making traditionalism fun

A major problem facing traditionalists today is that we naturally tend to regard the past fairly favourably, but liberals and the cultural left have had a century or more in which to paint the kind of  distorted picture of the past that suits their agenda. The Narrative applies as much to the past as it does to the present. And a negative view of the past has now been well and truly ingrained in the minds of most people.

That negative view has been propagated through schools and the news media and through books but most of all through movies and TV programs. It is important to remember that most people do not distinguish between fiction and non-fiction. If they watch a movie they might understand that the actual story itself is fiction but they assume that the background to the story is basically factual. If the movie is set in the 1930s then they assume that it’s giving them an accurate and faithful picture of life in that decade. Of course nothing could be further from the truth but the average person has a touching belief in the basic honesty of people who make movies and TV shows.

This makes it incredibly difficult to persuade people that perhaps the past wasn’t so bad, that perhaps the beliefs and values of the past were as valid as the beliefs and values of today, and most of all it makes it near-impossible to persuade people that life in the past may actually have been pretty good, and even fun.

If you suggest to anyone under the age of 40 that maybe life was a lot more pleasant in the 1950s they’ll look at you as if you’re mad. They know that in the 50s in the American South blacks were being lynched by the hundreds every year, they know that homosexuals were brutally persecuted, they know that women were not allowed to leave the kitchen, they know that liberals were thrown into prison just for being liberals, they know that teenagers were forbidden to have fun, they know that life was grim and miserable and oppressive. They know all these things because their teachers have told them that’s how it was and they’ve seen modern movies set in the 50s and those movies have confirmed everything their teachers tell them. The fact that none of these things are true makes no difference. The cultural left controls the megaphone and their view of the past prevails.

If you try to suggest that perhaps the Victorian age wasn’t so bad and that the Victorians weren’t all  vicious capitalist robber barons, that not all eight-year-olds were sent to work in coal mines  or that the Victorians were not hopelessly sexually repressed you just are not going to be listened to.

If you’re unwise enough to put forward the notion that the Middle Ages might not have been a constant nightmare of filth, squalor and violence then again you’re not going to be believed. People today know how brutal that era was, they’ve seen it in movies. They know for example all about the droit de seigneur, the right of the local lord to have sex with any young unmarried girl under his dominion. The fact that this right didn’t exist doesn’t matter – their teachers will have assured them that it was true.

If we are to have any success in promoting the idea that traditional values, traditional lifestyles, traditional sex roles, are worth emulating we have to be able to sell those ideas. We have to make such ideas sound not just reasonable but desirable and attractive. We have to convince people that traditionalism isn’t just good for society but that it promotes individual happiness. We need to sell the idea that traditionalists have more fun. That’s very difficult to do when the megaphone is in the hands of those who are determined to convince people that the past was a horrible nightmare and that today we live in the happiest most enlightened period in all of human history.

We also need to distinguish traditionalism from puritanism. Puritanism was a destructive religious heresy and, in a mutated secular form, it is very much with us today. It still exists to some extent as a religious heresy. Puritanism has always been unhealthy. The Cultural Left never misses an opportunity to paint traditionalists, and especially Christian traditionalists, as grim humourless puritans.

In fact puritanism has been a major strain in many destructive leftist ideologies, especially feminism. And the mindset of the modern SJW is to a large extent a puritan mindset, obsessed with sin.

Given that traditionalists are not likely to be granted any access to the megaphone I really don’t know how we’re going to promote the idea of traditionalism as the secret to happiness. But I do know that our biggest problem is that it has been so easy for our enemies to portray us as miserable oppressive killjoys.

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victory or survival?

I am not suggesting that the war is lost or that we should give up the fight. I believe we should continue to look for strategies for victory, but I also think that we need to start considering strategies for survival. It is possible that in the short to medium term survival will be the critical question.

This is particularly true for Christians. The war on Christianity is heating up. It is obvious that the objective is now the complete destruction of Christianity.

It is vital for Christians to realise that it is not just the unholy triumvirate of government, academia and the media that they are up against. The corporate world is every bit as hostile to Christianity. The corporate world wants Christianity destroyed. There are various reasons for this but it needs to be understood that there is a fundamental hostility at work here. Capitalism wants tame workers and most of all capitalism wants willing and compliant consumers who accept that their only role is to consume. The existence of any institution that encourages people to be anything other than consumers is no longer going to be tolerated.

Christians need to realise that by and large their own church hierarchies are now firmly in the enemy camp. Perhaps that is not entirely true of the Catholic hierarchy but even in the Catholic Church resistance is crumbling at an alarming rate.

I’m not a Christian so the war on Christianity really doesn’t affect me personally but it is becoming more and more obvious that anyone who is a dissident of any description is going to have to start looking at survival strategies.

One crucial survival strategy is to learn to regard the entire state apparatus and the entire corporate world as actively malevolent. It’s not paranoia when your enemies are real and they really are out to get you. Being afraid of the secret police in the totalitarian societies of the 1930s  wasn’t paranoia, it was common sense. We live in a society today that is moving towards totalitarianism at a terrifyingly rapid pace.

If you talk to the police without a lawyer being present you are putting your own head on the chopping block. Not matter how innocuous the questions, no matter how trivial the matter seems to be, it is unbelievably foolish to answer even a single question unless your lawyer is with you. It is equally foolish to volunteer any information to any government or quasi-government body, or to any large corporation. Do not participate in any surveys or polls or academic studies. Do not reveal unnecessary personal information on social media.

It is a wise idea to minimise your interactions with government agencies.

Christians need to be exceptionally cautious about these things. If you’re a Christian and you broadcast the fact on social media without the cloak of anonymity you are giving your enemies a weapon which they will use against you, and against your family.

I have spoken in the past of the need to avoid modern popular culture. This is now more vital than ever. All modern popular culture is propaganda. All of it. Every single movie. Every single TV show. All of pop music. All fiction writing. The propaganda may be blatant or it may be subtle but you can be absolutely certain it is always there. You need to be especially vigilant in shielding your children from this poison. Thinking that you can avoid the danger merely by minimising the exposure is sheer folly. Modern popular culture is not just poison, it is a cumulative poison.

We also need to consider very carefully our attitude towards society. If society is hopelessly corrupt and vicious do we owe it any loyalty? We cannot avoid living in the society in which we find ourselves but there’s no point in deluding ourselves. Western civilisation is diseased. The main priority is to protect ourselves and avoid becoming infected.

Yes, this is a very depressing post and I will doubtless be castigated for being black-pilled but I do think we need at least to consider the possibility that the worst may come to pass. Maybe it won’t. I hope it won’t. But being prepared for it if it does happen is surely not a bad idea.

what the media shows us

Nice quote from Ron Unz, and somewhat relevant to some of my recent posts on the subject of history:

“We naively tend to assume that our media accurately reflects the events of our world and its history, but instead what we all too often see are only the tremendously distorted images of a circus fun-house mirror, with small items sometimes transformed into large ones, and large ones into small. The contours of historical reality may be warped into almost unrecognizable shapes, with some important elements completely disappearing from the record and others appearing out of nowhere. I’ve often suggested that the media creates our reality, but given such glaring omissions and distortions, the reality produced is often largely fictional.”

freedom of the press – was it ever a good thing?

The bias of the mainstream media is much talked about but it often seems to be assumed that this is a fairly recent phenomenon. This simply isn’t true. 
Many of us cling to the illusion that there was once a golden age of courageous investigative reporters who cared deeply about the truth. That there was a time when newspapers and TV news tried to be objective. In fact there never was such a time. For as long as mass media has existed, from the very beginnings of mass-circulation newspapers in the 19th century, there has been bias. 
The bias comes from three sources. Firstly, the owners want their political views propagated. No-one has ever wanted to own a newspaper to make money. There are easier and more certain ways to make a profit. You own a newspaper because you want to influence public opinion. You want to impose your views on the public. It has always been this way.
Secondly, journalists have their own political agendas and they have never hesitated to advance those agendas in their reporting.
Thirdly, journalists are essentially whores. If in doubt they’ll conform to the wishes of the owners. They know which side their bread is buttered.
There is a difference between the media of the past and that of today. A hundred years ago a major city might support have a dozen newspapers pushing half a dozen political agendas. Today every media outlet pushes precisely the same political agenda. We have a unique situation today in which our elites across the world are united in their political beliefs, and they have no loyalty to anyone or anything outside the elite. In the past there was at least some diversity in the propaganda spread by the media.
But the fact remains that freedom of the press has always been a bit of a myth. A free press is simply free to spread the propaganda favoured by the owners. A free press is not a guarantor of political freedom or democracy. 

polls, the media and controlling the narrative

The big story from the US election has been the catastrophic failures of opinion polls and political pundits. This has implications that go beyond the future of opinion polls.
The mainstream media has a lot less credibility than it had fifty years ago. What little credibility it still has is to some extent dependent on its ability to tell us stuff like who’s going to win the next election. They can tell us this stuff because they have Science on their side. Opinion polls are based on mathematics so that makes them Science doesn’t it?  And they have Experts. They know more than we do.
Except that it’s now obvious that their Experts know less than we do, and that their scientific opinion polls are little more than voodoo. People are likely to start thinking that if the media can be so wrong about election results then maybe they’re wrong about other things. Maybe they’re wrong about everything.
Even more shocking than the failure of the pre-election polls was the failure of the exit polls.
There is another very significant implication. If the pollsters were totally wrong about the election then perhaps their polls on various social issues are just as worthless. Maybe opinion polls have been dramatically underestimating the strength of opposition to quite a few aspects of the social justice agenda. We might be dealing not just with a Shy Tory or a Shy Trump Voter effect but possibly a Shy Social Conservative effect as well. Politicians who are anxious to advance causes like transgender bathroom rights and mass immigration might care to bear this in mind.
For politicians this is the beginning of a frightening new era. They have been accustomed to relying on opinion pollsters. Now they are going to be realising that they might as well consult an astrologer. 
For the media it could be the dawn of an even more frightening era – how can they keep control of the narrative if they have no way of knowing how the people are actually thinking?
It’s not as if it’s just Brexit and the US election that pollsters and pundits got wrong. Remember those opinion polls that told the Australian Labor Party that Kevin Rudd was unbelievably popular and could easily beat Tony Abbott at the next election? And the media got all excited about it and assured us that Abbott was absolutely unelectable. And so Labor replaced Julia Gillard with Rudd and Rudd went on to lead them to overwhelming defeat. The opinion pollsters are getting it wrong more and more often, in more and more countries.
It appears that Trump won because he put his faith in old-fashioned political instincts. He had a message that he knew he could sell and he knew how to sell it and he knew which demographics were likely to buy it. He knew that if he stuck to the plan he could win.
There are stories floating about that Bill Clinton had been telling the Clinton campaign for months that their strategy was going to fail and they were going to lose. Say what you like about Bill Clinton, he’s a clever politician and he understands politics on an instinctive level. Luckily no-one in the Clinton campaign listened to him – after all he’s just a stale pale male so what would he know?

the 19th century roots of our cultural malaise

The great tragedy of western civilisation is that its very strengths are its fatal weaknesses. Openness, innovation, science, democracy and freedom are all no doubt wonderful things but they seem to lead inevitably to corruption, degeneracy, nihilism, despair, a loss of faith and finally cultural suicide.
Cultural marxism is often blamed for undermining the foundations of our civilisation but the process was already under way before cultural marxism began. By the time cultural marxism was in a position to exert any real influence the undermining was well advanced. 
One of the early manifestations of decline was the rise of modernism in art and literature. The exaltation of ugliness and squalor combined with an extreme hostility to traditional values made modernism a potent if subtle engine of destruction. Our cultural dynamism led to art and literature that corrupted and demoralised. Art and literature headed for the gutter, where they have remained ever since. Modernism produced music that was unlistenable, novels that were unreadable and art that was impossible to look at without being appalled. And modernism had already begun to exert its pernicious influence in the late 19th century, long predating cultural marxism.
Science has brought many benefits but it gave rise to a bleak inhuman and mechanistic worldview devoid of hope. It led us inexorably down the path to nihilism.
The growth of capitalism gave us prosperity but it destroyed communities. Rural areas became relatively depopulated while urban areas became hotbeds of crime and degeneracy.
Feminism in the 19th century promised to emancipate women but it enslaved them while destroying families.
Medicine made many advances in the 19th century but the medical profession developed delusions of grandeur, thinking that every social problem could be turned into a medical problem. As a result it gave birth to pseudosciences like psychiatry and psychology.
Democracy was supposed to usher in an era of unparalleled freedom. It has slowly but surely destroyed our freedoms and corrupted our governments. Democracy and corruption are like inseparable twins. 
The rise of mass media began in the 19th century with the explosive growth of newspapers. There were fond hopes that this would lead to healthy open debate. It led to propaganda and manipulation. Democracy and mass media were to a large extent responsible for the increasing madness of politics, as governments became steadily more short-sighted, cynical and reckless. This madness led to western civilisation’s first serious suicide attempt in 1914.
Cultural marxism succeeded so well because it took advantage of weaknesses and vulnerabilities that were already all too apparent. Cultural marxism could not have destroyed a healthy civilisation. The seeds of destruction were already present in the West. Cultural marxism did not plant those seeds although it certainly cultivated them assiduously.
If the remnants of our culture are to be saved we will need to address its inherent weaknesses and tendency to self-destruction. 

why I stand with Jeremy Clarkson

It seems that the BBC is likely to achieve one of its most cherished aims, the silencing of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. The fact that Clarkson is the wildly popular host of the BBC’s most popular program means nothing to the humourless Stalinists who run the BBC. Clarkson does not toe the politically correct line so he must be eliminated.
Why should this matter to conservatives? For the very simple reason that Clarkson is virtually the only dissenting voice left on the BBC. He is just about the only person you’re going to see on BBC television not pushing the monolithic PC line. 
I was rather surprised by the hostility towards Clarkson displayed by Peter Hitchens (a man for whom I have enormous respect). Hitchens’ argument appears to come down to this – Clarkson is not a real conservative, or even if he is a conservative he’s not the right sort of conservative, therefore he doesn’t matter. It seems to me that Hitchens is missing the point. It doesn’t matter what Clarkson’s actual political views are. Any dissenting voice is valuable. And the stilling of any dissenting voice matters. It matters a great deal. If we cherish freedom of speech we must cherish the freedom of speech of others, even if their opinions do not coincide precisely with our own.
I hope the day does not come when conservatives have to say, “First they came for Jeremy Clarkson and I did not speak because he was the wrong sort of conservative.”