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Why are liberals pretending to be racist? Former socialists are on the hunt for a new grift

A Bronze Age Politician (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty)

A Bronze Age Politician (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty)


April 19, 2023   5 mins

The online dissident Right has long presented itself as a dangerous, outside force that threatens the foundations of liberal society. Yet ever since Donald Trump supposedly ascended to the presidency in 2016 through “meme magic” — rather than simply winning over voters in vulnerable Democratic voting districts — there has existed a sort of symbiotic relationship between many liberal commentators and various online radical subcultures.

The former are happy to have a set of cartoon cut-out villains to rail against: incels and misogynists who openly talk about their hatred of women; racists who unabashedly use racial slurs and claim that black people are genetically inferior; anonymous trolls who openly invoke Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust as examples to be emulated. These online villains, for their part, are more than happy to be given attention, and want nothing more than to be known as consummate outsiders; scary barbarians just waiting for a chance to pillage all the norms that liberal society holds dear.

As it happens, though, this sort of thing is mostly theatre. Far from being outsiders and outcasts, these dissidents are not so much enemies of liberal society as its products. Like the “Dirtbag Left” that once gathered around Bernie Sanders and had notions of upending capitalism only to meekly be reabsorbed into the machine they purported to fight, the average edgy Hitler worshipper on Twitter is far less scary than he tries to appear. If John Steinbeck said that the US would never be fertile grounds for socialism because every American worker considered himself merely a temporarily embarrassed millionaire, then one can add today that our online world mostly consists of temporarily embarrassed middle-class liberals.

A recent storm of drama and division within the online “vitalist” movement illustrates this well, and in a humorous fashion to boot. Vitalism, for the uninitiated, refers to an extremely heterogeneous collection of tendencies and idiosyncratic personalities, loosely affiliated with the Right and Donald Trump. This affiliation with the 46th president, however, is strictly one-way: while many vitalists would like to attach themselves to the “Trump movement” in some fashion, it seems very doubtful that Trump actually wants them or even knows that they exist.

The intellectual tendencies that make up the vitalist movement are broad —in some cases openly nonsensical — and it is probably fair to say that they have very little broad electoral appeal. What they do say runs the gamut from various oddball interpretations of Nietzschean philosophy and a veneration of scantily clad male underwear models to talking about black criminality and how we live in a “longhouse gynocracy”. In general, this is mostly a subculture concerned with edginess and self-referential jargon. Some people are only there to shitpost; others hope to market their own personal “brand” to make money from the sale of protein powders or podcast subscriptions. And finally, a few truly foolish souls clearly hope to use their online notoriety as a springboard into legitimate politics.

One of the leading voices within this subculture — a person going by the non-de plume of Bronze Age Pervert — recently had details about his real identity posted online by a rival within these online spaces. BAP, it turned out, was actually a Yale academic from a fairly well-to-do background, with many connections inside what Donald Trump would probably deride as “the swamp”. Unfortunately for his online stans, however, he was also Jewish.

Normally, a person being Jewish is hardly cause for scandal or even concern, and certainly not an online civil war. In an online environment where people openly praise Hitler, however, that sort of factual reveal is pretty awkward. Indeed, BAP himself clearly had a habit of playing with fire here, posting tweets such as “I’m an Aryan supremacist and believe in the extermination of hundreds of millions”, all to loud cheering from his many fans.

To the shock of absolutely nobody, however, it turns out that the Nazi Germany fandom still has something of an antisemitism problem, even in 2023. The result is that many of his former fans feeling legitimately betrayed, while other, more loyal fans have been fighting a bitter battle to try to explain why the online racist movement can’t afford to judge people merely based on their ethnic background, because groups of people are really just made up of individuals that can be good or bad. Imagine that.

Now, this all might reasonably lead someone to how this could all happen. What sort of appeal would an online space obsessed with “naming the Jew” — a forum that is often genuinely distrustful of and disgusted by Jewish people — even have for a Yale-educated Jewish man from a well-to-do and academically successful family? The answer to this question is quite simple: there is very little new in the contradictions surfacing on the online Right, because all of them have happened before — on the Left.

For the Left, the 2010s saw a massive cohort of “overproduced elites” turn towards the ideologies of socialism, communism, and social democracy in huge numbers. People graduated from first and second-tier universities only to find no jobs waiting for them in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. In response, they turned toward Left-wing organisations and forcibly colonised them. The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) was an incredibly sleepy fossil of an organisation until Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign and the victory of Donald Trump, when it was inundated by tens of thousands of young, almost entirely college-educated radicals. In the UK, Labour was flooded by the same sort of people through Momentum, and they catapulted Jeremy Corbyn from the sidelines to party leadership, much to his own surprise.

Of course, this would end in disaster. Bernie Sanders was reabsorbed into the Democratic party machine, and the DSA mostly devolved into infighting, as the ambitious simply saw it as a convenient ladder by which they could secure a sinecure inside the Democratic party. Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, presided over a massive loss of working-class support, leaving the “real actual communists” furious with the racist “gammon” workers they had spent the last few years pretending to care about. This was a movement driven by the insecurities, needs and demands of people with academic backgrounds whose promised place inside the economy had suddenly disappeared, and they latched onto communism and socialism as their lifeline back into the middle class.

The ongoing drama surrounding Bronze Age Pervert and his cohort is, in this sense, just a slightly absurd rethread of this story. Bernie Sanders lost in 2016 and Donald Trump won, but the middle-class jobs for the scions of academia did not return. And so, many of them flocked to “racism” as the new frontier as “socialism” collapsed in on itself; in certain cases, such as that of occasional art critic Anna Khachiyan and part-time actress Dasha Nekrasova from the popular podcast Red Scare, the transition from vaguely scary Left-wing aesthetics to vaguely “based” Right-wing aesthetics has essentially been seamless — a slick brand update that kept the Patreon payments flowing.

To put this controversy in exceedingly simple terms: where once the workers of Britain and America felt that their cause and movement was being shamelessly usurped by people who weren’t workers and didn’t care about them, today racists and antisemites in both Britain and America are mad that their own racist and antisemitic spaces are being usurped by self-interested outsiders, some of whom are quite literally Jews. And they’re not actually wrong. Like a horde of hermit crabs in search of new shells, Western society’s inability to absorb the huge amount of surplus “leaders” and middle-class “elites” it has produced has led to them looking wherever they can for flags, causes and movements to usurp, all in the hope of the pay cheque (and social status) they felt that they were owed.

Should we sympathise with legitimate fans of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler who feel as if they’ve been robbed of their own movement, their own “safe space” away from the ever-present threat of Jewish domination? Maybe not. But to borrow from that famous line in The Big Lebowski, one can say what one will about the tenets of National Socialism — to them it’s an ethos. To the overproduced scions of a disappearing Western middle class, by contrast, racism is mostly just a branding device, an angle for a podcast, a lunch ticket, a mask. The cause itself, the ideology, worker’s rights, naming the Jews — none of it really matters in the end.

These people have worn many masks before, and they will wear more masks in the future, until liberal society recognises them for who they are and finally gives them the only thing they really care about: a white-collar email job, ideally one that carries a little prestige and can be performed remotely.


Malcom Kyeyune is a freelance writer living in Uppsala, Sweden

SwordMercury

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J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

The final paragraph is pure gold.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yup, nailed it cold… scarily enough.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Parker
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Sounds like a description of the civil service.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago

Sounds like my private sector job too.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
1 year ago

I wonder who has more clerks …. private call centers or actual civil service.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago

Sounds like my private sector job too.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
1 year ago

I wonder who has more clerks …. private call centers or actual civil service.

Lorna Dobson
Lorna Dobson
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Wow, finally somebody put into words what I’ve been thinking for years. Thank you for your pithy post, Malcolm!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Elon Musk of Twitter just fired 80% of its workforce, representing thousands of people. It will be interesting with the approaching recession whether other social media companies, bulked up with excessive staff will do the same? And will that change the dynamics of the 2024 election in the USA?

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yup, nailed it cold… scarily enough.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Parker
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Sounds like a description of the civil service.

Lorna Dobson
Lorna Dobson
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Wow, finally somebody put into words what I’ve been thinking for years. Thank you for your pithy post, Malcolm!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Elon Musk of Twitter just fired 80% of its workforce, representing thousands of people. It will be interesting with the approaching recession whether other social media companies, bulked up with excessive staff will do the same? And will that change the dynamics of the 2024 election in the USA?

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

The final paragraph is pure gold.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

Alas liberal society has given them far too many white collar email jobs. In the HR departments of large corporates and the public sector, in the ever expanding, grant funded, charity sector ‘fighting’ for social justice, in the huge lobbying sector and, crucially, in the education sector.

A virus doesn’t believe in anything, but it spreads rapidly in a host without effective antibodies.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Perhaps the Right has misunderstood what politics was about for a very long time. We actually believed that Lockean Enlightenment stuff and thought politics was a contest of ideas with the goal of producing a better society.
In fact, politics is a patronage system which exists to funnel jobs and money to your friends. This is a standard feature of imperial politics in history (Roman, Byzantine, Austro-Hungarian, Russian all come to mind), and America is certainly an empire now.
Maybe it’s time for us conservatives to just come to terms with this and start playing the same game.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

If that’s true, it’s quite ironic since it’s the Left who call the Right privileged. And the Left claim to believe in creating a better society – something the Right would never do. But in reality, it does seem that your view is more accurate.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Why do you think the right would not believe in creating a better society?

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago

Surprisingly enough, most of those trying to get elected have to have a “make things better” interest at heart.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

I work for a few years in American politics (in the background) going up to the Congressional level. Among candidates, I would say about half truly want to “make things better”; the other half are party flunkies looking to make a buck.
However, once they got into office, that changed. I would say half the former group lost their idealism completely, and another quarter started compromising very seriously. It’s a cliché, but a true one: Georgetown Congressional cocktail parties (and at a higher level, Epstein’s island — although I never saw it) are very seductive, and not playing ball means not getting invited.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

I work for a few years in American politics (in the background) going up to the Congressional level. Among candidates, I would say about half truly want to “make things better”; the other half are party flunkies looking to make a buck.
However, once they got into office, that changed. I would say half the former group lost their idealism completely, and another quarter started compromising very seriously. It’s a cliché, but a true one: Georgetown Congressional cocktail parties (and at a higher level, Epstein’s island — although I never saw it) are very seductive, and not playing ball means not getting invited.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Sorry, I sensed my comment wasn’t quite clear when I wrote it.
I’m not saying they don’t. Rather that they don’t shout about it – Labour has claimed this as their “USP” (unique selling proposition). It’s just not seen as a Tory/Right thing. Of course, what happens in practice is often reversed.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

As Thatcher said, “there’s no such thing as society.” Bit tricky to improve something that you do not think even exists.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago

Surprisingly enough, most of those trying to get elected have to have a “make things better” interest at heart.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Sorry, I sensed my comment wasn’t quite clear when I wrote it.
I’m not saying they don’t. Rather that they don’t shout about it – Labour has claimed this as their “USP” (unique selling proposition). It’s just not seen as a Tory/Right thing. Of course, what happens in practice is often reversed.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

As Thatcher said, “there’s no such thing as society.” Bit tricky to improve something that you do not think even exists.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Why do you think the right would not believe in creating a better society?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I agree Brian. I have come to the conclusion that a conservative government should give grants to buy homes to married couples who are committed to having children. It would help the low birthrate problem and also build a group of family oriented home owners who are likely to gravitate towards social conservativism.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

…the sort of social conservatism that gives grants to build houses.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

Surely having as many people married with kids and owning their own home is a socially conservative ambition. Maybe not economically conservative, I grant you.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

Surely having as many people married with kids and owning their own home is a socially conservative ambition. Maybe not economically conservative, I grant you.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Or indeed build social housing, but prioritise working people with kids, rather than perpetual doleys and junkies. You can put the latter in the workhouse. My grandparents lived in a 1930s council house and voted Tory.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alphonse Pfarti
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Either way – the government builds them or the government helps people buy existing homes on the open market. But it should be exclusively for law-abiding, married couples with jobs and the intention to have kids. Pretty soon marriage and kids will be the norm again. And the Tories will have a secured another 30 years in power.
I think we would have to pair it with a change to the law to make divorce (while you have dependent kids under 18) much more difficult to obtain. Otherwise you risk people gaming the system: getting hitched, getting a house, getting divorced, getting hitched again etc. Plus the current No Fault/ No Guilt divorce laws are hideously hard on children.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

Either way – the government builds them or the government helps people buy existing homes on the open market. But it should be exclusively for law-abiding, married couples with jobs and the intention to have kids. Pretty soon marriage and kids will be the norm again. And the Tories will have a secured another 30 years in power.
I think we would have to pair it with a change to the law to make divorce (while you have dependent kids under 18) much more difficult to obtain. Otherwise you risk people gaming the system: getting hitched, getting a house, getting divorced, getting hitched again etc. Plus the current No Fault/ No Guilt divorce laws are hideously hard on children.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Exactly. It isn’t that you give up on making the world better. It’s rather that you realize that, since we’re going to subsidize people, let’s make sure the subsidies flow to our people and not the Left’s.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

…the sort of social conservatism that gives grants to build houses.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Or indeed build social housing, but prioritise working people with kids, rather than perpetual doleys and junkies. You can put the latter in the workhouse. My grandparents lived in a 1930s council house and voted Tory.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alphonse Pfarti
Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Exactly. It isn’t that you give up on making the world better. It’s rather that you realize that, since we’re going to subsidize people, let’s make sure the subsidies flow to our people and not the Left’s.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
1 year ago

U.S. here ….. This is why local governments are full of democrats. The big blue cites are full of Democrats who are rapidly putting minorities at the front, like his sorry-a** Alvin Bragg and Laurie Lightfoot. They don’t need to take the hit for the mess they’ve made. It’s human nature to scratch one another’s back. On the state and federal levels, human nature gets slightly more sophisticated and one begins to see more Demos and Republicans who just make common cause out of the creation and milking of government spending. Everyone not on the gravy train will protest. And when the money gets tight, and the layoffs begin, we see the hidden unemployment that needs be supported one way or another.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

The problem is that when we play the same game, it becomes a “threat to democracy”!

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Better men than I have noted the comparatives between Roman civilization and America up to this point. Both began as egalitarian societies dominated by small property holders. Both borrowed many aspects of culture from an established predecessor, Greek and European respectively. Both enjoyed periods of rapid expansion punctuated by warfare that enlarged their sphere of influence far beyond what their locally focused governing model was equipped to handle. America now is, arguably, where the Romans were at the end of the Republican period. As with the Romans, America has seen its grassroots politics increasingly dominated by super rich oligarchs who monopolize wealth and power. That period ended with the triumph of Julias Caesar, the original man of the people, who fought against the worst excesses of the oligarchs, breaking their power by leveraging his support within the people and the military. I suspect something similar may well be in store for us. The question is who will be the modern Caesar and what will an open and unapologetic American Empire look like.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Caesar was famed for his insidiosa clementia, or “treacherous clemency”*

Perhaps we shall be so fortunate next time?

(*Marcus Tullius Cicero.)

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Well, he would know, as Caesar pardoned Cicero despite the latter’s support for Pompey in the civil war. Julius Caesar’s mercy towards many of his enemies almost certainly benefited him more than their elimination would have in most cases.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Yet those very same Patricians despised him because he spared them! As Cicero tells us.

I have alway thought that Caesar’s ‘clementia’ was his most admirable characteristic. Yet in the end those wretches he spared killed him. Surely there is a lesson there?

As the great Cistercian Arnaud Almaric said: “Kill them all! God will know his own”!*

(* Sometime later it must be said.)

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Perhaps you’re right. I think the lesson is to never make deals with scorpions. They will sting even if doing so ultimately destroys them, and in this case, it did when Antony and Octavian executed most of the people Caesar had pardoned, including Cicero.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Perhaps you’re right. I think the lesson is to never make deals with scorpions. They will sting even if doing so ultimately destroys them, and in this case, it did when Antony and Octavian executed most of the people Caesar had pardoned, including Cicero.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Yet those very same Patricians despised him because he spared them! As Cicero tells us.

I have alway thought that Caesar’s ‘clementia’ was his most admirable characteristic. Yet in the end those wretches he spared killed him. Surely there is a lesson there?

As the great Cistercian Arnaud Almaric said: “Kill them all! God will know his own”!*

(* Sometime later it must be said.)

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Well, he would know, as Caesar pardoned Cicero despite the latter’s support for Pompey in the civil war. Julius Caesar’s mercy towards many of his enemies almost certainly benefited him more than their elimination would have in most cases.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Rome wasn’t an empire until it conquered other nation states…. Where are America’s conquered nation states?

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

It doesn’t need to. That’s what “rules-based international order” is for. Whose rules?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Client states?
eg: What do you think the UK is?

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Oh there are plenty to choose from, but because they were eventually incorporated into America’s existing system, they’re not as apparent. Florida was basically conquered by a rogue general. Hawaii was essentially annexed by force. Read up on the history of the Diego Garcia military base some time. Puerto Rico and Guam are still under American control. Further, some would say the westward expansion to the Pacific at the expense of Native American tribes would qualify also. This is without getting into the NATO alliance or the numerous other nations that have American military bases on their territory. Few historical empires look the same or exert their authority in the same way. The Roman empire left many of its territories basically self governing complete with their own kings (King Herod for example), but exerted control through a system of laws (like the international rules based order) and a uniform currency (the US dollar remains the only truly global currency). The idea of an empire as a vast blob spanning a huge area and made up of conquered territories comes from grade school history books. The reality is seldom that simple.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Those ‘Client States’ such as the neurotic Herod that you speak of, were later phased out during the Principate because they were rather unreliable, is that not so?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

I believe you’re correct, but I was just giving an example of how what we think of as unified nation states throughout history were not necessarily the case. The British colonies had different levels of self government as well. India was ruled by a private company for decades before it was formally added to the Empire. Canada was essentially self governing during the late imperial period and if we want to get technical, they still formally recognize the British Crown. One wonders whether the history books written 500 years hence will recognize the same distinctions we do.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

I believe you’re correct, but I was just giving an example of how what we think of as unified nation states throughout history were not necessarily the case. The British colonies had different levels of self government as well. India was ruled by a private company for decades before it was formally added to the Empire. Canada was essentially self governing during the late imperial period and if we want to get technical, they still formally recognize the British Crown. One wonders whether the history books written 500 years hence will recognize the same distinctions we do.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Those ‘Client States’ such as the neurotic Herod that you speak of, were later phased out during the Principate because they were rather unreliable, is that not so?

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

It doesn’t need to. That’s what “rules-based international order” is for. Whose rules?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Client states?
eg: What do you think the UK is?

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Oh there are plenty to choose from, but because they were eventually incorporated into America’s existing system, they’re not as apparent. Florida was basically conquered by a rogue general. Hawaii was essentially annexed by force. Read up on the history of the Diego Garcia military base some time. Puerto Rico and Guam are still under American control. Further, some would say the westward expansion to the Pacific at the expense of Native American tribes would qualify also. This is without getting into the NATO alliance or the numerous other nations that have American military bases on their territory. Few historical empires look the same or exert their authority in the same way. The Roman empire left many of its territories basically self governing complete with their own kings (King Herod for example), but exerted control through a system of laws (like the international rules based order) and a uniform currency (the US dollar remains the only truly global currency). The idea of an empire as a vast blob spanning a huge area and made up of conquered territories comes from grade school history books. The reality is seldom that simple.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Caesar was famed for his insidiosa clementia, or “treacherous clemency”*

Perhaps we shall be so fortunate next time?

(*Marcus Tullius Cicero.)

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Rome wasn’t an empire until it conquered other nation states…. Where are America’s conquered nation states?

William Hickey
William Hickey
1 year ago

Or maybe instead of coming to terms with the corruption and decline we should just give up the empire we never voted to have?

It is all the result of the empire, you know. All of it.

“A Republic, Not An Empire,” Patrick J Buchanan.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  William Hickey

The Roman Republic had an Empire long before Augustus.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  William Hickey

I would love to, William, but I see this is even more unlikely. We like being an empire. We like running trade deficits without consequences. We like having a fist to get our way. We like using economic coercion to benefit our companies. These interests are just too entrenched at this point, on both left and right.
Every society eventually collapses. Every empire eventually folds. My job is to try and preserve a decent life for my children’s generation. Beyond that, I can’t worry about it.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

It’s worth pointing out that the imperialism runs deeper than most realize. The ruling classes are arguably more idealistic and internationally oriented than the people are. A large part of Trump’s appeal was his America first orientation, which meant, among other things, demanding tangible benefits for American military support and economic cooperation, especially benefits for the middle and lower classes. He demanded a renegotiation of NAFTA and got it because Canada and Mexico didn’t dare risk a unilateral withdrawal, and because Trump was willing to use other economic levers against them. The globalists who run things are far too idealistic for their own good. I’m sure it was quite shocking to them how quickly and how enthusiastically the American people embraced essentially imperialist policies, but they never had that firm a grasp on human nature to begin with. The era of a benevolent and idealistic America is over

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

It’s worth pointing out that the imperialism runs deeper than most realize. The ruling classes are arguably more idealistic and internationally oriented than the people are. A large part of Trump’s appeal was his America first orientation, which meant, among other things, demanding tangible benefits for American military support and economic cooperation, especially benefits for the middle and lower classes. He demanded a renegotiation of NAFTA and got it because Canada and Mexico didn’t dare risk a unilateral withdrawal, and because Trump was willing to use other economic levers against them. The globalists who run things are far too idealistic for their own good. I’m sure it was quite shocking to them how quickly and how enthusiastically the American people embraced essentially imperialist policies, but they never had that firm a grasp on human nature to begin with. The era of a benevolent and idealistic America is over

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  William Hickey

The Roman Republic had an Empire long before Augustus.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  William Hickey

I would love to, William, but I see this is even more unlikely. We like being an empire. We like running trade deficits without consequences. We like having a fist to get our way. We like using economic coercion to benefit our companies. These interests are just too entrenched at this point, on both left and right.
Every society eventually collapses. Every empire eventually folds. My job is to try and preserve a decent life for my children’s generation. Beyond that, I can’t worry about it.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Er, you mean you haven’t already? Dear God

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

If that’s true, it’s quite ironic since it’s the Left who call the Right privileged. And the Left claim to believe in creating a better society – something the Right would never do. But in reality, it does seem that your view is more accurate.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I agree Brian. I have come to the conclusion that a conservative government should give grants to buy homes to married couples who are committed to having children. It would help the low birthrate problem and also build a group of family oriented home owners who are likely to gravitate towards social conservativism.

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
1 year ago

U.S. here ….. This is why local governments are full of democrats. The big blue cites are full of Democrats who are rapidly putting minorities at the front, like his sorry-a** Alvin Bragg and Laurie Lightfoot. They don’t need to take the hit for the mess they’ve made. It’s human nature to scratch one another’s back. On the state and federal levels, human nature gets slightly more sophisticated and one begins to see more Demos and Republicans who just make common cause out of the creation and milking of government spending. Everyone not on the gravy train will protest. And when the money gets tight, and the layoffs begin, we see the hidden unemployment that needs be supported one way or another.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

The problem is that when we play the same game, it becomes a “threat to democracy”!

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Better men than I have noted the comparatives between Roman civilization and America up to this point. Both began as egalitarian societies dominated by small property holders. Both borrowed many aspects of culture from an established predecessor, Greek and European respectively. Both enjoyed periods of rapid expansion punctuated by warfare that enlarged their sphere of influence far beyond what their locally focused governing model was equipped to handle. America now is, arguably, where the Romans were at the end of the Republican period. As with the Romans, America has seen its grassroots politics increasingly dominated by super rich oligarchs who monopolize wealth and power. That period ended with the triumph of Julias Caesar, the original man of the people, who fought against the worst excesses of the oligarchs, breaking their power by leveraging his support within the people and the military. I suspect something similar may well be in store for us. The question is who will be the modern Caesar and what will an open and unapologetic American Empire look like.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
William Hickey
William Hickey
1 year ago

Or maybe instead of coming to terms with the corruption and decline we should just give up the empire we never voted to have?

It is all the result of the empire, you know. All of it.

“A Republic, Not An Empire,” Patrick J Buchanan.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Er, you mean you haven’t already? Dear God

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Agreed. What they actually need is to get out of their basement and find something physical to work at.
Millions of years of evolution will have its due.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Perhaps the Right has misunderstood what politics was about for a very long time. We actually believed that Lockean Enlightenment stuff and thought politics was a contest of ideas with the goal of producing a better society.
In fact, politics is a patronage system which exists to funnel jobs and money to your friends. This is a standard feature of imperial politics in history (Roman, Byzantine, Austro-Hungarian, Russian all come to mind), and America is certainly an empire now.
Maybe it’s time for us conservatives to just come to terms with this and start playing the same game.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Agreed. What they actually need is to get out of their basement and find something physical to work at.
Millions of years of evolution will have its due.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

Alas liberal society has given them far too many white collar email jobs. In the HR departments of large corporates and the public sector, in the ever expanding, grant funded, charity sector ‘fighting’ for social justice, in the huge lobbying sector and, crucially, in the education sector.

A virus doesn’t believe in anything, but it spreads rapidly in a host without effective antibodies.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

Humans are poor at assessing large numbers. Our evolution has equipped us to have a natural feel of dozens and even 100s but after that it’s just “big”. Consequently, if we see a large vocal group we are inclined to confuse them for a large minority or a majority even if they are actually a very tiny minority.

Humans are also biased towards compromise. We might not feel it, but compared to our species’ cousins we are relatively peaceful. Our evolution has equipped us to defer to larger groups, to reach a consensus skewed by power, without the use of actual force, appeasement if necessary. Even the great dictators have needed supportive alliances of factions. Consequently, we’ve been able to build large, stable cities and nations.

The internet has utterly changed these dynamics and the long term consequences may be more destabilising than we fear. In the past the misfits, although nursing huge chips on their shoulders, would be so few and so isolated in their communities they’d have little influence. The internet has now given them a megaphone and a means to connect with like minded people like never before. The internet has not increased their number – they remain a tiny minority – but they are now well connected and form a large group that can project their grievances. And almost everyone else, programmed by their human evolution, wrongly perceives these misfits to be a *significant* group and consequently we appease to try and reach a compromise wholly unreflective of their numbers or power.

The internet strengthens consensus with humans remote to us at the cost of consensus with humans we actually physically live alongside. The very necessary consensus needed for cities and nations to exist is being broken by the internet. The irony is some may prefer great dictators and supranational powers to hold liberalism together. And it seems the supporting factions of this new scourge will be those self-declared morally superior desirables.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
David Holland
David Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

‘The internet strengthens consensus with humans remote to us at the cost of consensus with humans we actually physically live alongside. The very necessary consensus needed for cities and nations to exist is being broken by the internet.’ This is a very good point and explains the rise of atomised identity politics, such as trans. I would add that, at the micro level, the internet also weakens the horizontal bonds of friendship, couples, families and neighbourhoods.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Brilliant. This is why I come here. Commenters who’re essentially providing content at least as nuanced, insightful, and well-written as that of the Journal itself.
I wonder how your analysis would fit if we reverse engineered it over the history of new communication technologies. Those fundamental characteristics of humans you describe presumably evolved before the rise of alphabetic literacy, probably the most dramatic technology in our hx though to most people it’s as invisible as oxygen (see Walter Ong’s work on orality & literalcy and how externalizing memory profoundly changed human psychology.) I would think literacy itself strengthened those bonds of which you speak, in the beginning, as the most well known works prior to print technologies sort of “franchised” local organization, like Christianity organizing parishes from an empirific structure (just made that word up?).

But as print technologies evolved, you saw broader impulses like the Peasant’s Revolt after the Black Death come to find a literature in the Renaissance & Reformation a century or two later. And while distributing the Bible (via print) again only seemed to reinforce local community bonds (eg the Puritans), by the time of the Enlightenment, the world views of the various splintering sects one saw during the English Civil War began to see print and ultimately led to literatures about ideal human societies being distributed _literally_ across continents. In a way, the Enlightenment was a _product_ of those literate, symbolic abstractions about model small societies being shared among an increasingly literate, cross-continental, and engaged populace.

I’m obviously just brainstorming here, but the distribution via print technologies of those abstract models of those fundamental human groups you described, directly led to the rise of the USA, to 1790s France, and to various European egalitarian movements in the 1840s.
But then, once you’ve got Marxism, you’ve got a German-originated abstraction of societies not only across space but across time, and it’s distributed to literate readers all over the globe. And voila! Over the ensuing 70 years you’ve got the “eccentric” Lenin force-fitting this abstraction onto a vast country like Russia, which never wanted it in any organic way. Instead, it was moving thankfully to the point of a parliamentary democracy, in which they might have brought back the Czar as a symbolic figure like in the UK at the time. But a bunch of eccentric literates ruined that bottom-up revolution (based on factory and farming life) in Feb 1917. They took advantage of a fragile democracy only months later in October 1917, w/ very little effort, and then destroyed the lives of millions by trying to fit the largest landmass of humans at the time into some highly conceptualized model from a German thinker 70 years before.

I’d never thought about communist totalitarianism as a sort of “pre-Internet” example of the dynamics you describe, but it does rather fit, don’t you think? It’s not that humans destroying other humans to steal their wealth, labor, and bodily access relates to literacy per se–just ask victims of ancient Assyrians or Alexander the Great or the Gauls murdered by Caesar. But the weirdness of this being driven by trans-spatial symbolic communication does seem like a modern phenomenon, and that trans-spatial communication has now expanded far beyond the literate global culture during Marx’s and Lenin’s time to a kind of trans-chronic, instantaneous communication.

With the Internet, we may have created hundreds of thousands of baby Lenins. Who knows. Thanks again for your great insights.

Last edited 1 year ago by leculdesac suburbia
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

“With the Internet, we may have created hundreds of thousands of baby Lenin’s”.

And plenty of baby Hitlers too!

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

“With the Internet, we may have created hundreds of thousands of baby Lenin’s”.

And plenty of baby Hitlers too!

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Really impressive thinking. I’ve been (flippantly) asking for years “Who died and left them king?” about each identity group that suddenly seems to “take over” the zeitgeist. I think you’ve finally provided a reasonable explanation! And when those tiny-factions-that-seem-big are also willing to use violence to push their agenda, it’s a perfect storm of “carrot” and “stick”.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I find elements of your well-made argument persuasive but dispute the claim that “misfits”, while digitally amplified, are not more numerous in recent years. Many violent actors have “self”-radicalized with assistance from internet vitriol.
Amen to your point about remote friends or consensus groups (often echo chambers) taking space away from vital interaction with people in real physical, familial, and cultural proximity to us. But hasn’t that led to an increased incidence of alienation, which could be also be called–somewhat dramatically–a “misfit contagion”?
You seem to apply the term “misfit” to a very troubled or sick subset of humanity, whereas I think most of have a streak of non-conformity/not-fitting-in within us–a streak that tends to get worsened by habits that are very indoors and withdrawn from in-person social contact. Going for a walk in my neighborhood now.

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Love this and love Culdesac’s comments on it below. But could you Nell explain to me in simple terms why a Jewish academic from Yale would pretend to be a fan of Hitler… I just don’t get why that would benefit him in any way. It all seems like nonsense to me so I don’t understand how the author draws something meaningful and true for society as a whole from this weird behaviour.

David Holland
David Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

‘The internet strengthens consensus with humans remote to us at the cost of consensus with humans we actually physically live alongside. The very necessary consensus needed for cities and nations to exist is being broken by the internet.’ This is a very good point and explains the rise of atomised identity politics, such as trans. I would add that, at the micro level, the internet also weakens the horizontal bonds of friendship, couples, families and neighbourhoods.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Brilliant. This is why I come here. Commenters who’re essentially providing content at least as nuanced, insightful, and well-written as that of the Journal itself.
I wonder how your analysis would fit if we reverse engineered it over the history of new communication technologies. Those fundamental characteristics of humans you describe presumably evolved before the rise of alphabetic literacy, probably the most dramatic technology in our hx though to most people it’s as invisible as oxygen (see Walter Ong’s work on orality & literalcy and how externalizing memory profoundly changed human psychology.) I would think literacy itself strengthened those bonds of which you speak, in the beginning, as the most well known works prior to print technologies sort of “franchised” local organization, like Christianity organizing parishes from an empirific structure (just made that word up?).

But as print technologies evolved, you saw broader impulses like the Peasant’s Revolt after the Black Death come to find a literature in the Renaissance & Reformation a century or two later. And while distributing the Bible (via print) again only seemed to reinforce local community bonds (eg the Puritans), by the time of the Enlightenment, the world views of the various splintering sects one saw during the English Civil War began to see print and ultimately led to literatures about ideal human societies being distributed _literally_ across continents. In a way, the Enlightenment was a _product_ of those literate, symbolic abstractions about model small societies being shared among an increasingly literate, cross-continental, and engaged populace.

I’m obviously just brainstorming here, but the distribution via print technologies of those abstract models of those fundamental human groups you described, directly led to the rise of the USA, to 1790s France, and to various European egalitarian movements in the 1840s.
But then, once you’ve got Marxism, you’ve got a German-originated abstraction of societies not only across space but across time, and it’s distributed to literate readers all over the globe. And voila! Over the ensuing 70 years you’ve got the “eccentric” Lenin force-fitting this abstraction onto a vast country like Russia, which never wanted it in any organic way. Instead, it was moving thankfully to the point of a parliamentary democracy, in which they might have brought back the Czar as a symbolic figure like in the UK at the time. But a bunch of eccentric literates ruined that bottom-up revolution (based on factory and farming life) in Feb 1917. They took advantage of a fragile democracy only months later in October 1917, w/ very little effort, and then destroyed the lives of millions by trying to fit the largest landmass of humans at the time into some highly conceptualized model from a German thinker 70 years before.

I’d never thought about communist totalitarianism as a sort of “pre-Internet” example of the dynamics you describe, but it does rather fit, don’t you think? It’s not that humans destroying other humans to steal their wealth, labor, and bodily access relates to literacy per se–just ask victims of ancient Assyrians or Alexander the Great or the Gauls murdered by Caesar. But the weirdness of this being driven by trans-spatial symbolic communication does seem like a modern phenomenon, and that trans-spatial communication has now expanded far beyond the literate global culture during Marx’s and Lenin’s time to a kind of trans-chronic, instantaneous communication.

With the Internet, we may have created hundreds of thousands of baby Lenins. Who knows. Thanks again for your great insights.

Last edited 1 year ago by leculdesac suburbia
Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Really impressive thinking. I’ve been (flippantly) asking for years “Who died and left them king?” about each identity group that suddenly seems to “take over” the zeitgeist. I think you’ve finally provided a reasonable explanation! And when those tiny-factions-that-seem-big are also willing to use violence to push their agenda, it’s a perfect storm of “carrot” and “stick”.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I find elements of your well-made argument persuasive but dispute the claim that “misfits”, while digitally amplified, are not more numerous in recent years. Many violent actors have “self”-radicalized with assistance from internet vitriol.
Amen to your point about remote friends or consensus groups (often echo chambers) taking space away from vital interaction with people in real physical, familial, and cultural proximity to us. But hasn’t that led to an increased incidence of alienation, which could be also be called–somewhat dramatically–a “misfit contagion”?
You seem to apply the term “misfit” to a very troubled or sick subset of humanity, whereas I think most of have a streak of non-conformity/not-fitting-in within us–a streak that tends to get worsened by habits that are very indoors and withdrawn from in-person social contact. Going for a walk in my neighborhood now.

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Love this and love Culdesac’s comments on it below. But could you Nell explain to me in simple terms why a Jewish academic from Yale would pretend to be a fan of Hitler… I just don’t get why that would benefit him in any way. It all seems like nonsense to me so I don’t understand how the author draws something meaningful and true for society as a whole from this weird behaviour.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

Humans are poor at assessing large numbers. Our evolution has equipped us to have a natural feel of dozens and even 100s but after that it’s just “big”. Consequently, if we see a large vocal group we are inclined to confuse them for a large minority or a majority even if they are actually a very tiny minority.

Humans are also biased towards compromise. We might not feel it, but compared to our species’ cousins we are relatively peaceful. Our evolution has equipped us to defer to larger groups, to reach a consensus skewed by power, without the use of actual force, appeasement if necessary. Even the great dictators have needed supportive alliances of factions. Consequently, we’ve been able to build large, stable cities and nations.

The internet has utterly changed these dynamics and the long term consequences may be more destabilising than we fear. In the past the misfits, although nursing huge chips on their shoulders, would be so few and so isolated in their communities they’d have little influence. The internet has now given them a megaphone and a means to connect with like minded people like never before. The internet has not increased their number – they remain a tiny minority – but they are now well connected and form a large group that can project their grievances. And almost everyone else, programmed by their human evolution, wrongly perceives these misfits to be a *significant* group and consequently we appease to try and reach a compromise wholly unreflective of their numbers or power.

The internet strengthens consensus with humans remote to us at the cost of consensus with humans we actually physically live alongside. The very necessary consensus needed for cities and nations to exist is being broken by the internet. The irony is some may prefer great dictators and supranational powers to hold liberalism together. And it seems the supporting factions of this new scourge will be those self-declared morally superior desirables.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

Culture wars aside, these otherwise unemployable graduates have been attaching themselves to productive enterprises for at least twenty years under the banner of nice or neutral-sounding things like “safety” and “procedures”. All of which are great, but you don’t need a third of your workforce tied up with it, which is what happens once they get ensconced and start building their empires.
The addition of other nice-sounding but time and resources-wasting requirements such as anti-racist, diversity etc just flows on from that.
It’s strangling the life out of SMEs and consequently acting as a huge brake on innovation in technology and business.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago

In the UK is this an unintended consequence of Blair’s 50% target for degrees in our population? The finance for this expansion being the introduction of student loans. However the mistakes made are that Universities saw an avalanche of money coming their way – and there were no measures to ensure the quality of their courses and teaching was maintained. They are mostly pitiful and politically infested by leftist bonkers ideology. There are no market pressures in this system to get the universities to up their game. Secondly, how employable are the graduates, they have frankly been betrayed. It’s such a shame vocational learning and decent apprenticeships have been ditched because they are underinvested, and our crazy emigration policy allows employers to ditch training budgets and employ emigrants at lower overall wages. Blair and the con-socialists have done so much damage with well-intentioned but crazy improvements to education that were not properly thought through!

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago

The same can be said for the US. Student loans were initially backed by the government and swarms of people went to college on my dime.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

I think the UK system of student loans is ‘reasonable’ but could be improved. The student takes money that they only pay off through the tax system once they start earning above a certain amount. If the loan is outstanding after a number of years it is written off, paid by the taxpayers (Government). This means students are investing in their own future, which I think is fairer than expecting lots of other taxpayers who do not have the intellect to do a degree to pay for them to up the student’s potential to earn more. (this is unfair). I think the nuance that the universities should have some responsibility to deliver good quality in the courses they offer could be substantially improved. There should be a measure of how much the earning power of students has increased after graduating, and if a median measure of students shows they have not improved their wages the universities should refund some of the student loans. In the UK this could be traced through our PAYE tax system. In this way universities would be partially liable, and be naturally incentivised to improve quality. The argument would then rage what about the difference between research and education for vocations. They might say “Pure learning (especially in the humanities) would suffer badly”. My response would be I think there may be a case for a new balance between vocational/pure learning at the bachelor’s level, but if students wanted to go on to an academic career, then Masters/doctorates could be more biased toward pure learning or pure research for knowledge. Also, I think a bachelor’s degree could be viewed as an opportunity to gain skills for “learning how to learn”, how to apply critical thinking and do research properly (applying the “scientific method”). The universities are plagued with leftish Ideology, that would need to be changed before proper critical thinking is taught as opposed to indoctrination. Even if you do this in a humanities subject the value to an employer for having employees with these skills should still be high.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

I think the UK system of student loans is ‘reasonable’ but could be improved. The student takes money that they only pay off through the tax system once they start earning above a certain amount. If the loan is outstanding after a number of years it is written off, paid by the taxpayers (Government). This means students are investing in their own future, which I think is fairer than expecting lots of other taxpayers who do not have the intellect to do a degree to pay for them to up the student’s potential to earn more. (this is unfair). I think the nuance that the universities should have some responsibility to deliver good quality in the courses they offer could be substantially improved. There should be a measure of how much the earning power of students has increased after graduating, and if a median measure of students shows they have not improved their wages the universities should refund some of the student loans. In the UK this could be traced through our PAYE tax system. In this way universities would be partially liable, and be naturally incentivised to improve quality. The argument would then rage what about the difference between research and education for vocations. They might say “Pure learning (especially in the humanities) would suffer badly”. My response would be I think there may be a case for a new balance between vocational/pure learning at the bachelor’s level, but if students wanted to go on to an academic career, then Masters/doctorates could be more biased toward pure learning or pure research for knowledge. Also, I think a bachelor’s degree could be viewed as an opportunity to gain skills for “learning how to learn”, how to apply critical thinking and do research properly (applying the “scientific method”). The universities are plagued with leftish Ideology, that would need to be changed before proper critical thinking is taught as opposed to indoctrination. Even if you do this in a humanities subject the value to an employer for having employees with these skills should still be high.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
1 year ago

I think you mean immigrants rather than emigrants, but other than that, spot on.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“In the UK is this an unintended consequence of Blair’s 50% target for degrees in our population?”
Yes.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago

The same can be said for the US. Student loans were initially backed by the government and swarms of people went to college on my dime.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
1 year ago

I think you mean immigrants rather than emigrants, but other than that, spot on.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“In the UK is this an unintended consequence of Blair’s 50% target for degrees in our population?”
Yes.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago

In the UK is this an unintended consequence of Blair’s 50% target for degrees in our population? The finance for this expansion being the introduction of student loans. However the mistakes made are that Universities saw an avalanche of money coming their way – and there were no measures to ensure the quality of their courses and teaching was maintained. They are mostly pitiful and politically infested by leftist bonkers ideology. There are no market pressures in this system to get the universities to up their game. Secondly, how employable are the graduates, they have frankly been betrayed. It’s such a shame vocational learning and decent apprenticeships have been ditched because they are underinvested, and our crazy emigration policy allows employers to ditch training budgets and employ emigrants at lower overall wages. Blair and the con-socialists have done so much damage with well-intentioned but crazy improvements to education that were not properly thought through!

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

Culture wars aside, these otherwise unemployable graduates have been attaching themselves to productive enterprises for at least twenty years under the banner of nice or neutral-sounding things like “safety” and “procedures”. All of which are great, but you don’t need a third of your workforce tied up with it, which is what happens once they get ensconced and start building their empires.
The addition of other nice-sounding but time and resources-wasting requirements such as anti-racist, diversity etc just flows on from that.
It’s strangling the life out of SMEs and consequently acting as a huge brake on innovation in technology and business.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Here’s a question for you all: why is the white UK/US world so concerned about the fate, well being, rights, poverty, etc of the black and Islamic world when the Black and Islamic world are vociferously united in opposition to the white world, whether by Islamic insurgence, political and social opposition, and exclusion in everything from politics to TV adverts and journalists?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

We have become obscenely decadent.

Or as Frederick the Great so perfectly put it “ the more I see of the human race the more I love my dogs”!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago

Eric Kaufmann’s concept of ‘asymmetric multiculturalism’ is part of your answer.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago

Why oh why do you have to look at this by separating everything by ethnicity and identity groupings? – this is divisive and ultimately self-defeating. We all have more in common than we have differences and we should focus on that. Your claim that all of the black and Islamic worlds are ‘vociferously’ against the white world is also very dubious. There are very active vocal minorities who push this view, not held by the silent majority.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

Thanks for making these sensible and humane points.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

The facts show your suggestion to me manifestly incorrect

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

Thanks for making these sensible and humane points.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

The facts show your suggestion to me manifestly incorrect

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

We have become obscenely decadent.

Or as Frederick the Great so perfectly put it “ the more I see of the human race the more I love my dogs”!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago

Eric Kaufmann’s concept of ‘asymmetric multiculturalism’ is part of your answer.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago

Why oh why do you have to look at this by separating everything by ethnicity and identity groupings? – this is divisive and ultimately self-defeating. We all have more in common than we have differences and we should focus on that. Your claim that all of the black and Islamic worlds are ‘vociferously’ against the white world is also very dubious. There are very active vocal minorities who push this view, not held by the silent majority.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Here’s a question for you all: why is the white UK/US world so concerned about the fate, well being, rights, poverty, etc of the black and Islamic world when the Black and Islamic world are vociferously united in opposition to the white world, whether by Islamic insurgence, political and social opposition, and exclusion in everything from politics to TV adverts and journalists?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

If universities didn’t exist we wouldn’t invent them because scholars no longer need to congregate in order to communicate. Instead of pushing them into university and a lifetime of debt and frustration, wise parents would encourage their kids to learn skills that AI can’t easily replace: cabinet making, horticulture, nursing …

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It must be blatantly obvious to most that we need a ‘new’ Thomas Cromwell, and the complete Dissolution of the Universities.

Sadly, had Cromwell not been beheaded in 1540, he may also have achieved just that.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Do you think universities will continue to exist as physical entities?
MOOCS challenge them with remote teaching. During the lockdown many universities corralled their students in their rooms and taught them remotely.
What’s the point of going to campus now?

michael harris
michael harris
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

The point(s) are booze, sex, getting away from family etc etc.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  michael harris

The Navy did that for me and provided me with pocket money as the British Armed Forces did for many others of my ‘cohort’.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

‘The Gut’ in Malta perhaps?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

‘The Gut’ in Malta perhaps?

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  michael harris

The Navy did that for me and provided me with pocket money as the British Armed Forces did for many others of my ‘cohort’.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

As I predicted in the 1990s, the real “digital divide” will be between those who can afford to live in an idyllic community of other brilliant young people and immerse themselves in intellectual (and social) endeavors for 4 years, vs those who get their “education” from canned online courses via a screen while sitting in a dim closet.

And that’s true of kids too. I said it then when working on grants with the idiot “thought leaders” whom I was forced through material necessary to enable–and 20-30 years later, here we are.

M. Jamieson
M. Jamieson
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

They did, but the result was utterly shitty leaning.

michael harris
michael harris
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

The point(s) are booze, sex, getting away from family etc etc.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

As I predicted in the 1990s, the real “digital divide” will be between those who can afford to live in an idyllic community of other brilliant young people and immerse themselves in intellectual (and social) endeavors for 4 years, vs those who get their “education” from canned online courses via a screen while sitting in a dim closet.

And that’s true of kids too. I said it then when working on grants with the idiot “thought leaders” whom I was forced through material necessary to enable–and 20-30 years later, here we are.

M. Jamieson
M. Jamieson
1 year ago
Reply to  D Glover

They did, but the result was utterly shitty leaning.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

My 27yo has a brain the size of a planet, and I applaud his decision not to go to university, despite my own fairly extensive time in academia. Kudos also to him for installing the shower in the old bathroom when he and his girlfriend lived with me during Wuhan Flu.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Your son has made the correct choice.
Long may he prosper.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

My old blog on the university swindle:
https://universityswindle.blogspot.com/

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Thank you.

Somewhat naughtily I never tire of asking people what Oxbridge contributed to the birth of the Industrial Revolution, (the greatest event in human history, bar none! )

As you well know the answer is absolutely NOTHING, but that does come as an unpleasant surprise to many seduced by the elixir of “Porterhouse Blue, Brideshead Revisited” etc.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Entrepreneurs and wealth builders have not changed since then, and tend to be non graduates. Risk takers do not want to get on a train every morning, to a secure job, but have to employ same, annoyingly, not least as ” slisters” and acuntants.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Entrepreneurs and wealth builders have not changed since then, and tend to be non graduates. Risk takers do not want to get on a train every morning, to a secure job, but have to employ same, annoyingly, not least as ” slisters” and acuntants.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Thank you.

Somewhat naughtily I never tire of asking people what Oxbridge contributed to the birth of the Industrial Revolution, (the greatest event in human history, bar none! )

As you well know the answer is absolutely NOTHING, but that does come as an unpleasant surprise to many seduced by the elixir of “Porterhouse Blue, Brideshead Revisited” etc.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

My old blog on the university swindle:
https://universityswindle.blogspot.com/

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

There is a belief that pure academics can tell you the volume, weight, chemical composition (etc.) of a jar of jam (US = Jelly), but are unable to get the lid off.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Your son has made the correct choice.
Long may he prosper.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

There is a belief that pure academics can tell you the volume, weight, chemical composition (etc.) of a jar of jam (US = Jelly), but are unable to get the lid off.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It must be blatantly obvious to most that we need a ‘new’ Thomas Cromwell, and the complete Dissolution of the Universities.

Sadly, had Cromwell not been beheaded in 1540, he may also have achieved just that.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Do you think universities will continue to exist as physical entities?
MOOCS challenge them with remote teaching. During the lockdown many universities corralled their students in their rooms and taught them remotely.
What’s the point of going to campus now?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

My 27yo has a brain the size of a planet, and I applaud his decision not to go to university, despite my own fairly extensive time in academia. Kudos also to him for installing the shower in the old bathroom when he and his girlfriend lived with me during Wuhan Flu.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

If universities didn’t exist we wouldn’t invent them because scholars no longer need to congregate in order to communicate. Instead of pushing them into university and a lifetime of debt and frustration, wise parents would encourage their kids to learn skills that AI can’t easily replace: cabinet making, horticulture, nursing …

Anna Clare Bryson
Anna Clare Bryson
1 year ago

To me the weakness of the argument is that while the idea of the “overproduction” of graduate elites has something to it, I’m not sure I can really see a very obvious massive excess of unemployed/underemployed graduates. I don’t, to be honest, know much about the social profile of social media far-rightists or pretenders to far-rightism, but as far as conventional left-modernism is concerned (including intense preoccupation with racism and the identification of racists, but also misogynists, various phobes and so on, and a generally critical and rejecting stance about national community, history and so forth, and an at least superficial attachment to climate catastrophism.), it seems to me as or even more entrenched among the affluent without job cares than among the struggling young members of the middle-class. In fact, in some areas of graduate employment (publishing, broadcasting, public services, education) it is becoming a condition for success, not a reaction to failure. .

Anna Clare Bryson
Anna Clare Bryson
1 year ago

To me the weakness of the argument is that while the idea of the “overproduction” of graduate elites has something to it, I’m not sure I can really see a very obvious massive excess of unemployed/underemployed graduates. I don’t, to be honest, know much about the social profile of social media far-rightists or pretenders to far-rightism, but as far as conventional left-modernism is concerned (including intense preoccupation with racism and the identification of racists, but also misogynists, various phobes and so on, and a generally critical and rejecting stance about national community, history and so forth, and an at least superficial attachment to climate catastrophism.), it seems to me as or even more entrenched among the affluent without job cares than among the struggling young members of the middle-class. In fact, in some areas of graduate employment (publishing, broadcasting, public services, education) it is becoming a condition for success, not a reaction to failure. .

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago

Why are liberals pretending to be racist?
They ain’t pretending.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

Ask yourself, “Why are racists pretending to be liberals?”

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

But these days, isn’t EVERYONE “racist” … if not today, then maybe tomorrow?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

For myself, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Apo State

For myself, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

Ask yourself, “Why are racists pretending to be liberals?”

Apo State
Apo State
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

But these days, isn’t EVERYONE “racist” … if not today, then maybe tomorrow?

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago

Why are liberals pretending to be racist?
They ain’t pretending.

Pil Grim
Pil Grim
1 year ago

Pretty accurate account for a fair number of those involved and BAP being Jewish is one of the funniest plot twists in years, but the presumption is that a white collar job in a sclerotic liberal democracy is the panacea for what is a much deeper problem than simply finding good jobs for the glut of middle class graduates. Such jobs have long diverted minds from the existential wound of nihilism in the Western psyche (until predictable mid-life crises strike) but, given this generation have been staring into that particular abyss for 15 years now, the white collar job ain’t going to be the diversion it once was. We are too far down the road now and the old liberal faiths are failing fast. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Pil Grim
Pil Grim
1 year ago

Pretty accurate account for a fair number of those involved and BAP being Jewish is one of the funniest plot twists in years, but the presumption is that a white collar job in a sclerotic liberal democracy is the panacea for what is a much deeper problem than simply finding good jobs for the glut of middle class graduates. Such jobs have long diverted minds from the existential wound of nihilism in the Western psyche (until predictable mid-life crises strike) but, given this generation have been staring into that particular abyss for 15 years now, the white collar job ain’t going to be the diversion it once was. We are too far down the road now and the old liberal faiths are failing fast. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

As the Great White Racist wrote:
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more
The great challenge of the “overproduced elite” is to rise above mere strutting and fretting. But it ain’t easy. No siree.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

But the “overproduced elite” are dancing (strutting and fretting) before the Emperor seeking patronage. But the Emperor has no patronage to bestow. So grifters got to grift.
I blame Tony Blair for increasing the supply of University graduates without ensuring employment opportunities. But then how many Media degrees can society support?

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 year ago

It’s even harder when the only thing you’ve been taught is strutting and fretting, Sometimes it’s advanced strutting and fretting. It’s easy to get a master’s in strutting and fretting, but it’s no more marketable. You have to get a doctorate and specialize in either strutting or fretting.

tom Ryder
tom Ryder
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

There’s always a PhD, piled higher & deeper!

tom Ryder
tom Ryder
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

There’s always a PhD, piled higher & deeper!

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

But the “overproduced elite” are dancing (strutting and fretting) before the Emperor seeking patronage. But the Emperor has no patronage to bestow. So grifters got to grift.
I blame Tony Blair for increasing the supply of University graduates without ensuring employment opportunities. But then how many Media degrees can society support?

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 year ago

It’s even harder when the only thing you’ve been taught is strutting and fretting, Sometimes it’s advanced strutting and fretting. It’s easy to get a master’s in strutting and fretting, but it’s no more marketable. You have to get a doctorate and specialize in either strutting or fretting.