Lost in the Cosmos

One of the coolest books I have ever read is Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy.

Contrary to its title, it is a parody of a self-help book. It does, however, challenge one to go deeper than mere self-help. There are a lot of scenarios, multiple choice questions, deep thoughts and explanations of what it means to be a self. If one were looking for answers from the book, then one would actually come away with more questions.

It’s been a while since I read it, but it was a comfort(?) for me at a certain point in my life where I knew that I could never go back to where I came from because I had come so far. And that where I came from was no longer the place that it was.

It’s a philosophically dense book, written in a light literary style, with many laugh out loud moments. Some of the subject matter is very much of its time and place – the US literary scene of the early 80s – so it is somewhat dated, and perhaps full of now obscure references which many modern readers might miss. Well worth reading, nonetheless.

Walker Percy was a rather remarkable person, being a Catholic writer from the American South, and his work is steeped in Stoicism and Existentialism. He was a master of the craft of writing. I admit that I’ve only read two more of his books, but I enjoyed seeing a prose master at work.

The reason I’ve been thinking about Lost in the Cosmos is that the anti-Brexit march of yesterday had me thinking about the different types of people in the world.

I see those who are anti-Brexit as very much driven by fear, and view their own imprisonment as freedom – in fact, they seem to be oblivious to the cages that have been built around them. They are afraid of what they don’t know, and cannot see the world being any other way than what it is right now. They fear liberty and, I suspect, accountability.

They believe any Brexit scare story, no matter how ridiculous, fed to them by The Powers That Be because they are under the mistaken impression that The Powers That Be really care about them.

I view those who are pro-Brexit as perhaps less afraid and more willing to face whatever consequences there are, seeing advantages over the status quo, and potential opportunity and freedom. (And the opportunity to give Johnny Foreigner what-for.)

(Sort of the r/K selection theory applied to humans, I guess. With Remainers being r-selected, and Leavers being K-selected.)

Lost in the Cosmos takes one through several scenarios followed by multiple choice questions, culminating in the two final scenarios. (As I recall them.)

Scenario 1 illustrates the opportunity to take part in a space colonisation project where the goal is to ensure perpetual peace and understanding amongst the participants in order to create a new culture for humans. All needs will be taken care of, but the participants must subject themselves to discipline and must essentially do everything with the good of the community in mind. World Peace is guaranteed. As long as they follow the rules to a T then they shall be taken care of. It’s basically Star Trek.

Scenario 2 illustrates the people who will be left behind on earth. It is a hard-scrabble subsistence life. Anarchic. But people tend to be free to do what they want to do, with the attendant consequences such a life entails – death, lost limbs, etc.. A hillbilly-like existence circa 1900, where people work all day and party in the evening making music or telling stories.

Percy asks the reader to choose which world they would rather live in.

I suspect anti-Brexiters would choose the first one and be horrified by the second one. (In fact, one ‘friend’ that I presented these scenarios to opted for Scenario 1. You can read about him here.)

For me, I would choose Scenario 2. It sounds like Heaven on earth to me.

How about you?

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Ignoring History

Just read this great essay by David Starkey in the Mail .

Got me thinking of other historical precedents in Britain, and how MPs are ignoring them at their – and the nation’s – peril. Such as the history of suffrage in this country and why the franchise was expanded as it was in the 20th Century.

The franchise was extended to the ‘gammons’ in 1918 precisely because millions of working class men had been sent to fight and die in a war they had nothing to do with precipitating. There was no way to ensure the stability of the British system without this, particularly as dangerous Marxist ideas were doing the rounds then.

Of course, to offset the influence of radical politics on the working class vote, the franchise was also extended to middle class property-owning women, who would have a more conservative outlook (at that time –  it can be argued that this bloc of voters now keep the current Westminster consensus in place).

[Coincidentally, the right to own guns was slightly curtailed around this time, as well. I suppose it just isn’t the done thing to have millions of working class blokes trained in the use of arms actually owning any.]

Subsequently the property requirement was lifted in 1928, making the voting franchise universal.

Parliament and the Government are behaving right now (and for the last 30 years or so) toward the electorate  as if the extension of the franchise in 1918 only applied to middle class property-owning women.

They would do wise to heed the lesson of their predecessors…those with nothing to lose tend to behave as if they have nothing to lose. And when you take away from them the one thing that might allow peaceful change, or at least ignore its fruits, then you take away the one link to the political system the ‘gammons’ have.

The last 30 years may have been punctuated by mass political apathy, but that is only because the Westminster consensus has ignored the masses. They do so now at their own, and the system’s, peril.

Is it really worth it over a so-called economic argument?

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Sleeplessness and worry…

I had a tough time getting to sleep last night. Part of it was physical. There was a stiffness in my neck which wouldn’t allow me to get comfortable until I had propped it up with a second pillow (which allowed me to fall asleep at 0030, to get up at my normal 0430 time).

The other part of it was worry.

I had been reading the twitters and other blogs and they were covering the banning of Tommy Robinson from Facebook. Which didn’t surprise me. It was the other people who had been banned, such as many prominent UKIP supporters, that really worried me.

Yes, I would have expected a banning for TR after the release of his Panodrama expose (YouTube, BitChute) where he showed up the BBC by pulling a sting of his own on them.

But the reason I was worried, as I am wont to be in the evenings, over the shape of things to come was that the banning of the other people on Facebook happened on the same day that Theresa May announced an inching closer of either her deal, Remain, or a second referendum.

I just couldn’t get it out of my head that the bastards at the top were going to double down on the attempts to remain in the EU. And that they were stifling prominent voices of dissent before the dirty deed would be done.

I am deeply worried about the short to medium term prospects of a peaceful life here in the UK, if Brexit is not allowed to happen properly and peacefully. Most people who voted to leave the EU were under no illusion that there might be a bumpy road ahead in the short term whilst it was sorted out.

But the Leave vote brought out many people who probably hadn’t voted in the past 20 years, and they were told that their vote would count. Not the full force of the British Government, the Civil Service, the Media, nor the exploitation of the murder of an MP would dissuade them from voting for something they knew in their hearts to be the best way to go.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: If the current government and loyal opposition go against that wish, it will be sending the message that voting doesn’t work to effect change. That is a very dangerous message to send.

Because if the ballot doesn’t work, it implies that violence, or the threat of violence, will. A certain subsegment of the immigrant population has demonstrated that, beginning back in 1989 – subsequently, that particular subsegment is treated with kid gloves by the powers that be.

So, yes, I was worried. Because I don’t want to see low-level violence, or high-level insurrection happening here*. And the more that dissenting voices are shut down, the greater the reaction will be when they finally do erupt.

Our government and the leaders of the EU have, for the past 30 years or so, been unleashing (consciously?) some serious historical forces on the peoples of this continent. I was hoping the resolution to those forces would be a peaceful one. The EU Exit vote was a sign of hope.

I am hoping to hell that the mere incompetence of the government gets us over the No Deal line by 30 March. Otherwise, those dark jokes about politicians hanging from lamp-posts may not be so funny any more. And other things may happen in the medium term to completely innocent people.

 

However, despite my despondency, it seems to me that God was sending me a few messages today. I am a voracious consumer of blogs, podcasts, and YouTube streams. Several sources came together to tell me that if I want to change the world spiritually, I must change myself to become closer to God and Christ.

Vox Day‘s Darkstream from last night touched upon this.

Bruce Charlton posted something along these lines yesterday.

And, when I run out of current stuff, I go through Jay Dyer‘s back catalogue. He mentioned this concept on at least three different podcasts last year.

And my bible reading this morning was Acts 6. There is something to be learned from St. Stephen’s story.

So I was clearly being given a sign. Look to Christ with hope, and don’t despond. It will all work out in the end…And do what is right.

 

* I am now leaning toward some form of revolution though I’d rather it be peaceful.

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The Participator

Many thanks to the people at The Participator for reposting my latest. Looks like an interesting site for many of us who are thinking about the way things are heading.

Cheers!

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Reconsiderations: Libertarianism and Civic Nationalism

I have been thinking a lot about culture, politics, and economics lately.

For most of my adult life (from my thirties to now), I have held a worldview that was a mix of conservative and libertarian elements, flavoured with a bit of Protestant Christian ethics.

My conservatism, I imagine, has sprung mostly from my Christian upbringing in a Southern culture that was steeped in evangelicalism. My family of origin aren’t particularly Christian, but I did go to a lot of church with friends in my childhood and teens, and a lot of that millenarianism washed off on me.

I also encountered libertarian economics and political thought in my thirties, and really hitched much of my intellectual wagon to interpreting the world through that lens. Much of it was a reaction to living in Germany, where the State, at the time, seemed to have more sway over day-to-day life than it did in the Anglophone world of the US and the UK.

This is when I became a Eurosceptic, as I became aware that British political culture was fundamentally incompatible with Continental political culture: it has traditionally been that everything that is not forbidden is allowed in our Anglophone world, whereas on the Continent, and in Germany in particular, everything that is not allowed is forbidden.

I have watched as our political and media class here in the UK has sought to ape this Continental, totalitarian impulse with increasing vigour over the past couple of decades, changing the culture through law, propaganda, and the administrative State.

I often thought the best antidote to this was a dose of libertarian scepticism and resistance. When people were presenting opinions obviously fed to them by the powers that be, I would often counter with a dose of libertarian freedom talk.

But observing things going on around us – Brexit and its detractors, Trump and the reaction to him, mass immigration, the degradation of mass media and culture, and the complete dependence on the government teat of huge swathes of the population  – I have been coming to the conclusion that libertarianism is not going to save us from what the real issues are.

Fundamentalist libertarianism really has no answer to the issue of cultural and spiritual deficits.

I’ve decided that libertarianism can only answer the questions it seeks to do when the host culture allows libertarianism to thrive.

Excuse the broad brushstrokes here but…

Libertarian ideology may have sprung from the Enlightenment (which is something else I’m coming to be sceptical of), but the spirit behind it firmly has its roots in Anglo-Saxon/Celtic Fringe culture. In its own unique way, and spurred on by the Enlightenment and the enterprising Freemasons involved in the sham, the ideals of liberty ended up spreading far and wide.

Enlightenment libertarianism seeks to cut man off from God and Christ, and its presuppositions imply that all people are the same everywhere, that they are blank slates, they just need a bit of education and freedom to thrive. It ignores the impact of culture on the way one thinks about the world and one’s role in relation to the rest of the world.

The libertarian fundamentalist seems to think that if we dive-bombed every country with hard-backed copies of Mises’ Human Action, Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State, and Burroughs’ Naked Lunch*, then everyone would see the error of their ways and embrace the right way to do things.

Other than the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) and freedom of expression, libertarianism has no real answer to the question of culture. And within libertarianism’s embrace of free trade and the free movement of labour lies the seeds of its own destruction.

How, for instance, would you enforce the NAP against a large group of ‘migrants’ whose cultures are very much centred around its opposite, where might makes for right? And how would you keep those migrants from changing the host country as a reaction?

And how do you keep them from behaving as one mass politically?

[I suspect Jeremy Corbyn’s coyness about anti-Semitism has nothing to do with his being a Jew hater or not but has more to do with a massive bloc vote of recent-ish arrivals to this island who are Jew haters.]

And what is free trade, if it means that besides the free movement of money between countries comes the free movement of people in the form of importing “skilled” and “unskilled” workers?

I have personally been affected by this with the use of Indian ICT workers who were moved into a company I worked for. Many of my colleagues found themselves training up their replacements; I became a contractor before it could happen to me. I’d be lucky, now, to get £25k a year less than I was paid in 2006 for the same job.

Free movement of people means a race to the bottom when it comes to wages. The lower that wages go for the working class, and the more work they lose, the more that wages for the rest of us will drop or stagnate, as we are reminded that we, too, could be replaced.

Free movement of people ends up meaning that comparative advantage now only rests upon the price of local labour. I’m not so sure that’s what Ricardo had in mind.

It seems to me that in order for libertarianism to thrive, it needs a culture steeped in Christianity and Christian ethics, maybe even a Northern European culture, and maybe, even more specifically, an Anglo culture.

And, of course, a culture that seeks to preserve itself. We don’t seem to have one of those, now, although little green shoots do appear to be emerging in response to Brexit shenanigans. But how long can these green shoots survive without being labelled Nazi and racist?

Despite the utility of Austrian economics, I am coming to the conclusion that libertarianism applied on a large scale may be just as utopian as communism. And it seems to discount the role of culture completely.

This brings me around to the other thing I have been reconsidering lately. Civic Nationalism.

Going back to my great-grandparents, who immigrated to the USA from what was the Austro-Hungarian Empire; my Scottish grandmother who married my American grandfather during the war; my Northern Irish mother who married my American father; and finally me, who moved to England and eventually married my English wife, I come from a long line of people who have migrated.

In many ways, I always thought that if one moves to a country and adopts its ways, eventually, one and one’s family will become of that country. I was taught that was what it meant to be American and I believed it thoroughly when I joined the US Navy.

When I moved here, I thought the same of the various ethnic groups that have moved here in the last 70 years or so…Eventually they will integrate, and their children will marry into the general population and the UK or England will still be here, just as it always was.

But the more I learn, and the more I experience this world, I’m not so sure about that any more. Even if assimilation were on the Government’s programme with regard to incoming immigrants, you still can’t change the cultures the immigrants come from and that they experience in their own households and across extended families.

I always felt like I didn’t belong in the USA partly because of my mother’s attempts to stick close to Northern Irish roots. This did not mean I had mixed loyalties; it meant that I didn’t quite fit the mould, and still find it impossible to conceive of living somewhere where my family had lived for decades or even centuries. Rootless. This is how the children of immigrants come to feel at times. At least it helps more when you resemble the locals.

I have become convinced that Civic Nationalism isn’t all it was cracked up to be. I do believe there is an ethnic/micro-geopolitical aspect to a National culture. And that belonging to the Nation is more than just moving there and “fitting in”.

And when you move people in who don’t look like or live like the locals, it means it is very easy for both the locals and the incomers to “other” each other, to borrow an SJW term. Cohesion is not possible in a multi-cultural context. You don’t have a Nation.

Yes, you will get people who are middle class and will reject their parents’ culture and embrace the local deracinated middle-class culture. But nations are not made from people who can live the same lifestyle anywhere they go.

Perhaps I don’t have the right words for what I am trying to express.

I am happy to be here, and I know that I did not grow up here, and am, in some ways, still an outsider, despite looking like the locals. And after 20 years here, I hope that I can contribute to this Nation. My wife and I have given a heritage to our children, who, thanks to the mixing, are seven-eighths ethnically British (from all four countries in the UK) and one-eighth ethnically Slavic – giving our oldest a slightly exotic look. I hope that they will embrace this Nation and appreciate that it is more than just having a blue passport.

I guess that’s all I have to say today.

 

*Apologies to the Firesign Theatre.

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2019: A New Hope or Will the Empire Strike Back?

I have been going through a blackpilled phase lately. I have been observing the trends in political debate, political censure, media, and demographics through a rather dark lens. It hasn’t done a whole hell of a lot for my sunny disposition.

Over the past few years, my single ray of hope was waking up on the 24th of June in 2016 to discover that I was not a part of a dwindling minority of curmudgeons who were losing faith in the democratic process. I was finally in the majority for something that I cared about and which really mattered, and that majority had exercised its political will, successfully.

My wife, who had stayed up late on the 23rd, went to bed at the point that Nigel Farage had declared Leave as the losing side. Work up in London means that I can’t stay up as late during the week, but instead I get to wake up a couple of hours before everyone else. I had the pleasure of shaking her awake to tell her the good news as I was heading out the door.

I was ecstatic and so was she. We were filled with hope.

It was not the same for my London-based colleagues, who were hung over from the Project Fear Kool-Aid and were extremely glum.

I found I had to suppress my joy. I was doing internal fist pumps in the air. I did not want to come across as a poor winner. And I was not exalting in schadenfreude; I was just happy that my side had finally won something.

But as the days, weeks, and months wore on, I was finding that I had to suppress the fact that I had voted Leave, as Project Fear turned into Project Hate. When I engaged with others, I had to hide my true colours until some offhanded minor sardonic comment was given away by my interlocutors. Once signals were exchanged, we would furtively discuss our allegiances and our thoughts on the situation in hushed tones, to ensure that we would not invoke the ire of Remain supporters within earshot.

This behaviour was not borne of paranoia but rather out of experience. I suspect many people who voted Leave can attest to similar experiences as mine: Many people with whom I had almost daily friendly interactions with would treat me coldly after discovering the way I had voted and my autistic defence of it.

The general assumptions that the vocal arm of the Remainer party seems to make of Leavers is that at best we are ignorant, stupid or ill-educated. At worst, we are full of hate-filled bile toward anyone with a complexion darker than our own. In today’s heated environment, being labelled a racist means that one can become subject to whatever calumnies, ill-treatment, and violence that misguided souls are wont to visit upon people so labelled, up to and including losing one’s job, getting a beating, or going to prison.

As a result of the aftermath of the Referendum, the ire, the falling out with people I thought of as friends, and the general propaganda war being waged on those of us of a small-c conservative/libertarian bent, I have reacquired an old habit that I dropped a long time ago, back when I wanted to mix with polite company (but polite company won’t have me any more anyway): Wherever the mainstream tells me I shouldn’t look, I am looking.

I’ve followed the doings and sayings of various people who have been labelled as ‘problematic’ by the mainstream and the ctrl-Left. And I have found that they are either harmless cranks (or controlled opposition) or they are speaking real truth to power. The powers that be end up banning or deplatforming those in the second category.

These individuals are not hate-filled, just pointing out the collusion between the political, media, and Silicon Valley elites for brooking no dissent.

Their detractors in the ctrl-Left and the mainstream media suffer from the real hatred, only it is oikophobic and globalist, seeking to eliminate all opposition, no matter how mild-mannered or reasonable it may be. These detractors have the bully pulpit of the mainstream media from which to spout their hatred, dressed up as what all right-thinking people should be thinking.

Much of what has been described as alt-Right or far-Right would have been labelled right-of-centre conservatism a scant 20 years ago. And much of it is not, in fact, right-wing, but more centrist or liberal (in the old sense of the word), some of it even almost Marxist**.

Many of these people are seeing the same changes I’m seeing and not liking them. Many of them are the same age as I am or older, many are 20 to 30 years younger.

The powers that be are working with Silicon Valley to deplatform real political opposition from internet platforms (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook) and financial platforms (Patreon, PayPal). In the case of Tommy Robinson, they even resorted to imprisonment.

I can only surmise that the activities of 2018 are just a preview of things to come.

If the actions of Theresa May’s government and the behaviour of the various arms of government of the past year or so are indications of a trend, then the suppression will continue, and it will increase.

I don’t think a proper Brexit will happen. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they passed a law calling it a hate crime to protest such an outcome peacefully.

And when the veneer of democratic legitimacy slips off the faces of the powers that be, as it is at this moment, I suspect a lot more people will wake up. The powers that be will overplay their hand, and the prestige will break: Government will be an illusion of the governors.

I think a lot of those people who would have once voted for Remain will make the choice to become British instead of European. What was once 52-48 will become 85-15.

But there is going to be a lot of nastiness until then. And I’m not looking forward to it. (I have children, FFS.)

So I begin this year full of pessimism about immediate prospects (I think people will die on all sides, maybe not this year but soon – and I hope I am wrong), but with hope that when we get through this coming shitstorm, we will be galvanised and strengthened as a nation***.

The alternative is just too grim to contemplate – so I will look for hope and faith this year.

 

*I have a feeling that everyone knows deep down inside, Remainer and Leaver, that had the vote gone the other way, Remainers would not have received the same ire as Leavers now do. And I suspect they would be just as poor winners as they are losers.

**I must admit, the Brexit debate and the rape gang situation has turned me into a bit more of a class warrior than I ever have been. I am finding myself becoming resentful of privileged upper middle class twats who deign to know better than the rest of us how we must think and act.

***For an interesting alternative vision for our country, see this post at Albion Awakening.

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…Politics by other means

War is the continuation of politics by other means.Carl von Clausewitz

Will Podmore provides some disturbing reading over at The Blue Anchor about our government’s collusion in bringing the UK into ever closer EU military unification. The key line being:

Ministers have agreed to all the steps towards military union taken by the six EU Councils since we instructed the government to leave the EU. The government has moved far faster to bind us into the EU defence acquis than it has ever moved to get us out of the EU.

Another article I came across the other day (and I can’t recall who linked to it) highlights the fact that Germany’s Bundeswehr is already integrating brigades from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Romania into its command structures.

Folks, this is not a NATO-style alliance system they are building up. It is a single, unified EU military answering into central authority in Brussels.

And our government is full speed ahead on ensuring we are enmeshed in it.

 

One of the things that has really disturbed me about EU foreign policy of the past few years has been the apparent adaptation of one or two key Third Reich policies, such as extending influence into Ukraine (Lebensraum, anyone?).

It was quite clear to anyone reading about the Ukraine situation outside of the mainstream media that the EU was contributing  to the destabilisation of Ukraine (alongside a few other nefarious groups and agents, including CIA, Open Society Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, etc.).

Whether you support the current regime in Kiev or not, there is no denying that the Russians and the Ukrainians have had a very long, complicated relationship together lasting more than a millennium, and more often united than divided. Russian and Ukrainian culture both derived originally from Kievan Rus’.

[I have only spent a little bit of time skimming Russian history, but I hope to soon be reading this book to gain further knowledge.]

Messing in the affairs of Ukraine is definitely tweaking the nose of the Russian bear.

I can only surmise that the end game is war with Russia. It seems that anytime some bright spark gets Western Europe under their control, they always end up wanting to invade Russia. And we know how that always ends.

Add to this the idea that Emmanuel Macron wants to bring back conscription, and that Frau Merkel currently has a recently-arrived cohort of one million+ mostly unemployed men of military age, and I start getting very uncomfortable about the future for countries that are in the EU.

In a recent exchange on Twitter, I expressed my misgivings about this to a Remainer. He said it was better to be in the military union rather than out of it.

No thanks.

Not only do I see a large-scale continental war in the offing, I also see an army, comprised of people with no shared cultural, religious, or ethnic links to the locals, being used to quell any internal dissent.

I hope I am wrong. This is something I do not want to be right about.

And I hope that some Deus ex machina pulls us out of the maw of continued participation in the “European Project”: it will only end in rivers of tears, and blood.

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