Monday, May 30, 2011

Respect is a One-Way Street?

This weekend I watched Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress. Set in feudal Japan, the movie portray the very strict class roles of peasant, Samurai, and royalty. The two lowest-class characters felt the need to treat with great disrespect anyone who wasn't obviously higher than them in class. Several upper-class characters appear clad in nondescript garments that don't properly signal their status to the peasants, so the pair (a familiar cinematic duo of bumbling, bickering, cowardly males) only gets wise when the disrespect is turned around on them. Respect, it appears, is a one-way street, and a Japanese general or princess can completely disguise his or her social class simply by refraining from disrespecting the lower classes.

It was fiction, of course, but I wasn't struck by its historical accuracy or lack of same. I was struck by the familiarity of the pattern: "respect is a one-way street". It struck me in the same odd way it did in middle school and high school - whoever "lowered himself into the gutter" by throwing insults fastest and most frequently got the most respect.  Just as I was taught that throwing insults debased the insulter, I was taught that respect was a two-way street and that it occurred between equals.  The adults who taught this were obviously autistic, dishonest, or from a completely different culture.

It occurs to me now that the latter explanation is most likely.  Equality in modern voter-states is as superficial as it is absolute.  But while we lack the yeoman / republican equality of the early United States (i.e., anyone who paid taxes was considered a full citizen, worthy of reciprocated respect), we also lack the rigid caste structure of a feudal society.  Instead, we have a chaotic socio-political tumult in which anyone who can put someone down "effectively" is, for the time being, a Samurai general or princess.

"Effectively" must be in quotation marks, of course, because I was taught (by mostly irrelevant adults from a different culture) that only sticks and stones can break our bones; names can never harm us.  What "effectively" means nowadays is (a) quickly, (b) without remorse, and (c) using buzzwords of only the highest currency.  Thus it is no longer  "effective" to say someone is "retarded", you have to say they are "butthurt".  (By invoking anal rape, the insulter aligns himself with prison gangs and likens his target to an incarcerated white man.  And thus we see that anti-white bigotry has wormed its way into the most thoughtless chancres of everyday discourse, as it has into literature, social science, and governance.)

You can throw away class structures based on erudition, breeding, good looks, and money, but you will still have class structures.  With no law and order, classes would sort themselves along the lines of combat ability and weapon stockpiles.  For the time being, though, actual violence is kept to a minimum in circles occupied by the nonmilitary elites - college punks, propaganda hacks, and bureaucrats.  The grownup is dead, and middle-aged adolescents rule in quite the same way that they ruled in school - clever putdowns.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Etymological Coincidence: Terms for White Western Men

Reading snippets from “American Sexual Reference: Black Male” by Amiri Baraka (a/k/a LeRoi Jones) is always amusing.  Most obviously, it's amusing that Yale and the state of New Jersey chose to grovel to such a hate-filled, rape-promoting bigot.  But on another level, Baraka's choice of words is really amusing: 
Most American white men are trained to be fags.
Why "fags"?  It's short for "faggot", which is a modification of fagot, an Anglo-French word for bundle.  Another word applied to white Western man quite frequently is "fascist", derived from another word for bundle, in this case the Latin fascia.  

Both words reflect the ways men can hold together, but these two words have opposite connotations.  Specifically, if you obey all the politically correct injunctions about how to behave, they'll call you a "faggot" and heap disrespect on you ipso facto.  If you disobey the politically correct injunctions on how to behave, they'll call you a "fascist" ... and heap disrespect on you, ipso facto.  The treatment differs, slightly: in the first case, you get the disrespect of the yoke and whip, in the second, the disrespect of the door slammed in your face.

This is one of those cases where the anti-white, anti-Western left unwittingly reveals both its attitudes and its vulnerabilities.  The left always believes Eurowhite males, whether they are coöperative, self-sacrificing, meek sort of guys or assertive, straightforward "man's men", are busy creating some spooky sort of cabal with each other.  That notion makes the left very afraid, and they reflect this in their choice of schoolyard insults.

If you're a white male, you may want to take this into account next time you have the choice to bash another white male, or to stay your hand.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Thinking Housewife Gives a Reason to be Proud to be American

Laura Wood quotes de Tocqueville:
No other crime is judged with the same inexorable severity by public opinion…. as Americans think nothing more precious than a woman’s honor and nothing deserving more respect than her freedom; they think no punishment too severe for those who take both against her will.
I think the feeling lives on to this day and I am proud of that.  I wouldn't mind seeing a rapist or two get branded and pilloried.

I am saddened when people take anti-rape feeling* to extremes.  I think that is what Brownmiller was doing when she talked about rape - presenting herself as The Arch Anti-Rapist, with the weaker sex ("all men") being necessarily weaker in their opposition to rape.  This of course had to be described in the hysterical way typical of gender feminists (so now all men are guilty?), and then fed into the impressionable minds of young women who might otherwise have been able to trust some of the hairy barbarians who use the other restroom.

* Taking anti-rape wariness to extremes is no vice.  Women, especially young women, need to know that they can protect themselves.  It does a disservice to say that they can't protect themselves perfectly.  "Perfectly" is the enemy of "good enough".

Friday, May 13, 2011

Heinz Uthmann Strikes a Blow for Islamic Terrorism

Subhuman dhimmi judge Heinz Uthmann struck a blow against free speech recently by filing a criminal complaint against German Chancellor Merkel for the "tacky and undignified" move of saying she was gladdened at the death of Osama bin Laden.  His move, which cites section 140 of the German Criminal Code, blatantly violates Article 5 of Germany's Basic Law, which apparently doesn't protect spooky white Christians of the type that terrify globalizing leftist do-gooders.  (Hat tip: HBD Chick.)

History truly does repeat.  Prior to Uthmann, another German with a record of opposing free speech and ignoring his country's constitution went out of his way to curry favor with murderous Muslims.  I don't know if Uthmann has any plans to murder millions of Jews and Slavs, but destruction of free speech would  certainly facilitate those ends.

Coincidentally, the Canadian government has decided that Part I (2b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn't apply to scary Caucasian kuffār of the type that panic internationalizing progressive schoolmarms.  (Hat tip: Dominion of Canada.)  In this case, it's a nominal conservative (Harper, whom I used to get a pretty good vibe from) doing the constitution shredding.  Canada's Human Rights Commission apparently retains the power to assess fines for hurting people's feelings.

Finally, it looks like the national security letter provisions of the USA Patriot Act are still in place, in blatant violation of America's First Amendment, which apparently doesn't offer any protection to terrifying European-descended infidels of the type that horrify world-uniting social-liberal crusaders.

Sorry to throw three completely random, unrelated snapshots of the world today into one rambling post.  I guess it's just that watching liberty and civilization get turned into garbage by an alliance of communists and their patsies leaves me all flighty and whimsical.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Missing Term Problem: Are Jews "White"?

I used to think that the existence of both race and ethnicity as distinct concepts was unnecessary.  Over time I have come to the conclusion that there are not too many such terms, but too few.  Why?  Because of the continual debate, or rather, the continual semantic stalemate, on the question, "Are Jews white?"

This question used to be trivially easy.  White means "belonging to the Caucasoid race", said I, so naturally almost all Jews are white.  Over time I noticed that many people who knew of the Caucasoid race would not necessarily accept the first part of my statement.  Does "white" necessarily have to mean the same thing as "Caucasoid"?  There are two terms and a lot of concepts to define, so why don't we use white to mean something narrower than Caucasoid?  The Caucuses lie on the border between continents, after all ... what is the term for people on just one side of the divide?

To avoid confusion, let's join the words European and white into Eurowhite.  It's too narrow a group to be a "great race", but too large to be an ethnicity.  Is it a "subrace" or "ethnic cluster"?  It is defined as: Caucasoid people of any ethnicity who trace their origins to Europe rather than elsewhere.  Since tracing ones origins involves choice like language and custom, while race is strictly a matter of genetics, Eurowhite is properly conceived of as a cluster of ethnicities, related not by language but by race and geography.

With this definition in hand, it is clear that substantial numbers of Jews in the Anglosphere are emphatically not Eurowhite.  Their origins in southwestern Asia are an important part of how many Jews self-identify.  This is to say nothing of the often-ignored but persistent cultural gaps between Jews and the nations they inhabit.  (Can you think of any other group of people who would call you a bigot just for stating, "Some of my best friends are" from their ethnic group?)

It won't answer any large-writ "Jewish question", but if "Eurowhite" gains currency it will be a small step toward resolving this labor-wasting semantic impasse.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

No "We" Did Not Create Bin Laden

One linguistic tic I can't condone is the way leftist writers so commonly use "we" to mean the United States government, or even the Central Intelligence Agency.  If James Ridgeway wants to admit culpability for the rise of Islamic aggression, that is fine by me.  It would make him more honest than most leftists, anyway.  For my part, though, I'm pretty sure if I were with the CIA I would be aware of it.

We had nothing to do with Bin Laden, or the Taliban, or Saddam Hussein, or any of that.  Neocon/Trotskyite elites and their antecedents in the Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt administrations are not us and they are not America and they damn well did not have America's interests in mind when they redefined America as the world's policeman.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Thinking Housewife on Modesty and Beauty

Laura Wood the Thinking Housewife has a post on democracy and beauty (or perhaps "democracy versus beauty").  The post itself was worthwhile but what really grabbed me by the lapels was what Laura wrote in response to commenter Bruce B (who raised a valuable distinction between "hot" and "beautiful").
Immodest dress is also a result of  a loss of privacy and of an unconscious understanding of what privacy is. Modest clothes, at their best, are not an expression of prudery or an abhorrence of sexuality. They reflect the desire for privacy, an appreciation of intimacy and a reverence for individuality, as opposed to conformity. The conformist is prone to immodesty. The individual has something of himself in reserve, not freely given away.
Laura's point about conformity and individuality is one I hadn't thought of, but I put the part that really impressed me in boldface. This was one of those mild epiphanies that recalled the way I felt reading A Return to Modesty. 

What Laura is alluding to in this sublime phrase, I think, is that when modern people have some understanding of what modesty is, it is all too often a distorted, propagandized version.  Some seem to believe that men shouldn't ogle women no matter how the women present themselves, that you violate a woman's modesty by looking at her boldly presented cleavage, etc.  This puts all the responsibility on men, and gives all the power to men. Only a feminist could believe that a woman is "empowered" by dressing like a strumpet and having all the men around her pretend not to be heterosexual, while she is "objectified" when men give her a good hard look.

Anyway, "Why Radical Democracy Punishes and Eliminates Beauty" is a good post and one of the few I've seen where the comment thread lives up to its promise.