Monday, September 24, 2007

Saying something worth saying

As I've gotten into the thick of medical school, I've discovered that the development of my time management skills has lagged behind the demands being placed on me. It's not easy to blog when one is already behind in the many pages of reading of dense medical textbooks one is expected to keep up with every day. Hence, many entries I started weeks ago remain unfinished.

I've decided that Mark of Western Survival, who also blogs only sporadically, is right: it's better for one's posts to be infrequent but worthwhile, than to post the kind of incessant, trivial, vapid one-liners as we see from, for example, Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO. Of course, it would be great to come up with something astute and thought-provoking nearly every day, as do Vanishing American and Lawrence Auster, but not everyone's schedule (nor intellect) permits this.

I must say that the time constraints I've been under have got me thinking about the liberal nature of our society and the disadvantages conservatives face: I believe it takes more time to be a conservative than it does to be a liberal. This is because liberalism is so thoroughly entrenched in our society as to be the "default" view in most situations. Liberals can therefore take their beliefs for granted; they don't really need to be able to justify them, because they know that most people around them will simply assume that their claims are correct. Conservatives, on the other hand, must spend extra time studying to buttress our arguments, both in order to advance conservative views, because we know that the instant we make a conservative claim we will be called on the carpet for it and will need cold, hard facts to back it up, and to refute liberal ones, because we know that any off-the-cuff rebuttals we offer that are not backed up by "official" citations will simply be assumed to be wrong.

For example, this morning in our small group session, the same liberal black young woman I have referred to previously objected to the term "Caucasian" which was used in a written scenario we were given, on the basis that it was "outdated" (so? Why is it outdated? Must we assume that everything old is bad?) and because it was coined as a contrast to "Mongoloid" and it means "the beautiful people." Now, this claim that the word Caucasian means "beautiful people" sounded totally bogus to me, but I had no basis on which to object to it. I knew that it comes from the Caucasus mountains, but I wasn't sure where that name in turn came from. When I got home, I did some Googling and found the apparent origin of the tale--Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, the German naturalist who came up with the idea of dividing humanity into Caucasians, Mongolians, Malayans, Negros, and Americans, had written that the Caucasus region had produced "the most beautiful race of men." That's it. The word itself is just the name of a mountain range, nothing more. But I, not knowing this at the time, had nothing to say. And whenever this happens--a liberal claim is made and no conservative counterarguments are offered--liberalism wins a small victory.

And what could I have done? There is no way I could have anticipated that this subject would come up, and even if I could have, I don't have the time to spend an hour every evening prepping myself with conservative rebuttals of liberal arguments. I and a liberal classmate can sit in lecture all morning, spend all afternoon reading textbooks, spend all evening organizing our notes, and then at 10:00 PM he can turn to me and say "it's a travesty that the wealthiest nation in the world doesn't recognize health care as a fundamental human right and provide it free of charge to all its citizens." And that that point, it's 10:00 PM and I'm ready for bed; I don't have time to spend hours reading John Stuart Mill and John Locke and Tocqueville and Thomas Jefferson, studying the classical and traditional American concepts of liberty and self-government which contradict this claim, when I've already had to spend hours reading medical textbooks. The liberal, however, faces no such hurdle. The hours spent reading medical textbooks do not interfere with his ability to advance liberalism, because all he has to do is make his claim; the surrounding society gives him the benefit of the doubt.

This is why I'm less optimistic than some of my fellow traditionalists about a revival of traditional America. I fear liberalism already has too strong a foothold in our society. As I put it in an unpublished comment sent to VFR a few weeks ago,

You are correct to point out that both you and Mark, in speculating on how white-majority America might restore itself, are speaking of the coming into existence of something that does not now exist, and that is what we must hope for. The biggest question that comes to my mind is, how can this happen given the extreme and pervasive liberalism of the younger generations? The last generation to have a real memory of traditional America, of what it was like to live in a society where liberalism was not the dominant way of thinking, are now dying out. My parents' generation were the ones who rebelled in the Sixties, but at least they grew up in a world where their parents listened to classical music in the home, they had to read Shakespeare and Wordsworth in school, they learned about the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Pact, and George Washington crossing the Delaware, it was unacceptable for an unmarried couple to live together, homosexuality was unspeakable, there was no affirmative action and it was understood that this was basically a white Western Christian society, etc. They have some memory of that world, and might conceivably return to believing in it if conditions became bad enough.

But they're now turning the reins over to my generation, who are totally cut off from that tradition, having no memory of it, no knowledge of what it's like to live in anything other than modern liberal society, whose only "knowledge" of traditional America comes in the form of the extreme liberal caricatures of it we're so used to hearing: it was a horrible oppressive dark past where women couldn't vote or be educated and were kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, blacks had to sit in the back of the bus, everyone was sexually repressed because the extent of the typical birds-and-the-bees talk was "lie back and think of England" and condoms weren't available to 13-year-olds, and so on. Even I, a product of public schools in the 1980s, feel woefully ignorant of such things as literature for someone who considers himself a traditionalist--for example, I read your comment on Scott of Powerline's appllication of Yeats's Easter 1916 to the Dartmouth controversy, and couldn't understand what you found so wrong with it (unless you meant that because Yeats was expressing some admiration for the revolutionaries, the poem just wasn't particularly applicable to this situation.) Frankly, it's hard to imagine any significant number of my peers adopting anything like a self-consciously white-majority traditionalist philosophy, no matter how bad things get. My personal perception is that there are just too many of them who would never return to the "dark ages" when we silly white-bread people were so ignorant that we didn't understand that everyone is different and you have to tolerate and accept all viewpoints and lifestyles, who would literally rather die than become "racist" or advocate "authoritarianism."

I don't mean to be pessimistic and say it can't happen. I agree with you, that as long as we're hoping for something we should hope and work toward the restoration of traditional America which would have historical continuity with the nation that was founded in 1776, rather than the effective dissolution of that nation and its replacement with something which, though traditional and Western, would not be the same nation. I just have not been able to think of a way of surmounting this enormous obstacle presented by the loss of connection to the old America, and our pervasive liberalism, so deeply ingrained in the younger generations that it's as natural to them as breathing. As long as that stands in the way, very few people will want to fight for either the restoration of America or secession from it.
I have to admit, as I re-read that, I was thinking of my medical school peers, and they might not be the most representative sample of the American population. Unfortunate as it is, at this point in time, the cognitive elite in our society tend overwhelmingly to be liberal, and medical students--well, no one wants to admit this, but we had to take an IQ test to get in. Furthermore, only 53% of my class is white, and these Orientals and Indians are not likely to be at the vanguard of a white-majority traditionalist resurgence. So maybe things look worse from where I stand than they do in many other segments of society. On the other hand, the cognitive elites are the standard-bearers and rule-makers, and the time constraints of being a conservative, the necessity of extra studying just to be able to hold our own against liberalism, when many of us have daily lives to attend to, while liberals can get on with their lives while making liberal arguments unopposed if conservatives have not done our homework, make me wonder if control of our society can ever be wrested back from liberals who seem determined to drive it into the ground.
I would be interested in knowing what other conservatives and traditionalists think about this.


Vanishing American said...

Excellent post, with a lot of important questions posed.
First, I can appreciate your time constraints; even though I generally blog daily, I find there are so many important stories and issues I'd like to blog about that I have to pass many of them by for lack of time and energy. Although I have much more time on my hands than you, as a medical student, have, I don't have all the time I would need to blog about all the important stories.
I am amazed that you find the time to blog at all, and I'm glad you do find some time to blog.

Second, I see your point about conservatives working under considerable handicaps in a default liberal society. I don't know of an easy way for us to circumvent that, or to turn it around. I often wonder if blogging really reaches anybody outside the circles of people who are already on our side. I sometimes feel as if I am spinning my wheels, and preaching to the choir. Most of my readers, at least those who comment, are already awakened people if not outright traditionalists in every case.
However I think blogging gives those of us who see the desperate need for change a way to clarify our ideas, as bloggers, and as readers, we can pick up some new arguments for our side, or we can recharge our batteries for the struggle out there in the 'real world'. It's also a way to boost morale for those who are living in predominantly liberal environments where they feel very isolated.
I think the one force which may be on our side at the moment is the sheer crushing weight of liberal lies. The Jena Six situation, for example: even some apolitical people I talk to, who usually don't question things much, are getting exasperated and seeing the contradictions of the liberal viewpoint. They are just getting fed up, and I think if things get worse (which seems inevitable) what with mass immigration and change to our communities, and the terror threat, people will eventually have to conclude that what we as a society are doing is not working. I think most honest people can see that, and it will become impossible to deny for much longer.
And we have to just keep on keeping on, and do what we can within our own sphere of influence.

Hannon said...

Very well stated thoughts. Before traditionalists start to feel that America is culturally heading in a better direction, away from the current suicidal course, I think a couple of things (at least) need to happen. One is a reordering of the the conservative movement by dropping neocon baggage and affirming a more traditional Republican Party. Under the presently fragmented scene on the Right both enemies and allies are confused. That is no way to win or encourage a political transformation.

Secondly, I doubt I am alone in feeling that all this 'net sharing and honing of philosophies and ideals and particulars that you allude to is not only an important phenomenon in its own right but also a sort of preparation for some future time of momentous change.

But history does not seem to bode so well for the transformation of whole societies from liberal to conservative by the free will of the people. How could all those folks be convinced to give up their short-sighted hedonism and boundless celebration of the downfall of the bad old tenets of traditional Western culture? How could they be convinced that this would not be going backwards, literally? They will not be convinced by any substantiated argument or reasonableness alone. Only a momentous shock to the entire system could disturb the roots of the Left and allow a chance for stronger trees to grow.

Sebastian said...

Very interesting post. I had a similar experience in law school. Though the law remains predominantly white, and unlike medicine most students come with a liberal arts and not a science background, the unspoken bias and assumptions were the same – probably worse. As a group, lawyers are at the vanguard of the liberal repudiation of tradition. Even the students who went into corporate law (the majority at my NYC school) thought of their profession as a tool of degradation; an axe used to remedy all past wrongs, the past itself being the biggest wrong of all. The marriage of financial self-interest and liberal self-congratulation among lawyers is revolting. “Well, I look forward to doing pro bono work” was the usual rationale used to placate the demands placed on the conscience, as if apologies for wanting to make money in a nation now devoid of a common culture are necessary. Sure, more lawyers can catch the occasional reference to Yeats or Locke than the stultifying, mechanical souls in the hard sciences, but there is no real connection or understanding, only some window dressing to impress their liberal professors. To paraphrase an old professor, the students were from central casting for the movie version of The Closing of the American Mind.

The students with the highest grades, the ones who did not regret their choices (I was not one of them; I work in banking, no apologies) were the most likely to join progressive causes and organizations. In their minds, decency and goodness first emerged in 1964. The very mention that people had actually voted for Goldwater made our Constitutional Law class laugh uproariously. The same students who studied enough Madison to get a good grade enthusiastically endorsed the Massachusetts decision imposing same-sex marriage on the populace. The few students (three of us out of 80) who meekly expressed reservations about judicial activism were later approached by a popular metrosexual bien-pensant who was surprised to learn otherwise “cool guys” could stand against such obvious progress and “rights.”

I will not bore you with more. Liberalism, including a particular disdain for anything untainted by diversity, is in fact the default position among the entire intelligentsia, whether in the arts or sciences. Whenever a contradiction is met, an exception is made. The headphones take care of the rest.

In the world of finance one finds the usual Wall Street Republican, the Bush-Giuliani supporter who wants to “kick jihad ass,” but no real conservatives; no one who could imagine a world before Brown v. Board of Education or the 1965 Immigration Act – or the assumptions underlying those decisions – or who could feel at home in a world where transcendent virtues held some sway against the immediate demands of the tangible. They are conservatives in that they want to be left alone, and so they preferable, both as friends and political allies, to the aggressive statists in the law, and I suspect medicine (Hillary Care). But they are not traditionalists in any meaningful sense, for they abhor the xenophobia of any reference to Western Civ, and are dumbstruck by any principled distinctions between friend or enemy, between a virtue or a vice. The market knows all.

Your battle is an uphill one. I have a good friend who is religious physician, and I am convinced his faith makes him a better and more humane care-taker of the ill. Hopefully so will your traditionalism.

Mark said...

What a great post.

Honestly, my passions and optimism are stirred by what you wrote and by what the above commenters have written. Despite the sense of foreboding, it's people like you who give me hope, because it shows me again that there are thoughtful, intelligent, good-hearted people who feel the same way I do. We're not alone.

And the best news of all, and the greatest reason for optimism is that we have Quality on our side, and in the long run Quality always triumphs. The way of life, the principles, which we believe in are the ones that actually work best in the real world to create human happiness. Liberalism has a simplistic intellectual logic or faux Quality that appeals to those (such as the young) without much life experience, exposure to harsh realities, or practice questioning what they've been taught. But all of us have realized that liberalism leads ultimately to the destruction of our people and our quality of life. And so liberalism's end is guaranteed, because it does not work. It does not have Quality.

It's easy to get discouraged if your goal is to reclaim America or the Republican party or all of, or even a majority of, our people. Because frankly, in my opinion, it's too late for that. Given that whites are already only 65% of the population, and a significant proportion of whites are hard-core liberals who would rather die than give up their liberalism, there is no way at this point to get the voting majority needed to change the laws and Constitution in the ways that would be needed to hold on to power. We would need a dramatic decrease in non-white immigration and increase in white birthrates, and I see no serious possibility of that happening soon enough to matter. The Republicans will become less and less conservative because in a two party system they must in order to survive.

Hoping for something that is practically impossible just leads to a sense of resignation and hopelessness and weakens us. But there is something real we CAN hope for and work towards, and that is that a critical mass of our people will wake up to the Quality of the traditionalist truths and form an ever-expanding and strengthening network, or community, of people who will form the core of a new nation. It seems hard to imagine now, of course, but I think it is destined to materialize because Quality demands it. People need to be part of a nation of their own kind in order to be strong, safe, and happy in this world. Putnam's research on multi-ethnic communities has showed that mixed-ethnicity communities are colder, harsher places. A liberal, multi-ethnic West is a weak and fragile thing that won't last. And our people are the most ingenious, ambitious, creative people on earth. We are the people who came up with Western Civilization. Many of us will be lost but I feel certain that enough of us will awaken in time to ensure a renewal of our civilization. We probably won't save our existing nations as we know them, but really - so what? "America" is a geographic location and an intellectual construct our people created as a tool to facilitate our happiness. But what matters is our people. We can form new nations as we please as long as we have our identity as a people. And we will have that because it is built into us to have it, because life works best when we have it.

People like us are the twinkling morning stars glittering in the eastern sky just before dawn. We are the harbingers of the awakening of our people to the innate and irresistable Quality of traditionalism. Things are going to work out, just watch.

(By the way, thanks for mentioning my blog (Western Survival). I'm honored.)

Sheila Coyne said...

Interesting post, which I learned of via View from the Right (which I read when I can deal with being even more depressed about the state of the world). I regret that I cannot agree with those who find reasons to "hope," or feel that some remnant of Western Civilization will ultimately survive in some form.

I live in an affluent suburb of Dallas, routinely derided in the local press as the home of rich, white, spoiled, conservative Republicans. The reality is that most of the whites here are now from New York, New Jersey, California, and Chicago, and they are maybe 50% of the population now. My son is one of only FIVE white students in his 2nd grade class of 24 - and all the rest are Indian and Chinese. I rarely hear English spoken in public by anyone but a white, and constantly see women in saris, women with hijabs, etc.

Just how bad does it have to get before people wake up, what sort of "shock" to the system do your readers expect to happen? Another 9/11? Seeing their language and traditions uprooted, their communities invaded and utterly altered?

My son has had three reading assignments in his class textbook so far: one on Hawaiian traditions, one on Mexican traditions, and the most recent entry was about the African American Museum in Chicago. If we can't somehow find the money again to get him into private school soon, in 4th grade they'll teach him about AIDS. The only American friends he has (white and black)are from Sunday School and from his football team.

Where do we go? What do we do? I can fantasize all day about what I'd do if I ran the world, or about winning the lottery and buying an island somewhere, but this is fruitless and foolish. I'd enthusiastically vote for Tom Tancredo (stop ALL immigration and reemphasize Western culture and civilization), but he can't even get mentioned in the newpaper!

I've come to view most of these blogs as exercises in futility - I can read them and pretend there is a community out there of like-minded people, but ultimately we are a tiny minority and powerless. I know, I am preaching despair, but as I told my older son, I honestly believe that in his lifetime the flag of Islam will rule Europe and the Mexican flag (or a group of Chinese and Indian ones) will fly over what was once the United States.

I used to work for the State Department and have lived abroad and visited many more countries than most. When I came home, home had vanished. To quote an author whom I abhor(he's verbose and lachrymose), "You can't go home again."

Sheila Coyne
Plano, Texas

Mark said...

I'd like to respond to Sheila's question about what it will take to wake people up.

My take is that things will have to become unbearable before the mass of people wake up.

Up until fairly recently - say the last decade or so - the negative impacts of liberalism were mainly annoyances. Liberals said irritating things, made large swaths of our culture a cesspool, and taxed us too highly. But it was pretty easy to avoid those things. For the average white American, the struggle was more on the intellectual than the physical level and wasn't something that hit us where we live, so to speak.

But with the amazing rapidity of the ethnic change in our society in the last decade or so, more and more of us are having to confront the actual negative consquences of becoming an ethnic minority in our own nation. This brings things to an entirely different level of concern for people like us than it did when it was simply a political matter.

I think this means that we're going to see our people starting to wake up in numbers we couldn't have hoped for even a few years ago. I think it really takes actual, tangible face-to-face confrontation and pain for moat people to give up ideological beliefs. I think we're going to see an exponential rise in the kind of pain that wakes up white liberals as the next decades pass.

So I'd say you should keep the faith. Don't judge our success by the past 30 or 40 years when things just weren't anything like bad enough to cause people to reevaluate their beliefs.

Plus I think you should consider moving to the northern part of the country. There is going to have to be a consolidation of we like-minded people into a greater geographic concentration at some point - we can't stay spread out among non-whites and liberals or we won't survive. Being willing and able to move is, unfortunately, going to be a necessary part of our individual strategies. Until things get sorted out and we truly have a nation of our own again we can't count on just staying in the same place our entire lives anymore.

New Sisyphus said...

This is also being discussed at Discarded Lies. Here is my comment from that site regarding this essay:

I have to disagree with SR on this one; I found the essay spot on. I don't think he's saying that one has to win every battle every day, but, rather, commenting on the wearying, constant repetition of liberal concepts that a conservative is bombarded with every day, from the assumptions behind tv commercials to random comments from fellow students and everyone in between.

To be a traditional conservative in today's America is to reject, as a matter of course, almost everything one sees and hears. This is an enormously draining experience, one that causes a great deal of mental friction, conscious and unconscious.

And, given that overwhelming tide, yes, it is very hard for one who feels this keenly to imagine it being overturned. It's just so dominating. One hopes in vain for a sign--and sign--that it is being resisted, but it's not, not in any real way. There are individuals and small groups here and there, but the liberal message is unchallenged in TV, in the academy, in the professional organizations, in the movies, in the newspaper, in the elementary school, in the charity, in the church, in the government.

This overwhelming wave assaults the conservative daily in a way a liberal cannot begin to imagine. It is a life under siege, seeing the enemy, yet powerless to do anything about it as it marches to its inevitable victory.

And, yes, I should change my nick to New Denethor, why do you ask?

Alan Roebuck said...

I agree with the substance of all that has been said here. Liberalism is omnipresent, dragging down our souls and tempting us to despair.

So we must fight back. Inwardly, we must do as Lawrence Auster has said: be certain that we oppose the dominant liberal order, and that we will never grant it legitimacy, although we may occasionally need to go along with it outwardly.

And outwardly we must fight back, especially where it matters most: in the world of ideas. Sooner or later, true conservatives will have to establish some sort of organization dedicated to publicly challenging the ideas of liberalism. This is not about getting people to vote Republican; it's about changing the climate of ideas.

And I mean PUBLICLY challenging liberalism. One-on-one discussion and persuasion is necessary, but not sufficient. The general public goes along (on average) with what society's intellectual leaders teach, so our long-term goal must be to influence the next generation of leaders.

Somewhere, there are people who have the money, the administrative skills, the connections, and the courage to implement an actual campaign of conservative apologetics. We just have to talk about this idea until some of them notice it.

Alan Roebuck

Sebastian said...

Let me add something to Alan Roebuck's comment. Money matters. It always has. The Neo-con takeover of the GOP was a heavily financed enterprise. Think tanks were funded; scholars paid; an entire network was launched. The same for the leftist Soros foundation that pays the Clintons' bills.

Traditional conservatism suffers from being a more working to middle class phenomenon - for now. But as the encroachment continues; as the islands of exclusivity grow ever smaller and more expensive, a reaction will occur.

My advice: make money, don't lose heart and spend some of it in your later years so our grandkids can have an America and Europe worth living in.

Ypp said...

I don't think you need to answer all questions on the Earth using library references. You try to do it because you always want to be good and wise and think that this way you will earn liberals' respect. No way. I would just answer, regarding health care: a man must take care of himself. Of course, they would hate you if you answer that way because you get the point. But they will hate you anyway, unless you lose the argument because cannot find 10 references immediately.

Ypp said...

Example: imagine you are a boy and a bully wants to take your, say, mp3 player. He comes and says "Why don't you want to share you player with others?". Will you rush to the library to search what founding fathers said about robbery and why it is wrong to steal?

Hermes said...

Wow--I am astounded at the high quality of the comments. I'm sorry I haven't had more time to respond, because each of you deserves a substantial response. I must say that I've noticed before how traditionalist blogs seem to have higher quality comments than any other kind, and I'm heartened to observe this even on my own low-traffic corner of the web. If one is looking for vindication of Mark's Quality thesis, one need look no further. I think traditionalist conservatives are simply the best thinkers, and our ideas must prevail sooner or later.

I can't respond to everything, but I wanted to comment on the discussion at Discarded Lies that New Sisyphus pointed to. The poster there seemed to be criticizing me for whining. That was not my intention, and New Sisyphus's response captured my thoughts well. I wasn't saying that we should give up, nor that we must win every argument every tim, but rather commenting on how being a traditionalist conservative in a liberal society is an incredibly draining and spiritually oppressive experience. As Sheila pointed out, it's heartening to read each others' blogs and know that there are others out there who share our views, but in my personal life I don't know any true conservatives--just the usual mix of avowed leftists with the occasional libertarian or Bush-and-Giuliani-supporting neocon thrown in. If I don't check in with my trad-con blogroll every day, I start feeling cut off from the truth and finding it more difficult to oppose liberal arguments--for example, the idea that Bush is a radical far-rightist(as the left think) instead of a right-liberal almost seems to start making a kind of intuitive sense, not because of any rational argument but merely because it's the prevailing view, and the idea of arguing against it almost starts to feel ridiculous. That is the kind of thing liberals don't have to deal with; their ideas are reinforced in all their day-to-day interactions, and their confidence thus bolstered.

What VA says about recharging our batteries is true. What inspired me to write the post was that I was ruminating on the "Caucasian" incident plus I had just glanced at the background reading for one of the next day's activities, a once-a-week meeting dedicated specifically to inculcating the idea that doctors must be liberal to be good doctors. I had just seen that we were to read an article by a Ph.D. psychologist castigating physicians for not being sensitive enough to their patient's sexual needs, then spend some time role-playing as a physician offering contraceptive options to a pregnant 16-year-old girl living with her boyfriend's family. I needed the kind of cathartic experience that writing this entry provided.

Ypp, perhaps the socialized medicine example was a bad example. It was strictly hypothetical, and I didn't mean to imply that I wouldn't respond. If someone said that to me in a one-on-one exchange, I would certainly say that the federal government has no authority under the constitution to provide health care to all citizens, that the notion of "positive rights" is ridiculous and that something one wouldn't have unless someone else provided it can't be a right, that the backbone of America is self-sufficiency, and that I as an American don't want to live in a collectivist society where the government taxes me to take care of others cradle-to-grave. What I was referring to was more the fact that my response wouldn't be taken seriously by those present. They would simply shrug and say "whatever, it's a fundamental human right." My argument wouldn't put a dent in their views since their views are so universal and strongly held among their peer group.

I do take the Discarded Lies poster's and Ypp's criticisms to heart, though. If I want to consider myself a true conservative, I need to speak out. Next time such a topic comes up, I must say something. The difficulty is in knowing how far to take it in an "official" environment; in these group meetings, a faculty "facilitator" is present, and I don't want to jeopardize my ability to pass this portion of the curriculum. Remember, to avowed modern liberals, saying something like "homosexuality should not be recognized as normal by our society" or "IQ differences between races are innate" or "unmarried women should not have children" is absolutely the moral equivalent of saying "I hate black people and am a member of the KKK who wants to bring back lynching." I would expect to get the same response Sebastian got in law school: to be told "you seemed like such a nice, normal guy. I can't believe you're such a bigot! How did you get in here?"

Plus, there is the difficulty of not having "come out" as a conservative yet. In a one-on-one interaction, I'm OK. But in a group where you know that no one else shares your views, you know that the instant a conservative utterance comes out of your mouth, everyone else's jaw will hit the floor and you'll find yourself in an 8-on-1 melee. That makes it tempting to resign oneself to just playing along.

Ypp said...

2 hermes
I did not mean at all that you must always speak up. Quite the opposite - I meant that you should be confident inside your (wise) heart but don't always try to persuade those who don't want to be persuaded. They are liberals not because they never heard the other opinion but because they love being liberals.

Sheila Coyne said...

Others' comments have put what I felt but couldn't quite express into perfectly understandable terms - it IS incredibly draining and exhausting to be a conservative today. Merely to leave my home and venture to the grocery store, the library, or heaven help me the post office, is to be enveloped by an alien, hostile culture - and to make any sort of stance against it, verbal let alone physical, is considered the height of evil barbarism. One wonders why its worth even bothering. Yet, if I consider my children's future, I must try to do something, even if it is only preaching to the choir - or rather reaching out to the only support network a true conservative is likely to have.

Even my spouse and I disagree on this - he sends money to groups like American English, and I wonder what good they have really done - all city notices and school bulletins and grocery store signs are in Spanish, the Chinese have their own bank and cram schools and churches and newspapers - what's the point? When I was being harassed by an Asian male at my son's school (he had an issue about being ahead of everyone in carpool line, and made his point in the form of physical harassment and dangerous driving) the wonderful Plano police told me I was the problem and if they didn't see it, they couldn't do anything. What can we do that won't get us arrested? I do have the courage of my convictions, but I also feel a responsibility to my family. I may be one of the few who does not find that Burmese/British woman under house arrest a "saint" - she essentially abandoned her own children to protest the government there. Sorry, put your own house in order first. Or do I have it backwards? Comments, please!


Alan Roebuck said...

Hermes, I want to respond to your latest post with some suggestions and encouragements.

You said

"I think traditionalist conservatives are simply the best thinkers, and our ideas must prevail sooner or later."

Yes, but not without people arguing persuasively for them. I presume you know this; I just wanted to emphasize it.

You also said, referring to a discussion of socialized medicine:

" response wouldn't be taken seriously by those present. They would simply shrug and say "whatever, it's a fundamental human right." My argument wouldn't put a dent in their views since their views are so universal and strongly held among their peer group."

That's why we need to attack the premises of their thought, not just the specific positions they take. One could say something like the following:

"What specifically do you mean when you say that socialized medicine is a "fundamental human right?" If you had said "I want everyone in the world to have free health care", I could understand your statement. But a 'right' does not exist just because you say it does. How do you know that such a fundamental right exists, and is not just something activists have made up because it suits their agenda?"

In other words, you force them to clarify their meaning, rather than just emit clich├ęs, and you place the burden of proof on them, where it belongs.

And a tactical note. In warfare, one must not make a frontal assault on a stronger enemy. In other words, you are not obligated to respond to every provocation. Pick your fights so that you have a chance of at least holding your own. This way, you're not a coward when you refuse to engage the enemy; instead, you're making the best use of your resources.

Bert Rustle said...

It is redundant to construct arguments to counter individual multiculti inspired statements. Egalitarianism is it’s foundation and is easily shown to be false in a rational argument. To the extent that a person can construct and follow a rational argument, they can be educated. I treat it as explaining a scientific theory to an educated layman. It is only possible to proceed at their intellectual pace and interest. To proceed faster requires asking them to “take it on trust”/”have faith in your judgement” rather than seeing the validity of the argument themselves, whence it just becomes your opinion versus “received opinion”.

Motive is irrelevant. For example, how is the reportedly mystical motivation of Isaac Newton relevant to Newton’s laws of motion? To qualify an argument by motive, race or sex is to deny its validity. It is by this hopeless method of argument that those in possession of empirical facts lose arguments to those who smear, name call, imply guilt by association and state blatant denials of observable, replicable phenomena.

As certain drugs work for some races/”population clusters” but not others and are apparently prescribed accordingly, I would suggest that you could be in a worse profession for reality denial. I would hazard a guess that specialising in medicine based on genetics might perhaps result in a less hostile work environment.

Movies from the forties/fifties can offer some relief from the nihilistic multiculti sewage currently on offer. I would suggest that given your educational commitments, it might be more efficient to comment more frequently on other blogs rather than compose entries on your own.

Safe sex? Safer to talk about anyway. Male IQ is more variable than female IQ. Consequently, nearly all really stupid people are male. Females do not normally challenge this empirical observation. However, the same research shows that nearly all really clever people are male. This generally livens things up. You will encounter numerous statements regarding inequalityy in male/female achievement. This one empirical fact cuts the ground from most if not all of them. One can also highlight the difference in male/female incarceration rates, roughly 8:1 in the UK to highlight male/female difference.

Race? The egalitarian “equal outcomes pro rata to population” is putting the (conclusion/theory) cart before the (empirical observation) horse and naturally leads to debating “how many angles can dance on the head of a pin”. A gentle broaching of the subject can be found in Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade. As he writes for Pravda-on-the-Hudson he is within the heart of the beast and can be quoted liberally.
Intelligence, Race, and Genetics: Conversations with Arthur R. Jensen is helpful as it is a question and answer session between a renowned academic and a well informed journalist, pitched at the intelligent layman.

Virtually all Nobel Laureates in the hard sciences are male. Amongst these from UK & USA Ashkenazi Jews are overrepresented rougly 10:1. The exceptional ability of Ashkenazi Jews has been recently studied Cochran, Hardy and Harpending in
Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence To paraphrase, Ashkenazi Jews are more intelligent due to selection pressures brought on by persecution.

In Los(t) Angeles there are a large number of inter-racial murders. As whites are typically not the perpetrators these murders receive very little coverage in the USA or the UK. For example in Latino Gang Targets African-Americans for Murder .

Statistics? If we have two sets of people, say British average IQ 100 and Japanese average IQ 106. Then there will be many more Japanese with IQ over 130 than British and many more British with IQ less than 80 than Japanese. An IQ of 130 is where one would expect to find successful lawyers, doctors, engineers and managers. I would hazard a guess that top scientists would be much higher where virtually all in this example would be Japanese. At the other end of the scale, nearly all the road sweepers or labourers would be British, not Japanese. The whole situation is greatly amplified when comparing black Americans or West Indians, average IQ 85 with British or Japanese.

Sex and Race? One of the causes of racial gangs in American prisons is inter-racial rape, with whites disproportionately on the receiving end. To quote Human Rights Watch Male rape in U.S. Prisons ... Past studies have documented the prevalence of black on white sexual aggression in prison. ... white inmates are disproportionately targeted for abuse. ... Other than sexual abuse of white inmates by African Americans, and, less frequently, Hispanics, interracial and interethnic sexual abuse appears to be much less common ... African Americans typically face sexual abuse at the hands of other African Americans, and Hispanics at the hands of other Hispanics.

For a semi-quantitative view of human history than Greg Clark’s see the new book Understanding Human History by Michael Hart. To quote "The central hypothesis of this book is that genetic differences between human groups (in particular, differences in average native intelligence) have been an important factor in human history." For a thorough and enlightening review of Hart’s book and this area in general see Steve Sailer’s, here

Dan Kurt said...

re: "Statistics? If we have two sets of people, say British average IQ 100 and Japanese average IQ 106. Then there will be many more Japanese with IQ over 130 than British and many more British with IQ less than 80 than Japanese. An IQ of 130 is where one would expect to find successful lawyers, doctors, engineers and managers. I would hazard a guess that top scientists would be much higher where virtually all in this example would be Japanese. At the other end of the scale, nearly all the road sweepers or labourers would be British, not Japanese." by bert rustle

Not quite true. You are forgetting the standard deviation of the mean. White males test out with SD at 16 and North Asians ( Japanese, Koreans and Han Chinese ) at 10. White males also have a mean IQ of 104. I doubt if the mean IQ of the Japanese is 106 but I will not address the point.

At any rate move out to 3 sigma and the IQ level is 152 for white males [ 104 + ( 16 x 3 ) ]. For the Japanese it is 136 [ 106 + ( 10 x 3 ) ].

Remember: Three Standard deviations = 99.7%, or 0.15% above 3 sd,
Four standard deviations = 99.99366%, or 0.00317% above 4 sd
five standard deviations = 99.99994%, or 0.00004% above 5 sd

Now with White Males 0.15% of the population is over 152 IQ. ( about 1 out of 1000 )

With Japanese 0.00317% of the population is over 146 IQ. ( about 3 out 100,000 )

This is the reason that if one visits a top 25 University and observes the top graduate students in the sciences, math, and engineering one sees plenty of Asians and a lot of white males. Also, the white males that do get into the Ph.D. track tend to be really, really smart. A case in point at a top 25 in the world university recently a Comprehensive exam was given to 8 students: 4 were first time takers in their 2nd year of Engineering Ph.D. work ( 3 North Asians and one White--all males ) the others included 3 North Asians who were taking the test a second and last time and one White male who missed the test the year before because of illness. The three day test ( engineering one day, math another day and the next week an oral exam on engineering ). Results of the first time takers only the white male passed and he had no restrictions ( each restriction was a course to take ) all of the North Asians flunked all three exams. Of the other four the White male passed with one restriction, one North Asian passed with two restrictions, one North Asian passed with three restrictions and one North Asian flunked a second time. As to the North Asians in that Engineering Ph.D. program, they never seem to leave the University, are always at their desks 7 days a week. The White male who passed the first time is seldom there on weekends or in the evening. He plays sports including intramural and city league Ultimate Frisbee and is a competitive pistol shooter and currently is range master for IDPA competitions at a regional shooting club. He also is the only one who is writing up his dissertation currently.

nzconservative said...

great discussion,

I agree things are still pretty grim for conservatives, but I don't think things are as bad as they were in the 1990s, which Robert Kaplan described as "lonely years for realists."

In the 1990s, there wasn't really any kind of 'intellectual scene' for realist or traditionalist conservatives.

For example, the first writer to really influence me in a conservatice direction was John Gray, who isn't even a conservative, he merely had some conservative aspects to his thinking, which were enough to persuade me to check out a few websites with conservative viewpoints.

Now anyone with dormant conservative instincts can bring up a number of excellent blog sites in a few minutes on google.

I agree that most visitors to conservative blog sites are repeat visitors with conservative views. However, many of these people were not conservatives to start with, so some must have been converted by the Web.

From an overseas standpoint, I would also like to point out that there are no semi-professional conservative bloggers outside the US.

I think that a modest but important step would be to to establish at least one semi-professional blogger in all the major English-speaking countries or regions (Canada, UK, Australia and Scandinavia).

At present the blog output of these countries is miles behind the quality of US conservative output.

Conservatives also need to be establish more collective sites to provide better exposure for talented bloggers who are only able to post on an occassionaly basis.