The never-ending Cold War

In Orwell’s 1984 Oceania is in a permanent state of war, either with Eurasia or Eastasia. The advantages of permanent war are obvious – it distracts people from the realities of economic stagnation and it’s a perfect justification for more and more political repression. In actual fact the endless wars are largely illusory. People see newsreels of epic battles but in reality these wars are mostly small-scale border skirmishes.

In other words it’s much like the Cold War – lots of fear-mongering but mostly fairly small-scale proxy wars.

In fact it’s pretty much like the world today. It seems like we can look forward to never-ending Cold Wars. It certainly seems that those who shape U.S. foreign policy are determined that there must always be a Cold War. It’s not just for the reasons outlined above. There are other even more compelling reasons to maintain a permanent state of Cold War. War is very profitable. It’s not profitable for everybody of course, but it’s profitable for the people who count. As far as those people are concerned the business of America is war.

The difficulty lies in justifying vast and completely unnecessary military expenditures for a country that has no actual viable enemies and doesn’t actually need to spend more than a token amount on defence. The solution is simple. If the U.S. doesn’t have enemies, make up some pretend enemies. In order to justify the massive spending they have to appear to be at least vaguely credible enemies. There are only two possible candidates, Russia and China. Therefore Oceania (the U.S. and its satellites) must be constantly at war with either Eurasia (Russia) or Eastasia (China).

But wars are messy things and don’t always turn out the way you’d hoped. Sometimes you even lose, as happened to the U.S. in Vietnam. So the best solution is permanent Cold War. It’s just as profitable but a lot safer.

There’s an even worse downside to fighting an actual war. What if you win and there’s no enemy left to fight? How do you continue to keep the money flowing to the military-industrial complex? That was the nightmare scenario facing the American defence establishment in 1945. With Germany and Japan totally defeated the U.S. no longer needed an enormous military. Fortunately an answer was found. The Cold War was like an answered prayer. Pretty soon the money was flowing again in a very satisfactory manner. The military-industrial complex has no intention of facing such a nightmare again so the new Cold War must never end.

It’s important to understand that it makes no difference who happens to be in government in Russia and China or what policies those nations pursue. The U.S. must have enemies, so therefore Russia and China must be those enemies.

It seems highly probable that the Russians are well aware of all this, and have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no point in trying to negotiate with the Americans. The Americans will never negotiate in good faith. Therefore the permanent Cold War just has to be accepted.

There are certain advantages to this situation for both Russia and China. The biggest threats they face are the economic and cultural menace from the West, especially the cultural menace. If a Cold War encourages anti-American feeling it might provide some protection from the tidal wave of western degeneracy that threatens to engulf the entire planet. Cultural isolationism may well be the only hope for survival for both Russia and China.

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democracy, morality, war and totalitarianism

One of the problems with democracy is that it tends to make everything everybody’s business. And if everything is everybody’s business then everything is the state’s business. As a result there is a slow but inexorable drift towards soft totalitarianism.

Democracy inevitably extends the range of things with which government is concerned. Everything becomes a political issue (today even marriage and the weather are political issues) and if something is a political issue then the government is supposed to do something about it.

Democracies also make everything into moral issues. The government is not only supposed to do something about everything, they’re supposed to do something which will make us all feel more virtuous.

Before democracy it was considered desirable that governments should govern wisely but nobody really expected the government to be a force for morality. Morality was the province of churches, and of the family. Morality was mostly enforced by social pressure. If you ran off with another man’s wife you could expect a great deal of social disapproval but you didn’t expect the government to have you arrested. Governments did enforce some moral rules but it was not really regarded as a core function of government.

Today’s morality is political correctness and there is a terrifying acceptance of the idea that governments have not merely a right but a duty to enforce that morality. But it’s not just political correctness – increasingly we accept the idea that the government should regulate every area of our lives, even down to what we eat.

Bizarrely, today even foreign policy is supposed to be moral. If you had suggested back in the 18th century that foreign policy should be conducted on moral lines people would have thought you were a lunatic. Even war is now supposed to be moral. Wars have to be moral crusades. Of course if a war is a moral crusade then any methods are acceptable (since the enemy is regarded as being evil), which is why democracies tend to be quite brutal when waging war.

This comes about because foreign policy and war are now everybody’s business. That’s the democratic way. Therefore the objective must be to make us feel virtuous. In fact of course there is no way that foreign policy can be both effective and moral. And in the course of human history very very few wars have ever been waged for moral purposes. Unfortunately when you turn wars into moral crusades you end up with more wars, and more vicious wars.

One of the reasons I tend to prefer monarch (real monarchy not silly pretend constitutional monarchy nonsense) is that kings have never been overly worried about imposing morality. As long as his subjects pay their taxes and obey the law he’s not usually interested in prying into their lives.

I’m no libertarian but there is something to be said for governments that concentrate on sensible policy rather than moral policy.

Manchester: the price of decadence and folly

There isn’t really much I can say about the Manchester attack that hasn’t already been said. One thing that does need to be emphasised over and over again though is that multi-culturalism is only part of the problem and it’s mostly a symptom. It’s not the underlying disease.
These attacks are happening because western society has become both decadent and irrational.
Maybe decadence is just a natural stage in societal evolution. In this case I’m not convinced. This seems to be deliberately engineered decadence. Everything that gives a society strength and stability has been systematically undermined. Our men have been emasculated and our women have become virtue-signaling harpies.
And pop culture, especially pop music, has played a major role in this. It has been one of the major weapons used to demoralise and degrade us.
We don’t fight back because we believe that holding hands and singing Imagine and lighting candles are the best ways to confront problems. And of course hashtags. Hashtags can solve just about any problem. 
Irrationality also has a great deal to do with this. This whole problem could have been  easily avoided but our leaders (and this includes the leaders of every western country) failed to do so. Whether this was from malice or stupidity is hard to say. I’m inclined to think it was a bit of both. Combining open borders with a crazed interventionist foreign policy can only lead to disaster. 
At the moment we have a wasps’ nest in our back yard. It’s been there for quite a while and every day we see the wasps busily going back and forth to their nest. The wasps are busy doing wasp things and they ignore us. They haven’t been any problem at all. There are two reasons why they haven’t been a problem. Firstly we don’t invite the wasps into our house. We don’t put up a sign on the door saying Wasps Welcome. They have their territory and we have ours. The second reason is that we don’t go poking their nest with sticks. That would be foolish and it would be unjust. We’re happy to recognise their right to exist, as long as they stay outside.
There’s a lot to be said for this as an approach to foreign policy. Leave the wasps in their own country and don’t go poking their nests with sticks.
Decadent societies tend not to survive. Societies that are both decadent and foolish have very little chance. We’re lucky in some ways. Our decadence is deliberately engineered so we can halt the slippery slide and maybe even reverse it, at least a little. Foolish foreign policies can be abandoned. 
Our leaders have let us down. We have to find a way to let them know that their failures will no longer be tolerated. It’s not going to be easy but a good start would be to stop with the candles and the John Lennon songs.

Syria – we’re back to Invade the World, Invite the World

I’m not going to rehash any of the voluminous arguments pro and con in the current Syrian cruise missile attack crisis. What I want to focus on here is the most predictable, and most worrying, feature of the crisis. That feature being the inescapable linkage between Invading the World and Inviting the World. 
We’re already seeing the mainstream media pushing the emotionally manipulative argument that saving Syrian babies by launching cruise missiles is all well and good but if Americans really cared about Syrian babies they’d be welcoming them as refugees. Bombing designated villains only earns you partial virtue points – to prove genuine virtue you have to embrace open borders. They’ve already trotted out Hillary Clinton to make this argument.
It is now clearer than ever (as Steve Sailer has been tirelessly arguing for so long) that Invade the World cannot be separated from Invite the World. The one implies the other. If you accept the idea that the West (led by the United States) has a duty to solve every real or imagined humanitarian crisis on the planet then logically the West must welcome an unlimited influx of refugees.
If the Third World’s problems are our responsibility then accepting unlimited numbers of refugees must logically be our problem as well.
And of course these same arguments will be relentlessly pushed by the media and by the elites throughout the West, not just in the United States. Our lamentable Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has already expressed his support once again for the Invade the World part of the equation which means Australia will be under pressure, once again, to show the same eagerness in Inviting the World.
The Syrian crisis has been a heaven-sent opportunity for globalists to promote their agenda of demographic replacement in the West. 

unanticipated costs of the Cold War?

I’ve recently seen the interesting idea put forward that many of the follies that currently threaten the very survival of the West were actually misguided Cold War policies. It’s an idea that is worth some thought.

One element of this theory is that western countries were sensitive to communist propaganda that the West was a hotbed of racism and colonialism. Throwing open the borders to Third World immigration was a way of refuting these claims. It’s notable that the United States, Britain and Australia all moved towards liberal immigration policies in the 1960s. These three countries all felt themselves to be particularly vulnerable to charges of racism and colonialism (Britain because of its imperialist past, the United States because of its imperialist present and Australia because of the White Australia Policy). 
The move towards open borders was also a means of furthering western propaganda about the virtues of the Free World and also as a means of trying to cement various defence alliances in Asia, Africa and elsewhere.
There’s no question that “victory” in the Cold War came at a substantial price. The dangerous growth of the military-industrial complex (that President Eisenhower tried unavailingly to warn the US against) was one of the big costs. Is it possible that the foolish enthusiasm for open borders was another cost of the Cold War? 
Of course this begs the crucial questions – was the Cold War necessary and was it worth the cost? 
I think that while Stalin was still in power some kind of confrontational posture, or at least an aggressively defensive posture, probably was unavoidable. The Soviet Union under Stalin really was an Evil Empire and while Stalin’s foreign policy was often cautious there’s no doubt that his long-term intentions were pretty sinister. In the Khrushchev era the Soviet threat was still pretty real, this being as much as anything a product of Khrushchev’s unpredictability. 
I’m not really sure that the Soviet Union under Brezhnev was quite such a mortal threat. The success of Detente in the 70s tends to indicate that a live and let live policy was quite feasible. I’m not suggesting that the Soviet system under Brezhnev was either admirable or benign (far from it) but much of the anti-Soviet hysteria was overblown. 
In any case whether the Cold War really was or was not a confrontation between good and evil isn’t really the point. The point is that the Cold War caused a substantial deformation in western foreign policy, and perhaps domestic policy as well, and we may be still paying the price.
Of course what all this means is that we should be incredibly careful about being drawn into another Cold War with either Russia or China. The West has its own problems to solve and a Cold War 2.0 may well make it impossible for us to confront our very real current problems. We need to be particularly careful about falling prey to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

external enemies and totalitarianism

Every totalitarian regime need enemies. As Orwell realised in the 1940s they need both external and internal enemies. It’s as true of our present-day western soft totalitarianism a it has been of every previous totalitarian state.
In Orwell’s novel the external enemy is provided by the never-ending wars against either Eurasia or Eastasia. Orwell brilliantly realised that it would be useful if the external enemy changed from time to time. It adds to the atmosphere of paranoia, of uncertainty. Most importantly it makes foreign policy confusing for the average person. For a totalitarian regime that is a very desirable feature. If ordinary people do not understand foreign policy they can be frightened all the more effectively – and made to feel that the safest thing is to trust the government foreign policy “experts” who presumably know what is best. Switching enemies from time to time is of course also useful in training people to believe things that they know to be untrue. We have always been at war with Eurasia. Except when we have always been at war with Eastasia.
Our present-day leaders have absorbed Orwell’s lessons. In fact today we have the same  “enemies” – Eurasia (Russia) and Eastasia (China). We also have an extra enemy – Islam. This makes things more confusing, which is of course the whole idea. These are very useful enemies because the threat they represent is so vague and mysterious. It’s difficult for the person in the street to understand how incredibly important it is to stop China from controlling a few islands in the South China Sea. So Americans (and Australians) assume it must be part of some nefarious Inscrutable Oriental Masterplan. It’s basically the Yellow Peril of a hundred years ago dusted off and re-used.
The menace of Russia is also delightfully vague and incomprehensible. Russia must not be allowed to control the Crimea, even though the Crimea has been Russian for centuries. The Ukraine is a vital national security interest for the US and the entire world. Nobody knows why because nobody is capable of disentangling the intricacies of eastern European history and politics. Obviously the Crimea and the Ukraine are vital to the defence of the United States – you have only to look at a map to see that. If the Russians got the Ukraine they’d be in Nebraska within a week.
Islam is even better. Ordinary people don’t know the difference between Shi’a Moslems and Sunni Moslems. They certainly don’t know anything about the Wahhabi sect. Ordinary people don’t know the difference between a secular Moslem state like Syria and an Islamic state like Iran. The fact that the Moslems in the Middle East belong to at least three different distinct ethnic and cultural groups – Turks, Arabs and Persians – adds to the confusion. And who the hell are the Kurds? Where did these ISIS guys come from? How come lots of Syrians are actually Christians? We’d better leave all this to the foreign policy experts. All we need to know is that Russia, China and Islam are all enemies.

making sense of modern politics

I’ve spoken often of my belief that conventional attempts to describe politics in terms of left/right and conservative/liberal or conservative/socialist just don’t work any more.
So we need to replace these outmoded terms, but what do we replace them with? Some years ago it became briefly fashionable to use a two-axis system, with one axis describing a person’s position on economic issues (ranging from untrammeled free-market capitalism to communism) and the other being the authoritarian/libertarian axis. The big problem is that today in order to describe the political views of a person or party we need to place them on the correct points on multiple axes.
The first axis would have to deal with beliefs on social issues, ranging from social conservatism to social libertarianism. I personally would prefer to describe the latter position as social radicalism since libertarianism has other connotations which tend to cloud the issue.
The second axis would deal with opinions on domestic economic issues, ranging from laissez-faire capitalism to complete state control of the economy.
The third axis would deal with views on international economic issues, ranging from complete free trade to rigid protectionism.
The fourth axis would describe views on international relations in broader terms, ranging from extreme interventionism (the best way to solve problems in foreign countries is by invading them and imposing “regime change”) to extreme isolationism (the best way to solve problems in foreign countries is to let those foreign countries sort out their own problems).
We would also need a fifth axis, ranging from a belief in open borders to a belief in strong immigration restrictionism.
To make things even more complicated yet another axis would be required, this one ranging from a belief that environmental threats are so severe that drastic action is required to combat them to a belief that environmental threats are wildly overstated and that no serious action is required.
To describe a person’s political views we would need to know if they are social conservatives or social radicals, if they are economic interventionists or non-interventionists, if they are globalists or economic nationalists, if they are imperialists or isolationists, if they are open borders supporters or immigration restrictionists and lastly if they are environmentalist catastrophists or environmentalist sceptics.
This scheme might sound fiendishly complex but it has the virtue that at least it tells us what a politician or political party actually stands for. There may be a simpler way ofd doing this – if you can think of one let me know!