Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) Only Has "Experts" on Trump Derangement

They just can't help themselves. Trump Derangement dominates ARI's "thinking" on every issue. ARI's foreign policy "expert" is Israeli/Brit Elan Journo. His essay "The Betrayal of Charlie Hebdo" published a few days ago on ARI's blog illustrates this problem. Journo evades the central issue raised by the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Then, he digresses into the usual anti-Trump boilerplate.
Globally on social media, many echoed the slogan “Je Suis Charlie” in solidarity.
But when the moment faded, it became clear that the threat to freedom of speech emanates not only — or even primarily — from the “jihadists’ veto.” The deeper problem is us. There’s pervasive antipathy to the principle of freedom of speech. Unless we understand and value it, we will lose this crucial right.
The left has always been hostile to free speech. This fact is hardly news. The West's most dangerous enemy has always been the left. ARI "experts" seem to understand this on some limited, superficial level. Sadly, this knowledge has not prevented ARI from jumping into bed with the cultural Marxists. For example, that one must vote Democrat because the USA in imminent danger of being taken over by Jerry Falwell. Or, that one must vote Democrat because moderate secularist Donald Trump is actually Satan. The fruits of appeasement of evil to gain academic and media respectability are never sweet.

Regarding the above quote: unless that ideology is globalism; or, open borders for America; or, "free trade" with Red China; or, second wave feminism; or, late term abortion; or,  whitewashing Islam with the evasive "totalitarian Islam;" or, Donald Trump as the "villain of our time." 

The central issue raised by the Charlie Hebdo attack is the Islamic/leftist alliance against Western Civilization. This alliance is dedicated to eradicating all Western values. It's equally obvious that to fulfill it's evil agenda, the alliance is equally dedicated to replacing Western nations with the Balkanized chaos of mass migrations of hostile settlers who hate the West as much as the alliance. Obleftivism has no problem with the last part of the plan to eradicate the West. Demographic invasion is now a "right." ARI has degenerated into just another Koch Brothers' libertarian mouthpiece. It is not Objectivism. Avoid it like the intellectual plague it is.

The left controls all of the West's cultural institutions. From science, the media, academia to sports and large corporations. They have silenced all dissent to the leftist narrative in these areas. They are now trying to take over the internet and drive out all dissent from social media. President Trump seems to understand the magnitude of the threat. The Obleftivists at ARI do not. Instead, they uncritically worship the fascists of Silicon Valley and are prepared to tolerate purging the internet of all who refuse to toe the party line of cultural Marxism. One can argue that Trump is not doing nearly enough, or going about it in the wrong way, to stop this threat to open public discourse. But, one can't honestly deny the danger or that something must be done to stop Soviet Valley's power grab in connivance with Democrats. (Another issue involved here is that corporations are creatures of the state. The concept of the "artificial person" needs to be revisited. Obviously, both corporate and libel law need much reform). 

Instead, Journo castigates Trump as the enemy of freedom and holds him partially responsible for the left's hostility to all rights.
What’s so alarming about Trump’s evident antipathy to freedom of speech is that so many Americans have acquiesced in it — perhaps even sharing his outlook.
See, the answer to the jihad in Western Europe is hating on Trump for his desire for much needed libel law reform, for his attempt to deal with the traitorous Swamp, for his truth-telling about the evil media, for his America First trade policies, for his desperately needed wall. Meanwhile, Obleftivists continue to hate on Poland and Hungary for their "crime" of not importing cancer. Nowhere in his essay does Journo have the courage and honesty to state that the source of jihad is Islam. Nor does he mention that the purpose of jihad is to impose sharia law, which would mean the end of Western Civilization and all rights along with common decency.

In his "analysis," Elan Journo doesn't mention Macron's, and the rest of Western Europe's elites', treason to their own people. He also doesn't mention the Yellow Vest protest against those same traitors. The Yellow Vest protests are the most encouraging event to happen in Western Europe in a very long time. So, of course, ARI ignores it.

In the following brief, seven minute video, Paul Joseph Watson provides more insight into events in Europe that all the ARI "experts" combined. I suspect that one reason ARI hasn't mentioned the Yellow Vest protests is because of their hostility to it. ARI Obleftivists are supporters of the fascistic EU superstate and Yaron Brook has stated his antipathy to Brexit. ARI "experts" smear opposition to EU nation-wrecking and fascism as "populist." "Populism" in their book is, but of course, "racism." Given ARI "experts" blind adherence to globalism and cultural Marxism, it's no surprise that they miss much and understand little.


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Happy New Year and Keep Your Powder Dry

The Democratic controlled House of Representatives looks like the cantina scene from Star Wars. It is a hive of villainy, scum, evil and treason. The Democrats' avowed purpose is to destroy what's left of the USA. Their method is demonstrated by what they are fighting for most vociferously. For example, to continue uncontrolled "immigration" by refusing to fund the Wall while providing "sanctuary" for murdering invaders. America's death-spiral is encapsulated in this picture:
Occasional-Cortex and Jihad Barbie
Appropriately, on the left is Puerto-Rican Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her economy and soul destroying "Green New Deal" is already being touted by an equally evil media. The headbag on the right is Somali invader IIhan Omar. The picture is an excellent illustration of the Left-Islamic alliance to destroy America. Occasional-Cortex's non-American constituents voted for her because she promises to fundamentally transform America into Venezuela as quickly as inhumanly possible. They are also excellent representatives of the anti-American fifth-column the left, and Republican turncoats, have imported for this very purpose. If the American people won't vote for their own immolation, the left will replace them with those who will.

While a nation may survive external enemies, and may even survive imported enemies, it cannot long survive traitors within the wall. Sadly, "traitors" is the best word to describe the voters of Minnesota's fifth congressional district who support Omar. This district, and the last election, demonstrates that the domestic left is America's greatest enemy. They seek the nation's death. That their own death may soon follow is not any of their concern. They are just driven to murder the object of their all consuming hate: American (and Western) traditions and freedom.

Hyperbole? No. Ayn Rand made the nihilistic motives of such haters clear in her seminal essay "The Age of Envy" in 1971. Consider this passage on the Green movement:
...when the great emancipator, the automobile, is attacked as a public menace, and highways are decried as a violation of the wilderness--when bleary-eyed, limp-limbed young hobos of both sexes [!] chant about the evil of labor-saving devices, and demand that human life be devoted to the grubby hand-picking of truck gardens, and to garbage disposal--when alleged scientists stretch, fake or suppress scientific evidence in order to panic the ignorant about the interplanetary perils augured by some such omen as the presence of mercury in tuna fish--when their leading philosopher proclaims that work is an outdated prejudice, that fornication should replace ambition, and that mankind's standard of living should be brought down--when sundry hordes block the construction of electric generators and are about to plunge New York City into the catastrophe of an overloaded power system's failure--it is time to grasp that we are not dealing with man-lovers, but with killers. (emphasis added)
If there is a second American revolution these will be the two sides: those who seek to defend human values and those nihilists who seek to make human life on earth impossible. And, everyone will have to choose a side in this fight. It's later than most Americans realize.

Unfortunately, the left's pathologies have a useful idiot (or worse) in the misnamed Ayn Rand Institute (ARI). Consider ARI's CEO and most vocal spokesperson (see what I did there) Yaron Brook. Under his leadership, ARI has gone all out to garner both academic and mainstream media respectability. Nobody at ARI seems to understate, or wants to admit, that both these institutions are irredeemably evil. They are both a national menace and must be eliminated, not appeased. Evil of such magnitude cannot be reformed. It must not be sanctioned. 
Evil as the hating creatures are, there is something still more evil: those who try to appease them. (Ayn Rand - "The Age of Envy")
ARI sanctions evil by maintaining the facade that this evil are their civilized equals who should be engaged as such. When not pandering to evil, Brook castigates President Trump, and the "Deplorables," as the "villain of out time." In the last decade and a half, Brook has been moving ARI further and further left. Now it is indistinguishable from such left-libertarian organizations as Reason and CATO. He often attacks those on the "right," including real Objectivists, while appeasing the left on the all important cultural-social issues of our day. It's also clear what Ayn Rand would have thought about the mass importation of savages bent on looting and destroying Western Civilization. Unlike ARI, she would have been against such civilizational suicide.

On a positive note, Bruno Turner and Lindsay Perigo have been producing a weekly series of YouTube videos that are first-rate. Being considerate gentlemen, they limit their videos to thirty minutes duration. Their latest video is one of their best.

In this episode, Lindsay makes an excellent observation that should be widely repeated. The West is in an existential fight for survival with barbarians both within and without. The central part of that fight is the preservation of Western nation-states. If these nations fall, so does the West. Globalization is just the method by which the left seeks to destroy the nation-state, and therefore the West with it. President Donald Trump's fight for secure borders, rational immigration policy, ending America's role as global cop, and sane trade policies is the fight to save the West. Sadly, Yaron Brook, ARI and its supporters are on the wrong side of this battle on every issue. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Harry Binswanger Opines Again on Immigration

Harry Binswanger is one of Obleftivism's leading gurus. He has many NPC followers who parrot his every word and thought. He is also an extreme rationalist as are most of ARI's principle thought leaders. Binswanger is most notorious in patriotic Objectivist circles for his extremely bizarre views on immigration such as this classic from 2014: "After a phase-in period, entry into the U.S. would be unrestricted, unregulated, and unscreened, exactly as is entry into Connecticut from New York." 

Binswanger's a smart guy and understands that the concept of national sovereignty and the fundamental nature of the nation-state stand in the way of his borderless utopian fantasy world. Therefore, he seeks to corrupt the concept of "sovereignty" and turn it into an anti-conceptual package-deal

A few days ago, Binswanger posted an essay in which he attempts to narrow the definition of "sovereignty" in order to empty it of most of its content. He did so to justify the population replacement of the American people with those who support statism and are consequently easily ruled. Here's his argument, in part:

“Sovereignty” refers to the government’s monopoly on force. The border defines the area within which the government has that monopoly–the monopoly on the use of force. The border indicates where a particular government has jurisdiction, the area within which its police will enforce its law.
The border is not the property line between the government’s ownership of “its territory” and the next government’s ownership of theirs. The government does not own the country. Nor does any collective. Sovereignty is not ownership.
 What then does “enforcing our border” mean, in a non-collectivist sense? It means not letting neighboring governments start to use their force within our borders. Enforcing the border is enforcing the government’s monopoly over force–it is not the initiation of force to obstruct or stop the free movement of individuals across that border. [Emphasis in original]

As with his previous article that is linked to above, Binswanger crudely reduces the entire question of national sovereignty to a matter of local police jurisdiction like as between Connecticut and New York. In reality, the concept of sovereignty addresses the nature of and justification for any government's source of legitimacy. In the case of the United States, the source of sovereignty is the American people. They have created and support their various governments and task them with acting in our interests and protection of our rights. The American people possess a distinct national identity. Their sovereignty rests on their right to form a polity and to protect its continued existence. Mass immigration from hostile or incongruent cultures is clearly a threat to the American polity's continuance. 

Since the early modern period when European nation-states were being formed, it's been understood that those new states have a sovereign right to control who and what crosses their borders. One purpose of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) was to codify this principle of national sovereignty into international law. The goal of this principle was to prevent nations from meddling in the affairs of other countries. It was also an attempt to prevent the oppression that always results from polyglot empires of a "multicultural" nature - as something called the "Spanish Netherlands" had experienced. Needless to say, the nation-state stands in the way of both empire builders and globalist one-world utopians

Foreign nationals attempting to illegally cross into the United States are initiating force against the American people. For literalists who can't think conceptually, this principle is a paradox they will never solve. For example, many open borders libertarians declare that they would not allow in "migrants" with communicable diseases. Why not; don't sick people have rights? Or they state that terrorists would be stopped under their open borders scheme. Unless a prospective "migrant" has been convicted of a crime, is this not the "ideological screening" that has them in high dudgeon? And, don't those convicted of crimes who have served their time have rights?

Of course, none of these "tough" questions arise with a proper understanding of national sovereignty. I'll give Binswanger credit. He doesn't hedge his position. He drops all context and declares that the American people have a Kantian moral imperative to fling open their borders in order to erase their national existence.

The issue is either/or. Either American immigration policy is based on the national self-interest of the American people as they determine it or it is based on the alleged "right" of every and any foreigner to enter the United States regardless of the wishes of actual Americans. As Ayn Rand observed in the 1963 in a different context: 

A nation, like any other group, is only a number of individuals and can have no rights other than the rights of its individual citizens. A free nation - a nation that recognizes, respects and protects the individual rights of its citizens - has a right to its territorial integrity, its social system and its form of government. The government of such a nation is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of its citizens and has no rights other than the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific, delimited task (the task of protecting them from physical force, derived from their right of self-defense). [Emphasis added] Ayn Rand, "Collectivized Rights," in The Virtue of Selfishness, pg. 120.

Needless to say, the US government has no right to surrender the country's national sovereignty that belongs to the American people. Ayn Rand makes it perfectly clear in the above statement that the purpose of the US government is to protect the rights of American citizens. The rights of foreign nationals, either real or imagined, are not my government's problem or concern. Although Ayn Rand never directly addressed the issue of the current mass invasion of the civilized West, it's clear that she would never have supported the West's destruction based on pathological altruism. Even Leonard Peikoff understood that individual rights, however distorted and misinterpreted, are not a suicide pact. 

I'll close by noting that even open immigration (for America) proponents usually draw the line when it comes to a certain ethno-religious state. I have no problem with Israel defining itself as the "Jewish State." It's just interesting how some people will twist themselves into semantic pretzels when it comes to rationalizing the one, while also declaring that American culture has no real identity and that mass immigration won't adversely affect, if not destroy, the American sense of life. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Review: Claire Lee Chennault, Way of the Fighter, 1949

Claire Chennault is a grossly under-rated military genius among professional military historians. He was also underappreciated and even denigrated within the US Army Air Force, both prior to and during, his service in China in World War Two. One reason for this was his assertive style that ruffled many Air Force feathers. Another reason was that his unorthodox theories went directly against the received wisdom of his time. 
Chennault's Theories Proven
Perhaps a most important reason for the neglect and even disparaging of Chennault's many great achievements was his close relationship with and defense of Nationalist China's leader Chiang Kai-shek. He better understood the nature of the threat posed to American interests by Mao's Communist insurgency than his superior officers. Chennault's politically incorrect views on Mao's "agrarian reformers" led to conflict with his superiors Generals Joe Stilwell and George Marshall. In fact, Stilwell's delusions regarding the Red Chinese made him the darling of the American Left. Not that Marshall's judgment of the ChiComs was any better. The American people are still paying for their blunders. 

The US Army's Chief of Staff was so hostile to Chennault, and so petty, that the American who had fought the Japanese the longest, since 1937, wasn't invited to attend the surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri. He had been squeezed out of command in China only a few months prior by Marshall and was not allowed to finish the job. As one Air Force general asked on the deck of the Missouri, "where's Chennault?" He was in a doghouse built by over-rated and vindictive superiors. 

In early 1949, the Red Chinese were rapidly advancing and the Nationalists were on the run. At this critical moment, retired General Claire Lee Channault published his magnificent memoirs Way of the Fighter. I am sure that it's no accident that this important historical primary document is a "rare book" that can't be purchased for less the one-hundred dollars. Of course, there are several first-rate biographies of Chennault available. But, it's a great pity that Chennault's book isn't readily available. It is largely devoted his legendary military career and is also his answer to many detractors and smear merchants. 

Chennault joined the US Army Air Service with America's declaration of war in 1917. He finagled his way into the pilot training program. However, he didn't see any action in the First World War. After the Armistice, he remained in the newly established Army Air Corps. It was during the 1920s that Chennault created and flew with the US military's first flying demonstration group. 
Chennault center with his Wingmen
It was in the 1930s at Maxwell Field's Air Force Tactical School where Chennault's hostility to the "Bomber Mafia" ended his career with the Air Corps, at least for several critical years. With the advent of the B-17, Air Corps' doctrine went whole hog with strategic bombing. Briefly, the theory argued that large formations of heavily armed bombers were unstoppable: the bomber will always get through. Chennault countered that new, fast fighters could inflict unsustainable losses on unescorted bomber formations. As he explains,
They were planning the air offensive against Germany long before Pearl Harbor. However brilliant this plan was in many respects, it reflected their blind spot on fighters. Many a B-17 crew had to go down in flames under the gun and rockets of Luftwaffe fighters before the bomber radicals learned that bloody lesson. (p. 27)

Harsh and sadly true. Even after German defeat in the Battle of Britain and the British discontinuance of daylight bombing due to extreme losses, the Bomber Mafia pressed on until the horrific slaughter of B-17s over Schweinfurt in the summer/fall of 1943. 

A key part of Chennault's defensive fighter theories was the use of an early warning system. This system was based on ground observers in this pre-radar era. He also argued for sophisticated radio networks in order to facilitate information flow.

In 1937 Chennault was eased out with a medical discharge after twenty years of service. His health problems did not prevent him from flying combat and shooting down many Japanese aircraft over China (on the down-low) in his legendary Hawk 75. 

Even before his discharge, Chennault had been approached to advise the fledgling Chinese Air Force. He accepted the offer and arrived in China only days before the Japanese invasion in the summer of 1937. He was enchanted by China and its people and quickly acquired a fierce loyalty to the Chiangs:
To this day I remain completely captivated. That night I wrote in my diary, "She will always be a princess to me." Since then I have worked with Madame Chiang through long years of bitter defeat and years of victory that now seem even more bitter because their promise of peace has not been fulfilled. I believe she is one of the world's most accomplished, brilliant, and determined women. (p. 35) 
Chennault began having airstrips built throughout China at strategic points. Simultaneously, he created an early warning network of ground observers who communicated by either land-line or radio. Many of these extremely brave souls operated far behind Japanese lines. Some were placed right next to enemy airfields. Chennault would often receive their reports while Japanese warplanes were still warming up on the tarmac. 

The story of the Flying Tigers has been well told many times. Chennault provides an inside look on how he managed to create and train this fighter group against long odds. He provides much insight on the much neglected China Air Task Force (CATF) that replaced the Tigers in July 1942. He explains how he provided air defense over a two thousand mile front with only a handful of P-40s and B-25s. The addition of the twin engine bombers demonstrates that Chennault wasn't just a fighter guy. He wanted and needed a strike force to take the war to the enemy. 

Chennault explains how the later deployment of B-29s to China was a colossal blunder that ignored logistical reality. He advocated for a balanced air force in China that could both support the Chinese Army and cut up Japanese supply lines. However, his superior Stilwell was more enamored with building roads that would prove useless to the war effort. Stilwell's contemptuous attitude towards the Chinese and neglect of the war in that country was a stupid blunder. Chennault's vociferous arguments to the contrary got him into hot water:
My reasons for retirement were simple. I had made my break with the Army eight years before and returned to it only because of the war. I never had any intention of remaining in the service after the defeat of Japan. Arnold and Marshall had made it plain that one of the prime objects of the policy in China was to get rid of me "regardless of the consequences." (p. 350)
Channault's book is a compelling read and an important primary document on the neglected war on the Asian mainland. He provides an unedifying look at military politics of the era and how it impeded the war effort. Of course, there is some score settling, particularly regarding Stilwell and General Clayton Bissell. But, who can really blame him? His logical and proven theory on air defense was ignored costing thousands of American airmen's lives. He witnessed countless blunders made by his superiors on the war in China that were extremely detrimental to American security and interests. Whatever his faults, he was a military innovator of the first rank and a patriot who spoke his mind when such were most desperately needed. We can use many Chennaults today. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Review: Ian Fletcher, Free Trade Doesn't Work, 2011

In this book, Ian Fletcher provides an excellent critique of the pre-Trump "free trade" policies of the United States. His argument is backed up by copious amounts of statistics, real world examples and historical data. Happily, his writing style is accessible to the interested citizen who is not an economics geek living on some Platonic plateau. 

I can only hit the central points of Fletcher's complex thesis. One of these issues is the trade deficit. For 2017, the United States had a $566 billion trade deficit. The "free traders" generally argue that it doesn't matter for various reasons. One incredible argument is that the trade deficit with Red China is as meaningless as a trade deficit between Kansas and Nebraska. Contrary to such globalist nonsense, Fletcher argues that the nation-state is still the central political and economic player on the world stage and should remain just that. 

Fletcher introduces the "trade deficits are meaningless" crowd to a tutorial in Econ 100. He notes that as with individuals, there are only three ways for organizations and governments to pay for goods and services: "a) Goods we produce today. b) Goods we produced yesterday. c) Goods we will produce tomorrow." In concrete terms for foreign trade: "a) is when we sell foreigners jet airplanes. b) is when we sell foreigners American office buildings [or Yosemite or port facilities vital to national security]. c) is when we go into debt to foreigners" pg. 38. Obviously, both b and c result from a chronic trade deficit and equally obvious are not in the national interest.  

Fletcher provides a fascinating picture on what happens when a nation with long time preferences engages in "free trade" with a nation of short time preferences. In other words, one country (say America) prefers short-term consumption versus its trading partner (like Red China) that is famous for playing the long game. The long-term result is the hollowing out of the feckless country's manufacturing base: 
The increased well-being of both nations (as they define it, decadently or diligently) depends on the ability of the decadent nation to borrow and sell assets. And it cannot do this forever. Eventually, when it exhausts its ability to sell assets and assume debt, it ends up poorer than it would have been if it had not had free trade with its neighbor. Because it depleted its assets and saddled itself with debt, it must now divert money from its own consumption to give to its trading partner! (pg. 47)
The author observes that this process hits poor, third-world countries particularly hard. The results of evil rulers and the evil doers at the IMF and World Bank can be seen most readily in Africa. Thanks to their own rulers and "free trade" dogma, these countries are doomed to being indebted primary and agricultural producers that provide little "value added" for its workers. Little wonder that third-world activists call such policies "neo-colonialism." 
Free trade tends to mean that the industrial sector of developing nations either "make it to the big time" and become globally competitive, or else get killed off entirely by imports, leaving nothing but agriculture and raw materials extraction, dead-end sectors which tend to not grow very fast. Free trade eliminates the protected middle ground for economies, like Mongolia and Peru, which don't have globally competitive industrial sectors but were still better off having such sectors, albeit inefficient ones, than not having them at all. (pg. 157)
Ghana Gold Mine
An important part of Fletcher's argument is the economic differences between manufacturing and primary production to a nation. Without the "high value" manufacturing base, economic activity that can't be outsourced will be poorly paid and the entire wage rate dragged down to bare subsistence. It is for this reason that free trade often results in the death of the middle class. Politically, it must be noted, all form of "liberal democracy" depend on such a middle class for its long term success.

Fletcher devotes a chapter to debunking the free trade arguments of David Ricardo (1772-1823). He views Ricardo's "law of comparative advantage" as an abstract construct largely devoid of real world referents: 
It enables a lone economist with a blackboard to prove that free trade is best, always and everywhere, without ever getting her shoes dirty inspecting any actual factories, dockyards, or shops. She does not even need to consult any statistics on prices, production, or wages. The magnificent abstract logic alone is enough. It is actually rather a pity the theory isn't true. (pp. 103-104, links added by yours truly)
He examines seven "dubious assumptions" of Ricardo's theory that even if true two-hundred and twenty years ago are no longer operative: 1. Trade is sustainable; 2. There are no externalities; 3. Factors of production move easily between industries; 4. Trade does not raise income inequality: 5. Capital is not internationally mobile; 6. Short-term efficiency causes long-term growth; 7. Trade does not induce adverse productivity growth abroad. Regarding item 7, one example is the "offshoring" of high-tech manufacturing in Red China. The result is a hostile foreign power's ability to "hack" sensitive US industrial and government computer systems. But, the free traders, in and out of government, have a long tradition of selling out the American people to their Red Chinese paymasters.

The author provides much elaboration on each of these points. He also notes that comparative advantage in trade is the exception and that absolute advantage is the rule in trade. He also argues that Ricardo assumed the existence of nation-states with strong borders when formulating his theory. Ironically, it's these same national frontiers (or barriers to capital and labor mobility) that the free trade globalists seek to eradicate. 
Absolute advantage is really the natural order of things in capitalism, and comparative advantage is a special case caused by the existence of national borders that factors of production can't cross. Indeed, that is basically what a nation is, from the point of view of economics: a part of the world with political barriers to the entry and exit of factors of production. This forces national economies to interact indirectly, by exchanging goods and services made from those factors, which places comparative advantage in control. Without those barriers, nations would simply be regions of a single economy, which is why absolute advantage governs economic relations within nations. (pg. 110)
I've only touched on a few of the key arguments made by Fletcher in this excellent book. I have no doubt that free traders will remain unconvinced. However, they should take Fletcher's thesis seriously and seek to provide a coherent rebuttal. Simply reciting Ricardo will not do. 

The author's solution to America's chronic trade deficits and declining industrial base is an 30% across the board tariff. I'm not sure if this is the best policy. But, it may be better than "free trade" agreements between connected cronies on the one hand and hostile foreign powers on the other. Perhaps, President Trump's policy of renegotiating bad trade agreements will be of some benefit. But it is clear that the trade, and other economic, policies of the last several administrations have not been in the interests of the American people. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: Yaram Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism, 2018

Yoram Hazony makes the case that anti-nationalism is objectively anti-Semitism. He is the president of the Jerusalem based Herzl Institute. He makes clear in this book that Zionism is Jewish nationalism, which he completely supports.

He demonstrates much more in this masterful work that needs the widest possible dissemination. The Virtue of Nationalism's thesis is much broader than the nature of the Jewish State. It's an in-depth look at the theory, nature and history of the national state and why it's the best form of political order known to man. The author's conceptual framework begins by making the vital distinction between forms of government and forms of polities:
When these questions [on community cohesion] are taken into account, we see that political philosophy is naturally divided into two subjects, one more fundamental than the other. One subject is the philosophy of government, which seeks to determine the best form of government, given the existence of a state with a high degree of internal unity and independence. Prior to this is the philosophy of political order; which seeks to understand the causes of political order and on the basis of this understanding, to determine what are the different forms of political order available to us and which of them is best. (p. 59)
Hazony observes that for various reasons, there is little discussion on the nature of political order, what makes it possible and what form of polity is most desirable. This issue goes to the heart of his argument. He presents a compelling case that the nation-state is the largest form of polity that allows for genuine social cohesion and for civil society to flourish.    

Hazony contrasts the nation-state with the other two most prevalent forms of polities: tribalism/feudalism and imperialism. He discounts tribalism as virtual anarchism and a social dead end. The more sophisticated forms of imperialism are based on some universalist ideology such as Marxism, Islam or medieval Catholicism. All of these universal dogmas require much force and oppression to expand and remain in power. The author observes that ancient Israel was unique as a nation of tribes that did not seek imperial aggrandizement. 

Hazony defines nation as a "number of tribes with a common language or religion, and a past history of acting as a body for the common defense and other large-scale projects" (p. 18). He views such nations as the best form of political organization. He argues that the nation-state is a necessary but not sufficient cause for human freedom and flourishing. He notes that all imperial states are held together by force and are, in fact, dominated by the most powerful nation within the empire. 

The author cites the European Union as a "liberal" empire, dominated by Germany, that is profoundly anti-liberty and anti-individualism. This is because the very nature of empires, of whatever stripe, require the brutal suppression of all dissent to the universalist dogma on which its legitimacy rests. 

The author argues that the nation-state has its origins in ancient Israel. He further argues that its modern origins began in sixteenth century Europe. This is an important point because most "anti-nationalists" evade this historical fact and claim that modern nationalism began with the French Revolution. Needless to say, Napoleon's was a classic empire dominated by France and not an example of the Westphalian state model. The "Enlightenment" reaction to the Revolution was the justification for endless wars of peace:
In Perpetual Peace, then, [Immanuel] Kant argues that the establishment of an international or imperial state is the only possible dictate of reason. Those who do not agree to subordinate their national interests to the directives of the imperial state are regarded as opposing the historic march of humanity toward the reign of reason. Those who insist on their national freedom are supporting a violent egoism on a national scale, which is as much an abdication of sound morals as the insistence on violent egoism would be in our personal lives ... The Marxists' condemnation of the Western national state was joined by a liberal anti-nationalism, which eagerly sought an end to the old order in the name of Kant's march toward Enlightenment. (pp.199-201)
Hazony makes clear that even Kant's "liberal" imperialism results in a viciously tyrannical state at odds with actual liberal governance. 

On the positive side of the ledger, Hazony argues that the nation-state makes many political goods possible, unlike any other form of political order. These goods are: the banishment of political violence to the periphery of the nation-state; antipathy to imperial conquest - see the American "deplorables" hostility to neo-con wars of "nation building;" genuine national self-determination and independence; a competitive political order where nations can learn from others' success and failure. 

The author also notes that a relatively free, peaceful and stable nation-state does require some degree of homogeneity. "Diversity" for its own sake leads to Balkanization and ceaseless internal conflict. The author describes, 
what I have called the internal integrity and cultural inheritance of the nation. And it is these things that tend to be lost as the imperial state expands [or as the decadent "liberal" state's borders are erased]. This is because conquered nations bring their own aspirations, troubles, and interests into the state. And this growing diversity make the state more difficult to govern, weakening the mutual loyalties that had held it together, dissipating its attention and resources in the effort to suppress internal conflicts and violence that had previously been unknown to it, and forcing the rulers to adopt oppressive means of maintaining the peace. (p.113)
Hazony cites the Austrian-Hungarian Empire as a textbook example of this violent, destabilizing process. It is also the fate of Western Europe, the United States and any other state that opens its borders to (mutually) hostile tribes.     

The Virtue of Nationalism covers a lot of theory and history in its 234 pages. It is impressively researched and its citations provide a treasure trove of sources for further study on its topic. One of the book's many virtues is its clear and precise prose. The author exercises great skill in presenting complex political concepts in accessible, enjoyable and jargon free language. I can't recommend this work highly enough. It belongs on the bookshelf of every citizen concerned about his nation's future.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Review: Robert Spencer, The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, 2018

For many years Robert Spencer has operated Jihad Watch, which documents Islam's unrelenting war upon the civilized world. He has also written a series of books documenting the fundamental nature of Islam as violent, irrational and incompatible with Western culture. His latest book The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS was published last month. It should go without saying that for decades the Fake News, Deep State and Academic Left matrix have been lying about the nature of Islam and jihad. Spencer's new book sets the record straight and will make the evaders' job even more difficult. 

As the title indicates, this book is a narrative of the jihad that begin with Mohammedan cult's hijrah to Medina in 622 AD. For the next ten years Mohamed set the example of jihad that his followers would emulate for the next 1400 years.  Mohamed's campaigns included unprovoked war, brigandage, murder of dissenters and ethnic cleansing: 
Abu Jahl was beheaded. The Muslim who severed the head proudly carried his trophy to Muhammad: "I cut off his head and brought it to the apostle staying, 'This is the head of the enemy of God, Abu Jahl.'" Muhammad was delighted and thanked Allah for the murder of his enemy ... Ultimately the Prophet of Islam determined that Jews and Christians would no longer be allowed in Arabia at all. "I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula," he told his companions, "and will not have any but Muslims." He gave such an order on his deathbed. (pp. 19, 44)
These are the orders and examples being faithfully followed by the "radical" or "totalitarian" Islam of ISIS and al Qaeda and the Saudi Entity. Spencer uses classical Islamic sources for his narrative on the life of Mohamed and the jihad he inspired. It is not the "enemies of Islam," but the Prophet's own followers who documented his blood-lust in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. 

What follows the opening chapter is a rather depressing, endless litany of the Mohammedan Cult's incessant, ruthless and brutal jihad with the rest of the world. Including in the narrative is a much needed myth-busting of the so-called multicultural paradise of Medieval Islam. The dhimmi Other would have been surprised on hearing how good they had it under the Caliphate - just as unfortunates currently living in Moslem majorities countries today are viciously suppressed per instructions in the Koran and Hadith. However, it's a sad truth that today people of civilized nations' must study this history in self-defense. For dhimmitude is what our traitorous elites have in store for us. 

There are two thematic points in the book that deserve highlighting. Spencer performs an admirable service by including the jihad in India in his narrative. If anything, the Moslems were even more murderous in the sub-continent than they were in Europe. Under Islam's reign-of-terror millions of Hindus were murdered or forced to convert and thousands of temples destroyed and desecrated. 

The other vital theme is the fact that treason and division within infidel ranks have always been the jihad's best ally. One such traitor in the early 8th century was Count Julian of Ceuta. According to Islamic documents, Julian made common cause with the jihad in order to exact revenge on a rival for power. His efforts helped inaugurate seven hundred years of jihad in Spain: 
Julian also met with Musa ibn Nusayr and got his approval. Then the traitor provided the Muslims with ships to carry the warriors of jihad across the strait that would not arouse the notice of any Spanish sentries. (p. 78)
Julian's treason is an example that Europe's and Spain's elites are following. According to the sources, Julian gave two of his daughters as hostages in order to obtain an alliance with the jihadists, "Julian had no problem with this and sent Tariq his two daughters; apparently, the prospect of their becoming sex slaves of a Muslim ruler didn't trouble him as much as Roderic's behavior" (p. 78). Sadly, Julian is far from unique in committing treason against civilization for some short-term gain. 

The West's current ruling elite are even more depraved than Count Julian. Our rulers are facilitating the mass importation of jihad rapists and killers. They provide the evidence of their own guilt and evil on a daily basis. The Rotherham rape jihad is just the tip of the iceberg. British authorities ignored these heinous crimes for years. Frankly, this is not just a case of "politically correctness run wild." It's clear that the British traitor-elite hate the British people and have some sick affinity for Islam. The British establishment's ongoing jihad against Tommy Robinson is all the proof required for honest people.
Twenty years ago Paul Fregosi published his also excellent Jihad in the West. Almost three years before 9/11 the Baltimore Sun "reviewed" the book on 13 September 1998. It includes this gem of pure Fake News:
Worst of all, "Jihad in the West" sends the message that we should divide the world into an Us and an Islamic Them, which is the kind of thinking guaranteed to make the world even less safe. 
It was Mohammad who divided the world between the "House of Islam" and the "House of War" for all time. This division is a fundamental source for the jihad and the foundation for sharia law. Every honest person who has spent a few hours researching Islam understands this inconvenient truth. Nevertheless, the Fake News traitors keep cucking for Islam. Creatures like journolist Robert Ruby share responsibility for 9/11. They have enabled every jihad inspired murder and rape in the West that has occurred since the World Trade Center was brought down. As Spencer illustrates with many examples, treason within is always far more destructive and dangerous than the enemy without. 

Buy this book in self-defense.