defending Australia

Amfortas made this observation in a comment to my previous post.

“I have always held the view that we should use it before we are in imminent danger of losing it. We have far too few to even defend ourselves.”

That was in fact the logic behind Australian immigration policy for several decades after 1945. It was the major driving force behind the enormous in take of migrants in that period. The lesson of the Second World War (and of European history over the course of the centuries) seemed to be that in order to defend itself a nation needed a large population. Countries with small populations like Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark had been quickly overrun.

In 1945 it was a reasonable view.

Is it a reasonable view today? Would a population of 50 million, or even 100 million, make us more secure? The days when large numbers of men were needed as cannon fodder seem to be over. A larger population would theoretically mean a larger GDP which would of course theoretically allow us to buy more weapons, assuming that the population growth didn’t collapse our economy to Third World standards.

I’m inclined to think that we don’t need more defence spending. We need smarter defence spending. Why on earth did we buy M1A1 Abrams tanks? Are we going to refight the Western Desert campaigns of WW2? Is it really likely we’ll ever be fighting large conventional armoured battles on our own soil? If it ever got to the stage where we needed to do that we would already have lost. Our only chance of preventing an invasion by large conventional forces would be to stop them from landing. For that you need a credible navy and a credible air force. You don’t need tanks. But generals, like small boys, love the idea of playing with tanks.

We have an army that exists to fight as auxiliaries in someone else’s foreign military adventures.

We need a credible navy, and that means submarines. Nuclear submarines. As submariners like to say, there are only two kinds of ships – submarines and targets. What we have are a handful of submarines of dubious quality and lots of targets. In an actual shooting war with a real enemy how long would our frigates last? Half an hour? Of course you need frigates as escort vessels, except that we don’t have anything for them to escort.

If we scrapped the frigates and the tanks we could afford a dozen modern nuclear submarines which would be more than enough to deter any of our immediate neighbours. If you wish to deter attacks by major powers there is only one way to do that. You need a nuclear deterrent. If we spent our military budget wisely we could afford such a deterrent. Israel, with a third of Australia’s population, has a credible nuclear deterrent based to a large extent on submarine-launched cruise missiles.

We also have to consider the likely threats. Our immediate neighbours are not much danger. Indonesia’s army is intended for use against its own people, or for use against people who can’t fight back (like the West Papuans). Our only serious threat would be a major power. Russia has zero interest in our region. It’s hard to imagine India being a threat – they’re much too preoccupied with Pakistan and China. Japan is too preoccupied with China. That leaves China and the US. Only nukes would deter those powers.

We also need to consider that at the moment no-one regards us as a threat. An Australia with 100 million people would be a different proposition – we’d be a potential regional major power. If we went down the high population road we’d need a very serious military. If you’re going to put yourself forward as a major regional power you’d better be able to back up your pretensions with real military power.

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how many people do we need?

If we want to oppose immigration we need to have a coherent well-articulated position on the issue. Simply saying we want immigration stopped isn’t going to work. If you do that you simply get accused of racism, and of wanting to wreck the economy. We need to put a bit more thought into our position.

There is for instance one very important question we need to consider. Exactly how many people do we want in our country?

Australia’s population is close to 25 million. That doesn’t sound much when you look at the size of the country but in fact our population is concentrated to a quite incredible degree in a handful of large cities. Well over a third of the population is concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne. Those cities are increasingly unpleasant places in which to live.

So assuming we want to stabilise our population, at what point do we want to stabilise it?

The same applies to other countries. The UK’s population is now 66.5 million, surely much too high. The US has a population of 325 million.

In all these cases the ideal figure would probably be somewhat lower than the current figure. Arguing for any serious population reduction is not within the realms of the politically possible. But we do need to have some kind of target to aim for.  Which means we need to come up with a realistic rate of immigration to achieve that target. A rate that will obviously be very much lower than the current rates.

Of course in reality we probably don’t need any immigration at all. The problem with that is that such a view will get you labelled as not merely an extremist but a hopelessly unrealistic one. I do think though that choosing some kind of target figure would be politically useful. If you’re asked how much immigration you want and you reply that you don’t know then you tend to look like someone who hasn’t thought things through.

In the year ending June 2017 Australia’s net migration intake was a staggering 245,000. The danger for anti-immigration advocates of not having a clear idea of how many immigrants we should be bringing in is that the government could announce that it was “slashing” the yearly immigration intake to 220,000 and we would be expected to hail that as a major concession. On the other hand if we say that we actually need no more than a maximum of 20,000 then it would be easier for us to point out that any minor reduction was merely a sham.

We also need to address other major issues. The demographic collapse of white European populations is real and it’s been happening for a long time. The official figures for fertility rates in western countries understate the scale of the problem because those figures are artificially inflated by the very high fertility of immigrant populations in those countries. The problem is a critical one. We need sensible ideas for addressing this problem. The big worry is that the demographic collapse may already be irreversible. We don’t know, because we’re the first society in history to try to commit suicide by failing to reproduce.

If we can’t articulate a strategy for reversing this demographic suicide then we leave ourselves open to the specious arguments of immigration boosters that western countries cannot survive without mass immigration. We also need to be able to counter the argument that an ageing population will be a disaster.

We also must find a counter to the argument that without immigration GDP would stop growing and the sky would fall.

There’s a fair amount of anti-immigration sentiment out there but it’s hopelessly disorganised and diffuse and incoherent. We need to take a position on the issue that is focused, consistent and well-reasoned.

politics, culture and immigration

One thing I notice on a lot of dissident right sites is an obsession with the idea that immigration must be stopped and that every other issue needs to be either put on the back burner or even entirely abandoned in order to focus on immigration. I think this is a mistaken view. I want to emphasise that this does not mean that I don’t think the immigration issue is important. It is vitally important. I simply don’t think that fighting on that one issue is a viable strategy. I’ll try to explain why I think this way.

The most crucial thing to understand is that politics really is downstream of culture. The state of the culture determines whether a particular political fight is winnable or not, in the current circumstances. At this point in time I don’t think the political fight on immigration is winnable. It could become winnable but that will necessitate at least some degree of cultural change.

The immigration debate cannot be won right now for several reasons. These reasons apply in the US, in Britain, in Australia and in western Europe, to varying degrees.

The first reason is that many people, possibly even a majority, simply do not see immigration as a major problem. The communities devastated by diversity are mostly poorer communities. Upper class and upper middle class people have not been affected. Even lower middle class people have, to a large extent, escaped the worst effects. Since people generally have difficulty in understanding the concept of long-term consequences those who have not so far been affected still believe they never will be.

Secondly, most people are still more concerned about social conformity than immigration. The social consequences to the individual of opposing immigration (accusations of racism, possible loss of jobs, social harassment) seem to outweigh the social consequences of immigration for the nation as a whole.

Thirdly, most people still buy the economic arguments in favour of immigration – without immigration economic growth would slow down and nothing could possibly be worse than having a slight slowdown in GDP growth.

Fourthly, the elites are still absolutely united in their determination to push immigration.

So what changes need to be made to the culture? Firstly the idea that GDP is the one and only measure of national well-being needs to be attacked. People need to be persuaded that there’s more to life than having the latest smartphone. Secondly, the whole basis of liberalism has to be attacked.

The most dangerous delusion is that you can accept liberalism on social issues and still successfully oppose immigration. You can’t. If for example you accept the liberal argument on abortion then it’s impossible not to accept the liberal position on all other social issues. If individual choice (even extending as far as the choice to kill your baby) is all that matters then how exactly are you going to oppose the principle that individuals should have the choice to live wherever they want to live? Including the choice to live in your country rather than their own?

You can’t use the argument that by exercising that choice they are infringing other people’s rights. You’ve already accepted that a woman’s right to choose is sacred, even if it means killing her baby (which is about as big an infringement of someone’s else rights that can be imagined). You can’t use the argument that immigration has social consequences, since you’ve already accepted the principle that only the individual’s wishes matter. It’s the same with all other social issues. If you accept that people can choose their own gender you can’t very well argue that they can’t choose where to live.

If you accept that the individual is all that matters then society as such doesn’t exist (this was in fact the position taken by the right-wing liberal Margaret Thatcher). If we’re nothing but individuals pursuing pleasure and our own interests then borders must inevitably come to be seen as unnecessary, oppressive and harmful.

Interestingly enough you can oppose immigration from a left-wing perspective, if you drop the internationalism. In fact if you’re seriously left-wing you have to abandon internationalism anyway – it’s impossible to maintain a welfare state or anything approaching a command economy if you have open borders. So a communist can, quite logically and coherently, be opposed to immigration but a liberal cannot. This is not an argument in favour of communism, merely an observation.

The bottom line is that if you accept liberalism you will get open borders. If you oppose open borders you must oppose liberalism. And the fight against liberalism is the fight that really matters. It’s the fight that must be won.

is the USA already post-Christian?

One of the more astonishing phenomena of our times is the speed at which the United States is becoming a post-Christian nation.

Of course Christianity has been declining throughout the West for at least a couple of centuries. The decline has however been a gradual one. Until three decades ago it seemed like the United States was bucking the overall trend. In the 1980s the Religious Right still had immense political clout and this was based on the fact that conservative Christians (especially Evangelical Christians) really did form an enormous voting bloc. They had power and that power was based on numbers.

Since the 80s it seems to have been all downhill, at a very rapid pace.

It’s worth taking a look at Pew Research’s Religious Landscape Study. They did two very extensive surveys seven years apart, in 2007 and 2014. In that short time span the percentage of the American population identifying as Christians fell from 78% to 71%. It was not just a relative decline – the absolute numbers fell from 178 million to 173 million.

Mainline Protestants fell from 41 to 36 million. Evangelical Christians are holding their own in terms of absolute numbers but declining as a share of the population. Catholics have declined in both absolute and relative terms.

And this is in just seven years.

If you’re a Christian there are other even more disturbing trends in the survey. The number of people identifying as out-and-out atheists has jumped sharply. These are people who are not merely irreligious, but anti-religion. And the decline in Christian belief has been most dramatic among Millennials, and most dramatic of all among the younger Millennials.

Of course there are always problems with surveys such as this. If the US was still 71% Christian then everything that has happened in the past thirty years would have been impossible and incomprehensible. Obviously the vast majority of those who identify as Christian for the purpose of surveys are not Christian in any meaningful sense. That has almost certainly been the case for at least a century. The difficulty is to estimate how many of these people are genuine believers who actually practise their religion and it’s a formidable difficulty. It would also be useful to know not just how many supposed Christians are merely nominal Christians but how this compares to other religions.

It’s also possible that being a Christian doesn’t mean what it used to mean. We’ve seen the hierarchies of most churches become more and more liberal and secular in outlook but does this apply to the ordinary rank-and-file church members? While I would suspect that most members of the rank and file are considerably less liberal than their leaders I would also suspect that they are a lot more liberal than the general run of church-goers half a century ago. If the latter is true then the prospects for any genuine revival of Christianity are grim.

It’s also worth noting that the churches that have tried hardest to survive by compromising with liberalism are the ones that are dying out most quickly. I have very mixed feelings about the Evangelicals but they do seem to be doing significantly better than the other Christian churches.

There’s another interesting conclusion to be drawn from all this. There was a popular idea a while back that Christianity would survive simply because Christians have more children than secularists. That idea is clearly completely wrong. Christians almost certainly are having more children but a very large proportion of those children end up being secular liberals. This is a subject I addressed a while back in my post conservative delusions – the War of the Cradle.

the new class struggle – the same but different

I’m going to start this post with a quote from a couple of feminists.

“Feminists Teresa Amott and Hester Eisenstein, writing separate studies, both came to the conclusion that feminism is largely a means for corporate America to ‘remain competitive’ by lowering labor costs. Further, Eisenstein adds that the weakening of unions was a part of this. Male-dominated unions both kept wages high and controlled the labor pool for an industry. Breaking the unions meant that more part-time and new female workers (let alone immigrants) can move into an industry, drastically cutting labor costs. It was a diabolically brilliant idea that was based on crass self-interest while able to pose as the most selfless of idealisms. 

Teresa Amott notes: Hiring women was a central part of the corporate strategy to restore profitability because women were not only cheaper than men, but were also less likely to be organized into unions and more willing to accept temporary work and no benefits.”


It’s amazing how the actions of the elites often seem incomprehensible and even self-defeating until you start to consider the part played by class interests. Then it all becomes crystal clear.

Now don’t panic, I’m not going to start recycling tired old Marxist arguments. Marx was wrong about almost everything. On the other hand, Marx’s errors notwithstanding, class struggle is a very real thing. It’s just that class warfare isn’t capitalists versus workers. It’s more complicated than that.

In fact even at the time Marx was writing, in England, there was a different kind of class warfare happening. It was a struggle between the old elite, with wealth based on land, and the new industrial elites whose wealth was based on money. And another intra-elite class struggle would soon develop, between the industrial capitalists and the financial capitalists.

In the 20th century yet another would-be elite start jockeying for power and influence, a class of intellectuals, journalists, media moguls, career politicians and senior bureaucrats. And more recently we have seen the emergence of another elite, the Silicon Valley elite.

There is however one thing that unites and always has united all these elites – they all hate and fear the non-elites. They hate the poor and what remains of the working class of course, but they also hate and fear the moderately affluent lower middle classes. They hate and fear everybody who does not belong to the elite. As far as the elites are concerned the only reason for non-elite people to exist is to prove cheap labour and docile consumers. They need the non-elites but they are determined to keep them in their place. The soft totalitarianism of modern society, feminism, identity politics, mass immigration – these are all ways to achieve that aim of keeping the non-elites powerless, divided and demoralised.

Once a society abandons traditional values and traditional ways of life and embraces liberalism then class warfare becomes a permanent feature of the landscape. The intra-elite class struggles can be fairly vicious but the class war of the elites against the non-elites will always be merciless.

Catholic converts vs cradle Catholics

There’s an interesting post at A Political Refugee From the Global Village, Anthony Burgess on Catholic converts, on Catholic converts vs cradle Catholics. I’m not a Catholic so I’m not really in a position to have any kind of dogmatic opinion on this subject. I was intrigued though by the suggestion that cradle Catholics tended to react to Vatican II by shrugging their shoulders and accepting it, while Catholic converts like Evelyn Waugh saw it as an unmitigated disaster.

My instincts tell me that the Catholic converts were probably correct in this case.

Converts do seem to be generally speaking more zealous than those raised in a particular creed, whether that creed is a religion or a political ideology. Converts to communism back in the pre-World War 2 period tended to be very extreme, sometimes even to the extent of becoming Soviet spies. Were they more zealous than the so-called “red diaper” babies of the postwar period, who absorbed communism with their mother’s milk? I’m not quite sure.

Converts to cults and fads (such as veganism) are of course usually very gung-ho.

And social justice warriors are often converted to the cause at university so that might explain some of their fanaticism.

The various dissident right groups (alt-right, neo-reactionaries, whatever) are of course comprised entirely of converts, which might have interesting consequences.

Getting back to religion, perhaps one reason for the weakness of modern Christianity is that it’s just not making converts on a large scale any longer. Perhaps a religion needs the zeal of converts to keep it vital and alive?

the dangers of IQ fetishism

I occasionally read various HBD blogs and I’m always bemused by the IQ fetishism. Now I’m not denying that IQ is important and I think it is likely that genetics is the major (but not sole) factor in determining a person’s IQ. I just don’t think it’s as all-important as the HBD crowd thinks.

On such blogs you will always find commenters solemnly intoning the mantra that only a high IQ population can create and maintain a functional society. Now it’s certainly true that high IQ populations have been quite successful in building functional societies. Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia are obvious examples. The problem is that once they’ve built those functional societies high IQ people seem to be overcome by an overwhelming desire to destroy them.

So what is going on? My personal belief is that part of the explanation is that that IQ tests do measure something real but the quality that they measure is only a component of overall intelligence but not the totality. To be a “smart” person requires more than just IQ. Unfortunately the other components of “smartness” are not easily measurable. Those other components include what is usually referred to as common sense. And there is not necessarily a correlation between IQ and common sense.

There’s also the problem that a high IQ can be an actual disadvantage. It seems to make people more inclined to believe things based on theory rather than experience, and often to believe things based on fanciful theories that make no actual sense.

The other part of the explanation is that maintaining functional societies requires a lot more than just being smart. An instinct for self-preservation is necessary. Some degree of self-confidence is required as well. For a society to survive the members of that society have to believe that they have a right to survive and that their society is worth preserving.

Some moral sense is required. Without that moral sense civilisation soon declines into decadence. The family decays. Degeneracy becomes more and more the norm. Society rots from within.

It’s unfortunate that these other very necessary qualities do not seem to be at all well correlated with high IQ. In some cases there may well be a negative correlation.

When you look at countries like Sweden, Germany, the United States and Britain (all countries bent on self-destruction) it becomes painfully obvious that high IQ is not much help in maintaining functional societies in the long term. Japan, with an average IQ slightly higher than those countries, seems to be much less interested in destroying itself. On the other hand Taiwan, with about the same average IQ as Japan, seems to be enthusiastically embarking on a program of national self-destruction. Russia, with average IQ comparable to the US, seems to have very little interest in destroying itself.

China’s average IQ seems to be roughly equal to that of Japan and they have no interest whatsoever in national suicide.

When it comes to national survival IQ does not seem to be terribly important.