Socialist utopia 2050 …

what could life in Australia be like after the failure of capitalism?

That’s the title of my latest piece in The Guardian . It’s had quite a good run, but of course, plenty of pushback, mainly along the following lines

  • General objections to any kind of utopian thinking, even the very modest version in my article
  • Political impossibility
  • What about Stalin/Venezuela ?

What I haven’t seen, interestingly, is any suggestion that continuing expansion of financialised capitalism (aka neoliberalism) would produce a better outcome. Feel free to discuss this and other issues

30 thoughts on “Socialist utopia 2050 …

  1. We need long term visions with a plan to get there. And no condescending talk as you show in this piece.

    I do wonder please JQ, what alphabet will do with its $106bn cash (10yrs 8b to 106 free cash and short term investments and bucket loads of IP) and of course fangs. And how you will complete “The abolition of intellectual property”. Infrastructure yes. 4 day week yes. Jg / ubi / capital grants yes. But my brain cannot see how you or I or a democratic govt would legislate away IP.

    JQ as movie maker?
    Distopia is done to death. Utopia is always just over there. So your 2050 near future scenarios sound good enough for sending as a synopsis to a brave film maker to make a 2 generation script. If these examples below can be made, and Faulkner writing in Harpers, your positive future needs to be made. Such a movie would convey a 1,000 words and charts a frame. And provide a hook on which to develop better and better scenarios.

    Your genre will be called “Gazing up, looking forward”. Post to twitter a para, and let us write it with you please. Thanks. KT2.

    …”Looking back at the quarter century between the passage of NAFTA and President Trump’s declaration of a trade war with the rest of the planet, it’s striking how much its rhetoric relied on restrained condescension.”…
    …”With history at an end and the globe wrapped snugly in the coils of the one true ideology, there was no longer a necessity for high-pitched belligerence; so, perched securely in economics departments and the op-ed pages of the major newspapers, the high priests of neoliberalism made a specialty of stoically looking down. Like doctors faced with so many recalcitrant patients, they simply repeated their prescriptions in a soft, superior voice: take ten privatizations and call the IMF in the morning. They were confident in the correctness of their treatment; the measured volume of their language served as an implicit rebuke to anyone who, being too incensed or lacking the requisite schooling, was incapable of matching it. There was no alternative, no second opinion left: in this, doctors Thatcher and Fukuyama concurred.”

    …”In more emotional terms: just as condescension is intrinsic to neoliberalism, so, too, are the anger and incomprehension to which it gives rise, and this affective volatility, if narrated carefully, can be a source of vast artistic energy. Though a total survey of contemporary Asian film exceeds our current reach, a perceptive review of four recent films, two each from the Philippines and South Korea, reveals something of the common energies that define this geographic field of art.”

    4 films…
    https://thebaffler.com/latest/gazing-downward-looking-back

    Sleepless in Manila
    …”and the indeterminacy of genre comes to suggest a deeper confusion, one of ideology. The impulse to maintain the possibility of true love, which entails endowing Aya with a degree of equality beyond what her gender and class can afford, somewhat contradicts the unsparing vision of the rest of the film, where capitalism tramples any possibility of cross-class romance.”

    I Gave You Power
    …” reflected widely in modern South Korea, a nation where military service has been mandatory since 1957 and whose seed money for successful industrial development derived from the tens of billions of dollars in aid bestowed upon it by the overlord in Washington grateful for Park’s deployment of hundreds of thousands of South Korean troops in the Vietnam War.”

    Greenhouse Effect
    …” adapting Haruki Murakami’s 1983 short story “Barn Burning,” which itself refers back to Faulkner’s 1939 story of the same title. Burningis essentially a translation, the most advanced form of close reading, and its narrative is one that firmly underscores translation’s ethics. It is impossible to view the film without sensing the responsibility attached to what one chooses to emphasize and overlook, play up and play down.”

    If faulkner gets this treatment so may you.
    “Barn Burning” is a short story by the American author William Faulkner which first appeared in Harper’s in June 1939 (pp. 86-96) and has since been widely anthologized. The story deals with class conflicts, the influence of fathers, and vengeance as viewed through the third-person perspective of a young, impressionable child. It is a prequel to The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion, the three novels that make up the Snopes trilogy.” Wikipedia.

  2. KT2, I want to get my rhetoric right, so I’m concerned you see my piece as condescending (if I’m reading you correctly). Can you spell this out?

    As regards IP, just as governments legislated to create and expand it, they can legislate to restrict and ultimately abolish it. The tide is already turning, as is evidenced by the failure to extend the term of copyright in the US, despite the looming threat to Mickey Mouse.

  3. Apologies for my poorly written comment. And an important missing comma. Your piece was NOT condescending and was, ‘gazing up and looking forward’. And not condecending as per neoloberal rhetoric as oulined in the op of baffler piece link, before movie synopsis which highlight aspects of neoliberal outcomes.

    I will attempt not to confuse in future.

    And I do think your inside strory needs a movie. One of the most creative and collegiate classes my daughter does at school is serial group writing. Another family member is aware of a group doing same with adults and are now producing novels. I’d even let twitter know who I am just to participare.

    And I know mickey caused copyright crazyness yet IP is for me, a big sticking point of your scenario. Love to be proved wrong.

  4. Its good to be utopian on occasions and to sort out disparate ideas into a cohesive whole. A lot of the ideas here I would endorse – greater leisure, more concern with lifestyle than consumption. I strongly favor recognizing the Generalized Second Law of Thermodynamics in economics and seeking to uncouple life from material consumption as far as possible. Yes ,economies have become over financialized – a reurn to simple, local banks is a good idea. Yes, natural monopolies should be run by governments.

    I see you mention coffee shops and there is a picture of surfboards. I think other recreation, education and cultural providers would also be part of your story. Would these activities comprise only 10% of the economy or would you really want government bureaucrats managing cultural and educational choices too?

    One response to your views is that capitalism is a mess but the politics of socialist bureaucracy are worse. Another issue is that international issues are barely mentioned – particularly environmental and population issues. Is a socialist utopia in Australia alone feasible? Finally, how do we get there? Presumably you need crises of some sort (financial, environmental) to generate such changes or things will just drift as they are. I think a drift to the left among youth probably won’t, by itself, do it.

  5. The defence of the status quo that annoys me the most is ‘but the poor are so much better off than they were 200 years ago’ .Bernie Sanders pointed out that the top 25 US hedge fund managers got, in total, double what the nations 140,000 kindergarten teachers get. Why doesnt the Libertarian or unrestrained Capital vision get called utopian ? (apart from the obvious distopian reality of its real world trial ) .Also, we are lucky the idea of intellectual property wast about when the wheel or the chair ,or just about anything else, was invented. The idea that someone can add a bit to 1000’s of years of history and development of something and then start charging everyone else to use it thereafter is a con backed by state power .Patent and copyright are a massive drag on growth and creativity ,think of the enforcement costs alone -there is a whole branch of the legal profession devoted to it. Its just another desperate attempt at continued wealth extraction. Government might want to fund medical research, but that may be the only problem with just getting rid of it.

  6. This utopia appears to depend on a large and ongoing majority of people saying enough is e-bloody-nough, we need a new system, after the crisis of 2021.

    It’s not clear why this should happen. It sure didn’t happen after the crisis of 2007-09. In fact it was the deft handling of the crisis – no financial collapse, no mass unemployment, not even a teensy recession – that probably contributed to a general feeling that there was (and still is) nothing wrong with the system that can’t be fixed with a bit of smart crisis management as and when required.

    Who is to say the next crisis won’t end the same way, with business as usual?

  7. I really enjoyed the article, but it left me feeling a bit depressed because this country is so far from what you have described in the article. It seems that the whole purpose of our current society is to make the 1 percent even richer and immiserate everybody else. It was refreshing to visit Denmark a few years ago and experience a government that actually goes out of its way to improve people’s lives. I know that the sort of changes described in the article are not going to come about from above, but via concerted pressure. But everybody is so self-centred and obsessed with status and positional goods. I think social media has been kerosene to the self-interest fire.

  8. A 2050 climate catastrophe dystopia is far more likely. Instead of trying to sell utopia (nobody believes that’s possible now) we need to sell tough-measures socialist sustainability versus the barbarism and collapse which is certain under capitalism.

  9. I want to get my rhetoric right

    If the purpose of rhetoric is to influence behaviour, what kind of behaviour are you trying to encourage?

  10. I doubt I would be alive to see 2050 at the age of 105, but I concur with Ikonoclast as usual. He has put it better than I could have.

  11. A lovely piece. I always wondered why Thomas More’s Utopia didn’t inspire. It was that coffee wasn’t mentioned (plus the depressing uniformity of everything).
    I don’t have any problem with limited IP. It’s a good way to reward the creative individuals/groups among us.
    HC talks about the problems of population growth. That’s fundamentally only a problem in Africa. And though it is not easy to solve, I think the self-interest of Africans will lead them to solve it.

  12. Speaking broadly, not only is Utopia impossible, it rapidly proves dystopian every time we try to implement it. The human organism, like all organisms which have survived long processes of natural selection, needs challenges. I use the term “challenge” in a sense somewhat akin to the medical use. A challenge in this expanded sense is a substance, pathogen, antagonist, parasite, predator or environmental challenge faced by an organism. Organisms which have evolved to face such challenges (this being all organisms of course) suffer new problems when all or even some of their natural challenges are removed. This is the major reason why keeping animals as pets is such a bad thing for them. Even humans suffer from the removal of natural challenges as well as gaining from this process as well; humans being the one self-domesticated and self-civilized animal.

    The obesity epidemic follows on from removing the challenge to obtain food. Food, or more specifically sugar-heavy and fat-heavy food, is too easy to obtain. It now appears that the allergy epidemic follows on from removing (to some extent) the challenge of viral and microbial pathogens and parasites. There is still some medical debate about this but some studies and treatments now suggest that this is a major causative element in the allergy epidemic.

    Of course, none of this to suggest that we should permit starvation or deny medical and dental treatment. What it does suggest is that here we have another avenue to cut the over-consumption of foods and medications which is damaging to the planet and ourselves. It also suggests that people should accept that human existence can never be utopian. We should seek the “good enough”, not the utopian. The attempt to attain utopia hastens in new dystopias. This last is the essential story of modern capitalism. It was the attempt to bring in a modern consumptionist utopia which has left us in imminent (and almost certain) danger of a climate dystopia.

    Certainly, we need a more socialist and democratic approach. The guiding principles however should not be about utopia seeking expressed in crude economic forms. They should be about greater equality, utility without excessive negative environmental impact and the lessening of the severer causes of misery and suffering. But where suffering gradates into survivable and strengthening challenges, that is where the push to make things easier or more uptopian should cease. We cannot ultimately sever our connection and dependence on nature nor avoid our journey’s final destination, which is simply death and dissolution.

  13. Pr Q said:

    Looking at contemporary politics, it’s easy to feel a sense of despair. All across the world, we see a resurgence of racist demagogues, now rendered respectable by the embrace of the “mainstream” political right and much of the commentariat. Pauline Hanson, once considered beyond the pale, is now barely distinguishable from Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison.

    For the moment, it may be enough to define socialism as social democracy with a spine, as I have before. But to inspire the kind of movement we need to defeat reactionary racism, a positive vision of a socialist society is essential.

    I understand that the progressive “chorus of execration” (Powell) must swell when ever cued by the topic of ethnic conservatism or populist nationalism.  We must be ever vigilant of the neo-Nazis lurking under the bed, probably planted there by the Kremlin, those darned Russkies again!

    I would not even suggest that its symptomatic of “thou dost protesteth too much” in each and every case.  No doubt there are people who genuinely feel that way and must let everyone else know their feelings.

    But since Trump became President this ritualistic venting has become a feature of every second article by liberals, on any topic.  Which gets a little wearisome at the umpteeenth repetition. “Racism” = Bad.  Ok, we get it.

    Leftist political demonologists might consider cutting MSM Centre- Rightists a little slack.  James Watson, recently drummed out of polite society again for repeat offender Crimespeak, must be another one of those “racist demagogues”.  I did not notice a single member of the “mainstream” political right and…commentariat” utter a single word in his defence or the defence of Steve King when he was likewise defenestrated.  Possibly a less expansive definition of “deplorable” racistsexisthomophobes might help.

    More seriously, I have strong doubts that a liberal form of socialism is at all possible, at least for humans as we know them. Although a robotic Big Brother is unlikely to play tribal favourites.  As Friedman pointed out: “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state”, at least in a democracy.

    The positive relationship between ethnic solidarity and economic progressivity is intuitively obvious.  Nationalism is to ethnicity as socialism is to economy.  Socialism is famiy values writ large, which is why it works best in cohesive societies with medieval ethnic organizers like religion, guilds or the army generating altruism in the background.

    The converse is empirically confirmed in the case of the US, the paradigmaticly multi-racial liberal democracy which is also the most antithetical to socialism in any form.  Socialists have been moaning “why is there no socialism in the America” for over 100 years.  Ethnic diversity, combined with liberal individualism, is a big part of the answer.

    Notably, US political sympathy to egalitarian socialism rose during the earlier Progressive Era which really only ended with the McCarthy episode.  This coincided with an increase in ethnic solidarity – European only immigration, eugenics and other endlessly denounced stuff.  When the traditional Progressives fell from grace, replaced by fashionable “progressives”, the socialist cause weakened.

    The same thing has happened in Europe, ever since socialism in the EU defined itself by the liberal mantra.  Alesina found that diverse immigration causes a collapse in the working class support for socialism:

    We analyze the e§ect of immigration on attitudes to redistribution in Europe. Using data for 28 European countries from the European Social Survey, we found that native workers lower their support for redistribution if the share of immigration in their country is high.

    The result is that socialist parties across the EU are in their death throes, if not in a state of advanced decompostion, with articles headlining “who killed European social democracy?” now quite common.  (This is not a mysterious who-dunnit, as it is a clear case of suicide.)  In Sep 2018, Pew Research observed:

    most center-left parties in Western Europe are in a weaker position than they were two decades ago…extending two trends that are now prominent across Western Europe: the rise of right-wing populist parties and the decline of center-left parties.

    So there is no point in berating the MSM Right for insufficient PC zeal.  It is simply responding to populist shifts in partisan alignment.  Poptulism = popular government.  They would lose their selection or elections to more populist Right wing candidates if they became the “cuckservatives” so beloved by liberal leader writers.

    This partisan re-alignment cannot be stopped unless liberal democracy itself is curtailed.  The liberal-Left has a plan for that.  Which is why it is now so consistently opposed to free speech and hard science on the “ethnic question”.

    This is also why they long to see the older European native populations “replaced” by demographic forces: migration or mortality. If you cant teach an old dog new tricks, well get a new one and euthanase the old one.  Most conservatives sense that liberals aim to destroy the traditional nation, which inclines them to desperate measures like voting for Trump or Brexit.

    Pr Q said:

    On the other hand, across the English-speaking world and to some extent beyond, young people have moved sharply to the left

    Young people are Leftier but also, on average, fatter, dumber and crazier than comparable cohorts from previous generations. A fact immediately obvious to anyone listenjng to their music.  Not saying the relationship is causal, but…

    The Left is also pinning its hopes on most People of Color, anti-Christians, unmarried women, LGBTs and the rest of the Rainbow “coalition of the fringes”.  These people have absolutely nothing in common with each other except aninstictive aversion to Judeo-Christian, straight, white, males with regular jobs.  That is, the demographic group that invented and implemented a working form of socialism.

    This is not a new problem for socialist politics.  As Orwell, a “deplorable” if ever there was one, ascerbicly pointed out:

    as with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents…there is the horrible–the really disquieting–prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

    The CCP, which has managed the most successful statist corporation in human history (since 1978 a Compound Annual Rate of Growth in state finances of 13%+), knows all about what it takes to build a socialist team ethic.  Which is why it embraces ethnic conservatism (Chinese race and Confucian religion).  Western socialists would do well to take note.

  14. James Watson, recently drummed out of polite society again for repeat offender Crimespeak, must be another one of those “racist demagogues”. I did not notice a single member of the “mainstream” political right and…commentariat” utter a single word in his defence or the defence of Steve King when he was likewise defenestrated.

    I think it might be worth analysing this particular shamelessly dishonest rhetorical tactic, not for the benefit of the author (because I don’t think it’s within my capacity to assist the author), but because it’s possible that another reader will find a sliver of value in the insight.

    Suppose somebody wrote ‘No mainstream commenters defended Steve King when he was recently criticised’. That would suggest to many readers the possibility that people didn’t defend Steve King against criticism because they agreed with the criticism, or at least thought it might have some merit. But suppose the writer would prefer not to suggest that possibility. Well, one trick might be to refer to Steve King has having been defenestrated. Most people, thinking about somebody being literally thrown out of a window (that’s the literal meaning of ‘defenestrated’), would at least consider the possibility that they should have been defended against it. If you saw film of somebody being thrown out of a window, isn’t it likely that you’d be feeling a wish for somebody to intervene and prevent it? Criticising people, sure, that’s often legitimate, but defenstrating them, that’s extreme, isn’t it? The point is that in this instance what literally happened to Steve King was not that he was thrown out of a window. It’s true that he was more than simply criticised; he was removed from his positions on committees of the US House of Representatives. Still, that’s not literally the same thing as being defenestrated, is it? If you were a member of the US House of Representatives, and you were given a choice between being literally removed from your committee assignments and being literally defenestrated, would you say, ‘It hardly matters, they’re practically the same thing, I don’t know why you’re even bothering to give me a choice’? I don’t think so.

    The reference to Steve King being ‘defenestrated’ is not literal language, it’s figurative language, in this particular case a piece of hyperbole. The purpose, in this particular instance, of the use of this particular figure of speech, is to distract attention from any literal assessment of people’s actions as they literally took place. It makes it harder, not easier, to assess the merits of the Republican Party’s decision to remove Steve King from his committee assignments if that decision is hyperbolically described as ‘defenestration’. The rhetorical device the author has chosen to adopt has the effect, not of encouraging rational discussion, but of obstructing and confusing it.

    Likewise the reference to James Watson being ‘drummed out of polite society’, which first attracted my attention because I stopped to ask how, on a literal reading, that is something that could happen (as the author suggests) ‘again’. If this was something that could be done literally, how could it be done more than once. If you could be drummed out of polite society, then you would be, and remain, out of it and could not, therefore, be drummed out again, unless you’d somehow been let back in again between the two occurrences. What could all that be a reference to in literal language? It could be simply a reference to his being criticised: that’s the first possibility that occurred to me. It’s easily possible, in a literal sense, for somebody to be criticised and then to be criticised again. Again, if you refer to being criticised as being ‘drummed out of polite society’ you make it seem more extreme and thus make rational discussion of the merits of the criticism more difficult. In fact, it turns out that more has happened to James Watson than being criticised. In literal language, on an earlier occasion, the research laboratory at which he worked suspended his administrative responsibilities, after which he retired from it; on the more recent occasion, the laboratory cut all remaining ties with him, revoking any honorary titles he still held. That’s more than just being criticised: but referring to it as ‘being drummed out of polite society again’ has the same effect as previously mentioned of obstructing and confusing any rational discussion of the merits of the criticisms levelled at James Watson.

    It is somebody who has no effective defence to offer against a criticism, or none that seems likely to be widely accepted as valid, who resorts to this rhetorical device of hyperbolical description of the criticism, or associated actions. If you learn to be alert for it, you will spot it again and again. Don’t be taken in.

  15. J-D said:

    I think it might be worth analysing this particular shamelessly dishonest rhetorical tactic

    Pr Q stated that “racist demagogues had been rendered respectable…by the embrace of the mainstream political Right and commentariat”. Well Watson and King are “racist demagogues” by the standards of today.* Yet no conservatives embraced them, suggesting that Pr Q is making unreasonable on the Centre-Right.

    My rhetorical tactics may be “shameful”, but they are based on an honest appraisal of the facts.

    * By “today”, I mean literally 19 Jan 2019. The threshold for a career-ending accusation of racism could be lower by the 20 Jan 2019. The hunt for imagined witches tends to escalate explosively, once the supply of real witches dries up.

  16. Pr Q stated that “racist demagogues had been rendered respectable…by the embrace of the mainstream political Right and commentariat”. Well Watson and King are “racist demagogues” by the standards of today.* Yet no conservatives embraced them, suggesting that Pr Q is making unreasonable on the Centre-Right.

    My rhetorical tactics may be “shameful”, but they are based on an honest appraisal of the facts.

    * By “today”, I mean literally 19 Jan 2019. The threshold for a career-ending accusation of racism could be lower by the 20 Jan 2019. The hunt for imagined witches tends to escalate explosively, once the supply of real witches dries up.

    Once again, I think there may be some value in analysis of the rhetorical devices being deployed here.

    An assertion that racist demagogues have been rendered respectable by the embrace of the mainstream political Right and commentariat is fully compatible with an observation that some racist demagogues have not been so embraced. A particular situation in which some racist demagogues remain outside the mainstream pale is compatible with a general condition in which racist demagoguery has achieved greater mainstream acceptance.

    Personally I am not sure whether it is true that racist demagoguery has more mainstream acceptance than it used to do. That seems to me a difficult proposition to test. However, to treat a couple of instances as disproving it is to indulge in the use of a false contrast.

    Equally I am not sure whether it is true that no conservatives have embraced James Watson or Steve King. It may be so, but it would be a difficult proposition to test. The assertion functions as a challenge to me (or anybody taking my side) to give examples of conservatives who have embraced them (or one of them). If I can’t think of any (and I can’t), is that good grounds for concluding that there aren’t any? No, it isn’t. For one thing, I haven’t been following either story.

    The footnote referring to ‘witch-hunting’ is another example of the rhetorical tactic I mentioned earlier. Victims of witch-hunts were burned at the stake, or otherwise put to death; also, they were often accused on the basis solely of other people’s allegations of things they had done. Neither James Watson nor Steve King has been put to death, and the negative consequences which have befallen them came as responses to statements which it is not disputed that they made. Once again, the use of hyperbole obstructs and confuses any attempt at ‘honest appraisal of the facts’. An honest appraisal of the facts in either the case of James Watson or the case of Steve King would include asking questions like: ‘What did he say? In what context did he say it? What could he have meant by it and what effects did he intend? What effects should have been expected from statements like those, in the contexts in which they were made?’ Notice that no attempt has been made at an honest appraisal of those facts, and don’t be taken in.

  17. The utopia sketched out by Prof JQ is framed as the socialist antidote to the resurgence of racist demagogues.

    The road to this putative utopia goes through “the Second Global Financial Crisis of 2021, and the long depression that followed it”.

    Nothing emboldens demagogues more than a long economic depression.

    Given the last Great Depression gave us Hitler, genocide and WWII, the road to this utopia could take a very sharp and nasty right turn.

    I take it the exercise was just to sketch what a socialist future would look like. However, a future that begins with economic collapse can go in many different directions, not all utopian.

  18. “These people have absolutely nothing in common with each other except an instinctive aversion to Judeo-Christian, straight, white, males with regular jobs.” – jackstrochi.

    It’s not an instinctive aversion, it’s a learned aversion. When Judeo-Christian, straight, white, males kidnap people for slavery (black people historically), commit genocide upon people (native peoples), steal their land and resources (from all people not Judeo-Christian, straight, white, males) and beat, throw in prison or exterminate gays, gypsys, jews, etc. etc.), then other people learn an aversion for the straight, white, male perpetrators.

    It’s no good pretending that these things didn’t happen. It’s no good pretending that we (straight, white, males) didn’t do this or didn’t benefit from it. It’s no good pretending that the remains of unequal wealth and privilege, which we have, did not come from these sources. They did.

    Straight white males are not inherently more violent or rapacious than other human males. It’s a cultural thing. Clearly, once in power under legitimating ideologies and by being fortuitously ahead in the technology race, they became instrumentally more violent or rapacious in practice.The worst offending ideology by far was Christianity itself, used to legitimate an enormous amount of cruelty in the Old and New Worlds in the modern ages of colonization and imperialism.

    I would seriously question why anyone would want to be “Judeo-Christian” in outlook these days. Especially when science, philosophy and ethics all now show that such a position is untenable empirically, lacking in all evidentiary support except blind dogma and has forfeited the moral high ground over and over in practice. Why set your standards so low unless you want to re-legitimize the cruelty and oppression so obviously rampant and justified at the heights of Judeo-Christianity?

  19. For a while there I thought J-D was a human commenter. But pretty clearly he is a poorly trained bot with a mild case of OCD, focusing on my feeble attempts at humour.

  20. My attack on Pr Q’s “socialiat utopia” is mainly on the grounds that his theory of political culture is miles off and likely to badly misread future partisan re-alignments. Although his three-sided theory of partisan alignment is good enough for government work.: “tribal” nationalists v “cosmopolitan” socialists with liberals being the swing bloc

    I have predicted that native-born liberals will eventually swing towards “tribal” nationalists rather than “cosmopolitan” socialism because blood is thicker than ideology. And because the anthropological theory underlying “cosmopolitan” socialism is false at best, and a grotesque farce at worst.

    Pr Q’s bitter denunciations of the L/NP are based on his disappointment that they have swung “tribal” rather than “cosmo”. I expect that the ALPs probable landslide victory in the 2019 election will be used by the media-academia Left to urge a purge of the L/NP Right.

    That might work in AUS because mass immigration is less of a problem here due to the focus on higher IQ Chinese and Indian students, professionals and businessmen.
    This has insulated AUS from the full brunt of the Culture War. That and a 28 year record of no recession, which inclines the voters to be charitable.

    The L/NP woukd be well advised to drop their stupid Climate War science denialiam and focus on the Left’s opposition to Judeo-Christian straight white males with regular jobs. Alot of women still fancy that demographic and the Left cannot help but snap at their so-called “toxic masculinity”, which the L/NP can reframe as unemasculated masculinity. This tactic worked like a charm for Howard.

    Hopefully this will cause the Left to drop its stupid Culture War science denialiam, and then both sides can focus on the Class War, trying to shake down Bezos or the CCP for a fair share of the robot economy.

  21. Reposted with html tags

    Pr Q said:

    Looking at contemporary politics, it’s easy to feel a sense of despair. All across the world, we see a resurgence of racist demagogues, now rendered respectable by the embrace of the “mainstream” political right and much of the commentariat. Pauline Hanson, once considered beyond the pale, is now barely distinguishable from Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison.

    For the moment, it may be enough to define socialism as social democracy with a spine, as I have before. But to inspire the kind of movement we need to defeat reactionary racism, a positive vision of a socialist society is essential.


    I understand that the progressive “chorus of execration” (Powell) must swell when ever cued by the topic of ethnic conservatism or populist nationalism.  We must be ever vigilant of the neo-Nazis lurking under the bed, probably planted there by the Kremlin, those darned Russkies again!

    I would not even suggest that its symptomatic of “thou dost protesteth too much” in each and every case.  No doubt there are people who genuinely feel that way and must let everyone else know their feelings.

    But since Trump became President this ritualistic venting has become a feature of every second article by liberals, on any topic.  Which gets a little wearisome at the umpteeenth repetition. “Racism” = Bad.  Ok, we get it.

    Leftist political demonologists might consider cutting MSM Centre- Rightists a little slack.  James Watson, recently drummed out of polite society again for repeat offender Crimespeak, must be another one of those “racist demagogues”.  I did not notice a single member of the “mainstream” political right and…commentariat” utter a single word in his defence or the defence of Steve King when he was likewise defenestrated.  Possibly a less expansive definition of “deplorable” racistsexisthomophobes might help.

    More seriously, I have strong doubts that a liberal form of socialism is at all possible, at least for humans as we know them. Although a robotic Big Brother is unlikely to play tribal favourites.  As Friedman pointed out: “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state”, at least in a democracy.

    The positive relationship between ethnic solidarity and economic progressivity is intuitively obvious.  Nationalism is to ethnicity as socialism is to economy.  Socialism is famiy values writ large, which is why it works best in cohesive societies with medieval ethnic organizers like religion, guilds or the army generating altruism in the background.

    The converse is empirically confirmed in the case of the US, the paradigmaticly multi-racial liberal democracy which is also the most antithetical to socialism in any form.  Socialists have been moaning “why is there no socialism in the America” for over 100 years.  Ethnic diversity, combined with liberal individualism, is a big part of the answer.

    Notably, US political sympathy to egalitarian socialism rose during the earlier Progressive Era which really only ended with the McCarthy episode.  This coincided with an increase in ethnic solidarity – European only immigration, eugenics and other endlessly denounced stuff.  When the traditional Progressives fell from grace, replaced by fashionable “progressives”, the socialist cause weakened.

    The same thing has happened in Europe, ever since socialism in the EU defined itself by the liberal mantra.  Alesina found that diverse immigration causes a collapse in the working class support for socialism:

    We analyze the e§ect of immigration on attitudes to redistribution in Europe. Using data for 28 European countries from the European Social Survey, we found that native workers lower their support for redistribution if the share of immigration in their country is high.


    The result is that socialist parties across the EU are in their death throes, if not in a state of advanced decompostion, with articles headlining “who killed European social democracy?” now quite common.  (This is not a mysterious who-dunnit, as it is a clear case of suicide.)  In Sep 2018, Pew Research observed:

    most center-left parties in Western Europe are in a weaker position than they were two decades ago…extending two trends that are now prominent across Western Europe: the rise of right-wing populist parties and the decline of center-left parties.


    So there is no point in berating the MSM Right for insufficient PC zeal.  It is simply responding to populist shifts in partisan alignment.  Poptulism = popular government.  They would lose their selection or elections to more populist Right wing candidates if they became the “cuckservatives” so beloved by liberal leader writers.

    This partisan re-alignment cannot be stopped unless liberal democracy itself is curtailed.  The liberal-Left has a plan for that.  Which is why it is now so consistently opposed to free speech and hard science on the “ethnic question”.

    This is also why they long to see the older European native populations “replaced” by demographic forces: migration or mortality. If you cant teach an old dog new tricks, well get a new one and euthanase the old one.  Most conservatives sense that liberals aim to destroy the traditional nation, which inclines them to desperate measures like voting for Trump or Brexit.

  22. Reposted with html tags

    Pr Q said:

    On the other hand, across the English-speaking world and to some extent beyond, young people have moved sharply to the left

    Young people are Leftier but also, on average, fatter, dumber and crazier than comparable cohorts from previous generations. A fact immediately obvious to anyone listenjng to their music.  Not saying the relationship is causal, but…

    The Left is also pinning its hopes on most People of Color, anti-Christians, unmarried women, LGBTs and the rest of the Rainbow “coalition of the fringes”.  These people have absolutely nothing in common with each other except aninstictive aversion to Judeo-Christian, straight, white, males with regular jobs.  That is, the demographic group that invented and implemented a working form of socialism.

    This is not a new problem for socialist politics.  As Orwell, a “deplorable” if ever there was one, ascerbicly pointed out:

    as with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents…there is the horrible–the really disquieting–prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.


    The CCP, which has managed the most successful statist corporation in human history (since 1978 a Compound Annual Rate of Growth in state finances of 13%+), knows all about what it takes to build a socialist team ethic.  Which is why it embraces ethnic conservatism (Chinese race and Confucian religion).  Western socialists would do well to take note.

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