In which an MSM journo gets within a country mile of the truth but misses the target by twice as far.
A very interesting column from Allister Heath in today’s Tellygiraffe (pastebin). He enumerates many of the problems we have today, and those of us with a little bit of insight will find it comforting that he’s now stating, in the mainstream media, things that many of us have seen coming for more than 20 years. He then goes wildly off the rails and in doing so, parades the panoply of delusions he labours under.
I think it’s worth dissecting as there’s a lot to unpack. We can then get to the point which Heath fails to arrive at (or at least declare in the open).
Imperialism, war, irrationality, disease and economic dislocation: modernity is ending as it began. Vladimir Putin’s monstrous expansionism is the latest, terrifying reminder that human progress is far from inevitable, and that our wealth and technological advances rest on a set of extraordinarily fragile foundations.
I think we need a definition of terms here. Specifically ‘modernity’. I’ve found several acceptable definitions ranging from the superficial (1) to the comprehensive (2). You can fill in the gaps between the two in your own time.
Based on the superficial definition, I see no reason to lament the ‘end of modernity’ and in terms of the comprehensive definition, I think modernity ended some time between the turn of the century and 2010, but that the seeds of its demise were planted in the mid 20th century.
I dispute the bald assertion that Putin’s current adventures are either monstrous or expansionist. When you have 20% of the population of the Ukraine who are ethnically and culturally Russian, and who have been subject, in effect, to rule by those culturally and linguistically foreign to them, is taking them and their land under your wing really monstrous or expansionist?
Is the NATO push into the Ukraine not a case of western expansionism? Was the US-orchestrated overthrow of the pro-Russian regime in the Ukraine in 2013/4 not monstrous?
If Putin takes the whole of the Ukraine by force, or rolls into Poland then I’ll start to ask questions and cast aspersions, but until then, is he not doing the same thing any God-fearing patriot would want to do?
Does the west have any business at all meddling in matters Ukrainian? Is the USA in any position to be posturing about ‘muh democracy’ after events of the last couple of years? As the USA’s lapdogs, and as a former imperial power, are we in the UK in any better position in this respect?
Did anyone ever assert that human progress is inevitable? Are those the same people who still think progress (i.e. forward motion) is synonymous with improvement. There’s a strong argument that the two coincided to an overwhelming extent in the second half of the 20th century, but if you’re under the illusion they are still yoked together, I’m afraid you’ve been asleep at the wheel for many years now and we’re going to have to disregard any further observations you have.
It is hard to be bullish about the next few years. As the 2020s progress, it will become obvious that our civilisation relied on a series of increasingly invalid assumptions: that genuine, destructive wars are unthinkable between major economies; that real incomes are on a permanent upwards trajectory, powered by globalisation; that technology necessarily empowers individuals; that deadly pandemics are a thing of the past, and biowarfare unimaginable; that our ever-more woke Western elites still believe in liberty, popular democracy and the rule of law.
There’s not too much to argue with here, although I’m pretty sure we can agree that we mostly noticed all these things a while ago now. Welcome to the party though, Allister… there are still some of the horse-jizz vol-au-vents left on the buffet table. And help yourself to a lovely glass of English wine.
The west has been involved in proxy wars with Russia for 30 years, mainly by the medium of bombing brown people at weddings and compelling their offspring to come to the west and either eat our lunch or to wage furtive war. Inflation has been eating incomes and globalisation depressing wages for a similar (if not longer) period, but most profoundly since the wizard notion of ‘quantitative easing’ came to the fore in 2008.
Technological advances were brought to the world by deluded utopianists… the ideas of what the internet would prove to be were grossly ignorant and it’s something I feel ashamed to have been beguiled by in my younger years, but something I think I was awake to by around 2005, having watched it start to get co-opted by governments and global megacorps. I’ve long be concerned and vocal in the real world about the total absence of reality-based ethical thinking by technology organisations. It was almost as if no-one had ever heard of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Literally nobody with a brain thought deadly pandemics were a thing of the past, having read about the various ones that regularly do the rounds in Africa, coupled with the unmissable throngs of Africans arriving on western shores. Not that we’ve just had a deadly pandemic, so let’s not let that assertion go unmentioned.
As for the idea that “our ever-more woke Western elites still believe in liberty, popular democracy and the rule of law” – well… LOL x 10 to the power of WTF. There was always one rule for them and one for us – the catalogue of examples is huge. Popular democracy? Oh sure, there were the aberrations of Brexit and Trump, but let’s face it, neither of those turned out the way the celebrants expected them to, did they?
It is now clear that 1990 was the high watermark for the principle of national self-determination and liberal nationalism.
He’s bang on the money there, though it wasn’t a clean break – there were threads of goodness that continued like the proverbial headless chicken for another 10 years or so.
Some 32 years later, Putin’s despicable Ukraine land-grab marks the final end of that period. It will make it easier for China to annex Taiwan. It will embolden Iran’s own deranged ambitions, and its pursuit of nuclear weaponry, triggering another major war in the Middle East. For now at least, America continues to protect Nato’s occasionally ungrateful members, but Russia’s action ends the pretence that a more general system exists to safeguard the independence of sovereign states. The UN, like the League of Nations before it, is irrelevant.
Like on many topics, Trump’s instinct about the UN was right. Older heads than me have been saying much the same about the UN for many many years now. Even in primary school I was taught enough about the League of Nations and the wars of the first half of the 20th Century to see that ultimately the UN would go the same way, but it’s never been more obvious than in the last 25 years or so, as UN ‘peacekeeping troops’ with no mandate to intervene stood by gormlessly as militias killed men, raped their women and enslaved their children across Africa, the Balkans and elsewhere in the world.
It’s a mistake, though, to characterise the UN as irrelevant. It’s not irrelevant to China who have used it as a soft-power vehicle to gain defacto imperial rule over Africa and global dominance in public health amongst other things. It’s not irrelevant – it’s a skin suit worn by a Chinese dragon. Chinese dominance of the UN explains a great deal of what has gone on in the last two years regarding the Wuhan ‘pandemic’.
And again, I don’t buy into the description of Putin’s actions as despicable. I see them as an inevitable response to the oppression of Russian people in the Ukraine and as the inevitable actions of a man who is faced with a weak, divided, self-absorbed, feminised, emotionally incontinent western leadership. I think Trump is right when he says Putin would not have rolled into the Ukraine on his watch.
As for NATO, if it was worth a damn to European countries, then the USA would never have had grounds to complain about them not paying their fair share into the organisation that underwrote their collective security. Oh sure, they clung to grand delusions about the EU being their carapace now, but how’s that turning out, Germany?
It’s at this point that Health’s analysis starts to go seriously off the rails.
Russia’s Ukrainian adventure is thus of far greater significance than the annexation of Crimea, or the Kremlin’s interventions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Putin’s strategy this time around is much more extreme and ambitious, with echoes of Sudetenland.
That’s a pretty bold assertion and a pretty obvious flirtation with Godwin’s law. Go on, back it up. Oh. You can’t. It’s just jingoistic bluster, isn’t it? Putin doesn’t need lebensraum for crying out loud. Russia has more influence, money, land, people and natural resources than it knows what to do with.
He isn’t slaying undesirables by the million (unlike the Chinese). He’s liberating a Russian people living under continuing threat of a western takeover.
The Russian dictator’s rambling speech this week was profoundly anti-modern: he regrets the demise of the Soviet Union, and wants to rebuild an empire based on what he claims was “historically Russia”. The speech could have been delivered by any pre-1914 or pre-1939 despot. There was the fake history, the appeal to blood and soil, the blatant propaganda: it was as old-fashioned and anti-rational as it was chillingly clear. Putin is turning the clock back to the pre-nation state era.
I haven’t seen Putin’s speech, and – predictably enough – Google doesn’t seem inclined to avail me of the opportunity to do so. But have you ever heard a speech by Johnson or Biden that couldn’t be most charitably described as rambling and most accurately as manifest bollocks from end to end? If Johnson’s speeches aren’t long it’s because he’s a lazy cunt. If Biden’s are short its because he’s never more than 5 minutes away from a toilet break.
Any honest historian will tell you that every version of history – written as it is by the winners – is fake to some extent. But now we get to the biggest tell that Heath has – for all his protestations about the end of modernity – swallowed the dick of postmodernism as hard as anyone. Blood and soil. The opposite of the failed creed of civic nationalism. The indefatigable notion that people are bound together by their shared ethnic and cultural identities far more than by any lines drawn on a map by a desiccated imperial functionary. The very failure of the British empire is testament to the power of the bond between blood and soil. The current failure of Britain and the USA – and many European countries – are very largely an effect of the denial of this truth and the importation of millions of people who do not belong there.
And that – after the last two years – this man can write accusingly in a national UK newspaper about someone daring to engage in propaganda makes me wonder (not really, it’s obvious) if we should take anything he says seriously at all.
Not for nothing is RT now a long-standing media outlet in the western world. While it’s propagandistic about Russia (of course), if you want a perspective on the west that you will not see contemplated on the BBC, Sky News etc then there’s no better place to go in the mainstream media.
As for the nation-state era, if that era is defined by porous borders, supplication to supra-national bureaucrats and the handing out of passports like nightclub flyers, I’d say we’re well rid of it.
We are back in a world of competing, imperialistic great powers, where borders are redrawn in their areas of influence, ignoring international law.
Do you think he even understands any of those words he just crowbarred into that sentence? Unbelievable, Jeff.
The sorts of sanctions the West is imposing on Russia will hurt, but not sufficiently: Putin has spent years building up foreign exchange reserves and detaching his country from the global financial system. In any case the West, led by Germany but also the rest of the EU, the UK and the US, are continuing to buy some $700 million a day worth of Russian energy and commodities, according to Bloomberg.
Yes. Because Putin is more realistic, clearer thinking – of greater perspicacity and clarity of purpose – than all of the western leaders put together. Biden, Johnson, Merkel, Macron, Trudeau etc… they’re all damp, mouldering rags when held up next to Putin.
These idiots who run the west have spent the last 20 years selling the family silver to the Russians, Chinese and Arabs to pay for their programmes of ethnic replacement (a.k.a. ‘multiculturalism’), feminisation and the backward march towards mediocrity. And now we’re shocked at the outcomes? Do me a fucking favour.
For now, America still has the ability to inflict pain by cutting countries or institutions out of dollar trades, but in time its power will diminish.
Another colossal delusion. Western actions have more that incentivised non-western countries to establish their own infrastructure and protocols for financial transactions that do not depend on the fickle and failing west.
We should not be surprised, or affronted, when the Chinese and the Russians turn to these mechanisms in the face of self-defeating western stupidity. But we’re not honest, we’re not clever and we have no self-awareness. so we will be. Guarantee it. Bluster and screeching from Biden and Johnson is inevitable, like an unreliable woman who is shown the door.
The world’s financial system will divide into at least two, with one or more anti-dollar zones based around the renminbi or some other reserve mechanism. Putin and Xi Jinping’s expansionary ambitions will make this a necessity, and they will be supported by other regimes. Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, is on a tour of Russia even as tanks roll into Ukraine.
Well, blow me down. Really? What a shocker. Oh my, where are my smelling salts.
The return of a Hobbesian approach to international relations will tragically be accompanied by a collapse in support for free trade and globalisation.
Go on, tell me who that will be a bad thing for. The bankers, politicians, NGO’s and the ‘elite’ or for the millions whose livelihoods have been offshored, leaving them driving a van for Jeff Bezos and shitting in a carrier bag, or prematurely pensioned off into a haze of pharmaceutical fog which itself is now being taken away from them as if they’ve been bad children who had the reckoning coming to them?
How, some will ask, can we simultaneously penalise and trade with Russia?
We can’t. ‘We’ can rattle our rusty sabres in public and privately lobby for further investment in our structurally moribund economies.
How can we tolerate Chinese technology that spies on us?
When our own governments are spying on us remorselessly (Snowden and Assange revalations passim) it’s difficult to prioritise any perceived threat to our liberty originating in China.
Do you imagine the people of Canada are more worried about the problems with Chinese surveillance, or with their own government seizing their bank accounts for acts of charity towards people who disagree with them?
When our own governments are learning and implementing the Chinese lessons on social credit systems, seizing assets and silencing dissenting voices, deploying tracking technologies, planning central bank digital currencies, there’s no sense in pointing to the east and shrieking.
How can virtue-obsessed companies continue to preach hypocritically at home while engaging with countries that persecute minorities?
Quite easily I imagine. They’re no strangers to hypocrisy. It’s two years since I wrote about taking issue with my company for trading with the Saudi government on one hand and wanking off the company LGBT forum on the other, and that was recounting an event which had happened around 2014.
What will happen to our deep economic ties with China if it invades Taiwan – and how would we cope with the massive recession and 1930s-style financial collapse a trade war would cause?
As an accelerationist, I welcome this. The entire western edifice is built on sand. The economy, the culture, the polity. Far too many people have been blithely proceeding with their heads in the sand, drunk on MSM propaganda, obsessing about gender pay gaps and diversity quotas. These people all deserve to die in a fire. When the music stops, we will find that all the chairs are occupied by people who are not white, not western and not handicapped by all the Harrison Bergeron adornments we in the west have been ostentatiously flaunting for the last umpteen years.
When the shit hits the fan, the women and the women-with-penises will turn and beg the actual men to do something, and the actual men really ought to turn their backs, as so many of us have already done. Only the ones captured by ghastly women and prisoners of their own years in denial will do otherwise.
I wouldn’t lift the TV remote to help these people, let alone pick up a weapon.
The expansion in trade and capitalism since the 1990s was one of the great boons of all time for humankind: it pulled billions out of extreme poverty, hugely improved quality of life and slashed infant mortality.
There’s bound to be some truth in this, on some metrics.
But even the headline ‘good things’ are not quite what they seem. One of my favourite statistics is that since Bob Geldof emptied our pockets for Ethiopia in 1985, when around 500,000 people died during a famine (which was largely a similar effect of communism to that seen in Russia repeatedly in the early 20th century), Ethiopia’s population has trebled from around 40 million to 120 million today, largely as a result of western and Chinese investment. The average IQ in Ethiopia is beween 63 and 69 depending on how you measure it.
Closer to home, as I’ve already said, millions of men have lost their livelihoods of engaging craftsmanship, to be replaced by a seat in a call-center, a van or a dole office.
Deglobalisation, triggered by authoritarian militarism, if and when it comes, will be a humanitarian calamity.
If that is what it takes for western countries to have an honest look at what our priorities should be, then so be it. I’ve wished for a long time that people could put down their Take a Break magazines and their football shirts and have a serious think about what really matters, but wishing does not make it so.
But while the West has largely condemned Russia’s move on Ukraine, it too is racked with its own internal ideological rejection of the modern, liberal-conservative order. Communism never really stood a chance in Europe and America, and a capitalist and democratic West thus triumphed in the Cold War; but the woke ideology, best understood as an anti-capitalist, anti-Western secular religion, has already captured much of the intelligentsia in America, Canada, New Zealand and increasingly Britain.
Let’s not beat about the bush. Wokeism IS communism in a colourful outfit. Therefore to say that communism never really stood a chance here is stupid in the extreme. It is running rampant today after a 40 year ramp up. Thatcher and Reagan were the last western leaders to fight the rearguard action against communism and they were widely hated for it by figures in culture, education and the media and the masses were gulled into hating the only people left in political life who were actually fighting for their interests.
In its extreme form, it represents a rejection of the Enlightenment, of freedom and reason; Western history is reviled as uniquely bad, rather than as a remarkable experiment in self-improvement. Individualism is replaced by collectivism and neo-feudalism, and Martin Luther King’s ideal of a colour-blind society by balkanised identity politics. Free speech is dismissed as “oppressive”. Dissenters are cancelled, with cultural institutions, capital and corporations happy to help impose this new orthodoxy. The fear is that technology will be used to increase the power of this new ruling class, rather than to liberate the masses.
I’m not handing out prizes for coming to the same conclusions in 2022 that people like me had reached 10 or more years ago. Nevertheless, it is mildly encouraging to see them articulated in the MSM. Surprisingly few middle-aged hoi polloi realise that the people pushing diversity and ‘tolerance’ today consider Martin Luther King to be an Uncle Tom who had internalised white supremacy.
The parallel rise of a related extreme environmentalism – another millenarianist movement, more concerned with self-flagellation than protecting nature – has already encouraged a series of catastrophic errors, not least the abandonment of nuclear and greater dependency on Russian gas.
Again, no prizes for stating the blindingly fucking obvious, Allister.
So what is the solution? How can we halt the return of authoritarian imperialism? How can we stop a collapse in free trade? How can we defeat the woke demagogues? I’m sorry to disappoint you, dear reader, but there are no easy answers to prevent the world from sliding into a new dark age, and perhaps even in some cases none at all.
That depends on what you classify as an easy answer. There are a few. They’re not easy for you if you are a metropolitan liberal, but if you cleave to truth, they are the easiest thing in the world.
- Take the vote away from women. It has been a key plank in the move away from reason and towards emotionalism. Shoot anyone who objects and leave their many bodies in the town square. Borrow some bears from Putin to do the cleanup.
- They don’t get to own property or sign contracts anymore either.
- Repatriate anyone who is not ethnically or culturally compatible with the country they’re living in.
- If we must have a government, it should be able to fit in the front room of a terraced house. Deregulate everything, kill the regulators and let opportunity flourish, then turn off the taps on the welfare spending to motivate people to avail themselves of the emerging opportunities.
- Rewards for failure will come to an end. There will not be a Baroness Cressida Dick. There will not be a Lord Tony Blair. There will not be a Sir Gordon Brown or an MBE for Neil Ferguson.
- For legitimate citizens, equality before the law must be established. Even the pretence of it has been abandoned over recent years, favouring the victim-classes du jour.
- Fixed terms for all politicians, concluded with a mandatory trip to the gibbet on a date codified in blood on the day they take office.
I’m sure there are others – all equally easy for the enlightened, and equally terrifying for those who know they have spent their lives sacrificing truth and honesty on the altar of fashionable falsehood.