Early and contemporary progressives – a comparison

Posted June 3, 2013 by commonwealth contrarian
Categories: Anti-fascists, Left liberalism, Political correctness, right liberalism

I’ve just been reading Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism. The theme of Goldberg’s book is that modern progressives are just like the progressives of the early 20 th Century. According to Goldberg, all progressives like using government power to achieve their ends, so all progressives are “liberal fascists.”

However, this shallow argument is based solely on means rather than ends. Just because early progressives liked using state power doesn’t mean they wanted to achieve the same things that modern progressives do, or that they were authoritarian in the same ways that modern progressives are. After all, if today’s progressives are just like those of the 1920s and 1930s, then why is modern society so different from what it was 80 years ago?

Here’s some important differences between early and modern progressives which Goldberg downplays and ignores:

Early progressives generally believed in promoting the interests of the majority/Modern progressives promote the interests of minorities

Early progressives wanted to get more native minorities into paid employment so they could support their families and contribute taxes/Modern progressives actively support affirmative action across a wide range of training courses, jobs and political positions, for both native and immigrant minorities.

Early progressives distrusted the financial sector and many were actively hostile towards it/Modern progressives are generally supportive of the financial sector

Early progressives tended to support farming and manufacturing/Modern progressives are apathetic about farming and manufacturing

Early progressives had mixed views about nationalism and protectionism/Most modern progressives actively promote free trade, open borders and global government

Early progressives supported energy independence and aggressively promoted large-scale infrastructure projects/Modern progressive are apathetic about energy independence and are heavily influenced by the thinking of environmentalists

Early progressives had little interest in introducing hate speech laws and saw censorship as something that conservatives did/Modern progressives strongly support hate speech laws and PC speech codes, and many believe right-wing intellectuals, jounalists and entertainers should be actively discriminated against.

Early progressives were interested in discussing human bio-diversity/Modern progressives are not interested in discussing human bio-diversity and criticise or censor those who are

Many early progressives supported eugenics or had an open mind about it /All modern progressives are strongly opposed to eugenics and arguably support dysgenics

Early progressives believed in IQ testing and meritocratic education/Modern progressives are opposed to IQ testing and strongly support egalitarian dogma in education

Early progressives tended to be cautious about immigration and many were immigration restrictionists/Almost all modern progressives are strongly critical of immigration restrictionists, oppose building border fences and off-shore detention camps, and are uncritical supporters of UN refugee quotas

Early progressives supported traditional nuclear families with government subsidies/Modern progressives are often hostile to the traditional nuclear family and give state handouts to single parents

Early progressives had mixed views about women in the workforce/Modern progressives believe in equal pay and subsidised child care so women can compete directly against men in the job market

Early progressives weren’t very concerned about gay rights/Modern progressives actively promote gay rights and homosexual parenting

Given the big differences between early and modern progressives in terms of political views, it’s a big stretch to say that modern progressives have similar agendas to their predecessors

I’d argue the reason people like Goldberg fixate on progressive means rather than ends, it that they actually support many of the ends of modern progressives and see the ends of early progressives as too fascist, elitist or conservative.

 

GM has high hopes for new La Raza

Posted June 2, 2013 by commonwealth contrarian
Categories: Immigration, Politically incorrect humour, The shallot, United States

Detroit – General Motors unveiled a new mid-sized SUV/ people career this week which is specially targeting at America’s growing Hispanic population

Set against a South-western desert back drop, the new Chevrolet La Raza appeared at this week’s motor show in militant red with garish chrome wheels, adjustable hydraulic suspension, red, green and white interior trim and black tinted windows.

CEO Mark Wornbearing hopes to win over at least 20 percent of Hispanic new car buyers with the La Raza, which has a number of features specifically designed for Hispanic motorists:

“The La Raza has been meticulously designed from the ground up with the Hispanic market in mind. It has more than adequate seating for a large extended family and with good ground clearance and permanent 4WD its ideal for driving on badly maintained Californian roads and those late-night trips to desert border crossings. Tinted windows also come as standard, so there no need for nosey gringos to know what (or whom) you’re carrying in the spacious luggage area.”

Mr Wornbearing says in marketing terms, it’s a big improvement on the Chevy Redneck, which failed to generate much sales in the mid-west:

“The Redneck wasn’t a bad vehicle, but it was targeted at a shrinking demographic – there just aren’t that many middle-income whites with lots of kids these days. And obviously the name didn’t go down well in the coastal blue states.”

Motoring critic David Highgear had reservations about the vehicles “loud and in your face” styling, but was very impressed with its safety features:

“The new anti-skid breaking system is a real step ahead for GM and the car will automatically slow if you try to run a red light or get too close to the vehicle in front. Around town it practically drives itself – which is really important when you’re talking about a demographic that includes a lot of drivers without valid licences.”

Is immigration based on IQ a good idea?

Posted May 26, 2013 by commonwealth contrarian
Categories: Immigration, IQ, Mainstream media

As John Derbyshire points out at Vdare, the media hysteria over Jason Richwine’s infamous immigration paper has meant his main idea – that immigration should be based on IQ - has been left unexamined by the mainstream media.

Derbyshire points out a number of problems with IQ-based immigration, but I’ll point out a couple of other problems.

One is regression to the mean.

Canada and New Zealand have been using skill-based immigration for over a century to cherry pick workers from the British Islands and Europe. Indeed, The New Zealand Company (a private company that established settlements in Australia and New Zealand in the 19th Century) was carefully selecting immigrants based on skills, temperament, and character as early as the 1840s.

Despite this policy, and the fact that skills are stronglycorrelated with IQ, the mean IQ of whites in Canada and New Zealand is no higher than in most other majority whites, and both countries (for better or worse) have their fair share of colonial “chavs” (referred to down under as “bogans”). Hence it seems that even if most white immigrants are quite bright and enterprising, their descendants will soon return to the white mean.

Like skill-based immigration, IQ-based selection is also limited by the inevitable trend for selective immigration to be accompanied by immigration based on family ties, and just because a particular individual has a high IQ or a valuable skill, it doesn’t mean their relatives will. In fact since valuable skills are by definition, relatively rare, it’s more likely the relatives of smart or highly skilled workers will have fewer skills or lower IQs.

Following this logic, even smart immigrants from countries with a low average IQ – like most of Africa and the Middle East – could well have lots of descendants with IQs that are significantly below the white average.

Another problem with IQ-based immigration is that high IQ immigrants can undermine social cohesion if they aren’t  able to secure high status, white collar employment. Most Islamic terrorists in western countries are high IQ immigrants with degrees, and smart, frustrated immigrants have played a big part in many assassinations, communist revolutions and left-wing social movements.

Politics and Pussy

Posted February 16, 2013 by commonwealth contrarian
Categories: Feminism, Left liberalism, Political activism

Evolutionary psychologists often say that male behaviour is heavily influenced by the desire to score with women, and it seems the world of far-left politics is no exception.

In a recent Guardian column “Why Leftists and Revolutionaries Are Not the Best Feminists” progressive commentator Nick Cohen opines on the sexual transgressions of leading male far-leftists.

In one paragraph, he quotes Anna Chen, who spent a number of years working for the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Worker’s Party :

“I was struck by how sexless and ugly the leading men in the SWP were. But they always had women. If you slept with one of them, they promoted you. It was as basic as that.”

A particularly randy leftist was Gerry Healey, of the Worker’s Revolutionary Party. The party fell apart in 1986 when 26 women came forward claiming of “gross sexual misconduct,” at the hands of Healey during the 70s and 80s.

Far-left causes tend to attract more women than men, so it makes perfect sense they sexually sub-par males would be interested in using memberships of such groups to access relatively attractive women that would otherwise be unobtainable. This is also likely to be one of the reasons why male intellectuals don’t tend to be very interested in far-right politics. The nationalist right doesn’t tend to attract many women, so the opportunities to score with relatively attractive females are limited.

Cohen concludes his article by stating that the feminist movement is now getting wise to womanising comrades, and that most of hard-core socialist parties like the SWP are dying out. In this new, more female dominated climate it’s going to be interesting to see where these exiled male leftists will end up directing their political energies.

Why modern representative democracy doesn’t work

Posted January 15, 2013 by commonwealth contrarian
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Ok, here’s a classic example of why I hate contemporary representative democracy, and why it violates classical principles of good government.

For better or worse, the people of France voted in the Socialist government of Francois Hollande in the (albeit desperate) hope that an economically left-leaning government might be able to stimulate the economy and boost employment.

However, as so many other left-leaning governments have done before them - they’ve cynically taken the opportunity to introduce a controversial social reform without a popular mandate - in this case gay marriage and gay adoption.

A mandate to introduce economic reforms is not the same as a mandate to introduce radical social engineering.

Aristotle would not be amused.

MSM diversity spin

Posted November 10, 2012 by commonwealth contrarian
Categories: Interesting times, Mainstream media, United States, White people

As half the planet is now aware, the Republicans lost  the US Presidential election because they didn’t get enough Hispanics votes. And not for the first, time the MSM get’s it totally wrong.

The first thing to take into account is that American has a first-past-the-post voting system,  which means that it isn’t just how many votes a party gets that counts, but where they get them. Getting 99 percent of the vote in 10 states won’t win do you much good if you lose all the other states. As it happens, the Hispanic population is overwhelmingly concentrated in half a dozen states in the South West, while the swing states that decided the election have small Hispanic populations.

As Vdare contributor Washington Watcher points out, it wasn’t the Hispanic vote which lost the Republicans the election, but the low working class white vote in the key swing states like Iowa and Wisconsin. One of the reasons why poor whites didn’t vote for Romney is he’s a rich financier, and they’re scared he’ll cut their pensions and medical aid.

Sure the high Hispanic vote is an ominous trend, but it didn’t decide this particular election, and trying to pander to such ethnocentric voters is probably futile. Instead the Republican Party needs to think about how it can get more working class white votes, which probably means making economic comprimises, but not capitulating on immigration policy.

Economics and birth rates

Posted October 28, 2012 by commonwealth contrarian
Categories: Birth rates, Debt, Economic growth, Recession, Religion

Do religious conservatives actually think before expressing their views on demographics?

I ask, because there seems to a sizeable percentage of religious conservatives who believe that birth rates are inversely related to prosperity.

Certainly birth rates tend to be lower in rich countries than poor countries, but that doesn’t mean they’re lower because of greater economic opportunities.

The recent recession is a strong case in point. According to the logic of religious conservatives, westerners should have been having more children over the last five years since jobs are scarcer and wages are lower, so there’s been more incentive for women to stay at home and have children. But this hasn’t happened. Instead, women in both Europe and North America have had even fewer children, and the modest increase in birth rates that occurred just before the recession has abruptly ended. According to one estimate, at least 20 percent of US adults between 18 and 34  have consciously delayed having children because of the recession.

This is basically the same pattern that occurred in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Birth rates fell significantly during the tough times, and then increased when the economy picked up at the end of WWII. They then continued at a high rate until birth control arrived and the 1970s recession slowed down the economy.

Similarly, birth rates are now also declining in the Middle East, which is struggling with high food prices, and a lack of jobs for young males.

So religious conservatives are wrong – people do have more kids when the economy improves and less when the economy gets worse. It’s also important to bear in mind that just because we live in an affluent age doesn’t mean we live in an age of economic security. Out-sourcing, free markets, and the increased use of temporary labour, may not had reduced prosperity per se, but they have made a lot of people’s work lives much more insecure, and economic insecurity is a big turn off for young people contemplating having children.

Some conservatives cite the high birth rates of immigrants from poor countries as evidence that prosperity reduces birth rates. Newly arrived immigrants from poor countries have lots of babies, so poverty must increase fertility. The difference here is that these immigrants are moving from a poor country to a rich country, so they having rising economic expectations, as well as access to health and welfare services that may be unavailable in their home country. So this line of reasoning doesn’t hold when you’re looking at affluent natives who are facing the depressing prospect of getting poorer.

Education is another overrated factor in birth rates. Sure, university does take up time and money that could otherwise be spent on family formation, but if all the men and women who went to university got high-paying jobs when they graduated, then they would still have plenty of time and money to pay off their debts and raise families, and would have more money with which to do it.

The problem is that education is in many respects a symptom of economic decline – people go to university in the increasingly desperate hope of getting a higher paying job in a competitive job market, only to find there aren’t enough high paying jobs for graduates either.

If education is lowering birth rates, it’s because too many people are getting unmarketable degrees in a weak job market and the combination of being over-educated and underemployed is making it even harder to start a family

I don’t what the best solutions to the West’s population decline are, since population  decline is due to a range of factors that are difficult to untangle, but I’m pretty sure that impoverishing people isn’t one of them.


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