the city vs country front of the culture war

One aspect of the culture wars that is often misunderstood and underestimated is the city vs rural antipathy. More particularly, the venomous hatred that city people nurse towards country people. Anyone who isn’t a city-dweller is assumed to be a moronic knuckle-dragging yokel and a hateful bigot.
This seems to be much more extreme in the United States than anywhere else. American city-dwellers really seem to hate and fear rural folk. The contempt of US coastal elites for the denizens of “flyover country” is well known. It’s partly class hatred but it seems to be more than that. There seems to be an extraordinary irrational fear at work.
This is not one of those things that suddenly emerged in the 1960s. In the US at least it goes back much further. Just as an example I watched a 1944 movie called Together Again a few weeks earlier. On the surface it was a harmless screwball comedy. At least that’s how it starts out. As you keep watching you discover that the nice people of the idyllic little small town which is the film’s setting are not nice people after all. They are actually hateful bigots. And the reason they’re hateful bigots is that they’re small-town folk, and being a hateful bigot is what small-town folk do. Here’s my full review of the movie in question.
So is it natural for city-dwellers to hate rural people? Or is to something that has been fostered by the cultural elites? The cultural elites have been liberal and/or leftist for a very long time, at least a century (particularly in the US). Rural people tend to be more in touch with traditional ways of life and more in sympathy with traditional values. It’s not really surprising that the cultural elites hated them. I think it’s fair to say it’s been a deliberate campaign to portray country people as stupid and dangerous.
It’s one of those things you don’t notice very much at first but when you do become aware of it you start seeing it all over the place in popular culture and especially American popular culture.
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watching movies and TV after taking the red pill

One of the problems with becoming “red-pilled” is that a lot of simple pleasures become less simple. Steve Sailer always talks about noticing things, and once you start noticing things you can’t stop.
Popular culture becomes a real problem. Even the popular culture of the past can be perplexing. I love old movies but these days I can’t help noticing just how much propaganda Hollywood has always included in its movies. Back in the 30s and 40s and 50s the propaganda had to be subtle, they couldn’t risk showing their hand too obviously, but the messages are there and they’re insistent.
There is for example a subtle anti-marriage bias. The message is always that love is what matters, not commitment or responsibility. And it’s always pretty obvious that in this context love means pure sexual lust and/or abandonment to emotional excess. OK so we’d all like our marriages to include amazing heights of sexual passion and non-stop emotional bliss but we realise that in the real world it doesn’t always work that way. On the other hand commitment and responsibility can make for a relationship that is a lot more fulfilling in the long term. In a cautious low-key way the Hollywood movies of that era keep on undermining the commitment and responsibility bits. They couldn’t dare to attack marriage directly but there is quite a bit of undermining going on.
There’s an astonishing amount of anti-Christian propaganda, done very skillfully and very subtly indeed. Devout Christians are usually portrayed as being slightly ridiculous, or excessively moralistic, or (especially) hypocritical. Actually conforming to the teachings of Christianity is made to seem out-of-date and eccentric. For the most part the heroes we are encouraged to identify with are solidly secular.

Hollywood has always been basically hostile to western society and to Christian values although they used to be better at hiding the fact.
I’m also very fond of old TV shows, from the 50s up to the 70s. And again there’s a great deal of mostly low-key propaganda. If you watch British television from that era you’ll be hard pressed to find a single example of a sympathetic portrayal of a practising Christian. The message, never stated directly but always there, is that normal people are secular in outlook. Christians are odd.
The propaganda in American television in the 60s was often remarkably up-front. Anyone who’s ever watched Rod Serling’s classic The Twilight Zone will have noticed that they’re being subjected to an endless barrage of liberal propaganda. Serling used television as a soapbox, and he used it relentlessly. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenbery was another liberal who saw television as a means of pushing his agenda, although he was rarely as crude about it as Serling.
And of course there are the action heroines, the feminine and often petite ladies who can easily beat up bad guys twice their size. Feminist silliness has been preached tirelessly by television for sixty years now.
These are examples of message television that are fairly obvious but the same messages, in more muted firms, are present in countless series.
This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to enjoy movies and television of the past. It is impossible to enjoy the movies and TV of today so the old stuff is really the only option. It can be enjoyed but you’ll still find yourself doing a lot of noticing. I blog about both old movies (at Classic Movie Ramblings) and old TV series (at Cult TV Lounge) and I try to concentrate on the positives and in those blogs I also try to avoid getting overtly political, although I do throw in some very low-key political observations. It’s quite an interesting challenge, trying not to frighten off readers who aren’t red-pilled.

are there any men left in Europe?

2016 was a year that many people believed to be a watershed. The Brexit vote and the election of Trump offered hope that perhaps globalism wasn’t invincible, that perhaps globalists were guilty of over-reaching and of underestimating their opponents. 
Now 2017 has come and reality is starting to assert itself. The Dutch elections were a calamity for the nationalist party. The first round of the French presidential election has been a bitterly disappointing result for Marine Le Pen and the FN. She obviously has no chance whatever of victory in the second round. The French people have found a candidate who really captures their imaginations – who wouldn’t be swept away with enthusiasm at the thought of having a globalist banker as president?
The British elections look like being a triumphal procession for the Tories. At a time when a genuine alternative to the major parties is needed more desperately than ever UKIP has failed to re-invent itself as the party that could provide that alternative. Instead UKIP has become an irrelevance. Labour seems to be headed for what might well be the worst defeat in the party’s history. The Tories should win an overwhelming majority, which may strengthen the hand of those within the party determined to sabotage Brexit.
We really have to face the unpalatable truth that the political process is merely an exercise in futility.
There’s another point that is becoming more obvious and more disturbing. The European nationalist parties all seem to be led by women or homosexuals, or by girly men. In Germany the AfD’s new leader is a lesbian. Of course it’s always been obvious that there is nothing remotely far right about any of these parties. All of the European nationalist parties that the media describes as far right are actually solidly centre-left. That really isn’t a problem. 
What is a problem is that these parties are all liberal parties. They are all committed to the liberal social agenda. Maybe they’re not quite as extreme in this regard as the mainstream parties but they would all have to be described as very socially liberal. These parties might claim to be committed to defending European civilisation and values but their ideas of what constitute the core values of that civilisation are very very depressing. To them European civilisation is all about tolerance, secularism, abortion and homosexual marriage.
In fact the programs of these parties are pretty much what you’d expect of parties led by women, male feminists and homosexuals.
Are there any actual men at all left in Europe? Any men who have not been totally emasculated? What has happened? Are they putting something in the water? A civilisation led by women and homosexuals is headed for catastrophe.

are we on the right seen as unpleasant people?

James at Nourishing Obscurity raises a very important but very uncomfortable point today.  

“This is a key issue in getting any of the snowflakes to see reason – that we ourselves come over as unpleasant people.”

There’s no question that the Right has a huge image problem. Unfortunately it’s to some extent well deserved. There are people who identify themselves, and are generally identified as, rightists or conservatives who are the kinds of people who will give any movement a bad name. These unpleasant people are not representative of conservative-leaning voters as a whole and it’s unfair that we get blamed for their sins but that’s the way it is. We need to face the problem.
The first group of the unpleasants is the rabid free markets/free trade/tax cuts for the rich crowd that comprises a large segment of the establishment of parties like the Republicans and the Tories. They obviously don’t give a damn for ordinary people and ordinary people are aware of this and as a result a very large number of ordinary people have an absolutely visceral loathing for these right-wing parties. They would die rather than vote Tory. And unfortunately as far as most people are concerned the vicious grasping Republicans and Tories are the face of conservatism.
The second group of unpleasants is those damned Nazis. Yes I know they’re all dead and there haven’t been any actual Nazis for seventy years but it doesn’t matter. Any political leader who is on the right and who deviates to the slightest degree from the approved path of respectable conservative politics is going to be labelled as Literally Hitler.
Now comes the really uncomfortable bit. While the rise of the alt-right has been understandable and is probably on the whole a very positive thing it does have its lunatic fringe. Of course every political movement and every political party has a lunatic fringe. The trouble is that the alt-right’s lunatic fringe is an absolute gift to our political opponents. It’s just so incredibly easy to portray them as being Literally Hitler. Some of them really are disturbing. It’s quite possible that many or even most of them are actually paid trolls employed by leftist organisations or even agents provocateurs from the FBI, but it has to be admitted that some of them are real and even though they’re harmless nutters if they make me uncomfortable they undoubtedly make ordinary people very uncomfortable.
What this all adds up to is that if you’re on the Right most people are going to regard you as either a cynical champion of the rich against the poor or an angry violent humourless life-hating person. 
So how do we deal with this problem? I don’t claim to have the answer. Perhaps we need to avoid terms like right and conservative altogether. These terms just have too much negative baggage. I’m not sure we can ever rehabilitate these terms.
Perhaps we need to be better at selling an overall positive vision for society. We need to emphasis what we’re in favour of rather than emphasising the things we hate. 
That’s the immense advantage that anyone who claims the leftist label has – they’re fighting to create a Better World, a safer place for children and puppies and we all want that don’t we? If not for the children then at least for the puppies. In actual fact most modern leftists are part of the Fake Left. They’re actually fighting for a better world for bankers and billionaires but they don’t get called out for their deceptions and they still get the benefits of being portrayed a crusaders for justice, equality, hugs and general niceness. We on the other hand just get labelled as hateful bigots.
We need to find a way to market our vision of a better world. We love puppies too.

open borders and the servant problem

When immigration is discussed there’s an important point that is often overlooked. That point is the servant problem.
Wealthy middle-class people need servants. In fact it’s not so much a need as a basic human right. Without servants you’d have female corporate lawyers having to raise their own children. You’d have merchant bankers having to mow their own lawns. The suffering would be unthinkable.
It’s OK for the very rich. They can always get servants. But what about the moderately rich? What about people whose net wealth mighty only be ten or twenty million. Don’t they have the right to have servants too?
It’s no good saying that they could employ white people. That won’t work. White people expect to be paid a living wage. Brown people will work for a pittance and they’re so pathetically grateful to be allowed to do so. And employing white people as servants is awkward. One is never sure how to behave around them. Especially if one’s liberal friends are around. At least with brown servants you don’t have that uncomfortable feeling. You might think your Mexican maid Consuela is an absolute treasure but you’d never make the social faux pas of thinking of her as an equal. Brown people were born to be servants weren’t they? They’re sort of like pets. And the children love them.
There’s absolutely no point in being rich if you can’t have servants. Without open borders wealthy people could face a very real and very serious servant shortage. Surely it’s obvious that having open borders is the only answer?

Courtly Culture: Literature and Society in the High Middle Ages

I’ve been reading Joachim Bumke’s Courtly Culture: Literature and Society in the High Middle Ages. It was published in German in 1986 and the English translation dates from 1991. It’s an odd book. Bumke isn’t arguing that the courtly literature of the 12th and 13th centuries accurately reflected the realities of aristocratic society at that time but he does seem to be arguing that the literature does tell us something real about the period, or at the very least about the way that society viewed itself.
Like most modern historians he seems reluctant to draw actual conclusions. After he has presented masses of intriguing evidence the book just stops. 
There is some fascinating stuff here though. In the 11th century western European aristocratic society was still very much an honour-based warrior society. It was Christian, but not thoroughly Christianised. It certainly had little use for Christian notions of morality. Over the course of a couple of hundred years the Church engaged in a fierce struggle to change this. The contest ended in a fairly complete victory for the Church. 
The lords regarded marriage as a purely economic and dynastic arrangement. Marriages were arranged and if you didn’t like your prospective bride or groom it was too bad. Force could be, and was, used to compel agreement. The Church was having none of that. The Church’s position was that no marriage was valid unless both partners consented. By the later Middle Ages they had more or less won their point. A degree of coercion might still be employed but if you absolutely refused your consent you could reasonably expect the Church to back you up.
The aristocracy also had a free-and-easy attitude towards fornication and even adultery, at least as far as men were concerned. The Church’s position was that sexual misconduct was sexual misconduct regardless of the sex of the transgressor. The Church certainly didn’t win a complete victory on this issue but they did manage to change attitudes to a degree.
The Church also tried, with some success, to limit the endless feuding of the nobles.
The Church was acting as a civilising agent at a time when western European society badly needed such an influence. Of course it’s all a matter of balance. This was a society that was excessively violent and immoral so at that time the civilising and feminising influences of the Church were a good thing, shifting the balance in a healthier direction.
The other thing that really intrigues me in this book is the survival of an oral literary tradition possibly as late as the 13th century. The idea that you could be totally illiterate and be a poet seems bizarre today but in the High Middle Ages there were indeed poets, and great poets at that, who were illiterate.  What’s really interesting is that the oral literary tradition and the written literary tradition co-existed for centuries. Some of the most important literary works of the period, such as the Nibelungenlied, certainly originated within the oral tradition. Other epic poems written at precisely the same time originated as             written works. 
We don’t actually know how the audience of the time consumed (for want of a better word) their poetic works. Most were presumably sung or recited but whether there was an actual reading audience is unknown. The literacy levels at the various princely courts varied widely so we have no idea how much of the audience for literature comprised actual readers.
All interesting stuff, and it’s helping to feed my growing obsession with things mediaeval.

nations and shared values and why it won’t work

There’s been some excitement over moves by Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to tighten up on the rules for granting Australian citizenship. Apparently prospective citizens will have to prove that they share Australia’s values.
This is quite interesting. I had no idea that Australia had any shared values. I’m quite sure I don’t share any values with Malcolm Turnbull. 
Is it even possible to base a nation on shared values? How many nations have been based on shared values? Nazi Germany perhaps. The old Soviet Union. In today’s world North Korea is probably the only real example. When we say that a nation is based on shared values what we’re saying is that it’s a successful totalitarianism. Everyone believes the same thing. If they don’t they get sent to a re-education camp until they do.
Liberals and progressives love the idea of nations based on values, because they assume that they’ll get to choose the values and they’ll get to enforce conformity. And there’s nothing they enjoy more than enforcing conformity.
Of course at this point someone will object and say that the United States has been a marvelous example of the success of a proposition nation, and that a proposition nation is essentially one that is based on shared values.
Indeed. A great success. But hold on a moment, wasn’t the Civil War fairly damning evidence that Americans did not share values after all? And that shared values were in fact imposed by force on the conquered South?
And today progressives, the ones who love that shared values stuff, refuse to accept the legitimacy of the current President. And the reason? Because he doesn’t share their values!
Experience tends to show that nations based on a shared history and a shared culture are more successful than nations based on shared values. That’s why Japan is a nice place to live and North Korea isn’t.
Tightening up the rules for citizenship is a great idea (although halting immigration altogether would be an even better idea) but basing the mechanisms on meaningless twaddle like values is never going to work, and for me the concept of shared values always carries with it the faint whiff of latent totalitarianism.
Sorry Malcolm, but I don’t buy it.