The Trump Effect and the French election

Looking at the catastrophic performance of Le Pen in the second round of the French election the thought occurs to me (as it did after the Dutch election) that Trump may have played a major role.
If there’s one thing Europeans enjoy it’s indulging in moral preening about their anti-fascist credentials and if there’s one thing they enjoy even more than that it’s sneering at the United States and congratulating themselves on their superior levels of culture, tolerance and all-round moral virtue. Europeans are so very civilised while Americans are barbaric, backward and crass.
This smug condescension on the part of western Europeans is actually quite hilarious. In 1914 western Europeans had a magnificent civilisation. In the century since then, through their own efforts, they have managed to flush it all down the toilet. You’d think this would teach them a bit of humility but in fact as Europe has become progressively more decadent, more corrupt, more cowardly and more depraved Europeans have become even more addicted to sneering at Americans.
Trump has kicked this tendency into overdrive. He represents everything about America that appalls western Europeans, and everything about America that frightens and upsets them.
The election provided the French with a wonderful opportunity to prove their civilisational superiority by electing the anti-Trump. And that is indeed what Macron is. Trump is masculine; Macron is emasculated. Trump is proud of his country; Macron is ashamed of his. Trump has demonstrated his commitment to the future by having children; Macron is childless. Trump likes being a political outsider; Macron is a creature of the establishment. Trump is confident; Macron is apologetic. Trump radiates strength; Macron radiates weakness. Trump likes ordinary people; Macron regards them with horror. Trump is a loose cannon; Macron is a good boy who will do what he is told.
To make the deal even sweeter, Trump is a fascist. The French know he is a fascist because that’s what the newspapers and TV tell them and in any case he’s a Republican and everyone knows that all American Republicans are fascists by definition. And Macron is not a fascist because Le Pen is a fascist and he’s against Le Pen so he can’t be a fascist.
So we have an election that was a splendid opportunity for both virtue-signaling and civilisation-signaling.
Given the fact that the second round was a landslide you might suggest that even if there was a Trump Effect it made no difference. Maybe. On the other hand the first round was quite tight and the Macron As Anti-Trump factor may have had some significance, possibly costing Fillon enough votes to keep him out of the second round. Macron was after all a ludicrous clown of a candidate and realistically he could have been in big trouble against Fillon in the second round.
It may well be that the Trump Effect has significantly damaged the chances of nationalist parties in all western European countries. Knee-jerk anti-Americanism is not far beneath the surface amongst most middle-class Europeans, and the irrational and morbid fear of being tarred with any association with fascism is an immense factor in western European politics. 
Of course I’m not suggesting it’s Trump’s fault. Trump is Trump and he can only be himself and his style works very well in US politics. Europeans need to grow up and they need to lose their attitude. If they don’t then they’re going to lose their civilisation.

it hasn’t happened in my street so it doesn’t matter

So there’s been another terror attack in Britain. And what will change as a result? Of course you know the answer – absolutely nothing. There will of course be candlelit vigils and people will sing Imagine and one or two news reporters might cry on screen. But absolutely nothing will change. 
The reason for this is of course the “it hasn’t happened in my street so it doesn’t matter” syndrome. People don’t care about bad stuff until it gets very close to them personally. They don’t care about crime until houses in their street get burgled. They don’t care about unemployment until it’s their kids who can’t find jobs. They don’t care about immigration until their suburb starts to get culturally enriched. They don’t care about terrorism until bombs start going off in their street.
Partly this is quite normal and healthy. We can only deal with so many worrying things and most of us have quite enough worries in our own personal lives. If we worried about everything, even things that don’t directly affect us, we’d all be in straitjackets in the local mental hospital.
Partly it reflects the fundamentally unnatural and unhealthy nature of modern life. We were not meant to live in huge cities and we were not meant to be constantly awash in a sea of mass media. We suffer from sensory overload, and more to the point we suffer from emotional overload. We cannot get upset by every single bad thing that happens anywhere in the world. So we have three choices – we can go mad, we can increase our dose of Prozac, or we can filter out stuff that isn’t relevant to us. Most normal people choose option three.
So it’s actually quite normal to take the “it hasn’t happened in my street so it doesn’t matter” approach. The problem is that it’s very important to distinguish between events that happen elsewhere that really are irrelevant to us and events that happen elsewhere that are actually likely to affect us in the not-too-distant future. It’s also important to distinguish between events that we might conceivably be able to do something about and things that we can do absolutely nothing about.
A rail disaster in Bolivia or an earthquake in Guatemala are both events that can quite reasonably be put into the category of things that are irrelevant to us and that we can’t do anything about.
On the other hand if crime has suddenly skyrocketed in a neighbouring town that should concern us since it could be an indication that we’re about to experience the same thing in our town. Unemployment should concern all of us because our jobs could be next on the chopping block. Immigration should worry us all because it could slowly but surely destroy our whole society. Terrorism should worry us. It could happen in my street. All of these things could happen in my street.
The real problem is that democracy is based on the idea that ordinary people can make these distinctions and can identify the things that they can and should be worried about. Even worse, democracy is based on the assumption that ordinary people can not only identify the important issues but also understand them, and understand what needs to be done, and send the right message to their elected representatives.
Unfortunately the things that really matter tend to be rather complicated. Do you have a clear and thorough understanding of which economic policies are best for the country? I have to confess that I don’t. Crime is complicated. It’s easy to assume that the best way to fight crime is to have more police but in fact the type of policing is more important than the quantity. Understanding terrorism might seem straightforward but there’s the difficulty that cynical and wrong-headed foreign policy decisions really have contributed to the problem, and foreign policy tends to be fiendishly complex.
There’s a further difficulty facing us today. Making the right judgment as to which party or candidate is likely to solve these problems is not easy when the correct decisions have been declared to be politically incorrect, wicked and forbidden even to think about. Solving problems such as immigration then becomes effectively impossible.
And of course if there’s one thing that ordinary people do understand very clearly indeed it is this – no matter which party you vote for they will betray you, they will break their promises, in many cases their actions will be the exact opposite of what they promised, and they will lie.
It is natural to take the “it hasn’t happened in my street so it doesn’t matter” view, but that view becomes even more attractive when the issues are complex and you know quite well that the politicians won’t listen to you anyway.
There is a solution and it’s an easy one – simply boycott the mainstream parties. There are and always have been alternatives if only people will take the final leap of logic – if you can’t trust the professional political class then vote for outsiders. They couldn’t do a worse job than the mainstream parties and at the very least it’s a way of putting the fear of God into the establishment politicians. But people won’t do it because none of these bad things have happened in their street yet.

the Dutch election and the Trump Factor

An interesting sidelight on the Dutch election is the Trump Factor. I’ve seen reports that support for Wilders’ PVV party started to plummet after he came out as a Trump supporter.
European intellectuals have for decades had an absolutely visceral hatred for Americans, and particularly for Americans like Trump who glory in their Americanness. That hatred has now permeated most of European society. Europeans like to imagine they are morally and intellectually superior to Americans. Which is pretty amusing when you consider the catastrophic course of European history in the past century.
It’s partly a matter of style. Trump’s style plays very well in the US. It antagonises European.
It’s also a matter of class. Trump obviously likes ordinary people, including working-class people. European intellectuals loathe and despise the working class, and intellectuals have real influence in Europe. 
The style and the class elements combined have caused a complete psychological meltdown among European intellectuals and the European media. The anti-Trump hysteria in the European media even surpasses that in the US media. The end result of this may be that moderates have been frightened off. Even people who agree with Wilders on immigration are afraid of being associated with someone who admires Trump. 
Europeans don’t seem to like outspoken charismatic leaders. They like bland managerial types, the more boring the better. They seem to think that strong charismatic leaders are automatically fascists. As a result they have had seventy years of weak treacherous leadership.
Never underestimate the European terror of being labeled fascist. Americans can pass such things off as jokes but Europeans (at least western Europeans) can’t. Western Europeans would rather die than be thought of as racists or fascists. The way things are going that’s probably the fate in store for them.
It might be advisable for Marine le Pen to do everything possible to distance herself from Trump.

the Geert Wilders disaster

I confess to having mixed feelings about the Dutch election result. It was obviously a disaster for Geert Wilders. How should a conservative traditionalist feel about this?
Let’s be quite honest. Geert Wilders is no friend to western civilisation. He is anti-immigration and that’s great. Unfortunately on other issues he’s a liberal. And not just a liberal, but a fairly extreme liberal. He is perfectly comfortable with the depravity and decadence of modern Europe. Nothing matters more to Geert Wilders than homosexual marriage.
The problem with people like Wilders is that they are not presenting a genuine alternative. They do not have a vision of a better society. And if western civilisation is to be saved we need genuine alternative visions. 
Single-issue parties like Wilders’ offer a deceptively simple solution. Stop immigration and everything will be fine. Stopping immigration is a good idea but it’s not going to make everything fine. To solve the real problems liberalism must be rooted out entirely. Society needs to be reconstructed. 
Unless this is done there is no point in worrying about immigration, because as long as liberalism remains our official ideology any victory on immigration will be temporary at best. Eventually liberals will open the flood-gates again. The only way to stop mass immigration permanently is to reject liberalism utterly. As long as liberals remain in power they will continue to work towards the destruction of our civilisation. Liberals like Geert Wilders are not the answer.

the rise of the dissidents

The recent Australian election in which the anti-immigration One Nation Party has apparently gained at least one, and possibly as many as four, Senate seats will no doubt lead to more hand-wringing about the rise of the dreaded Far Right. 
In fact the result has little to do with the supposed Far Right or even the Right in general. What we are seeing here, as we saw in the Brexit vote, is the rise of political dissidence. The dissidents are not really left-wing or right-wing. They are merely dissidents. The various minor party candidates who have been elected in Australia, like those who voted for them, do not have any particular political program. They do not model themselves on the established political parties in which party discipline is rigidly enforced and power is that that matters. These minor parties in Australia are decentralised and appear to be chaotic. Some of them are splinter parties of other splinter parties. They are not a unified coherent political force. They are a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of short-term alliances.
And that is their strength. That is why their voters vote for them. The people who vote for them don’t want superbly organised, professionally run, highly efficient parties. That’s why they no longer vote for the major parties. They don’t trust professional politicians. They prefer to put their trust in amateurs like Derryn Hinch and outsiders like Pauline Hanson. 
Their supporters don’t care if the election of these outsiders leads to so-called political instability. We’ve had strong stable governments and those governments have betrayed us and buried us in a mountain of useless and unnecessary laws and regulations that we never asked for. People don’t care any longer if we have minority governments and if those governments are short-lived. What they do care about is somehow getting through to politicians that ordinary people are tired of politicians telling them what they must do. They want to tell the politicians what to do. They want politicians to sit down, shut up and do what the people tell them to do. You know, like it’s supposed to be in a democracy.

the lesser of two evils? I think not

We’re now about a month out from a federal election in Australia. And for the first time in my adult life I genuinely don’t care who wins.
Social conservatives like myself will once again  be expected to hold our noses and vote for the “conservative” Coalition on the grounds that it’s the lesser of two evils. I’m starting to think this is both futile and counter-productive. The Coalition has betrayed us so many times. Voting for them simply encourages them to do what they’ve done for the past few decades – serving the interest of the rich and big business whilst pretending to be marginally more social conservative than Labor. 
If we are ever to have a genuine conservative party in Australia then the Liberal-National Party Coalition must be destroyed. No true conservative party will be possible until that is achieved.
When a Coaltion government in Victoria funds (to the tune of nearly half a million dollars) a Trotskyite group spreading homosexual propaganda in primary schools you seriously have  to ask yourself – how can this be the lesser of two evils? 
The only thing I do take a mild interest in is the Senate. If we’re going to have bad government (and whoever wins we are certainly going to have bad government) then I’d prefer to have a weak bad government that has to deal with a hostile Senate. So I’ll be voting for a minor party candidate in the Senate. The fact is that the independent and minor party senators (I don’t count the Greens as a minor party since they’re part of the political establishment and they’re bankrolled by billionaires) might be slightly loopy but they’ve done far less harm to this country than successive governments of the major parties.

And it would amuse me to see Malcolm Turnbull humiliated.

Trump, neocons and the Left

The 2016 presidential election in the US continues to provide amusement and amazement (mixed with a certain amount of despair). The most interesting thing about it is that the most left-wing of all the candidates is Donald Trump.
The US is now controlled entirely by the neocons. They are the ones calling the shots. They have the influence and they have the money behind them. Both major parties have embraced the neocon philosophy lock, stock and barrel. The differences between a Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio and a Hillary Clinton are merely cosmetic.
There’s a popular theory that neocons are closet leftists, that they are essentially rebranded Trotskyists. I don’t buy this. There’s nothing remotely left-wing about neocons. The “neocons are leftists in disguise” theory is based on neocon support for identity politics movements. In fact of course neocons couldn’t care less about blacks or homosexuals or any other victim groups. Neocons employ these victim groups as useful idiots. Neocons care about three things – global capitalism, war and Israel.
Neocons are perhaps best thought of as representing the extreme end of the far right. 
This does not imply that neocons are conservatives. They are not conservatives in any way, shape or form. They are right-wing, but not conservative. They represent the radical right.
Ironically the modern political parties that get labelled as far right are in truth centre-left or even further left. They represent leftist nationalism. Which makes sense. Leftist policies can only work in relatively homogenous stable societies. Mass immigration simply makes leftist policies impossible. A leftist who embraces globalism is living in a dream world.
In the 1930s the far right was identified with nationalism (not always correctly since many of the far right political parties of the 30s were a mix of left and right wing ideologies). Today the far right (the neocons) embrace globalism and hate nationalism with a passion. Leftists in Europe may be finally beginning to awaken to the reality that they must embrace nationalism. Leftists in the US don’t count since they are such a tiny and insignificant minority (a few ageing Marxist university professors and that’s about it). The US Democratic Party is most emphatically not a leftist party. It’s a neocon party.
Any kind of leftist political agenda is impossible without a fairly stable homogenous population and strong border controls. A conservative agenda is equally impossible without those elements. On the other hand a radical right-wing agenda (as promoted by the neocons) is not only possible, such an agenda actually requires population instability, mass immigration and open borders.
The radical right-wing agenda of the neocons may be the most destructive ideology yet seen in the West. It remains to be seen whether an alliance can be forge between genuine leftists and genuine conservatives.
The almost hysterical hatred displayed by neocons towards Donald Trump has one major cause – whatever Trump might be he is not a neocon. The great fear of the neocons is not right-wing populism – it is the possibility of a populism that combines both left-wing and conservative values.