Archive for June 2012

Another hole in the white privilege argument

June 26, 2012

Over at Oz Conservative, Mark Richardson highlights some fascinating stats on global economic development in an article about whiteness studies.

According to left liberal arguments, the economic success of Europeans has been based on exploiting other parts of the world, a process which began about 1550 with their colonial expansion into America and Asia.

However, there’s a big problem with this argument – Europe started pulling ahead of Asia as early as 1100 AD, 400 years before Europeans started conquering other parts of the world.

From what I’ve read of economic history, a major reason why Europe started to overtake Asia during the Middle Ages was labour scarcity. Europe’s less intensive style of agriculture and factors such as the Black Death meant that labour was a lot more expensive in Europe than Asia, so in Europe there was a much greater incentive to develop labour-saving technology. This is why Europeans in the Middle Ages were focusing more on things like water wheels and windmills and new types of ploughs, while East Asians were inventing more elite-orientated technologies like silk and porcelain.

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Madonna’s political ignorance.

June 24, 2012

In a recent concert in Israel Madonna used an image of Marine Le Pen to make a critical statement against racism and fascism (as discussed in this Taki’s Magazine article by Bruce Cochran).

Madonna’s “anti-fascist” stance is all the more amusing given her interest in the lives of Eva Peron and Wallace Simpson (she has played Peron in a musical and recently directed a movie about Simpson). Peron of course married Argentinian fascist leader Juan Peron,  while Wallace Simpson was a staunch anti-communist who was strongly opposed to racial intermarriage. Why Madonna should champion Simpson and vilify Le Pen seems kind of ironic considering Simpson was probably more socially conservative than Marine Le Pen will ever be.

Adding to the irony is that Madonna likes to emphasise her Italian heritage. Italy was the birth place of fascism and is one of the world’s most ideologically sophisticated countries. Indeed, during the Italian Civil War from 1943-45 political ignorance of the kind exhibited by Madonna could easily have got a women like her killed by a communist lynch mob.