The War on Noticing hots up

The Social Justice agenda just gets more and more crazy. To many people this is a mystery. Surely even the Social Justice Warriors themselves must realise how insane their demands are becoming? What is going on?

The explanation is simple. As Steve Sailer pointed out some time ago, political correctness is a war on noticing. There are a lot of things that we are not supposed to notice. In fact we must not be allowed to notice these things. In order to ensure that certain embarrassing things don’t get noticed distractions are needed. Hence we get things like the Tasmanian Government’s plans to legalise abortions for men. This is clearly complete lunacy but it’s a very useful distraction.

What are these things that we’re not supposed to notice?

For starters there’s the fact that anthropogenic global warming/climate change is complete hogwash, and obvious hogwash. It just ain’t happening.

Secondly there’s the fact that green energy has been an expensive failure.

Thirdly there’s the undeniable truth that feminism has been an utter failure. Where are all the female rocket scientists, brain surgeons, nuclear physicists and mathematicians? We were led to believe that once sexism was abolished women would equal men’s achievements in science. In fact the contribution of women to science has been minuscule. Where are all those brilliant female entrepreneurs? How many major corporations are there that were established by women? Women CEOs taking over already established companies doesn’t count. Those brilliant female entrepreneurs just don’t seem to exist in the real world. All feminism has done is to make women angry and miserable. But we mustn’t be allowed to notice that. Most of all we must not notice that men and women really are entirely different.

There are quite a few things about the economy that must not get noticed. Like the fact that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. Like the fact that most people can no longer afford to buy a house. Like the fact that most people are living with crippling debt from which they can never escape.

It’s also vital that nobody should notice that despite the expenditure of billions of dollars to solve the social problems of groups like African-Americans those groups still seem to have the same social problems they had half a century ago.

The psychiatric industry would also prefer us not to notice that all those gee-whizz miracle drugs like Prozac that were supposed to make everyone happy appear not to have worked.

There are therefore a lot of powerful groups that have things that they are desperately keen for us not to notice. So they are naturally very enthusiastic about abortion rights for men and transgender bathroom rights.

I’m not saying that there’s no ideological substrate here but the bottom line is that the people with the actual power don’t care about ideology, they care about power. The ideological insanity of the Social Justice Warriors would not survive for five minutes without the funding they get from rich powerful interest groups. If this craziness did not serve their interests in distracting us from things we might otherwise notice then the bankers and billionaires would simply pull the plug on it.

Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel

Isaac Asimov’s classic 1954 novel The Caves of Steel might not sound very relevant to this blog but bear with me.

The Caves of Steel is usually considered to be important and interesting for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a crucial book in Asimov’s famous robot cycle. Secondly, it’s a genre hybrid – it’s both a science fiction novel and a traditional fair-play puzzle-plot murder mystery. And it’s a rare example of a novel that is a success in both genres.

There is a third reason why this book should be celebrated. It’s an extremely interesting dystopian novel with very strong political overtones. I personally don’t agree with Asimov’s politics but he was an intelligent liberal (yes such creatures once walked the Earth) and his work has been immensely influential.

The future Earth of the novel is massively overpopulated. Almost everyone lives in enormous cities. It’s a world that makes the world of Orwell’s 1984 seem benign and even idyllic. Food is in short supply (the rationing is nightmarish in its pettiness) but living space is in even shorter supply. There is zero privacy. Zero. Even high status individuals do not have bathrooms. A washbasin is considered to be an almost unimaginable luxury. Absolute social conformity is enforced. This is the soft totalitarianism of Brave New World but combined with the squalor and misery of 1984. There is an all-pervading atmosphere of resignation and pessimism.

It’s fascinating to see overpopulation hysteria in such a fully developed form as early as 1954.

Of course being a science fiction writer of the golden age Asimov saw the answer to the problem as lying in the colonisation of space. This is something that has always seemed rather fanciful to me.

Leaving aside the overpopulation hysteria it’s a fine example of what I would consider to be a plausible dystopia, enforced by propaganda rather than overt repression. And it’s an interesting look at the psychological consequences of soft totalitarianism – the way people end up not even contemplating rebellion because they can’t even imagine doing such a thing (or even thinking such thoughts).

It’s also actually a very entertaining book and while there’s plenty to disagree with it is an interesting example of intelligent dystopian science fiction. And the murder mystery part is fun.

when science isn’t scientific

One of the reasons that western civilisation abandoned Christianity was that a shiny new replacement was available. While religion was just superstition this new replacement dealt in absolute truth. Its claims could be tested and were subject to proof. It was incapable of error. This new system was called science.

There was much excitement at the time. And today the claims of science are almost universally accepted. If you’re not sure about something, ask a scientist.

The problem is that science has expanded and it has gone on expanding. Science now covers an immense range of academic disciplines. We can be assured that they are all real science. Their practitioners tell us so, and why would they lie?

The problem is that most of these fields are in reality not science at all. They simply borrow some of the trappings of science. Physics is science. One or to other fields of science are also real science. They employ the scientific method, and the scientific method is the one trump card that science holds. The scientific method is an assurance that we’re dealing with truth rather than superstition or opinion or even deliberate falsehood. For a theory to be accepted as true it has to be tested by experiment and the experiments have to be repeated multiple times just to make sure. It’s a fool-proof system. Physicists knew that the laws propounded by Galileo and Newton were true because they were tested by the scientific method and proof was obtained. Of course the laws propounded by Galileo and Newton later turned out to be wrong but that’s an annoying minor detail that is best ignored.

Most scientific disciplines do not employ the scientific method. Geology for example, or palaeontology. You might be pretty confident that a particular type of valley was the result of thousands of years of glacial action but you can’t very well set up an experiment to prove it. You might think that changing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere change the climate but you can’t set up an experiment to prove it.

This has always been a bit of an embarrassment but in the past few decades a solution has been found. If you can’t perform an actual experiment you can set up a computer model. And that’s just as good. The only problem here is that computer models are not just as good as performing an experiment. Computer models are amusing toys. They can be very expensive toys, but they’re still toys. They don’t prove anything.

At least geologists and palaeontologists try to be as scientific as they can. That can’t be said of many other sciences. In fact many disciplines that masquerade as sciences are completely unscientific. Psychology and anthropology for example. That’s not to say that it’s impossible for an anthropologist or a psychologist to have an accurate insight. It’s just that it’s not a scientific insight. Psychology is an art, not a science.

Then there are the social sciences. Like sociology. Such disciplines are very keen to be seen as scientific. In fact they’re political ideologies, not sciences.

And all of this is without taking into account the very real problems of scientific fraud, and the even bigger problems of scientists being motivated by political bias and cowardice. If you look at a field like climate science you get every single one of these problems.

Science’s claim to be able to give us undisputed truth is really rather unimpressive. In certain very narrow fields it can do so, up to a point. The fact that science has major deficiencies isn’t really a problem in itself. What is a problem is that so many people seem to be unaware of these deficiencies. When stuff like “climate science” starts to get taken seriously we’re a long way down the rabbit hole.

virtue signalling or status signalling?

A comment on a recent post at Vox Popoli caught my eye. It suggested that a great deal of SJW virtue signalling is actually status signalling. It’s actually a way to demonstrate that the person in question belongs to a high enough social class to be immune from the consequences of the social justice agenda.

This seems very plausible to me. I have never bought the idea that SJWs are self-hating. Maybe some of the sad male SJWs are actually self-hating but I don’t believe for one moment that female SJWs hate themselves. If they’re white they may claim to hate white people but you can be sure they don’t include themselves in the category of white people it is acceptable to hate. They hate working class and lower middle class white people certainly but they don’t hate upper-class whites (and let’s face it the true believer SJWs are overwhelmingly upper-class).

Subscribing to certain dogmas, such as man-made global warming, welcoming refugees, affirmative action, Black Lives Matter, etc, is a good way to signal your membership of the ruling class. The secret to this is that if you’re wealthy and high-status you’ll never have to suffer the consequences of your ludicrous beliefs. Ever-increasing electricity prices as a result of the global warming scam don’t affect rich people. Rich people don’t have to live in diverse neighbourhoods (and they never do). Rich people are pretty much unaffected by the social decay caused by feminism and homosexual activism.

This is something that is particularly attractive to women. Status signalling is immensely important to women. And never underestimate the enthusiasm women have for humiliating their social inferiors.

If you’re white then subscribing to unworkable SJW fantasy ideas is a powerful way to signal that you’re not one of those awful working class or lower middle class white people (and of course those white people are completely evil). SJW ideas are a kind of luxury good. Believing in them is a form of conspicuous consumption, a way of making one’s elite status clear and a wonderful way to express contempt for the lower orders.

The great thing is that it’s a socially acceptable way of saying that you’re rich and you hate poor people.

towards a racial politics?

Race is very much in the news these days and on the right one of the burning issues is whether some form of white nationalism is possible. There are those on the right who believe that politics is going to become purely race-based and that whites will have to accept and embrace this.

I remain very sceptical, for several reasons.

First off, politics is about differing views on the kind of society in which we want to live. Democracy has certainly become a sham (or perhaps more of a sham) and party politics has become largely irrelevant. On the other hand there are still absolutely fundamental differences among ordinary people on the issue of the kind of society at which we should be aiming.

There is no common ground between traditionalist Catholics and Kumbaya Christians. Militant atheists are barely willing to acknowledge the right of Christians to exist. The libertarian is not going to learn to lie down with the big government progressive. Feminism is absolutely incompatible with a belief in family life. The views of LGBT activists cannot be reconciled with the views of those who believe in marriage and the family. Greenies are hate-driven fanatics who cannot even be reasoned with by normal people. These are all massive differences between the beliefs of white people. White people are not going to put aside these disagreements for the sake of race. It just isn’t a workable proposition.

The chances of forging a viable alliance of white people based solely on race or ethnicity are zero. Even forging an alliance based on a common culture would be formidably difficult. White people do not have a common culture. Maybe they did once but they don’t now. Not only is there is no white common culture, there is not even a common culture between whites of the same ethnicity. Rural Australians might belong to the same ethnicity as sandal-wearing tofu-munching environmentally conscious inner city lesbian feminist lecturers in women’s studies but the two groups have zero in common.

There is also the question of class interests. Anyone who thinks class interests don’t matter any more hasn’t been paying attention. Class hatred is more virulent today than at any time in history. White elites would be totally delighted if every working-class white person just died. The average working-class white person would be equally delighted to hang members of the white elite from the nearest lamp post.

It’s also vital to remember that immigration has no downside whatever for upper middle class and upper class whites. Such people will always be able to live in comfortable safe overwhelmingly white neighbourhoods. Money insulates people completely from the dire effects of diversity. Wealthy white people like diversity because it doesn’t affect them.

The irony is that because ideological differences are irreconcilable the best way to forge effective political alliances among white people is by avoiding ideology and focusing on bread-and-butter issues. So the best likely way to build a groundswell of opinion against immigration is by not fighting it as a race or ideological issue. Fight it as a bread-and-butter issue.

Inner city lesbian feminists and wheat farmers might not agree on much but they might agree that affordable health care is a good thing. A stock broker with multiple mistresses and a strongly family-printed professional fisherman might disagree on most things but they’re likely to agree that aged care is important. Both are going to grow old one day. A Christian truck driver and an atheist interior decorator might have little in common but neither wants to live in an overcrowded city. Immigration means affordable health care goes out the window. Immigration means not enough money to provide aged care. Immigration means cities become overcrowded. Too many people means society starts to collapse.

If you fight immigration as a bread-and-butter issue you not only have a chance of gaining wide support, you also make it more difficult for the open borders crowd to do what they want to do, which is to make it all about race and ideology.

the things left unsaid

It’s often the things that are not said that are more revealing than the things that are said. This is especially true when applied to liberals.
One interesting example is environmentalists and overpopulation. Remember when greenies were obsessed with the population explosion? It was going to be worst thing ever  and it was going to kill the planet and we were all going to die. Environmentalists don’t talk very much about that subject these days. The reason in this case is obvious. To talk about overpopulation would be racist!
They’re particularly keen to avoid discussing immigration. If they did discuss it they would have to face up to one very embarrassing hatefact – if millions of people move from the Third World to the First World those people are going to have a much bigger impact on the environment. They’re going to consume a lot more electricity. They’re going to want to buy cars. A lot more fossil fuels are going to be burnt. If there was any truth to global warming then these immigrants would logically accelerate the process. 
There are two conclusions one can draw from this. Either environmentalists don’t really believe in global warming, or they’re quite happy to see the planet die as long as they are not seen to be racist.
The other interesting example of things left unsaid involves feminists and pornography. I’ve been reminded of this by a recent post at Upon Hope. Feminists have always been divided on this issue but until fairly recently there was a very significant segment of the feminist movement (in fact the dominant segment) that was bitterly opposed to pornography. They argued that pornography objectified women, encouraged violence against women, oppressed women, was an insult to women, etc etc.
These days feminists have gone strangely quiet on this issue. Which is odd. At the time when they were enthusiastically crusading against it pornography was not all that big a problem. Today it’s a very big problem indeed. It’s all-pervasive, the evidence that it causes harm is much stronger and it’s almost impossible (indeed it’s probably quite impossible) to keep such material out of the hands of children. So why has the feminist sisterhood gone strangely quiet on this topic? Have they changed their minds? Do younger feminists simply not care? Are they so driven by hatred for our civilisation that they welcome anything that will undermine that civilisation, even if it harms women in the process?
There is another possible reason. They may have backed down in the face of opposition from the LGBTQWERTY lobby (with which feminism has an uneasy relationship to say the least). Any crackdown on pornography could not in practice be confined to a crackdown on heterosexual pornography. It would have to include material involving various forms of sexual deviance. But that would be homophobic, transphobic, queerphobic and all sorts of other phobics.
And the unpleasant truth for feminists is that LGBTQWERTY “rights” trump women’s rights. Feminists are at the absolute bottom of the victim hierarchy. So the explanation might have more to do with cowardice than hypocrisy.
It’s always worth taking note of the things liberals do not say. They tend to be very revealing. They also suggest that there are major fault lines within the left-liberal establishment, fault lines that might well widen considerably at some future time.

global warming – the King Canute option and the sensible option

James E McConnell, King Canute Defies the Waves.
It seems to me that most of the arguments over “climate change” miss the point. You can argue indefinitely about whether human actions have any influence on climate. Climate is so complicated that it is unlikely that we will ever know.
There are some much more important questions we need to ask. If climate does change is there anything we can do about it? If so, what exactly should we do?
Of course there is one thing we do know. Climate does change. We are living in the Quaternary Ice Age, characterised by a series of glacial periods and interglacial periods. Since there have been eight glacial cycles in the past 740,000 years it’s reasonable to assume there will be more. We also know there are short-term cycles, over a period of centuries, which produce events such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.
We have no idea how far we are into our current interglacial period. It could come to an end in 100 years, 1,000 years or 10,000 years. We do not know if we are heading for the equivalent of another Medieval Warm Period or another Little Ice Age.
We do not know why ice ages occur. There are numerous hypotheses, all of them interesting and all of them unproven.
Given that climate change has occurred and will occur again, what can we do about it? We can try to stop the climate from changing. That would be astronomically expensive and probably about as effective as King Canute’s efforts to prevent the tide from coming in. The only difference is that Canute knew the effort was futile (he was demonstrating the powerlessness of man compared to the power of God). 
There is another option. We can learn to adapt. That would have two advantages – it would be a lot cheaper and it would probably work. If we want to be able to ride out changes in climate we need efficient agriculture, economic prosperity, high technology and plentiful supplies of cheap energy. The Little Ice Age caused a good deal of misery and a number of serious famines. With high technology and cheap abundant energy such misery could easily be avoided. With economic prosperity and enough cheap energy any change in climate would be survivable and would be survivable with minimal suffering.
Unfortunately the misguided attempts by politically motivated environmentalist fools to prevent the tide from coming in will have the effect of wrecking any chances of economic prosperity. And those same attempts will also deprive us of the cheap energy we will need. One thing we can say for an absolute certainty – solar power and wind power are abject failures. We need technologies that actually work, not pipe dreams.
We may have nothing to worry about. The next glacial period might be thousands of years away. Any climate change in the immediate future might be so mild as to be no problem at all. It doesn’t matter. If we concentrate on economic prosperity and cheap energy we’ll still be better off. On the other hand if we waste trillions of dollars on futile attempts to control the climate we could cause economic chaos which would result in untold human misery, and with nothing whatever to show for it.
For a country like Australia there is another point to consider. Nothing that Australia does will have the slightest effect on the climate. Even in the unlikely event that carbon emissions prove to be harmful our contribution is so insignificant as to be meaningless. We could sabotage our economy to placate the green scaremongers and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference anyway. On the other hand a prosperous Australia with plenty of cheap energy could be a beacon of hope. All we need are leaders smart enough to realise that giving in to the demands of warmist alarmists will do a great deal more harm than good. Unfortunately there is no sign of such smart leaders emerging. 

Nazi greens

R. Mark Musser’s book Nazi Oaks points out the chilling links between environmentalists and the Nazis in pre-war Germany. Even more chillingly it demonstrates that the mindset of radical environmentalists is astonishingly similar to the Nazi mindset.
Hitler’s National Socialist government was the greenest government in human history up to that point. It was not just that environmentalists joined the Nazi Party in huge numbers. The senior Nazis were almost without exception fanatical environmentalists. Hitler, Himmler, Rudolf Hess and Goering were all ardent greens.
The concept of lebensraum was essentially an environmentalist concept.
A recurring obsession among Nazis was what they saw as the problem of overpopulation. They believed cities were the source of much of the evil in the world. The German people would be much healthier if they returned to a rural existence. The problem with that is that quite obviously there were far too many Germans to make it a practical solution. That’s where the concept of lebensraum came in. If Poland and the Ukraine could be emptied of their existing populations there would be plenty of room to allow the majority of Germans to return to an idyllic rural existence.
Of course you have to some kind of pretext for removing those existing populations. That presented no problem. If Jews and Slavs were not really human, if they were subhuman (untermensch), then there could be no objection to removing them. And how to remove them? That was no real problem either. If these populations were subhuman there was no reason why they could not be used as slave labour. Those who were not suitable for such labour could simply be exterminated in the same way that a gamekeeper exterminates vermin. Those who were used as slave labour would be worked to death and within a few years they would have been effectively exterminated as well.
The Nazis also intended to thin out the population of Germany itself by eradicating all those who were deemed to be either useless or antisocial. Hence the Nazi euthanasia laws. Those who were unfit either physically or morally would be shipped off to the death camps.
It should be noted that the Nazi plans for reducing the population to what they considered to be an optimal size were not entirely based on race. Jews, Slavs and Gypsies were not the only ones shipped off to the death camps. Ideological enemies of the Nazis were also marked for extermination. This is a point we need to keep clearly in mind.
Modern greens have a chillingly similar view. They also see overpopulation as the biggest problem. If the planet is to be returned to the state of a pristine wilderness then obviously most of the human population will have to be removed. Whenever they are asked how this can possibly be achieved they became, not surprisingly, very evasive. It is fairly clear that they hope that abortion and euthanasia will do part of the job but when the objective is to remove 95% of the human population (and this is in line with the stated objectives of many green groups) then it’s obvious that more drastic measures will be needed.
The ground is already being prepared for those more drastic measures. There is a growing demand among environmentalists for climate change deniers to be imprisoned. It is not difficult to predict that the next step will be to strip climate change deniers of their civil and legal rights. Once that is done then the greens will have succeeded in isolating and dehumanising a large slice of the population, turning them in effect into untermensch.
And if climate change deniers are stripped of their rights, then surely it is only right and proper that anyone defined as being racist, sexist or homophobic should be accorded the same treatment. That’s where the environmentalists’ alliance with other extremist leftist groups such as gay activists and hardline feminists will prove to be very useful. There are lots of ideological enemies who can be turned into untermensch, just as the Nazis found lots of ideological enemies they could dehumanise in the same manner.
You might think this is all very far-fetched. And it is, except for one thing. It’s already beginning to happen. The groundwork has already been laid.

big business and the Cultural Left

This cover of Bloomberg Businessweek with its farrago of nonsense about global warming is a prime example of possibly the most frightening development of recent years, the way in which the business sector has caved in completely to the environmentalists and to the Cultural Left in general. Not only have they caved in, big business openly colludes with these leftist nutters in their efforts to trash our civilisation.

Big business has convinced itself that its best chance of survival is to surrender totally to the Cultural Marxists. This is a spectacular and tragic mistake. The Left has changed its tactics but its ultimate objective remains the same – absolute and unlimited state power. Free markets cannot survive long once the Left achieves this objective.

This error has also been made by neo-conservatives in general who believe they can allow the Cultural Left to win every battle in the Culture Wars. They believe, wrongly, that the Culture wars don’t matter. They fail to perceive that the Culture Wars were only even intended by the Left as the first step with the ultimate goal being socialism.

The business sector will learn the hard way that the Left never compromises. Every surrender to their demands is simply the prelude to further demands.

what I love about warmist true believers

What I really love about debating anthropogenic climate change with the warmist true believers is that you know that at some stage they’re going to spit the dummy and storm off in a huff. It’s just a matter of time. Like all leftists they cannot deal with the idea that you might disagree with them. If you disagree with them it must mean that you’re stupid or wicked or probably both.

You cannot debate with leftists. Whenever a leftist tells you they are willing to engage in a sensible debate you can be certain that a few minutes later they’ll be throwing a tantrum and taking their toys and going home. It’s amusing but rather depressing at the same time. They’re so insecure about their beliefs that any disagreement frightens and enrages them.