehending, much more of loving, the enlightened structure of English or Virginian freedom.

If the first great wave of immigrants were incapable of comprehending, much more of loving, the enlightened structure of English Virginian freedom, what reason is there for believing that this second great wave of third world rabble is capable of comprehending, much less loving, its surviving remnants? Even on the purely practical level, who genuinely believes that young men from El Salvador, Mexico, and Somalia are going to be able or willing to subsidize the lives of old white women 30 years from now?

The worst figures in American history

The Right Wing News polls the bloggers. John says: “While this is a fascinating list, this one is unusual in that I honestly don’t agree with a lot of the people on the list. Take a look at it and see if you feel the same way.”

Here were my nominees:

Alexander Hamilton
Abraham Lincoln
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Margaret Sanger
Susan B. Anthony
Alan Greenspan
Paul Warburg
David Rockefeller
Richard Nixon

I was frankly shocked to see that so many people agreed with me about Roosevelt and Wilson, but didn’t see fit to add “Honest Abe” to the list.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

“While [the King of Sweden and Norway and former Marshal of France] Bernadotte was in Paris I saw him every day. He but faintly disguised from me the hope he had entertained of ruling France; and in the numerous conversations to which our respective occupations led I ascertained, though Bernadotte did not formally tell me so, that he once had strong expectations of succeeding Napoleon…. Bernadotte expressed to me astonishment at the recall of the Bourbons, and assured me that he had not expected the French people would so readily have consented to the Restoration. I confess I was surprised that Bernadotte, with the intelligence I knew him to possess, should imagine that the will of subjects has any influence in changes of government!”
– Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, The Memoirs of Napoleon