Cathedral Round-Up #19: You are the Hope of the World–The SJWs of 1917

Sometimes material for these posts falls serendipitously into my lap–such is today’s case: I have inherited from a great-grandparent in the Puritan line of the family a slim volume from 1917, Hermann Hagedorn’s You are the Hope of the World: An Appeal to the Boys and Girls of America, and oh boy, is it a doozy.

Since I’m dong a lot of quoting, I’ll be using “” instead of blockquotes for readability.

“YOU ARE THE HOPE OF THE WORLD! Girls and boys of America, you are the hope of the world! In Europe, boys of your age are dying daily by hundreds, by thousands! Millions lie dead or wounded; or, fam- ishing in prison camps, watch the slow wasting of body and mind. Millions! Can you imagine it? Five million! Ten million! God knows, how many million more! Twelve million. Fifteen million, perhaps. It is an impossible figure — so huge that it means nothing. …

“Europe does not know yet what she has lost. Europe has great scientists still, great poets, great tellers of tales, inventors, merchants, physicians, preachers. But they are old, or aging. They will pass away, and Europe will look around and cry: “My old heroes are passing. It is time for my young heroes to take the places of honor.” And Europe will call for her young heroes. Europe will call for new poets, new tellers of tales, new scientists, new inventors, new merchants, new physicians, new preachers. And no one will answer. No young heroes will appear. …

“over there across the ocean every twenty seconds, on an average, down goes a brave boy, and out goes another can- dle, and on one of you over here suddenly falls a new responsibility. You don’t feel it, but there it is. That French boy or that English or German or Russian boy, may leave his watch- fob to his brother and his watch to his best friend, but he leaves his chance in life to you. He might have been a great scientist and drawn some wizardry, yet unknown, out of the air; he might have been a great musician, a great engineer; he might have been the immortal leader men have been looking for, ages long, to lead the world to a better civilization. He’s gone, dead at nineteen. Young America, you are his heir! Don’t you feel his mantle on your shoulders? …

[Says the young American:]””It makes me sort of sorry for Europe. Why, when the old duffers die, they’ll holler for new men and —”

“”There won’t be any new men.”

“”They’ll get into a scrape — perhaps another war like this — and they’ll holler for a Washington or a Lincoln, or even for a What’s-his-name? — Joffre — or a What’s-his- name — Lloyd George — to pull ’em out, and there won’t —”

“”There won’t be any Washington or Lincoln or Joffre or Lloyd George.”

“”Who’ll there be?”

“”Perhaps nobody — in Europe.”

You sit a minute, Young America, thinking that over. And then suddenly you rise to your feet, and throw away your cigarette, and frown, puzzled a bit. And then very slowly you say:

“”Why, it looks as though when that time comes — perhaps — it may — be — up to us.” Right you are, Young America!”

[EvX: Note that Hermann is predicting that in the event of another World War, Europe will not be able to produce for itself the likes of Churchill or Hitler.]

“Why, you say, are we the world’s hope? … You can’t evade it, Young America. The stars have conspired against you. Destiny, which made your country rich and gave her great leaders in time of need, and helped her to build a magnificent republic out of many races and many creeds; Destiny that brought you to the light under the Eagle and the Stars and Stripes; Destiny, that chose America to be the greatest laboratory, the greatest testing-ground of democracy in the world; Destiny, Fortune, God, whatever you want to call laid on you the privilege and the responsibility of being the hope of a world in tears. You can carry this responsibility and be glorious. You can throw it off, and be damned. But you cannot ignore it. …

“The world knows that in you, whether your ancestors came over in the Mayflower three hundred years ago, or in the steerage of a liner twenty years ago, lives the spirit of a great tradition. The world puts its hope in you, but not only in you. It puts its hope in the great ghosts that stand behind you, upholding your arms, whispering wisdom to you, patience, perseverance, courage, crying, “Go on, Young America! We back you up!” Washington, first of all! And around him, Putnam, Warren, Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Hamilton, Jeffer- son, Marshall, Greene, Stark!

[EvX: There follows a long enumeration of American heroes–let us note that at this time, Americans still had heroes and Yale’s students were not “angry, saddened and deeply frustrated” by the University’s decision to name a dormitory after Benjamin Franklin.]

“You remember what the British officer said of Marion’s band? “They go without pay, they go without clothes, living on roots and drinking water — all for liberty. What chance have we against such men?” …

“All Europe paid tribute to pirates in Barbary, and America paid tribute, because everybody was doing it; it seemed to be the style. But then some Bashaw in Tripoli or Tunis, seeing easy money, jacked up his price. And Europe said: “Oh, all right. If you’ll only keep quiet!” But the little U.S. cried: “No, you dirty pirate! We’re hanged if we’ll pay you another cent!” And the ships went over, gallant ships with all sails full, and there was no more tribute-paying after they came back! …

“Rogers and Clark are behind you, Fremont, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett. You remember? “Thermopylae had its messengers of death, the Alamo had none.” The frontiersmen, the Indian fighters, the pioneers are behind you, dauntless of spirit; the colonists of Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, the New Netherlands, the Carolinas; the settlers in wild lands, pressing westward … the brave builders of the West are behind you, … John Brown of Osawatomie is there! And there, Sherman, Sheridan, Meade, Thomas, Farragut, Grant, silent, tenacious, magnanimous! Stonewall Jackson, Stuart, Lee! And in the midst of them, the greatest of all, Lincoln, with his hand on your shoulder, Young America, saying, “Sonny, I’m with you. Go on!” …

“[WWI] has to many of you, perhaps, seemed merely a brawl in the dark among thieves, or a midnight riot in a madhouse. The issues have been confused. … Because the Right was hard to catch and hold, we cried that there was no Right in it. That was the comfortable point of view. …

“As the months went by, one truth began to emerge with increasing clearness from the smoke and welter and confusion. We saw, dimly at first, then more and more clearly, that the War was not merely a war between competing traders, a war for a place in the sun on the one side, and economic supremacy on the other; but a war of conflicting fundamental ideas. We were slow to see this. It took a revolution in Russia to open our eyes; it took the joyous shout of the countless Siberian exiles, welcoming freedom, to open our ears. But we understand now. We know at last what the war is about. We see at last what the Allies have seen from the beginning, that this is a war between kings and free men. The nations that believe in kings and distrust the people have challenged, with intent to destroy, or incapacitate, the nations that believe in the people and won’t let the kings out in public without a license, a muzzle and a line. It is a war between autocracy and democracy, and beyond that, it is a struggle for the extirpation of war; a struggle between the powers who believe that there is profit in war and the powers who know that there is no profit in it; between the powers who are looking back to a sort of earnest cave-man as an ideal, and the powers who are looking forward to a reasoning, reasonable, law-abiding man with a ballot.

[EvX: Note the many ways in which this is an absurd lie. Did the Kaiser of Germany and the Czar of Russia pitch their armies against each other because one of them was an autocrat and the other a democrat? Did the Communist Revolution in Russia result in freedom, liberty, or democracy for the people there, or mass famines, secret police, and gulags?]

“Blacker and sharper every day, against the lurid glow of flaming villages and smouldering cities, looms the Peril of Kings, and louder and grimmer from millions of graves rumbles the Doom of Kings. If there is any validity in human evidence, and if the logical conclusions of clear minds from clear-cut evidence mean anything at all, this Great War was begun by kings and sons of kings. It will not be ended by kings. It will be ended by folks named Smith and Jones and Robinson; and the kings and sons of kings thereafter will eat their meals through wire baskets, and there will be number-plates on their collars. Foolish dudes and silly women will keep them as pets. Out of this agony of death is coming “a new birth of freedom.”

[EvX: Again he is wrong, for the Russian Czars were not kept as pets (what?) but cruelly murdered shortly after this volume appeared, even poor little Alexei who had certainly never done another human a single ounce of wrong.]

“Young America, if in these days there is one thought emerging like a green island out of the turbulent sea of conflicting opinions, it is that civilization demands the spread of the democratic idea. Kings take to war as Congressmen take to Appropriation Bills. There is no question about that. Nothing in history is surer. … When kings wanted glory, they went and took it out of their neighbors; when they wanted gold, they made war and got it; … And when their people rebelled, they went to war for no reason at all, but just to quiet them down. A good many men died and a good many women became destitute in the course of those adventures, but kings have romance on their side and they have always made believe that they had God on their side, too. The Kaiser isn’t the first king who has chattered about Me und Gott. He is merely the last of a long, sad line of self-deluded frauds. Kings gain by war, and cliques of nobles or plutocrats gain by war; the Lords of Special Privilege thrive and grow fat on aggression.

“But the people do not thrive on it. Smith and Jones and Robinson do not gain by aggression. Uncle Sam might annex Cuba, Mexico, Canada, and South America to-morrow, and Smith and Jones and Robinson would gain nothing from it all. They would lose. For public attention would be so fixed on the romantic glitter of conquest that, hi its shadow, corruption would thrive as never before. Progress within the nation would cease while we pursued the treacherous will-o’-the-wisp of imperialism into distant marshes. Smith and Jones and Robinson know this, and where they control the government, there is not much talk of colonies and the White Man’s Burden. The governments that are controlled by Smith and Jones and Robinson, which means the Common People, are called democracies; and in so far as they are true democracies they are a force for the abolition of war.

[EvX: Were Hermann correct, the US would have never expanded past the territories of the original 13 Colonies, would have never conquered Texas, Mexico, Cuba, etc., and we would be much the poorer for all of this land we had obtained. Likewise, the US would not have entered WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, Gulf War II, etc., while those monarchies in the Middle East–like Saudi Arabia–would be out conquering their neighbors.

Of course, our author does protect his position with a “no true Scotsman” clause.]

“They have been called to die for their country, but you are called to live for your country. Those who die in the fight for democracy, die for more than their country; they die to build a lasting peace. You who live for the service of democracy, live for the service of more than your country. You live to build, out of the agony and the ashes, a better world than the sun has yet shone upon! …

“”Or put it another way. Somebody who tells you that everything isn’t all hunkydory with America is a bad American, eh?”

“”You bet. If Teacher tried to get off any knocks on Uncle Sam, I’d tell my father, and my father’d get her discharged.”

“”You’re off, sonny. And your father’s off. All you spread-eagle people, who think that the only way to be loyal to Uncle Sam is to pretend that he’s perfect as a cottonwool peach, are off. Your Uncle Sam isn’t perfect, sonny. In fact, he’s just about a hundred thousand miles from perfect.” …

“But the only way our U.S.A. ever will be good and great is for us all to look at ourselves, to look at our nation squarely and without blinking, and keep our minds alert lest we get into bad company and do things that George and Abraham might not like. But Teacher says, in effect: “No! Don’t look at your own faults. Look at the faults of others and forget your own. You’ll be much happier that way!” … Young America, there are times when I should like to see Teacher shot at sunrise in that empty lot down the block. For that sort of jabber is, in the first place, a lie. And in the second place, it’s a damned lie. And in the third place, it’s treason, for it makes you think there’s nothing for you to do. And that’s like putting a bomb under the Capitol. Young America, I know you don’t like to have me say that democracy isn’t a success. It sounds disloyal somehow. But it isn’t disloyal. It’s just trying to look at things squarely, and without blinking, … Democracy is n’t a success — yet. Government of the people, by the people, for the people, is n’t achieved — yet. Do you think it is? You remember what the Grand Old Fellows said in the Declaration: Men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights . . . Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Look about you. Does it seem to you that the slums in your own city afford life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the men and women and children, freezing and starving in winter, sweltering and starving in summer? Does it seem to you that the factories where children work eight, ten, twelve, fourteen hours a day help those children achieve those unalienable rights? …

“It is a mystery to me, Young America, why the great men, whose lives and heroic deeds make up the history of this Republic, should have permitted us, the nieces and nephews of Uncle Sam, to take democracy, to take the principle of popular government, as lightly, as carelessly, as we have taken it. Perhaps they lacked imagination to see what a republic, based as firmly as ours, might accomplish with an alert and conscientious citizenry; perhaps, like Lincoln, they were too busy with enormous problems, concrete and immediate, to do more than point out the direction of progress; perhaps they were just optimistic, trusting blissfully in the old convenient notion that, by means of some piece of divine jugglery, some light- fingered shifting of omelets under a hat, the voices of five, ten, fifteen mil- ion farmers, factory-hands, brokers, lawyers, clerks, longshoremen, saloon- keepers, Tammany Hall heelers, murderers, repeaters and Congressmen, became the Voice of God.

“Our great men have been loyal to the principle of democracy. … But few, if any, have hammered into our heads the simple truth that democracy is like religion… what definite thing do we ever do to keep alive that little sprig of democracy which is native in the heart of every American girl and boy? What do we do to feed it and tend it and water it? America depends for its life, its liberty, its happiness, on a wide-awake and conscientious citizen- ship; but what do we ever do to build up such a citizenship? …

“What school or college that you ever heard of has in its curriculum emphasized the prime importance of citizenship? I suppose they teach you some civics in your school, and I’ll bet you a dollar it’s drier than algebra. Perhaps they give you a dab at current events — mostly events, and mighty little, I’ll swear, about the current on which they float. For history, I suppose they give you the same accumulation of pleasant legends they gave me when I was fifteen or thereabouts. All about the glory, and nothing about the shame, the stupidity, the greed! As though you were a fool who did n’t know that no man and no country can be all good or all bad; but that both are a mixture of good and bad, and will be loved by their children even if they do make mistakes! …

“Every American boy becomes a hand in the great Factory of Public Welfare we call the United States, the day he is twenty-one. He knows he is going into that factory, and his elders know he is going into it, and they all know that his happiness and their own happiness may depend on his loyalty to the interests of that factory and his understanding of the machinery of that factory. You’d think they’d tell him some- thing beforehand about machinery in general, wouldn’t you? You’d think they’d prepare him a bit to be a good mechanic when his time came. The machinery is so fine and delicate, you’d think the Directors would insist on reducing to a minimum the risk of smashing it up.

“But they don’t…. These Directors go from school to school, and instead of scolding the school-teachers for failing to give you training in government-mechanics, they pat you on the back, Young America, and tell you to be good factory hands, nice factory hands, loyal factory hands; and that the Factory is the grandest factory in the world, and you ought to be glad that you belong to that particular factory, because it is a free factory, where every one can do exactly as he pleases. The Directors say a great many uplifting things, but do they take you to the machine and explain it to you, and stand over you until you know what makes it go? Oh, no! Nothing like that! They tell you that you are the greatest little mechanic in the world and then leave you to wreck the machine as thoroughly as your native common sense will permit. As for freedom — for the ignorant and the untrained there is no such thing as freedom. The ignorant and the untrained are slaves to their own inefficiency. Those only are free who know. Young America, girls and boys can be trained to the work of citizenship even as greenhorns can be trained to the use of machinery; trained in the home, trained in school, trained in college. And we must be trained, Young America, if this country is ever going to be the wise, the just, the humane force for progress in the world that we want it to be. …

I have gone about like Diogenes with a lantern, trying to find a man or boy who has seen or even heard of a school or college that tried deliberately, fearlessly, and thoroughly to train its girls and boys to be intelligent citizens. Colleges teach government and history, but the courses are optional. Nothing in their catalogues suggests that a patriotic citizen will apply himself to these subjects. Physics may be compulsory and Latin or German or French may be compulsory, for those constitute Culture; but never by any chance the subjects that constitute the background for good citizenship. … Do [teachers] bend over you with a blessing or a club and say: You’ll be a decent citizen, my son, or I’ll know the reason why!” — do they? You would think your school- masters had never heard of such a thing as citizenship.

[EvX: Note the contradiction between our author’s certainty that democracy must be explicitly taught in order to succeed, and his complaint that in the past 140 or so years of this country, no one has bothered to teach it, and yet we had not descended into autocracy.]

“You may be too young to die for democ- racy; but no girl or boy is ever too young to live for democracy! Your country is at war. You can- not go to the front. But, in the high- est sense, you are the true Home Guard. Are you going to do your part? In your nation’s critical hour, girls and boys of America, what are you going to do?…

“Unlike the college boy who prefers to stay away from baseball games, the citizen who prefers to stay away from the polls does not lose caste. No one has been taught to see him for the contemptible shirker that he is. For there is no tradition of public service. Young America, it is your opportunity and your obligation to create that tradition; … set forth and gather a friend or two friends or three friends about you and… determine that henceforth you will think about the needs of America, and argue about the needs of America, and give your hands and your hearts to serve the needs of America; and consider any man or woman, boy or girl, who does otherwise, a traitor to the United States and a traitor to the principle of democracy!…

“You must not only run ahead of your parsons and your schoolmasters, you must yourselves awake your parsons and your schoolmasters! Some of them are heavy sleepers, as you know. Bang on the door and drag them out of bed. Not too ceremoniously! Riot, if need be! There are too few riots in American schools and colleges against the cramping conservatism of the elder generation. …

“If your elders in school and college will not volunteer to lead you, lead yourselves, and demand their support! Speak gently to Teacher, speak persuasively to Teacher, but if words don’t wake him, RIOT, girls and boys of America! Do you call yourselves really Americans? Then jump to your feet, resolved that this great nation shall no longer waste its opportunities!

“Think what the republican hearts hidden behind the gray khaki of Germany would give for the democratic institutions you possess! Their lives would seem to them payment ridiculously inadequate. And you possess these institutions and shrug your shoulders and say, in effect, that you should worry what happens to them. Do you say that, you who read these lines? If you do, you are base, and deserve to die as Benedict Arnold died, in a garret in a foreign land, cursing the day that he betrayed his country! Does that sound harsh and violent to you, girls and boys of America? I tell you, the time has passed when we could afford to chatter lightly over the teacups concerning the needs and the shortcomings of our country. Smash the cups, Young America, and come out and fight, that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth. Fight! …

Your elder brothers will have to fight with guns; many of them will have to die here or with their fellows-in-democracy in France and Flanders. … To you, girls and boys of ten, twelve, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, is given a work every bit as grand as dying for your country; and that is, living for the highest interests of your country! Those interests are the interests of democracy. If, therefore, you live for the highest interests of America, you live at the same time for the highest interests of the world. In that struggle, the goal is neither nationalism nor internationalism. It is democracy. It is a lasting peace among nations; and, as far as it is humanly possible, amity among men. Go to it! Go to it, girls and boys of America! You are the hope of the world.”

 

EvX: After completing the book (it is a short read and you may finish it yourself if you wish before continuing with this post,) I looked up the author’s biography on Wikipedia and managed to actually surprise myself by how thoroughly Cathedral Hagedorn was:

Hermann Hagedorn (18 July 1882 – 27 July 1964) was an American author, poet and biographer.

He was born in New York City and educated at Harvard University, where he was awarded the George B. Sohier Prize for literature, the University of Berlin, and Columbia University. From 1909 to 1911, he was an instructor in English at Harvard.

Hagedorn was a friend and biographer of Theodore Roosevelt. He also served as Secretary and Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association from 1919 to 1957. Drawing upon his friendship with Roosevelt, Hagedorn was able to elicite the support of Roosevelt’s friends and associates’ personal recollections in his biography of TR which was first published in 1918 and then updated in 1922 and which is oriented toward children.

(Funny how Teddy Roosevelt has been nearly completely forgotten these days, compared to his fame back when Mount Rushmore was carved.)

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Wed Open Thread: 770,000 genomes and the American Nations

Wow, is it Wednesday already? Time definitely flies when you’re busy.

In interesting news, Politico ran an article with a long (and somewhat misleading) section about Moldbug, and further alleging (based on unnamed “sources” who are probably GodfreyElfwick again*,) that Moldbug is in communication with the Trump Administration:

In one January 2008 post, titled “How I stopped believing in democracy,” he decries the “Georgetownist worldview” of elites like the late diplomat George Kennan. Moldbug’s writings, coming amid the failure of the U.S. state-building project in Iraq, are hard to parse clearly and are open to multiple interpretations, but the author seems aware that his views are provocative. “It’s been a while since I posted anything really controversial and offensive here,” he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explaining why he associates democracy with “war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.”

Moldbug, who does not do interviews and could not be reached for this story, has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary, according to a source. Yarvin said he has never spoken with Bannon.

Vox does a much longer hit piece on Moldbug, just to make sure you understand that they really, truly don’t approve of him, then provides more detail on Moldbug’s denial:

The idea that I’m “communicating” with Steve Bannon through an “intermediary” is preposterous. I have never met Steve Bannon or communicated with him, directly or indirectly. You might as well accuse the Obama administration of being run by a schizophrenic homeless person in Dupont Circle, because he tapes his mimeographed screeds to light poles where Valerie Jarrett can read them.

*In all fairness, there was a comment over on Jim’s Blog to the effect that there is some orthosphere-aligned person in contact with the Trump administration, which may have set off a chain of speculation that ended with someone claiming they had totally legit sources saying Moldbug was in contact with Bannon.

In other news, Han et al have released Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America:

Here we identify very recent fine-scale population structure in North America from a network of over 500 million genetic (identity-by-descent, IBD) connections among 770,000 genotyped individuals of US origin. We detect densely connected clusters within the network and annotate these clusters using a database of over 20 million genealogical records. Recent population patterns captured by IBD clustering include immigrants such as Scandinavians and French Canadians; groups with continental admixture such as Puerto Ricans; settlers such as the Amish and Appalachians who experienced geographic or cultural isolation; and broad historical trends, including reduced north-south gene flow. Our results yield a detailed historical portrait of North America after European settlement and support substantial genetic heterogeneity in the United States beyond that uncovered by previous studies.

Wow! (I am tempted to add “just wow.”) They have created a couple of amazing maps:

ncomms14238-f3

Comment of the Week goes to Tim Smithers for his contributions on IQ in Are the Pygmies Retarded:

IQ generally measures the ability to learn, retain information, and make logical decisions and conclusions. It is not about mathematics nor reading, at least in modern testing (since about 1980).
Modern IQ tests typically do not have any math or even reading. Many have no verbiage at all, and there is no knowledge of math required in the least.
For example, a non-verbal, non-math IQ test may have a question that shows arrows pointing in different directions. The test taker must identify which direction would make the most sense for the next arrow to go.
I’m very sorry to disappoint, but I’ve done considerable research into IQ testing over the past decade. The tests have had cultural biases removed (including the assumption that one can read) in order to assess a persons ability to learn, to retain information, and to use common logic. …

You may, of course, RTWT there.

So, how’s it going out there?

 

Democracy is America’s Religion

So I was thinking the other day–Why are Westerners (particularly Americans) so introverted about their religious beliefs? I have on occasion posted “Convert Me” open threads in which I invite people to give me their best arguments for following their religion, and gotten very few enthusiastic responses. Even the Jehovah’s Witness who visited my thread only made a half-effort just to humor me, not because she actually wanted to convert me.

(I can already hear you asking: Why would I post such a thread? To which I reply, Why not? I enjoy discussing religion. If the religious are correct and I am convinced to join them, then I gain something good. If I am not convinced, then I lose nothing, for I am already an atheist. I have no reason to fear discussion with a theist.)

Mormon missionaries occasionally ring my bell. I always make an effort to be polite and listen, and even they really just want to hand me a pamphlet and hurry on to the next house.

The only people who have ever really, seriously tried to convert me are Muslims (and I must note that they did so in an entirely friendly manner.) Where the Christians ask, “Why would you want us to convert you?” and the Mormons say, “Well, I think there are lots of religions because God gave each group of people their own religion best suited to themselves,” (actual quote from a Mormon missionary, I am serious) the Muslims will happily pester you with a whole slew of websites about why Islam is correct, how the Qu’ran is full of good science, how lovely the Qu’ranic poetry is, etc.

(Of course, you’re not going to get a Jew to try to convert you unless you tell him your mother was a Jew and you really wan to return to your Jewish roots.)

Frankly, I think Americans find the whole idea of being devoutly religious–much less discussing religion with the non-devout–vaguely embarrassing. Sure, maybe that elderly lady down the block who hands out Chick Tracts instead of Halloween candy would like to talk about Jesus with you, but can’t the rest of us please just talk about football?

This blog was practically kicked off with the observation that devout Christianity is low class, while a kind of vague, multi-faith “spirituality” is the religion–if you must have one–of the upper class. A quick look at some demographic data makes the picture:

From Pew Research Center, http://www.pewforum.org/2009/01/30/income-distribution-within-us-religious-groups/
From Pew Research Center

Not a whole lot of surprises, though I will note that it does matter how you break down the groups, and I think I’ve seen different numbers elsewhere for Muslim-Americans.

Of course the flipside of Muslims being really keen on spreading their religion is that sometimes things go quite badly and violently.

And if you’re an American (or French, or Swedish, or German, or whatever,) this feels awfully unfair, because after all, when have we ever blown anything up in Mecca in the name of Jesus?

But then I got to thinking: obviously we have bombed Muslim countries. We dropped quite a few on Iraq–and for what? For Freedom? For Democracy?

We didn’t want to convert Iraq to Christianity (not the vast majority of us, anyway.) We wanted to convert Iraq to democracy.

You know, we destroyed a perfectly innocent country–killed thousands of people–and we barely feel a pang of remorse. Why? Because we did it to help them? We though they’d be happier if they just lived in a democracy, just like your office mate with the Chick Tracts thinks you’ll be happier if you just accept Jesus as your savior and Muslims think you’ll be happier if you become a Muslim.

Christianity and Islam (or certain branches of Islam) are not at war. They can’t be at war because Christianity isn’t fighting. Not in the West, anyway. Maybe in the Philippines or South America or somewhere, but certainly not in the West.

Now here I should stop to note that several Islamic countries are democracies, more or less, and many Muslims also believe in Democracy. So this is a conflict within Islam as well as without. But this post isn’t about Islam–I am not an Islamic expert and don’t feel comfortable writing about Islamic issues.

However, this is a post about the West, and how Democracy has become our chief religion, taking the place Christianity once occupied.

(I am sure my readers are split between “Well that is nothing new; Moldbug said that ages ago,” and “What a stupid idea. Democracy can’t be a religion.”)

Mitochondrial Memes pt 4

The obvious difficulty with treating ideas like viruses is that while most viruses are detrimental to one’s health, ideas are quite useful; indeed, you won’t survive very long without ideas of some sort.

So while some ideas may be of the turn-you-into-an-infertile-spore-shedding-zombie variety, there must be some that actually promote human health and welfare.

This is where the mitochondria come in. Mitochondria, like viruses, are foreign invaders. But unlike (most) viruses, mitochondria are here for the long haul. They don’t reprogram our cells to reproduce them and infect others with out mitochondria; the only way they get to reproduce is if we reproduce. (I’ve never even heard of mitochondria getting cancer.)

It’s not exactly that viruses want to kill you; they just don’t really care whether you live or die. Cholera hijacks all of the liquid in your body to carry itself into the local water supply, to be drunk by its next victim. Your need for that water is irrelevant. (Cholera is therefore the kind of disease that can only thrive where water supplies are regularly contaminated with feces; remove the feces from the water supply, and the disease will have to find some new way to reproduce or die out.)

Some ideas will definitely kill you. The idea that lead makes a good material for dinner plates; or mercury will confer immortality; or that if you slaughter all of your livestock, god will drive the invaders from your lands and make more animals magically appear, for example. Other ideas impact your fitness indirectly, say, by decreasing the number of children you have. If you become a celibate Shaker, there aren’t going to be a whole lot of your children running around.

But other ideas are really good for you, like the germ theory of disease. The number of Mormons has grown quite a bit over the past 200 years, in part, because it convinces its adherents to have lots of children.

From an evolutionary perspective, it is easy to see that people whose ideas lead to survival are likely to out-compete people whose ideas kill them or render them sterile, which is why we now have more Mormons than Shakers, even though the reverse was once true. (Note that evolution does not care whether you think Mormonism or Shakerism is more “correct” or “true” or “pleasant.” It only matters that Mormons exist in greater numbers than Shakers.)

Ideas that succeed and reproduce by helping you survive and reproduce, therefore, I call “meme mitochondria”. Ideas that succeed and reproduce by getting you to pass them on to your friends I call “meme viruses.” (Unfortunately, “viral meme” is already taken.) Yes, I hashed this all out back in Mitochondrial Memes, but I’ve gotten complaints that the post needs updating, so here we are.

For the first 199,500 years or so of human history, the vast majority of information passed from parent–or local elder–to child. (We can also call this “vertical” meme transfer.) Hardly anyone was literate, and books were extremely expensive and rare. In this environment, memes had to be mitochondrial. There was simply very little opportunity for horizontal meme transfer. Any memes that didn’t lead to reproductive success tended to be out-competed by memes that did.

The mitochondrial meme, therefore, cares about your reproductive success (and, keeping in mind the details of family genetics, the success of relatives who share copies of your genes.) It doesn’t care anything about people who don’t share your genes–indeed, any mitochondrial meme that cared about the fates of people who don’t share your genes more than your own would be quickly replaced by ones that don’t.

Of course, some memes did manage to spread virally during this period–the major world religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam come immediately to mind. But within the past 500 years, the amount of information being horizontally transmitted has exploded.

And in the past 15 years, it has exploded again:

From Another Damn Blog, The Explosion of Digital Data
From Another Damn Blog, The Explosion of Digital Data

In other words, we are in a completely novel evolutionary meme-environment. Never in human history have we had so much horizontal data transmission; indeed, if we have not had more data transmission since 2000 than in the entire prior history of the world, we will soon.

Mitochondrial memes don’t have to sound good to outsiders; they just have to work for the people who have them.

Meme viruses have to sound good enough to people that they get picked up and passed on. Meme viruses, therefore, are a lot more likely to sound fun to people who don’t already believe in them.

Meme Mitochondria prioritize your evolutionary success, but don’t really care if you enjoy the process, and don’t care about anything else.

Meme viruses prioritize sounding good, but don’t care whether you live or die. Even a meme-virus that kills you will succeed if it gets you to spread it to others.

A meme virus does not have to kill you, of course, just as a meme mitochondria does not have to kill everyone around you. The germ theory of disease started off being spread virally, but it’s a pretty sound idea and you should wash your hands before eating.

Long-term, of course, people who are resistant to memes encouraging short-term enjoyment at the expense of long-term genetic success will outbreed people who are susceptible to such memes. Progressives, with their well below replacement fertility, will be replaced by Muslims with well above replacement fertility. Again, it doesn’t matter whether you agree with Progressivism or Islam.

This does not necessarily mean that Progressivism will die out. As long as Progressivism can continue spreading to the children of people who believe in having lots of kids, Progressivism can continue to exist. Catholic priests don’t generally have children, either, but Catholics still manage to convince some of their members to join the priesthood. But Progressives will be replaced.

Land Value Tax and Coherent Ownership for Civilization

In a perhaps-not-weird coincidence, the villains in both of the children’s programs I saw today were land developers.

So I was thinking yesterday about the need for coherent ownership to ensure that countries remain nice places that serve the interests of their inhabitants, (the potential implications of which you can probably work out for yourself, especially if you’ve eve had to actually deal with a divided-ownership situation like an HOA,) and I got to thinking about the possibilities of the Land Value Tax (LVT) as a force for civilization and long-term efficient land management.

The LVT differs in important ways from a property tax, and should be the basis for our American tax system, rather than income tax + everything else under the sun, so I’m going to go into a bit of detail.

The LVT is a tax on the unimproved value of the land–not the value of the buildings, gardens, or other things you might build there.

By contrast, a property tax is assessed against the value of the whole property, including all of the stuff on it.

What this means:

Let’s say that you and your neighbor both own a chunk of land. Like most adjoining pieces of land, they’re basically identical–you have a few more trees, he has a few more rocks, but nothing major. Under an LVT, you each owe the same amount in taxes–a percent based on the sale value of the land itself, which is of course identical for the two pieces. If you build a nice house on your land, and your neighbor leaves his as weeds, you still get taxed the same. If you let your house become a decrepit ruin while your neighbor builds an apartment complex, you still get taxed the same.

When you are making better use of your land than your neighbor, you make more money than he does. When he makes better use of his land than you do, he makes more money.

Now, let’s suppose we have a property tax (as we currently do.) You and your neighbor start out with identical plots of land, and so equal taxes. But when you build a house and he leaves his as weeds, the value of the house is added to your taxes–and you now pay more taxes. If you let your house become a decrepit ruin while the neighbor builds an apartment complex, you now pay less in taxes and he pays more.

In other words, under a property tax, making better use of your land results in higher taxes, while making worse use of the land results in lower taxes.

The LVT lines up the landowner’s and society’s interests to incentivize efficient land use. The property tax puts land owners and society in conflict, by punishing landowners for making improvements to their properties.

America’s inner cities are a disgrace. I cringe to think of foreign tourists visiting DC and wandering into Anacostia, or one of its other slums. I cringe to think of anyone living in these places. (After you read that, go watch “Holes in my Shoes”–it’s available on Netflix–and consider the important differences.)

Washington, DC
Washington, DC
Detroit Book Depository
Detroit Book Depository
Detroit
Detroit

There is no reason why real estate in the heart of American cities should look like this. The value of the land is high–virtually identical to the value of land with mansions, skyscrapers, or factories–but these properties have been left, instead, to fall apart.

And while gentrification is generally supposed to be bad for the people involved, long term, I suspect that coherent land-use strategies would lead to greater general prosperity, benefiting the community’s poorer members by providing jobs and nicer housing.

If society wishes, certain tracts of land may be set aside for nature parks (as they currently are) or for use by people who may not wish to live in cities, like, say, the Pygmies or the San.

 

I have often commented that after centuries of decay, the only way to get a nice city is to bomb it to the ground and then rebuild from scratch:

Quang Tri City, Vietnam
Quang Tri City, Vietnam (PDF)
Shibuya, Tokyo
Shibuya, Tokyo
Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon
Berlin
Berlin

Obviously it would have been superior for the people if someone had moved all of them out of the way, first.

At least an LVT would help incentivize individuals to keep their own parcels nice. To keep an entire city nice, to deal with problems that emerge after centuries of use, like streets that can no longer handle the amount of traffic trying to use them or antiquated sewer systems, probably requires something else, like some form of coherent ownership that can step in and take control of whole neighborhoods, at least once a century.

Perhaps a workable system would be for one individual or small collection of individuals to “own” a city, but to lease individual chunks of it for one year, ten year, or longer chunks of time. During that time, the leasee would be free to modify the property however they saw fit, and the terms of the lease would mirror those of the LVT. When large chunks of the city eventually need updating, the owner could decline to lease out relevant parcels until they have had a chance to make the necessary changes.

Speculative ideas are speculative.

Family, Nation, and History

What does it mean to belong?

Despite my inauspicious start, it turns out that I do have history of my own. For privacy reasons, I can’t give too many details, but so far, after reading family histories assembled by my grandparents, I’ve found immigrants in the early 1700s, the 1600s, and sometime between 60 and 12,000 years ago–the exact dates of that particular migration episode is still being debated–but none in the 1800s or 1900s. (This may, of course, be merely an issue of incomplete genealogy.) I can count over a dozen ethnic groups in my family tree (though I should note that I consider the “American Nations” ethnic groups, which you may not.)

If anyone has a right to call themselves an “American,” then I suspect I do.

My husband’s family I laughingly refer to as immigrants. Okay, half of them are good, old-stock Americans. The other half, though, seem to have immigrated at some point during the 1800s. Or maybe even the early 1900s.

I have no connections to the old country; indeed, I don’t really have an old country–there is no one place that a majority of my ancestors came from. I have never had any sense of being anything other than what I am, and for much of my life, not even that. For many years, actually, I operated under quite incorrect assumptions about my origins.

On a practical level, of course, it doesn’t really matter–I would still be me if it turned out I arrived here as an infant from Kazakhstan and my whole “history” was a colossal mix-up with someone else’s. But this is my history, and as such, it is special to me, just like that ragged old bear in the closet my grandmother made. It might be worthless to you, but it’s mine.

What does it mean to have a history?

When I read about the various Bering Strait theories, I think, “Some of my ancestors were there, hunting mammoths.”

When I look at the British, French, and Spanish colonies and the American Revolution, I get to think, “Some of my ancestors were there.” Indeed, some of them were influential folks in those days. When I think about the values of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, I can say, “These were my ancestors’ ideals.”

When I look at the Civil War, well, there’s a lot of family history. My grandmother still tells the stories her great-grandmother told her about watching the Yankees burn down the family farm.

Some ancestors were pioneers. Some were farmers and some professors and some scientists who helped develop technologies that sent satellites into outer space.

And yet… Nationalism isn’t really my thing. Bald eagles, Stars and Stripes, the Pledge of Allegiance… they’re all a big nope. I don’t feel much of anything for them. I have no interest in the “Southern Cause,” and I don’t even have a particular affection for Americans–most of my close friends are immigrants. And as previously stated, I am not a white nationalist–IQ nationalist is a much better description. I like smart people.

I look out for American interests because I happen to live here. If I lived in Japan, I’d look out for Japan’s interests, simply because anything bad that happened in Japan or to the Japanese would also be happening to me–even though I’d be an immigrant with no particular history there. It is natural (particularly among leftists) to assume, therefore, that immigrants to the US may do the same.

(Edited to clarify: Commonly assumed things are often wrong. Many on the left assume that unprecedented numbers of immigrants from non-Western cultures will adopt American culture in a way that does not substantially change it. The whole point of this post is to discuss the nebulous effects of cultural change and ethnic identity. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of graphs for “How proud I feel while looking at a picture of George Washington,” so this is difficult to express.)

In fact, I know plenty of immigrants who have far more nationalism for their adopted country than I do.

(Edited to clarify: I happened to write this after visiting the home of an immigrant family that had framed versions of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Signing of the Declaration of Independence on their walls. I recognize that these people are really glad to be in this country, which they consider a vastly superior place to the one they came from.)

Is it of any importance that people have some sort of cultural connection to the place where they live?

I’ve tracked down a bunch of graphs/pictures related to immigration over time:

Map+ethnic+homelands+U.S.+new

Picture 20

(Oops, looks like a bit of text snuck in when I cropped the picture.)

Picture 21

ETA: Note that % of immigrants in the population is really at unprecedentedly high numbers, and the countries they come from have changed radically, too:

regions

Total quantity of immigrants by region of origin.

Picture 22

Picture 19

Picture 14

ETA: I thought this was obvious, but immigrants from whatever country they happen to come from tend to bring with them the norms and values of their own culture. Sometimes those norms easily mix with American ones. Sometimes they don’t.

pie-births-country-full

Picture 23

immigration-graph-irg

ETA: Another graph showing the ethnic makeup of American immigrants.

Immigration+U.S.+Germ+Engl+Irish+1840s+50s+60s+graph

ETA: So what happens when immigration goes up? Well, for starters, it looks like a lot more crime happens:

 

600px-Homicide_rates1900-2001 11217607.0002.206-00000002

And wages seem to stagnate:

fig2_prodhhincome

(The increase in household median income is due to women entering the workforce, thus increasing the number of workers per household.)

chart-01

I know there are other things going on in these time periods that could also affect income inequality, but that graph looks remarkably similar to the immigration graphs. Also:

U.S._Compensation_as_Percent_of_GDP_-_v1 Real-Wages-Long-Term   us-income-inequality-1910-2010

A lot of these came from Migration Policy Institute, but I’ve tried to use a variety of sources to avoid any particular bias or inaccuracies.

Now here we began with poetic waxing about one’s ancestors, and are whining about Irish criminality in the 1800s and how hard it is to get a job. BTW, Irish criminality was a real problem.

The correlations are suggestive, but unproven, so let’s get back to nostalgia:

From, "Most decade-specific words in Billboard popular song titles, 1890-2014"
From, “Most decade-specific words in Billboard popular song titles, 1890-2014

In the period from 1890-1920, the most common elements in the song titles seem to be family relations, friends, and nostalgia: Pal, Mammy, Home, Land, Old, Uncle, etc. This is in stark contrast to 1990-2015, when some sort of apocalyptic accident destroyed our ability to spell and we reverted to a savage state of nature: Hell, Fuck, Die, U, Ya, Thang.

Even in my own lifetime, historical nostalgia and appreciation for America’s founders seems to have drastically waned. As a child, Westerns were still occasional things and the whole mythology surrounding the settlement of the West was still floating around, though obviously nothing compared to its height in the 50s, when people were really into Davy Crockett:

800px-Davy_Crockett_by_William_Henry_Huddle,_1889

 

(Look like anyone you know? hqdefault, 1438571327352)

 

The “American Girls” line of books and toys was a big deal when I was a kid, featuring historically-themed dolls and books focusing on the American Revolution, Pioneers, Civil War, Industrialization, and WWII.

Today, the line has been re-branded as “Be Forever,” with far more focus on modern girls and cultural groups. Even the historical books have been re-designed, with “American Girl” reduced to fine print and “Be Forever” scrawled across the covers. The Revolutionary War, Pioneer, and WWII dolls have all been “retired” from the line. Yes, American history without the Revolution. The Civil War doll is still there, though.

Are slavery and the Vietnam protests the only parts of our history that we remember anymore?

Old:  51LVeMm95jL._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_  New: Picture 6

History is dead.

(Sadly, since Mattel bought the company, they’ve become delusional about the amount of pink and purple girls historically wore.)

 

What would the US look like if all the Johnny-Come-Lateys from the migration waves of the 1800s had never arrived?

I have no idea. (This is an invitation for you to discuss the question.)

In the casually pagan style of our Christian forebears, the US Capital Building rotunda features a painting titled The Apotheosis of Washington, painted by Greek-Italian artist Constantino Brumidi in 1865:

Apotheosis_of_George_Washington2

Apotheosis_of_George_Washington

This is not the only painting by this title:

The Apotheosis of Washington by John James Barralet
The Apotheosis of Washington, by John James Barralet

hb_52.585.66

Apotheosis of George Washington, by H. Weishaupt

How about a few more on the general theme?

Greenough_Geo_Washington

Statue of Washington in the style of Zeus

420px-TheApotheosisLincolnAndWashington1860s

Apotheosis of Washington and Lincoln, 1860s.

rzawashington

washington_rushmore-P

 

Things change. Life moves on. Nothing new.

 

Is a nation’s history worth preserving? How do our identities and personal histories influence our values, cultures, and connections? What does any of this mean to you?

ETA for the clueless: This is an invitation for you to present your own opinions/answers to the questions.

 

Bullying pt 2: Race, Crime, and the Police

This is part two on bullying as an emergent social/political behavior and an exploration of the basic thesis that in a dispute between two people, elites will justify or outright lie about violence toward the lower status individual. For a longer explanation, see Part 1: Everything Adults say about Bullying is Bullshit.

Let’s start with this graph, helpfully supplied by Slate Star Codex’s extensively researched article, Race and Justice: much more than you wanted to know, but originally from Mother Jones Magazine:

shootinggraph

“I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back,” said Ms. Morrison, who also has won the Pulitzer Prize for her work, which includes the bestsellers “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon.” “And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’, I will say yes.”

(From the Washington Times, “Police kill more whites than blacks, but minority deaths generate more outrage“)

Picture 15

(Source: Washington Post )

Welp. That took all of 5 seconds to find via Google. Does Ms. Morrison not own a computer? Or is she ignorant by choice?

The Mother Jones data (above) records not a single white who shot at the NYC police, yet whites were 20% of those shot by the police. Approximately 70% of the people who actually tried to shoot a police officer were black, but only about 40% of those shot by the police were black. Hispanics make up about 30% of those who shot at the police, and 40% of those shot by the police.

In other words, NYC police officers appear to be preferentially shooting whites and Hispanics, not blacks.

Even when we compare the “fired upon by police” bar vs the “struck by police” bar, we notice that the police seem to be much better shots when shooting at whites than at blacks. When they shoot at blacks, they appear to be trying not to actually hit them, whereas they appear to have no such compunctions when shooting at whites.

So where are all of the protests and marches for whites and Hispanics murdered by the police? Does even Stormfront give enough of a shit about murdered whites to block a highway or steal a microphone?

But that is just Mother Jones and the WaPo. What stats do other folks cite?

Peter Moskos, assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, decided to use figures from the website Killed by Police. …

“Adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown of the U.S. population, he said black men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. But also adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown in violent crime, the data actually show that police are less likely to kill black suspects than white ones.

““If one adjusts for the racial disparity in the homicide rate or the rate at which police are feloniously killed, whites are actually more likely to be killed by police than blacks,” said Mr. Moskos. …

Peter Moskos, assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, decided to use figures from the website Killed by Police. Based on that data, Mr. Moskos reported that roughly 49 percent of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 were white, while 30 percent were black. He also found that 19 percent were Hispanic and 2 percent were Asian and other races. …

“Adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown of the U.S. population, he said black men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. But also adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown in violent crime, the data actually show that police are less likely to kill black suspects than white ones.

“If one adjusts for the racial disparity in the homicide rate or the rate at which police are feloniously killed, whites are actually more likely to be killed by police than blacks,” said Mr. Moskos, a former Baltimore cop and author of the book “Cop in the Hood.”

But do others agree with Mr. Moskos’s numbers?

“The investigative journalism website ProPublica came up with a similar percentage in an Oct. 10 article, reporting that 44 percent of all those killed by police were white, using FBI data from 1980 to 2012.

“The fact-checking website PolitiFact concluded in August 2014 that police kill more whites than blacks after the claim was made by conservative commentator Michael Medved. PolitiFact cited data from the Centers for Disease Control on fatal injuries by “legal intervention” from 1999 to 2011.

“Over the span of more than a decade, 2,151 whites died by being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks. In that respect, Medved is correct,” said PolitiFact.”

(Quotes from the Washington Times article.)

But anyone who says, “All Lives Matter” (or “White and Hispanic lives matter,”) is, of course, a terrible racist. Thankfully, I’ve found a helpful article to sort out why for us: The next time someone says ‘all lives matter,’ show them these 5 paragraphs

“Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!”

So, the article is saying that we should be out in the streets marching and protesting about the preferential killing of whites and Hispanics by the police? Because this is, of course, what the data actually shows.

But what about that pesky matter, crime?

The Baltimore Sun has a widget that lets you see where all of the homicides in Baltimore have been committed since 2007:

Baltimore homicides, 2015
All Baltimore homicides in 2014
Baltimore Homicides as of August 13, 2015
Baltimore Homicides as of August 13, 2015

I’m guessing the year’s total will come out somewhere around 280, breaking the general trend of falling homicide rates.

Baltimore isn’t alone:

“Milwaukee, which last year had one of its lowest annual homicide totals in city history, recorded 84 murders so far this year, more than double the 41 it tallied at the same point last year. …

“The number of murders in 2015 jumped by 33% or more in Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis. Meanwhile, in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, the homicide toll climbed 19% and the number of shooting incidents increased by 21% during the first half of the year.”

But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words:

Screen-Shot-2014-11-25-at-12.30.37-PM incarc rate by race & gender - web page8 page7-2 page7 page3 Inprisonment_Rates Violent_crime_rates_by_race_of_victim_1973-2003 2008-R-0008-1 2008-R-0008-2

table42 doj-rape-statistics

CMI5LBAUkAAgo6s  CIAaBpkWgAEfTbi

I’m going to quote a few bits from the Slate Star Codex article linked at the top:

“Then I found a huge review paper on the subject, written by a Harvard professor of sociology, which concluded after analyzing sixty pages of exquisitely-researched studies that:

“‘Recognizing that research on criminal justice processing in the United States is complex and fraught with methodological problems, the weight of the evidence reviewed suggests the following. When restricted to index crimes, dozens of individual-level studies have shown that a simple direct influence of race on pretrial release, plea bargaining, conviction, sentence length, and the death penalty among adults is small to nonexistent once legally relevant variables (e.g. prior record) are controlled. For these crimes, racial differentials in sanctioning appear to match the large racial differences in criminal offending. Findings on the processing of adult index crimes therefore generally support the non-discrimination thesis.’ …

“Police records consistently show that black people are arrested at disproportionally high rates (compared to their presence in the population) for violent crimes. For example, blacks are arrested eight times more often for homicide and fourteen times more often for robbery. Even less flashy crimes show the same pattern: forgery, fraud, and embezzlement all hover around a relative risk of four. …

“The second hypothesis has been strongly supported by crime victimization surveys, which show that the percent of arrestees who are black matches very closely matches the percent of victims who say their assailant was black. This has been constant throughout across thirty years of crime victmization surveys. …

“Summary: Blacks appear to be arrested for drug use at a rate four times that of whites. Adjusting for known confounds reduces their rate to twice that of whites. However, other theorized confounders could mean that the real relative risk is anywhere between two and parity. Never trust the media to give you any number more complicated than today’s date. … Older national data skews more toward the New York City side with little evidence of racial bias, but I don’t know of any recent studies which have compared the race of shooting victims to the race of dangerous attackers on a national level. There is no support for the contention that white officers are more likely than officers of other races to shoot black suspects. …

“a more recent Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that 66% of accused blacks get prosecuted compared to 69% of accused whites; 75% of prosecuted blacks get convicted compared to 78% of prosecuted whites. …

Summary: Most recent studies suggest a racial sentencing disparity of about 15%, contradicting previous studies that showed lower or no disparity. Changes in sentencing guidelines are one possible explanation; poorly understood methodological differences are a second. Capital punishment still sucks.”

But don’t just take my word for it; go read Scott’s whole post. Obviously he put a lot of effort into it.

What do our elites have to say on the subject? Other than, of course, calling for a “National conversation on race?

Presidential hopeful and US Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign website helpfully explains his thoughts on the matter:

“Issues: Racial Justice

“We must pursue policies that transform this country into a nation that affirms the value of its people of color. That starts with addressing the four central types of violence waged against black and brown Americans: physical, political, legal and economic.

“Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Samuel DuBose. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry and they have a right to be angry. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that this violence only affects those whose names have appeared on TV or in the newspaper. African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. …”

CNN weighs in on the Bernie Sanders/Black Lives Matter incidents:

“Many observers are perplexed by the decision of some Black Lives Matter activists to twice disrupt attempted addresses by presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“Well, I am not perplexed. The new generation of civil rights activists never accepted “trickle-down economics” from conservatives. Today they are rejecting “trickle-down justice” from the liberals. …

“But we have needed and wanted more. Our economic problems include an unemployment rate that is double that of whites, racially biased policing and court systems, predatory lenders who deliberately target black neighborhoods and public schools that expel black children at staggering rates for minor offenses. …

“Sometimes, it seemed some Democratic politicians were happy to publicly name and embrace every part of the Democratic coalition — immigrants rights defenders, womens’ rights advocates, environmentalists and champions of LBGT equality. But not black people.”

Yes, clearly the one thing Democrats fail to talk about is Black people. Really, I’ve hardly heard anyone talking about black people and their issues for the past few decades. Maybe during the LBJ administration there was some talk about black people, but that was ages ago.

“In case anyone missed the memo after Ferguson, Baltimore and Charleston, here it is: the Obama era of black silence on issues that matter to us is over.”

That’s what you call “silence”?

“It turns out the Seattle activists’ actions were aimed less at Sanders himself and more at racist practices and policies being tolerated by local liberals in a supposed progressive bastion like Seattle. The Seattle Police Department has been under investigation for years for racist scandals and problematic use of force. Black children in King County schools are suspended at higher rates than their white peers. And the region is wasting $210 million on a new jail instead of investing in communities. … any fair discussion of “income inequality” must necessarily include a denunciation of our racially biased criminal justice system. Always.”

Time Magazine weighs in with, “Bernie Sanders Is Wrong To Ignore ‘Black Lives Matter.’” I don’t think I need to quote fro the article for you to get the gist, but I’m going to, anyway:

“This is the Civil Rights Movement Part II, and our leaders should want to get in on the side that promotes human rights—full stop. … You cannot look at a group of people living in fear and dying in droves and tell them they are protesting incorrectly. It’s easy to sit back and critique the method when it isn’t your life on the line. But if someone were being choked, the last thing they would need is a passerby saying, “I’d love to help you out. But could you at least say “please?” Convince me why I should save your life, and do it politely.” White people have the time and the luxury to wait for the system we created to work in our favor.”

Also:

images  IMG

How about Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton? MSNBC reports, “Hillary Clinton: ‘Yes, black lives matter’“:

“Attempting to soar where her rivals have recently floundered on issues of racial justice, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addressed a crowd of nearly 400 in South Carolina Thursday and said unequivocally: “Yes, black lives matter. …

“Last weekend, black activists interrupted a presidential candidate forum at the Netroots Nation conference … O’Malley has since apologized for adding “white lives matter, all lives matter” to the protesters’ calls.

On a larger scale, however, the exchange targeted the progressive movement as a whole for allowing racial justice issues to fade into the background.”

There’s that “we haven’t been talking about race lately” idea again.

CNN tells us that “Clinton meets with #BlackLivesMatter protesters after they were barred from her event,” but notes in the article that,

“…the protesters showed up slightly before the event started and, according to the Clinton campaign, were not allowed into the main event because the room has been shut down due to capacity by the United States Secret Service.

“A Secret Service agent on site confirmed this to CNN.”

How about those evil racists on the Republican side?

Well, here’s a quote from Rand Paul’s campaign-launching speech:

“I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.”

So… Rand Paul wants to repeal almost the entire body of criminal law, including homicide and rape? I confess to being not particularly impressed with whatever train of thought produced this promise.

Even the Harvard Crimson weighs in, with perspectives from some of America’s future (and current) movers and shakers:

 Picture 21

The Naked Truth: Black Lives Matter

“In our stern voices, we chanted: “Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter!”

“Confused, boisterous, and starkly naked, they replied: “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

“During this year’s Primal Scream, we were a part of a group of students who stood in front of Hollis Hall as part of a peaceful protest in response to the recent non-indictment of Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, police officers who are responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively.

“With the support of the administration, we hoped to delay primal scream with a 4.5-minute moment of silence, symbolic of the 4.5 hours that Brown’s body lay on the street after his death. Black lives matter, and we wanted to engage the larger Harvard community on some of the most salient issues of our time: systemic racism, oppression, and brutality on black and brown bodies. And yet, to our dismay, the efforts of several administrators who rallied for students to respect the moment of silence were muted by the chanting of the naked mass.”

In case it’s not obvious, “Primal Scream” is one of those old-school college traditions in which (probably drunk) students strip naked and run through Harvard Yard at midnight on the night before finals. Oh, and it’s in the dead of winter, which means it’s really fucking cold. Probably not the best time to try to get a hundred or so drunk, naked people get on board with an agenda of standing around in the cold for a few minutes.

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Demonstrators Continue ‘Black Lives Matter Campaign’ in Central Square March

“More than 200 demonstrators poured onto the streets of Central Square in Cambridge Wednesday evening, extending a series of marches and protests both nationwide and in the Greater Boston Area against racial prejudice in the criminal justice system.

“This is just a continuation,” Divinity School student Rachel A. Foran said, clutching a sign on which read “White silence is state violence.” Foran, like others at the event, emphasized the need for uniting in protest following two separate non-indictments of white police officers late last year who killed unarmed black men. …

“Along the way, organizers handed off a milk crate podium to one another as they invited individuals to decry prejudices against African American men and implore Cambridge residents to join the movement.”

I think Central Square, Cambridge is significantly blacker than Harvard.

Iconic Revolutions: Art and Protest at Harvard

“The energies that fuel art are similar to the ones that power politico-economic movements, and the line between the two can often blur. The protest can be considered a form of performance art, and movements at Harvard and beyond have utilized the intersection between the two. …

“Harvard is in a unique position within the genre of protest-performance art, organizers say. And since Harvard is constantly scrutinized by the media, revolutionary art produced on Harvard’s campus—protest-based or otherwise—has unusual reach and staying power.

“PERFORMING PROTESTS

“Harvard is familiar with the tradition of performance art as a form of protest. For instance, Divest Harvard, a group that calls for Harvard to divest from fossil fuel companies, recently used a tactic that showcases performance art: They initiated the Divest Harvard Fast, a hunger strike in all but name. The hunger strike is an age-old tactic, used by groups ranging from suffragettes to Indian nationalists to Cuban dissidents. The act of fasting has a peculiar evocative power to it: an asceticism that brings up images of emaciated fakirs and a willingness to use the body as a canvas, a la Marina Abramovic.”

I am reminded here of Nydwracu’s recent post detailing the Harvard Crimson’s long support of the Khmer Rouge, well-known for being one of history’s most genocidal regimes, which you really should read:

“If the American government were sincere about wanting peace in Cambodia, it would stop supporting a repressive dictatorship, and allow the people of Cambodia — represented by the Khmer Rouge and the supporters of the deposed Prince Norodom Sihanouk — to determine their own destiny,”

and of Slate Star Codex’s recent review of “Chronicles of Wasted Time,” the memoirs of a liberal journalist who got his wish to visit Stalin’s utopia, witnessed Holodomor first-hand, and then couldn’t get anyone back home to publish his articles about it or pretty much anything that wasn’t uplifting lies about the awesomeness of the USSR, which you should also read:

“He is reduced to sending secret messages at the bottoms of people’s suitcases, only to find to his horror that even when they successfully reach the Guardian offices back in Britain, his bosses have no interest in publishing them because they offend the prejudices of its progressive readership. …

“The plan goes without a hitch, he passes himself off as a generic middle-class Soviet, and he ends up in Ukraine right in the middle of Stalin’s Great Famine. He describes the scene – famished skeletons begging for crumbs, secret police herding entire towns into railway cars never to be seen again. At great risk to himself, he smuggles notes about the genocide out of the country, only to be met – once again – with total lack of interest. Guardian readers don’t look at the newspapers to hear bad things about the Soviet Union! Guardian readers want to hear about how the Glorious Future is already on its way! He is quickly sidelined in favor of the true stars of Soviet journalism, people like Walter Duranty, the New York Times‘s Russia correspondent, who wrote story after story about how prosperous and happy and well-fed the Soviets were under Stalin, and who later won the Pulitzer Prize for his troubles.”

Speakerpedia claims that Tim Wise commands a $10,000 speaker’s fee to lecture about White Privilege to college students (and other groups) across the country; he has apparently spoken at over 800 colleges. Does anyone ever get invited to speak about black crime, the targeting of whites and Hispanics by the police, or black on white crime at universities? I bet Jared Taylor would speak for free.

Black Lives Matter has the official support of Harvard University, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Twitter, and the mass media establishment.

(No, seriously this is what the inside of the Twitter headquarters looks like:

rlvikkw0xkfyubtrhbtn blacklivesmatter

Source, source.)

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Everyone lies. All the damn time. Most lies are completely inconsequential, of course, but lying about who is murdering whom seems like the kind of lie that could result in real consequences: people dying. But even to mention the truth in public carries serious consequences: ostracization, loss of job, harassment, banning, etc. Only low-class losers care about crime against whites; rich people, of course, have no such petty concerns. Maybe because they can live in million dollar neighborhoods where the gates/ferry rides “keep out the riff-raff.”

Whose lies are believed? Whose are not?

 

Conclusions: The police and whites who worry about getting killed (or get killed) are low-status. Blacks and wealthy whites who proclaim how much they love blacks are high-status.

 

Does this sound counter-intuitive?

Why? Socially, blacks are more popular than whites.

As I noted yesterday,

“White people want to have black friends; it lets them prove to themselves (and others) just how non-racist they are. It makes them feel better about themselves and assuages some portion of guilt. To have a black friend makes a white person feel like a good white person. …

“Black people, by contrast, have no particular desire to prove how non-racist they are.”

The imbalance puts whites in a position of lower social value, attempting to get social status via black approval. But don’t just take my word for it. Remember that article in the New Yorker about the Vermont couple who adopted 20 kids?

“All the teen-ages were nervous about being black in Vermont, but Fisher and Lilly were wildly popular in high school. Lilly was a track star, and Fisher was cool and good-looking.

Fisher: I was popular. It went to my head, I won’t lie to you. All the little white girls saw I was the best dancer in the school, and I was the only black guy.”

Fisher dropped out of college, got three girls pregnant and went to prison for beating one of them.

Were you popular enough with women to have three kids before your mid-twenties?

Newsweek has an interesting article on childhood popularity and race: By Third Grade, Black Students who Self-Segregate are more Popular:

“In NEWSWEEK magazine this week, we suggested that part of the problem [racial self-segregation among students] stems from white parents’ refusal to talk to their young children about race and ethnicity. This inadvertently teaches children that race is a taboo topic. …

“Nevertheless, the scholars are finding stunning racial patterns in the kids’ responses. They found that black kids who self-segregate ─ who only hang out with other blacks ─ are more popular than black kids who have white friends.

“This means that an average black student could increase her popularity by hanging out with other black students. Meanwhile, if she chooses to have white friends, she could put her popularity at risk. Many kids don’t have the social capital or confidence to make this tradeoff.

“When the scholars ran the analysis a second time, substituting how much kids were liked for how popular they were, a similar troubling pattern emerged. Black kids who self-segregated were liked by more black children. Having white friends decreased a black child’s “likeability” ─ at least in the eyes of other black children.

“For white children, in contrast, self-segregating hurt their popularity. …

“Overall, black students were more popular than white students. And both the white and black kids in his study agreed which black kids were popular.”

Newsweek concludes the article by claiming,

“Twenty or thirty years ago, no black kids would have been seen as popular by white kids ─ and few black kids would have had social influence. Black kids would not have been setting the social standard, school-wide. Now they are.”

Really?

In “Blacks in the White Establishment,” Zweigenhaft and Dumhoff write about the effects of the ABC program–A Better Chance of Andover–established in 1967 to give scholarships to black and other minority students so they can attend Andover High School:

 “Perry’s study found that ABC students felt themselves to be popular. In fact, in response to an item asking, “How popular do you think you are in school this year in comparison with all the other students in your grade,” black ABC students indicated they felt more popular than did a control group of white students at their schools. (More than one-third of the black respondents felt themselves to be among “the most popular” and less than one-tenth thought themselves to be among “the least popular.”)

“Not only were black ABC students popular, they were also valued as leaders in dealing with teachers and administrators. … the student body of 840 students (40 of whom were black) surprised many people (including the faculty, the administration, the New York Times, and, most likely, themselves) by electing blacks as presidents of the sophomore, junior, and senior classes for the 1969-70 academic year. As the New York Times breathlessly and historically informed its readers, Andover, “the alma mater of the Lees and Washingtons of Virginia and the Quincys and Lowells of New England, has elected three Negro students from the ghettos of Chicago and Oakland as class presidents for 1969-70.” (Bold mine)

Of course, 1969 is 40 years before the Newsweek article was published, not 20-30, so perhaps black kids got a lot less popular sometime between the 60s and the 80s. Or maybe Newsweek just employees people who want certain fictions to be true.

Here’s another study on the same subject, with the same findings, African American and European American Children in Diverse Elementary Classrooms: Social Integration, Social Status, and Social Behavior:

“African American—but not European American—children had more segregated relationships and were more disliked by cross-ethnicity peers when they had fewer same-ethnicity classmates. African American children’s segregation was positively associated with same-ethnicity social preference and perceived popularity and with cross-ethnicity perceived popularity. European American children’s segregation was positively associated with same-ethnicity social preference but negatively associated with cross-ethnicity social preference and perceived popularity.”

Normal humans are perfectly aware of what would be impolitic to claim: from Yahoo Answers, Why are “blacks” considered more popular in any school?

I’ve been to many different middle schools and highschools (we moved alot for dad’s job) and it always seemed as though blacks are more “popular” than anyone else in the school?

My area is majority white…and most of the Black people at my school(and there isn’t a lot) are quite popular. Same with a lot of the Asian kids at my school.

Well usually I feel as though they have more culture…I don’t know.. more fun then just and I am not trying to “Generalize” the american girl population, but most of us are annoying slutty brats, who just want to take pictures all the time in the same god damn position.

We’re just always expected to be cool and popular, honestly…and it’s just that most blacks are raised to be more outgoing, so it carries on with them through school. I get along with most people, but I’m not that popular.

the blacks in my school tend to be popular because some of them make trouble.  Source(s): im black,and im not popular”

The general explanation for black crime (if you get one at all) is that blacks feel bad because of racism, they have low self-esteem, they’re unpopular, people are constantly mean to them, they suffer microaggressions, etc.

The “self esteem” racket is quite a thing, and has been going on for quite a while (since the ’80s, at least). I recently happened across a treasure trove of old books a former kindergarten teacher was giving away for free because she was retiring, and gratefully took the whole stack. Many of the books were on the expected topics of “Kindergarten is awesome” and the ABCs, but a substantial subset were books aimed at raising black self-esteem, such as, “I Like Myself”

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Actually, there were two copies of this book in the stack.

Here’s a page from the book:

Picture 1

People the MC would not like to be: a baby, an old woman, or a police officer–all white.

And another page:

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Remember, whites get bullied more than black kids, but how many books do you think you can find in the average kindergarten class depicting a white kid being bullied by a black kid, and encouraging the white kid to be proud of themself?

Black Girl Dangerous helpfully reminds us:

“Teach your kids to constantly question the media’s narratives, especially about black people, including what stories the media tells and doesn’t tell, what images they show and don’t show, and the ways that black people and other people of color are made less than human by the media, while white people, even mass murderers, are allowed full humanity. Point out to them the differences in headlines and language used to describe people of color vs. white people and make sure they understand the motives behind them.”

The Cosby Show must have been really hard on her self-esteem.

Of course, the whole self-esteem business is a canard; popular kids have high self-esteem. From Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan (2004):

“More recent findings have documented that Blacks have higher self-esteem than Whites (Adams, 2003; Crocker & Lawrence, 1999; Crocker, Luhtanen, Blaine, & Broadnax, 1994; Harris & Stokes, 1978; Gray-Little & Hafdahl, 2000; Milkie, 1999; Porter & Washington, 1979; Rosenberg & Simmons, 1972; Simmons, 1978; Taylor & Walsh, 1979; Tashakkori, Thompson, Wade, & Valente, 1990; Twenge & Crocker, 2002). …

“By the 1970s, a majority of empirical studies found that Blacks had high self-esteem (Simmons, 1978; Taylor & Walsh, 1979; Rosenberg & Simmons, 1972; Harris & Stokes, 1978; Porter & Washington, 1979). Cross (1991) also reviewed studies published from 1968 to1980, and found that 74% of the studies reported that Blacks had equal or higher self-esteem than Whites. …

“a plethora of quantitative and qualitative studies have reported that Black adolescent girls consistently present high self-esteem scores (Adams, 2003; Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999; Brodsky, 1999; Brown et al., 1998; Dukes & Martinez, 1994; Gray-Little & Hafdahl, 2000; Makkar & Strube, 1995; Milkie, 1999; Twenge & Crocker, 2002). In an empirical review of race comparative research published from 1980-2000, Adams (2003) found that 23 of 26 studies reported that Black girls had higher self-esteem than White girls. Black adolescent girls may be facing difficult circumstances but they consistently rate higher on self-esteem than any other racial group (Twenge & Crocker, 2002).”

 

Meanwhile, Pistol-whipped detective says he didn’t shoot attacker because of headlines:

“A Birmingham, Alabama, police detective who was pistol-whipped unconscious said Friday that he hesitated to use force because he didn’t want to be accused of needlessly killing an unarmed man. …

“”We don’t want to be in the media,” he said. “It’s hard times right now for us.” …

“Adding insult to injury: several bystanders, instead of helping, took pictures of the bloodied officer as he was facedown on the concrete and posted the images on social media, where the officer was mocked. …

“”Pistol whipped his ass to sleep,” one user wrote, employing the hashtag #FckDaPolice. Another mockingly offered the officer milk and cookies for his “nap time.””

 

Who has status in America?

Moldbug

So I hear Moldbug was dis-invited from a tech conference (where he was to present on tech-related subjects) because someone didn’t like his politics.

If you haven’t read Moldbug, his main schtick seems to be that he thinks the French Revolution was a bad idea and we should go back to having a monarchy. (To be fair, I am oversimplifying a guy whose blog is >2x as long as War and Peace. I should probably also throw in that he coined the term “Cathedral” and described Progressivism as a religion and is generally opposed to it.)

I understand that most people think Moldbug’s ideas are weird, but if you let guys who think Stalin was an okay dude into your conferences, (and they do; actual communists face very little discrimination in modern America, as evidenced by the fact that many of them are happily employed at major universities and tech companies,) then you really ought to extend the same political agnosticism to a guy who wants to reinstate the Stuarts.

I converse regularly with people who openly refer to themselves as international communists and count them among my friends, despite believing that they are kind of wrong and that their ideology leads to mass murder. They mean well, I suppose. Of course, if they start looking funny at the Kulaks, I may have to change that assessment.

Likewise, I would have no objection to conversing with Moldbug; he is an interesting guy with an obviously expansive intellect, traits I admire in people. I doubt he means anyone ill-will, and he certainly doesn’t have the political power to put any of his ideas into motion. Republicans can and actually do bomb people in Iraq or Iran or Syria or wherever they feel like when they happen to have power, which is fairly frequent. Moldbug isn’t going to reinstate the Stuarts or any other part of his agenda (whatever that is.)

Shame on those who made it their 5-minute mission to try to ruin someone’s career just because he has some wacky political ideas.