Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

The Spectre of Nationalism

After some lazy Youtube pastes, I guess it’s time to write something interesting about Brexit. You’ll have to forgive my delay as I was too busy getting drunk in celebration. Or in despair. I don’t know.

The ghastly forces of nationalism are sweeping now across Europe, liberals say. “Racism is out of the bottle”, they say. The European project, the liberal world order is in danger, they say. Oh yes, yes it is. And they are right to be frightened.

Perhaps people out of Europe don’t know, but in Europe, at least in academic circles, the EU is talked about as an almost godly institution. The most successful piece of institutional engineering in human history. A professor of mine had almost tears in his eyes when he talked how the EU “went against entropy”, fighting all odds in integrating all European states into a superior, sacred institution of peace and prosperity. And then some Nigel Farage with goofy shoes comes and takes 60 million Britons out.

Naturally all the bien-pensant are horrified. Truly, really horrified, horrified as if a zombie just showed up at your window. The EU in Europe is worshipped in a way probably similar to how the early Catholic Church was worshipped in the early Middle Ages. It must have looked like a miracle that while myriad Goths and other barbarians completely destroyed the Western Roman Empire, the Church not only survived, but thrived with a very sophisticated organization across the whole of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. That the Christian Church was able to conserve some modicum of civilization in those times was truly a miracle. It must have seemed that truly God was with them.

God thus appeared to be with the EU in the decades after WW2. 70 years of peace. Increasing economic and political integration. If you’ve read your European history it’s certainly nothing short of a miracle. Of course the 70 years of peace might have something to do with the US Army garrisoning most of the continent, but you’re not supposed to notice that much. The key to becoming a leading scholar in human society is selective noticing. It’s more important to figure out what not to know, than what to know.

But anyway, indeed the EU was an impressive enterprise. Whatever model of government you have, everyone agrees that people in general don’t like to give away power. Whether you think parliament rules, or the people rule, or the permanent bureaucracy rules; it doesn’t matter who calls the shots, whoever does it is supposed to like doing so, and on principle wouldn’t want to give it away. But in Europe they did. Little by little European nations were stripped of their power and they all celebrated it.

While the actual integration followed a very complex set of carrots and sticks; it helped that the EU project had a very good rationale. Europeans had been slaughtering each other for centuries. That had some good things; it gave incentives for research into bigger ships and stronger cannons. That research trickled down into the civilian economy and eventually gave us the industrial revolution. China invented gunpowder, but by the 1500s it had to rely in Portuguese cannons to defend itself, because in China research into cannonry just didn’t pay. The huge Middle Kingdom didn’t fight wars, only rebellions every many decades, and those didn’t require cannons. China was into gun control, and they were pretty good at it. Europe wasn’t into gun control. In Europe it was war all the time, for whatever reason. Eventually the slaughter got so out of hand during the 30 Years War that the Peace of Westphalia was signed.

Henceforth European states were to respect sovereignty. That is, you don’t wage war because of what some other king has done in his country. You don’t do that. Kings have the right to do whatever the hell they want inside their country. Even religion doesn’t matter. The idea was good. But it still didn’t work; European countries kept finding excuses to slaughter each other and went on developing more advanced weaponry all the same. Eventually Europe invented the mother of all weapons: Nationalism.

Academics recently like to talk about “institutions”. Others like to talk about more abstract cultural traits. “Social technology” as some call it. If someone is still around in 200 years to write a World History of Technology, Nationalism will be there written as the foremost political technology ever invented by humankind. Nationalism destroyed the Ancien Regime. It revolutionized politics and war. It changed the world forever.

In the tribal, pre-state era, a “band of brothers” would ride to some foreign area, fight the local men, grab their gold and women and share it amongst them. If for some reason the bros didn’t want to go back, they’d go to some area, kill the local men, and take their land (and gold and women, if any). This went on forever. Analysis of ancient DNA is just telling us the story of how many populations have been completely replaced repeatedly over time. When states formed, however, this dynamic changed. A king doesn’t mind beating a neighbour and taking its gold, or perhaps the land. He’s likely not that much in need of taking their women. But at any rate he has no interest in emptying the land. A king wants taxes; he doesn’t care who pays them, whether his tribe or someone else’s. In fact a king is, more likely than not, not of the same tribe as his soldiers. So it’s not in his interest that the tribes that he rules over gain more land and thus more power. Eventually some tribal lord might rally his tribesmen against the king.

No, no. The way for a king to secure his place on the throne is to play divide and conquer on his own subjects. Ideally there will be no tribes whatsoever; the people will be separated into nuclear families, forbidden from worshipping ancestral gods. Their only social obligations will be with the state, i.e. the king. That was the gist of the Shang Yang reforms in 360 BC, what Solon did in Athens, what the Roman Senate did to its people, shuffling the tribes every few years. The Catholic Church did mostly the same to the Germanic kindreds in Western Europe. It was wildly successful, and produced what we understand as Civilization. Which is good.

So when a King has to fight a war, he pays for his soldiers, in hard cash. If he can’t he doesn’t go to war. No more bands of brothers, no more fighting for the tribe. No more exterminating neighbors. That’s bad for business. Of course it still happened, if the foreigners were uncivilized themselves and one couldn’t expect much tax from them short term. Still, the incentive was to take the land with the peasants untouched.

Nationalism was in essence a return to the emotional state of pre-state tribesmen. Soldiers weren’t expected to fight for cash, or for traditional bonds of vassalage. Soldiers fought for their country, for the homeland. For the tribe. A pretty massive tribe, tens of millions strong. Pretty weird tribe if you ask me; but people ate it up. Nationalism was wildly popular. It of course didn’t come out of a vacuum; the printing press, universal schooling and improved transportation did change cultural interaction so that people inside the same country ended up having the same degree of cultural uniformity as a 1,000 BC tribe.

But of course Nationalist War has the same incentives as Tribal War: kill off the men and take their land for good. We call that now ethnic cleansing. Nationalist people are committed to their nations. They won’t pay tax to a foreigner; not as much as a countryman would. Remember French rule of the Ruhr? And besides, industrial economies make turnover much easier: you can ship millions of your own people to the vacated territory in months, and they’ll start producing right away. So there’s no downside to removing the foreigners.

Nationalist War was gruesome stuff. The Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil war, the Franco Prussian war, World War 1. Of course the scale of these wars weren’t just due to nationalism, much of it was just superior technology; better weapons, better transportation. And bigger populations. World War 1 gave us machine guns, gas and air bombing, killing millions in months. After World War 1 there was an attempt to blame nationalism and stop it right there. But it didn’t work. The opposite happened: Mussolini perfected Nationalism, and then Hitler took it to its logical conclusion. Total, industrial tribal war. With ethnic cleansing of enemies as its explicit mission.

We all know how that ended. The conclusion was that Nationalism was bad. And it wasn’t an unreasonable conclusion. It makes a lot of sense. Nationalism had, if not caused, certainly aggravated World War 1. Why did all those millions of young men volunteer to be slaughtered by machine guns in Northern France? For the glory of their nations. Why did Germany wage war against the first, second and third most powerful nations on Earth at the same time? To gain lebensraum for the German nation. Why did Italy, of all people, dream of taking Dalmatia, Albania, and run a colonial empire in Africa? Certainly not for the juicy tax revenue that those territories would bring to the state! It was all because of a stupid nationalist signaling spiral where the most popular kids were those who came up with the wackiest plans for the glory of the nation.

And so it was deemed, again not unreasonably, that Nationalism was bad. After World War 1, when the same conclusion was reached, the popular idea among the elite was that we needed World Government. No small part of the impetus behind the global communist movement that consumed the elite of the Anglosphere was the idea that communism was a good path in order to achieve World Government: communism could out-compete nationalism for support of the working class masses. Read on that time, H.G. Wells, Keynes, all those were really into World Government.

Alas, again, Nationalism won that battle by morphing into its more evolved form, Fascism, that great innovation of Benito Mussolini. Mussolini was an old school socialist who after WW1 found out that the post-war evolution of socialism  into a World Government cult wasn’t going to fly. He had been in the war, he had seen the power of nationalism. So he invented nationalist socialism, and man, he hit the jackpot. Fascism swept over most of Europe in no time.

The elite, i.e. Western governments and their financial elites kept holding their World Government dream, though. Even F.D. Roosevelt, who borrowed a trick or two from the fascists, appeared to have been a very devout member of the World Government cult. After WW2, however, the Anglo-Soviet split made all dreams of World Government impossible. I guess we have Stalin to thank for that.

The dreams of World Government shattered, the only feasible alternative was to do try a local implementation in the US-occupied part of Europe. And so we got the EU. European nations were to disappear and integrat into something bigger, so they would stop waging war against each other. Again this was a good idea. War is bad. World War 2 was horrible. But dismantling the nations is easier said than done. By any account, in pure Marxist theory, the Soviet Union should have dismantled all its constituent “nations” and run a purely communist paradise of the workers. And yet what we got was Lenin’s “theory of nationalities” and a hodgepodge of national republics. In fact some backward tribes which could have been easily dissolved had instead Soviet anthropologists and linguists sent to standardize their languages and document their culture. Even abroad, the Soviets didn’t dismantle East European nations, they just occupied them, defanged them, but kept the nations neat and separate.

The thing is, European integration is a very dangerous idea; more dangerous than the original founders perhaps ever thought. In theory the EU was supposed to abolish all legal borders, dissolve national governments and rule the whole continent from a unified government. Ideally all Europeans would speak one language and follow one set of rules. You certainly can’t have a common market if the local bureaucracies can’t communicate with the center, and workers aren’t willing to move to different regions because of language barriers.

But imagine that: a truly unified Europe. I used to like the idea, and that should tell how utterly dangerous it is. For better or worse, the apparatus of modern nations was built by nationalism. It presupposes nationalism. Modern states have unified laws, unified school systems, unified media industries. Modern states, by purpose or by accident, unify the culture of their subjects. Modern states create nations. A unified Europe would create a unified European nation. And what would that European nation be about? What do Europeans have in common? Their biological heritage and their history. That is, the white race and Christianity.

Wow wow, wait a second. The mere thought of a unified Europe of 800 million people, organized around its common bonds of Race and Christianity is… dangerous. It’s dangerous to particular peoples who I will not name to avoid my comments section filling with retards. And it’s dangerous to the whole world, really. The last time Europeans were proud of their race and religion they went on a rampage across the whole world, where not a square mile of territory was left undisturbed. You could say European colonization was good for them; that we brought them civilization. Well, the locals are apt to disagree, and even if it were true, the locals today would rather not have the process repeat itself again. Susan Sontag said the white race is the cancer of human history. A cancer it’s not, the other races are still around. But the white race no doubt was a straight, strong, painful punch in the face for other countries.

And so European integration can’t happen. It can’t work, because we don’t allow Europeans to bond around the only thing they have in common. Instead we feed them a diet of bullshit about how Europeans are bounded by European values of tolerance and human rights. Which doesn’t make any sense. Europeans went along for thousands of years without any appreciation for tolerance and rights for women and minorities. Our very parents weren’t into all this tolerance and rights stuff. Were they bad people?

Any ideology is going to produce winners and losers; if only to the extent that an individual’s nature fits the ideology better or worse. If you’re into the quiet contemplation, any society that gives high status to monks is going to be a good deal for you. If you’re into booze, feasting, fucking and fighting; you’re gonna become very fond of Viking society. If you’re into tea, poetry, war and can’t stand women, you’re probably going to enjoy Islam. Ideally any ideology is going to evolve into a set of memes that give status to productive and upright people who help in the upkeep of civilization, and give low status to harmful people, but not so low they rise in violence.

Europeans today are supposed to base their identity on their tolerance and support of human rights, i.e. their obedience to the latest academic fad. Who wins from this arrangement? People who are by nature into tolerance and obedience to the latest academic fads. Those get to be elite. If you’re not into tolerance and have no inclination to support the latest academic fad no matter how absurd; and you can’t fake it well enough, well you’re not going to be elite. Who’s going to be elite? Women. Phonies. Clintons. Those are doing ok.

But what about men? Normal, average men, who like booze, like fighting, like competition, have no appetite for intellectual bullshit and little ability to fake it? Well modern Europe doesn’t like you. No status for you. And no status doesn’t mean what it used to be. In the old days you could be a brute, despised by the Church and by polite society. But you had your society, you could be a brute peasant with a peasant job and a peasant wife and kids. Not anymore. We don’t have classes now. Peasant women go to the city to try to get into polite society. There are no peasant jobs anymore; and to the extent that they are, they are done by actual Asian peasants in their homelands or in yours.

For the average men it is beyond obvious that Nationalism was a better state of affairs. Yes, you were likely to be sent to Northern France and be killed because your stupid generals had decided you were to be sent as cannon fodder until the enemy machine gun run out of ammo. Which it never did. But still, you had status. You had dignity. You had a society which told you you were awesome; a society where your natural inclination for typical manly stuff: loyalty, bravado, physical exertion, absurd penchant to fight because of stupid differences, were deemed to be noble and sacred virtues.

But not now. A woman uses her natural inclination for nagging her husband to no end; and she’s a great woman exercising her rights and using her intellect. A phony uses his natural inclination to make up some arcane bullshit about human rights; and he’s a great intellectual. A normal person uses his powers of reason to notice something obvious about human nature; and he’s a heartless bigot.

Nationalism evolved as an ideology in the era of mass politics. In those days, power was decided by who could assemble the biggest mob, the biggest army, the biggest electoral coalition. Nationalism was organic marketing. It was a very good sell. Progressivism isn’t a good sell. It was a relatively good sell when World War 2 had killed so many millions that Nationalism didn’t sound such a good idea; and when the economy was growing so much that a life of endless hedonism and pandering to every whim sounded completely feasible. People don’t notice their social status while life is getting better.

But life isn’t getting better any longer. And nobody remembers World War 2. Progressive society is rigged against native men; is it any surprise that they’re turning back to Nationalism? Progressives believed their own lies. They were too slow. The old European nations had to be destroyed before this happened. But they couldn’t pull it off. The EU as this sacred, precious project of order created out of entropy; but the old national states had their own bureaucratic elites, and surprise surprise, they haven’t really surrendered that much power. Most importantly they haven’t surrendered their money. To this day the EU budget is 1% of Europe’s GDP. Yes, EU nations were trolled into joining their currencies into the Euro; but they’ve been haggling between each other ever since about every single issue of economic policy.

The only way to get the Euro to work was for Germany to pay everyone off; make the local bureaucracies of every single country of Europe be better off by taking German’s money that by holding on to their national turf. Pull a Song Dynasty. But stingy Germany wouldn’t do it. Germany couldn’t do it. The German electorate just didn’t want to. And why would they? Germany is perhaps the most anti-nationalist nation in Europe. Kids are taught untold times how evil the German nation has been and how nationalism is the worst thing ever. Holding the national flag is a semi-criminal act.

And for good reason! World War 1 was stupid and it wrecked the whole continent for good. World War 2 was even stupider and it basically wrecked Germany forever. Nationalist spirals are a bad idea and Germany shows it better than anyone else. But you can’t dissolve a nation by telling her so. You have to actually dissolve the nation. And the EU didn’t do that. Germany is still Germany. It has 80 million Germans who speak German and have a common culture. You can tell them that their culture is tolerance and human rights; but it’s not; their culture is the German language and the myriad little German habits that they have in common. And to destroy that you have to stop teaching the German language and physically dissolve the people among others. Like Stalin did when he sent the Koreans and the Chechens to Kazakhstan. Heck, even that didn’t work, as his successors reversed the policy.

Bureaucratic inertia has allowed the European nations to subsist way beyond the expiration date of Progressivism. Progressivism only works when the going is good. Now it isn’t that good anymore, and people can fall back into their good old Nationalism. Yes, Progressives have the state apparatus. They have modern technology that makes preventing and crushing riots much easier than before. They have their massive unproductive schooling apparatus that keeps young people loyal to Progressivism until well in their mid 20s. And they have tens of millions of foreign barbarians in European soil paid to defend the state.

But as I pointed out, those foreign barbarians are a double-edged sword. Yes, they will fight Nationalism. They have nothing to gain from a nativist restoration. But Progressivism isn’t being that good for them either. They came here too late. The economy isn’t good anymore; so all progressivism has to offer them is taking their women and children out of their authority. Given that offer they might as well fall back into their tradition, i.e. Islam. Which is backward, not very fun, and likely to get them killed if they take it seriously; but it at least gives them status as men.

Neoreaction, the alt-right, the manosphere, religious traditionalism; all we have in common is the realization that contemporary society is rigged against the average man; and if men withdraw from society there is no way to maintain civilization. Which is why civilized people do not have children. Why the economy is declining. And why old ideologies are rising back all across the world. China just sent a warship into Japanese waters. Muslims are fighting their enemies across the world. England just voted to leave the European Union. Donald Trump might become the President of the United States.

I’m not into Nationalism myself. I know the history and it’s all pretty stupid. I assume that the smarter Muslims aren’t into Islam that much either. But we’re not given the choice of a perfect thing. Politics is the art of the possible. And all the possible alternatives aren’t looking very good these days. Interesting times ahead.

 

 

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70 responses to “The Spectre of Nationalism

  1. pithom June 30, 2016 at 07:22

    I’m still extremely puzzled why it’s not just the educated, but most of the Labour Party that so strongly defends the E.U. Look at the 1975 referendum. In Spain, the Left is much more anti-EU than the right.

    And why the godlike admiration of the EU in academia? I still don’t get it.

    • spandrell June 30, 2016 at 07:43

      Well partly it’s that the EU funds academia; but compare to WW2 the EU does seem like heaven in many ways.
      The Spanish official left surely is not against the EU. Communists agitate but that doesn’t change things.

    • lalit June 30, 2016 at 07:45

      Because the Academia is funded directly or indirectly by the same forces that created the EU in the first place. Same with the media.

      Objectivity is difficult to attain even when you trying to be objective because your subconscious biases always filter in.

      Now in the case of the Academia or the media, they are not even trying to be objective. Their conclusions are pre-ordained by the forces that control their purse strings and their social status. Kapish?

    • pedanticmoron July 1, 2016 at 07:06

      This is obviously not a primary reason, but the EU is a great boon to European academics in that they can get a job at Bocconi after taking their PhD at Barcelona with no hassle whatsoever as long as they can speak the languages. A lack of border control is a very attractive thing if you have a highly mobile career.

  2. lalit June 30, 2016 at 07:50

    “That the Christian Church was able to conserve some modicum of civilization in those times was truly a miracle. It must have seemed that truly God was with them.”

    There are people who would disagree with this statement. Their contention is that the Christianity was one of the reasons for the fall of the Roman civilization and the ensuing Dark ages. They further contend that whatever is subtle, philosophical or profound about Christianity is actually borrowed and appropriated from Earlier Roman and Greek Pagan Philosophy.

    • spandrell June 30, 2016 at 08:31

      I’m not arguing the merits of Christianity as an ideology. Whoever’s fault it was; Rome fell, the great Roman state collapsed, without leaving a trace. Only the Church survived, as the only civilized institution in Western Europe, and it kept a lot of good stuff alive. The Church could possibly have collapsed too, completely erasing all Roman culture; but it hang on. In those dark days it must have seemed, to the locals of the time, as no less than a miracle.

      • lalit June 30, 2016 at 08:45

        This assumes that the Goths/Germans who brought down the Roman Empire were uncivilized Degenerates. This is something which I take strong exception to. The Germans are and were always smart people. They admired several aspects of Roman civilization. It is this drive that kept Civilization alive after the Fall of Rome.

        I mention Christianity as one factor in causing the Dark Ages. Another major factor for Europe descending into the Dark Ages really was the Islamic invasions which were checked by Charles Martel in Tours. Dr. Warner talks about the role of Islam in causing the European Dark Ages right here in this fascinating lecture.

        • asdf June 30, 2016 at 17:15

          Charlamenge couldn’t even read and write. Let’s not oversell what the Germans were about.

          • lalit July 1, 2016 at 04:59

            But he made a mighty effort to read and write. He just started too late. The fact that he even made such an effort when he did not need to tells me all I need to know about the man.

            • pedanticmoron July 1, 2016 at 07:18

              And the fact that we know next to nothing about his early life (including the year he was born. Think about that for a second, we don’t know the year the first-born son of the most powerful man in Europe was born), along with the fact that he wasn’t taught to read and write from an early age, tells me all I need to know about the time in which he lived.

              The common conception of a “dark age” is incorrect, but just ignoring the very real regression in terms of prosperity and culture/learning is pretty ridiculous.

              • lalit July 1, 2016 at 09:32

                No one here is disputing the regression. I’m disputing the cause of the Regression.
                Most people believe it was the Germans.
                Dr Warner says it was Islam.

                Most people do not offer reasons for their belief
                Dr. Warner offers reasons and cites evidence for his assertions

                Therefore, I believe Dr. Warner.

                • spandrell July 1, 2016 at 10:07

                  The man who first came up with the Islamic thesis, and Germans not being so bad, is Henri Pirenne.
                  The book who refuted that notion The Fall of Rome by Bryan Ward-Perkins. Take a look here http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/01/when-rome-fell-civilization-did-decline/

                  Most people don’t offer reasons because they don’t know or remember. But they took their ideas from someone and that someone does have arguments. Before believing any side, you should take a look at all the arguments; which are out there even if the typical proponent isn’t aware himself.

              • lalit July 1, 2016 at 13:02

                Yes, civilization did decline because Rome Fell. Yes, Rome did fall because of the Goths. Yes standards of living do fall when any empire or system of government collapses due to the resulting power vacuum. You are a keen student of Chinese history. Certainly, living standards have to have fallen in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Tang, Song, Ming, Yuan etc. But a collapse of one dynasty, empire does not indicate the beginning of a Dark age. How many dark ages had China had? Sure, pin the falling living standards on the fall or Rome, but I simply can’t accept anyone pinning the Dark ages on that. And Dark ages which lasted to long!

                Nope, the pattern of the European Dark age fits the pattern of the effects of a prolonged conflict with Islam. What makes me so sure? India too had an intellectual and cultural life to Rival Rome. India too suffered a dramatic collapse in intellectual achievement once the conflict with Islam began. Dramatic fall in the arts, literacy, superstition, Child marriage, Widow self-immolation, economic collapse, widespread poverty. The European dark ages frankly sound a lot like India under Islamic Rule.

                Like everyone else, I too was taught that the Germans were the cause of the European dark Ages. I was also given reasons which made no sense and left too many loose unanswered threads. Dr. Warner seems to address most of those questions. Also the pattern of Islam apologists also lends strong bias in favor or believing Muslims to be the cause.

  3. lalit June 30, 2016 at 08:01

    “If someone is still around in 200 years to write a World History of Technology, Nationalism will be there written as the foremost political technology ever invented by humankind”

    I have to disagree with you here, Mate. Islam (The Jews are best referred to as a nation, while Christianity as a political technology is somewhere in the middle of Islam and Judaism) is the foremost political technology ever invented by humankind. Muslims in any nation, in any dispute, will always side with Muslims from other nations over Kaffirs from their own nation. Muslims of any ethnic group, in any dispute, will always side with Muslims from other ethnicities over Kaffirs of their own ethnicity.

    We find that Islam transcends and takes precedence over both nationality and ethnicity. Therefore the award for the forest political technology ever invented goes to Islam.

    • spandrell June 30, 2016 at 08:27

      I guess we have the next 20 years to find out which comes out on top.

      • lalit June 30, 2016 at 08:49

        Good point. The proof is in the prediction. But note that nationalism is maybe about 300 years old tops. Islam is 1400 years old. The conservative philosophy considers longevity as a major factor in the stability of any ideology. Based just on this, I feel Islam edges out nationalism by a hair.

        I’ll make a prediction. Eastern Europe will remain Christian and nationalistic and will do fine. Western Europe looks like it is looking at some sort of Civil war. The English being perfect villians (both intelligent and Evil) might just miss out on the joys of civil war with Brexit

    • Xiahou Dun June 30, 2016 at 08:39

      I disagree, Chinese Hui Muslims took the side of Han Chinese vs the Uyghurs in a lot of conflicts. Living in Singapore, i find that Tamil muslims have much more in common with other Tamils rather then their Malay/Muslim co coreligionists. So it is not as clear cut as Muslims always siding with other Muslims. Perhaps only those who are the most ideologically driven.

      • lalit June 30, 2016 at 08:56

        Good Point. I may have to modify my theory a bit. But the central thesis remains.

        1. As regards the Hui Muslims, the sided with the Chinese State because of the overwhelming power and violence that the Chinese state brought into the conflict with the Uyghurs. But suppose that the Chinese state and the Uyghurs are similar in power, then are you confident that the Hui will still side with the Chinese state and not with the Uyghurs. Based on my understanding of Islam, the Hui will side with the Uyghurs in this case.

        2. Another question I have is, “Did the Hui muslims support the Chinese government passively or actively by sending fighters?”

        3. As regards the Tamil Muslims, I have further questions
        a. Has any serious violence taken place between Malay Muslims and Tamil Hindus?
        b. If your answer to a. is yes, then which side did the Tamil Muslims fight on? Their co-religionists or their co-ethnics?

        Remember that the Qu’ran asks the believers never to side with a kaffir in any conflict against fellow Muslims regardless of any other considerations such as race, nationality, justice or morality. I would say that if the Hui actively supported the Chinese state, then they are violating the commandments of the Qu’ran. If they passively supported the chinese state, then it can be seen as an act of Taqqiyya ( sacred deceit).

        • Xiahou Dun June 30, 2016 at 09:37

          While it is certainly true that the koran states that Muslims should side with one another. Most Muslims are not ideologues. They identify with people who look like them and speak the same language. Only when it is convenient to unite against a third party will they use religion as a common cause.

          Language and race are significant factors as well. Tamils always join the same gangs irregardless of religion. After all you cannot form lasting alliances if you speak difference languages.

          Islam may be old but tribalism is much older.

          • lalit June 30, 2016 at 09:59

            “Tamils always join the same gangs irregardless of religion”
            This is an opinion not a fact.

            I asked you earlier whether there has ever been an instance of Tamil Muslims and Tamil Hindus uniting against Malay Muslims. You chose not to answer that question and instead volunteered your opinion. Please answer the former question and then we can move ahead with the discussion

        • Xiahou Dun June 30, 2016 at 09:47

          Look at the kurds and turks fighting it out. Unlikely that they can unite against the Kaffir.

          • lalit June 30, 2016 at 09:57

            Islam is Bloody within and bloody without.

            Whatever be the animosity between Kurds and Turks, it pales before that between Sunnis and Shias. Yet the Sunnis and Shias unite against the Kaffir as Indian Hindus repeatedly find out.

  4. lalit June 30, 2016 at 08:21

    Two minor and peripheral disagreements aside, this article is brilliant stuff. Perhaps the long break has added Oomph and Pizzazz to your writings.

    Take a Bow, Mate!

    • Scott June 30, 2016 at 14:24

      Agreed, fantastic analysis. Thanks.

      • Azn July 1, 2016 at 03:14

        Isn’t Spandrell just a ray of sunshine.
        But yes, bloody brilliant post. Makes a whole lot of sense.

        But to Lalit: I live in Singapore, too. And the answer is, historically, the Malays and Chinese have gone at each other and left the Indians out of it. But its been comparatively small scale, thank goodness, and the place is quite peaceful. So not much of a sample size to address your query.

        In Malaysia though, affirmative action benefits Malays. Not Muslims. So differentiation is on the basis of race not religion. So if there was a dust-up, its entirely possible that Tamil Muslims would side with their co-ethnics against Muslim Malays.

        I think the way in which the lines are drawn makes a big difference.

        • lalit July 1, 2016 at 05:07

          “So if there was a dust-up, its entirely possible that Tamil Muslims would side with their co-ethnics against Muslim Malays.”

          I will not believe this till I see it. Time and again Kaffirs have thought the way you have and time and again they have been dismayed at the results.

          In India marxists were dismayed that poor muslims would not join the marxist struggle against the Rich muslim landlords as it would mean siding with a Kaffir against a Fellow muslim. Islam has been so successful for so long by being contrary to the Kaffirs expectations, not by acting predictable.

          Here is the great Ambedkar (Icon of India’s lower castes) on the Muslims

          Muslim politicians do not recognize secular categories of life as the basis of their politics because to them it means the weakening of the community in its fight against the Hindus. The poor Muslims will not join the poor Hindus to get justice from the rich. Muslim tenants will not join Hindu tenants to prevent the tyranny of the landlord. Muslim labourers will not join Hindu labourers in the fight of labour against capital. Why ? The answer is simple. The poor Muslim sees that if he joins in the fight of the poor against the rich, he may be fighting against a rich Muslim. The Muslim tenant feels that if he joins in the campaign against the landlord, he may have to fight against a Muslim landlord. A Muslim labourer feels that if he joins in the onslaught of labour against capital, he will be injuring a Muslim mill-owner. He is conscious that any injury to a rich Muslim, to a Muslim landlord or to a Muslim mill-owner, is a disservice to the Muslim community, for it is thereby weakened in its struggle against the Hindu community.

          The full link is here (Columbia is where Ambedkar did his PhD dissertation in the early 1900s)
          http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_partition/410.html

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  6. deltakyklos June 30, 2016 at 17:06

    Awesome post.

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  8. Aristocles Invictvs June 30, 2016 at 19:59

    Good post summarizing the reason why nationalism is good and why it is bad and/or perceived as bad. Nationalism is partly tribalism abstracted to the highest possible level, hence why the race with the highest abstract reasoning skills invented it.

  9. sigsawyer June 30, 2016 at 23:17

    As brilliant and insightful as you are, you’re too much a materialist and you think in terms of incentives and disincentives. The Indo-European culture that was spread by the sword through Europe and the Near East sacralized warfare, and up until the Napoleonic era, no European nation fully mobilized its civilian population to wage total war against an enemy; in the context of elite warfare, nationalism can be seen as a democratization of the ancient Aryan impulse to fight and die for ethereal glory- mors triumphalis, Valhalla, etc. Not, of course, that that’s a good thing. There’s an entire genre of fiction that depicts the lower classes becoming disillusioned with war, essentially proving that the average man is incapable of a true warrior ethos the way an aristocrat can be. (there’s also a considerable amount of testimony from people who loved fighting the World Wars)

    Total war did not suddenly become profitable in the 1800’s; rather, it is the result of a petty bourgeois materialism that treats people as things and seeks to maximize profit, taking power. The first to mobilize his entire population was Napoleon, a product of democratic rebellion and nationalist reaction. That’s not a coincidence. If medieval kings fought wars for profit alone, total war would have materialized far earlier than this. The instigators of WWI were high on their own supply, blinded by the nationalism that they used to gain and stay in power. This is because they were reliant on public opinion and mentally incapable of the aristocratic quality of transcendence that is necessary to rule soberly.

    • spandrell July 1, 2016 at 04:41

      Materialist analysis is cleaner; once you start taking ancient abstract concepts at face value 95% of cases analysis becomes muddled and either explains too little or too much. Ideally you can explain too in material terms those religious impulses that made the aristocracy believe in war to the point of death, while a peasant just wanted to go home; and I think I can; but it was out the scope of this article. It is an interesting topic indeed.

      But see, my specialty is Chinese history; and those guys like fighting for eternal glory too; at least in the early days. Certainly the Arabs seem to enjoy fighting for God. Look at the Samurai! So I don’t see what’s so special about the Aryan impulse to fight. Yes, the old Aryans appear to have been *really* good at it. But I don’t see the need to posit a clear line of inheritance in order to explain why men like to fight. I think that’s nature, not rediscovered culture.

      Well indeed Chinese war was explicitly about profit since Sunzi, and yeah they had total war all the way. Classical war was total war in many ways; Medieval feudalism was a particular European innovation. Asia never had that clean break. But I guess you can explain that by the more limited power of Medieval kings. Even if they had been profit minded they just didn’t have the means to mobilize the peasantry of the whole country against the will of their landlords.

      • sigsawyer July 2, 2016 at 18:58

        If all that was required to understand history was material analysis, we wouldn’t need historians. The material facts are rarely in dispute, at least in the last millennium or so.

        However, resurrecting an old form without the accompanying spiritual motives will certainly fail. I find it likely, for example, that the current Chinese state will collapse under reckless financial and monetary policy. However, the ideology of state socialism slotted so well onto ancient Chinese concepts of collectivism and loyalty to state that, unlike the West, China will not be spiritually exhausted when liberalism fails. It’s the same reason nationalism is boiling back up in Europe; Marxism may be a fantastic meme-virus but Mussolini-style fascism, as clumsy and mid-wit an attempt though it was, tapped into an ancient vein of sacralized warfare, tribalism, and hierarchy.

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  11. StAugustine July 2, 2016 at 09:54

    I was looking for the quote by Burke from his Thoughts on French Affairs ” If a great change is to be made in human affairs, the minds of men will be fitted to it; the general opinions and feelings will draw that way. ” In the looking I ran across this interesting link of quotes from Edward Bernays’s “Propaganda” from 1928. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Propaganda/Propaganda_Bernays.html
    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

    “when the example of the leader is not at hand and the herd must think for itself, it does so by means of clichés, pat words or images which stand for a whole group of ideas or experiences. Not many years ago, it was only necessary to tag a political candidate with the word interests to stampede millions of people into voting against him, because anything associated with “the interests” seemed necessary corrupt. Recently the word Bolshevik has performed a similar service for persons who wished to frighten the public away from a line of action.
    By playing upon a old cliché, or manipulating a new one, the propagandist can sometimes swing a whole mass group emotions.”

    “No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of 3 the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders.
    Fortunately, the sincere and gifted politician is able, by the instrument of propaganda, to mold and form the will of the people.”

    A bit dated, perhaps…

    • StAugustine July 2, 2016 at 09:57

      the end of this link, is just too appropriate:
      http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Propaganda/Propaganda_Bernays.html

      “One reason, perhaps, why the politician today is slow to take up methods which are a commonplace in business life is that he has such ready entry to the media of communication on which his power depends.
      The newspaperman looks to him for news. And by his power of giving or withholding information the politician can often effectively censor political news. But being dependent, every day of the year and for year after year, upon certain politicians for news, the newspaper reporters are obliged to work in harmony with their news sources.”

      “Propaganda is of no use to the politician unless he has something to say which the public, consciously or unconsciously, wants to hear.”

      “The criticism is often made that propaganda tends make the President of the United States so important that he becomes not the President but the embodiment of the idea of hero worship, not to say deity worship. I quite agree that this is so, but how are you going to stop a condition which accurately reflects the desires of a certain part of the public? The American people rightly senses the enormous importance of the executive’s office. If the public tends to make of the President a heroic symbol of that power, that is not the fault of propaganda but lies in the very nature of the office and its relation to the people.”

  12. Stephen W July 2, 2016 at 14:59

    >”China invented gunpowder”

    As you can read Chinese have you looked at the primary sources on that? Ulrich Bretscher considers the evidence used for the antiquity of Chinese gun powder rather shaky. http://www.musketeer.ch/blackpowder/history.html
    Europe definitely invented corned gunpowder which is much more powerful and useful.

    • spandrell July 2, 2016 at 16:40

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wujing_Zongyao

      Looks pretty legit to me.
      https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Wujing_Zongyao

      What nonsense is that in your link about the book being a later forgery, or some part being in “modern Chinese”? It’s not, it’s classical. Can’t say the guy sounds like he has a clue.

      Not an expert; on the matter but apparently Chinese cannons just weren’t very good; and Chinese war involved so many people you could always siege a city with mass ladder assaults.
      Obviously by the 14th century European gunpowder was superior.

      • Stephen W July 3, 2016 at 06:21

        The Wikipedia article says the oldest existent copy dates to 1510.

        • spandrell July 3, 2016 at 07:29

          That happens all the time; the Mongol invasions were pretty bad. There are references in other books. It has a damn preface by the Song emperor. That’s not a forgery, it doesn’t work like that.

          • Stephen W July 3, 2016 at 12:18

            But an encyclopedia may be something you add to over time.

            • spandrell July 3, 2016 at 12:34

              It is not an encyclopedia. The Chinese didn’t do encyclopedias. A similar volume was written in the 1550s, and was aptly titled “Continuation of Wujing Zongyao”. Presumably because some guy had read the reprint of the original and thought it deserved to be updated after such a long time.

  13. Robert What? July 3, 2016 at 01:45

    Very thoughtful and thought provoking essay.

  14. ur mum July 3, 2016 at 14:07

    Germans are terminally bad at realpolitik. Even the most intelligent and seemingly objective Germans are too retarded to understand that they benefit massively from sharing a currency (tuned to Germany’s interests) with a bunch of uncompetitive Med countries who do nothing but buy their goods. They think a Greek can and should leave his people behind and move to the Blue Banana as willingly as a denizen of Buttfuck, USA moves to Cali/Texas/the Atlantic seaboard. They think Greece will suffer three generations of mass unemployment and decay because they “must”, because it’s “fair”.

    Be it religious, racist, or ideological, there’s a certain rabid, autistic puritanism in the German soul that can only be compared to the Middle East. Luther was foreshadowing. I suspect the Blue Banana will begin to crumble under the weight of demographic collapse, low level race-war, and (most importantly) inaffordability. Germany has fucked up the last chance it’s going to get to unify Europe. The future of Europe is bipolar, with France the heart of “old Europe” and Poland the heart of “new Europe”.

    • Howard J. Harrison July 3, 2016 at 15:19

      I read other blogs, admittedly, because they express well, and give evidence for, that which I already believe. This blog is however rising to a higher level. This blog brings new ideas.

      Now, everyone has a “new idea” these days, don’t they? They have “new ideas” like the idea to put in service aboard ballistic-missile submarines males who believe that they are females, or females who believe that they will get pregnant. When I said that this blog brings new ideas, I meant, of course, not that it brings random foolishness but that it brings unfamiliar ideas actually worth considering.

      That’s a rare thing to bring.

      Germany has [lost] the last chance it’s going to get to unify Europe. The future of Europe is bipolar, with France the heart of “old Europe” and Poland the heart of “new Europe”.

      Russia is still there. What about Russia? Is not the chief geopolitical purpose of the EU to contain long-term Russian expansionism? Would “new Europe” not still need “old Europe” for this purpose?

      Some object that Russia is mired in terminal demographic decline. I am not so sure and, at any rate, do not believe that this objection answers the question; but, more importantly, I see little sign that the Poles believed that Russia is in terminal demographic decline. In any case, Russia could overrun and absorb Poland long before the Russians demographically disappeared. Hence the EU, no?

      • spandrell July 3, 2016 at 15:37

        Yes, I’m not quite sure what France and Poland are supposed to lead if the EU collapses. Both have enough problems of their own.

      • ur mum July 3, 2016 at 19:48

        The reason this blog is so successful is because spandrell is a Taoist-shitposter. He understands that good ideas flourish in non-contention, when people seek mutual understanding and growth instead of ideological conquest. To that ends, an extrapolation.

        France is the geoeconomic centre-of-mass, logistical heart, largest country, and likely eventually most populous country of Western Europe; or non-Warsaw Pact Europe. The nations of this Europe have youth that are either increasingly socialist (in the Mediterranean), or increasingly assimilationist hard-cuckservative “civic nationalists” like FN or UKIP. To the challenges to come, I think Western Europe will seek an “Anglican/Singaporean solution” of brutally enforced compromise: ie. the West may be multiracial now, but all must submit to the national cultures. I propose this simply because it’s the only way the elites maintain their position (Brussels muppets notwithstanding) and so eventually they’ll be forced to adopt it. A violent far-right fringe would only help sell to the lukewarm proles – stupefied as they are by civilisational ennui – the idea that there must be a firm yet moderate hand keeping the house in order.

        Contrariwise, the youth of post-Soviet Mitteleuropa grow increasingly racial-nationalist and Christian/paganwhatever. Probably largely because they have the luxury of being able to do so without massive bloodshed. While the general continental move to the right may seem a unitary phenomenon, the divide between West and East will become more evident over the coming years. The West will come to (continue to?) view the East as backwards neo-Nazis, and the East will see the West as basically a giant al-Andalus.

        So why Poland and not Russia? I’ll admit it’s uncertain, and I’d be skeptical of anyone who says otherwise. I just wanted to throw Poland out first to be provocative. Certainly, though, Russia is incapable of the conquests that Duginists expect, and its recent excursions seek merely to protect its heartland from Western military expansion. Russia is poor in the kind of way that invites another balkanisation. It can’t meaningfully cooperate with Western (or Central) Europe because its industry is so uncompetitive that only the current firewall of corruption and bureaucracy prevents hostile takeover. This isn’t an oversight. In order to hang onto even that core territory it still has, Russia must maintain the structure of a military dictatorship; and yet, in order to bide its time while it consolidates, it has to keep the trade door open to China, who poisons it from within. Already a couple of CIS countries have more to do China than Russia, especially when you factor in the giant shadow economies.

        So yes, I’m bearish on Russia.

        If Russia collapsed, or retreated from its current sphere of influence, Poland would be completely surrounded by weaker nations. Germany has neither the capability for – nor inclination towards – conquest, and post-EU Poland will inevitably raise trade barriers against them as they move up the value chain. The hopelessly uncompetitive “butthurt belt” countries will likely follow Poland’s lead, preferring the hegemony of a less absolutely dominant Poland over the German behemoth. Far-flung Turkey is the nearest competing country to Poland. Poland’s reach in a “Polish bloc” would be disproportionate to its size: Finland-to-Greece, Czechia-to-Ukraine is highly unlikely; but even the minimal Visegrad+Romania would give Poland a strategic anchor on two seas and enough clout to be a viable ally for America to pump money and tech into. And neighbouring states like Ukraine, if not directly incorporated, would nevertheless serve as sources of free immigration and trade-bitches.

        So. France and Poland? Maybe. France and the East? Definitely. Germany has fucked the pooch. Germany’s future is to be big and irrelevant like Brazil. I’m normally boring and realist when it comes to geopolitics, but I genuinely believe the German failure stems from their autistic logocentrism and obsession with teleology; or philosophastry, in Taleb’s lingo. I consider “Faustian” to be a slur. Remember what happened to Faust in the end. A few less Hegels and a few more Richelieus would’ve done Germany some good.

  15. Sam J. July 5, 2016 at 11:50

    The consistently excellent quality of your essays is outstanding. Thank you for writing them.

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  18. spandrell July 8, 2016 at 17:20

    Feminism is a shit test. Women (at least part of them) don’t enjoy seeing their sons and brothers in their present hopeless situation.

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  20. Giovanni Dannato August 27, 2016 at 07:29

    Things continue to evolve. 20th century style ultra-centralized nationalism is over. It’s main missionaries, radio, TV, the news, even the movies are swiftly becoming obsolete. I think what we will see next might be best called neo-tribalism.
    Cheap, quick mass transportation means that many millions of us are effectively semi-nomadic, playing a lifelong game of arbitrage. The internet allows any man to find the handful of other men in the world who agree with him best unencumbered by the constraints of place.
    This will inevitably lead to the rise of clans, small and agile that can humiliate the might of states as nightsoil-stained, pajama-clad 3rd worlders with AKs and improvised traps have done since the close of the colonial era.

    • spandrell August 27, 2016 at 08:17

      Clans need a hierarchy though. Internet friends cant do that. Who’d gonna run the clan? The guy with the biggest blog? How do you measure and ensure loyalty?

      • Giovanni Dannato August 27, 2016 at 18:30

        I figure these groups will organically develop hierarchies. Having more recognition(i.e. a bigger blog) could play a role though personal qualities of leadership are necessary. Most groups ensure loyalty with hard-to-fake signalling, internet subcultures are pretty adept at this. It really sunk in when I realized that even with thousands of people all posting as “anon” on the chans, you get outed as a “newfag” very quickly if you don’t know the local language. Within the protective cocoon of one these subcultures you eventually get some people interacting face to face. It happens with World of Warcraft guilds, it will eventually allow other sorts of internet-based clans to congeal.

  21. Mathijs Koenraadt August 27, 2016 at 18:53

    “Analysis of ancient DNA is just telling us the story of how many populations have been completely replaced repeatedly over time.”

    This is not always true. The Romans who occupied Britain hardly left a trace in modern British DNA. The Vikings who came to Scotland hardly left a genetic trace either. The reason is that the mother population, i.e. the one most adapted to its environment, is extremely resilient. The Native Indians in America today are back at levels of pre-Columbian times (5 million individuals). Give it another thousands years, who knows, Native Indians might outlive the American whites who look to self-destruct themselves.

    Europeans, too, will rebound. There is simply no way Arab genes can flush out European genes, simply because Europeans are already more adapted to the European environment.

    • spandrell August 28, 2016 at 03:17

      The Egyptians have more or less the same DNA as their ancestors. And yet…

      • Giovanni Dannato August 28, 2016 at 04:49

        Enough cycles of rise and fall and a civilization settles into a comfortable(naturally speaking, not for individual organisms) equilibrium without much innovation. It seems like relatively new civs with still a bit of barbarian heat in their veins make most breakthroughs until they too settle down.

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