Category Archives: Book

-A Distant Mirror by B. Tuchman (pp.141-142)

In one medieval village game, peasants with both hands tied behind them competed to kill a cat nailed to a post by battering it to death with their heads, at the risk of their cheeks ripped open or eyes scratched out by the creature’\冱 frantic claws. Trumpets enhanced the excitement.

Or a pig enclosed in a wide pen was chased by men with clubs until, to the laughter of spectators, he ran squealing from the blows until beaten lifeless.

Accustomed in their own lives to physical hardship and injury, medieval men and women were not necessarily repelled by the spectacle of pain, but rather enjoyed it.

The citizens of Mons bought a condemned criminal from a neighboring town so that they should have the pleasure of seeing him quartered.

It may be that the less than tender medieval infancy produced adults who valued others no more than they had been valued in their own formative years.

-A Distant Mirror by B. Tuchman (pp.141-142)

Haille Mariam-Lemar on Thucydides

(note to myself for future reference)

Several years ago, before I discovered Popper, I read Thucydides and his account of the Peloponnesian War. After about 150 pages of reading I began to despise the Athenians deeply. However it had not occurred to me that my feelings were being manipulated by the omissions of a long dead author. However one day I picked up the Open Society and its Enemies and in that book I discovered that Thucydides was an anti-democrat belonging to the autocratic faction of the Athenian Aristocracy. With this insight came a greater appreciation of the text. Whilst reading Thucydides i had ignored all the hints that he was a rabid anti-democrat and that with the spartans he had actively conspired to destroy the greatest civilization ever to emerge in the Peloponnese

***

The Spartans unlike the athenians left virtually nothing. Their cities were like villages, decrepit and disorganised. All they were good for was war and the yearly pogrom of slaves. They also opposed free trade and bNned their nobles from owning gold. In effect they were proto-totalitarians who were only good at breeding armed sociopaths. When the Persians came, they allied with them to defeat their kinsmen. They then imposed an autocracy on Athens which lasted a few years before it was destroyed. Plato, as you may know was a member (admirer) of the anti-democratic athenian faction. His Republic is a mirror of the Spartan “Constitution” although in this case, the ruler is a philosopher such as Plato aspired to be.

***

Roman, the man was a rabid anti-democrat with strong oligarchical inclinations. One of the best works out there is
A.H.M. Jones’, ‘The Athenian democracy and its critics’, Cambridge Historical
Journey. 11.1 (1953), 1-26.

Beverly Cleary on turning 100: Kids today ‘don’t have the freedom’ I had

“I think children today have a tough time, because they don’t have the freedom to run around as I did — and they have so many scheduled activities.”

In her youth, she points out, “mothers did not work outside the home; they worked on the inside. And because all the mothers were home — 99 percent of them, anyway — all mothers kept their eyes on all the children.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/beverly-cleary-on-turning-100-kids-today-dont-have-the-freedom-i-had/2016/04/02/7a63e92c-e6d4-11e5-b0fd-073d5930a7b7_story.html

Jews as a Hostile Elite in the USSR — by Kevin MacDonald

This is a forbidden bit of history that I’m quietly obsessed with. The truth is very dark and disturbing.

“When the Jews achieved power in Russia, it was as a hostile elite with a deep sense of historic grievance. As a result, they became willing executioners of both the people and cultures they came to rule.” — Kevin MacDonald

This 17,000-word book review by Kevin MacDonald of Yuri Slezkine’s The Jewish Century is published here in its entirety as an invaluable work of reference. Abridged versions of the same review exist elsewhere (see here and here), but neither of these do justice to the information-packed scholarly monograph that MacDonald was to write soon after the publication of Slezkine’s book in 2004.

Why is this review of such importance?

Because MacDonald was one of the first to highlight the fact that Slezkine’s bombshell of a book had, perhaps inadvertently, let the cat out of the bag: it had revealed many embarrassing facts about the Bolshevik Revolution that Slezkine’s fellow Jews might have preferred to see suppressed or given far less prominence; namely, that Jews had played a leading role in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and in the Red Terror that followed. They had made themselves Stalin’s “willing executioners” and been directly responsible for the mass murder of millions of white Russian Christians and the destruction of their churches.

All the horrors of Communism from 1917 to 1953—the collectivization of farms, the dispossession and indiscriminate slaughter of the very proletariat in whose name the Communists professed to rule, the slave labor of the gulags, the horrendous tortures practiced by the cheka, the starvation genocide of 7 million people in Ukraine—all these unspeakable crimes would never have taken place without Jewish money and heavy Jewish participation.

Countless history books have been written about the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath, many of them by Jews, without the slightest hint being given that international Jewry was in large part to blame for the carnage. If anything, the Jews are presented in a rosy light and shown to be among the many victims of Stalin’s reign of terror. This enormous deception persists to this day.

https://www.darkmoon.me/2015/stalins-willing-executioners-jews-hostile-elite-ussr/

A Review of Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own

Suppose you could a) improve your own IQ by 10 points, or b) improve the IQs of your countrymen (but not your own) by 10 points. Which would do more to increase your income? The answer is (b), and it’s not even close. The latter choice improves your income by about 6 times more than the former choice. . . .

Jones devotes much of the book to explaining why this empirical regularity exists. Many of the reasons that he discusses are political or cultural. For instance, he presents evidence showing that high-IQ countries tend to have less corruption. He also presents evidence from laboratory experiments showing that high-IQ people tend to cooperate with each other more than low-IQ people.

Jones also discusses some reasons from microeconomics that help explain the empirical regularity. Specifically, he shows that your own productivity tends to increase when you work around people who have high IQs. . . .

The parable begins with a simplifying assumption. This is that it takes exactly two workers to make a vase: one to blow it from molten glass and another to pack it for delivery. Now suppose that two workers, A1 and A2, are highly skilled—if they are assigned to either task they are guaranteed not to break the vase. Suppose two other workers, B1 and B2, are less skilled—specifically, for either task each has a 50% probability of breaking the vase.

Now suppose you are worker A1. If you team up with A2, you produce a vase every attempt. However, if you team up with B1 or B2, then only 50% of your attempts will produce a vase. Thus, your productivity is higher when you team up with A2 than with one of the B workers. Something similar happens with the B workers. They are more productive when they are paired with an A worker than with a fellow B worker.

So far, everything I’ve said is probably pretty intuitive. But here’s what’s not so intuitive. Suppose you’re the manager of the vase company and you want to produce as many vases as possible. Are you better off by (i) pairing A1 with A2 and B1 with B2, or (ii) pairing A1 with one of the B workers and A2 with the other B worker?

If you do the math, it’s clear that the first strategy works best. Here, the team with two A workers produces a vase with 100% probability, and the team with the two B workers produces a vase with 25% probability. Thus, in expectation, the company produces 1.25 vases per time period. With the second strategy, both teams produce a vase with 50% probability. Thus, in expectation, the company produces only one vase per time period.

The example illustrates how workers’ productivity is often interdependent—specifically, how your own productivity increases when your co-workers are skilled.

The example generates an even more remarkable implication. It says that, if you are a manager of a company (or the central planner of an entire economy), then your optimal strategy is to clump your best workers together on the same project rather than spreading them out amongst your less-able workers.

The parable has some interesting implications for immigration policy. . . .

https://ricochet.com/review-hive-mind-nations-iq-matters-much/

Review of “Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups”

The argument Singh makes in his book is simple and compelling: Coup attempts are best understood as coordination games, or “situations in which each individual has an incentive to do what others are doing, and therefore each individual’s choices are based on his or her beliefs about the likely actions of others.” Instead of thinking about coups as battles (e.g., the side with the greatest military power will win) or coups as elections (e.g., the side with the most public support will win), Singh pushes us to think of coup success as being driven by coup-makers’ ability to get others to believe that their coup attempt will be successful.

How do coup-makers convince others their coup attempt will be successful? They convince military actors that the success of the coup has the support of almost everybody in the military and that any possible resistance is minor. One way coup makers have done this is by seizing the main radio broadcast facility.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/09/10/anyone-planning-a-coup-should-read-this-first/

The Cathedral’s double standard.

Curt:

—Peaceful, law-abiding tea-party groups who cleaned up after their protests — and got legal permits for them — were signs of nascent fascism lurking in the American soul. Violent, anarchic, and illegal protests by Occupy Wall Street a few years ago or, more recently, in Ferguson, Mo., were proof that a new idealistic generation was renewing its commitment to idealism.

When rich conservatives give money to Republicans, it is a sign that the whole system has been corrupted by fat cats. When it is revealed that liberal billionaires and left-wing super PACs outspent conservative groups in 2014: crickets.

When Republicans invoke God or religious faith as an inspiration for their political views, it’s threatening and creepy. When Democrats do it, it’s a sign they believe in social justice.—

Liberal hypocrisy. Incidentally, Dr. Yuri N Maltsev and I cover this ground exhaustively in our book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Tea-Party-Explained-Crusade/dp/0812698312

How long will it be possible for censoring, dogmatic liberals to celebrate their victory over the censoring, dogmatic church via pornography?

Ugh. Agonizing literary interview.

How long will it be possible for censoring, dogmatic liberals to celebrate their victory over the censoring, dogmatic church via pornography? Isn’t it painfully obvious that the secular religion of post-modernism is guilty of all the same intolerance but without the excuse of being eugenic and civilization building.

http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/bookworm/kevin-birmingham-the-most-dangerous-book-the-battle-for-james-joyces-ulysses-part-i

America’s First Great Depression: Economic Crisis and Political Disorder after the Panic of 1837

“Earlier than many other states, Pennsylvania tried to raise taxes to cover its mounting interest costs. By 1842, total tax revenue was almost twice what it had been in 1835, but this was still far too little to restore the state’s finances. The state also resorted to other tactics to avoid collapse. In April 1840, legislators compelled banks with state charters to lend three million dollars to cover the state’s deficit, but the banks themselves were near collapse. A year later, the state treasury began paying many of its creditors with small denomination relief notes, which were often returned to the state for payment of taxes and did little to improve its ability to pay overseas lenders.

“By the end of 1841 the state was desperate. Philadelphia merchant Sidney Fisher wrote in his diary in early December that ‘the doctrine of repudiating state debts is spreading rapidly, is spoken of openly and boldly defended by many presses and leading politicians.’ A public meeting at the Philadelphia courthouse later that month passed resolutions denying that Pennsylvanians were under any ‘moral, legal or political obligation’ to repay the ‘so-called state debt.’ In early 1842, the state met interest payments by scavenging from the assets of the Bank of the United States, which had collapsed in January. By August 1842, the treasury had nothing but its own relief notes, and Pennsylvania finally defaulted. ‘The substance of our State is swallowed up,’ wrote a correspondent to the local newspaper in Smethport, Pennsylvania, ‘and repudiation stares us in the face.’ …

http://www.amazon.com/Americas-First-Great-Depression-Political/dp/0801450330/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381513393&sr=1-1&keywords=america%27s+first+great+depression

Into the Cannibal’s Pot

“Egalitarianism leads to democracy; democracy leads to socialism; socialism leads to economic destruction; and democratic socialism in multicultural societies leads to death and democide. This, in shocking detail, is what Ilana Mercer illustrates superbly in her case study of post-apartheid South Africa. America’s political and intellectual ‘elites’ will ignore this book, because it is politically ‘incorrect.’ We can only do so at our own peril.” – HANS-HERMANN HOPPE

http://www.amazon.com/Into-Cannibals-Pot-Lessons-Post-Apartheid-ebook/dp/B00564TFM4/