Monthly Archives: July 2020

The Suicide of the West: Introduction – Acknowledging the left-right divide

The conclusions in this book may strike some readers as rash. They certainly do not fall within the millimeter-wide spectrum of permissible opinion known as political correctness. Conservatives have generally projected their genial, open-minded natures on leftists. Conservatives tend to regard leftists as their opponents rather than their mortal enemies, as indicated by the campaign statements of recent Republican presidential candidates (Dole: “My opponent is not my enemy”; McCain: “You don’t have to fear Senator Obama”).

Dennis Prager often contrasts what he calls liberals with the left, lamenting that liberals do not realize that conservatives are their true friends, rather than the left. However, there are no prominent liberal politicians anymore. Prager also states that leftists believe their opponents to be evil, but presumably nobler conservatives merely believe their opponents to be mistaken. This too underestimates the danger that conservatives experience from their opponents.

Conservatives’ wish for a civilized debate is not shared by the left, whose response to their loss in the 2016 presidential election consists of hatred, threats, riots, and extreme physical violence. Bush Derangement Syndrome was followed by Palin Derangement Syndrome. Trump Derangement Syndrome is, however, outright sedition, and terrorism of a degree that the Red Guards of the Chinese Cultural Revolution would envy.

We shall discuss the spectrum of conservative philosophies in a later chapter. At this point, it suffices to mention the well-known correlations among policy preferences shown by conservatives, and shown by leftists. That is, from a person’s position on one public policy issue, it is often possible to deduce with high confidence his or her position on other public policy issues. This is the core of the left-right paradigm, although many observers add other axes to this spectrum, such as libertarian-traditional, or collectivist-individualist.

The underlying reason for this set of correlations is discussed in Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions. He contrasts the “unconstrained” vision of the left (unlimited resources) with the “constrained” vision of the right (limited resources). This analysis owes much to Sowell’s background as an economist. Classical historian Victor Davis Hanson has written about the contrast between the “therapeutic” view of life (every distress must be assuaged by government intervention) and the “tragic” view of life (disappointments in life are inevitable). A scholar going by the name Anonymous Conservative wrote in The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics about the theory of r-adaptation versus K-adaptation in evolution. The former individuals and species are promiscuous, irresponsible, disloyal to one’s group, and dependent; the latter individuals and species are self-controlled, responsible, loyal to one’s group, and independent. From three completely different perspectives, we arrive at similar conclusions.

Thomas Sowellunconstrainedconstrained
Victor Davis Hansontherapeutictragic
Anonymous Conservativer-adaptationK-adaptation

The late Dr. Lyle Rossiter, a practicing psychiatrist, wrote at length about the psychological causes of the political divide in his book, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. We shall return to the psychology of leftism in a subsequent chapter. For the moment, suffice it to say that the left and right have different relationships with reality. This difference is hinted at in Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”.

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

The assertions in this book are the inevitable outcome of a lifetime of observation and commitment to logical deduction, wherever the conclusions might lead. Without a commitment to the objective truth, we are dead. In words attributed to Ayn Rand: “You can evade reality, but you cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”

Turning Points: Censorship

Once upon a time, one of Ayn Rand’s fans asked her how we would know that it was finally time to “go Galt”: to give up on the current system, to bug out. She said, if I remember correctly, that we should remain with the current system, no matter how bad it seems – until the point that they start preventing us from speaking. When we can no longer share our views – when we can no longer defend ourselves – then the system has reached its breaking point. It is in an irreversible death spiral.

I intended for this surprise mid-week post to focus on some of the meditations on an expected second American civil war, that are appearing with increasing frequency. I have seen three in the last few days:

But a shocking event has happened today, with respect to news from yesterday. A group of medical doctors, calling itself “America’s Frontline Doctors”, held a group press conference in front of the US Supreme Court building yesterday. The group is led by activist Dr. Simone Gold. Here is the original coverage of the event:

The highlight of the event was the impassioned speech of Dr. Stella Immanuel, an emergency care physician in the Houston area. Here is her statement, uploaded on PragerU:

We will see how long this link remains good. Dr. Immanuel, like Dr. Zev Zelenko of Monsey, NY, reports treating hundreds of Wuhan coronavirus patients successfully with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) plus azithromycin plus zinc. These medications have been used for decades without controversy.

Multiple copies of the video have been deleted from Youtube today. Facebook and Twitter are forbidding discussion of the topic. They are restricting the accounts of users who post links to these articles, including the account of the President of the United States. Here is some of the reaction:

In certain states, doctors are forbidden from prescribing HCQ to patients; in others, pharmacists have the right to refuse to fill such prescriptions. This makes a mockery of the left’s professed concern for the privacy and supremacy of the relationship between a doctor and a patient.

It is no longer possible to avoid certain conclusions, as uncomfortable as they are. First and most significant among them is this: they (the elite) really do want us to die. There is simply too much evidence.

I do not like conspiracy theories. I have a particularly low opinion of the Q cult. I simply observe facts, and am irrevocably committed to reality. Theories, speculation, and wishful thinking have no place in my world.

The executives at the leading social media publishers (which are not platforms, as they claim) are not medical researchers themselves. They have no greater insight into medicine than other people. They choose certain self-identified experts with whom to identify, even when those self-identified experts lack real-world experience in the phenomena upon which they declaim. The experts then “un-person” dissenters from the new dogma, a dogma promulgated upon a new scientific matter, that could not have achieved “settled” status so quickly.

The pompous tone of the governor of New York is intended to distract from the tens of thousands of Americans who died as a consequence of his orders to force coronavirus patients into nursing homes, while denying them HCQ treatment.

Dr. Immanuel, whose name means “God is with us”, makes fine mincemeat of the “professionals” and “experts” who insist on double-blind studies before they will allow HCQ for therapeutic use. She – and you – should share the following graphic. It compares coronavirus case fatality ratios (CFR) among countries as a function of HCQ usage. Look!

The red countries had very little HCQ usage, and high CFRs; the green countries had very high HCQ usage, and low CFRs.

Anyone demanding a double-blind study at this point, in the middle of a deadly pandemic, wants you to die. Indeed, Ami Horowitz discovered on the streets of Manhattan, that the left would prefer to have millions of Americans die, if it prevented President Trump’s re-election:

I will agree with Q on this one point: these people are sick. They are not charming people with peculiar views; they are dangerous. They are acting out their fantasies in numerous American cities and campuses, warning us of their intentions should they win. Listen to them and believe them. In Elie Wiesel’s words: “When someone says he wants to kill you, believe him.”

The Suicide of the West: Introduction, Population trends

Population trends

The use of the word “suicide” in the title of this book may appear to be a rhetorical flourish. Yet the data supports this usage. Population growth for much of the West has stalled. The population of many Western countries is shrinking; other countries maintain stability only by importing millions of (often) hostile immigrants, whether legal or illegal. The following map depicts the rate of natural increase (birth rate[1] minus death rate[2]) for the year 2017, with estimates from the CIA Factbook. Green countries have a positive rate of natural increase, so the native population is increasing; for yellow countries the rate is close to zero, so the population is stable; for red countries the rate is negative, so the native population is decreasing. It should be noted that 1) both overpopulation and underpopulation can lead to instability, and 2) the rapid rate of natural increase in much of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and southwest and south Asia is balanced by a lower life expectancy.

The following graphic shows population projections for the native population of 15 countries based solely on the rate of natural increase, with data taken from 2017 estimates by the CIA World Factbook; immigration is excluded from these projections. The native populations of Germany, Russia, Japan, and Italy are collapsing, with the United Kingdom and France barely staying afloat. In contrast, the native populations of Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, India, Indonesia, and Brazil are exploding.

The following map depicts total net migration from 1960 to 2019 based on UN population data. Blue countries have more immigrants than emigrants; for red countries, the reverse is true. The intensity of the color represents the number of migrants. It is instructive to see which countries are perceived as more desirable and less desirable by the world’s population. During this 60-year period:

more than 50 million people chose to go to the United States of America;

more than 13 million people chose to go to Germany;

more than 12 million people chose to go to Russia;

more than 9 million people chose to go to Canada;

more than 15 million people chose to leave Bangladesh;

more than 14 million people chose to leave Mexico;

more than 11 million people chose to leave China;

more than 8 million people chose to leave Syria.



The Suicide of the West: Introduction, part 1

I would like to begin sharing with you parts of the manuscript for my book, “The Suicide of the West”. (I discovered that I was not the first to use this phrase to title a book. My thoughts may overlap more with James Burnham’s than with Jonah Goldberg’s; let the reader decide.)

The outline for this book is essentially complete; the majority of the contents are as well. All the text, and all images not in the public domain, are copyrighted by the owner of this blog, Surak.

When in the course of human events, a great civilization commits suicide, a decent respect to the welfare of ourselves and our posterity requires that we should investigate its causes.

The United States of America was once widely believed to be the “last, best hope” of humanity – the most beneficial political experiment in human history. As such, people from all over the world have risked their lives to reach these shores, or to fight revolutions at home to make their societies more closely resemble America’s.

Yet we see Europe, America’s mother civilization, losing its will to live, inviting its murderers into its house. America is dangerously close to following the same path, under the leadership of a lawless party.

We propose to compare cultures; to explicate the principles of conservatism, and the true nature of the left; to identify the cause of the West’s loss of survival instinct; and to describe how to save Western civilization.

Saving Western civilization is an ambitious project. In light of comments attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Tytler in the 19th century, such a project may be well-nigh impossible:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.

A Map of America

We provide a map representing an attempt to deal with the unsolvable political conflicts within the United States of America. These conflicts are described traditionally as left versus right, and also as: unconstrained versus constrained (Thomas Sowell); therapeutic versus tragic (Victor Davis Hanson); r versus K (Anonymous Conservative).

Polarization in the United States has demonstrably increased in the last few decades. This is visible in the following graphic from the Pew Research Center. It depicts the distributions of political positions within the two major parties.

Note that the median Republican position has moved slightly to the right, but the median Democrat position has moved far to the left.

The next graphic, from the Gallup organization, depicts pride in being American, stratified by party.

During the 20 years the poll was conducted, Republicans never had less than 64% extreme pride in being American, including during a Democrat presidency. Democrats never had more than 65% extreme pride in being American, a number which declined during a Democrat presidency, and further still during a Republican presidency. Republican pride has always been at least 10% higher than Democrat pride, and at times 54% higher.

Millions more Democrats than Republicans live in highly polarized counties, in which the 2016 presidential vote went more than two-to-one for one of the candidates. The beginnings of our map lie with the dichotomous outcome of the 2016 presidential election by county, in which each county is depicted either as blue (plurality Clinton) or red (plurality Trump). This familiar map has been published in several sources, described as the Trump continent and the Clinton archipelago.

However, it would be too difficult to separate along such lines, in which isolated counties belong to the other society. Our first edit was to identify all counties, blue or red, that are surrounded completely by counties of the opposite color (or by a national boundary or the ocean), and flip it to the opposite color. This improved the appearance of the map, but not enough.

Next, we did the same thing for clusters of two contiguous counties of the same color that are surrounded completely by counties of the opposite color (or by a national boundary or the ocean), and flipped them as well. The resulting map yields a more pragmatic separation.

The resulting countries may be called America and Alinsky, for example. Other suggestions are welcome.